Rest in Peace Michael Knott

Welcome to Shine a Light – In Memory of Michael Knott. This site is an ongoing tribute to the memory of Michael Gerard Knott. If you are a fan and would like to share your thoughts about Michael Knott’s music, art, or life, leave them on the wall below. If you would like to contribute links, essays, stories, artwork, or videos for the other pages, please contact us.

16 thoughts on “Rest in Peace Michael Knott

  1. I really think there should be a movie about Michael Knott (Lifesavors) and possibly Undercover and 4-4-1 just like the Jesus Revolution. If you think about it the Jesus Revolution (Chuck Smith, Greg Laurie, Lonnie Frisbe) is the first Wave of America’s last and greatest revival. Then Michael Knott (Lifesavors), Undercover, 4-4-1 (plus a few others like Altar Boys, The Lifters, Ipso Facto) was the second wave of the America’s last and greatest revival and the third and final wave was Greg Laurie’s Harvest Crusades which only existed because the second wave of the revival was so strong.

  2. Man, oh, man. Just found out about Michael’s passing. What a gut punch. He was such a pioneer in early Christian alternative music. His lyrics were so honest and raw and he sang them with so much passion and conviction – you could feel it.

    I was in my first year of college doing a Christian rock show when the Lifesavers album came out – actually I had the cassette tape and had to que up the songs prior. I think I played every song on that thing over the air. And then Lifesavers Underground came out and it was so dark and gritty – loved it! Honestly, they really “don’t make music like that” in today’s Christian music world.

    RIP Michael. Truly an end of an era.

  3. I was lucky enough to “work” for Mike at Blonde Vinyl. We had so much fun at the office, studios and live shows. He was a real human and a fun one at that. Many things are still vivid about those times, but mostly his humanity and his huge heart – filled with kindness and love. How fast time flies and I had been mostly out-of-touch with him over the last 30 years. Hard to hear about his passing.

  4. I just heard about this Monday (as I’m not on social media). Mike Knott is one of my top all-time favorite meaningful artists who have been with me all my adult musical life. I had never heard of him until I travelled to Cornerstone 93 and a person at the campsite had a cassette of “This is the Healing” and said “you have GOT to hear this guy” and “you have GOT to come see him”. Needless to say, I was at the legendary Cookie Monster Show and was totally blown away with what I saw. Still am. His performance, and the band’s was absolutely mesmerizing, you could not take your eyes off him. Nothing will top that show. Afterwards I hit the merch tent and got Screaming Brittle siren, my first CD of his.

    What else can I say? I have every single one of everything he’s ever put out. I’m counting on my shelf right now close to 60 CDs, up through the recent Grape Prophet re-issue. I’ve seen him several times – full band, just him acoustic, on the tours in the 2000s where he was selling CDRs with custom art on them. I flew to CA from PA to see him just a few years ago for the Rocket and a Bomb Kickstarter show.

    One thing that always amazed me is when I heard him say that he didn’t even travel with a guitar during those custom tours. He would just get one from whoever was involved in hosting the show. He could totally deliver the songs and the feeling even on a borrowed instrument. And captivate the audience. If you’ve seen him live, you know what I’m talking about. As others have said, he was always very kind and gracious every time I’ve seen him to talk after a show. He was down-to-earth with fans. And super-patient with autographs.

    He did a commission painting for me as a gift from my wife a few years ago. I was on the yahoo list group back during that era with those tours he was doing. My brother and I once sang Kitty Courtesy at an open mic/Karaoke thing at a bar and we were totally hyped up on it – I don’t think the crowd understood! I once drove to from NV to CA to find “Fairfax and Sunset” and try to locate the apartment complex he wrote about for RAAB. Crazy fan-boy back in the day.

    His music and creative genius are incredible. One thing I always loved was his re-writing, re-vising, re-doing his own songs in alternate ways. He did remakes and covers and mixed and matched his own material on several tracks, in a very very cool way. Others in articles or comments have listed favorites – in addition to SBS my first, I would have to say most impactful for me are Grape Prophet (my wife once found a super-expensive used CD version for me back in the day “when I just had to have it”) Grace Shaker (so meaningful and diverse), RAAB (of course). There are many favorite albums and tracks. Of course, I think we will all agree that the song “Shaded Pain” is a definitive, signature song for us.

    For some reason, I thought he was much older than me (I guess I’m getting older). I just this weekend watched “The Jesus Music” documentary about the origins and history of CCM and all that was said in there can be applied to Mike regarding the Christian Alternative scene – him being involved in Calvary Chapel in the 70s at the very beginning, all the way through as a pioneer, game-changer, prophet, hero, rebel, entertainer, minister, entrepreneur. He had his ups and downs, as we know, and as he himself shared. As Glenn Kaiser put it in that video “so have I, so have you, so have we all”.

    He is a legend that has impacted many. If it were not for Mike Knott, the Christian alternative scene would not exist as it does today. Mike was unbelievable as a creative genius. A true ICON in our scene.

  5. I first saw Mike when he was frontman for Lifesavers, probably back around 1988 or 89. My experience of Christian music up to that point included Petra, Altar Boys, and a small dose of Undercover, which is why I was at that show. I was a ‘good little church boy’, growing into adulthood, and at a church in Yorba Linda, CA, I was entranced as The Choir, Lifesavers (or was it LSU?) and Undercover drew me into a new era of music appreciation and enjoyment.

    Mike Knott (I didn’t even know his name then) sang ‘Plague of Flies’, and during a solo wrapped himself up in tape. I was like, ‘What? What is happening?’, but the music blew my mind.

    I’ve followed Lifesavers, L.S.U., and Mike’s various other enterprises with enthusiasm and joy since then. So much of his music speaks to me; I’m sad I won’t hear any new tunes in this life, but looking forward to worshiping alongside him in eternity. Blessings to Mike’s family and friends.

  6. It’s the saddest thing that we won’t get more of his voice and music in this life. But what a body of work he left behind. His influence on so many people is profound in a way that few artists ever achieve. He truly did the Lord’s work in the time he was given.

  7. I’ve never grieved for someone I’ve never met. This hurts so much. Jesus led me to Michael’s music in 96′ and it was exactly what I needed to help me with my walk with God. I wish I could have told Michael in person what he means to me.

  8. The first time I heard Mike Knott was on Cush’s first album (self-titled). It remains one of my favorite albums musically but deeply moved by his vocals and emotive expressions. I wish I could have seen him live – I heard of his passing today and had to put on the Cush album in honor of him. Prayers to his friends and family during this tough time. You are missed Mike!

  9. Mike’s music profoundly touched my heart. From his time with Lifesavors and LSU to his solo endeavors, I’ve been an ardent admirer of his work. The sincerity, compassion, and willingness to confront the challenges we all face in life, while still striving to follow and surrender to Jesus, resonated with me deeply. If Christian rock had mirrored Mike Knott’s approach, the genre’s landscape would have been remarkably different. My heartfelt condolences go out to the Knott family; we have lost a genuine soul and a radiant beacon for Jesus in this incredibly broken world.

  10. Mike Knott spoke to all of us who clearly did not identify with the 99.99% blandness of the CCM world, but, for one reason or another, had grown up in that world and were trying to reconcile all the dogma that had been shoved down our throats with our own budding teenage consciousness that knew there was a greater truth than the pre-packaged messages we had been receiving. Certainly there were other great musicians in this small space saying that the Emperor wore no clothes, but Knott did it by shining the light back onto himself and revealing all the shit that almost everyone else lacked the courage to display. And he wrote great tunes, to boot- another rarity!

    I had probably read his name in one of the few “alternative” magazines that covered “that type of music” (Harvest Rock Syndicate, etc.) but my entry point was finding Screaming Brittle Siren in a used record store in Philly around ’93. Not having much money, digging for gold like this was a fun pastime, and I eagerly popped that cd into my car player waiting to see what came out of the speakers. Everything about that album clicked with me right away, from his attitude to his catchy hooks to his lyrics. Instant fan. Mike was prolific, and it was hard to keep up with the guy. Not everything he did was musical gold, but everything he did was real, honest, humble, and true. Though I never had the fortune of seeing him play (us East Coasters are unlucky that way) everything that people have said about him came through with his songs.

    As a filmmaker and musician, I acknowledge many influences in what I do, and Mike is definitely one of those. My heart goes out to his daughter, who is now the keeper of the torch. We’re here for you!

  11. So inspired by his spirit – the voice – the lyrics – always spoken to me beyond any others. His passing hits so hard even though I didn’t know the real person… just what I felt through his songs and art.

    We covered my fav song ‘free her’ long ago but it was really just a cheap imitation – so I won’t even post a link.

    I wrote as song a couple of years ago and it reminds me of him – always thought it would be amazing to hear him singing it… Maybe worth posting here I suppose… But I won’t because it doesn’t feel like the time or place. Suffice it to say it’s a song about the undeniable feeling when the Holy Spirit moves through you… I feel it move through me every time I listen to him.

    Thank you Michael for the inspiration and God speed.

  12. I will never forget the kindness, compassion, humanity and SOUL of this beautiful human artist music machine. He changed my Life in a way neither he nor I will ever fully understand. No day will ever be the same again without him.

  13. It’s strange trying to process grief for someone who helped me process grief. For all the help and support your music provided me, I always wished I could do more.

  14. Eternal rest grant to him O’ Lord & may perpetual light shine upon him.

    Glory to Jesus Christ!

  15. Rest in eternal peace Michael Gerard Knott. Comfort and peace to his beloved daughter Stormie. Love to all who love Michael.

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