Track 3: “You Found Me” by The Altar Billies
The Altar Billies (l to r) Chuck “Wagon” Cummings (drums), Michael W. Stand (vocals/guitar) and Johnny X (bass)
Here’s the song as it appears on ‘Punk Never Dies Vol. 2’
Not too many people have the longevity like Mike Stand, singer of the Altar Billies. I’ve known Mike for over 25 years… he rocked with the Altar Boys (80’s to early 90’s).. jammed with Clash of Symbols (mid 90’s).. and expressed himself with 3 incredible solo records, “Do I Stand Alone” 1988, “Simple Expression” 1990.. and “Full Circle” 2002. Mike Stand is nothing short of legendary and undeniably rides this train from a fallen world into forever mercy.
Mike just does what he does.. and whatever happens.. happens.. and many times… great things happen. If he wants to go rockabilly… he’s all in. You gotta give him props for the different styles of guitar work he’s explored and killing it in… love it! Not a compromiser when it comes to wanting to stay true to what’s true.. true to how the song should go down but yet walking in the footsteps of love. It’s often that musical expressions can get hi-jacked by producers, record companies, A&R guys.. and it no longer becomes an expression of the artist… it becomes a product to sell to a marketable audience. As that still goes on.. there’s no denying what’s going on outside of that environment.. as there is a rising generation that are turned off by that environment. There’s good to that.. that we’re hearing a more genuine sound than an over produced one.. but the down side is.. being able to find this kind of stuff in the massive ocean of the internet. I hope you find Reality Rock to be a tide pool and see every song to be a gem as we do.. and pray the rising tide would flood over the dams and create new channels for reality rock music to flow. Music from the heart and not for the bank.. that asks the right questions.. that reveals the heart of man.. and music that sings of the amazing grace.. being able to see.
Reality Rock was the promoter of the ‘Rock of Love’ concerts in Redlands, California from 1985-1993. The Altar Boys headlined Rock of Love 1988 & 1989 at the Redlands Bowl to thousands of kids from the Inland Empire.
A time when the only way to hear new music and the bands you liked were through the radio or MTV. Reality Rock had a weekly 2hr. radio show on 89.1fm (Redlands, CA) & 90.1fm (Yucaipa, CA). Myself and John Smeby were the DJ’s.. playing vinyl at first and we made the switch to CD’s.. which sometimes messed us up.. hitting stop on the wrong CD player.. the one playing live on air. A highlight for the show.. was to have live interviews and acoustic songs with the bands. Bands weren’t so accessible in these days.. and there were literally thousands of kids stuck by the radio hanging on to every word these guys were saying. Our phone volunteer team would often be talking kids off a ledge.. and I always appreciated Mike’s message through his music.. a message of hope in a very unsettling world…
Thought that I was a goner
Everyone had written my life off
Dreamed about better days
And hoped that I could make it happen somehow
Someone please help me
I’m dying from the inside out
Come to find out God loves me
Come to find out I was not alone
This was church for tons of kids and it was amazing to be apart of that unique era from a Southern California view as it was broadcasted out. Times change.. seasons change.. a plethora of bands emerged and a Christian Music Industry exploded. There was a migration of SoCal bands and artists that we worked with that went Nashville in the early 90’s. The guys from Guardian, the Choir, Uthanda, the Allies…. Brandon Ebel was working at Frontline Records in the OC and he moved up to Seattle and started up Tooth N Nail and things just went crazy. I dropped out of the scene and got involved in youth ministry at church, which I’m still doing.
Today in 2013 a tide of new artists and bands emerge in SoCal… and that’s what this Lost & Found CD represents.. and it’s just so killer to have The Altar Billies on here. Mike and company are still standin’ and delivering skilled art for the ears to feast on. I could go off on his drummer Chuck.. go off in the sense of how many bands he’s played in over the years.. the one’s I know of.. Common Bond, LSU, Dakoda Motor Company, Uthanda… that may be a few. All I can say is.. that guy must have a lot of patience and knows how to get along with people.
I love what The Altar Billies are doing.. just playing, playing, playing.. OC County Fair, the front yard, NAMM.. it’s what they do and who they are. Not selling out.. not that the others did.. well maybe a few.. but.. “You Found Me” has been an anthem song of true punk rock for years. The 4 versions I know of.. first one on the original Altar Boys album (1984).. then on GLM (1986).. MXPX covered it (1995).. and now The Altar Billies version (2013). Riding the steam train guitar work by Michael W on this version.. as it was recently released on Punk Never Dies vol. 2 by Indie Vision Music and also lands on Reality Rock’s Lost & Found CD.. a piece of history!
The Altar Billies will be playing at Reality Rock’s Lost & Found Music & Art Festival 2013 at Fleming Park in Colton on Sat., September 14th at 4:30pm.. don’t miss them. Also this Lost & Found CD will be available at the Reality Rock merch table.. make sure to pick up a copy!!