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Categories: Melodic Rock




New Jersey's BYSTANDER emerged from roots firmly entrenched in the local club scene, band leaders Bucky Naughton and Andy Kelly having played the covers scene since the mid 70's in a variety of different bar bands. BYSTANDER began to take shape with the recruitment of guitarist Stan Steele in 1981. Keyboard player Mike Weaver joined the trio sometime during 1986.

In early 1987 BYSTANDER beat off strong competition to win first place in a 'Best New Band' contest run by the 'East Coast Rocker' (best known in previous years in its original incarnation as 'The Aquarian') publication, a New York based weekly Rock paper. BYSTANDER decided to take the plunge and record a self-financed album, which was issued in July 1987 on their own A.B.S. label. The record, titled 'Not So Innocent', was produced by Alan Douches, whose other claim to fame would appear to be his contribution in an engineering capacity to GLEN BURTNICK's 'Talking In Code' album. Indeed, Burtnick helped out on backing vocals.

BYSTANDER appeared to disappear after the album was released, although nearly ten years later it was discovered that the group had, in fact, recorded a second album which remained unreleased. Stan Steele featured as session musician on JODI BONGIOVI's solo album.

In 1995 when the German label Long Island re-issued 'Not So Innocent' with the addition of several previously unreleased tracks. The label also released the aforementioned, previously unknown, second BYSTANDER album, 'Stranger Things Have Happened', GLEN BURTNICK (again) and PROPHET's Ken Dubman contribute backing vocals. The album found Stan Steele and Mike Weaver replaced by Greg Mezurek and Bill Dellicato respectively.

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