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This is the story of Netherworld by Netherworld. Randy wrote the first version of this, and got input from Scott, Kirk, and Pete. Note that this section will be added to every time memories are coming back. Photos and newspaper clipping will be added as well.

Formation & Members
Netherworld was formed in 1975 when Kirk Long answered an ad that Randy Wilson placed, looking for a "violinist or cellist interested in performing original rock". Kirk played neither, but had a unique guitar style and an interest in classical and early progressive rock music.
Randy came from a family of musicians and grew up immersed in classical, but also had a real admiration for rock, jazz and later some progressive bands. They soon added Randy's friend Robin Belvin on guitar and oboe, and Kirk's friend Dave Kump on drums. Randy played keyboards and occasional guitar. Kirk and Randy wrote most of the early music with Robin adding great parts. Kirk and Robin traded off on bass guitar. They all came from different towns near San Jose, California, USA, which is now commonly referred to as the Silicon Valley.

Denny Gordon joined as vocalist and began contributing lyrics in late 1975. Denny brought drama and a passionate sense of urgency and angst to the band. His first bands were straight hard rock, but he loved prog-rock bands and sang the ELP version of Jerusalem so convincingly, Kirk and Randy knew he could do the job. Robin and Dave departed for college in 1976 and the band began a series of rotations of other second guitarists and drummers. They also we worked with several violinists over the years including Ed Ring.

In 1978, the band were joined by Scott Stacy on guitar, Peter Yarbrough on bass and cello, and Thayne Bolin on drums. This group of musicians brought a lot of great energy and ideas to Netherworld, plus a solid rhythm section with a full time bass player. The first song they played together was The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, because that was something they all knew. This completed the final line-up, except for a change of drummers to Greg Schoppe in 1980. It also gave Kirk more time to work on special electronics projects to improve the sound system, lighting and visual effects.

Scott and Randy worked vigilantly to get the band's business done, including promoting their music to local radio stations and planning concert dates. They also collaborated on many musical endeavors, some of which are on the LP and those that were written after the LP was released. Scott and Denny also worked together on numerous songs like Isle Of Man and Son Of Sam.

Scott remembers the writing of Isle Of Man: "I wrote Isle Of Man behind a cash register in a small music store in 1978. Denny came over after work and learned the song. Then we presented it to Randy, Thayne and Pete. I think it was the first song that Netherworld collaborated on after Pete, Thayne and I joined the band. Although it has a striking Can-Utility And The Coastliners feel to it, it was the first original song I ever wrote."

Netherworld did not play live as often as they would have liked. But when they did, it was a major production and in fairly large venues. In many ways, the band were noted for being able to pull off the material live and do it with a lot of visual effects that added to the music. The vast majority of the music was original, but Netherworld did some covers including The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Dancing With The Moonlit Knight going into Los Endos ("a very cool transition", says Randy), Take A Pebble, Epitaph, some twists on 1983 by Jimi Hendrix and When The Music's Over by The Doors. Most of the shows sold out. This was usually due to ample advance radio notice on Greg Stone's progressive radio show "Stonetrek", which was broadcast on KOME in San Jose, California. Greg was a friend and great supporter of the band, who exposed Randy to some of his favorite prog-rock bands, including Gentle Giant.

One of the songs on the setlist during the early Netherworld years was the Jimi Hendrix cover, 1983. The arrangement was Kirk's idea. For 1983, Denny used to come onstage with a hooded cape and LED eyes. Randy remembers, "This was before anyone else was using LEDs like this. When Star Wars came out and they had very similarly dressed creatures with LED eyes we were amazed at the resemblance!" (If any photos will turn up of Denny wearing the mask, they will be included here.)

Peter's brother, Steve, started doing the band's lighting in their rehearsal hall with homemade coffee can lights, when they had private parties. Later, Steve went on to do professional lighting for some of the top music acts in the world. Steve's friends and many other visual collaborators used lasers, liquid lights, projections and many other effects at different times, with dramatic, but sometimes comic results. One show, they had far too much carbon dioxide fog spewing from dragons, it cleared the front rows of the audience and the sound engineering team, the Pastroni brothers Mike and Paul, had to trade off going into the fog to continue mixing!

Some early shows were audio disasters. It took a long time to get their complex and fairly dense music mixed right, especially through monitor speakers, so they could hear what they were playing on-stage. Randy recalls one show where all he could hear through the monitors were Kirk's Moog bass pedals. But by then, he could play the parts completely by touch, without hearing himself. One concert, in the middle of one of Scott's solos (Randy thinks it was Son Of Sam), a blast of 60-cycle hum roared through the monitors with such intensity that it nearly blew Scott off the stage. And, of course, there were those dramatic moments when Scott or Pete would literally light up the stage by touching their lips to a mike, due to ground discrepancies between their instruments and the mixing board.

Appreciative Audiences
Randy says he was amazed that their audiences called out for names of their favorite songs, before recordings of that material were available! They were so appreciative of some very challenging music to listen to. Toward the end of their work together as a band, Randy wrote a strange, harmonically complex song called When Winter Comes. This song was about colder climates, the way they can feel, and how the nature of winter can be viewed as a metaphor for adversity and the insights it can bring. Denny preferred not to try singing it, so the band did it as an instrumental. Several audiences reacted to that piece with great enthusiasm -- even though it was a bear to play and we sometimes made obvious mistakes.

Recording the album
Randy: "I found recording in a topnotch multitrack studio to be a real character building experience. The first day of recording the album, I started the basic tracks for several songs on piano. The grand had a good tone, but a crack in the soundboard. So, every time I hit any F# too loud the piano would buzz, and I had a lot of F#s to play. The tape started rolling, I started to blow takes with buzzing F#s. As expensive minutes ticked by, I started getting nervous. But in the course of that afternoon and in the days that followed, I learned how to turn nervous energy into a force that could be beneficial and actually make performances better."

All band members grew personally and professionally while tracking In The Following Half-Light. Most of all, they came to appreciate each other's talent. They had spent so much time rehearsing and playing live that they never had a chance to really listen to what the other was doing. Working in the studio provided the opportunity to watch each other do what the other does best.

Randy: "Some people have asked if when I listen to the album if I visualize recording it. Yes, but even more, I remember mixing it." Most of the tracks were mixed without automation. Eight handed, carefully rehearsed passes were required numerous times before final mixes of songs like Sargasso and Isle Of Man were accomplished. Additionally, doing the Foley sound effects for Sargasso provided some fun and hilarious moments in and out of the studio that had them starting to question their sanity.

Dedicated Friends & Fans
Dedicated crew, friends and fans helped with all aspects of the band.

Randy: "I could list names but I am sure I would leave out folks who were a huge help to our live shows and recordings."

Pete would like to thank in particular, manager Linda Dean, brother Steve Yarbrough (lighting), Kari Forbes and Jennifer (artists), live soundman and all around good guy Marc Batten, Dave Roberts, Kurt Sauers, and the rest of the 'Light Boys' fx crew: Grant Law, Matt Sweeney and Dave Bazota as well as Kevin Boone and 3B productions. People in the industry who were friends and supporters include: Greg Stone and Karen Nakamura. Hair by Brenda Suzuki and Mary. John Diloretto, Rich Nebel and Pete Carlsen for studio engineering and production. and everyone else who I have forgotten at the moment...

Great Memories
Randy: "There are many memories I appreciate from Netherworld days." They include the following.

Pre-show setup and soundchecks
"One of those was a moment shortly before sound check at our first larger live performance at the University of the Pacific. I watched at least two-dozen people working very hard on every aspect of the show. I was so appreciative that all these folks were working very hard to help us perform our music."

T-shirts at SJSU
"After a show at San Jose State University, we met two guys who had created their own Netherworld T-shirts. One had made a really detailed depiction of a floating city, hovering in the sky with an old castle on the ground below. He said our music gave him the feeling of themes from the future and past being blended together."

Genesis Influence
Randy: "People listening to certain Netherworld songs may notice some Genesis influence and there are several reasons for that. Kirk enjoyed early Genesis and when he played me The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, I was really impressed and also noticed that I was using keyboards in similar ways to Tony Banks."

Shortly after Scott joined Netherworld he took a trip to England and hoped to buy some guitar gear there. Quite by chance, he wondered down to SIR and ran into Steve Hackett who was rehearsing his new band for his first solo album. Steve invited him to sit in on the rehearsal. Later on, he picked up an old Hiwatt amp and a couple of effects pedals from the Foxtrot era. Later, Scott and the others helped work a show for Steve when he played at San Jose State University.

"We all wanted to meet Peter Gabriel and finally did while he was on tour promoting his second solo album, D.I.Y. After performing in San Jose, we devised a way to meet up with him at his hotel. Although drenched with sweat and looking understandably tired after an exhausting, electrical performance, he sat down with us and chatted for awhile. We asked him all kinds of questions, some insightful, some silly. He was really very nice and encouraging. He was almost shy compared to his onstage presence. In later tours, we would meet up with Peter and Larry "Synergy" Fast who was touring with him at the time."

Randy: "We had some very nice reviews for the original album, and although there was no advertising, we got fan mail back from all over the world, just through word of mouth. The owner of a great record shop in San Jose called The Dedicated Record Collector, told me that In The Following Half-Light was the best independent recording he ever sold. Greg Stone was very important in spreading the word - he helped with the band's success immensely." For reviews, check the Press page.

The End Of Netherworld
Future shockaffects the way our music and art evolves. Trends and fads cause music styles to come and go, sometimes as quickly as clothing fashions. For Netherworld to find committed musicians, equip themselves, write and rehearse technically difficult material and record and distribute an independent record just took too long.

By the time the album was released, progressive rock was beginning to go out of style in the U.S. By then, Denny was more interested in pursuing the more emotive oppotunities offered by new wave music. Scott, Kirk, and Randy wrote new music which also followed different paths. When Denny decided to leave the band, Scott did too. Without them, we could not play live to promote the album. We all started other projects.

What Are They Up To Now?
All of the main musicians who appeared on the LP had bands and projects after Netherworld. Scott formed Vis--Vis, Pete and Randy started Civil Defense, later Randy formed Gogoplex, Kirk had Teknocolor Twilight. Pete, Randy, and Kirk have all collaborated at different times on both live and recorded projects. All of them started singing after Netherworld. None of these later bands could be referred to as traditional progressive rock, but all attempted to be innovative within the new styles they were pursuing.

Kirk Long (Guitar, FX)
Kirk has worked as a Senior Technician for many of the leading computer and high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. He continues to play, songwrite, sing, and work on recording 5.1 Surround Sound music with friends in a band called Teknocolor Twilight. His interests include computer video production, script-writing, computer animation, & stereo photography.

Pete Yarbrough (Bass, Cello)
After Netherworld and Civil Defense, Pete resumed playing cello with local classical music groups. In the mid '80s, he become a horseman, moved to Oregon and sang and played acoustic guitar at various brewpubs in the Pacific Northwest. Currently, he is an IT consultant. Pete is a big Linux fan and has an interest in digital video/audio editing, animation, web applications and databases. He has taken up violin and mandolin and is beginning a new experimental recording project. He continues to play live with several community orchestras and original, progressive and cover rock bands. He has racked upwards of 2 dozen public performances in the past year as well as recording on the most recent Spirits Burning prog collaboration album.

Randy Wilson (Keyboards, composition, lyrics)
Randy worked extensively with MIDI after Netherworld and Civil Defense, composing for videos and singing/playing in Gogoplex, a two man, one computer band. He now works developing computer audio software and hardware for the leading manufacturer of digital recording systems. He composes, sings, and plays as much as time permits. Randy and wife Cathy have a daughter, Rebecca Cadence Wilson.

Wade Gorden (Vocals, composition, lyrics) was called Denny during Netherworld's existence and is credited thus on the LP. He is now Wade again and spends his time between San Francisco and family in the midwest. He continues to be active in the Arts, particularly in painting and writing.

Scott Stacy (Guitar, composition, lyrics)
Scott moved to Los Angeles where he stayed for a number of years writing, working as a producer, and recording engineer. After working in film post-production for a few years, he returned to school. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology and was awarded a fellowship at The Menninger Clinic shortly thereafter. He specializes in working with professionals, physicians, and those in the entertainment industry. His academic and clinical papers have been featured in various scientific publications and websites. Scott hopes to return to writing and playing music soon.

Thayne Bolin (Drums, tall tales) continues to enjoy life to its fullest, living in central California near the Sacramento Delta and working as a machinist and machine-shop operator while rearing 4 children and water skiing, dirt biking, snowmobiling etc. He enjoys going to hard rock and progressive shows with his oldest son Brian who is an ace bass player

Dave Kump (Drums) finished college, got into Software Engineering and also has a family consisting of wife Becky and sons Tony and Matt. When not off working in some distant corner of the world Dave continues to rock out with Pete and other musical friends in casual get-togethers and a long-running annual Lake Shasta houseboat jam session.

Ed Ring (Violin, lyrics) is a California businessman who supports a tree-growing arborist organization and will still bring out the fiddle on occasion.

Robin Belvin (Guitar, composition) lives in the Pacific northwest and is a caregiver

Pete Delavorious (Drums and percussion) part of a well-known musical family in Silicon Valley, mostly plays tuned percussion (marimba, Xylophone, Vibes, etc) in classical and perhaps jazz settings.

Rob Camm (Guitar and Bass)

Tim Alexander (Guitar and Bass) formed new wave band 'A Western Front' in the early '80s which recorded and gigged through the '90s

Greg Schoppe (Drums) is a pilot and lives in Central California

Chris Sepulveda (Drums)

  If anyone can provide information or contact with any of the former band members please send a message to info@netherworldmusic.com