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
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 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."
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.
Recording the album
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
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...
Pre-show setup and soundchecks
T-shirts at SJSU
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."
The End Of Netherworld
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?
Kirk Long (Guitar, FX)
Pete Yarbrough (Bass, Cello)
Randy Wilson (Keyboards, composition, lyrics)
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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org