Text by METALLIC BLUE records website:
GOOD COMPANY was a band that was supported by the music department at Weber State University (a college in Ogden, Utah). The band toured the USA and Europe with its music and dance act that gained some notoriety in the ’70s and very early part of the ’80s. GOOD COMPANY disbanded in the fall of 1981. GOOD COMPANY featured a few members that went on to find success in other hard rock bands. Guitarist Chris Clary (JERICHO, PARADOX, MEGATTACK, TYPHOID MARY) and guitarist Gilbert Rodriguez (ROADWORK, PARADOX, CHINA DOLL, SHADOW, ANGEL REIGN) went on to join STRYDER, ESSEXX and BAD BOYS. But it was vocalist Andi Schopper and drummer Devin McBeth who searched for other musicians who wanted to play the same keyboard-driven pomp AOR style they enjoyed. Andi and Devin found keyboardist Fred Betz (EASTOUR ISLAND) and they loved the style he brought with him. Fred reached out to his older brother Allan Betz (EASTOUR ISLAND) and asked if he would like to join this new band. Allan asked, “Do they really want two keyboard players?” and Fred said “absolutely.” This band was going to be a very keyboard heavy synth-AOR band with a focus on radio friendly songs. The band also brought in Sam Ferraro and Larry Runkles through a music store ad and now their band was set.
The band decided to call themselves “NIGHTLIFE,” as this name really encompassed what the band was all about. Andi had a house in Ogden, Utah, where the band rehearsed in the basement. NIGHTLIFE wrote a few original songs that they worked into their set of popular cover songs; this got them noticed by fans and talent scouts alike. The band contracted with Kevin Jackson to be their entertainment lawyer. Kevin reached out to Chris Harding from Aircastle Records and brought him to a NIGHTLIFE show in Clearfield, Utah, at the Pier 3 Club. Chris liked what he saw and heard and signed the band to his label that night. Kevin then contacted Gino Venturi, a music booking agency in San Mateo, California. He wanted to get the band into the hotel circuit. This caused a little tension in the band as some of the band members did not want to leave Utah. The club Main Event in Murray, Utah, offered the band $2,300 a week to be the house band. But a club in Sacramento, California, was offering $1,800 a week through Gino Venturi. The band decided to go on the road and moved the act to Sacramento (Sacramento Inn). This move gave the band more exposure outside of Utah and helped them create a bigger name for themselves.
NIGHTLIFE eventually went out on a full-fledged tour across the western part of the United States, even up to Alaska. The band toured for thirteen months with only two small breaks. There was no wasted time on these two-week breaks, as the band used that time to record two singles. The first single included the songs “Take Me” and “Dream Child.” The second single contained two more songs, “Don’t Let It Show,” which was written by Aircastle Records owner Chris Harding, and “No Dice.” The band brought in accomplished session guitarist Michael Dowdle (EVERETT LINCOLN, MAGELLEN, LONDON BRIDGE, SOJOURN, INNERVOICE) to add some guitar tracks which gave the songs a little bit more of a hard rock edge.
The tour paid off, netting the band several offers for returning gigs. The band received an offer to go back to Alaska where a club called “The Flying Machine” in Anchorage signed them to a three-month gig. The band was put up in their own house and paid $3,000 per week. In return, NIGHTLIFE played four 45-minute sets six nights a week. The band performed mostly cover songs but also mixed in two original songs each night. The band changed the original songs in their set each night. This allowed them to play all of their original songs within a one-week period.
After returning from Alaska, NIGHTLIFE set up a line of gigs at a club in New Mexico. But this extensive touring and the long stay in Alaska began to wear on the band. Larry decided to part ways with NIGHTLIFE. Allan called ahead to inform the club in New Mexico that their guitarist had just quit the band. The club owner said he knew of a local guitarist there in New Mexico that could fill in until a permanent one could be found. So the band continued with their commitment. When they arrived in New Mexico, there wasn’t enough time for the band to run even one practice before their first show, so for the first few shows, their fill-in guitarist would only give the illusion that he was plugged in but would not play anything. Allan filled in the heavy lead portion of the songs with his synthesizer until their guitarist could get up to full speed.
After extensive touring and growing personal differences, the band drifted apart. But this hiatus wouldn’t last long. In 1983, brothers Fred and Allan called up Andi to see if she wanted to get back together for another go (this time under the band name EXPOSURE). They picked up Ron Thompson on drums and Dane Rhinehart on guitar. The Betz brothers decided to not use a bass player in this rendition of the band, but to play synth-bass between them instead.
With a new name and a few new members, the band decided to take their act to California for a fresh start. In the early part of 1985, EXPOSURE played at a club in West Angeles called “Madam Wongs.” This gave the band more exposure to record companies and talent scouts. The band travelled back to Utah to record their album “Matter of Time” at the Bonneville Recording Studio in Salt Lake City (the same studio at which NIGHTLIFE recorded their two singles). Producer Chris Harding and recording engineer Loren Ashcraft used a unique technique on the recording of the EXPOSURE album (which they also used on the NIGHTLIFE recordings). The technique channeled the music underneath the studio using a tube. The tube extended next door into the assembly hall and the music was played out of strategically placed speakers that were then microphoned to get the reverb sound they wanted. The signal was then sent back to the studio. This technique gave the band the exact sound they were looking for.
The band did TV spots in Utah and Oregon to help promote the “Matter of Time” album, even as they continued to pitch their tape to different record labels. EXPOSURE played out as much as possible, becoming a crowd favorite at Utah’s historic Zephyr Club. But frustrations began to set in once the cassette tape was rejected by David Geffen, a lead they felt was promising. Fred approached Allan and suggested that they take the band in a different direction by bringing in new musicians and even replacing Andi on vocals. EXPOSURE brought in Shawna Young to take over as frontwoman for the band and also welcomed in guitarist Chuck Hulse. This rendition of the band did not last long after many creative differences began to set in. The Betz brothers still look back at the decision to revamp the band as the wrong move. The rest of the band departed and Andi moved back to Kansas, effectively ending the band.
Thirty-five years later, as the band collects their songs, photos, and memories for the remaster and thirty-fifth anniversary CD release, they all agreed that the fans were their favorite part of being a band. Andi said, “It is great to get paid doing something that you’d be willing to do for free.” None of the members hold any hard feelings toward each other. Instead, the band reflects on the good times they had and the great music that they were able to create together.
1. Matter Of Time
2. Love Minus One
3. Nature Of The Beast
4. Soft Machine
5. One By One
6. Take Me Away
7. Don't Let It Show
8. No Dice
9. Take Me
10. Dream Child
|Packaging Type||Jewel Case|
|Number of Discs||1|
- Stock: In Stock
- Reward Points: 8
- Catalog Number: 55065-2
- Weight: 0.12kg