Exodus business card

(Click on the images below to view larger versions of each image. Also, you'll note that I was the main focus of the pictures---that's because most of the pictures were taken by my mom and by my girlfriend-at-the-time. ;-))

I grew up in Elizabethtown, KY, in the 1970s, listening to KISS and dreaming of playing bass guitar. My friend Jim Becker had always wanted to play drums, and when we were in the 8th grade (1978), he bought a set of drums and started teaching himself to play by playing along with albums by KISS, the Beatles, and others. By 1979, Jim had joined with other local musicians to form the band Exodus. The first Exodus lineup consisted of Jim Becker (drums), Greg Luken (guitar), Shayne Moore (guitar), and Rick Chilton (bass). I started hanging out with Exodus and eventually declared myself their roadie/tech, along with Rick's brother Anthony.

New!   In 2003, Shayne sent in his recollections of the Exodus years. You can read his comments by clicking here

The first version of Exodus played a concert at the local Boy's Ranch, played for a couple of dances, and played the high school talent show. I ran the lights and sound for all of these shows. During this time, I would pick up Rick's bass and try to play bits and pieces of things.

Exodus 1980 - Jim, Greg, Shayne
Jim Becker, Greg Luken, and Shayne Moore - 1980

In 1980, Rick graduated from high school, Shayne moved to bass, and Exodus became a three-piece band. This lineup performed for the school Fall talent show and practiced a lot. Greg loaned me a bass guitar and I started diligently trying to teach myself how to play.

These first two versions of Exodus primarily played original pop rock songs written by Greg and Shayne, including such titles as "You Gotta Be Prep," "Hot, Hot, Hotter," and "Hanging By A Thread."

School newspaper article on Exodus

By the beginning of 1981, Shayne had tired of butting heads with Greg, along with other, outside forces, and decided he wanted out of the band. Bass players around E'town were in short supply, and my playing had improved to the point that Greg and Jim decided to let me replace Shayne and play bass. All during Spring 1981, we practiced to get ready for the Spring talent show. It was decided that we would play two songs, and I would sing the lead on a cover of AC/DC's "You Shook Me (All Night Long)". I no longer remember the second song we did.

Exodus - 1981 - Hunter Exodus - 1981 - Greg Exodus - 1981 - Jim
Exodus - 1981 - Hunter, Jim Exodus - 1981 - Hunter

The day of that first talent show, we taped our cords to the floor so we wouldn't trip over them. After we had pretty much finished setting up, I was playing my bass and heard someone call my name. I turned to see who it was, not realizing that my bass cord was already pulled taut. As I turned, the plug ripped out of my bass, taking with it the jack and much of the wood surrounding it. I was horrified, and may have even cried about it. I know I felt like crying. ;-) This was about 30 minutes before the Talent Show started. Randy Hooks, the only other bass player in E'town at the time, agreed to let me borrow his bass, which was very nice of him. So my very first performance in front of people was with a bass I had never used before, and it was very different from mine. I have no idea how we sounded then---all I know was that I tried my best to play this foreign bass, and I lost my voice mid-song by trying to scream it like Brian Johnson did.

Over the summer of 1981, my playing improved, and Greg, Jim, and I decided we needed more people in Exodus. Greg recruited two very, very good musicians from neighboring schools. Todd Sholar became Exodus's keyboard player, and Brent Goodin became our lead guitarist. By this time, we were mostly playing covers, and the addition of Todd and Brent allowed us to start doing songs by bands like Journey, REO Speedwagon, Loverboy, and other similar rock bands. We played our first real show at the Hardin County Fair in August 1981.

The biggest performance this version of Exodus played was a "mini rock concert" organized by the owner of the local movie theater (the State Theater). He wanted to hold a "mini rock concert" at midnight on a Saturday night and charge kids $3 to come see two local bands play. The bands for the first concert were Exodus and Phoenix, a band comprised of Randy Hooks (bass), Kevin Clark (guitar), Steve Yates (drums), Mark Hardin (guitar), and a vocalist named Mark Dewitt (I think that was his name---it's been a while since I've thought about him). Phoenix was heavily into Southern rock, while Exodus was heavily into pop rock. Phoenix told us they wanted to close the show (they wanted us to "open" for them). We had no problem with that, because we didn't believe most high school kids would (or could) stay out long enough to see both bands.

Flyer for State Theater concert Newspaper ad for State Theater concert

The show took place on February 27, 1982, and we played to a packed house. The number we were told at the time was roughly 700 people paid their $3 to see perform. It was a most exciting night, even though I managed to melt my bass guitar cord (I didn't have a bass amp and was playing through a guitar amp; somehow the cord overheated). But the cord was quickly replaced and the show went very well. After Exodus played, more than half of the audience left, leaving Phoenix to play for an ever-dwindling crowd. It was a fun time to be in Exodus. ;-)

Exodus -820227 - 01 Exodus - 820227 - 02
Exodus - 820227 - 03 Exodus - 820227 - 04
Exodus - 820227 - 05 Exodus - 820227 - 06

After the State Theater gig, Greg "fired" me from Exodus. I had plans to go to WKU in the Fall of 1982, and the guys in Exodus decided they wanted to try to "make it" as a professional band. Apparently Greg decided that wouldn't work with me going to school, so I was asked to leave. It was a move that upset me at first, but then I found that, like Shayne before me, I had tired of how Greg led the band.

I still had one high school talent show to play, so I put together a new band for that show. This band included Jim Becker on drums, Eric Yates and Bert Lewis on guitars, and me playing bass. I was really into mythology at the time, and I picked the name "Phoebos Apollo" from Edith Hamilton's Mythology book, thinking it was very cool. I'm probably the only person in the world who remembers that that's what we were called. Most people assumed we were still called Exodus. In May 1982, we played covers of Def Leppard's "Let It Go" and Journey's "The Party's Over," with me attempting vocals for both. Again, I have no idea how I sounded, but I do remember two things distinctly: during "Let It Go," I saw a girl in our class singing along with me, and I did a miserable Steve Perry imitation. Funny how much better I sounded in the locker room before we played. Once we were playing, I couldn't hear myself sing, and so I have no idea how bad it really was.

Spring '82 - Hunter Spring '82 - Hunter, Jim
Spring '82 - Hunter

After that, I played bass with church acoustic groups, adding some much-needed bottom end, and went to Western Kentucky University in the fall of 1982. By 1983, I was getting out of practice, and the more out of practice I got, the more frustrated I was, and I eventually sold my bass and amp. I regretted that for almost 20 years, and in 2001, I bought a new bass and am trying to relearn how to play.

Thanks to Jim Becker, here's a publicity photo for Exodus in 1983.

A footnote: Exodus spent about a year trying to make it big. Jim and Brent ended up leaving Exodus, and Greg and Todd joined with Steve McCann and Greg Bartels (both formerly of a Radcliff band called Bad Axe) to form The Risk (ironically, a name coined by Jim before he left). The Risk actually appeared on a Louisville TV show highlighting local bands before disappearing for good in 1984.

Newspaper article on The Risk Newspaper ad for The Risk Newspaper ad for The Risk

An update!   Steve McCann and Greg Bartels joined forces again a couple of years ago, along with Troy Carter, and played for a while as Slam the Giant.

I'm sad to report that Greg Bartels died on March 27, 2009, at age 46.

Another update! (17-OCT-2005)   Kevin Clark has continued playing music all these years. Good to hear from you, Kevin!

And to show there are no hard feelings over the band rivalry, the picture below is a shot of Phoenix from the 1982 EHS talent show.

Phoenix 1982

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Last updated 12-SEP-2013 13:00