I remember In February of 1979 we met Phillip Christopher of Multi-Media attractions who became our first formal booking agent. Phil’s entertainment experience came mostly by way of performing in a popular 50’s cover band known locally as “Big Wheelie & the Hubcaps’ who was booked and managed by the biggest entertainment agent in town, Fred Caserta.
Phil was a big help to us when we were just starting out. He let us rehearse our songs in his garage on Voorhees Avenue near Hertel Avenue… in the winter with no space heater. Our hands were so cold that even with gloves on it was nearly impossible to play our instruments.
I remember that while Parousia was rehearsing in the Music Mall there was a band across the way in room #6 called JDM Hybrid. They were managed and booked by Adventure Productions who we immediately became interested in as a resource.
We met with Georgine Tramontana who we invited to see our band perform in July of 1980 at a little club called the Plant-6 on Niagara Street. Georgine liked our band and wanted us to sign an ‘exclusive deal’. Meaning that no one else could book us into clubs, schools or parties not even one of our own band members! This was exactly the kind of thing we wanted to avoid with companies like Great Lakes Booking (Fred Caserta) and his various tentacles like Starstruck Entertainment. BUT…we really wanted her help and she really wanted Parousia to be on her roster and so we struck a deal. We didn’t have to go exclusive but she would take a higher cut from each gig.
We premiered the show-set on July 20th at Melanie’s where Backstage Productions saw us and heard us for the first time.
Almost immediately after, Parousia entered into a booking and management agreement with Dave Buffamonti and Rick Falcowski which gave our band a much stronger presence in Buffalo and the surrounding cities.
Rick Falcowski of Backstage productions was an expert at working deals. Like the time our band got free professional haircuts at Santangelo’s and free recording time at Loft Studios. In exchange, Rick gave them advertising space in his local music magazine Buffalo Backstage. Rick helped us land a live performance at the first Buffalo Backstage Music Awards show and we were taped live and later broadcast on TV.
He also helped us land our concert performance at the Port Colborne arena in Canada when Talas had to suddenly cancel their appearance at that venue. Rick helped out with stage equipment too and lent us his personal ARP synthesizer because we didn’t own a keyboard that made a realistic string and chorus sound.
Rick’s wife, Marsha Falcowski pitched in with photography and shot some very cool 35 MM photos of the band at Forest Lawn Cemetery in August of 1980.
After recording four new songs at Loft studios in 1984 and creating a music video that same year, we hit the recording studio three times in 1985, starting in July at Filippone sound, where we recorded six songs and then in October, at Select Sound where we recorded ‘Place your Bets’. About that time the band was itching to get onto a college circuit tour and as luck would have it we drew interest from am interesting fellow from England, Mr. Colin Hilborne.
Colin had a great deal of experience in the music industry and was an ex-roadie for Elton John & the Faces. Back in England, he knew many of the British Invasion bands from the 60s and 70s and had interesting stories to tell about some of them like Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards and Elton John (who according to Colin was particularity fond of being called ‘Elsie’ by his band mates backstage). Colin recognized talent and we were flattered to know that he saw that in us.
Colin suggested he produce three new songs to compliment the “Place your Bets” track we had just recorded over at Select Sound and then put it all together to release an EP. We agreed and in November 1985 we began recording at the studio of his choice, Mark Studios in Clarence, NY where we laid down, “Turnaround,” “Tiffany” and “Graduation” – The result of which formed our first commercially released Cassette EP, titled “Turnaround”.
Turnaround was released in October of 1987 on the ‘Rock Dog Records’ label in Hollywood, CA. The Hollywood release is credited much to the urging of our mentor Colin, who convinced us that if we were serious about our music we should take the band out west in a market where there was a better chance to be seen by someone who could take it to the next level, get us a record deal and start a tour to promote it. Out in California Colin continued to mentor us and encourage us to find someone who could put us on tour.
in 1990 while I was working for Crawford & Company in Los Angeles, I handled accounts for various Entertainment Brokers. AON was one of those brokers and that’s where I met Marianne Smith, an underwriter at the brokerage. She handled accounts for many prominent live recording artists. Many were touring bands and she became involved in personally managing some of the acts. She formed relationships with the local rock clubs like the Troubadour, the Whisky and the Roxy on the Sunset Strip. When she saw what Patt and I were putting together in 1990, she wanted to be a part of it. Patt and I recorded a demo tape with keyboards, drums and vocals. We used that demo to attract like-minded musicians and then booked a dress rehearsal at Uncle Studios in North Hollywood. From that very first rehearsal Marianne took the promotional reins and started creating press and connections for our band.
She was a true friend to the band and had us over for food and drinks on many occasions. She mothered us and mentored us and invested heavily in our production of ‘Virtual Reality’ by providing up front financing for shows at the Troubadour, the Whisky and the Roxy Theater Marianne did a fantastic job of promoting and managing our act. We couldn’t have done it without her!
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