Parousia headlines Curran’s “Summer in the City” Outdoor Music & Art Festival – Saturday, September 15, 1979.
This was an interesting gig of note. It was another one of those times where we performed at two separate venues within one 24-hour period. We had just finished playing Frank’s Casanova and got home at 4 am. We shaved some time off of our usual wrap-up by keeping the equipment truck loaded for our gig at Curran’s starting later that same day at 2 pm.
When we got to Curran’s, we found the portable stage set up in a huge parking lot behind the bar surrounded by many multilevel high-rise concrete buildings. Our music bounced off the structures like we were playing in the mountains. It took quite a bit of concentration to stay on cue and ignore the delay. Even with good monitors (and we never had good monitors) it was a challenge.
The outdoor stage was very close to West Chippewa Street which had a ‘Red-light district’ reputation back then. Infamous for its drug dealers and hookers… so all-in-all this was the perfect place for an outdoor art-rock concert with an authentic inner-city stench of urine, vomit and filthy needles wafting in the humid afternoon haze.
Besides the unique olfactory stimulation, this gig stands out because keyboardist Dave Maltbie was absent from the performance. He chose to work and blow-off the gig! We had to edit our set-list down to songs without keyboards… which didn’t leave us with many. We toyed with doing an improvisational jazz-jam for 15-20 minutes but thankfully it was voted down. I think we successfully avoided a “Spinal Tap moment there… I had a hard time looking at Kim the entire time we were on stage. We were still mad at her for last night’s fiasco during load-out at Frank’s Casa Nova when she backed the equipment truck into a window and blew all of our wages for the night.
We didn’t know it yet, but this was our last gig with Kim Watts (for a few shows). Right after this gig, she got pissed off and stormed-out of band practice. She was fed-up with us blaming her for the accident. We had to replace her temporarily with Michelle Improta, which turned out to be a big mistake ‘cause Michelle never showed up when we needed her! (See our post for Frank’s Casanova. 10.05.1979).
I loved Kim… but she was a handful at times… She was prone to fits of rage and would throw things during rehearsals and from on-stage into the audience if she was mad enough. I remember one rehearsal at the Music Mall where she threw a xylophone mallet at Garth’s head… thank-goodness she missed his head but broke a window behind him.
We played this gig with other local bands such as “The Argyle Street Band” and “Sipping Whiskey”. Oh, and as part of our deal for playing the gig, each member in every band got a free drink and a sandwich! Just be sure you didn’t lose your free drink and food tag! Like the poster said… Music, Food, Beer and a good time.
Coincidentally… this gig was across the street from Hutch Tech high-school where Parousia performed for the senior class back on May 19th, 1978 with members John McGovern, Steve Soos, Sharon Pierce and Billy Simms. Ah-h-h, the difference a year and four-months makes.