First Gig at Frank’s Casa Nova, Wednesday, August 29th 1979
Parousia 1979: A distinguished and eclectic group of musicians now appearing at Frank’s Casa Nova in Buffalo.
Our first gig at Frank’s… A prestigious Wednesday night? I know “you gotta’ start somewhere” but jeez! Who comes out on a Wednesday night to see a band play?? …The unemployable, alcoholics, desperate loners, vampires?
Our friends who actually had jobs were too tired to come out on a Wednesday night and the rest were unemployed/underemployed with no money to pay for gas, admission or drinks.
So there we were, performing to a smidgen of a crowd. But hey, it was summer and at the end of the night we didn’t have to break-down, pack-up and load-out into a freezing winter’s night at 3:00 am.
The one good thing to come out of it; Frank got to see us ‘do our thing’ and Frank happened to like ‘our thing’ well enough to invite us back to the Casa Nova next month on a coveted Friday night. Mission accomplished! Now, we needed to concentrate on getting people in the door. It would be much easier now that we were playing on a weekend.
A LITTLE STORY ABOUT FRANK'S CASA NOVA
Franks Casa Nova has a very colorful history – it was very similar to McVans in many respects. Located in the lower east side of Buffalo, it used to be a strip joint back in the 40’s and 50’s. A long standing Buffalo establishment, it went from classy restaurant to posh and trendy nightclub featuring risqué entertainment, and eventually degenerated to a seedy dive offering local bands like Parousia an opportunity in its attempt to bring in some kind of young crowd on a weekend night in the depressed Buffalo economy.
Frank is remembered as the quintessential “lounge lizard” as the club evolved into more exotic entertainment after World War II. He was the star of his establishment and emcee of the strippers and female impersonators who became the main attraction.
“A visit to Frank’s was high on the entertainment list for well-heeled Buffalonians and out-of-towners. Buffalonians today have their memories of strippers with names such as “Busty” Russell and “Bonnie, the Baby Bombshell of Burlesque.” One of the strippers would wear a fancy feather boa and pose in the window as live advertisement.” Courtesy WNY Heritage Press.