Parousia played New York New York three times in 1981; Friday May 22nd, was the first show, booked by our industrious booking agent, Dave Buffamonti of Back Stage Productions. Dave was doing the best he could to keep the band playing in and around the city of Buffalo. Our fans were complaining that it was getting too hard for them to attend our shows when faced with driving all the way out to places like Holland, Olcott and Chaffee.
The night before, the band played at Dad’s Café on Clinton Street in Buffalo and tonight we were on Harlem Rd. So that was cool, two nights in a row on home turf! In fact, out of the eight shows played in the month of May, only two of them were far outside of Buffalo. It looked like we were making progress in this direction and so Kim suggested that from now on, the band play “in-town” gigs only. The rest of the band didn’t necessarily disagree but didn’t want to rule-out performing “out-of-town” gigs altogether. We didn’t know it then but this little rift would make tonight’s show the band’s last show with Kim Watts.
For the most part, members of the band agreed that playing in town was the best course of action, ever since February, when Parousia’s song “Miss Ogyny” was released on the 97 Rock album and played on WGRQ FM. All of a sudden there was more attention on Parousia and it made sense to take advantage of it by giving Buffalo music fans a chance to see our band in a proper venue. Tough to do though, when you’re band isn’t being booked at the popular rock cubs in or near the city of Buffalo …and therein lies the rub… why wasn’t Parousia booked into the more popular local rock clubs??
Outside of Uncle Sam’s, very few major rock clubs in the area played-ball with booking agencies that weren’t an off-shoot of Great Lakes Booking like, Star Struck Productions Management or J.R. Productions. If you did, your venue risked being black-balled by the agency and denied access from booking any of their acts.
Starstuck/J.R. had all the major venues (including, high-schools and colleges) locked down! Places like Cassidy’s, Barrelhead, Purple Moose, Mickey Rats, He and She’s plus all of the local school dances and college mixers. Star Struck and J.R. had signed a handful of the “best local bands” to “exclusive” deals like Talas, Weekend, The Road, Actor, Buxx, Freeze, Fat Brat (Jambo), Junction West and others.
They were all good musicians, with more reliable /better-working equipment than what Parousia owned, but no more talented than us… especially when it came to writing original music. It’s just that these “chosen” bands were playing everywhere and seen the most and consequently had the largest audience recognition with music fans in the Buffalo area.
Starstruck/J.R. sometimes worked with Harvey Weinstein of Buffalo’s Harvey and Corky productions that ran the Stage One. The biggest clubs like After Dark and Uncle Sam’s played along when they needed to book a local act into their club and then turned to play with Weinstein to book a national recording artist.
The first show at New York New York Parousia was paid $200.00 to perform on a Friday night, May 22, 1981. The band rolled into the club with its usual entourage; Dave and Mike ran sound and lights, plus the ‘regular roadies’, Keith Huels, Steve Styn, ‘Steven’ (Mike’s trouble-making friend) and someone named “Bob’s friend”. Roadies, as usual were paid a smooth $10.00 each.
Our expense for the evening totaled $291.00 including the truck rental of $141, (even after sharing the truck expense with last night’s gig at Dad’s and after Patt’s $40.00 contribution for borrowing the truck on Saturday to move his Mother). So, it was like we were paid $240.00! Still… not enough and the band ended up $51.00 over budget for the night meaning no money for the drugs and the prostitutes again…