It was Sunday, November 15, 1981, the week of Thanksgiving. We anticipated a decent crowd but from the moment Parousia rolled into town we noticed it seemed much quieter than usual and not many folks were out and about… Yes, it was winter, but not especially cold this time of year.
As the band loaded into the club, we could see it was uncharacteristically empty except for a dozen or so men sitting at the bar… giving us the stink-eye as we arranged our equipment on stage. The hunters wore hats, caps and plaid jackets, boots; most had mustaches and whoa, guns!
Suddenly it became clear. It was hunting season in Olean.
NEWSFLASH: Local Deer Crosses Canadian Border To Escape WNY Hunting Season
A patron told us that the locals clear-out around this time of year when the hunters from all across Western NY move into town and take over the Wooden Nickel. Lucky us… we had the distinct pleasure of trying to entertain a group of surly hunters with our set of incredibly loud alternative/progressive hard rock music (with a little punk and jazz thrown in there for good measure). … A little voice inside us said “this wasn’t going to go well.”
Well, it didn’t… In spite of the lack of appreciation, we played our little hearts out (perhaps under the fear of being shot), performing our best tunes. “Hocus Pocus” by Focus, “Hold Your Head Up” by Argent, “Cross-Eyed Mary” by Jethro Tull, “Train Kept A Rollin’” by Aerosmith, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by the WHO but not even “Free Bird” would stir an applause out of these guys…
Although there were a few local partiers in the crowd, all in all the band really didn’t pick up any new fans tonight. The hunters departed the club around midnight and with them, the majority of our “audience”.
Tonight’s gig was number three in a string of three out-of-town gigs in row. It all began on Friday and Saturday November 13 and 14. Parousia was booked to play the weekend at the Wayside Manor in Alden, NY and then the next night, Sunday November 15 at the Wooden Nickel in Olean NY. Another weekend away from Buffalo and it wasn’t cheap.
We were paid $300.00 for three sets of music. Gregg Filippone came out to run sound and we paid him $60.00. We paid the roadies $45.00 in total. Mike Carroll set up and ran lights and was paid $40.00. The truck rental cost $148.00 but was a shared expense from the Friday and Saturday night gigs. Backstage Productions booking fee was $45.00 and $50.00 was paid for “materials” (Parousia’s code word for drugs and hookers?). Oh, and Barry was paid $5.00 for gas money (and hauling our asses around in his car). When we added it up the expense totaled $398.00.