It was Labor Day weekend and a local Buffalo tavern called Kitty’s Dodge City Saloon was hosting a ‘battle of the bands’ beginning Sunday, September 2nd and ending on Monday September 3rd. For some reason, we were asked to participate and donate any proceeds to the Muscular Dystrophy telethon. Well, how could we say no to Jerry’s kids?
We had played the night before at a little club called Kelly’s Inn on the South side of Buffalo, so we kept the equipment truck loaded at the end of that gig and we headed off to Dodge City for our charity appearance at Kitty’s. When we got there we found out that 16 bands were on stage before us and we were scheduled to appear on stage at 2:00 AM on September 3rd.
We had to sit there all day to watch the equipment and every band perform… there was quite an assortment of rock, jazz, disco and punk and our pals, Davy & the Crocketts were there too. Show times were continually delayed as most bands took longer than expected to set up and tear down their equipment.
Parousia didn’t hit the stage until 3:00 AM to play three songs, “The Portrait” by Kansas and then “Cotton Holiday” and “Angel”, two of our original songs that we performed live on WBFO “Oil of Dog show” in July of 1979.
“Kitty’s Dodge City Saloon” on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo, NY was modeled after the “Long Branch Dodge City Saloon” featured in the popular TV series “GUNSMOKE”. In the series, the red-haired saloon proprietress known as “Miss Kitty Russell” was portrayed by American actress Amanda Blake (February 20, 1929 – August 16, 1989), born Beverly Louise Neill in Buffalo, New York.
The Long Branch Saloon appeared in all 568 episodes of Gunsmoke, the longest running drama in television history. It ran for 19 years from September 14, 1955, to its final season in 1974.
The Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City actually existed, but as far as I can tell, it wasn’t managed or owned by anyone named “Miss Kitty.” The actual establishment hosted many well-known figures from the heyday of the old west like James Masterson, Doc Holliday, Clay Allison, Frank Loving, and Wyatt Earp.