This was Parousia’s third performance of “VIRTUAL REALITY” and our first show away from West Hollywood and the Sunset Strip. We decided to give North Hollywood a go… it was still ‘happening’ up there in terms of a rock scene and it so happened that Marianne Smith, our booking agent, knew the owner of the F.M. Station.
Mr. Filthy McNasty was his legal name but Marianne knew he was a sweetheart and apparently the friendship between the two went way-way back. Marianne landed us a headliner showcase but because our act was trying something bold and new on the stage, we had to be booked alongside a ‘sure-fire’ opening act.
Here’s a Slideshow of Pics from the March 3, 1991 Parousia Performance at FM Station
Marianne told us that the opening act had “a big audience and their shows are always packed!” Man, were we excited… “Who it could it be” we wondered… Mr. Big? Hole? Paula Abdul? “Oh no,” said Marianne… “Why, it’s not even a band at all. You’re going to be headlining for soft porn actors ‘Dan Max & Co’ and his Centerfold Male Exotic Dancers!” We looked at each other… WHAT!? AR-R_r-r-r-r-GH! Now, we truly had become a traveling circus…
Marianne told us this show on March 3rd was a good opportunity, because the FM Station had recently become known for hosting very showy tribute bands from all over the U.S. Apparently, the audience at FM Station liked rock bands that were heavy on the visuals. So, what was done was done… on the up side, Parousia was about to have its biggest women audience ever…
I saved the actual flyer from the show, it was called “Ladies Night Out, a Big Surprise” and it featured topless men laying about sunning themselves on a rock… seemingly more like lizard men. No where on the flyer did it mention the band PAROUSIA. The sign up on the marquee outside the club read, “LADIES NIGHT OUT” EXOTIC MALE DANCERS. VERY SPECIAL GUESTS PAROUSIA. Well, at least they “squeaked” us in there but it was confusing… was the marquee saying that Parousia are special guest exotic male dancers?
I really didn’t care what people were expecting, as long as they showed up, paid the price of admission and drank a lot.
On the night of the show, I got to the club early. I wanted to practice backstage before I went on. I was playing on stage with some pretty awesome talent and I sure as hell was going to keep my end up! When i got there, two tall men from Dan Max and Co.were backstage with luggage containing multiple sets of clothes. Both were performers and did the set-up and stage prep for the show.
As I drummed away on my drum pad, I listened to their banter. They were talking shit about their co-worker, Tony, who is also a dancer but tonight he was picked by the boss to be the host of tonight’s show. Well, the two guys backstage had a lot to say about that, “Tony didn’t deserve it”, said the first one “It was MY turn to be the M.C.”, said the other. “Why should Tony get a percentage of the door..? He’s not out there on the dance floor earning the tips we have to share with him!” … and they went on and on like that.
As it got closer to show time, I heard the two talking about the crowd gathering in the club. Apparently the dancers spend a good deal of time scoping out the most vulnerable women to flirt with. “See that Latina over there on the left, dressed in the low-cut pink top? She’s mine!” said the one. “Oh Yeah, she’s been drinking strawberry margaritas since I got here”, said the other. “Drunk and big tits, equals big tips”, heh, heh.”
Well, I had it… I walked out of the backroom to hang outside and wait for my band mates to arrive. Finally the Exotic Dancer part of the show started and I swear the sound coming from inside was similar to a Superbowl level football game. I could hear stomping and hooting from the parking lot. When i got back in, I peeked into the audience from behind the stage and it looked as though there wasn’t room for one more female in that bar.
As i watched, it struck me that the overall presentation of the Exotic Dance review show was a bit like a combination between a TV game show and a late night Discotheque. The women were loud, crowding and rowdy and certainly ready for what was coming at them. The audience went bat-shit crazy when half-naked men hit the stage… shouting at the top of their lungs, grabbing at the men, waiving bras, panties, throwing money.
Cool for us that a lot of the audience hung around after the erotic stuff for our “exotic” show. We played a very good set that was solid and tight. I remember this night well because i was in the groove and played the best set out of any of the Virtual Reality shows so far. (HA! It only took me three shows to find the niche). Solid like a metronome! We picked up a few new fans that night. Some people stopped us in the parking lot just to tell us how much they enjoyed the show. They were regulars at the FM Station and had been coming to see the metal bands and the tribute shows. They liked our show because it was something different and entertaining. That’s show biz.
Well, we definitely were letting audiences around Los Angeles know that the rock play wasn’t dead, it was only “shagged out after a long squawk” and now it was back, with an even bigger squawk.