This awards show was so cool. Mark Freeland put it together at McVan’s. Even though it was truly the “1st Annual Buffalo Music Awards,” I knew it as the “A+” awards, because Mark gave all the members of the honored bands an “A+” button. I still have mine somewhere, I’ll have to dig it out and photograph it. It is a treasured artifact.
It was an honor to me to be invited to be a part of this event, because I really respected Mark for his musical and artistic creativeness, and as a the front man for Pegasus, a group overflowing with awesome talent, dedication and showmanship.
Unlike the later Buffalo Backstage Annual Music Awards, which chose winners in various categories to honor the most “popular” and profitable bands in the region, most of which were cover bands, Mark’s A+ Awards were geared towards acknowledging the lesser known, all original Buffalo bands, and when I say original, I mean truly original, sometimes to the point of experimental. Since the trend at the time was moving towards punk rock, most of the bands were more or less punk, though somehow Parousia managed to be recognized by Mark, along with Billy Sheehan’s new Light Years project.
Mark somehow managed to take the competitiveness out of an awards show, and instead the night had a feeling of mutual respect and appreciation between the musicians.