Parousia Meets Viv Savage At Madame Wong’s 8/13/1988

It was our fifth show at Madame Wong’s on a Saturday night, a prime spot and we were playing the big stage upstairs.  It was part of a busy summer for the band and we had a lot of publicity happening for the group around this time.

PAROUSIA 1988: Patt Connolly, Robert Lowden, Bill Simms and Gerry North Cannizzaro

PAROUSIA 1988: Patt Connolly, Robert Lowden, Bill Simms and Gerry North Cannizzaro

On Friday, August 12, BAM magazine released its ‘annual band directory’, a listing of bands on the L.A. music scene and Parousia was mentioned on it.  Which we were grateful for because as many bands as there were on it, there were hundreds more that didn’t make the list.

BAM local band directory, August 12, 1988

BAM local band directory, August 12, 1988

Confusingly, BAM listed or band’s style as “Haslet Rock” which to this day we weren’t sure if it was a joke or a misprint or both… What exactly is a “Haslet” you may ask? Well, we had to look that one up ourselves:


(hăs′lĭt, hāz′-) also hars·let (här′slĭt)


  1. Theheart,liver, and other edible viscera of an animal, especially hog viscera.

  2. (Cookery)aloaf of cooked minced pig’s offal, eaten cold

Well, we thought that being associated with hog entrails was better than being associated with their excrement, so we decided to go with it.  The club had an excellent crowd as usual for a Saturday night and we played all our best original material like “Turnaround”, “Tiffany”, “The Weekend Starts Tonight”, “People’s Court” and “Life is the Real”.

Promo for the Madame Wong’s show published in the L.A. Rock Review Aug. 05, 1988

Promo for the Madame Wong’s show published in the L.A. Rock Review Aug. 05, 1988

We had a good reaction from the crowd in general but our unique brand of progressive power pop caught the eye of one audience member in particular, Viv Savage (David Kaffinetti), who played the keyboardist in the movie, “This Is Spinal Tap”.  It was quite exciting to meet him as the movie was a favorite of many of us in the band.  Of course, I had to get his autograph!

Backstage with Viv Savage: Keyboardist with the band Spinal Tap

Backstage with Viv Savage (Lower Left), keyboardist with the band Spinal Tap 

Viv (David) said that he really liked our songs… (I’m guessing because they had a lot of interesting keyboard parts in them).

I often wondered if Mr. Savage brought some of our ideas back to Tap and somehow they worked their way into the bands repertoire… H-m-m-m-m, come to think of it, Spinal Tap’s “Stonehenge” does sound a bit like Parousia’s “The Weekend Starts Tonight”.

Autograph from Viv Savage (David Kaff)

Viv Savage close up

An ode to Viv Savage of Spinal Tap:

Savage, Viv:  Keyboardist who left a band called Aftertaste to join Spinal Tap in 1975, just in time for the “Bent for the Rent” tour. He replaced Ross MacLochness, who left Tap for Namibia to do ‘missionary work’.  Savage, who had only a half-vote in the band, was later reportedly killed by a natural gas explosion while visiting the Hampstead grave of former Tap drummer Mick Shrimpton.  Viv was replaced by C.J. Vanston for “Break Like the Wind” tour in 1992.

Although Savage’s death was initially a mystery, Derek told a reporter the explosion had been caused by swamp gas and that Savage had been a drummer until the age of 15 without Tap’s knowledge.

Derek: “If we’d known that, we never would have hired him.”

Nigel: “What evil force knew that he was a drummer? He never said; we never knew.”

Band members said they never suspected Savage had once played the drums because he didn’t have an anorexic girlfriend, car trouble, a funny voice, a problem with tardiness, constant indebtedness or any other common drummer traits.

Derek: “I have to say, now that he’s passed on, that Viv was a great procurer of certain road necessities. We’ll leave it at that.”

David: “A proper sounding chord was a wonderful accident for Viv.”

Nigel: “Poor Viv. He could never get the singing down.”

Derek: “Same with the talking.”

Nigel: “Did Viv ever know his mic wasn’t on?”

Viv Savage performing the Tap song “Heavy Duty” from the album “Brain Hammer”

Viv Savage performing the Tap song “Heavy Duty” from the album “Brain Hammer”

Savage was filmed during “This is Spinal Tap” discussing drugs such as Gold Rush Brown and Medicinal Rocket Fuel and destroying planets on a tour bus video game. Asked by director DiBergi for his philosophy, the keyboardist said it all: “Have a good time, all the time!” which Tap says later ended up on his tombstone.

Viv loved performing in a band and told Marty in an interview, “Without rock ‘n roll, I’d probably get a bit stupid and start to make a fool of myself in public, ’cause there wouldn’t be a stage to go on.”

In 1992 the Nose magazine claimed to have discovered Viv alive, performing with a group called “The Viv Savage Experience”. He said he had “no hard feelings” toward Tap. The band says the musician is simply a look-a-like and not the real Viv… you decide!

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