This show at Fast Annie’s on Sunday, March 21, 1982 was Parousia’s third-to-last show as a six-member rock-show extravaganza.
In January 1982, the overwhelming frustration felt by certain members of the band finally came to a head. For some, more time to pursue personal interests and relationships was a key issue. Other than a full-time day job, the band took up most of our time at night and on weekends and that was true for band members and roadies alike.
When you’re in a working cover band, to do it right you had to find the time to not only write, and rehearse music, you had to also find time to book and promote shows, move / maintain equipment, pick-up or drop-off rental vehicles; make and transport props, sets, wardrobe and band members to places far out of town for little to no money, not breaking even and usually costing more in expense than what the band was paid. I remember that when we initially discussed this realization, Patt quipped, “we’d be better off (financially) being a lounge act”.
When he said that I cringed, “a lounge act”??? Just then I imagined myself in a ballroom of a moose-lodge somewhere, playing a bossa nova beat to “The Girl From Ipanema” on a small four-piece drum kit (using brushes instead of sticks), sandwiched between a buffet line and a guitar amp, listening to Patt playing melody on flute and Garth strumming the chords on an acoustic guitar, sitting cross-leg on a stool… WHAT?! How absolutely incredibly absurd I thought! That could NEVER be us.
‘Parousia principles’ forbade wasting a band’s talent and showing such lack of originality playing music only written by other artists night after night after night… and yet, with little exception, that is precisely what Parousia did for the last five years and losing money while doing it… For the sake of a stable financial future, it was clear that the band’s principles were loosening considerably.
Adding to the change in heart, Patt and I recently graduated from prestigious Canisius College not one-year ago and yet, both of us were unable to find office work and were stuck in low to mid-level retail jobs. Garth was working a cool gig at Starseed but wasn’t making quite enough money to entertain/support Nikki in any decent fashion.
Speaking of Nikki; some fans and band members speculated that the breakup of the band was fueled considerably by Garth Huels’ fashion-model girlfriend, Nicole Ashley, aka: Ms. Heavy Metal 1982. Sound engineer, Gregg Filippone often compared Nikki to the “Yoko Ono” of the band” There was some truth to that statement in that Nikki was riding her own successful wave of popularity as Ms. Heavy Metal. She won two years in a row and had sponsors like Zon Guitars… Not to diminish her success, Garth chose to spend more and more time with Nikki who spent hours and hours primping herself and required Garth to provide a generous amount of primping before driving her to and from fast-food restaurants, photo shoots and appearances at local bars. It was getting in the way of writing and rehearsing music but Garth was ‘all in’ on Nikki’s career. To the rest of us, it was pretty clear by Garth’s behavior that he was banking on Nikki “hitting it big” first, hoping some of her success might trickle down to the benefit of the band somehow.
It didn’t help that tonight’s gig at Fast Annie’s outright sucked. …The sound was bad (we couldn’t afford to hire Gregg Filippone anymore) and the audience didn’t seem to care much for what we were playing. But then again, our enthusiasm was non-existent knowing we were nearing the beginning of the end with no real concrete plans to play music together. But, if some of us were serious about booking gigs that put actual money in our pockets at the end of the night, re-tooling the band as ‘a lounge act’ was the best and only option in Western, NY. I just couldn’t get my soul to accept it right then, but in time, I realized it just seemed to make sense at this stage in life.