“On Wednesday June 8th KROQ and the Poorman present a bunch of funny guys called Parousia whose original sound has been likened to “James Brown, Tuna Fish and pornographic Gumby movies.” …Yikes again!”
That was the blurb about our band in the L.A. Weekly promoting our show at the Palomino. It was nice to have the push from them and KROQ, a popular alternative rock station in Los Angeles giving airplay to two of our songs, ‘Place your Bets’ and ‘Tiffany’. Thanks to the promo from D.J. “Jim the Poorman” Trenton, the radio station brought in a good crowd on a Wednesday and we were ready and rarin’ to get out there and do our thang.
We brought in Chuck Harter as sound engineer. He was a real “wolf” when it came to the ladies and in the back of the club after dinner, he saw a girl he was smitten with and lucky for him she was standing right next to the sound board. He looked at us and said, “Guys, if you don’t see me at the sound board I’ll be in the cubby hole right above it with that girl.”
We ribbed him about it… “How could he possibly manage to adjust our sound when he’s having sex in a cubby hole?” to which he answered, “Fear not, for I shall stick a toe down from the hole to work the levels”. It was very comforting to know that our sound wouldn’t take a back seat to his sex life.
We were a little late starting the show because a friend of mine, Jennifer, came to visit me backstage just as we were ready to go on. She had heard our song ‘Tiffany’ on the radio and was looking forward to seeing us play. Of course she wanted to show her friends just how well she knew the drummer and so, she refused to let me go on stage unless I gave her my sticks as a souvenir.
Now, you know every drummer carries more than one set of sticks and I am no different. But as any drummer can also tell you, it’s cool when you have your sticks worn to the point were they really add to the magic of laying down that groove. But, hey no fan cares about that mumbo-jumbo, so away my sticks went and she was happy as a clam and I finally got to go on stage…
“You may have been late getting onstage for your awesome show that night but my ill-gotten gain still hangs on my wall. Who wouldn’t want sticks from a rock god?”
Since its opening in 1952, the Palomino club hosted a parade of country, rock and pop talents that includes performances by Hank Williams Sr., Ernest Tubb, Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Roger Miller, Linda Ronstadt, Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Hoyt Axton, Glenn Campbell, Emmylou Harris, Bo Diddley, John Fogerty, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Rich and on and on.
In the 70s and 80s, The Palomino Club was home to many famous artists like The Flying Burrito Brothers and Dwight Yoakam. Both artists played early dates there as warm-up acts. Emmylou Harris and her Hot Band regularly sold out the house. Lyle Lovett was a regular.
Special event concerts by musical giants like Elvis Costello and Neil Young created sensational disturbances in the neighborhood with huge crowds outside and resulting media attention. Special unannounced guests routinely joined artists onstage for duets or jam sessions.
George Harrison-Live at the Palomino Clubhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IjLPwuzWwY
Other Rock and Roll era alumni include The Pretenders, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Plimsouls, Half Way Home, Bo Diddly, The Outlaws, The Blasters, Albert King, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Quiet Riot featuring Randy Rhoads, Canned Heat and of course Parousia.
After the death of both original owners, Billy and Tommy Thomas, (due to congenital cardiac defects), the club struggled with Tommy’s second wife Sherry (a former Palomino waitress) in charge. The Palomino could not maintain the earlier momentum as it became economically strapped, no longer able to attract the high caliber acts in such a small venue. The club closed in 1995.
The Palomino was a hangout and refuge for struggling actors and stuntmen during their salad days, including Clint Eastwood, a contract bit player at Universal, and stuntman/ secondary TV cowboy Hal Needham. Both remembered the club when they gained prominence in the industry as directors and sought it as a location.
The club was featured in several movies including: Every Which Way But Loose (1978) and Any Which Way You Can (1980) starring Clint Eastwood, Geoffery Lewis, Sandra Locke and Ruth Gordon; The Other Side of the Mountain Part 2 (1978) starring Marilyn Hassett, Timothy Bottoms, Nan Martin, Belinda J. Montgomery; Hooper (1978) starring Burt Reynolds, Jan-Michael Vincent and Sally Fields; and Minnie and Moskowitz (1971), directed by John Cassavetes, as well as CHiPs “Finders Keepers” episode.