Parousia Sinks To A New Low At The Hamburg Roller Rink 02.20.1982

PAROUSIA 1982: Barry & Gerry Cannizzaro, Patt Connolly, Robert Lowden, Garth Huels and Eric Scheda

PAROUSIA 1982: Barry & Gerry Cannizzaro, Patt Connolly, Robert Lowden, Garth Huels and Eric Scheda

Our agent Dave Buffamonti booked  us into an “all age” gig at a roller rink in Hamburg, NY to help Parousia reach out to a new crop of fans.  It sounded like a good idea… But ‘all age’ also meant ‘no alcohol’ is served. …we wondered, what would it be like to play to a straight crowd?  Not an issue, teenagers being who they are, found their own means to party-down away from authority.  Thank-goodness, because we do enjoy performing for a ‘well lit’ crowd, a good fit for our music.

Hamburg NY

A very interesting gig to say the least… we played at the far end of the rink, set up high on a stage. The skaters were in front of us skating away to our progressive rock tunes!  We had people skating to ‘Squonk’ by Genesis and to our original tunes like ‘Cotton Holiday,’ ‘Lucifer’s Lament’ , ‘Myron’., etc…  I wish we had a video of that!

In end, I’m not sure how many new fans we picked up if any.  Most of the teens couldn’t go to the clubs we performed in.  Maybe when they turned 19 they’d come see us?  If we had an album out, we could have sold teens our record but we were too broke to have one pressed.

We couldn’t afford the studio time, mastering, pressing, album art, etc… We were playing sometimes two and three times per week yet barely breaking even. We had no extra funds to stash-away for an album project and were still suffering the wicked financial blow dealt by our February 9th gig  at The Texas Club in Vermont.

This gig was no cheerer upper.  I mean, were playing at a skating rink for Christ sakes… we were a rock band; we played songs by the WHO, TOTO, Jethro Tull, Max Webster.  It seemed like we were going backwards.

“…These skates were made for skatin’ and that’s just what they’ll do…”

“…These skates were made for rockin’ and that’s just what they’ll do…”

Was the writing on the wall?  Was it obvious to everyone that we were broke with no recovery in sight?  We couldn’t keep going on in the same manner show after show. The band was too big and too much work to keep afloat.  We were exhausted and being broke didn’t make it seem worthwhile anymore. Not everyone felt that way but it was pretty clear something major was going to change.

Parousia style rock & roll out at the Arena Roller Rink, February 20, 1982

Parousia rocking out at the roller rink, Hamburg NY  February 20, 1982

This gig came a week after we rescued Gregg from the clutches of a broken down elevator at Daemen College on February 13.  Daemen withheld our pay and sued us for the cost to repair the damage to the elevator.  Later, we would end up having the lawsuit dismissed, but we didn’t know it at the time. The pressure from all that really brought the mood down… Shit, we were already broke, how the hell could we afford to pay damages?

Setting our problems aside for the night we went on stage and thoroughly enjoyed freaking out the teens with our original songs like “Myron”.  We continued the assault with a mix of well-known and obscure cover tunes performed in the classic Parousia style. Songs like  “Hocus Pocus” by Focus, “He’s a Whore”, “Hello There Ladies & Gentleman” and “Surrender” by Cheap Trick.  “Hold the Line” by Toto. “Hold Your Head Up” by Argent. “Toronto Tonto’s” by Max Webster, “Behind Blue Eyes, “I’m Free, “Pinball Wizard” by the WHO, White Punks on Dope” by the Tubes and “Perpetual Change” by Yes.

Hamburg Skating Rink Financials

Actual financial ledger from the Hamburg Skating rink show

How did we do financially for this ‘all age’ experiment?  We took in $350.00.  Backstage Productions took their 15%, ($52.50).  Gregg Filippone ran the sound and was paid $50.00. We paid Keith Huels $20.00 to run the lights. [We owned the lighting equipment at this point (having purchased the entire system from Mike Carroll) and needed Keith to set them up and work the switches].  The rest of the roadies (six of them) were paid $10.00 each.  Barry was paid $5.00 for gas and ‘Gas’ was paid $6.00.  I don’t know why the truck category is blank…  maybe we got a freebie from Keith Gregor at the Music Mall?  All in all, after expense, we raked in a whopping $161.50.  That money would go to pay off those brave souls who bailed us out of the financial mess that followed our failed road-gig in Vermont and legal expense incurred from having to defend ourselves against the lawsuit brought by Daemen College.

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