This was Parousia’s fourth show at Club 88. Finally we hit a prime spot. Midnight on a Friday! The line-up was Patt Connolly (vocals/flute), Robert Lowden (vocals, guitars), Bill Simms (keyboards) and Gerry North Cannizzaro (acoustic and electronic drums).
We were playing with two other bands that night. Opening the show at 9:30 was “Doug Michael & Outer Darkness”, followed by “Mystriss” and then at 12:00 PAROUSIA took over the stage with all of our equipment, crazy props and instant backdrops!
Many moons ago Club 88 was a strip-club and then gutted to the bare bones and converted into a music venue. It was located on Pico Boulevard between Bundy and Barrington in an area known as “L.A’.s Bermuda Traffic Triangle”. It was the kind of club that just about every unsigned local band played at one time or another.
Allow me to draw a comparison; for those of you from Buffalo, NY, Club 88 was the “McVan’s of Los Angeles”. Not only because it was once a former strip-club but because it was a place where “a band could be a band” and run “wild and free” without sarcasm, cynics or fear of rejection. Why? Because the chances of an actual music industry professional showing up at the club were almost nil, that’s why.
What record exec would want to wander into the dingy and dark that was Club 88 (no doubt in the company of a nineteen year-old female up-and-coming something-or-other) and be socked in the nose with a fog of cat-pee? For you see, the artists on stage weren’t the only animals allowed to run wild and free, the cats living inside Club 88 also had that privilege.
One thing about the smell of cat pee, it stuns your olfactory glands causing certain receptor cells to “shut-down”, then you become numb to it that particular odor after a few minutes. I always noticed it again and again whenever I stepped outside to smoke and then back in… YECCH! There it was.
None-the-less, we enjoyed performing again on this historic stage, shared with such veteran Club 88 artists as The Go-Go’s, Berlin, Missing Persons, The Weirdo’s, Black Flag, “X”, Faith No More and Red Hot Chili Peppers to name a few. Club 88 had a spacious backstage area appropriately decorated with graffiti from bands passing through before us.
Tonight’s gig was a good dress rehearsal for our next big show on Monday October 17, our first time at the Whisky a Go-Go on the Sunset Strip.
There was a lot of pressure on us to do well at that show. The Whisky started ‘new’ bands on a Monday night. That way, practically no customers saw you and the house management could decide whether they liked your music and if they did, they moved you to a Sunday night to see if you could pull in a crowd.
It was difficult for an out of town band like us to sell the required 100 admission tickets. We went to Hollywood parties, outdoor events, hip crowded bars and music venues, to try and hock our tickets. We spent hours upon hours negotiating with friends and acquaintances, trying to convince them to purchase a ticket for our show. We begged, sold, bartered and gave away hordes of tickets and paid for the freebies out of our own pocket.
We were in L.A. and it was time to play the game or be lame.