One thing about Parousia, we would never discriminate against an underage crowd. Whoever was willing to purchase a ticket was OK by us and the Teenage Hot Spot was just such a place for that to happen.
This brave venture was the brainchild of a Buffalo entrepreneur who decided that he could make money from summer rock concerts for teens sans alcohol.
Now, this may sound strange, but we weren’t used to playing for a crowd that wasn’t consuming alcohol by the bucket so this was new and a bit tense for us. I mean potentially, they could hear every note we were playing… But then I remembered that teens will always find a way to party down as long it was out of sight of the chaperons.
It was also very confusing for us to be playing in the early evening… the sun was still up for Christ’s sake and we had to get up on stage and play?
The Teenage Hot Spot was in Depew, NY at Broadway and Transit. Since this was new club, it was getting nice sized crowds and the band was just in time to jump-in and ride the wave while it lasted.
We performed two sets of our best songs including, ‘Hold Your Head Up’ by Argent, ‘Hold The Line’ by Toto, ‘Hocus Pocus’ by Focus and yeah we really freaked them out with it.
That’s what I love about teenagers, they are more willing to disassociate themselves from reality and go with what’s happening. They went nuts when we played ‘Second Coming/ Ballad of Dwight Fry’ by Alice Cooper, with Patt in full make-up wearing a straight jacket.
Even though some of our songs were a bit ‘mature’ for this crowd, they were viable enough to be well known by kids almost 10-years younger than us. Most of the artists Parousia covered were still being played on local classic rock stations like WGRQ and WZIR. Songs that the crowd didn’t recognize were automatically assumed to be something Parousia wrote. This was a cool unintended consequence especially when it came to “Hocus Pocus” by Focus. A progressive rock song wholly adopted as our own for it’s expert musicianship and quirkiness.
During our first show at the Teenage Hotspot on Friday July 24, 1981, the band was paid a total of $250.00 to perform on a Friday night. The opening act was “Critical Mass” featuring one of our regular ‘road-rats’, Steven on guitar. Critical Mass covered Van Halen, Scorpions and a kick-ass rendition of “Crazy Train” by Ozzie Osborne.
Dave Styn, ‘head roadie’, set up and ran the sound. Keith Huels was assigned the ‘usual’ roadie duties with Steven who helped us with load in and set up and then got ready to play his own set. Mike Carroll set-up and ran the light show as usual. We made $112.00 net of expense.
One month later, Parousia made a return appearance at the Teenage Hot Spot
Our encore performance on Friday August 21st at the Teenage Hotspot earned us $250.00. This go-around, (thanks to the early start and end time), we solicited John McGovern from Uni-Stage to run the sound board. With John at the helm, the band was assured to have the best sound our equipment could bring us, including hearing each others instruments though the onstage monitors. A rare and appreciated experience.
Mike Carroll set up and ran the lights. Our entourage grew with more roadies for this show, namely, Dave Styn, Steve Styn, Tom Miller, Keith Huels and Keith’s cousin. Truck rental cost a flat $40.00 (courtesy of Keith Gregor’s Music Mall) and Backstage Productions took their 15% cut ($38.00). Taking on the additional roadies kicked the expense up to $238.00. All in all, the band netted $12.00 for the evening.
The Teenage Hot Spot didn’t last beyond the summer of 1981 and never reopened its doors the following year. It was a lot of fun playing there and I’m glad we were a part it. We don’t have any pictures from the Teenage Hot Spot but here are a few pics from other great shows during the summer of 1981…