In May of 1988, the songs “Place your Bets” and “Tiffany” by Parousia were broadcast for the first time over the radio on a popular local alternative rock station called “KROQ”. We had a few D.J.’s at that station who became fans of our music (‘Ken Fusion’, the music director, “Jed the Fish” and ‘the Poorman’) and they did what they could do to give our music exposure on the L.A. airwaves and played “Tiffany” and “Place Your Bets” many times over the next few months. This gave Parousia a nice boost in exposure throughout the summer while school was out.
Three weeks after our song debut on the radio, we were called-up on the fly to open for the Knack at Madame Wong’s West on May 21st. The scheduled opening act, a band known as, “The Story So Far” had suddenly broken-up and the club manager Esther Wong wanted us to fill in. (Either she was impressed with our earlier performance back in March, or she was plain desperate, i’m not sure which…).
We were of course very flattered to accept and to share the upstairs “big stage” with the Knack. After all, back in Buffalo days when Parousia was mostly a cover band, we played the song “My Sharona” for many years starting in early 1979. We stopped playing that song once Parousia began exclusively writing and performing original music in 1982. Prior to that, “My Sharona” by the Knack became one of our favorite songs to play and an audience favorite.
Early in the night, we were in our dressing room, right next door to the Knack’s. We were doing our usual pre-show jibber-jabber and suddenly there was a knock at the door. It was the bass player Prescot Niles asking if he could “borrow a hairdryer”. Well, Claude Regian was glad to lend him ours and we were happy to have a hand in keeping the boys presentable for their show.
After our performance, we watched the Knack perform on stage. The band was now ten-years older from when their hit song “My Sharona” saturated the airwaves and launched them to fame…
The lead singer’s hair (Doug Fieger) was very long now, but only at the back and sides. The front of his head was completely bald as an eagle. The guitarist (Berton Averre) and bass player (Prescott Niles) looked quite the same as they did many years ago, except for a few more wrinkles. Gone was the original drummer, Bruce Gary. The new drummer had long blonde curly hair was a young-guy that looked like he came from a metal band. His image screamed Whitesnake or Ozzy and didn’t really fit in with the other three on stage. He loved to twirl his sticks every chance he could.
The Knack received the most reaction from their well-known hits, “My Sharona” and “Good Girl’s Don’t”. Overall, the Knack did a great job with their performance and their last song of the set was a blistering version of Zeppelin’s, “Rock and Roll” that blew our minds!
Afterwards, we talked about how cool it would be to tell people back in Buffalo that after only performing two shows, we landed a gig in a ‘hip and trendy’ nightclub in West Los Angeles and opened for the Knack…