The band first started playing at the Willows back in August of 1980. The fans were great, but it was so far from the city of Buffalo where most of us lived and also Cheektowaga where the band rehearsed at The Music Mall.
We had some bad experiences to and from the Willows, not only was it dangerous driving at night on the icy roads to get to the club, but there was that one cold winter night when part of the band was left stranded outside the club after closing, when a cop confiscated a car hauling three members of our entourage.
We didn’t plan on tonight being our last show at the Willows… we just didn’t encourage our booking agent, Dave Buffamonti to pursue a re-booking. It was just too far and we felt that given the experience earned over the last two years, the band deserved more prestigious bookings closer to the Buffalo Metro area.
In 1980, when Parousia first started playing at the Willows, the band was paid $250.00. A year later, the pay was still $250.00, and it wasn’t cheap producing a show at the Willows, as you can see from our financial statement. Even with a stripped down entourage, it still cost more than it should from a business point of view.
On this particular night, our ‘A-list’ sound guy, Gregg Filippone, came out to work sound for $50.00. Mike Carroll provided the light show for $40.00. We brought two roadies, Keith Huels and Tim (Tom) Miller, both paid $10.00 each. Barry (the dim-witted guitarist), was paid $10.00 for hauling our asses around and Rick Falcowski from Backstage took 15%, $38.00. Total expense added up to $158.00, NICE! What’s the reason for this non-typical profit margin? Playing back-to-back shows! That was the only way the band could earn serious coin.
When Parousia played contiguous shows, we could spread out the expense, especially the truck rental which usually cost a minimum of $45.00 a night, but became cheaper when rented over multiple nights. (Our only other option for truck rental was taking a chance with the mechanically unsound box truck for rent by Keith Gregor at the Music Mall… it was only $35.00 a night but it was a crap-shoot as to whether it would actually make it to the gig and yes, we found that out the hard way).
August was an incredibly busy month full of many performances. It all started on Saturday, August 1st, the band was double booked, performing outdoors in the early afternoon at the Hertel Happening Art & Music Festival and then again in the evening at the Eagle’s Roost on the lake in Olcott, NY.
The next day, The Buffalo Evening News, Buffalo’s largest newspaper, published a full sized picture of Parousia performing at the festival. That was a nice bit of free publicity!
On Friday, August 7th , at NEW YORK NEW YORK on Harlem Rd. in Buffalo, Saturday August 15th at The Hideaway at the Darien Center in Darien NY. Sunday, August 16th at The Melody Inn in Jamestown, NY.
On August 20th, the Riverside review published a complaint they received about our band’s performance at Riverside park. The show was outdoors and attracted a really nice crowd. Apparently one of the attendees (Mr. Matthew Gurnsey) found our stage banter to be objectionable and down-right obscene… he had to “gather his children and leave the Big Stage area for fear of exposing them to such obscenities” HA! You can run but you can’t hide Gurnsey… The spirit of rock will find your children one day and infect them with it’s gritty-ness and imperfections… you can’t protect them forever, BWA-ha-ha-ha-haaaa!
After tonight’s show, played on a Friday, the band was booked to return to New York New York for an encore performance on Saturday August 22nd. Parousia ended the month on Friday August 28, with an early evening performance at the Teenage Hotspot (Broadway and Transit in Depew).
September didn’t show any signs of slowing down with ten shows lined up throughout the month including a live broadcast from Uncle Sam’s and a concert at Buffalo State College.