Parousia’s Post Christmas Show – Wooden Nickel, Dec. 27, 1981

The Wooden Nickel was one of the cooler stages to perform on, but it wasn’t an easy gig to produce. Putting on a show there meant a very long drive to play at a decent club with a diverse audience comprised of hard core live rock music fans, college students and disinterested wild game hunters who just wanted to drink and considered loud music “annoying”.

Parousia at the Wooden Nickel, Dec. 27th 1981

Parousia Performs at the Wooden Nickel, Dec. 27th 1981

Hey, look at Garth, looking like Bob Seger.  …What’s up with that?

Parousia at the Wooden Nickel, Dec. 27th 1981

Parousia : Eric Scheda, Garth Huels, Barry Cannizzaro, Patt Connolly, Robert Lowden, Gerry Cannizzaro

Parousia was paid a flat $300.00 to play a Sunday night at the Wooden Nickel.

Gregg Filippone, soundman extraordinaire came all the way out from Buffalo to hook-up and run the sound for $60.00. Mike Carrol ran the lights for $40.00. The roadies (usually Dave, Keith and Tom) earned $50.00. Barry was paid $15.00 for driving a few of us band members to the gig and $50.00 was paid for the rental van to haul the rest of the entourage.  Backstage Productions took 10% for the booking fee and the biggest expense was the truck rental at $97.00.

All in all the expense totaled $342.00 which left us $42.00 in the hole and a remaining overall balance of a mere $43.00.  The lack of money put a lot of pressure on the band and there was talk of breaking up.  It was a conundrum; we were performing our hearts out at every show, yet none of the musicians were paid and the band rarely broke even.

We had no way of lowering expenses. We needed the truck, the van, the roadies, the sound and light men… we weren’t earning enough to cover it all.  We were questioning the feasibility of continuing these long-distance shows. Unless it was coupled with a string of gigs in a row, it wasn’t financially worth-it. It simply cost too much to produce as a one-off.

We decided that this would be Parousia’s last show at the Wooden Nickel in Olean, NY.  It was time to focus on venues closer to Buffalo, where most of us lived and in Cheektowaga, where the band rehearsed.

Wooden Nickel official drink coaster 1981

Wooden Nickel official drink coaster 1981

Other WNY bands of note that performed at the Wooden Nickel:  Fat Brat, the Keys (a Beatles cover band) and Tarkus (an ELP and Pink Floyd cover band) and Thief.

The Wooden Nickel was a nice club to play. For our band however, (a non-local act) it was a challenge to get fans and friends off the couch to see us play on a Sunday night way out in Olean and then still get up for work Monday morning.

Parousia at the Wooden Nickel, Dec. 27th 1981

Wooden Nickel band Calendar. December 1981

Guitarist Ken Wilczak of Fat Brat

Guitarist Ken Wilczak of Fat Brat

The Keys



7 comments for “Parousia’s Post Christmas Show – Wooden Nickel, Dec. 27, 1981

  1. Tom Smith
    January 18, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Ah yes, now it’s a Car Wash

  2. Bill Waite
    January 18, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Used to go there all the time being from right down the road in Salamanca. Remember seeing Talas there a few times, Tarkus, even a few stripper shows. lol I still have one of the “Wooden Nickels” too

  3. Dave Wieserner
    January 17, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Tarkus did a great Pink Floyd show

  4. Terry Ross
    January 17, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Tarkus, another great Southtowns band!

  5. Patrick J Mcguire
    January 17, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    wasn’t it called the brass rail after it was the wooden nickel then it burned if I recall

    • Daniel Macaluso
      January 17, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      Brass Balloon.

  6. John Schmid
    January 17, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    I played in Thief every Thursday and all holidays. Thought I lived in olean that year.

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