In case you haven’t heard of it before, Olcott is a hamlet, (isn’t a ‘hamlet’ a small ham sandwich?) located in the Town of Newfane in Niagara County, NY.
It is a quaint lakeside community, home to the deepest harbor on Lake Ontario and is known for its Coney Island-like beach attractions. It is frequently visited by tourists seeking-out nearby Niagara Falls.
The fact that it was summer and the area was rife with tourists and locals eager to party near the beach played much to the band’s favor and success at the Eagle’s Roost. The club was about 37 miles from Cheektowaga, where the band rehearsed and stored the gear and about 42 miles from Buffalo and Kenmore where many of our “core” fans lived. That was still an hour’s drive one way and too far for many of our friends and fans to journey to see Parousia, given the many alternative choices much closer to home.
Saturday May 16, 1981 marks Parousia’s first gig at the Eagle’s Roost in Olcott, NY. and the town’s grand pre-Memorial Day beach opening weekend and Parousia was there to champion the call and start the summer season a rockin’.
As history goes, Parousia’s first gig at the Eagle’s Roost wasn’t the only excitement for the day because it was also graduation ceremony day at Canisius College where earlier in the day Parousia’s front man, Patt Connolly and drummer, Gerry North Cannizzaro attended the ceremony at Kleinhan’s Music hall in Buffalo.
When we got to the club Patt and I were still in our Cap and Gowns and we decided to stay that way until show time, just to flip the locals out a bit and grab attention. So we sat at a highly visible table not far from the stage and had a few drinks until the place filled up, then went backstage to change and play.
The location of the club was real nice… The Eagle’s Roost was located right at the end of a strip of bars and restaurants along the sparkling shore of Lake Ontario in summer.
Wealthy homes lined the harbor, approximately thirty-feet away from the front door of the Eagle’s Roost.
It was a refreshing venue to play at and a perfect refuge from the heat of summer. Neon lights illuminated the clean night-air lined with thousands of twinkling stars all wrapped up in a harbor town alive with tourists and locals enjoying a perfect unusually warm spring night.
The band was anxious to put on our show of weirdness and music for this new lakeshore crowd and hoped they would be righteously entertained with Parousia’s show-set of music choc-full of classic rock songs like “Train Kept ‘A Rollin’”, “He’s a Whore”, “White Punks on Dope” and “Cross-Eyed Mary” interwoven into a loose story line told through the music, backdrops, props and costumes. That kind of stuff always tripped-out the locals and that made us stand out from the pack. Those that dug that sort of thing became fans that we would see again.
This evening was the start of a ‘four-gig stint’ at Eagles Roost. Turns out, they really liked Parousia’s classic rock presentation and booked the band to perform in June, July and August.
Unfortunately, this show was the first and last gig the band performed with vocalist Kim Watts at the Eagles Roost. She would part ways with Parousia at the end of the month over conflicts in the core direction for the band. You can read about why it happened on ParousiaBuff, “Parousia at Lou’s Inn, Westfield NY” to get the sordid details on the story. ‘Nuff’ said
The band was paid its contractual fee of $225.00 but at the end of the night after expenses, that sum still left the band $30.00 short (even with Bob’s belated out-of-pocket contribution towards the rent at the Music Mall).
Our expense for tonight’s show totaled $276.00 even after employing the ‘bare minimum’ road-crew. Other than Dave Styn, “head roadie” (who after typical road-crew duties, worked the mixing board throughout the show) and Mike Carroll (who set up and ran the lights and sometimes helped carry heavy shit if we begged him) the band had no one and for the most part, the musicians were the roadies tonight!
There were no extra hands to help break-down equipment at the Music Mall in Cheektowaga, load the truck, drive the truck to the gig in Olcott, load in, set-up the stage, make adjustments during the show, break down after show, load-up the truck and then drive the truck back to the Music Mall to unload the equipment and then finally returning the rental truck, lest the band be stuck incurring another day’s rental fee.