“Who’s Got the Gig?” March 2-3, March 9-10, And March 16-17, 1979

“Who’s Got The Gig?” was the headline across the article printed in “Worlds Thunder Current” a college newspaper published September 4, 1979, featuring a review of Parousia’s back-to-back weekend performances at Brush Gardens March 9-10 and March 16-17, 1979.

'Worlds Thunder Current', “Who’s Got The Gig?” , 09.04.79 (TOP)

‘Worlds Thunder Current’, “Who’s Got The Gig?” , 09.04.79 (TOP)

It was Kim Watts that hooked the band up with Harold Goldberg, a fledgling copy writer she met at Buff State.

Harold decided to write a piece about a… well, I’m not sure what it’s really about, but Goldberg makes it a point to chide on and on about the pretentious expectations of inexperienced local rock bands expecting to be paid, treated and exalted as rock stars, all within their first year of existence. WOW! Was he really talking about Parousia??

It was pretty obvious that Goldberg had an agenda going into this project and from his “research” chose only those facts that fit his narrative, which by his own words seems to be something like, “inexperienced local rock bands are delusional idiots.”

'Worlds Thunder Current' “Who’s Got The Gig?” 09.04.79 (BOTTOM)

‘Worlds Thunder Current’ “Who’s Got The Gig?” 09.04.79 (BOTTOM)

Parousia had no pretentious notions that weren’t within reason; we sincerely believed the band and its entourage had actual talent, from the musicians to the road crew. After careful thought we decided to ‘take a shot’ at writing and performing our own music and anyone that wanted to work towards the same goal were invited to join us.

Kim Watts & Patrick Connolly

The consensus was for us to focus on recording original songs with the intention to (one day soon hopefully) land a record deal and a college tour to market the album. Recording, pressing and self-releasing an album of our own songs was an unreachable financial goal for us but we were confident we had ‘something special’ in our band and all agreed to prepare for success in the only way we knew how.

On one front, focusing on writing songs and then recording the best ones in a local inexpensive recording studio. Then, get airtime for those songs on local college radio stations.

On another front, we had to perform live on stage as often as possible in order to get good at producing a consistent and entertaining rock show that looked and sounded great night after night after night, like clockwork, just like it would be have to be on a tour financed by a record label.

Kim Watts & Patrick Connolly

Until people heard Parousia on the radio, recognized our songs and wanted to hear our songs played live, the band had to cover songs heard most often on classic rock radio. For our band, this seemed to be the only path to getting on stage at the better rock clubs in Buffalo. Parousia was blessed with talent but had had marginal equipment that performed inconsistently at best, had little to no money and no prior experience in producing shows. The best we could do at having our own music heard each night was to ‘sneak’ one or two original songs into a set of music. Anymore than that and we risked complaints from the audience or club manager.

Parousia’s first big show at McVan’s nite club, November 22, 1978

Parousia’s first big show at McVan’s nite club, November 22, 1978

Goldberg was right in the respect that Parousia was a young and inexperienced band, having first come together less than a year ago in August of 1978, playing our first show at McVan’s four months ago, November 22, 1978.  But, Goldberg just bashed Parousia for that… even after band manager, Phil Christopher from Multi Media attractions, explained to Goldberg in the interview that the specific reason Phil booked Parousia at the Brush Gardens, way out in Chaffee, was to tighten the overall performance, gain confidence and learn how to ‘work an audience’, which we did. We learned a lot over the three weekends at Brush Gardens, and were ready to move onto our next gig where we did get to play our own music at Katherine Cornell Theater in the University of Buffalo, April, 1979.

Kim Watts & Patrick Connolly

Notice the flyer that Multi-media attractions created (courtesy of “AL”) to “advertise” Parousia playing at the Brush Gardens in March. The flyer was printed using a mimeograph machine and is barely readable except for the band’s name, which is misspelled as PEROUSIA. …this is from our manager??

Brush Garden's March 9-10 &16-17, 1979

By the way, the article written by Harold Goldberg has a few inaccurate facts; let’s see if I can straighten them out…

First, Goldberg misidentifies the drummer of Parousia as Dave Maltbie but the drummer is Gerry Cannizzaro and not Dave Maltbie, who is the keyboardist.

Second, Goldberg writes, “the audience of about 35 people”. That was true of almost every night at Brush Gardens from about 10:00 pm – 2:00 am until all the bars across the county-line stopped serving alcohol for the night and for those who desire to keep drinking would flood into Brush Gardens at about 2:30 am for the longer drinking hours in Chaffee. Now the club was full… and then our band was required to play a fourth set of music in order to accommodate the late arrivals (for no extra pay).

Third, Goldberg calls Kim Watts a “backup singer”. Kim was Parousia’s lead vocalist, percussionist and harmonica player.

Fourth, he says the band came from Kenmore, but most of the band members lived in Buffalo. Only Kim Watts lived in Kenmore.

2 comments for ““Who’s Got the Gig?” March 2-3, March 9-10, And March 16-17, 1979

  1. Patt Connolly
    March 25, 2018 at 12:26 am

    What I remember about Brush Gardens has to do with the fact the other bar down the road closed at 2:00 am. I had never seen people so wasted in my life. Like “Night of the Living Dead” zombie drunk. They tried to get me to sample their clear white cleaning fluid (moonshine), but I passed. In the morning, we were loading the truck and they would let the cows out for their morning poop and the smell was “exciting”.Oh, we did refer to the women there as “farm animals”

  2. Gerry North Cannizzaro
    March 25, 2018 at 12:32 am

    The Scajaqaquiddick incident:

    History recalls that on July 18th, 1969 Ms. Mary Jo Kopechne, a passenger of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, was killed when the Senator accidentally drove his car off a bridge and into a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts. The Senator swam to safety but alas, poor Mary Jo wasn’t so lucky. Ted says he dove many times into the channel to look for her but no one really knows for sure if he did or ran for safety.

    Ten years later, Barry, Patrick, Robert and I experienced a part of the fear from what that tragic accident must have felt like. We had just picked up Patt from the Riverside, Black Rock area and were headed out with a packed car onto the Scajaquada Expressway (State Route 198) to begin our long drive out to Chaffee, NY.

    It was cold, very cold in Buffalo and the Expressway was frozen. Without any warning we hit a patch of black ice just before the 190 and the entire car went spinning around and around, not knowing if we would stop before we careened off the edge and into the icy waters and swift current of the Niagara River.

    In the middle of our “death spin” I screamed out in a panic “Scajaqaquiddick!” flashing back to the moment Ms. Kopechne met her tragic end in a similar fate in the icy cold waters of Chappaquiddick. Well, in spite of the imminent chance that we were all going to die. Everyone broke out in raucous laughter, all while we were still spinning, spinning, spinning. Proving I guess that even in the darkest moments, if one can come out of it alive, you can always find some humor in it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *