Here’s a few audio tracks from our first ever performance in a rock club as Green Slime (aka- Genocide; aka- in-between Parousia) July 19, 1978
Believe it or not this is Parousia disguised as the punk band “Green Slime”! Here’s how it all came to be…
In the spring of 1978 the line up of Parousia consisted of Patt Connolly on vocals and flute, Sharon Pierce on vocals and percussion, Barry Cannizzaro on Guitar, John McGovern on lead Guitar, Billy Simms on bass guitar and Steve Soos on keyboards. Most of us were really itching to perform at an actual club for the first time. Not that we didn’t enjoy performing at schools, weddings, parks and cultural centers, we just wanted to get out there with the “big boys” like Pegasus, Spyro Gyra, Cock Robin, Talas, Weekend, and the Road.
But John McGovern, didn’t feel that way. He didn’t think we were good enough to perform at the same clubs as those bands… John worked with the road crew for Pegasus when they performed at McVan’s. The guys in Pegasus were incredible musicians and John feared he couldn’t play in front of them knowing they would see us. I tried to get him to realize that we had our own style.
People liked hearing our covers of popular songs and we had a few quirky yet charming original songs too. Songs like, “I Like People”, “the Bloobs” (aka: the Green Slime song) “Tickle My Fancy” (one of our first original tunes ever written) and a punk rendition of “Dreams”, a song by Fleetwood Mac.
Ignoring John’s feelings, we forged ahead and booked our very first club gig ever at McVan’s. We were scheduled to appear on July 19th, 1978. When John found out we booked the show, he was pissed and promptly quit the band which immediately advanced my brother Barry to the position of lead guitarist. To make things worse, our keyboardist Steve Soos decided to take this opportunity to also leave the band.
Fortunately, Patt knew a cool-cat keyboardist from Riverside named Dave Maltbie, an amazing jazz pianist, who reluctantly joined the band, mostly out of his friendship with Patt. We began practicing with Dave at Billy Simms’ house, down in the basement. In addition to putting together new songs to perform at Mc Van’s, we auditioned for a new lead guitarist too and had some pretty interesting characters show up, like a guy who wanted us to be a “make-up band” like Kiss. We really didn’t want to go that route… not yet. After several more auditions, we soon realized there was no way we were going to find the right lead guitarist in time to learn all the songs for the McVan’s show. We decided that we would just have to make it work with what we had.
We began to practice more music for Sharon Pierce to sing, like songs by Fleetwood Mac, and Heart. Slowly, we began to pull together a fun and exciting show featuring bizarre original tunes, mixed with popular cover songs, weird props and costuming. We decided to just ‘go for it’ and do all the crazy things we couldn’t do with ‘conservative John’ in the band. Free from those restraints, we were determined to make this show a visual rock-extravaganza!
With that decided, we didn’t want to perform the show using the name ‘Parousia’. Instead, we would reserve that name for when we put a better band together once we fulfilled our commitment to perform at McVan’s in July.
We called Joe Terose at McVan’s and told him we wanted our band name printed in the newspaper as “Genocide”. He refused; he said that was a negative and ridiculous name and that it reminded him of the holocaust.
So we all thought about it and decided to come up with something even more ridiculous… “Green Slime”. Joe Terose wasn’t crazy about that name either, but that’s what he printed in the Buffalo Evening News. We wrote a new original song called “the Bloobs” as sort of the Green Slime anthem song. We invited everyone we knew and pulled-in a large crowd of family, friends and well-wishers on a Wednesday night at McVan’s which was nothing short of a miracle.
We started the show with “I’m Free” by the Who. It began with a slow guitar intro with Patt coming out from back-stage dressed as a crippled old man with a cane in a giant overcoat (made with painted paper-mache plastered over a chicken-wire frame) it looked more like a mountain than an overcoat. Then suddenly Patt burst-out of it and sang, “I’M FREE!” and began running allover the stage like a mad man! The crowd was shocked and confused and we were on our way! We gave the people a show that would have made Devo or the Tubes envious!
This success of this gig was aided by our road crew, Lenny Krucenski, our long-time lighting tech, and John McGovern, (our ex-lead guitar player) as sound engineer. Green Slime lasted for one show only. We did it to prove we were ready for the rock-club scene and that we could entertain an audience (and ourselves) for an entire night! Why do it, if it’s not fun, right?
With the Green-Slime show behind us, we started searching relentlessly for a lead guitarist and suddenly found ourselves looking for a new bassist as well. Billy Simms decided to quit the group and join another band. (Ironically, Billy would re-join Parousia 7-years later as keyboard player).
As fate would have it, Bob Lowden was back in town and heard that we were looking for a bass player. He asked if we needed a guitar player too because he knew this guy Garth who “is absolutely amazing”. So right there on the phone Garth auditioned for me. He performed the entire song “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin note-for-note. It blew my mind and he was in… we couldn’t wait to rehearse.
With Bob and Garth in the group, Parousia finally had the right talent to be a full-fledged rock-band and play the local club circuit. We could compete with established bands like Weekend, the Road, Cock Robin & Talas.