Here are four video clips from when Parousia appeared on the Hollywood Showcase for bands television show. Eventually winning a spot as a finalist.
In the 1980’s, this unique television program showcased local talent from around Southern California. Broadcast from Orange County on KSCI Channel 18. Ron Brady (A.K.A. Pop Rock, “the big daddy of rock-n-roll“) was the host of the venerable Hollywood Showcase for Bands.
The bands were recorded live from one of two clubs: The Green Door in Montclair or Bogart’s in Long Beach. Ron Brady filmed the bands using a multiple camera film crew. Recording from a remote truck parked outside the club. The production style was similar to what you would see on popular concert television shows, like early MTV or Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert.
The show in its day hosted dozen’s of bands from the Southern California area (mostly Orange County and Los Angeles) and had a modest local audience. Remember, this show was broadcast in the days before the internet, so you actually had to sit down and watch it when it was on TV, or set your VCR to “record” (if you could figure out how to do that.) Pop Rock promised bands appearing on his show “tons of exposure” and when you tuned in every week, he did his best to deliver.
Each month, there would be a winner, and that winning band became “a finalist” and then every six-months or so, all the finalists went head to head for THE GRAND PRIZE touting over $12,000 in cash and prizes (as described by a talking hand with make-up) including: a 45 single record, an L.P. or cassette package with full-color jackets and up to fifty-hours of studio-recording time. Over $1,000.00 in music and P.A. equipment. A concept video, a complete photo session and over $3,000.00 in cash!
Parousia’s June 18th show (from Bogart’s in Long Beach) was video taped live by Ron Brady and his remote crew for future broadcast on the Hollywood Showcase. We had to choose one song from our 12-song set to air on the show. Ron wanted that song to be “The Weekend Starts Tonight”, a song with Zeppelin-like guitar riffs and JethroTull-like flute. The video featured a three-camera film crew that produced some spectacular images of the band. Appearing on the Bogart’s stage: Patt Connolly, flute; Robert Lowden, guitar; Marty Leggett, keyboards and Gerry North Cannizzaro on drums.
“The Weekend Starts Tonight” first aired on Saturday, July 1st 1989. Our band stood out from the pack and Ron Brady really fancied the hard rocking sound of the flute and guitar. Our performance of “The Weekend Starts Tonight” was aired three-more times (July 8th, 15th and 22nd) winning the last round and entering the finals on July 22nd. The July 22nd show was re-broadcast in March of 1990.
The final round for the grand prize went down in March of 1990 and to tell you the truth I can’t remember who won the “$12,000 in cash and prizes” all I know is… it wasn’t Parousia.
The Hollywood Showcase used an endearing low-budget set and the host, Pop Rock used a handful of close associates as talent. The show featured interesting segments like “the band happenings” with “Dear Monique” (Monique’s character was sort of like a cross between Elvira, the infamous mistress of the dark and a 70’s biker-chick) and a Wolf-man Jack look-a-like that did commercial spots for Recycler magazine. Other segments for the show included hysterical no-budget ads using the staff as actors and in-studio interviews with band members.
The segments were interspersed between advertisements such as the Recycler Classifieds, and The Music Zone Rehearsal Studios in Buena Park, CA. In addition to what we preserved here, you can find a few more snippets of the Hollywood Showcase on the internet, posted by other So-Cal bands featured on the show like, Entity, the Steve Medrano Band, and New Day.
One last word about the The Hollywood Showcase, the opening segment of the show included scene snippets from two significant Los Angeles rock clubs that are no longer in existence but were the launching pad for many spectacular bands back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
The first club shown is Gazzarri’s, located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood where many 80’s-90’s glam rockers (in particular Van Halen) played as the house-band before being discovered. Other bands that launched from Gazzarri’s include Ratt, Cinderella, Poison, Mötley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses, Warrant, and Quiet Riot. The club is featured in the Huey Lewis and the News music video, “The Heart of Rock and Roll”.
Gazzarri’s was hosted by Bill Gazzarri, (known as “the Godfather of Rock and Roll)” an interesting character dressed as a Chicago gangster whose giant visage was plastered on the front of the club which eventually closed its doors in 1993.
Wong’s provided a viable platform for such notable bands as, The Knack, The Police, The Motels, Fishbone, The Go-Go’s, Oingo Boingo, Guns N’ Roses, Candy, Black Flag, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Ramones and of course Parousia. Eventually, Madame Wong’s West closed in 1991.