In February and March of 1979, Parousia played 4 weekends in a row at Brush Gardens in Chaffee, NY. It was a long drive but a pretty big place, for what seemed to us like the middle of nowhere. Our first two sets of music were played to a very sparse crowd, but we made the best of it by taking the opportunity to experiment and stretch out a bit before the late crowd showed up. Gerry elaborates…
Brush Gardens was a big club out in the middle of nowhere but it was a great place to try out new things like our wireless guitar packs. During our eight minute rendition of “Free Bird” (a song that always stirred up the crowd in the “stix”), Garth and Barry would wander around off-stage and mingle with the crowd… kind of bold considering we had a lot of rowdy types in the audience. Don’t get me wrong, we liked rowdy… rowdy meant people were drinking a lot and our songs by the Who, Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, Jethro Tull, Blue Oyster Cult and Led Zeppelin fit in real well with that crowd… but they didn’t dig the songs by Supertramp, Blondie, The Beatles and Kansas very much.
During the second set I did a long drum solo. After slammin’ on the kit for a few minutes I would beat my sticks on the rims, the stands, the stage floor, then grab a drum and play all through the bar and club walls, then I would drum my way out the door and play a solo on the outside of the building walls. My trick backfired one night when the door man locked me outside… fortunately, the next song was always “Cotton Holiday,” an original song with a long instrumental intro on the guitars. By that time, the door man let me back inside to finish the set, thank-goodness, because it was below freezing out there!
One of the cooler aspects of this gig was that Kim knew a writer who wanted to review one of our weekend performances at Brush. Well, it wasn’t exactly what we were expecting. The article, “Who’s got the Gig”, published in World’s Thunder Current and written by Harold Goldberg, has a few incorrect facts, let’s see if I can straighten them out…
Number one, Goldberg quotes a statement from “the drummer Dave Maltbie”… but Dave Maltbie wasn’t the drummer… I’m the drummer!
Secondly, he writes, “the audience of about 35 people”. That was true early in the night but when the nearest club across the county line closed, the patrons from that club poured into Brush Gardens at about 2:30 AM for the longer drinking hours. Now the place was full of people… and we had to play an extra set of music to accommodate the later crowd.
Third, Goldberg says the band was from Kenmore, but most all of us lived in Buffalo. Only Kim Watts lived in Kenmore.