Parousia Performs For The Secret Society Of Mount Carmel At The West Side Arena, Port Colborne Canada July 25, 1981

 

On Saturday, July 25 1981, Parousia had the overwhelming experience of headlining a hockey arena in Port Colborne, Canada.

It was our one chance at doing the thing that we always pictured ourselves doing, playing a large venue to a large crowd, on a huge stage with plenty of room for our large sound, lights and antics.

It was the kind of a venue we designed our shows for, even though most of the time we had to struggle to compress our ambitions to fit into the places we were normally booked at. Not this time though.

The arena was big, and for some reason we had a good turnout of young people who were really into our show, covers and originals. I remember signing lots of autographs after the show and being treated like celebrity royalty. This was our taste of what success could feel like.

Gerry Cannizzaro recalls the following:

“This was our first performance at a concert sized arena and without question the biggest place we played to date. It had a capacity of 1,500 people. We met a lot of friendly and genuine fans. They really spoiled us ‘blokes from the states’, we each had our own dressing room and a big food spread backstage. We thought we died and went to gig heaven. Oh the fun we had wandering from room to room seeing what each of us were up to… or into, before the big show.”

“Lucky for us, Port Colbornians were enthusiastic fans of the alternative rock music scene. A crowd that actually appreciated Kim Mitchell and our version of his song ‘Toronto Tontos’. They liked pretty much everything we could dish out, from ‘White Punks on Dope’ to ‘Abbacab’. The best part though was that the Canadian audience WANTED to hear our original songs. I remember they really liked Garth’s song, “Lucifer’s Lament”, a dark tale of evil, corruption conflicted with personal choice, complete with lightning fast dueling keyboard and guitar runs. I remember Garth and Eric trading riffs back and forth, faster and faster. I loved playing that song.   After the show, it felt really good to be asked to sign so many autographs. What else can I say; we loved Port Colborne and that crowd!”

“We had to put together an extra-big big P.A. to fill up this 40K sq. ft. room. We ended up renting all of Pegasonics P.A. gear and then some from Unistage.  John McGovern engineered our sound and ran the mixing board.”

“The worst part about the gig was coming back home.  We thought it would be ‘hassle free’ since we pre-registered all of our equipment. Believe me when i tell you, we had done our research… Patt and I worked really hard at preparing all the required paperwork and making sure it got into the right hands in ample preparation for our journey across the border and back again.

But apparently that was not enough for the American border patrol to allow us Americans back into America. When they saw that rock musicians were coming home from a gig in a 20 foot equipment truck, they started salivating.  After all, we MUST have been transporting drugs back into the states, right?  Sadly no, we lived ‘pay check to pay check’ just trying to get from gig to gig and back home again to rest our weary American heads.

All of our good preparation aside, we were subjected to the ‘Central Scrutinizer’ treatment.  The Border patrol insisted we pull every last piece of equipment off of the truck, onto the driveway and match the serial numbers to the paperwork… Ar-r-r-rgh! It was like 6:00 in the morning, we had been up for almost 24 hours… we were exhausted. But what could we do? We figured it was useless to argue and so we start to unload everything… I think we got about half-way when the border guards decided we were not trafficking narcotics and allowed us to cross.  >whew<

Anyway, we were surprised that the American side were such assholes about it… we were expecting something like that earlier when we crossed over into Canada, but the Canadian guards were so nice… they looked over our paperwork, looked in the truck and waived us through.”

“I also remember that at the end of the night, Bob Lowden disappeared. We don’t know how he got back to the States. I think Garth went missing too?  Not sure…”

*** GNC ***

 

ARENA FACTS:

Port Colborne, Humberstone Arena54 W Side Rd Port Colborne, ON L3K 5K6, Canada40,000 Square Feet. More commonly known as the West Arena. Opened its doors in January 1960 after an aggressive 2 year Community Fundraising initiative.• This arena was Home of the “Pirates” Junior Hockey Team.• Numerous Ontario Championships at the Minor Hockey Level and the Intermediate ‘A’ Level also played at this Arena.If you are interested in buying the Arena, it is on sale for $275,000.00 Canadian.

http://www.royallepage.ca/jumplisting/search/ON/PORT%20COLBORNE/744231/0?feed=4&officeId=10194

 

Most unique rock show flyer-alt.blue

Parousia Headlines the Humberstone West Side Arena, Port Colborne Canada July 25, 1981

Society of Mount Carmel - Offer of employment

Society of Mount Carmel – Offer of employment

Playing the Port Colborne arena wasn’t a cheap show to produce. originally, Parousia was contracted to earn $750.00. After paying application fees, duty fees and booking fees, we ended up with $462.00 to pay for our own production costs.  John McGovern put a tremendous amount of work as sound engineer and was paid $40.00. Mike Carroll ran lights for $45.00. ‘Head roadie’, Dave Styn earned $40.00 and roadies Keith, Tom, and Tim were paid $10.00 each. $85.00 went towards speaker repair, $3.00 for “materials” (I.E: drugs, women, gambling). The biggest expense: Truck rental – $117.00 and a rented 16-band stereo equalizer – $230.00.

Our total expense exceeded our profit by $175.00. But we gained a lot, because after playing this show in Canada, Parousia just became international performing artists!

Parousia Finances for the Port ColborneShow

Parousia Finances for the Port Colborne Show

Outside the Port Colborne, Humberstone West Side Arena. Ontario, Canada

Port Colborne Equipment list

Port Colborne Equipment list

Port Colborne Equipment list

Port Colborne Equipment list

Port colborne box office & arena

Port Colborne Box Office & Arena

Plus II contract - Backstage (Dave Buffamonte) July 1981

Plus II contract – Backstage (Dave Buffamonte) July 1981

Plus II contract - Original Contract Garth Huels March 1981

Plus II contract – Original Contract Garth Huels March 1981

All this to cross the border. Temporary admission permit.

All this to cross the border. Temporary admission permit.

port_colborne

Parousia Headlines the Humberstone West Side Arena, Port Colborne Canada July 25, 1981

3 comments for “Parousia Performs For The Secret Society Of Mount Carmel At The West Side Arena, Port Colborne Canada July 25, 1981

  1. Barry Cannizzaro
    October 24, 2013 at 7:53 am

    The Port Colborne gig had to be THE best, or very close to being one of the best gigs our band Parousia ever played. I remember our mangers Rick Falkowski and Dave Buffamonti from Backstage Productions calling us, and letting us know about this job; stating that TALAS (another very EXCELLENT WNY hard rock band from the past) had cancelled out; and that their booking agents (Great Lakes Booking Agency, or perhaps it was Starstruck Productions with Frank Scia and Freddy Casserta) had called our agents looking for a band to take Talas’s place. Nobody had to twist our arms; believe me! We were in rock orgasm heaven over this one. Anyway, I remember driving over to Canada myself to go to the arena in Port Colborne; I believe I was on Garrison Highway, when I decided to stop at a Dairy Queen to verify directions on how to get there. I asked one of the workers where the arena was, and she replied by saying: “Are you going to the big show tonight? A big band from the states is playing there tonight, and everyone is going to be there.” I simply said, yes, I really was THINKING about going; not letting on to her that I was the rhythm guitarist and a vocalist for the band. She was so elated to hear this, and then gave me the correct directions. When I finally arrived at the arena, a wondrous sight I did witness. Our band members were at these real huge tables signing autographs for the multitudes of parents that brought their children to see us. As soon as one of them saw me; a mother said: ” look there is the guitar player, get his autograph”, and they proceeded to run towards me with one of our band flyers for me to sign it. MAN, DID I FEEL LIKE A REAL LIVE ROCK STAR! The crowd loved us (had to be well over a thousand people there), and we performed THREE ENCORES for them. SO COOL! After we finished the manager from the arena told our band to come with him in the back room, and what did we see, but a HUGE table all set up with a buffet of food fit for kings and queens.I was so damn impressed. They had macaroni, chicken, roast beef, sausage, anything you can think of. I first told the manager that this food must be for a wedding or something, and he said: “No, this is for you guys, we really appreciate you playing for us.” I was floored baby! As a matter of fact, after we came home to Buffalo, many of the Canadian people loved us so much that they wrote to Stage One and many of the other nightclubs in WNY; insisting on them booking us so they could see us. I was SOOOOO DAMN IMPRESSED. Who says the Canadian people don’t back their bands? Not me baby! What an amazing experience I’ll never forget. Keep on rockin’ pilgrims!

    Barrymannia

  2. George Chastity
    January 24, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Is this the Parousia that played at the Port Colborne Arena? Those guys were great! We don’t get fooled again!

  3. Patt
    July 18, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Yes, that was really something. I believe we got $1000.00 CAD which came out to $840.00 at the time, the most we ever got paid. We had to beg and borrow equipment from everyone we knew. It being Canada, I had to put up a bond of $700.00 and make a list of all the equipment and its value. When we got there in the afternoon, I helped John set up the massive PA that was like a wall of speakers. I wish we had a picture of it. I remember John playing a Michael Jackson song which he used to test the speakers. At the time it struck me as a funny choice, since we were “rock” type people and that was classified as “disco”. I remember having the whole hockey team dressing room to change in. I believe Kim had the Visitor dressing room all to herself. There were a lot of people there, but the hockey rink was so large, they just filled up the floor in front of the stage. After taking everything down and packing it into the 24ft. U-haul we had rented, John, Gerry and I took the truck across the Peace Bridge to the USA. It was about 2:00am and the customs agent wanted us to unpack everything so he could see if we were smuggling any equipment duty-free for resale. They weren’t concerned in those days about drugs or illegal immigrants. John did some quick talking and explained, with examples, how everything on the equipment list was made and purchased in the US. I was surprised because at that time we in the band were incapable of lying. The customs man agreed with John and we didn’t have to unload the truck. I think he really didn’t want to go through the hassle either.
    We actually got paid, not always a certainty at the time, and as always the money went towards equipment.

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