The Starting Gate Café was gaining a bit of notoriety in Buffalo. It hosted many prestigious up-and-coming local bands and we were glad to be one of them.
It was a nice medium-sized club on the corner of Seneca and Pomeroy in South Buffalo. It had a loyal clientele so we didn’t have to worry too much about bringing in an audience as the people were already there waiting to see a live band.
The band’s first show on May 1, 1981 at the Starting Gate Cafe featured the late great Ms. Kim Watts and she was blazing a trail that night. Parousia was still riding high on the release of “Miss Ogyny” featured on the 97 Rock “Buffalo Rocks” album and the exposure from the song’s broadcast on the airwaves of WGRQ.
The stage was small, up high in the back of the club. It was a bit of a challenge plugging in our gear because of too few electrical outlets along the stage. We unscrewed light bulbs and screwed adapters in their place so we could use them as outlets for our power strips. We expected the power to go out at any moment but miraculously it never happened (not at this club anyway) and so, the band played on…
Giving it all away to the crowd as usual, Parousia played its best classic rock cover songs; “Hocus Pocus” by Focus. “White Punks On Dope” by the Tubes, “Cross Eyed Mary” by Jethro Tull, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The WHO and the 1979 Elton John rendition of “Pinball Wizard.”
Parousia’s first gig at the Starting Gate landed the band $225.00 on a Friday night. For this gig, we didn’t have the usual roadies in attendance. The show was produced using a ‘skeleton crew’. The fools who did show up were paid, (i.e.: sound man / “head-roadie” Dave Styn and light-man Mike Carroll). Eric, Gerry and Patt were paid $7.00 to do what normally is ‘grunt work’ for the roadies. Rick from Backstage got his 15% booking fee ($34.00).
The ‘burning’ question is… what ever happened to the Starting Gate Café? Did it by coincidence burn-down in a mysterious conflagration like so many clubs from the band’s past?