March 5, 1982 – Avanti Theater – “Pressing Paranoia”

Ronnie and Jimmy were 18, I had just turned 19, and this was Next Window’s first college show. Our first gig opening for another band (Bonnington Truce) and playing for their audience largely felt like a success, though I’ve never enjoyed listening to the soundboard recording from that day. We were still a high school band, and the 3 originals we played, along with twice that many covers, were high school songs. None of those songs made the cut when we started recording demos.

Still, it was memorable day. Sometime during Truce’s set (which I watched as a fan) we got the news that John Belushi had died. Which means, if the calendar is to be believed, that John Belushi has been gone for 30 years. An appalling thought.

“Pressing Paranoia” was probably our best original from that day. The mix is weird, balanced for the room and not the cassette, so the vocals are way too loud. But the bass sounds good, and I love Ronnie’s bits in the bridge. The highlight for me is Jimmy’s relentless kick. The tape doesn’t capture it but we shook that place. I don’t remember anything about the where and why of writing the song, except that I know Ronnie wrote some of the words.

If anyone has memories or media from that day, or the Avanti Theater in general, I would love to post it or link to it here. Just add a comment below or post it to The Misbelieves on Facebook. Thanks!