This section started off as an attempt to document just those gigs Albert Bouchard did with the Helen Wheels Band circa 1984-1986 as my primary focus.
However, after some consideration, I decided that Helen was such an important piece in the BOC zigsaw that it might be useful to expand the full Helen Wheels gig and setlist provision to include all her gigs, both with and without Albert.
I should mention at this point that a big thank you is due to the hard work of Mike (DFFD) and Redcap in getting me the Helen gig and setlist info I have so far. It's a good starting point - now I just need to fill in about 500 gaps!!
I also must express my gratitude to members of Static Cling for help in clarifying certain details of the Skeleton Crew era...
If you have any info to help develop this page, please get in .
Here's a link to Helen's official site...Go there
On 17 January 2000, Helen "Wheels" Robbins died unexpectedly following complications after surgery. BOC fans had seen her name in the credits on a number of BOC album tracks (sometimes as "H. Wheels" other times as "H. Robbins") and the ones who didn't live anywhere near NYC often wondered who this apparent Wings fan was...
From a Blue Oyster Cult perspective - which is what this site is about - Helen was an early girlfriend of Albert who also was heavily involved in constructing the band's image; being a seamstress, she helped put together much of their menacing early leather look, thus consolidating the new direction into which Sandy Pearlman was trying to drag his West-coast influenced ex jam-band...
She later of course progressed to being a contributing lyricist, landing two songs she'd penned with ex-beau Albert Bouchard on Agents of Fortune, which, thanks to Reaper, helped her get a gold record from the RIAA. She went on to contribute a further four songs to the BOC oeuvre, these all written with Joe Bouchard.
Obviously gaining a lot of confidence from the success of her writing, and galvanised by the vibrancy of what was happening musically in NYC at that time, she then took the next step and began to front her own band, playing all over the city and becoming one of New York punk scene's prime movers...
But it's not because of her BOC lyrics that I've included a Helen Wheels section in the Albert Bouchard part of Hot Rails - it's because in 1984, the Helen Wheel Band was the first major drumming gig Albert participated in following his traumatic sacking from Blue Oyster Cult.
Trying to document all these gigs is a thankless task, of course - many were probably arranged at short notice and nobody was keeping notes - so, needless to say, I'm grateful for any help anyone can give me - not just on the Albert gigs, but any gigs Helen was involved with, as nobody else seems to be trying to make any sort of list of them.
Helen later turned to competitive bodybuilding, acting, writing, as well as continuing with her music.
Before her untimely death in 2000, she had heavily been involved with playing and recording with her new band The Skelton Crew, (aka Static Cling) and those gigs/recordings provided proof positive that Helen was a fine talent, her life cruelly cut short before she could demonstrate her full potential.
On 4 December 2001, there was a memorial concert for Helen at Don Hill's in New York City - which included Albert, Joe and Buck Dharma onstage for the first time together in nearly 20 years.
The gig was recorded and you can buy the DVD, "To Helen With Love", from Create Space.
Helen's BOC Writing Credit's: