Remember the first time you ever saw Blue Oyster Cult? You do? Then why not jot down your recollections of that wonderful day and send them along for me to include here.
A lot of these accounts will already be included elsewhere on this site in the form of individual gig reviews, but I thought it'd be interesting to extract just those stories that dealt with people seeing BOC for the very first time.
If you enjoy reading these accounts, then why not consider sending me ?
Most recent entry:
1 Nov 1979: Brighton Centre, Brighton, England by Mike Gingles
I assume it was the "classic" lineup with the Bouchards. I had never heard the band before that - a friend of mine who'd read some good things about them was all hot to go & I was always ready to go along.
It was a long subway ride from the Village where I lived all the way up thru Manhattan & into the Bronx. It was an outdoor nighttime show, right on the soccer (football) field. You could either stand around on the field or sit in the stands off to the sides, we hung on the field.
Unfortunately I really remember very little in the way of detail about the show. Couldn't tell you what the guys wore or looked like, tho I'm under the impression that one of them (Joe or Allen would be my guess) wore a knee-length black raincoat.
I was mainly impressed by the way they played their instruments & constructed their songs - couldn't make out much of the lyrics. Their playing made me an instant fan tho, & I bought the album as soon as I could. (I'd like to say I ran right out & bought it the very next morning but my memory isn't that good either!)
Gaelic Park was also the place that I saw Jefferson Airplane, my favorite band during the late 1960s, with their "classic" lineup for the last time. So it was really a kind of watershed place when the music was in transition from the 60s to the 70s.
Gaelic Park is still there & still a soccer/football field - there was an article about it in the NY Times a year or 2 ago that I posted on BDTE.
A buddy of mine was in his 3rd year at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana & I decided to drop in on him on a rainy fall afternoon in 1972. He's got some jams playing on the stereo & we enhanced our conversation with a little pick-me-up so we were having a good time just jammin' along when a neighboring housemate stopped by to check out what we were doing. He had just been out to the local Record store & had about 3 or 4 new albums to check out, so we started looking at his new stuff & one album was so different & cool that we put it on right away.
It was Blue Oyster Cult, with the fantastic cover drawings that made us wonder what kind of new band they were (Gawlik seemed so mysterious), & where they were from. Well, from the start of Transmaniacon MC we were hooked by the guitar army sound and thought the lyrics were so cool as we cranked the volumne up.(Saddam's Boytoy's hogs, no pig at all, you know)
We spent that afternoon listening to this great new record by a band we had no idea of who they were, but we really dug the music. Every song seemed to have it's own killer way of rockin', and by the time Redeemed finished we knew this was a good rockin' record, and band. In fact, Thereof Came The Last Days Of May became THE song of the album for me, it was just so bluesy the way the notes just dripped from Buck's guitar against the beautiful simplicity of the song structure. It wasn't long until that song became one of my alltime favorites, and is to this day.
Onward, we'll fastforward about 6 months to late winter/early spring 1973 and the local Sunday newspaper lists the upcoming concerts in Indianapolis. When I see that BOC is coming to town, I immeadiately tell all my friends about it & make plans to go. The day comes & we get there early enough to get right up close to the stage. We were well prepared for a great show & man did we get it.
By the time they 1st played Indy, their second album, Tyranny & Mutation had came out, so we were treated to a set list from the 2 albums that night, and I mean they pulled out all the stops. I was within 10 feet of Buck (I didn't realize it was the Buck zone yet), and after the full guitar assault through Dizbusters & Hot Rails, they came back with Buck's Boogie & the Red and the Black. Mere words cannot convey the effect & emotion of seeing & hearing this incredible band up close. After the crossed guitars we were all bowing to a new master. They kicked our a** like no other band ever had.
I remember standing there thinking that this was what a Rock & Roll band should look and sound like. Mysterious, intelligent lyrics sang by a leather clad singer, with twin killer guitars that were led by this little a** kicker with ice water in his veins that played so effortlessly. Natural born killers on a rock stage, oh yeah, I was hooked.
I've never been the same since that night, and I've followed them everywhere that I could to see them play. It was a few more years before I got to meet them. I've seen them all over the Midwest & California, in every edition of the band. Thank God they're On Tour Forever.
I still remember this evening as one of the defining experiences of rock n roll that would be a memory to judge other shows against from then on.
Wow, cant believe how this jogged my memory of seeing boc for the very first time. They had been scheduled to play in Wichita about a month earlier but for some reason they had to cancel that show. The headline band this evening was Alice Cooper doing the Billion Dollar Babies tour wich we had been looking forward to seeing for months.
The backup band was supposed to be the flourescent Leech and Eddie but much to our satisisfaction when that announcer came out and said... Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like you to welcome from New York City... Blue... Oyster... Cult! That's when all hell broke loose for about the next hour. There only song recieveing airplay in this area of the country was Cities on Flame, and one of the things that i remember distinctly was between every song someone on stage would yell out like a marine drill instructer WE ARE THE BLUE OYSTER CULT and by the end of there set you were well aware of who they were, or you were braindead lol. Alice and company put on a great show that night too. ahhh to be 14 again...
Almost brought a tear to my eye writing this all down, havent thought about this in years. Over the years i think i saw boc about 9 times - they always put on one hell of a show...
My first BOC gig: Schaeffer Festival Wollman Skating Rink Central Park New York City
Bleecher Seats were $1.50, "Orchestra" (or where the ice would be...) $2.50.
Shows were every Mon Weds Fri and Sat throughout the summer.
I guess it was for Tyranny and Mutation, The Red and the Black was kick ass! So I grabbed that for my YouTube channel title...
The venue was the Decatur Armory. The show was put on by the Decatur MacArthur High School booster club, and by the local head shop "Crystal Ship". There were several thousand in attendance, and the venue was like a gymnasium. One floor, no seats, we sat on the floor (it was too loud to stand up) I was 14.
It was my first concert, and we were already hard core BOC fans, having heard GTDTW and the first two records. Buck played the red (soon to be painted white) SG, and Allen and Eric played a lot of guitar that night, as well.
Some of the setlist included Stairway, Bucks Boogie, Hot Rails, Red and The Black, Diz, lots from the first two records, and whenever we'd yell out requests, Eric would respond "got ya covered".
The opener was "The Flock" and I think the lead singer played some kind of electric fiddle. They sucked, and when we chanted BOC during their set, and yelled for Bucks Boogie, he said, "Wanna Boogie?" people yelled Yeah! and he stuck his finger in his nose and replied "HERE"!...like I said, they sucked, and were the first band that my friends and I heckled off of the stage. My friend Jeff Turley was at that show, unbeknownst to me, and when he gets on here, he may have some other recollections. Also, I'll ask my brother to send me some more memories.
As for the next year, it was also at the Decatur Armory. I don't know the date, but I think it was in the Summer. My brother and I were the first in line, and when there was a delay opening the doors, we asked the ushers what the deal was, and we were told that BOC blew the power grid, downtown, and the armory didn't have enough power to run their sound and stage show. Rather than play without it, BOC chose to not play, and when we found out about it, we scalped our tickets for face value and left the venue.
I heard that Pavlov's Dog and Frigid Pink went ahead and played, because they were offering a reduced rate refund, to a few people, then decided that that was a bad idea, since everyone wanted refunds. I heard that the show was enjoyable, but obviously my decision to cut and run was never regretted.
Pavlov's dog was ran by a dude named David Surkamp, who, on March 6th, 1996, opened for BOC at KSHE concert cafe, in St Louis, where Surkamp is from, (The David Surkamp Band) and told the story of what had happened... it was ironic that I was in the audience, because when he mentioned the venue, I told him that I was at that show, and he told me and the rest of the crowd that we missed a jam session at the Decatur Ambassador Hotel, after hours. Too bad, too, cuz I may have gotten to meet Buck way back then instead of on March 6th, the night of the KSHE show.
When I was 15 I took my girlfriend to see BOC at the old Long Beach Municipal Auditorium in Long Beach, California. It was Friday, December 21, 1973. I hadn't been a particularly big BOC fan, but my local radio station (KNAC Pure Rock) was promoting the show and convinced me to go. We sat in the balcony and the place was packed.
When BOC started playing dust began falling out of the old speaker well columns on each side of the stage. Within an hour it was hard to see the stage through the smoke (not talking dust here). Wish I could remember more details. Our ears rang for days! It was great.
I recall that the gig was during Spring Break in high school and took place in the Memorial Stadium in Daytona Beach, Florida in front of a pretty small crowd - perhaps two or three hundred people.
Eric was wearing his full-length cape. It was black outside and silver inside. Seems he was wearing some high boots also, either black or silver.
Allen was wearing a solid silver "Spaceman" suit. Looked very similar to the ones that astronauts used to wear. Buck and Eric were playing red [wine] colored Gibson SG guitars. Allen played a Les Paul, seems it was sunburst during some of the tunes. He [Allen] started OD'd on keys and ended up with guitar at the end of the song. It knocked me back since I am a guitar player also.
I don't remember anything unique about the drummer or bass player. One thing that stands out is when someone up front asked "When are you going to play .... [whatever title]?" Eric replied "We gotta play Diz first!" He was smiling when he said it. Sticks in my mind.
Oh, another interesting note: the fact that they only played songs from the first two albums. They definitely did not play any tunes from albums other than the first album and Tyranny.
Some of the tunes I remember were:
The Red & The Black
OD'd On Life Itself
7 Screaming Diz-Busters
Cities on Flame
Stairway to the Stars
Seems they only played briefly - perhaps only 30 minutes. Looking back, I wish they had played Transmaniacon MC, Wings Wetted Down and other obscure tunes but I don't think they did. It was the first time I saw them. At that moment, I was hooked!
Scene 1......Van load of 17 year olds head down I-74 to the Union Auditorium. There was LSD, Weed and copious amounts of beer involved. I think I drove (here's where I say that I don't condone abuse of drugs among children and I don't know how we made it there and back alive.)
Scene 2... The show starts. I was in awe. The laser lights were spectacular and oh so loud, the music too
From what I remember I know for sure that they played - Bucks Boogie, Seven Screaming Dizbusters, and at some point (I think at the end of the show) there were 5 Guitars.
I'm seeming to recall Career of Evil, Stairway to the Stars, Flaming Telepath, Dominance and Submission, and Cities on Flame (I know Albert sang a couple times). Albert was all over the stage from what I recall, like a madman. I was weirded out by his leather shorts though.
During Bucks Boogie I couldn't take my eyes off this guy who could play this fast, this well! I kept thinking I wish I could do that with my guitar (fade to 17 year-old me with a record and turntable, and my guitar trying to figure out just some of the rhythm to Dominance and Submission). That show really made him stand out to me, that's why he's my favorite oyster.
There was also a drum an bass solo. I can't remember what encore was done but I think they came back out twice. I don't have a clue how long they played, I just knew that I wanted it to go on forever. For what its worth there you have it.
It was the summer of 1974, I was a young 18 year old just learning about HARD ROCK. I had been a BOC fan for about a year. Myself and two friends Zach and Dickie, I am Cliff, had our first apartment away from the folks. We were partiers from the get go! 18 and free from home, this was the life. We all worked construction $5.00 per hour as laborers. Good money back in 74. Kept us in beer and what ever, you know what I mean.
We had an arrangement at the apartment that we would take turns selecting what LP to play next. Each person taking their turn of selecting an album. My turn was always BOC "Tyranny And Mutation". I had the album sleeve of the band, a black and white picture of them, in a picture frame next to my bed. These guys were my anti-heroes!!!! No one else ever picked BOC for their turn, because they knew I would. So between POCO, AEROSMITH and MOUNTAIN there would always be BOC selected.
So we all heard about the Alexandria Roller Rink show and were very excited. I had seen only two other concerts in my life, Raspberries at my high school and Pink Floyd at the Post Pavilion, in MD. Neither excited me like a chance to see my idols, BOC in concert. We bought 10 tickets and were ready to rock!!!!
The day of the show came, not only BOC but Nazareth, and some band I never heard of called KISS. We were getting ready to go from our apartment only 15 minutes from the Roller Rink. All of a sudden dickie comes in and is very upset. He just wrecked his Honda 750 while coming home to change for the show. The very ironic thing is he ran in to Brian (his brothers friend), who was crossing the road, to also go to the show with us. Oh well, we all went anyway and it was awesome.
The show had no seats, no stage lights, and a small stage. I was with my friends center stage 4 or 5 rows back and wasted to the BEJESUS BELT!!!! The show started with Nazareth, who I also liked, I love "Go Down Fighting", they played very well. KISS was a no show. However, I did not care, cause I never heard of em anyway! BOC came on and ROCKED the house.
I do not remember their set, song for song, but the standouts were, Last Days Of May, Cities On Flame, The Red and the Black, Buck was incredible. He was all in white and played the white Gibson SG, that was later stolen. His fingers were SOOOOO fast and his licks soooo melodic and tasteful, I will never forget. The finale was all five guitars jamming at one time, AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!!!!! The entire band Allan, Buck, Eric and the Bouchard brothers were awesome!!! All of BOC literally blew me away, I had such a good BUZZ, that I will never forget BOC in this small and intimate place!
It was july 2 1974 and the venue was the Ohio Theater in Columbus, Ohio; a 1500 seat art deco style opera house. The opening act was Nazareth. Secret Treaties had been released but BOC had not yet gotten big in my area. The release of OYFOOYK would soon change that however.
I had known of the band from a promo copy of their 1st self-titled album that had been given to me by a relative who worked at a top 40 AM station 3 years earlier when I was 17. I loved that 1st album but couldn't get my friends to buy into it. Too different from the standard bs on the radio then.
Now to the day of that July 74 show. I am now a 20 yo college kid and into all the sacraments available to a true head, I went to this show with my girl and 2 friends and we were all properly lit af on mind altering substances. We had no clue what was coming.
Nazareth was a good and proper opening act, solid rock n roll. But when BOC opened up we were all completely blown away by the energy and stage presence of the band. We remained mesmerized throughout the entire show. All of us were soaked in sweat from the energy that coursed through our bodies and by the final encore we were spent.
To this day after uncounted concerts (12 BOC shows inc.) that remains one of my top concert experiences. The perfect conflation of sex, drugs and rock n roll.
A great memory of a great time.
I just wanted to post a comment about BOC's 1974 gig at the Tennessee State Fair. I was there, and it was the first time that I had ever seen them...
The show was utterly fantastic and shaped me and my musical taste and style for the rest of my life.
The most amazing part of this experience is this... imagine yourself in Nashville Tn in 1974... BOC opens for Lynyrd Skynyrd (who are riding a big wave about then). After BOC's set....most of the audience starts to get up and leave (I did... I mean who the hell could top BOC) after they did about 2 encores... and Skynyrd had to come out and OPEN with Free Bird just to keep the audience there.
I don't know about you, but that to me was just amazing...
The Long Beach arena gig on Oct 12 '74 was the first time I had seen the Band. I was 15. My best friend Rusty and I had heard about them some months before. We thought the Band's name sounded really bizarre & cool, so we went to our local record shop to pick up a couple of their albums.
Rusty bought "Tyranny & Mutation"; I purchased their new album "Secret Treaties". We both instantly dug the band, the music and the imagery, so went about telling all our friends & schoolmates about them. We became responsible for turning on most of Orange County to the band that year!
T-Rex was supposed to play first, but for some unknown reason cancelled at the last minute. Rusty & I didn't care. We were there to see BOC! When the band came on, we were totally blown away! The set list is chronicled elsewhere, as I cannot remember the exact song order.(it's been 33 years!) Eric made mention that the show was being recorded, and the crowd went wild!
The Band was great. Standing about 6 feet from Buck, we witnessed some the best guitar playing we had ever seen. Some of that show made it onto the "On Your Feet Or On Your Knees" double live album. It was a privilege to be in the audience for that moment in BOC history! I have been a fan of the Group ever since, and have seen them many times throughout the decades. BOC On Tour Forever!
October 1974. Long Beach Arena. After listening to their first 3 albums over and over, I was ready for this.
As I stood in line outside the Arena, "The Symbol" suddenly lit up the entire wall of the Arena. Crowd went wild. Seen them over 50 times since. Is there anything better than the right frame of mind, a bean bag chair, headphones, and Secret Treaties' "Astronomy"? I didn't think so. BOC, the Light that never warms...
I was there too!! Yep T. Rex canceled at the last minute. Some guy came out on stage and announced T. Rex wasn't going to play ...
The crowd started booing and cussing. So then the guy pulled out a acoustic guitar and started making a song out of the crowds chants ....
He called it the 'fuck you' song lol ... the whole place sang along with him with vigor, it was hilarious.
After everyone had vented real good BOC came out and pretty much everyone forgot about T. Rex!
My friends and myself are psyched up all day, we're going to our first Blue Oyster Cult concert.
The lineup for the show is Hydra, BOC and Aerosmith so we know its gonna be along night and we have an hour drive from Pittsfield down to Springfield. We had all of our goodies ready and some Old Grand Dad to smuggle in and mix with our cokes.
Hydra opened up and was good but we had never heard of them, I think they were from Georgia.
Next is BOC and were all pretty buzzed at this point, finally the lights go down and the announcement is made " On your feet or on your knees, here they are from new york city, the amazing Blue Oyster Cult". Well off went the flash pots and out comes BOC playing stairway to the stars, the whole band was rocking out the civic center with a vengeance.
Next was O'd on life followed by Career of Evil. We just keep looking at each other, what a show, next was Harvester of Eyes followed by Cities on flame then Flaming telepaths.
Next it was Buck's boogie and then ME-262, we're singing along and having a great time. The regular set ended with Hot rails to hell, everybody in the civic center is screaming for more and the place is lit up with everybodies lighters.
Out they come and blast into Born to be wild with the blue strobes going off, the scraping guitars and a hell bent for leather intensity that can't be beat.
All the way home we talked about Erics boots with the kronos symbols on them, the strobes and the scraping guitars and Buck's guitar work.
Aerosmith came on next did some great songs, my favorite was Seasons of wither, but it just wasn't BOC.
It was in November 1974 at the old Winterland arena in San Francisco. I was a jr. in highschool musta been 16 i guess cause i remember driving.
Anyway they opened up for Jefferson Airplane who just changed to the Starship. I must admit I knew nothing of BOC at the time.
WOW after that night i was sure they were the greatest rock band i had ever seen or heard. I dont remember the set list but i can recall strobe lights during "flaming telepaths" and fog during "born to be wild".
Ijust couldnt wait to see them again! 3 months later I did. Same arena only this time they were headlining. Winterland had no seating in front of stage, standing room only and I stood right in front. My ears rang the whole next day.
And after that night i was convinced. They were the best rock and roll band out there. PERIOD Oh ya i think that ticket cost $4 dollars.
I went to see BOC on New Year's Eve, 74-75 at the Academy of Msic in NYC. Went with a bunch of friends, all UTI of something or other, but I still remember the show. Top ten.
A flamenco-rock band ( presented by David Bowie ) named Carmen opened. Ha Ha - they were not my cup of sangria. Then a rock band named Camel, I dunno if they had Peter Frampton or not, they were ok. Guess it wasn't Frampton cos I liked Humble Pie.
Then the lights went out and we heard some big screen drop down behind the drumkit's shadow. We figured it was the eyeless kid from the ad for the show, but it turned out to be the 1st BOC album art.
The sound guy was playing "I'm Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band". The lights came on and BOC came out, behind them was some sort of Nuremburg Rally thing with long black banners with BOC logos on them.
They opened with "Stairway to the Stars". They were very, VERY LOUD! Still one of the loudest shows I've seen and I still go to many.
Saw a few of the local music scene there, Patti Smith and some of the Dolls. They did a great set, some of it is on On Yer Feet, I think. Eric shaved himself with an amplified razor for his New Year's resolution. That was cool. He was in Black leather, Buck in white and Al in boxing shorts.
At the end of the encore Buck stood there pulling the strings off his white SG, one-by-one.
It was Friday March 13th 1975 at the Spokane Coliseum. It was my 19th birthday as well!
My Mother actually wrote me a note to get out of school to go see the show that was 100 miles north in Spokane, WA. I was living in Walla Walla, WA at the time. A little farm town with a population of only 25,000.
I left in the afternoon with two of my best buddies in a very beat up VW Bug that had dents all over it because it had been rolled. We got to Spokane in the late afternoon and secured our crash pad with one of my buddies friends who's girlfriend and he were complete Todd Rundgren fanatics. So I heard a lot of Todd Rundgren before the show at their apartment. I did get them to play the first BOC album which the had so we could all get in the grove before the show.
When we got to the show I found out there was a opening act. I think it was a band called Mann. Not positive on that and I have been trying to find out for sure ever since. Who ever they were, they were forgettable. I was there to see BOC! We then found at least four other of my best friends from High School who had drove up in another car. It was festival seating of course and we all found out spot on the floor about 30 feet from the stage. I can't remember what they opened with but they just exploded on to the stage like a bat out of hell.
Eric had the mirrored sun glasses with the cape with the red satin lining. I have to tell you it was very surreal because we had ingested quite a bit of weak Phycodelics and the band really had the mystique about them. I remember " Flaming Telepaths" coming across to me as if they were speaking directly to me with the chorus, "and the jokes on you", as a stay away from hard drugs message.
Another highlight was during ME-262 when the band started goose stepping and the audience all started marching as well. The sirens and explosions were incredible I am not sure if the had lasers in 1975 but the shot this beam of light at a mirror ball during "Astronomy" that shot stars all over the ceiling. This little farm town boy had never seen anything like that. Buck'e Boggie / Massarrati GT was also a highlight!
I also remember being very surprised to hear "Born to be Wild" as the encore. It seemed to be some kind of message they were trying to get across through a long geology of Rock N Roll. It jogged my memory backs because I don't think I heard that song since I saw Easy Rider in grade school.
At the end of the show I just stood in front of the stage in astonishment. The Coliseum had pretty much cleared out and my small band of friend had found me after we were separated in the rush and crush for the stage. There was all sorts of trash and bottles everywhere. My buddies were all snapping bottle caps and tripping on the tracers because they were all still tripping.
Then Eric mysteriously appeared on stage. He looked like a biker with leather pants and a leather vest. He kicked a few beer bottles off the stage and disappeared as mysteriously and he appeared.
I am 50 years old now and have been a die hard fan ever since except for a couple of years in the early eighties when I got into the Punk thing and so called "New Wave" thing. I was back going to see BOC every time the came to LA by 1984. They just keep getting better with age, despite the lack of lasers, flash pods and Godzilla props. The last show I saw at the Avalon Ballroom on Catalina Island has to be one of the best shows I've seen. That was just last Monday!
REO opened for BOC and put on a great show. They had a new singer named Michael Murphy. I thought he had a great voice with a lot of soul. He added a lot to the band. He had more hair (big hair) than Dee Snider and Peg Bundy put together.
It was Gary Richrath's custom to mingle with the crowd and did so during the BOC set. I was lucky enough to shake his hand and it did not take long to see that his focus on females had been disrupted by Buck's Guitar. He seemed mesmorized by Buck's mastery of the fretboard. I lost track of Richrath, but that did not matter to me.
BOC's use of Lighting and Fog was unlike anything I had ever seen. Eric Bloom commanded the stage like a Warlord. All five band members on guitar for ME-262 had driven the crowd to places they had never been sonically. It blew me away that the drummer could play a guitar, and they were all playing side-by-side, with great precision, at such an Ear-Splitting Level.
At the encore, they played Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild". This performance by BOC became the standard by which I judged all further concerts I attended in my lifetime, and thus began my lifelong love-affair with Blue Oyster Cult.
I had moved to Modesto, CA during the winter of 74/75. Thanks to Dean, BOC was already my favorite band but nobody I met in Modesto knew anything about them. I changed all that and they were soon the most played band when we were partying, which was pretty much when we weren't sleeping.
When we found out that BOC was playing in San Francisco, that instantly became the must see event for everyone in our group. At the time, I was working on a ranch in Chowchilla and was pretty much up all night watching over pregnant cows or pulling calves that were too big for the mama. I remember taking off for Modesto to meet my friends that morning. I must of had a bunch of candy left over from Valentines Day because I was eating these little pink hearts I kept in a tin. We stocked up on weed and alcohol and headed for SF. None of our crowd was 21 but we never had trouble scoring beer or liquor. We would just put our chicks in front of a liquor store to sweet talk some unsuspecting customer.
When we arrived at Winterland in SF, we had to stand in a long line waiting for the doors to open. Some guy was walking up and down the line advertising his windowpane for $1 a pane. Damn near everybody was a buyer. One guy had his taken away by a security cop or something, but it was quickly replaced since the seller didn't want any unhappy concert goers.
Pretty Things was the first band to take the stage. I had never heard of them and was greatly unimpressed. At the time it wasn't what I called rock and roll.
REO Speedwagon was the 2nd band. It seems about that time I learned that pink hearts and windowpane don't make a real good combination. I could of swore that my heart was going to beat right out of my chest. Right in tune to the bass guitar. I really thought I was going to od on life about then. I had read somewhere sometime that Winterland had an od crew to take of such idiots, so I went in search of them only to find out they had taken this show off. So I spent the majority of REO sitting on a can in the bathroom waiting to die.
When the Speedwagon was done and the bass had quit trying to take me out, I managed to make it back out and was standing in a aisle between seats not far from the stage as Blue Oyster Cult started playing. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen or heard in my life. I'm sure I saw the rest of the guys in the band, but I just remember watching Buck Dharma with one foot on a monitor completely mesmerizing me. I know I was rocking out in that aisle, singing along with all the songs, but now I couldn't tell you a single song that was played other than astronomy. The solo seemed to last about 30 minutes and just when Buck really go into it, a light hit some mirrored ball hung in the center of the house that started spinning. It proceeded to reflect little white dots all over the place and the faster Buck played, the faster that ball spun and the faster the little white dots moved. Between my condition, the music and the little white dots, it's a miracle I survived that moment.
Well, that's about all of the sketchy parts I recall. After the show we discovered the car we came in had been broken into and the 8-track player stolen. The thief left all the tapes though. Somehow we made it back to Modesto without crashing or getting thrown in jail. (those are other stories)
30+ years ago, one of my older brothers was the first to turn me on to BOC, and we used to listen to the first 3 LP's daily. As it turned out, all the guys I hung around with were also in the BOC groove, so it all came to be a natural following.
When the boys came to our area (I believe it was only the 6th. time they had played in Illinois), My friend " Moose" (the worst juvenile delinquent you'd ever want to meet... AND, who coincidentally dragged me into a lot of his situations) had invited me to go with him to the show. We purchased our tickets at the local Head Shop " Swollen Head" records & tapes (&etc). I recall paying $4.75 General Admission.
So that afternoon, Moose and I, along with his cousin Eddie, drove to the show in Eddie's car, which was an old Chevy beater with 4 completely bald tires on it. The venue was only ~5 miles from home.
All my brothers friends showed up, but not my brother. He'd later said that he thought the show was for younger kids......???? So once we got inside, we hung with the older guys for the first opening acts. I remember seeing kronos's everywhere.
Some girl had must have spent days studding her pants and jacket with BOC logos. Everything seemed surreal, as this was my first concert, and the realization of the commonality had hit me.
After Joe Vitale's madmen exited the stage, Moose, Eddie, and myself started pushing our way up front towards the stage (Some things never change). Well, everybody else soon got the same idea, because during the entire BOC act, we were getting squashed nearly to death in the worst mosh I'd ever been in. It was so tight that I could have lifted my feet off the ground, and still not have slipped down.
The show sounded great. I remember getting goose bumps listening to what I was hearing. It sounded as well produced as their studio recordings, only the element of hearing it live, gave it a whole new feeling. Some of the things that really stood out were Buck in his white suit, and the 5 guitars. At the end of the show, Albert had tossed out a broken drum stick, which somehow I ended up with, but I gave it to Eddie after the show.
5 July 1975 was my first ever concert of any kind.
I was 18 and in the U.S. Army. I remember the line all the way around the block outside of the Paramount NW. I had 100 hits of LSD on my person... eating, selling and dropping some on the ground. I was as high as a kite... but in tune with every single note that was played by BOC.
The Paramount was the perfect venue for BOC... you could hear a pin drop from the top row. I remember Albert's little shorts... Buck's white suit. It was a scene straight out of the inside of the OYFOOYK album cover.
It was the most amazing thing that I had ever seen.... and nothing has ever come close since. Eric shooting a 6 foot long bolt of lightning out of his finger at the end of Flaming Telepaths.
I remember watching spec5 Hough inhale a whole freshly lit joint down his throat as the flashpots went off at the start of born to be wild. I remember being amazed at AB's drum solo and Buck's solo that went on for seemingly hours.
By far.... the night I would go back and relive if I had the chance. And for 20 years after that night... I preached what I had seen... until I found BOC on the internet.
After the show the trip back to Ft. Lewis involves a broken down Honda 500 (550?) stuffed in the trunk of a 66 Chevelle with 6 U.S. servicemen packed inside.
I can't remember the exact year but I think it was 1973 or 1974 in Cleveland Stadium. The event was called "The world series of rock" and consisted of several bands playing over the course of the day. BOC didn't headline (obviously) but played somewhere in the middle. I can't even remember any of the other acts.
A few years previous I got hooked on them after hearing their second album and they have been my number one band ever since. I've probably seen them over 30 times since, going to where ever they played within in about a 20 mile radius.
I regret that I've missed them several times in the past 10 years because I can't find anyone around my age (50) that will get off their dead ass and go anymore. Anyway... I was with 2 other diehards at that concert (which are the same 2 that have gone with me to all the other shows).
We were initially in the upper nosebleed section (stadium seated about 86,000) but when they came on we worked our way to within about 50 feet of the stage. The temperatures and women were very hot, we were very buzzed and for about 30 minutes I thought I was in heaven. To this day that type of setting gives me the most happiness.
If I only had a time machine that worked...
I'd never heard of BÖC until '74. I'd got heavily into Sabbath (still am) the previous year after hearing the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath album and had bought all the Sabbath back catalogue, and then my friend introduced me to BÖC by lending me On Your Feet. I then went out and bought the first three BÖC albums.
So I was quite heavily into both bands by the time gigs were announced at Newcastle City Hall late '75. First Sabbath in October and then BÖC in November.
The Sabbath gig was great. Everyone stood as soon as the band came on and remained so for the rest of the gig. The BÖC gig was great too but different. They started with Stairway to the Stars. Twice! The guitar started and then when the rest of the band were supposed to come in somebody didn't. They stopped, stared at each other and then started again. I'd never seen anything like it but then I thought, having not seen that many gigs, that maybe sometimes this happens. I've seen a thousand gigs since and I've never seen it happen again!
The other thing that was different was that before the first song was finished I'd been told by a bunch of old hippies behind to sit down. It seemed strange to me then to watch a whole gig sat down - and it still does. Great show though that got better and better as it went on. Maybe they were nervous? I think it was the first night of their first UK tour.
So there I was, a tender boy of nearly 15, going out to see the mighty BOC.
I had been lucky to date; a few Status Quo concerts (in the good old days of Caroline, Down Down etc) Dr Feelgood, Budgie, etc but nothing had prepared me or this.
My friend Mike had introduced them to me earlier in the year by virtue of a new album that he had picked up, On Your Feet or on Your Knees. He was 17 at the time and modelled his hair on Buck's, even attempting to grow the moustache. Over the course of the summer, we all but wore that album out. I had read reports that BOC did not consider it to be an adequate reflection of their abilities and were disappointed with the album. We thought it could not be bettered. For months we argued about who was Buck Dharma as we air guitared away in the bedroom and we raced into Manchester to get the tickets as soon as we heard that they were performing in the UK for the first time.
By this time I had picked up the first album and also Tyranny and Mutation, though for some reason Secret Treaties evaded me for some time. The following year I was sold my only bootleg album/EP In the Mouth or on the Ground (though I don't recall my copy having this title); it did though have the rawest version of Red and Black that I have heard.
I didn't see the support band, which I see from the gig list was Birth Control. In those days, it was not considered cool to see the support, unless you always knew and appreciated their stuff. Instead we went to the bar and had a few beers. We were in the stalls, probably about fifteen rows back but that did not matter as we would just make for the front as soon as the band appeared.
After the customary shouting during the interval, the lights went down and to the cry of Manchester, on your feet or on your knees for the amazing Blue Oyster Cult, we were up and forward. I recall it was a bit of a crush but do not remember too much more about the opening couple of songs. I really came alive at Harvester of Eyes, which was one of my favourites.
Must admit, I cannot remember Candy Store, but the sublime and beating Cities on Flame was superb before the fantastic Ain't got you (Maserati GT) and the playful Buck's Boogie. We had practised this so many times, we just joined in on our air guitars. The sight of Buck stood there in his white costume may appear theatrical these days, but he held that audience in the palm of his hand and he was without doubt the world's greatest guitarist.
The lasting memory though was the one we had been waiting for all night; all five on stage playing guitar together. Yes the inside cover of OYFOOYK may look slightly surreal but this was the real thing, no doubt about it.
The encores were all too short; the night could not possibly end, though we knew it had to eventually. I had been on my feet all night; now I was on my knees before the mighty gods of rock.
The end of 1975 and the Liverpool Empire have great memories for me. First of all, on September 14th I saw Alice Cooper there - the Empire was reportedly the only provincial UK venue which was big enough for the Coop's stage set and then on November 22nd I saw Blue Öyster Cult.
Alice's gig was sold out, BOC's wasn't, but there's no prize for guessing which show had the biggest effect on me.
Earlier that year, "On Your Feet" had finally come out - it had seemed an age since "Secret Treaties" and Max Bell of the NME had been teasing us with reports of an double live album which would kick the Who's "Live at Leeds" into touch. Do you remember old Max? He did some sterling work on behalf of the UK BÖC community plus he was a big fan as well, and it showed.
"On Your Feet" though made a seriously deep impression on me - at last, I was able to hear what they sounded like live... I thought it was the greatest thing I'd ever heard. I loved the vibe - from the lyrics which got me reaching for the dictionary and the aspirin in equal measure to the enigmatic Gothic cover and centrefold of the 5 guitars on the altar playing to the hooded masses (a pretty amateurish cut and paste job when you look at it now - it was "pp", after all ("pre Photoshop") - but then it was the coolest thing I'd seen. Sabbath could bugger off - this was the real thing.
When we heard they were coming to Liverpool as part of a small UK tour, we couldn't believe our luck. I just knew I wouldn't be allowed to go another city on my own so this was too good to be true. Me and my mate Ridgey got our tickets - front fecking row, no less and on November 22 we set off, armed with the crappest instamatic camera in the known universe and an unfaltering - though ultimately baseless - trust in the abilities of our pack of flashcubes. Do you remember flashcubes? They'd illuminate anything you pointed the camera at - providing it was no more than two feet from the lens. But we didn't know that then.
A quick anonymous phone-call to the local hotels told us they were staying at the Liverpool Holiday Inn so we wandered over there to wait. I was wearing my home made BÖC T-Shirt - the kronos symbol was actually half an "i" and an upside down "c". In a dark room, you'd think it was pretty good. In a room with a bit more light in it, Ridgey had earlier taken one look at mine, and decided smart casual was going to be his look for the day.
We had no joy at the hotel and after a while decided to head on over to the Empire. There, we hung around outside getting colder and colder - that bloody T-shirt was a big mistake - and watched the crowd build up. Looked a LedZep/Quo/Sabbath collective - a mixture of denim and Afghan coats, and the Patchouli fair took your breath away. And they - we - were all so young!! Little did I realise then but these were the people who were going to age with the band.
We went to hang around the stage door as the Cult finally rolled up and we got a couple of pics - we gave a Buck a Liverpool football scarf and he sort of looked at us with a "what the feck are you giving me a scarf for?" type expression. I think we were hoping for an onstage: "I'd like to thank the people who gave me this little scarf - I'll keep it and cherish it forever" but if so, we were disappointed.
Anyway, after a swift drink we finally got in to the Empire Theatre and claimed our front row seats and waited. The stage set looked portentous - two massive backdrop sheets hung down featuring the Gawlik first LP cover artwork, and, in between, a raised drum dias with Albert's kit in front of the biggest gong I'd ever seen.
Then the lights went down and we held our breath - shadowy figures came on stage to pick up instruments plus one small figure all in white - hard to sneak on stage in the dark if you're dressed like Alec Guiness's Man in the White Suit, Buck mate. It would have looked more impressive if they hadn't then spent a minimum of two minutes or so fine-tuning but finally there was a hush and a roadie invoked us to assume either a standing or kneeling position (apparently it was optional) and - BAM!! There they were belting out Stairway to the Stars.
This was fantastic. Eric dressed in sort of black satin pyjama get up, shades glinting menacingly, Buck in a white jumpsuit, Joe shirt open and brother Albert in his "heaven" gear - leather shorts and open leather jerkin. Allen looked a bit like he was attending a cocktail party, thigh-length leather jacket, leather trousers, white deck shoes - definitely too hip for the room. He played like that too, I thought. He's always been a bit of an enigmatic figure for me ever since. I'd love to see a proper interview with him sometime.
No gap between songs - it was straight into OD'd and it was great to hear them doing songs that weren't on OYFOOYK - we were both hoping for Telepaths and Astronomy ideally - how they missed the cut for OYFOOYK was a big dish of ointment to us, I can tell you.
Harvester followed - seemed a bit slower and more solid than I'd heard before. Next up - deep joy - Telepaths. It was a privilege to hear my absolutely favourite song in the world done live - the keyboards and guitar in that just do it for me every time. I loved that great echoing laugh tape playing as it built up at the end - and it was fantastic. But would it lead into Astronomy?? - we didn't know then that they don't do those two together live... Well, no, but it lead to the next best thing: a great "Last Days of May" introduced by Eric saying "Very glad to be here - Liverpool's a big town for Americans, y'know..." Hmm... You should try living in it, mate..
Though it was great to hear, this Last Days version didn't quite match up to OYFOOYK's one - mind you, that version is probably the best that it could possibly be so it's no wonder, but Buck seems to like to go for a wander during these solo bits - it's unlikely to be the same thing each time so that's why he should tape every gig - you never know when some amazing sequence is going to manifest itself.
Next was Before the Kiss - is Conry's Bar still open, by the way. It was back then - this was great - this version seemed faster, a bit less relentless than the record - a driving wall of guitar sound with a brilliant middle section which just shifts emphasis without warning to take you unawares.
I can't honestly tell you what followed next - it was 2/3 minutes long, consisted of a bass run, hihat and snare rhythm - punctuated by echoey bluesey guitar fills. Albert was snarling out some very echoey lyrics over this and it built to a head - and then stopped suddenly. Bolle Gregmar of the Fan Club has identified a song on other dates of this tour as "Candy Store/Red Light". I've bowed to his starry wisdom on this one because buggered if I know what it was.
"And now... the main event" a maniacal echoing laugh and we're into Cities on Flame. Albert was brilliant - he put everything into it and we loved it. Buck was especially great on this at the end with Eric bashing the cymbals on the podium.
"That was Albert Bouchard on the vocals... and Eric Bloom on the flying drumstick..."
They wandered into Maserati GT next - I say "wandered" because the very beginning was a bit messy but then it got really good. Then it hit the Buck solo bit where Mr D attempted to make as many strange noises as he could to a hi-hat beat laid down by Albert. The crowd joined in in a semi-slow handclap - no, it wasn't in protest, just a desire for interaction but then when the beat wandered about a bit, the handclap sort of tried to keep up, and then petered out and even at my tender young years, I didn't think this the best thing I'd ever heard. This struggled on for a minute or two more and then went straight into a fantastic Buck's Boogie. This really picked the show back up, and Allen Lanier was particularly good I recall. There were Buck solo's throughout this also of course but the beat was always solid.
And then we hit the drum solo...It was keyed into the lighting well, - any epileptics in the audience had it bad for a few minutes, I can tell you - and it was as good as drum solos get, plus I like Albert as a drummer but I am not now nor have I ever been a fan of drum and bass solos. They just kill the momentum of the show. At least we hadn't yet had a bass solo...
"Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!", dropping bombs and wailing sirens introduced Me262 which kicked off at a fair old rate but soon transformed into a festival of self-indulgence which at times slowed the show down to a real crawl and at other times looked and sounded great. First there was some laid back "stereo" guitar swapping (a la Thin Lizzy) during which time the tune meandered about all over the place for a while. Some of it was technically brilliant - there was one bit which built up faster and faster into a crescendo of echoing sound only to fade gently away...
Then THUD!! - the dreaded bass solo, but it didn't last long (especially when compared to later gigs) and Buck quickly joined in. I remember how I was still hoping for Astronomy at this stage and was worried about the amount of time left.
Then things changed as, in a manner reminiscent of a goalie running into the opponent's penalty box towards the end of a game, Albert popped up with a guitar to create that legendary force known as "The 5 Guitars". Wearing a black top hat and having also scored a pair of trousers from somewhere so didn't look quite so casual as he did on the OYFOOYK centrefold, Albert's emergence snapped a jigsaw into place and we had an electric version of duelling banjoes. This bit was just like the record and at last we had an idea of what was going on visually onstage during that part of the track. Me262 built up to it's climax and then they were off.
Cheers, shouts and stamping on the echoing floor brought them back: "We only have time for one more...." Oh no - only one!! What would it be? Would it be Astro - "this is off our live album and is sung by Mr Joe Bouchard..." Oh well, at least Hot Rails is a brilliant track to end on and this was a great performance of it. Then it was "Thank you and Good night..."
We fled out into the night, ran like buggery to the Holiday Inn and caught them arriving - got a picture of me with Eric and Allen outside, got my (by now a bit creased) Secret Treaties cover signed and finally went home to bed. Do Cultoids dream of eclectic sheep? I can't say, but that night the world was mine - all mine. Blue Öyster Cult had played the Liverpool Empire. And they didn't know it - but it was all for me. Just for me.
Oh yeah... and for Ridgey too.
I remember this show pretty well. It was New Years Eve. We drove for about two hours to get to the show and then waited in line for aboout another six hours. Back in those days Blue Oyster Cult used to sell out large arenas especially on Long Island, being that they're from Oyster Bay Long Island.
Back in those days they also used to have what they call " General admission Concerts" - there was no pre-assigned seating. So everyone would rush in and pack the area in front of the stage.
When the lights finally went out for the show to start every one was pretty psyched. Then this guy with an acoustic guitar comes out and starts playing this lame folk sounding stuff. He didn't last long - people started throwing things at him and half way through the second song he left (Thank God) It was not the right place for that type of music.
Then I see this fat silhouette walk on stage and he just started ripping at the guitar. It was Leslie West - I believe the other guitarist with him that night was from Spooky Tooth. They were great, although I don" t remember what they played.
Then BOC played. I would have to say back in those days one of the highlights of the show was the five guitars. You know when Albert Bouchard would put down his drum sticks and pick up an axe. It was like a wall of sound. I seem to remember that Last days of May was especially hot that night.
Then Kiss played. This was in the height of their Kiss Alive days with all the make up and blood and fire etc... They basically played the live album.
Well it was a great show all around and just the beginning of a long list of Blue Oyster Cult shows for me.
My first BOC show. It didn't happen. Last days of May, 1974.
Rain all day. No gear onstage. No one telling anyone anything. Finally, some dude came out onstage with a bullhorn, and announced the show was cancelled. It was Boz Scaggs, BOC and ZZ Top. I was so ready to see this band. Things quickly turned into a mini riot. Concession stands trashed, bottles thrown, cops injured, stage ripped up, people arrested. Shit. As I'm going to work the next morning, there's the newspaper on the kitchen table. "Irate Rock Fans Battle Police." Being Death Moans, Io-DUH, the paper had treated it like Altamont. Mom was looking a bit weird, when I noticed yours truly was in the picture, right there on page 1. heh heh... oops. As if that wasn't bad enough, I'm on page three also, although you can't see my face. Off to work as a stock/delivery boy for a Jewish grocery I go.
So several years ago, sitting around the folks kitchen with my near-wife, visiting for x-mas, a few unflattering stories of my youth are told, and of course, up came the concert incident. Lots of snickers and such, as mom quietly walked out of the kitchen. I just about shit all over myself when she came walking back in with "THE PAPER." Over 20 years later!! She kept it all this time!! I was speechless. Yes, I have it here with me, and some day I'll get it scanned.
And now, redeemed....
About a year later, and I am totally frustrated I have not seen the band that so totally changed my musical life. Finally, a show somewhat nearby. Waterloo, IA. McElroy Auditorium. Angel, Rush, BOC, and Aerosmith. Ticket like 8.50. Yeah. I had completed my ascention into total outcast with the acquisition of a brand new Ford Econoline van. First year with the extended snout. Metallic blue. Big six, and three on the tree. Craig Powerplay 8-track, and 4 Jensen 6x9's in a box bolted to the ceiling 2 feet behind the seats. Box of hard jams. BOC, Budgie, and early Aerosmith.
No one wants to go with me? Fine. More herbage for me. Doing the things back then that we couldn't possibly get away with now, off I went with several fatties and a cooler of Coors (getting Coors in Iowa was a big deal back then). I was pretty baked by the time I arrived, but then so was everyone else. I remember lots of cops, but they were being very mellow.
Kinda hung back for Angel. All I can remember about them are the brilliant white suits they wore, and hair to die for (back then). I was really psyched about Rush too, and used the power of the fattie to worm towards the front. I recall (barely) that raw set really kicking ass.
I decided I was close enough for BOC, and decided to save the last spliff for later. So the time draws near. This band of great mystery and power. Of such beguiling lyrics, and fire-breathing intensity. That had nearly fractured my skull with the opening salvo of TR&TB off T&M. Would they just run out and sacrifice a cow or something? Would the entire stage be ablaze before it was over? Imagine my reaction to this little dude in a white suit just calmly walking out and proceeding to shred, just sagely nodding, while a leather-clad EB snarled away at the crowd. It took a couple of songs for me to recover from my puzzlement, and get into it.
I'd never seen a drummer like Albert, and he wasn't what I expected live. Joe was just pumping away, and Allen looked like a caricature of Spy vs. Spy. Nothing I was seeing was what I expected. I remember being totally stunned at the end of their set. The most mysterious band of my life, which had set the hook with the early albums, had now buried it as to where it could never be extracted. But then, most of you understand that.
Aerosmith absolutely sucked. Terrible. And I was a big fan. I left after about three songs.
I have no earthly idea what I played on the way home, if anything. It was an hour and a half drive. But I clearly remember the trip. Last fattie blazing as I left Waterloo, down the highway I went. Crystal clear night. Shit eating grin. Suddenly, on the horizon, I think I see a train moving across the highway. I do see a train. Funny, I don't remember crossing tracks, and what the hell is a train crossing doing on a US highway? I'm getting a bit freaked, when the road finally dips, and you notice the highway goes UNDER the tracks, which before appeared to be right in front of you. I no sooner went under the train, when the biggest, brightest shooting star lit the sky to a mid-day brilliance. What a night!! I tossed the rest of the doobie out the window, thankful the Coors had been finished in the parking lot with some other stoners, and concentrated on getting my ass home in one piece.
It wasn't until the Spectres laser tour the next year that it all became clear for me. Or did it?
My 16th birthday and my first concert. I was hooked on BOC since the first record and it was a great time to be a kid growing up listening to rock and roll. I remember going with my friend Henry Morgan and thinking how lucky I was to get my parents to let me travel from my small town of San Marcos to the big city.
The opening act was STARZ and I remember the big hair, glam suits and the song Cherry Baby which was getting a lot of air play on KISS FM. Oh, and I remember laughing my ass off when the lead singer was crooning on the edge of the stage and got hit the face by a hot dog. He flips the crowd off and everyone busts out laughing.
Then Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow takes the stage and we're sure it can't get any better than Ritchie and his little red wagon full of white guitars. But we were wrong my friends, because nothing prepared us for the spectacle of BOC and the amazing light and sound to follow.
And to quote Ed Thompson's letter (below) about that same tour "BUT... THE WRIST MOUNTED LASER THROUGH A SMOKY CONCERT HALL APPEARING TO ORIGINATE FROM A GUY'S FINGER KICKS BUTT!!!!" is an understatement. We were absolutely spellbound by the laser scattering off the mirror-ball. They were the first band to come to Texas that had lasers if I remember correctly so we were suitably impressed.
From the announcers declaration of "On Your Feet or On Your Knees, here they are the amazing Blue Oyster Cult" it was hands down one of the most memorable rock shows I've seen out of many. I saw them at least a dozen more times after that but that first one made me a fan forever.
Starz opened the show at Moody Coliseum. Moody is on the S.M.U. campus and tarps were used on the floor and it was usually general admission seating with no chairs on the floor. First come first served during a time when ones space was respected, and mosh pits were something where pigs wallowed. Being twelve at the time my memories are general but vivid. STARZ had big hair, posed a lot and were generally pretty cool.
RUSH was from another planet! I didn't quite get it and the silk pants and clogs were a bit much for my blue jean mind but they were awesome! I am still in love with RUSH to this day and wish I could hear a tape of this show. It was overwhelming. In all fairness about the silk pants thing, look at the 2112 album band portrait and I'll bet even Alex Lifeson(Guitar God) laughs.
B.O.C was a sight and sound extravaganza. The stage presence of Eric Bloom, all in black with shades on and Buck Dharma, all in white was a great start. They were just cool as sh--!! I am sorry to say all I remember musically is that they played well.
This memory is one that is forever branded on my mind. Watching Eric Bloom point out and have what appeared to be a laser beam come from his finger was one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my life. I believe this was the first time I had seen lasers used at a concert. I remember two lasers moving from the behind drum riser and a grid type laser hi-lighted by all the smoke... BUT... THE WRIST MOUNTED LASER THROUGH A SMOKY CONCERT HALL APPEARING TO ORIGINATE FROM A GUY'S FINGER KICKS BUTT!!!!
The show ended with every member of the band out front playing guitar, which was also very cool!
This was what concerts used to be like and how I wish they still were today. All this for less than ten bucks and all the bands appeared to feel as though they were the luckiest people on the planet to be playing for us. What happened?
Although I have some very vivid memories of the concert, my normally excellent memory for details fails me a bit for a very simple reason: I had only heard of Blue Oyster Cult a few days before the concert, and had never heard any of their music. Although I had heard of Rush, I was similarly unaware of their catalog. On the other hand, Starz was getting a lot of airplay on a couple of local stations (including "The ZEW") with their song "I Pulled the Plug", which was obviously inspired by the controversial Karen Quinlan court case.
My most vivid memory of the Rush set is the very intensely focused fellow standing next to me, shouting "Anthem, Anthem!", as if by force of will he could bring about the commencement of this tune. Starz was excellent.
BOC was definitely memorable - in fact, this was the best concert I have ever seen, by an order of magnitude. Unfortunately, other than the opening number, "This Ain't the Summer of Love", I can't tell you what songs played during what were, visually, the most memorable parts of the concert. Since BOC songs up to that point tended to lack hooks, I had no idea what the names of the songs were until the next day when I rushed out and bought "Agents of Fortune". They definitely played "Don't Fear the Reaper", "ETI", "Astronomy", and "Born to Be Wild", "Flaming Telepaths", and "Buck's Boogie". I'm not sure about some of the obvious others, like "Stairway to the Stars" and "Cities on Flame".
I'm not sure which song they used for the Texas Chainsaw Guitar Duel, but it was really cool. One by one, they added guitarists (Joe Bouchard definitely traded his bass for a guitar in this), and the crowd went slightly nuts when Albert Bouchard jumped out from behind his kit and bounced up to the front of the stage with the other guys. Each one stepped forward for a solo, then Buck and Eric, who were on each end, stepped forward, crossed axes, did a couple of back-and-forths, and then raised the guitars, creating a sort of "metal Doppler effect", punctuated by a perfectly timed explosion.
The opening introduction was perfect, too. Starting from total darkness, the announcer intoned, "This ain't the summer of love, it's the summer of Blue Oyster Cult!!", and the flash pot/explosion was timed perfectly with the first note. At the front of the venue, where I was standing, we were temporarily blinded. Our vision returned to see BOC all in position at the mikes just as the vocals began. The guy next to me said, "Cool, where did they come from!?" the first two songs, Buck kept nodding his head in rhythm, with that slight, wry grin of his. This brought on the comment from one of the nearby concertgoers, "Man, he's freakin' me out!"
Aside from the assorted lighting effects, another very cool moment was when Buck sprinted across the length of the stage with the strobe lights. Everyone there also will remember the effect created when lasers were combined to create "smoke trapped in glass" effect just a few feet over the heads of the people on the floor.
The lasers seemed to be working perfectly. They were positioned just to the left and right of Albert's head. One was aimed at a crystal ball in the middle of the right side of the Coliseum, the other was oscillating right to left, and aimed at a crystal ball just opposite the other. When Eric sang Astronomy, his wrist-mounted laser was working perfectly, and my brother and friends farther back later exclaimed, "Man, did you see when the laser came out of his finger!?" He pointed it at the crystal ball on the right side, which was totally cool. It was a truly unbelievable sight in 1976, not that long after "Pong", and before "Space Invaders".
Eric: All black, with leather jacket
Buck: All white, of course, with white coat jacket
Joe: All black
Allen: Black pants, white shirt
Albert: White shirt, black pants and vest
Bob Seger opened for them, and he was awful!!! BOC was more than that.
I remember two things of that December 1976 El Paso show. The first one: the lead singer didn't sing any songs, not any word - he had some kind of problem with his throat. The drummer (Albert Bouchard?) sang all of the show and that was an incredible concert without the voice of Bloom( ?) ...I'm not sure of the names.
Second: The Finale was all guitars, five guitars on stage in one line and that was amazing (for a 17 years old teenager) - I wasn't a Blue Oyster Cult fan, but I can remember that they did a really great show.
In 1972, as a 12 year old, I got a copy of BOCs wonderful first LP, on 8-track tape. I wore it out. I was mesmerized.
I've bought every subsequent release (on vinyl) since. I don't rightly remember why, but I saw them live for the first time in 1977 (they played El Paso a few times previously).
Black Oak Arkansas opened, and I recall nothing, and didn't intend to. I came to see the greatest American hard-rock band, then and now. I couldn't wait for the show to start.
Intermission lights drop, the band darklit and in place, and Buck struts up front and center in his trademark white suit, to open with 'Stairway to the Stars'. I momentarily lost reality. I zeroed in on the sonic and visual euphoria I was now experiencing. Standing right there, 15 feet from the stage, I don't think I moved an inch for the next hour-and-a-half to come. Fantastic, the whole show. Since then, I've seen them, with the core lineup, at least 6 times, the last probably in the early-mid 80s.
Notable detail: This show was played at the ELP county coliseum, pretty much a shithole, even then. Acoustics be damned. I was close enough to the stage that I primarily heard the bands amps, avoiding most of the PA jet-blast bouncing back off the rear wall. Acceptable enough, with personal bias, of course.
I'm in my 60s now, cracks starting to show. I am prompted to submit this entry all these years later, as I just acquired a DVD copy of a live show they did at the O2 in London, 17 June 2017. I read that they played the entire first album, back-to-back, so I had to hear and see for myself. I hit the PLAY button and all kinds of memories came swirling back, almost to a fault. Forget about Eric's vocals; it's almost as if he's reinvented them. That they had the grace, and the audacity, to pull this off is commendable to say the least, especially for the two guys now in their 70s. I love it.
FF to 2020 and my favorite BOC releases for years now are Tyranny and Mutation, and Secret Treaties, no order, and the first LP right behind. I mentioned previously that I went to my first show to see 'The greatest American hard-rock band, then and now'. I say that based largely on the strength of the first three LPs, the 'Black and White' trio. They've since released some great songs, peppered throughout the years, but the first three are timeless in my mind... I listen to every song, never skipping to the next, and they always have that quality that you already know... at the Four Winds Bar.
The mystique never fades.
They have stood the test of time, no doubt.
My wife and I were married on April 6, 1977, and our first concert together was the Long Beach show, in Dec. I do believe, something like that.
Bought tickets at The Broadway, Ticketron. Black Oak Arkansas opened for BOC in Long Beach ...
I do remember someone throwing up a couple seats over from us and that the laser effects were awesome, I can still see the guy that upchucked just staring at the lasers, mesmerized .. LOL.
We were in the mezzanine on Bucks side. I also remember a very large Kronos being projected on the outside of the venue, was really cool.
Go Jim Dandy Go!
What I remember is very similar to Jon's description. The date of the gig was Dec. 2nd, 1977.
Masses of people descended upon the Long Beach Arena. We were searched at the entrance in a rather cursory fashion, so they didn't find our weed.
We sat up just above the bleachers on the right-hand side of the stage. The view of the band was pretty good, but nothing like being right in the Buck Zone.
I don't know if they used this trick at this particular show, but I would witness it twice before the 70s ended: A dim light was shone upon Allen, who noodled with his keyboard at low volume. The idea was to get the audience to pay really close attention to Lanier both visually and aurally.
Of course, since the light was very dim and the sound low, every one of the 14,000 or so people in the arena strained quite hard to see and hear him.
All of a sudden--KABOOM! A startling explosion went off, melting both ears and eyes. As soon as the explosion was gone, the band was on the stage, the stage lights were all up, and the PA was at full volume.
They were blasting a song (either D & S or RU Ready 2 Rock, I think) with unbelievable ferocity.
They were really loud that night and lived up to a description that I would see years later of them: " Fast, heavy and loud."
I do remember the laser show, and it was great. Eric had his wrist laser. He bounced it off of the mirror ball, which was a great effect.
I am a little cloudy on the event as we smoked a fair quantity of weed during the course of the show.
I also remember Black Oak Arkansas opening the show. They were not too bad. I liked seeing U.F.O. as the supporting act the next year better, but I guess that is a matter of personal taste.
Overall, I give the show 5 stars (out of five) or two thumbs up, whichever you prefer.
November 1977 - I was 17 and I just saw my first concert: Jethro Tull. Tull was my absolute favorite band so they set the bar for all concerts to come.
We had tickets for Blue Oyster Cult, coming up in another month. I wasn't very familiar with them yet, except of course Don't Fear the Reaper which was pretty ubiquitous at the time, and the live versions of Cities on Flame and ME262, which I had heard a few times on Beaker Street. My friend picked up Spectres, which had just been released, and they were playing Godzilla on the FM station. I had sent a self addressed stamped envelope to the BOC fan club and they sent me several pages of lyrics, primitively typed and photocopied. I was amused by such whimsical titles as "She's as Beautiful as a Foot" and "Harvester of Eyes". I distinctly remember reading the lyrics to "Cagey Cretin" and thinking "Whaaat the helllll..." But there were also titles and lyrics of deeper concerns, such as Astronomy and Flaming Telepaths. I saw some pictures of them and they looked seriously cool. I was looking forward to this greatly!
A couple days before the concert KQRS 92.5 FM sponsored what was supposed to be a spectacular laser light show off the roof of the IDS tower in Minneapolis, using BOC's 3 lasers synched to music broadcast from the station. You were supposed to park in designated parking lots, with a view of the skyscraper. It was about 20 below that night. I remember parking in this park, along with hundreds of other cars, waiting for this amazing show. The DJ announced it, the music played, and one weak dim spotlight appeared at the top of the building, pointing at the ground. Half an hour went by and nothing else happened. I don't remember if anyone ever came on the radio to tell everyone to go home or not, but it wasn't until the next day that we heard that the lasers were water-cooled, and it was so cold that 2 of the lasers froze and broke. Great, thanks, that means BOC had to do the show with only one laser. The newspaper ran a comic showing the IDS Tower with a light beam spelling out "Suckers".
I think The Rockets opened. I was pretty disinterested, but I do remember them so they must have been ok. They had a minor hit at the time with Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well". I just remember straightforward hard rock and ripped jeans.
Next up was Black Oak Arkansas. They were very entertaining!
Finally BOC takes the stage. I think they started with R U Ready 2 Rock, but I was so unfamiliar that I'm not sure. I mostly had to piece it together from memory afterward as I started collecting their music. I'm sure that the setlist published on this website is incomplete because I know they played ME262, Cities on Flame and Last Days of May and they aren't listed. I'm sure there were others too. I remember Eric Bloom shot something from his wrist (a laser?) up into the light rig and exploded a firework. Now it's a cat toy, but then it was a LASER! It was kinda cool, but if that's all they got to do with their one remaining laser it was pretty sad. Happily it was not.
The concert was filmed, with a pretty elaborate film crew and cranes and the works. They said it was going to be released as a movie but it never was. The DVD that comes with Some Enchanted Evening was from that tour but it wasn't this show. It sure doesn't do it justice.
Then came the highlight. In fact it was a highlight of my youth. I don't know if it was Astronomy or Last Days of May, but When Buck played his solo the whole arena was dark except a spotlight on him. As his solo intensified and the band started in a laser shot up from the back of the stage and slowly tilted toward the center of the arena and fanned out to cover a huge spinning mirror ball. The laser fractured into thousands of fragments that shot in every direction, occasionally catching you in the eye for just a split second. The visual and aural experience was incredible. You have to remember, this was 1977. The world was darker and blurrier back then.
So then I ran out and got On Your Feet or On Your Knees and everything else up to Mirrors when I sort of stopped, because the '80's.
How did it stack up to Jethro Tull? I couldn't choose a favorite. I dare say if I was more familiar with their music at the time of the concert I might have ranked BOC higher than Tull.
I saw BOC last week. It's not the '70's anymore, but they still rocked. Buck is still one of my favorite guitarists, not just because of his skill and talent but also his personality. My only disappointment was in the setlist. They focused almost entirely on Buck's songs. Eric sounded great on ME262 and The Red and the Black but he didn't really take the lead on much else. Maybe that's all he can muster. That's ok, I appreciate him sticking with it!
An eel is waiting under the train...
This show was only my 2nd concert, and I do remember that it was a birthday present (12th row!).
Rocket was a fairly 2nd rate band, too loud, but did a decent cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Oh, Well". Edgar Winter had a horn section, did a few good blues songs and a great "Frankenstein" to close.
Blue Oyster Cult came out and the sound was instantly more powerful and focused.
The highlight for me was the Golden Age Of Leather, where Buck played a beautiful solo over the ending (choral part), then a long jammed out Last Days Of May with the lasers decorating the back wall of the Ampitheater.
Hot Rails To Hell featured a Joe Bouchard bass solo. I remember (Buck?) someone pretty much ripping the strings off of their guitar at the end of the 5 guitar jam, or maybe Born To Be Wild.
I don't know why they did Going Through The Motions, maybe they thought it would be their next hit?
My first Blue Oyster Cult show changed my life. My very first concert at age 14 was KISS in 1976 and that started it all for me. But this BOC show topped that by a mile.
The one thing I will never forget about this show was how stoned I was. I had smoked some very powerful weed before the show and I barely remember the first act, who happened to be Be Bop Deluxe (I like them a lot now. Bill Nelson was very cool! Great songwriter and guitarist). The crowd seemed kind of quiet, but then again my mind was in a different dimension at this time. I think the crowd got louder towards the end.
At the end of Be Bop's set my high school friends who were with me were laughing and making faces at me because, apparently I was just sitting there in a stoned trance staring at the stage after the house lights went on. It was kind of embarassing but funny too. Ahhh...those stoned high school memories. As I slowly started coming back down to earth, BOC hit the stage all guns blazing. They blew my mind!! Buck Dharma's guitar playing just burned a hole right through me.
I had just started playing guitar 2 years earlier and I just knew this guy was going to be my guitar hero forever (and he still is). And the Laser Show. FUCKING AWESOME!! I had never seen anything like it. I had a seat on the floor about 20 rows back and it was perfect for this amazing "spectrecal". Another highlight was the 5 guitar jam and Albert Bouchard's drum solo in "Godzilla" ( I think he is one of the best and most underrated drummers in rock).
Eric was very cool with his shades, leather and laser ring (way cool!) pointing at the huge mirror ball hanging from the top of that old hockey barn. Joe Bouchard rocked with his solid bass playing and great bass solo. And Allen was in great form switching from keyboards to guitar with ease. And of course, (Don't Fear) The Reaper was just earth-shattering, Buck's guitar notes just flying at me throught the laser light. To me "The Reaper" is the best rock song ever written. I had smoked some more of that dangerous weed (especially to a 15 year old) during BOC's set, but this time it just made me feel those wonderful sounds even more. I would have to say it was the best concert of my life (and I've been to hundreds of concerts).
In the last 29 years of being a mega-BOC fan I have seen them live over 40 times. Rarely have I been disappointed (expect for the time I saw "Two Oyster Cult" at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA back in March of '86 during the dreaded Club Ninja Tour, mainly because I found out Joe Bouchard was no longer in the band). I still think they are the best band on the planet and they (especially Buck Dharma) have been a huge influence on my music since then.
I play B.O.C. almost everyday of my life and I never get tired of them. I will see them this March in Agoura Hills, CA. I can't fucking wait!!!
Long Live BLUE OYSTER CULT ****** On Tour Forever
I am 54 years old and I remember sitting front row for the March BOC Concert at the Music Hall in Boston Mass. My recollections of this concert are a little hazy but I do remember the laser show and how people stood up and stared directly into the laser. I was always so nervous at concerts and this one was no different.
People rushed down towards the stage and they were asked to leave by security and I remember crazy fans looking at me in my front row seat and giving me the look of death these people were crazy no doubt. BOC was mezmerising and put on a great show and I have been a fan ever since that concert.
They played Godzilla for an encore selection and they had a Godzilla creature behind the band it was awesome. Well I know this recollection is lame but my mind is fried and I am lucky I can remember anything at all.
The first time I saw BOC was in May 1978 at the Hammersmith Odeon (as it then was) in London. I had been the only BOC fan in my school for the previous couple of years, pretty much since Agents of Fortune. I saw it as my responsibility to spread the word of "The Cult" to my fellow school mates, who were a fairly mixed bag of greasy headbangers and disco heads. (No girls, I went to a Boys school for my sins!) I managed to persuade, cajole several of my school chums that we should all pay the £3.50 or whatever it cost and catch the mighty BOC at the Hammy.
When we all arrived at Hammersmith, there were a few people hanging around outside flying BOC balloons which I thought was both cool and odd as I didn't recognise the logo. I later found out the BOC was in fact the British Oxygen Company rather than the world's greatest Rock'n'Roll band.
Japan were the opening act and were pretty badly received. They had just won some award (Arista New Band of the Year) and they managed to get the opening slot for BOC. Anyway, the BOC audience were not receptive to Japan and I seem to recall items being thrown on the stage, fruit and vegetables. (Why do people bring their grocery shopping to gigs?)
Now the only question mark is the date. I thought my first BOC gig was 3 May 1978 because they didn't play Hot Rails to Hell that night and apparently did the following evening. (One of my school chums managed to persuade his folks that he should go two nights in a row - I could barely get the cash together to do one!!) He told me they played Hot Rails and knew that would wind me up as it was my fave BOC song at the time (that and Dizbusters!) My doubt on the date though is the fact that the Hot Rails site has them listed as playing Golden Age of Leather and I could have sworn that I have never heard this song played live. (Someone somewhere must have a tape!)
Anyway, highlight of the gig (apart from the amazing laser show) was Astronomy. They could have left out the two covers (We Gotta... and Kick Out The Jams) and played a few more originals but as it was my first show I wasn't complaining. Back in the midsts of time, I even had a photo from this show but I was so far back and my camera was so crappy you couldn't see whether it was Blue Oyster Cult on the stage or The Smurfs. The photos have long since disappeared.
I remember going to this concert. I was seventeen, and rabid about the Cult in the way that only seventeen year-old boys can be. I was so excited about going (and worried about being disappointed) that I couldn't keep out of the toilet for the whole day before the gig. Here's some of my strongest memories of the gig:
Buying the programme (which seemed expensive at the time) and being disappointed that it was very nearly all pictures. Also bought badges and a t-shirt (sadly, the design - black on silver - faded away after a few washes). I enjoyed Japan, who were not the smooth sophisticates of later years but kind of kicked ass. Their opening song was 'Love Is Infectious'. I also remember 'Communist China' and 'Suburban Berlin' (which had an accappella intro that really wound up the audinece) from their set. They were heckled and jeered, but I liked them and their attitude. I was pleased that they went on to achieve success.
BOC - I remember them hitting the stage with 'R.U. Ready 2 Rock' and being struck with how short Buck was. As the other reviewer noted, he was wearing his white suit, with outrageously huge flares, and had very long hair. Eric in leather trousers (of course), red t-shirt and black waistcoat.
The intro to 'Harvester of Eyes' (which I think was the second song) - Buck's head bobbing along with the riff.
'Cities on Flame' - Buck doing the widdly-twiddly solo guitar bit and milking it for every last bit of feedback and applause. Eric doing his drum-majorette impersonation and bashing one of Albert's cymbals during the coda to the song.
Joe's bass solo during 'Summer of Love' and Albert's drum solo during 'Godzilla' - I remember that neither solo really impressed me, and I wished we could have had another song or two instead. Same goes for the five-guitar bit - kind of cool but just a gimmick really, and seemed to go on and on and on.
'ETI' was excellent - great riffing from Allen and much better than the studio version.
They played 'Last Days of May', not 'Astronomy'. I remember because it was my absolute fave Cult song and Buck gave a spoken intro over the opening chord sequence explaining the true story behind the song. It featured an extended guitar solo, just like 'Astronomy' on the same tour, with very similar laser effects.
'Golden Age of Leather' - great barbershop-style vocal intro, killer song. Shame they didn't perform this one more often after the 78 tour.
'Me 262' was lot tighter than on OYFOOYK, good sound FX.
'Born to be Wild' was kind of wild indeed, with the sawing guitar schtick and all. Eric's Harley didn't appear on stage in the UK until the 1981 visit (Donington etc....).
Encore was of course 'Reaper'. Beautiful song but not the best suited for live performance. I remember Buck's voice was rather weak on this, and Eric doubled up the vocals on some lines.
Other songs I remember - 'Hot Rails to Hell' and maybe (though I'm not totally sure) 'Kick Out the Jams'. Definitely not 'We Gotta Get Outta This Place'.
As I recall, Buck played a sunburst Les Paul, his white SG, and the natural wood SG (custom-built, I seem to remember reading somewhere) on 'Reaper'. His guitar tone was much more piercing and treble-heavy than on record. Joe played a big, heavy-looking Alembic bass. Eric used mainly a black SG, but did use his BOC logo shaped guitar on one or two songs. Allen flitted between guitar and keyboards all night. As I recall, he used a Les Paul for his rhythm parts.
This was about the third or fourth gig I went to, and it still stands in my memory, 26 years and hundreds of bands later, as one of the very best. I saw the Cult again on the last date of the 78 tour, two nights in 79, 81 at the Venue and Donington and 84/5? on the 'Revolution by Night' tour, and this one was outstanding. The band were at a commercial peak, were confident and awesomely tight, and Buck's playing blew my little mind. The laser show was beautiful, but I didn't miss it at all when they came back in 79 without it.
This review is from the 24 year memory of a 14 year old short-arse (the ones that can be Soooo annoying now at gigs running around your knees !!). I hold no responsibility in it's accuracy (or others that I submit) for reasons that I will explain.
Firstly, this gig was the first that I had ever attended - unless I count seeing 'Mud' mime to few songs once with my dad. Etched firmly in my memory until I came across the BOC web-site was that BOC played 5 nights at Hammersmith in May & returned triumphantly for a further 2 nights in June '78. How accurate is that !!.
Without having my ticket stub ( £ 3.00 or £ 3.50) to refer to, I believe that I went to the second London show, because of one of our crowd commenting that one of his mates went the night before (& said that Japan went down quite well - more in a bit !)
Anyway 5 or 6 of us made our way by Tube from Upminster to Hammersmith (30 odd stops) & made our way to the Odeon. We bought posters (£1.00), programmes (£1.50) badges (50 p) etc. but unfortunately, in my case, no T-shirt. We were in the Circle about row G or H - a bit to the left of the stage. Great view for 'men' of our height.
For our first concert attended, we didn't know the protocol about hanging in the bar & stayed to watch the support act. Well on this night, Japan went down like the proverbial Lead Balloon. Song titles I remembered were 'Communist China' & 'Adolescent Sex'. They were more guitar oriented than in their later years, but the singer (Dave Sylvian) already had very distinct bleached blond hair. Anyway the crowd booed & heckled every song & the set finished (early - I think) with Dave Sylvian just unclipping his Sunburst Les Paul, letting it drop to the floor & walking off. If this happened at the first London show, then that was the one I was at & not the second.
We stayed in the circle throughout the break except for the necessary pee excursions due to the vast quantities of cider (alright, coke) drunk. We gasped in awe when the safety curtain came down, what could be going on behind that? Awesome & that's just the break.
The auditorium started to fill, the lights went down & yes, on strode the Cult. I can't remember the set-list. Up to this point I had only heard OYFOOYK, DFTR (single) & some of Spectres.
I'm sure that Buck wore his legendary white.
Definitely played in no particular order were:
R U Ready to Rock as the opener & we were off into ecstasy
Godzilla - Lizard Mask, drum solo et al.
DFTR, Born To Be Wild - Crossed guitars & did Eric ride a Harley onto the stage?,
Cities - with Buck's pause to take in the adulation of the crowd.
5 guitars & bass solo
Golden Age of Leather - raising our imaginary beer
I can't remember if Astronomy or LDOM were played or even both, just that with the lasers we were into our umpteenth orgasm. The lasers pointed at the mirror-ball scattering like stars - which makes me think it was Astronomy.
Harvester of Eyes, which I remember had a different ending (to the OYF. Version) & probably very soon after discovered was the slower Secret Treaties ending after buying the LP (with Red label & coloured inner sleeve).
During the concert a vivid memory was of an apparent madman in a white lab-coat, looking a bit like 'Jesus', racing around at the front & to the right of the stage. He was, as legend goes, an absolute BOC fanatic. Does anyone know of this man - or is it a distorted myth?
When the concert ended, as you can imagine, we were riding on adrenaline. We probably didn't stop talking all the way back to Upminster & when the return date was announced, eagerly got hold of our tickets.
The early summer of 78 was the hottest I can remember. An exciting time for me - I'd just left school, got my first job and Scotland about to play in the soccer World Cup. Expectations were high for that one. And to top it all BOC were coming to town due to public demand for an extension of their Euro tour.
I suppose 31st May that year was a turning point in my life. Although I was a big fan and had all BOC's records up till then, this was my first chance of seeing them in the flesh. This night launched "My Big Interest" that will continue 'til the band retires and probably well beyond.
Two schoolmates and myself wangled tickets for the front row of the balcony in Edinburgh Odeon - we wanted a great view of the lasers as well as the band- and we weren't to be disappointed! After cadging a lift on the local school bus (most high schools were taking busloads of kids due to BOC's popularity) we arrived very early to see a huge queue into the venue. Obviously a sell out show! The merchandise stand did a roaring trade that night - £3.00 for a T shirt, £1.00 for a poster. I bought one of everything!
Japan gave a fairly good performance as openers but were duly booed off stage by those who thought it was hip to do so.
A little later, and with the road crew providing the entertainment (have you ever seen a roadie climb a rope to such a precarious position, 30ft up, to slightly adjust a light?) The opening music started up. Something by Wagner I think, maybe Das Rheingold? Stirring stuff! BOC were prowling the stage in the dark and doing the last minute tuning etc. Buck in white suit and black shirt, Eric in mirror shades, black leathers and wearing a BOC 78 World Tour shirt. Can't recall the others.
Opening song was RUR2Rock (much better than the studio version) followed by great use of Eric's wrist laser in ETI. Both were given a rapturous response by the fans. Harvester and Cities on Flame followed - Albert always brought this song alive! Eric then told us that the show was being recorded for a Live album, which lifted the crowd's spirits even further.
Highlights for me were Golden Age (good sing along by the fans) and Astronomy (with mirrorball laser antics from Eric). Great versions! AND two surprises in We Gotta and Kick out the jams. Strangely, they didn't play Last Days on that last day of May. Great drum solo from Albert complete with Lizard Head and strobe lighting and synth drum. Joe's bass solo led into Summer of Love and the 5 guitars - incredible. Born to be Wild ended the show with the amazing vision of crossed guitars and smoke / lasers in overdrive. Yep, pretty wild.
Encore- well, despite calls for more, we only got the one. Reaper was riding high in the UK charts at the time and the crowd wouldn't have left without hearing it. They went down a storm! Eric and Buck said their goodnights and Buck added "we hope you win the world cup". Well, we Scots know what happened then....out in the first round.
This was the first Live Concert I'd been to by any band and it was a lucky start. This remains as my favourite rock show of all time as it was a great visual and sonic experience, one I'll remember forever. On the other hand, it has to be said that BOC are much better performers on a personal level now than they were then. Long Live BOC!
A year or two before this concert I started getting into music and going to concerts. By the time word of mouth spread about BOC tickets, there was some excitement if only because of the laser show (Tangerine Dream were the other band with lasers that came to Newcastle around this time - a very different show).
The City Hall, as the name suggests, is an old municipal hall, more suited for orchestral concerts, complete with a stepped stage for a choir and a magnificent old organ (which I've heard played a few times). It holds roughly 2500 people and used to be a regular venue on the UK tour circuit.
I wasn't able to get into an earlier show (30 April) but three of us managed to get tickets for the second show, a few weeks later. By then I had the Reaper single, which was issued to coincide with the tour, and had borrowed "On Your Feet" so that the music wasn't completely unfamiliar.
I think Japan were the support band and, although they went on to greater things, they weren't well matched to the City Hall audience. We were too young to get served in the bar so we probably hung around the merchandise stall out front until the support (and the heckling) had ended. We returned to our seats, two thirds of the way back and over to the far stage right, to wait for the lights to go down.
Darkness. Cheers. "Newcastle, are you ready to rock?" (or something similar - the memory isn't as sharp as it used to be), more cheers and off we go. Looking at the setlist from the web site, it looks like a pretty good show. Oh for a time machine to go back and see it again, or a box set of all the Some Enchanted Evening concerts from Sony/Columbia.
The highlights that I remember were R U Ready 2 Rock, just because good opening songs always got the City Hall crowd going, and the announcement that we were being recorded (which also used to happen a lot in Newcastle). And Eric and the Kronos guitar looked particularly cool.
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place was great, not least because of its existing association with Newcastle (the Animals were from Newcastle and did probably the best known version, though I'm sure you knew that already).
Godzilla was stunning, especially as the curtain of laser light descended into the crowd, and Albert's lizard mask (we came out of the hall thinking that record buyers would wonder why we were all cheering at odd points during the drum solo but, of course, it's edited out from Some Enchanted Evening).
Five Guitars. Well, we knew about it in advance but it was always a sight to see and a real rock and roll moment to boot. Brilliant. Then Born To Be Wild and the crossed guitars. Finish with Reaper for the encore and it's time to go home. I went in curious and came out a convert.
BOC played for 3 nights at the Palladium. I saw them on the first night. Apparently their equipment trucks were lost in transit and they had to play with support act Thin Lizzy's gear and to my immense disappointment - no lasers! Because of the truck problem the gig was many many hours late getting started.
I had seen Lizzy many times before and I didn't pay too much attention to their set. Garry Moore had replaced Brian Robertson and I think they had a stand-in drummer who went down very badly with the crowd. In fact Lizzy went down so badly that Eric Bloom came out on stage during their last number to sing along with them and try to rev-up the crowd. Phil was coolness personified as always and came out with the usual "would any of the girls like some more Irish in them?" rap. I also remember him covering the whole stage and walking in front of the PA
I was not familiar with any of BOC albums when I went to this gig but I liked very much what I had read about them and of course wanted to see some LASERS, man!
Here's what I can remember of the show:
I remember Eric at one stage while introducing a song, thanked Lizzy for the use of their gear and said something like "I'm not sure I can play this song without my Stun Guitar but I'll do my best." You have to laugh in retrospect with what we all know now about Eric's guitar playing prowess.
I was really impressed at how totally tight and professional BOC's playing was. They were outstanding from that point of view.
I was a bit puzzled by some of Eric's kind of hammy and corny arm gestures while singing - my perception was that he was trying to do some Frank Sinatra moves or something.
I remember Eric and Buck (?) doing a kind of lockstep duckwalk across the stage together which was pretty cool.
I remember Buck being dressed in a sort of proto-Miami Vice style outfit with a jacket and extremely baggy pants - this seemed like a very exotic fashion statement to me at the time - LOL
Highlight of the show for me was that at the climatic moment of Astronomy (I was familiar with that song for some reason) they suddenly turned off all the lights except for a huge mirror ball and the room was full of stars.
Oh, yeah - ASTRONOMMYYYYYYYYYY - woohoo!
The other thing I remember is the guy sitting in front of us turning around and giving us his squeegee bottle thing with a joint in it. These were common in NYC in those days - I think they were called Blasters or something. We were already well blasted of course but it would have been rude to refuse...
My final memory is that because the show was running so late I left before it was over and went home because I had to get up for work the next day - WTF was I thinking of???
A few weeks later I bought "On your feet on your knees" and the rest is history. The next time I saw BOC was London 2004.
My first BOC gig: (or, "What the Hell was I doing that Summer?")
At the age of 15, I took off from Big Bear (in the mountains of San Bernardino) with 2 other buddies for a BOC/ Cheap Trick/ UFO/ Pat Travers shindig in San Diego. The plan was to take 2 or 3 buses down there, but it wasn't long before things went haywire. At our first stop, (the Greyhound station in Redlands, IIRC) we were hoodwinked out of most of our cash by a so-called 'brutha', while attempting to procure some sticky buds. With about 10-20 bucks and 3 hits of Red Dragon LSD left between us, we decided to forego the formalities and hitch-hike down to San Diego. (about 150 miles to you, Jack)
Looking back, I am truly amazed to be alive, after this and so many other bouts with utter teenage stupidity & outright adolescent abandon.
Well, we made it down there alright. We had arrived the afternoon before, so decided to clear out a space in the bushes outside the stadium & "camp out" for the night. Several hundred bug bites and one bag of shelled & salted sunflower seeds later, it was finally Showtime! (and I'm certain we looked like a trio of garden-variety homeless mutts by that time) I don't remember a whole lot of details about the show. We dropped our acid on the way in, and it was in The Hands of The Gods from that point on. I DO remember sitting in the stands, looking down at the concrete between my feet and witnessing the extremely RAPID wanderings of about 100,000 imaginary, nearly microscopic, ant-like creatures. (moving about in extremely intricate patterns)
Soon after that little 'moment', I also saw something that I would never forget as long as I live, and this time it was NOT imaginary. Down on the grass, there was a large clearing blocked off for all of the security guards to gather & plan out their daily rounds. Well my eye was suddenly drawn to one particular yellow-shirt, mostly because he looked like the Samoan version of Sasquatch. Yeah, he was at least 6'7" and probably close to 400 lbs. That was certainly already enough to amuse me for quite a while, but when he went down HARD and started to flop around on the ground, it was honestly almost too much to bear. (pun intended) I almost freaked, because reality was beginning to sink in anyway; this behemoth was having a Grand Mal seizure, and our overall situation was not a promising one.
In case you're wondering, YES the music was entirely KICK-ASS, and every band there tore it up in a big way; it was just rather difficult to 'take it all in' so to speak.
Ed Lee and Tom Remlin? If you're out there, feel free to hop right into this tale anytime!
Thanks for listening, it's been many years since I even thought about this... (sorry, but there's no way I could remember the setlist)
My first BOC show was in 1979 in Sacramento, California at the summer Cal-Expo State Fair. It was an afternoon concert and the opening band had a female lead singer, but I cannot remember the name of the band. Cheap Trick was the second band on the bill, and a lot of people were wondering why they were not the headliner (Cheap Trick at Budakon was out at that time).
The concert was held at the race track and I estimate at least 35,000 to 40,000 people. Cheap Trick was very good, but BOC was super - they had incredible stage presence, and they played quite a bit from the Mirriors album (very under-rated album).
New Years eve of that year I saw them at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, opening acts were Gamma, and a band called STV. Now the songs played that night were - Mirrors, The Vigil, the Great Sun Jester, Dr. Music in support of Mirrors - I remember going with high schood friends and really enjoying it - one thing that stands out during the Vigil, is all the members were on stage with guitars and they turn the guitars around and mirrors were on the back and they were reflecting a beam of light off of them into the audience - very cool.
Boc has always been very good to San Francisco, in fact when you walk the streets of the city, you always see the Boc logo in the concrete - in the poor neighborhoods to the rich neighborhoods.
I first became a BOC fan back in 1975 with the Tyranny and Mutation album or in this case an 8-track. I would go over to this guy's (named Randy) house and we would jam in his bedroom. I remember he turned me onto Get your wings by Aerosmith, Volume 4 by Zeppelin and Tyranny by one BOC.
I recall thinking it was an odd but quite good album, I had never heard anything like it at the time. For Christmas I was rewarded by my parents with all 3 8-tracks! That led me to Secret Treaties and OYFOOYK and I bought the first album and Agents on the same night!
My Dad even had a novel way to get those 8-tracks for me as he told me that they were exchanging gifts at work and this young guy asked for those same three 8-tracks and Dad figured I would know where to find them and yes we went to the local store called "Budget Disco Tape" and picked them up! Right in front of me!
I had a next door neighbor who was very instrumental in what turned me on to music and as he had already turned me on to bands like KISS, Mountain, Atomic Rooster, Deep Purple, ect. Anyway he kept mentioning that I needed to hear BOC and something about Dominance and Submission and a Transmaniacon MC. I clearly became infatuated over the title TMC and would spend the next summer torturing local DJ's with my mispronunciation of that song!
I am a musician and have been one for over 45 yrs. Yes that dates me! I played drums and percussion back then and later switched to bass and guitar and everyone in BOC is a big influence on me, especially Joe and Buck. I learned a lot of those tunes inside out and could tell you when Joe would change his live bass lines from the studio recordings! I also liked the fact that BOC would not always do a song 100% like it was done in the studio, Dominance is a prime example of this, both live and studio versions are great!
Now we jump to September 1979, I seem to recall that it was a Tuesday night. A recent Harrisburg BOC show had been cancelled and the show moved to Memorial Hall in York, PA.
That show was to be on September 13th, 1979, I seem to recall that the York show happened a week after that, maybe two.
It was cancelled they say due to technical difficulties but the word on the street was that BOC did not move enough tickets to sell out the Farm Show in Harrisburg which holds about 15,000, so the show was brought to York, with the same opening band which was the local act Fly by night (they may have had an album out called Zoo Road).
Apparently to what I just read on the net, Ian Hunter was also scheduled to appear at the Farm Show with BOC and Fly by night. Upon learning that BOC were finally coming to York, Pa I went out and bought a ticket, which I may and I said may, still have the stub. I did write the set list down not long after the show but that is mostly not in order.
The day of the show I was riding a bus downtown and the bus turned onto what is the first block of West Market St. and walking to the right of the bus as it was now going East on Market was one Buck Dharma!
I am 90% sure it was him. I never saw a full front view, just a side view. He had the build, the hair, and just looked like Buck Dharma. He was wearing jeans and had one of those chains that you attach to wallets, I recall that clearly. Anyway, one reason why I never got a full front view of Buck was I recall that like me, he is a very fast walker! And he was also looking straight ahead and glancing at the stores and shops to the right of him, I don't recall him looking to the left just maybe glancing that way and it was never for long, just long enough for me to say holy shit!
And I do recall thinking, "that's Buck!" My Buck sighting was in the afternoon between noon and 4pm.
He was also walking East and the only thing that I can figure is that the band may have stayed at the Yorktowne Hotel which back then may well have been the best hotel in York.
That hotel is 9-11 stories high and was only a block away from where Buck was walking and he was in fact headed in that direction because the hotel sits on the corner of East Market St. and North Duke St.
The band would only need to leave the Hotel on Duke, go West on Phila. Out to Carlisle Ave. and turn right and 2 blocks or so and you are at the Fair Grounds. Now on to the show.
I got to the show a little early to get a seat. The show turned out to be a General admission show so there was no seats just concrete flooring. The hall holds about several thousand people. Once inside I began to look around for anyone that I knew. There were copious amounts of booze and pot. Some people had brought blankets and were sitting on these blankets drinking and smoking. I just kind of putzed around looking for someone that I knew. I seem to recall having a concern that there was going to be violence at the show as some of the people looked and acted rough.
The booze and the pot was not totally hidden from what I recall and I remember being surprised by that.
I finally spotted a guy I knew from a local church. His name was Lonnie and he was older than me by a year or two. Lonnie looked a lot like Eric Bloom and I used to tell him this sometimes. I started hanging out with Lonnie and his brother Bubba (Chris), Bubba was huge, 6'2" and thin, he had long unkept hair and looked like something out of the swamp or a southern rocker. Word was out that you never messed with Bubba in those days.Lonnie basically looked a lot like Eric did in 1979.
Suddenly it seemed like there were more and more standing and at one point there was a general rush towards the stage. We were about half way back and damn it but I wanted to be close to the stage. Lonnie said not to worry as we had something that most people didn't, we had Bubba!
And at one point we started to make our move through the crowd, when people turned to see who was barging through, they got a good look at Bubba who just grinned and the people parted like the Red Sea. Eventually we wound up about 10 ft from the firewall or barrier in front of Eric's mic stand.
Fly by night comes on and they weren't too bad but as time went on we all started getting restless and started to boo them! Chants of "BOC we want BOC!" arose from the crowd that was pretty much either stoned or drunk or both. I was high just from the smell that permeated the air inside. I recall Fly by nights songs seemed to get longer and just drag on which may have been the main reason why they got booed.
So Fly by night's set is done and they are switching over to the Cults set. I clearly recall this; standing in front of Eric's stage mic, go to your left and you had Allen's organ, then the piano beside that. On top of one or both of those keyboards was a portable synth (these were fairly new back then) then there were other keyboards scattered around Allan's area. There may have been the tri keyboard that they use at times; it is 3 keyboards that sit on a stand.
The drum riser was unique; I have seen KISS and others so I know that this was unique. It looked to be constructed out of plastic ice cubes. Stacked together kind of like a pyramid. I noticed that during the show sometimes the riser would light up all one solid color, green and orange stands out in my mind. But once in a while, there would be a chaser pattern happen with that riser, that is where all of the cubes have different colors assigned to them and they change constantly. This was done a few times during the show. I also recall that sometimes the riser lights were just off and then the cubes had a white\creme color appearance when they were not lit.
Everything else looked normal, I do not know if they flew the logo flag or not, like every other major Oyster fan I am psyched by that logo! Anyway to me it seemed that the Cult took a long time to come on stage, I'd say 20-30 minutes or longer and the crowd was starting to get restless.
There was no Godzilla behind them so I just figured that it would not fit inside the hall, but that is weird because at their 1983 show in the same hall I recall them using it!
There may have been a mirror ball suspended on the ceiling over the audience but I want to make it clear that there was no laser show whatsoever. That had been stopped earlier in the year if I memory is correct.
Minutes after the show started, I apologized to the guy standing right in front of me as I was literally standing on his back or felt like it! He was cool; he knew that we were being pressed together like sardines! I do not think this show was sold out and there may have been only 500 at the show. Bodies were being squashed and I felt that this was a safety issue that should have been addressed. It was hot inside. I cannot emphasize this enough; it was like being a Sardine in a can!
I must also emphasize the loudness! This show was loud and I have a vivid memory of that dammed bass hitting me in the chest! In fact everybody commented on this, I thought I was going to have coronary when I first felt it.
The lights went down, and I will never forget this, I could see Eric back by the amps holding a mic, it was dark but not pitch black. I could see Buck take his place in the middle and he had his one foot atop the monitor. Allen came out I think, I know Albert did. And then without them looking at each other or cueing each other in, they were on. That amazes me to this day.
To this day I cannot tell you if they were even introduced.
I have been a lifelong musician, played drums from the 60's up until 1980 when I switched to bass and guitar. I am currently semi professional. So I know about going on and opening up. And BOC they just started it without looking at each other! Keep in mind this song just starts, Albert has a slight lead in but it is damned slight.
Eric's look after the first number or two was leather pants, black shoes; a tee shirt and I think an open shirt. I clearly remember that he wore 2 necklaces around his neck, the Secret Treaties plane and possibly the Cult logo. The open shirt if I am correct was funny as I recall thinking; hey my Dad has that same shirt!
Albert may have been a nana second ahead, with the slice of a cymbal and it was not even a full beat! The band was on! The place was pandemonium like it was 10,000! And not 500! It took me 30 seconds maybe to figure out what they were playing.
I always like to play let's pretend I am writing the set list tonight. What do I want to hear and then I will approach it from the bands view point, what do they want to do or feel obligated to play. You'd be surprised how accurate I can be even with rare songs on occasion.
I realized that they were doing one of my favorite tunes by them and I had picked this as my personal wish for them to open the show.
I truthfully expected maybe Doctor Music or R U Ready but I was well rewarded with DOMINANCE AND SUBMISSION! I was trying not to shit myself! It was like all of those years spent of my imagining what BOC would be like on stage and there it was right in front of me!
Yes I do recall saying that they would open with Dominance and being rebuffed by Lonnie and his friends as this was a maybe but not a positive.
Eric was in leather, at least pants and yes he wore the long leather coat and I believe he had the whip! Joe was animated and ended up running over to Eric's side of the stage and jumping up and down like a Mexican jumping bean. At one point Joe broke a string and he and Eric were almost side by side, they looked at each other and Eric began to pull the string off the bass (either D or G if I am correct) but that didn't work so next Eric pulled one way and Joe pulled the other and after two attempts it came off! I think Eric threw it out to the crowd I don't recall.
I don't recall the exact running order of the set but I do know all of the songs they did that night. They opened with Dominance, Cities on flames, Eti, Hot Rails, ME 262, Doctor Music, The great sun jester, In Thee, Mirrors, The Vigil, Godzilla, The Reaper, Born to be wild and they may have done "You're not the one" but I am not sure about that. Here is what is notable and I wrote this set list down when I got home.
Dominance: Joe being animated, Eric in the leather coat with the whip, Buck I believe had on a BOC first album tee shirt and for this song he played a Gibson I want to say sunburst or gold top guitar. I am 95% sure that it was a Les Paul! I have seen him with this guitar before and since that show. I also have a similar Les Paul to the one that he played.
I recall thinking that I had never seen anybody with a band wear one of their own tee shirts and I thought it was kind of cool.
Eti: I seem to recall Eric, Buck & Allen, all three playing guitar, I don't recall if Eric played keyboards but going by the 2nd live lp. He probably did.
ME 262: This was the shorter 4-5 minute version; the Cult Classic version (many years later) always struck me as being reminiscent of this night's version. I was disappointed as it seemed to tag in at the 4-5 minute mark and there was no 5 man guitar jam! Damn!
Hot Rails to hell: A favorite of mine, Joe took a bass solo which I yelled out "fuckin ay! Joey!" Who simply nodded his head up and down a few times in acknowledgement. I remember being thrilled that he at least acknowledged that. Part of the bass solo reminds me of what would show up as the bass line in the verses of After Dark several years later.
Except during the solo, that part started and kept getting faster and faster.
Hot rails to hell Pt. 2: This is where they did the infamous 5 guitar jam at the front of the stage. Albert came out about two minutes into this and I actually thought he was Patti Smith at first! As he came out and was on my left (on stage far right) and it was a little dark over there and he wore a hat, a funny hat, possibly black I recall that hat and thinking "it's Patti Smith!" But of course it wasn't.
I do know that he wore a hat when he came out front. I don't think he had those awful shorts on! Yes Hot rails ran around 10 minutes that night due to the bass solo and the 5 guitar jam and yes I was rather shocked that, that is the spot where they chose to do that. Over on Jack and Alma's board when I gave out this gig info years ago, a lot of folks were taken aback but several people said that it did happen a few times, rare but it was used in Hot rails a few times.
I recall the attention to Mirrors from the band. They did 5-6 songs from that which surprised me. I was a little disappointed in that one of those was not "I am the storm"-now there's a way to open the show! They have did like 3 maybe 4 in a row from Mirrors, I seem to recall that from the Doctor to Mirrors.
Godzilla: This is notable for Albert's drum solo and he wore the Godzilla mask! That I will never forget! The lights went out and when they came back on, there was Albert with the Godzilla mask! What a hoot that was! Damn good solo as well!
The Reaper: This is a personal notable, I made sure to catch Buck's fingering as he started the beginning of the interlude. BTW he has since changed where he plays those same notes at today. I believe this is a 21st century addition.
Born to be wild: No bike, but they did do the Texas chain guitar Massacre that we all love so much and they may have had the mirrors or mylar paper on the back of their guitars.
I seem to recall the Eric possibly played an acoustic for the Great sun jester and In thee. I remember thinking at first that it was weird to see any of them with an acoustic on stage, but hey, they use em in the studio!
The show was over and we all left, I am not even sure how I got home but I did. I was babbling from all of the pot that I had inhaled 2nd hand wise and it was noticed.
In my opinion they were fired up enough and put on a damned good show!
I do recall hanging out for a bit after the show to wait for the band. I recall that several times (this was the first) that a woman, the same woman had come to the local BOC show and did her damnedest to get to the backstage area. I recall this show, that she may have driven a VW Bug and she had dark long hair and I always assumed that she was a groupy.
This show was almost a religious experience for me because this was my first BOC show period and I had been a fan of the band since 1975, Tyranny was my first BOC lp. That I ever heard. My top 3 bands were, BOC, Rush, and KISS (yes them). To this day BOC and Rush remain two of my favorite bands.
Luckily for my sanity one Joe Bouchard remembers this gig well enough and also recalls my "Fuckin ay! Joey" comment. I emailed him back in 1997 and he did say that, plus I still have that email reply from him if need be.
Please somebody else remember this gig! I was not the only one to attend, so someone must also recall this. I would ask Lonnie but I have not seen him in years but I do know where I can find him.
I will also search for my blue binder because that show is still in there!
I bought Agent of Fortune on cassette when it was released, and my mates and I had worked back through On Your Feet and the black-and-white albums, so it was great to have the band come visit so close to home.
It was a short trip on British Rail from Burgess Hill down to Brighton. A sparse crowd, so we were able to walk straight to the front row of the large Brighton Centre.
After the disappointment of the Mirrors release - at the time, it was tough to rival new releases like Overkill, Highway to Hell, Van Halen II, and some legendary live albums also released in 1979 (SITN, UINE, Tokyo Tapes) - it was a real surprise that the band opened with the thundering and rumbling Dominance & Submission.
They played The Vigil but didn't play I Am The Storm. The stars circled, accelerated, and then spun through Astronomy, the highlight of the evening, as always. I remember Eric had some gadget on his wrist, but maybe I saw it later on a video.
We met the band after, who all kindly signed our programs (we had all bought the 1979 tour program, and the 1978 tour program that was also on sale).
The evening ended late and we made it home without the usual run-ins with the Mods on Brighton prom. Long Gone Days, but Eric has promised at least one more touring year in 2023.
I was 18. It was definitely November 9th not the 10th because I know we had classes that day and a quick look at an online calendar for 1979 tells me this was a Friday and I also know that on no other day of the week would I have been as drunk as I remember being that early in the evening during my first term as a student. Friday's last class, for me and one of my show-going companions, finished at 1.45pm, cue the official start of the weekend and a general stampede to the student union bar.
5 of us went from Portsmouth to Southampton in a Ford Fiesta. Me, Michelle, George, Neil and Michelle's boyfriend, Bimbo (don't ask, I don't know). 2 of us Đ Michelle, who owned the car, and myself - were very drunk. George and Neil, who finished classes an hour or so after us, were well on the way to being very drunk. Bimbo had preferred to swallow, smoke, inhale and/or mainline industrial quantities of illicit substances rather than drink therefore we judged it perfectly safe for him to drive. I was the only one in the car who had even heard of Blue Oyster Cult before and I was the one who had bullied, begged and badgered my companions into coming with me. I was also the one who provided the in-car entertainment, it was OYFOOYK on a home-recorded cassette tape since in those days they hadn't yet come up with a satisfactory way to play vinyl in a carÉstill haven't come to think of it.
I remember the Gaumont Theatre very well, I saw many gigs there when I was a student in Portsmouth and I know we were on the balcony that night. I have a vivid recollection of leaning over the balcony and immediately wishing I hadn't because it made me feel seasick to see all the heads bobbing around below me so I passed the rest of the show some way back. The Gaumont wasn't a huge theatre but the band members seemed very small (ok ok I know that now) and far away. It was packed, hot and very loud and the floor seemed to be shaking from the vibrations of the music but that sensation may also have been caused by the onset of delirium tremens as my blood alcohol levels subsided slightly.
I know they played Astronomy, I'd been hoping they would, and that did register, even in my fuzzy drunken state it was amazing and I know they played several songs from Mirrors (I hadn't yet got my hands on a copy) I didn't know them but I think I hummed tunelessly along to them anyway. I know they did the 5 guitars. I seem to recall Born to be Wild but that may be a 'subliminal' memory planted by my reading of the other setlists from that tour. The thing is, although I have never heard that song live at any other show, I do have a very strong conviction I have seen it performed live so Southampton '79 would have to be the one. I also know they finished with Reaper because just as it finished my very drunk friend Michelle came round from the coma she had spent the rest of the show in and exclaimed loudly, 'Ooh I like this one!' (apparently the only one that had registered with her when I had force-fed her my BOC albums some days prior to the show) before passing out again as the house lights came up and the doormen started moving in to eject us.
That's it, that's all I know.
Well, I bought OYFOOYK when it had just been released. I was 14 and a glass collector in a hotel, after school. A much older and wiser 16 year old colleague persuaded me to give him some cash so he could buy me the album. (I guess he taped it before handing it over). Actually, he had recently lent me his Rainbow On Stage album and introduced me to Richie Blackmore and loud rock - I think he thought I was to be his disciple!!
But, well, when I heard BOC- it was just amazing , especially having no real knowledge of music other than top of the chart stuff - oh dear... I'm remembering that little Jimmy Osmond single I bought.
So, I spent the next couple of years wearing out the record, and spreading the message. I bought Spectres next, then I got my Nan to buy me Some Enchanted Evening for my birthday - she was surprised as she remembered " that lovely record" .
I live near Cardiff in Wales when out of the blue, a UK BOC Tour brought them to Sofia Gardens in Cardiff in November 1979. This was the Mirrors Tour. So, we missed school about a dozen of us to get our tickets.
I remember it was a wet night because, after the concert, I was able to slide a black BOC poster off a billboard. This was on my bedroom wall for many years.
I remember being at the front of the queue on concert night. We could see BOC eating a pre-concert meal in the canteen. Once in, we had to run to the front of stage when the doors opened, as it was pretty badly controlled. I think it was Magnum in support.
I remember being blown away by Buck's playing, just like on the album, but with loudness, and reality in a white suit!! Eric was dynamic. In fact, just superb. They had mirrors on the back of the guitars which they turned over when hit by a spotlight to pan around the audience. All the band did the five guitar scene. I can feel the heat now of all the bodies behind me, and fireworks and lighting really close in front. We got showered by the fireworks. Someone from school got a drumstick and someone else a plectrum. My ears buzzed for days.
Roll forward now to 2002. Middle aged bloke going on Amazon to find a CD version of OYFOOYK, which someone had borrowed and not returned. Found a link to BOC website, still going. Yet, a music magazine had told us they had split in 1982.
The link said they were in Swansea, Wales UK, so one middle aged bloke on his own goes to see... maybe a BOC cover band. Nope, it was the real deal. So, this year, girlfriend in tow, we are doing London and Swansea. A Tale of Two Cities on Flame...with Rock 'N Roll!!!!!
My second concert. We were on vacation visiting relatives in Seattle (I lived in El Paso, TX at the time). Sixteen years old. I was all bummed out that I would miss Blue Oyster Cult while on vacation (they were playing EP).
The day after I got there while at a family get-together, my cousin told me that Black Sabbath and BOC were playing THE NEXT DAY!!!!! Along with Molly Hatchet and Riot!!! I went and asked my mom for some money and surprisingly she forked it over! Enough for me AND my cousin to go!!! I was so stoked!
It was quite the experience for that 16 year-old kid. By the time BOC came on, I was stoned to the bejeezers. I had never had the kind of weed that they had up in the northwest!!! Growing up in a border town, you know all we got was the crap from across the border.
Needless to say, I had a great time, fell in love with Blue Oyster Cult for kicking ass and Seattle for being such a cool town. Moved there immediately after graduation.
It was one helluva day for me, though. And I still have the T-shirt! LOL It is threadbare as hell, but I still have it. It has Satan battling Godzilla on the front.
Just seeing two of the biggest bands in rock and roll on the same day blew me away. I really wasn't "into" Blue Oyster Cult like I have become over the years, but always liked them when my older brother played them, so I thought it would be cool to check them out, and it was. They freakin' ROCKED. And I knew that I'd definitely have to check these guys out again!
24 years and about 24 shows later....
That was the last concert they allowed in Memorial Stadium for about 12 years, I think. Too many complaints about how LOUD it was!!!
My friends and I could not get tickets to the Texas Jam because it was sold out. We decided to try to sneak into the Astrodome. (Back-up plan: go to Galveston if we couldn't get in). We figured our chances were good because we used to work special events at the Dome.
Just as we were making our break (we were actually inside the building but we hadn't cleared security) we could hear "Godzilla" playing. We out-ran the cops up the security stairwell and made it into the arena proper and ditched the cops by mixing in with the crowd. Godzilla was about half-way over by the time we had pulled it off.
Whenever I hear Godzilla, it takes me back.
May 1978. The Last Days of May in fact, and things were progressing normally for a 15 year old I suppose. Stuck in my bedroom thinking about Caroline Jones and whether we'd ever really get it together, listening to a few sounds, and waiting for Top of the Pops to start. You know the time, end of punk, beginning of Disco and strange hybrid bands. All very interesting but nothing to change your life, nothing to make a stand over. Well not until that night!!!
(Don't Fear) The Reaper on TOTP that night started a fire in me that still burns brightly today. I bought the single, then the Agents of Fortune album. Introduced my brother to the band and we became avid collectors of any BOC stuff. However we seemed to be a fan club of two. In those days AC/DC, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, UFO Led Zepellin and the like ruled, all great bands but Hey Guys for Christ sake listen to Secret Treaties. I know Stairway to Heavens a fucking great song but listen to Astronomy. Our pleas fell mostly on deaf ears.
Three years went by, and the legend grew. There was so little info on the band. So few interviews, or reviews of their concerts and what was said just made them all the more mysterious. By this time we were desperate to see them live. Cultasaurus Erectus had gone some way to heightening awareness and Buck Dharma was now mentioned in magazine polls. Life was good although it still wasn't quite happening with Caroline.
Anyway in early '81 news broke of the 2nd annual Donington"Monsters of Rock Festival." AC/DC Whitesnake and wonder of wonders Blue Oyster Cult. Saturday 22nd August 1981 was to be the red letter day. We managed to round up one of my brothers mates who was a big AC/DC fan and two of my mates who I had bombarded over the years with a compilation tape whenever we went out in a car. When I tell you the tape ran RU Ready 2 Rock and Astronomy live, Golden Age, Telepaths, D&Sub, Cities on Flame, Last Days of May, Godzilla, and I Love the Night they should be convinced by now and anyway the one lad was the only one who had a car and could actually drive at that point in time so he had to come. I managed to coax the necessary £10 off each of them and sent for the tickets.
The days leading up to the concert were spent in glorious anticipation. My first outdoor gig, staying overnight on the site and and and Well it's BOC for Christs sake. My denim jacket although sporting a couple of BOC patches and badges along side John Miles(check out the "Zaragon" album) Nazareth and Bad Company did not do the band justice. So I talked nicely to my girlfriend (not Caroline unfortunately) and she embroided the back with the band name and logo. She did a fantastic job and I still have the jacket. It doesn't fit me anymore but as an interesting footnote to this story, my current girlfriend (still not Caroline) wore it to the 2002 Astoria gig.
The eve of the gig arrived and we gathered at Tug's place (the guy with the car). Compilation tapes at the ready we started out, five 17/18 year olds on a great adventure.
We arrived early evening and parked next to a van with the legend "Hendrix Lives" painted on the side. This vans picture subsequently turned up in one of the music papers reviews although we failed to make the photo. There didn't seem a lot else to do so we put up the tent and had an early night in anticipation of tomorrows festivities.
At this point I think I should reiterate that this was our first open air concert and it would be fair to say we were a little naive. We hadn't brought any breakfast thinking we would get something there. No such luck. The day had started badly and would go steadily downhill. We passed through the gates at 10.30 (far too early) and began to look around. Shortly afterwards it started to rain. We wandered round and managed to get a burger or should I say what passed for a burger on this greyest of days. I began to play spot the t-shirt and it has to be said that our boys were not well represented. I bought a programme and apart from their name on the front cover, BOC didn't feature at all. This was not looking so good. By this time we were soaked and we gazed around in awe at the people who had brought groundsheets, umbrellas and picnic hampers crammed with food and beer. We couldn't even sit down. The magic was fading fast!!!
Cold and fairly miserable by now the entertainment started and our spirits lifted and there were a few signs that there were actually some people there who were BOC fans. Anyway first up were a band called More and I'm sorry to say I cannot remember a single thing about them. Blackfoot were next. A band not heard much in the U.K. at that time. I enjoyed them and have since come to like a lot of their stuff. Next up were Slade. This was a band that I'd loved as a kid growing up as I did in the glam rock era but of course it wasn't cool to like them any more and they were hardly heavy rock's finest, were they? Well apparently they were because already on something of a revival they went down a storm and created a real party atmosphere. The only downside of this was that everybody decided to throw anything into the air that they could get their hands on and the sky became a flowing ocean of toilet rolls, chicken legs, paper aeroplanes and mostly plastic bottles and cans full of piss. Testament to the fact that the toilet facilities were poor and already overflowing. Well done Slade great show.
A hush fell over Donnington. Was it a lull before another thunderous storm. Were people settling back to relax before the big event or were they just knackered after throwing bottles of piss around for half an hour. It seemed the latter when sometime later BOC took the stage to muted applause.
Following Slade I went for a walk in an effort to get warm. It had stopped raining but was still overcast. BOC fans were more visable now, a few flags and t-shirts I hadn't seen before. There was even someone in a magnificent hooded robe with a huge logo on the back. This was better and I returned to the stage area full of hope and youthful exuberence. We got as close to the front as we could whilst maintaining a full view of the stage. There came the usual introduction the Amazing Blue Oyster Cult........ and the crowd hardly exploded, but hey there they were, my boys my band(and my brothers) this was the moment I'd waited three years for. The Red and the Black..... Yeah.....Alright......Cool... except it wasn't!!!
Something was clearly wrong, the sound was awful and who the hell is that on drums. Where the Fuck is Albert. The band was ill at ease and Buck, man that golden suit, what were you thinking of. If anything the sound was worse during ETI and Heavy Metal a song that sounds turgid at the best of times. It has been well documented that AC/DC probably sabotaged this show and that Albert was fired the night before so they were on a loser to start. The crowd were starting to get restless and I feared another sky full of piss. Then they did something a bit different. The intro to Joan Crawford was an attention grabber and the sound seemed better. The crowd cheered up......a bit. Buck took over for Burning for you and a storming Hot Rails to Hell helped the cause. The familiar anthems of Godzilla and Reaper made sure the crowd weren't gonna kill them and were enough to get them a grudging encore and the choice of Roadhouse Blues was good because it even got them singing along, however when they left the stage this time there was no clamour for them to return.
My first BOC experience had come and gone. A band on the verge of making it big in the U.K. had well and truely blown it. You can blame Albert you can blame AC/DC but then BOC have not been helpful to other bands in the past. Ask Lemmy!! Like the loser of a cup final, they just weren't good enough on the day. The other lads just turned to us and shrugged their shoulders. Would I ever see them again. The band that is not my mates.
Although Whitesnake were excellent it was all hard work after BOC's departure and the atmosphere wasn't really there for me anymore. AC/DC started brilliantly, big bell and all but after 3 or 4 songs I made my way back to the car and fell asleep. I reached out but Caroline wasn't there, but that's the way it goes at these rock 'n' roll shows...
I was 15 at the time and very drunk and high. Most of the night was a blurr - even the next day - so I'll do my best to remember it.
Aldo Nova opened. He put on a really good show. The standard 45 minutes to an hour. Supporting his first record. I don't remember any of his songs but he played the popular ones of course.
Blue Oyster Cult. My favorite band! My first concert ever. Blossom is a pavillion venue with lawn seating. I don't know if it was sold out or not, but it had to be close to it. Tickets were $11.00. Our seats are in the 15th row. Allen's side of the stage.
My best friend (BÖC is his favorite also), my oldest brother and his girlfriend. I remember being in awe more than anything, kind of a dreamlike state. I still get that way most of the time I see them.
Opening song? I'm not 100% on this, but I believe it was Dominance & Submission. The setlist followed basically the ETL album which had come out a few months before. I know they played D&S, COF, Hot Rails, Reaper, ETI, Godzilla, Joan Crawford, Burnin', Veteran of the Psychic Wars, Roadhouse Blues. I'm almost positive they did Born to be Wild and Dr. Music. Summer of Love and the Red & the Black are other possibilities. I keep thinking of Black Blade also but I don't remember for sure and it probably wasn't played.
Veteran is the song that stands out in my mind. A couple people dressed in robes and looked like the Jawas from Star Wars came out and were playing extra drums and Buck shredded on the extended guitar jam.
Of course, this was back in the day and Godzilla was there tearing the place down. I really don't remember much more detail. Eric did have his Kronos guitar.
After the show, we were walking up the lawn to the exit when a 2 litre bottle of 7-up rolled down the hill and came right to me. I picked it up and opened it and smelled. It was full of some kind of alcohol. And it was completly full. We were a little cautious about drinking it, but we were quite lit by then. I remember my brother telling me to put it down and me saying fuck it and chugging a very large portion of the bottle. No one else wanted any.
It took about 10 minutes to get to the car. A Chevette, 2 door hatchback. (it's a really small car if you're not familiar with them). I get in the back passenger side. Brother's driving and his girlfriend is in front of me. We just start to go and I tell them I'm going to be sick. My brother stops but his girlfriend doesnt open up the door. I tell them again I'm going to be sick and she rolls down the window. It's near impossible to stick your head out of the window from the backseat in this car, so needless to say it went all over her instead. Oh well - I never liked her anyways!....
It was 1982 - I'd been a fan for about 2 years, but had never seen the band live. In September, the band does a show at the Worcester Centrum - I'm a freshman in college in Boston at the time, and my brother is a high school junior back home in western Mass. (so Worcester is about mid-way between us).
I secretly buy 2 tickets before going to college - and p*ssing off my mom when she later finds out (I didn't go to many concerts in high school). Since BOC is playing on Friday night, we all meet in Worcester that night and stay over at a hotel nearby.
Aldo Nova is the opener - too damn loud with all those piercing high leads he does on his guitar (not just his song "Fantasy", which was a hit at that time). BOC rocks the place - with all the cool stuff they did back then (giant Godzilla, Eric's bike, extra drummers on "Veteran's of the Psychic Wars" dressed up as monks, Joe's bass solo, Downey's drum solo, and the definitive version of "Roadhouse Blues").
So, after the show, my brother and I are hanging out at the hotel, playing video games. My bro' spots who he believes to be Rick Downey. A few minutes later, Joe Bouchard strolls by, sees us in our new BOC t-shirts, and smiles.
So now we're pretty excited as we figure the band is staying at the same hotel, so we're staking out the place trying to catch a glimpse of the rest of the band. A few minutes later we catch sight of Allen.
Then (and this is true, I swear), I go into the men's room and who is standing at the adjacent urinal but Buck Dharma! My first thought - "Wow, he really IS short!" My second thought - "Don't piss on the guy!" And while I managed to not do so, I didn't manage to say anything to him.
After that, my brother and I are in search of Eric. We finally see him coming in last - seemed like he was trying to avoid people and slip in quietly (which I assume they all were, since they came in individually), but my brother screwed up enough courage to ask (and get) his autograph.
A little later on, we saw Eric in the game room watching some guy play "Space Invaders" (remember that?) - I only wish that I had challenged Eric to a game...
I only went to one BOC gig in central Germany - I think Essen. I was in BAOR (British Army on the Rhine) and that's the nearest show to where I was based...
They were pushing "Shooting Shark" at the time. I enjoyed it a lot. The most memorable thing was that Eric Bloom's guitar string broke and somehow drew blood from his face - very eerie...
Having first heard boc in 81 when i was given the fire of unknown origin album i was hooked. so after checking out the inner sleeve of fouo which showed all the then boc albums i started my album collection. after each one i bought i could not help but be impressed by the fact that each one had a unique sound yet was still so definitely the same band.
After a couple of years the next stage was to see the band live. Flicking through the pages of kerrang imagine my disbelief at seeing the band had played sheffield only days earlier, on the revolution tour. so another dissapointment and how long would i have to wait to finally see them. for a 16 year old lad it seemed an eternity.
Finally the chance came. i can't quite remember how but i was going to see boc live at last. the first gig always has an air of great expectation and i must have arrived about four hours before the gig started.
The thing i remember most about this gig was that having to wait to see the guys play because of there being two support acts - it was like waiting for three years all over again.
Then the moment finally arrived the sheer volume when boc came on was awesome. my ears were ringing for weeks after.
I just remember think how different the band looked from all the other lps. eric in his ninja suit and playing his kronos guitar; buck with no tash and what seemed rather straight jacket and cords; no allan; and a dodgy looking punk type (jimmy wilcox) on drums.
I know that this tour in many eyes was not one of the bands' best but it will always be a good first impression for me and i went away with a smile on my face that night.
I only saw them once more in 89 supporting imaginos thinking that these would be the only times i would see the band live. having missed last years tour, it was great to see them again at leeds irish centre recently. with thanks to lesley who made me feel part of the scene again and being so friendly and taking an interest in my home-made tshirt.
SPEAK, MEMORY, SPEAK!
Your First BOC Gig should be burned into your consciousness like the first time you made love, particularly if at the time you already came to the conclusion that BOC is, was and always will be the best music making combo to walk the earth. But then again, as many people report of their disappointment regarding their first amorous encounter, I, too, have to confess with some shame to, firstly, not remembering much of the night and, secondly, leaving the venue feeling let down.
So, what do I remember of the night?
Statetrooper: I remember the name.
Girlschool: If only...
My Kronos flag: and, by the way, that's all my wife remembers of that night, she having to lift one end of it, and as we were near the front, I bet some people behind us might have got quite impatient with us.
Eric's black outfit: now my wife doesn't remember this, but what she does remember is that I used to wear a similar kind of top a couple of years earlier when we met which I thought made me look interesting; she thought I looked camp.
Eric's nunchaku (rice flail): had he stuck to only using it to play the cymbals on Cities on Flame it would have been a neat trick to pull, instead it became an integral part of...
Eric's coreography: I couldn't help but feeling that I witnessed this nonsense before in the form of a one hit wonder man who I believe was called Carl Lewis (Kung Fu Fighting?). I knew the band was promoting Club Ninja (Rock Not War, how the mighty have fallen), but still was there any need to inflict visually what they did aurally?
The set list: and the arrogance of youth. Here I own up to my responsabilities regarding the night's unsatisfactory proceedings; you see, the band played their set list and not mine, which at the time would have included the whole of Fire of Unknown Origin. Twice. Although we did get Joan Crawford and Burnin' for You and Veterans, possibly (if we didn't we should have). And talking of fire, that's what I felt lacked on the night: with the exception of Take me Away, which sounded phenomenal, I didn't think thay played with conviction and enjoyment and I returned home believing that the good old days, which I never witnessed anyway, were over. An impression that was reinforced a few years later when I saw them again in Manchester on the Imaginos tour; in the recording studio, amazing as ever, live, mmmh....
And then came the 18th of May 2002, Bilston and what an epiphany it was. The highlight of every year since then for me has been to see them as many times as possible and every time I've come away with a big smile of satisfaction on my face.
A review, hmm? It will take a little time, as I have to sail back through the mist of time. I was so young, you know.
Early 1986, then; I was 20 and very depressed because of a 'bad case of loving her' and because of my studies not going very well, to say the least. They were at the nadir of their career of evil, 3OC and their weakest album ever to be promoted, so I wasn't much concerned about seeing their Club Ninja Tour (although it was their first -and last ever- time in Italy). I changed my mind when the Udine gig was moved to a small disco club about a km. from my house. I didn't even call a couple of friends who shared my cultism (they both came to the show on their own) and there I went.
Some 300-400 people attending, poor supporting act and a terrible sound. I expected to see shadows of a band I once did like, yet they were very tight and professional, a fine rock act nevertheless (wonder how they sounded like in their glory days).
9:30, Blade Runner theme, I never thought I could hear 'people of Monfalcone, R.U. Ready?' in my whole life. They started with a good performance of 'RU Ready 2 Rock' very similar to the 'SEE' version, and followed with a chaotic D&S, the heaviest track of the evening, and a classic version of ETI.
I soon noticed that Zvonckeck was trying his best to replace Lanier, with a little help from Bloom playing more guitar than usual.
Also evident was that Buck's guitar style was getting stronger and more 'sustained', with sparse echoes of fusion scales and a heavy edge to his playing.
I remember Eric was wearing black with a japanese 'hachimaki', was in excellent vocal form and played an ESP black guitar, Buck was thinner than any picture I've seen of him before and after, in a white tshirt with a german heraldic sign (how do you say it in English?), dealing with Telecaster-looking (which I later recognized as St. Blues) and Steinberger (early model) guitars.
Joe played a Music Man and looked almost fat, with an odd-looking moustache (he looked like Kimball of Toto), dressed in black leather and playing almost motionless at the right side of the stage.
They played great versions of White Flags and Take Me Away (with a lenghty synth intro), far superior to the studio versions, then a striking Veterans with a beautiful, almost haunting 'delayed' guitar solo (I'm listening to it right now) over a boogie double-time feel, possibly the best of the entire set.
They went on with Ruins, J. Crawford (another fine version, although Zvonckeck intro is a little overlong), Shadow Warrior and the Big Three (with a boring drum solo on Godzilla), which were given a standard rendition (fans went nuts anyway). In spite of the cries of 'Astronomy' from the crowd, the encore songs were Let Go and Hot Rails.
85 mins. of good rock'n'roll in a small town in the northeast of Italy and that's all. My only regret is that I didn't join a DJ friend of mine for a short radio interview, with the unlucky result of Buck been annoyed by silly questions by a teenage metal kid. Well, you can't always get...
My first BOC show.
It was early summer of 1986, I believe it was june. Ozzy was touring with Metallica and I had tix. there was a rumor that BOC was going to be the opener, I dont remember how I heard that but I was delighted. either was was going to be good. Ive harbored a fantasy since hearing that the Who pulled a guy out of the crowd to help finish the show when Keith Moon couldnt do it anymore, I hoped that I would get my chance here (and any show that I go to now I still hope that the drummer has some non-painful or non-life threatening condition that prevents him from going on and POW, I fill in). I knew all the songs off of OYFOOYK, ETI, and SEE plus the whole Club Ninja album, I figured that if the light shined on me I'd be up for the challenge.
I arrived at the Spokane Colleseum early in the afternoon and was one of the first ones there. somehow I still ended up way behind a lot of other people.
I rushed to near the front of the stage and ended up in what would be the EB zone. Eric was clean shaven and had a very big afro going on. He wore a kamikazee headband and at one point played a Budweizer Bow tie guitar that last I heard was stolen. I didnt recognize Buck, as he was shaven as well.
As for the rest of the band, I dont know who was there. I only had pics from the record jackets and EB was easy to pick out.
I was disappointed that they didnt play anything from Club Ninja. I remember ETI, DFTR, and Godzilla being played.
I think that a lot of the crowd that was there with me at the front of the stage was there for BOC as when their set was over we all left. I went to go sit down, the others just dispersed.
It was 13 years before I got to see them again.
My first BOC gig was actually a bit of a downer, but I enjoyed it regardless.
It was in June 1986 and some friends had purchased me a ticket to see Ozzy on the Ultimate Sin tour in Portland, Oregon. I was not sure I wanted to go, given the let down that album was combined with only a passing interest in Metallica, who was opening up.
About a week before the show, Metallica cancelled due to James Hetfield breaking his elbow I found out later. Blue Oyster Cult was picked as the replacement act. As soon as I found out I told my friends I'm there!
The audience was eager to see Metallica, so as a result they booed BOC most of the show. It wasn't until they played Burning for You and Don't Fear The Reaper that the teen age girls started getting into the show. As a result guys either walked out, or shut up for fear of offending their girlfriends. I still remember the set list to this day, but cannot confirm the exact order:
Dominance & Submission (opening!)
Dancing In The Ruins
Veteran of The Psychcic Wars
Burning For You
Don't Fear The Reaper
Roadhouse Blues (encore)
The band played through regardless of the audience, so the members of the audience who wanted to see them still saw a good show. Looking back on this nearly 20 years later I find it interesting that Metallica has since fallen from grace and are accused of being sell outs by the same fans that booed BOC. Blue Oyster Cult on the other hand has stayed true to their sound and maintains their core following.
I have very distinctive memories of my first BOC show.
I'd gotten interested in BOC in 1982, after falling in love with the song "Shooting Shark". The local record store had a bunch of their albums on sale, so I bought SOME ENCHANTED EVENING and FIRE OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN and was immediately hooked (and went out and bought two more albums the next day).
By the time 1986 had rolled around, I'd more or less given up on ever seeing BOC in concert. They hadn't released a new album in 4 years, and it seemed like I had managed to get interested in them at exactly the wrong time.
And then CLUB NINJA came out and they went back on tour.
The show was held in August 1986, in Metarie, Louisiana, at a bar called Jimmy'z.
Metarie is a suburb of New Orleans. Jimmy'z was noted for two things: No seats (standing room only), and no air conditioning. So, to recap: August. New Orleans. No air conditioning. Oy.
To make matters more interesting, I had just had surgery on my left foot, and was hobbling around on crutches with my foot in a cast. Did I mention that Jimmy'z had no seats? Thankfully, there was a guy in front of me in a wheelchair, and he was cool enough to let me rest my cast on his chair. I probably wouldn't have made it through the entire concert if not for that.
We stood there listening to some lackluster local band open up the gig. Only thing I remember about 'em was that the lead singer was female. And then, finally, they cleared the stage and we all geared up for BOC.
When BOC finally hit the stage, we all got a big shock. Eric was completely clean shaven. Buck had shaved off his trademark mustache by this time, and we'd seen that in the videos for "Dancing in the Ruins," so we (or at least I) wasn't surprised by that. But to see Eric with no beard or mustache was quite a surprise, and one I haven't seen ever repeated in the dozen or so times I've seen Blue Oyster Cult since.
Don't remember much of the gig list. I do remember that it was the only BOC concert I've seen that featured a rendition of "Shooting Shark" or anything from Club Ninja. At the end of the show, dizzy from the heat and from standing on one leg and two crutches for 3+ hours, I finally gimped my way back to the car, a happier man for having finally seen my favorite band in concert.
It was winter of 1987, I was 17 years old.... one morning while I was going to buy a newspaper I saw a cartoon-style magazine promoting on the cover the beginning of a Blue Oyster Cult weekly-tribute (they had a 3-4 pages Music part in the middle of the mag which was running from a Heavy-Metal-Rock famous writer of that time in my country called Yannis Koutouvos).
I couldn't believe it. "How is possible " ? -I figured- BOC wasn't so popular in the middle 80s as they were in the past. Everyone knew Scorpions, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath but no so easily BOC.... Anyway. . I started buying on a weekly basis that "cartoon"-style mag. called "Agori" (means = "boy"). Actually it was a translation of the Albert Bouchard story-review I found years later on European music mags, but it had all the pictures and it was a good thing for us and BOC... but the funny story was that it kept for a long time... and I still couldn't believe it...
And someday in May I read somewhere that BOC were going to visit us in July for two !!! (yes, not one!!) shows in Athens... I couldn't believe it... I was having the best times of my life ...i was waiting to find out where the tickets would be sold. And when I did,i run at once to the center of Athens to buy for both nights,of course....
Then it was a matter of time...actually I was a big BOC fan since 1983 when I firstly listened to the band's (not at their highs) LPs "Revolution by Night" and "Mirrors" (my first LPs)...it might be the mystery of the Kronos-logo that made me a big BOC fan. I don't know, but the sure thing is that I did the best choice in the age of 13 that could not have the experience to understand too many things in music. Anyway...back to our story...
And then the big day had come... 8th of July... I bought some famous newspapers and on my surprise I saw they had music - news and the BOC concerts were announced accompanied with some colour and pics from the their arrival at the airport (of course, still have those articles.).
I didn't have any t-shirt so I took a white-one and painted !!!! the Kronos logo in the middle, in black! I wanted to take a camera with me to take some shots, but since I didn't have a good-one I asked from a next-door friend of our to lend me her camera us I wanted "better" quality (but see what happened later). I was waiting for the big moment and was counting-down the time when early in the evening a friend of mine of that time (he is not in life now) came to pick me up to go together. We went by bus and everyone was staring that little weird black thing on my t-shirt.... they couldn't know...
Anyway... we where there and when we entered the bands' staff was testing the instruments and I recall I saw some fans who must had been Americans as they were having bandanas with the Kronos logo (very very difficult to find such thing here,and especially that time. . ). I was noticing everything as that day was very important to me...
And suddenly when the night came the light-show started and a blue laser beam which was behind the crowd was lighting to the sky... and BOC appeared... unbelievable... I was seeing them for first time in my life... Buck Dharma, Eric Bloom, Allen Lanier but who were the other two?? I didn't know them but who cares ?? (it was Ron Riddle on drums and Jon Rogers on bass). They both had very long hair and looked cool... The set started with "RU Ready 2 Rock?". About 7000 fans were there... it was an old soccer arena called "Leoforos Alexandras" ("Alexandras Avenue") where the Hellenic soccer team "Panathinaikos" used to play there (and the last 2 years plays there again). The stage was not so close to the fans and there weren't any fans allowed to come close to the stage (the doors were closed).
The bad thing was that 50 guys tried to enter without a ticket and a big fight with the policemen started (I have to explain that it was a very bad time for rock shows in my country. The goverment didn't like rock concerts and when there was any rock concert -very occasionally- it was a very big event here for the fans but a good way for the politicians to prove that rock music a violent thing for bad guys etc so there were always policemen ready to attack)...
Some special-equiped policemen showed up on the field in the distance between the fans and the stage (if you have a look on my site called Hellenic Cult you'll notice a color picture showing Eric Bloom playing the guitar behind the policemen!!!). But there were some other policemen between the crowd and it was a bad experience for them as many fans attacked them and one of them was almost ready to use his gun to save his life (there is a black and white picture showing this).
Anyway, it was a great show...BOC played 13 classic tunes (we didn't know that time that this concert was the reason BOC re-joined - we never knew they were separated).
I probably hold some sort of record for being the longest-time fan before seeing BOC in concert. I have been a huge fan since 1974, when I was an 18 year-old soldier in the U.S. Army. We used to sit around getting stoned on Oaxacan spears and Jack Daniels in the barracks, with our stereos cranked up with everything from Aerosmith to Zeppelin, but there were only two bands that really did it for us. A certain group called kiss, and another by the name of Blue Oyster Cult. We wore out our copies of the first album, T&M, Secret Treaties, and when it came out, OYFOOYK. I just loved this band from the first time my buddy Brian turned me on to them.
Well, for one reason or other, though I attended many concerts over the years, I had never seen BOC until March of 1988 at a bar in San Diego known as The "Rockin'" Bacchanal, where many past-their-prime rock bands made their tour stops.
The band was in town for two shows, one on March 30, and one the following night. I could only go to the first night, and I am so glad that this was the one I went to, as it was the better of the two.
For the occasion, I drew a large Kronos sign in permanent black ink on my left bicep. Then my friends and I got liquored up a bit, toked a few, then made our way to the venue.
The Bacchanal was a great place to see a concert. It held a couple hundred folks, so it was intimate, plus the added convenience of several built in bars, with waitresses bringing drink orders before the band came on. Unfortunately, the Bacchanal is no longer in existence, as it went out of business (I don't know why).
Anyway, it's time for the show to start. My friends and I are right up front, about 5 feet from the stage, which is only a platform about a foot off the floor to begin with, so we're right in their faces. No back-up band, just Blue Oyster Cult. Yippee!
It was really awesome is all I can say. It was great to see Eric, Buck, and Allen finally! Jon Rogers and Ron Riddle were also excellent as well (I missed seeing Albert and Joe, but what can ya do?).
As per usual, the started the set with R U Ready to Rock, Dominance & Submission, ETI, Buck's Boogie, and Flaming Telepaths. Very hot indeed.
We were all expecting Astronomy to follow Flaming Telepaths, as it has such a natural intro, but when we all started calling for it, Eric told us that the band was not performing this song in their set until the new version was released on the upcoming Imaginos album. Kind of disappointing, but they more than made up for it with the remainder of the program.
They went on to play 17 songs altogether, including 4 encores. This is how the rest of the songs came at us:
Take Me Away
Then Came the Last Days of May
Harvester of Eyes
Burnin' For You
(Don't Fear) The Reaper
Golden Age of Leather
Summer of Love
Cities on Flame
Wow, what a show!
After the show, we got to hang out with the band out behind the club, and got to talk to Buck and Eric. How cool is that? I was to say the least, really stoked!
I saw them again at the Bacchanal on May 5th, when they came back into San Diego. That night they rocked with a 16 song lineup, including 3 encores: Summer of Love, The Red & The Black, and Cities on Flame.
I am 51 now, and still remember those Army days partying to BOC just like it were yesterday. Where is that time machine when you really need it?
I remember seeing my "fantasy group" back in the late 80's at the VOGUE in Indianapolis, IN. I had been a fan from the moment "Don't Fear the Reaper" was introduced on radio.
I was always fascinated with their sinister sound and eerie lyrics - and almost scared of them to tell you the truth. Being a Christian, my friends were telling me to "get rid of any albums by BOC"....how could I ??
I pocked weeks of lunch money during high school to buy an vinyl album each week. But the story is, when I saw them at the Vogue in Indy, I remember seeing the big touring cases with BOC and the emblem on each one and thinking: "Wow, I'm really going to see these guys for real."
And from what I remember, it was one of the most awesome and inspiring days of my life. I was nuts after that and followed them to every concert - almost every one... I lost count after a while. But it was a small arena, and we were up really close, and I remember these guys looking as intimidating as ever - even if Eric wasn't as tall as I remember from the low-angled photographs of their albums.
So that was it... no women throwing their panties and dancing naked... but who was paying attention to the crowd anyhow.
I remember my first show. BOC had consumed my life since I was 11 years old and I had to wait 10 long years to see them with my own eyes. I was finally 21 and they were playing at Biddy Muligan's on the north side of Chicago. It was June 20 something 1991. It was a long time coming, I was finally going to see my only favorite band. But suckiness was about to strike, I got real sick days before the show. High fever (103.5), weak, crap coming outta both ends, ugh! But there was no way in Hell or this life that I was gonna let some stupid ass virus ruin this night!
My husband and brother, his girlfriend at the time and I drove up there and were early enough to be the very first in line to get in the door. We waited and waited as the line grew and what little strength I had vanished. When they finally let us in, my brother dragged my sorry ass quickly to the stage and parked me leaning against a speaker that was right in front of Buck's mic. I was so close my boobs rested on the stage. I was in a dream like state, brought on by the fever, though I convinced myself it was the sheer awesomeness of being where I was, finally.
The place filled up fast and it was squashing room only. As we endured the opening band, my head was spinning. Everytime I turned my head, I got a huge wiff of what I at any other time I would salivate over, but not tonight, too sick, beer and weed. By the time the support act left the stage, I had to go to the bathroom. Ugh. As I was squeezing my way through the mushed sea of fans, everything went black and I passed out. I dropped, but it was so packed, only my knees hit the floor, lol. As I went down, I grabbed some dude's arm. I'm sure he thought I was just some wasted doofussy chick and he yanked me back up and pushed me through the crowd.
I returned to my spot, at Buck's feet and as BOC took the stage, it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was like an epiphany(sp?). I was able to stand and make it almost through the whole show, I couldn't turn away, I couldn't rip them from my sight, the men who had so much influenced my life since I was 11, shaped my brain into the person that I was.
I can't remember the set list at all, sorry. But inevitably, I had to go outside and get some fresh air or I was going to pass out again. I listened from the sidewalk, I only missed the last couple songs. But that was ok, I was there, I got to see them with my own eyes, hear them with my own ears, I experienced the magic. They had played for me.
Oh, I had brought my T&M album with me (just in case, lol) and handed it to my brother's girlfriend before I had to get out of there and after the show she went to see if she could get it signed. As she was standing there, some one pushed her from behind and sent her over some line that was painted on the floor. As soon as she did a certain person (I won't name names, but his name starts with an S) screamed at her for going over the line and sent a fist flying into her face! Needless to say, my album didn't get signed, lol, as she called the cops instead. And we spent some time outside that evening listening the this person try to explain to the cops why he punched a female fan in the face.
That's the story of my first BOC show.
My first BOC Gig was at the American Music Theatre in Carmichael California March 16th 1992, and it felt like forever finally getting to see BOC.
I had been a fan since the late 70's and I heard the classic "Don't fear the Reaper "and "Burnin' for you " on the radio. In the early 70's I had really good memories of High School because of BOC. All through High School I was a devoted Fan and hadn't even seen them in concert yet. Everyone knew I liked BOC, like it or not, and I was a hard core BOC Fan. I wore BOC shirts, hats and purchased everything with BOC on it. Records, posters, magazines,e.t.c. I even scratched or Magic Marker'd the BOC Kronos symbol everywhere. Door jams, lockers, chalkboards, hallway floors, bathroom showers, books, light fixtures, everything. Not very large but just big enough to see.
Years later I came back to visit my High School and the Janitor came running up to me. I thought he was going to tear my head off! "Mr.Twitchell", he exclaimed, "when I clean this school on a daily basis I notice on every door jam, desk, floor, chalkboard, light fixture, shower, locker and every concrete sidewalk I repaired I find that crazy BOC Kronos Logo" Everything I owned or came near had the Kronos Logo on it.
I wanted to go to a BOC show but at the time I was too young to drive, and by the time I could drive I was extremely poor. I lived in a small town and news about anything traveled slowly. We were 150 miles from Sacramento and about 80 miles from Reno, NV. I would always hear from some older student weeks later "The BOC concert was great, Giant Godzilla, Lasers..." That was the tour titled "Black and Blue" (Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult) then in 1989 I finally moved into the big city of Sacramento. Driving home from work I always looked at the flyers posted on the telephone poles placed along the city streets hoping I would see something about BOC or even Soft White Underbelly.
Then the day came when there it was, posted on a blue flyer with black lettering "BOC IN CONCERT, American Music Theatre March 16th 8pm". I slammed on my brakes ran across the street, during rush hour and gently grabbed the flyer jumped back into my truck and headed home. If I remember correctly I even telephoned the theatre just to make sure it was really true. I went home excited like a little kid "BOC IS COMING TO TOWN"
Of course I planned my life around the show for the next couple of weeks. March 16th 8 pm I stood in line, sat center stage and waited and waited. 9:45pm BOC came on stage dressed in black leather and played until about 12:30. As BOC left the stage everyone chanted... "B.O.C"
BOC gave 3 encore performances that night. I was really hooked now. I couldn't die and see just one show. So I wrote the Fan Club and Bolle gave me a list of Fans across the country. Some wrote back, some didn't. Those who wrote back told me to "Stop being Evil, give you to God "I had to find someone who really liked BOC. I started to write everyone in California and then History was made I meet Che'. I was going to discover Che' is the Ultimate BOC fan.
Che' and I talked on the phone one day and he invited me to see the band at the San Mateo County Fair. I arrived early and got orders from Che' to help set up equipment. Che' was testing me to see if I was someone he wanted around the band. We finished and walked around the Fairgrounds and found this dude walking around in a Giant Godzilla suit. We convinced him to show up for the Concert and walk on stage during the song " Godzilla " Buck and Eric had no idea what we had planned and when the first chords of Godzilla rang out, out stomped Godzilla. Buck and Eric were all smiles. That moment brought a lot of energy to the show.
I wrote about this show in one of Morning Finals that Bolle produced, very memorable show. Che' had me meet the band stand front stage, and I have never abused that privilege since. I have now been to most of the Northern California and Reno shows since that night back in 1992. If you ever come to a Northern California show you can spot me right behind the heals of Che' and standing guard over the band during and after the shows.
It's really funny now, my obsession with the band has spread to family and friends. Anytime I see an old classmate,or friend I always hear some remark about BOC "I heard Don't fear the Reaper on the Radio the other day and I thought about You " or "I saw the Krono's symbol etched on the wall, was that you?" That's cool to me. To be remembered like that. And when I die you will be able to spot my headstone right away it will read " ROCKIN RANDALL TWITCHELL BOC FAN FOREVER and right next to my name will be etched the Krono's symbol, not too large, just big enough to see !
We were hanging out in Martin's CD shop down on main street when the news came up. This year's festival programs had been announced and Blue Öyster Cult were billed to play at Skanderborg Festivalen in the north of Denmark on August the 10th. Price: 125 bucks ($) pr. ticket. After some days considering I decided I was NOT going to Skanderborg just to see BÖC even though they having been my favourite band for over a decade, always with a very special place in my heart. "Why couldn't they have been booked here to Copenhagen since they were heading this way anyway?" we asked.
Summer came on and days went back to normal. Martin and some of his friends were still considering going to Skanderborg when it was announced: BÖC will appear on the 9th of August at the outdoor venue just outside Copenhagen called 5-Øren. Perfect! And then it was time...
On the day of the concert it would be sunshine with a pleasantly light breeze. As me and Peter and my kidbrother arrived we were searched just very quickly by the guards at the entrance to the venue located by the water surrounded by trees. Walking down the road leading to the stagearea we could hear Mick Taylor's Blues Band rounding off their set. There would be enough time for a leak and a quick smoke in the shadows of the trees before BÖC went on.
Feeling a little 'higher' we now appeared from the forest area. All in all there must have been around 2000 people present. As we moved up in the front of the stage we could hear the 'Blade Runner theme' coming on, then the band coming on checking the sound briefly, then it faded and the announcer would say: It's 15 years since they were here last time. Pleaase welcome... as the band went into Stairways To The Stars....
Question now: From whence to get the best sound experience (The direction of the wind etc. ) I was on the left side with Eric on stage further to the left of me. A quick decision and I decided to move a little closer and to the right of the center barely in front of where Buck was. Ah... much better!
I was surprised to discover that Eric's voice sounded quite different live than on the records and remember feeling touched thinking: Amazing he performs for us even sounding like that - but when the song ended Eric's voice had seemed to fall in place. Then a cooking ETI Buck shining looking good in his dark-grey suit and with the moustache followed by a rocking Buck's Boogie introduced as being from Cult Classics that when it'd ended would find Eric saying in his sultry voice: I'm gonna take off my jacket now he, he.. before starting Cities On Flame.
Then Allen rose from the keys and entered midstage for guitar on Last Days of May with Eric sitting down as the stagelight was lowered. The weather must have been making its impact as Buck's solo echoed off a cry to the sky. In front of the stage about us 300 that'd come to see BÖC. I could spot many heavy-metal types in the crowd, bandanas and Iron Maiden t-shirts people in their 20ies. Then fewer older fans but some could be spotted here and there as Eric came back on guitar for a swinging Burnin' For You all three guitarists rocking out, a surrealistic moment as Eric and Buck made a synchronized move like mimmicking a surfband. It was cool. They had us by now.
Then a deep sound and a: Now Who Is It? And I am sure it must have been the weather because Danny's solo swung cooly in the sun, applause, before he and Bobby going in to a shining tight run receiving another and then it was Reaper.
Now came a touching moment the whole band together on stage they just stood there waving back at us taking their time as to say: We may never play here again, a roadie coming out with a videocamera filming us fans. I was wearing my plain private's camouflagecap as I gestured to the band like V-signs or 'thumps up' they just standing there smiling and waving at us everybody waving back. Then weak cries for an encore when they had left the stage...
As the summer sun setting we started leaving the area as the vast majority of the audience present flocked to the stage for Status Quo their signature boogierock fading behind us, the cries of enthusiastic fans as we left.
A few days later speaking to Martin in the shop we agreed on it had been great. "I got a backstage pass and went and met the band" he said. "You met the band!" I said. "Now what did you SAY to them?" I curriously inquired. "Say?" "What'd ya' mean say?" he said "I just went and had my records signed".
I'm a guitarist, drummer, and artist from Duryea PA and this the best B.O.C. Concert that I've ever seen so far.
On March 15th, 1998 I heard that B.O.C. My Favorite Band was going to be performing at The Staircase LIVE in Pittstion PA. on March 15th 1998 - at the time their new studio album Heaven Forbid had not come out yet and was going to be released the following week. Well I was so thrilled that they would be performing so I had to get to this concert.
I'm 39 years old now so I was too young to witness the Majesty of B.O.C. in their prime in the 70's and with the original lineup. Most of the concerts I have attended have been in my own state PA. I've seen them a lot in the 90's at TINKS in Scranton, and The Woodlands in Wilkes-Barre at Rock 107 The Home of Rock n Roll Radio Station's Birthday Bash which they had B.O.C. play at their Birthday Bash twice.
Anyway, back to the show on March 15th 1998 at the Staricase Live. The club was a very small venue, a lot smaller than TINKS in Scranton, and I've never been to this club before - I've heard of local bands playing there but not any big time names, so me and a friend of mine went to the show.
It was about 8pm and we're waiting for Blue Oyster Cult to take the stage, and all of a sudden I hear BOC's intro music come on (Blade Runner Theme), so damn cool... then they came out on stage - the line up was Eric Bloom, Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, Allen Lanier, Bobby Rondenelli, and Danny Miranda.
What a show - their sound that night was spectacular, and they rocked that small club - their sound was amazing - when they played Don't Fear the Reaper I got goosebumps, that's how great the show was.
I've seen them a couple times in my area, but this show was the best out of all hands down - there was no comparison, and I think it had something to do with the acoustics of that small club - like I said, I saw them at TINKS in Scranton a couple of times and twice at the Woodlands in Wilkes-Barre PA. and those shows, while good, can't compare to this show.
Sadly, the Staircase LIVE in Pittsion PA closed a couple of years after B.O.C. played there - I know will never forget that night I saw B.O.C. - it was an experience I will never forget. I'm always on the lookout to see if anyone has a recording of that show, like I said the show was out of this world.
Funny story - being a guitarist I'm a big fan of Buck Dharma's guitar work, and he was the reason for learning how to play - before that I just a drummer. Anyway when Buck's own BD collection cd's came out, he was selling them off his website and I ordered the set. Well, it was taking forever to arrive so I wrote a letter to where I sent the money.
I thought a company was handeling this for him. One night I get a phone call I said hello and someone on the line says "Hello is Shawn Tighe there?" I said "who is this?" and he said "it's Buck, Buck Dharma".
I go "get out of here", he said "no its really me Shawn I got your letter, about my BD Collection CD's you ordered, I just wanted to tell you that they're on there way, so not to worry".
He said that he took it upon himself to do all the packing and shipping and it was too much for him to handle, but that my CDs would be going out. The collection also came with a T-shirt and a Buck Dharma personlized autographed photo of him, so he said what would you like for me to write on your photo, and so we talked on the phone for a little while I told him how much his music and his guitar playing inspired me to play guitar and that he was my favorite guitarist.
Buck is a really nice guy - not many pro musicians will take the time to call one of their fans - he is the best.
Greetings to you the loyal masses of the Cult. My name is Jacob Koehler and ever since I was sixteen I have been enchanted by The Blue Oyster Cult. In my 21 years I have been looked at as unique when it comes to my tastes in music. At 5 I was a student of the Beatles, by 6 it was the Doors, you get the picture. I thank my parents for getting me started on this kind of music instead of letting me be susceptible to the music of my generation post 1994. At eight I got my first guitar and became overcome as CD's and guitars took the place of toys and video games as I became more in tune with music and had a much deeper desire to find out all that I could.
As I moved through more of the classics of the sixties, I rebelled and got into heavy metal around 14. While still remaining true to my classic rock roots, I went ahead with the likes of Black Sabbath, Scorpions, Judas Priest and the American thrash giants of the mid to late eighties.
I always had a limited awareness of Blue Oyster Cult via classic rock radio, but with a strong emphasis on "limited." Outside of "Don't Fear The Reaper," "Godzilla," and "Burnin' For You" I was unaware of anything else they had accomplished. I do vividly remember hearing "Cities On Flame" for the first time on the radio while going over Interstate 79 from West View to Bellevue in my native Pittsburgh. WDVE was playing the song to commemorate their upcoming performance at the Rib Fest outside the now demolished Three Rivers Stadium. June 18, 1997, my older brother Aaron and I were going to go, but he was not feeling well and myself only being 13, I had no way of getting there alone. It was cool seeing footage of this performance later on VH1's "Where Are They Now?" but it was still frustrating to know that it was still a missed opportunity. It would be another seven years before I would get another chance.
My brother wanted a BOC CD that had all of the songs from the radio on it so mistakenly thinking it was a studio compilation, he picked up a copy of "Some Enchanted Evening." Upset that it was a live recording, the album collected dust. For his birthday my Mom got him the "On Flame With Rock N' Roll" compilation that met all of his demands. He seemed to be happy with it, but he never listened to it often. I would sneak down into his room and listen to this CD repeatedly trying to take in as much of its magic as I could.
I remember feeling that Al Bouchard's vocals were a little weak on "Cities On Flame", but for some reason I could not shake the imagery of "three thousand guitars that seemed to cry......and gardens of nocturne, forbidden delights". That entire summer and every one afterward I made sure to listen to at least that song to help my ever growing fix.
As for the other songs on the CD:
Transmaniacon MC: I felt Eric's vocals were also a little bit weak, but the music was strong with the strong chorus and catchy chromatic guitar run at the begining and conclustion of the song.
Career Of Evil: Another song that did not get me at first. I felt it was just too spacey to be heavy and too heavy to be spacey...but eventually I was proved wrong.
Dominance And Submission: Once again, I did not find Al Bouchard to be a convincing vocalist at first glance. I actually thought the call and response part at the end was silly, but the music was strong enough for me to listen again.
R.U. Ready To Rock: Now this song was awesome from the first power chord until the fadeout. An absolute favorite from the start, this began my love affair with the voice of Eric Bloom.
Death Valley Nights: Now this one was interesting. It had an Al Bouchard lead vocal, but on this one, I really did enjoy his singing quite a bit. Once again I fell for the drak and magestic lyrics about the horror of space and the terror of time with Allen Lanier's haunting piano trills piercing the darkness with blades of razor light.
As for Kick Out The Jams and the other tracks previously mentioned, there is not much else to write about with this.
So with all this in mind I had a start on my journey with BOC; but it would only become more intense.
Cut to Febuary of 2001. While shopping at Borders Books and Music near my home I spotted a diamond in the rough a copy of Don't Fear The Reaper: The Best Of Blue Oyster Cult for $7.99. What a find this would turn out to be. This compilation would offer me much more in terms of how deep and dense thier music would be. From this point it went to thier main albums and thier hallowed live recordings..........for me it was now too late.
So for the rest of high School and on into College, Blue Oyster Cult would stay with me.
On to my first gig. For the past three years I had been enchanted by Blue Oyster Cult and having missed a chance at seeing them in Pittsburgh in June of 1997 I jumped at the chance to see them in Johnstown.
I had lucked out majorly by scoring tickets for free at The Fox and Hound Pub and Restaurant located at the edge of my neighborhood. WDVE DJ Sean McDowell was kind enough to give me four free tickets instead of two. So with four free tickets I went about getting together a group of friends to go with me on this quest.
Since it was his birthday the day before and we missed out on seeing them in Pittsburgh before, my brother Aaron was going along. Still not the BOC fan that I was, he did enjoy their music, but he was in a real bad mood for the entire trip.
Todd, a high school friend that tried to go to Ohio to see BOC with me about a year before was going to join in, but gave some lame excuses first about the price (before I got the free tickets) and then something about work. He wound up going to a Mountain Bike race somewhere and was not able to go along on the trip.
Dan, a friend who I encouraged to by the "Super Hits" BOC comp was very eager to go and since we now had another ticket his brother Corey was looking forward to tagging along as well. But alas for Corey, he was not able to call off work so we departed for Johnstown with an extra ticket.
We stopped for lunch at a Chinese Buffet in Indiana, Pa to meet my girlfriend Mandie. We told her of the extra ticket, but she was stuck at work. So after we finished up we headed out for our final trek into Johnstown. As we drove into the valley at the city limits, we came across something unexpected; about two thousand bikers had descended on the town and basically took it over............apparently the golden age of leather was not quite over. Oh, and there were midgets too.
After we parked the car we realized we had a lot of time to kill so we decided to walk around the town. With the bikers there were a lot of food tents and other attractions set up around the town. It was about this time we realized we had a problem................Aaron now had a really bad "stomach problem" and had to go about every thirty minutes. Great.
After a couple of hours taking in the sites of the city, we got in line to see the show. As we filed into the Cambria County War Memorial Arena, we remembered that one of our favorite movies was filmed here. "Slapshot" starring Paul Newman was a favorite and it is always cool to actually see the place where one of your favorite movies was filmed.
Since it was pretty much festival seating, we initially took seats in the stands off to the side of the stage. We found out that this was a cancer benefit show and the band One Less Tear, a group of cancer survivors who had formed a band, started the show. They were ok, especially considering that about 2/3 of the group were just getting over their chemotherapy treatments.
Then there was a long change over. They were coming. Blue Oyster Cult, the band I had been waiting years to see were about to hit the stage.
Now here is where I got a little bit nervous. I vividly remember picking up "A Long Day's Night" the very day it came out (September 24, 2002). As good as it was, I remember that Eric Bloom's vocals seemed to be a little weak on that night. He just seemed to shout too much and those high notes just seemed a little too high. I had those same reservations that night. We headed out to the standing room on the floor to get close. Our view was good, the sound was fine, we were ready.
Then the lights went out and they hit the stage... I was in awe.
The setlist provided is 100% accurate, all of these songs were played, here is a breakdown;
R.U. Ready To Rock: Not my first choice as an opener, but this song ripped live. Eric's voice was absolutely nothing like it was on the new live album, all the notes were hit and he looked and sounded great. Bobby Rondinelli and Danny Miranda were in high energy, who would have thought that this would be the first and last time I would see them with the band....
Harvester Of Eyes: Ok, now this would be MY first choice as an opener (On Your Feet Or On Your Knees being arguably my favorite album of theirs) And like the first song, it was awesome. Buck Dharma and Allen Lanier seemed also to be in high energy as well and Allen looked pretty good. My brother remarked at how haggard he looked, but I told him that he has looked like that for about the past twenty years. They played the Secret Treaties Version like the one off the record, not like the live one off of OYFOOYK, still, it was stellar.
ETI: Really stoked to here this live. Eric's voice was superb and his keyboard playing was cool. Now for a while I preferred the studio version to this one, which is rare with BOC because they are just such a force live that more often than not the studio versions seem to be very dull and lack the fire of the stage versions. Now having heard this song performed right in front of me I am not sure which one is better. I like the riff changes near the end of the song before the last verse, like the version off of ETL. Once again, a great track live.
Burnin' For You: Surprised to hear this one so early in the set, but this song is still welcomed nonetheless. Buck's voice is still very strong and his solos on all the songs this night were outstanding. I like the long jam they do at the end of this.
Cities On Flame: Eric does a good job on this, the main riff is still one of the best in the annals of rock music and I think its hard to give a bad performance of this, but I think its played a little bit too fast and it looses a lot of punch in the long run.
Last Days Of May: Now here is where the show really became memorable. I am still in awe over how good the live version of this is off OYFOOYK, but this version more than gave it a run for its money. Eric talked a little bit to the crowd throughout the whole show and was a good frontman and he started this one off with telling the crowd that this was a true story. Allen took over on guitar from Eric and Eric manned the keys on this one. When they got to the jam at the middle of the song I was quite taken aback at how good of a lead guitarist Allen was. With a blonde Telecaster he ripped through with the passion of a twenty year old while Buck took his solos in stride like a pro. Then they started to speed the song up until they whipped into a frenzy, here is the song going at twice the speed and it rocks. Eventually, they finish off and the audience roars with applause.
Godzilla: When we got to this number I became worried, I could tell that the set was almost over. I was a little pissed. My brother had to go and spent most of this song running to the stalls while the solos came out. It is a really great song live, some little kid in the front row even put on a Godzilla mask as he was held up on his father's shoulders. Then came the solos, now I am not one to give guff for a drum solo or bass solo, but it really did kill some energy of the show, but this did not hide the fact that Danny Miranda was a great soloist and played a really good solo that was well-recieved. Next came Bobby's solo, great use of the double-peadal bass drum, it is easy to see why this guy was in so many different bands through the years.
Don't Fear The Reaper: The inevitable closer had arrived. I was happy to hear it, but I was hoping for more than just eight songs, but I will take what I can get. The kid in the front now was wearing a reaper hood and the guys onstage took notice. Still a great song live, good playing all around, but I really wished for more. I could listen to these guys for at least a three hour set and not be bored.
All in all it was a great show, we left right after their set, we are not big fans of Paul Rogers and we had a long drive home. Dan shared my opinion that the set should have been a lot longer. It would be even better next time on my home turf.
Until next time...
I suppose it seems odd to be a lifelong Blue Oyster Cult fan and not to have seen them live until just recently, but circumstances sometimes dictate that sort of thing. I'm going on 42 and have been into BOC ever since I heard them on the Heavy Metal movie soundtrack. Soon after that I started picking up their older albums and was hooked. Between their music and Frank Zappa's, I was able to survive the monotony of the Midwest.
I grew up in the middle of Wisconsin, and the opportunities in that area to see big-name acts is usually few and far-between, at least without travelling a hundred miles away. The one opportunity that I had to catch BOC was in 1993, at the Holiday Inn Convention Centre in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, the day the tickets went on sale, I was working and they sold out completely before I had a chance to even get out the bloody door.
After Zappa's death, and had pretty much assumed I would never see any of the performers that had colored my life, until I was driving and saw the sign outside Goodfella's Warehouse about two weeks before the show. "Blue Oyster Cult" was in quotation marks, so I kinda assumed it was some sort of cover band. After I was done with my errand, I drove past it again, and saw that all the acts were in quotes, so I immediately called them when I got home and could not believe my ears when they said it was really Blue Oyster Cult coming to Pottsville. Needless to say, tickets were purchased the next day.
The night of the show I was surprised to see not a very long line of people at the door. Most of the folks I chatted with didn't even seem to know who Blue Oyster Cult was (except for one fairly knowledgeable fellow who looked to be about my age or older). A girl who had purchased her ticket at the door mentioned that she had ticket #150. The wife and mine's were in the late 40's, so I didn't think this foreboded well, but I kept my spirits up.
The opening act was a very mediocre band called Rhymes With Orange (note to RWO and others: Metallica's music is really not ripe for the medley rip, and perhaps "Enter Sandman" should be somewhat more recognizable before the chorus). Poptart Monkeys, a Harrisburg band, completed the opening acts, and showed considerably more lyrical and musical skills with their set, which perked me and the wife up. The small crowd (which numbered not more than 200 people) was fairly sedate through both acts. The opening acts were followed by a very strange segue in which one of the guitarists for Cinderella was married on stage.
Finally the stage darkened and Blue Oyster Cult started the opening chords of "The Red and the Black". The crowd finally started coming alive and rocking as Eric started singing! The low turnout now became an advantage as almost anywhere in the warehouse was like being in the first six rows of a 'regular' concert ... there was a intimacy that BOC's music complemented wonderfully.
The song selection for this set was excellent. I would've liked to have heard "Career of Evil," "ME262," or "Astronomy", but "Golden Age of Leather" and "I Love the Night" made up for that. I was pleasantly surprised to hear so many tunes from their early albums, particularly "Before the Kiss." "E.T.I." was another welcome selection, as was "Shooting Shark." They of course also played everything that would've had minor airplay even in our little backwater town.
"Buck's Boogie" was one of the highlights of the whole show. It was odd to see him without his trademark mustache and longer hair. My wife commented that he looked like "a high school teacher up there, playing his heart out." He may be getting up there in years, but as a guitarist, Buck Dharma still has few peers. He makes it look so effortless.
I hadn't heard the band's last album, so I was intrigued to see how the new drummer and bassist would be in concert, and I was amazed... those two guys were playing their hearts out just as much as Eric, Buck or Al. I did think that, hell, I would do the same if that was my job too. Richie's vocals on the "Hot Rails to Hell" encore were great, and the drum and bass solos during "Godzilla" were unbelievable. And what's more, you could tell they were having fun, which can really make or break any performance in my opinion.
I'm still sitting here in awe and waiting for more. I'm not going to start hoping that BOC will come back to my area anytime soon... but I am gonna dream about it.
I'd like to talk about my first Blue Oyster Cult gig, it was Saturday 15th July 2006 at the Guilfest in Stoke Park, Guilford, United Kingdom.
The weather was muggy and the heat from below could burn your eyes out. A few hours before the BOC were due to go on the Ents24 stage, I wandered into a trader's tent and purchased a copy of 'Cultosarus Erectus' on compact disc. Bargain!.
What had seemed like an eternity of waiting drew to a close when the announcer ushered in "the Amazing Blue Oyster Cult". Finally, after years of admiration and catching glimpses of archived footage across the internet, my heroes stood before me (I was right at the front, devil horns poised).
Eric Bloom appeared first, then Richie Castellano, followed by Allen Lanier, Jules Radino and Buck Dharma. Thundering through all my favourite songs including 'Burnin' For You', 'Godzilla' and the monolithic '(Don't Fear) The Reaper'. It was the time of my life and one I shall never forget. No lasershow but a spectacle to behold nonetheless.
At the end, I remember leaving that night, high as a kite. Turning my hopes up to the skies, hoping I would see them again. And I would, nearly 3 years later - at The Brook in Southampton on the 8th of June 2008.
Thank-you B.O.C for keeping my faith in the music!
I am a 19 year old kid who was introduced to BOC by my family at a young age, and ive loved 'em for years. i finally got to see them for the first time yesterday, at the PNC bank arts center in holmdel, new jersey. i know it was only yesterday, but i was pretty far gone on some nice mushrooms, so SOME of the details are a tiny bit hazy. i know they opened with "this aint the summer of love" and played "OD'ed on life itself", "dont fear the reaper", "burnin for you", "buck's boogie", "godzilla", and "shooting shark". they MIGHT have played more but that seems to be all i remember hearing.
all i know is that it was one of the best live shows i have ever seen up to this point in my life. the light show was absolutely awesome as well. and eric and buck are such lively dudes, i loved the way they connected with the audience. they were the opener for lynyrd skynyrd (who i honestly wasnt too thrilled with, but hey, thats not the reason i was there). im never going to miss out on a blue oyster cult show again as long as they are touring, it was truly an experience.
When I was 15, my dad took me to my very first Blue Oyster Cult concert in St. Charles, IL. This was also the very first time we had ever visited the Arcada too, which quickly came a tradition to visit every year since it's not that far away from where we live! Although I wasn't a dedicated fan yet around that time, whatever my dad had recommended to me, I could trust him that it had to be good.
We wanted to see them that year, because in 2011, when my dad had recommended me to their music, he decided that we should see them at a festival. I can't remember which one it was, either the Prairie Festival in Oswego, or the Summer Celebration in Vernon Hills, but at least from what I heard, it was free show. Unfortunately though, there was confusion over when they would actually play, and we ended up missing out. I wasn't too sad, but I still wanted to see them, so it didn't hurt to try again in 2012.
While riding to the venue, my dad asked me if we should go to Portillo's for dinner, but I wasn't really feeling like it, then my dad asked, "Well, what if they're eating there?"
"I highly doubt it," I shrugged.
We never ate there, but this becomes important later on into the evening.
Upon arriving in St. Charles, we were impressed that there was free parking garages that were close to the Arcada Theater, and when we walked into the theatre, It looked great! We were especially stunned by the interior architecture of the actual concert area. It was basically an indoor show that looked like an outdoor one with European-like renaissance décor and walls, as well as a bit of a sky ceiling and beautiful lighting too.
Me and my dad were sitting in 4th row on the ground floor at Richie's side. After the first or second song, Eric Bloom talked how great the food at Portillo's was, and me and my dad were really stunned that he said that. Aside from the funny coincidence, that moment made me instantly notice how down-to-earth the band was, and I really loved that.
Security wasn't really bothered when a few rows from our corner moved up front, so we moved closer to the stage, and that was when I got my very first guitar pick from a concert ever, which was one of Richie's. I would give away what it looked like, but I'm not gonna, but it's a unique gem.
We overall had a great time that night, and although I still wasn't a dedicated fan yet, Blue Oyster Cult still became one of those bands I wanted to keep seeing at the Arcada every year. Unfortunately, I missed them in 2013, but I got to see them again on May 17th 2014 after meeting Buck Dharma behind the Arcada Theater before the concert, and that encounter was what made me a huge, loyal fan.
As of this writing, I am 19 years old, and I'm still a huge Blue Oyster Cult/Buck Dharma fan. I'm very thankful of being part of such a unique fanbase for a very interactive, friendly band, as well as get to chat with the fans and my currently favorite musician, Buck, on the forums as well as share my fanart and interact with other members on Facebook.