Since this site started, I've constantly been in search of new gig info, that is - gigs that don't appear on any official lists. Once I've got a previously unknown gig listed, my next thoughts are to find out what it was like, so I go on the lookout for reviews and recollections.
Sometimes those recollections are only sketchy - maybe just a line or two, so don't warrant a brand new review page of their own due to their shortness.
Occasionally, I've been sent recollections of unknown gigs but with no dating info to go with it - sometimes not even a year. This means I can't list it, and if I can't list it, I can't link a review off it...
This page is my attempt to address this - the memories which will appear here are either too short to have their own review page or else I don't have a date for the show.
If you enjoy reading these accounts, then why not consider sending me or maybe you can just help by adding more info to a post already here.
Hey there. Enjoying the BOC site. I've always really dug these guys. Saw them on quite a number of occasions back in the '70's here in Kansas City and they always COOKED. Some information for you on the KC dates that you have listed for 73-75. I hope I've got the chronology of this right. I'm pretty sure I've got the venues and sequence correct.
The 9/16/73 date that you have listed as the Grove was, I believe, actually at Cowtown Ballroom, which was a Fillmore type venue that was popular around here in the early '70's.. BOC was the headliner, with the Charlie Daniels band set to open. Daniels was late getting in, so BOC came on first. This was the first time I'd seen them. Little uncertain of the date on this one, but know that I have the venue and circumstances surrounding the CDB correct.
The 12/20/74 show that you have listed as an unknown venue was at Municipal Auditorium in KC and that really sticks in my mind. Don't remember a lot of specifics (that was a long!!! time ago, you know.) What I really remember was how tight the band seemed; the machine gun drumming, the triple guitar attack, the killer rhythm section with great keyboards. They were doing most of the "On Your Feet..." show at that time, and I remember the astonishing jams and flourishes associated with The Red and the Black, and Harvester of Eyes, and so many of the other tunes. ME262 kicked ass that night, with the Chuck Berry duckwalks and the guitar onslaught at the end And what I really remember was how - as a warm up act - they absolutely wiped the arena floor with ZZ Top (which was also a killer live act at the time). The sound at Municipal was always really tight for a big hall, and it all just came together for them on that evening. One of my top five all time concert experiences (and I had a bunch back then.) Another band played before BOC that night, but we were late getting there and I didn't catch who they were.
I saw them again at the 6/22/75 show at the Grove, which was a picnic area at an old amusement park here in KC called Fairyland Park. It was my 21st bday. Good show, but one of those all day festival things and not nearly as explosive as the Municipal show. A bit of a let down, but any show that has Buck Dharma playing "The Last Days of May" is worth the price of admission.
Saw them again in the late 70's, in San Diego at the Sports Arena (I was in the Navy at that time, and stationed in San Diego) and again when I went home on leave later that year at KC's Municipal Auditorium. They'd gotten a little "show-business" at that point with the lasers and the Godzilla thing going, and the act had gotten a little hokier, but the core tunes (the aforementioned "May", "Stairway to the Stars, which opened the San Diego show, and others) were spot on, and the band was as tight as ever. I remember the San Diego show was a three band gig, with Head East and Black Oak Arkansas as opening acts. Black Oak also opened in KC, but I don't remember whether Head East played KC or not. These shows were in the '78 timeframe. A side note about Municipal Auditorium...I saw the Stones there in '72 with Stevie Wonder as the opening act. $6.50 US for a ticket. Can you dig that?? How much you figure that ticket would cost today???
Haven't seen the band since then, and sort of lost track of them, but - on that one night in December of 1974 they were truly a rock and roll force that really defined for me the heavy metal musical genre circa mid '70's.
In the mid and late 70s I was young, single, and had a good job. Living near Chicago I had the opportunity to see almost every major act that was on tour. I guess that probably doesn't surprise anyone, but there were also a lot of times that the huge national acts would perform at smaller venues in Indiana.
Some of these, particularly the ones held at the Hammond Civic Center in Hammond, IN, allowed fans the opportunity to see the bands up close and personal. The stage at the Civic Center was only about 2 feet off the ground. We would usually go in big groups of 6-12 of us, mostly guys, but often take girlfriends. We'd get there early and stake out are position in front of the stage. I'm talking right in FRONT of the stage. When the bands came out, the front man would be no more than 4-6 feet in front of us. We would actually smoke joints and blow the smoke into the singers' faces. I swear this is true. I think we may have at times passed the spliffs right up onto the stage, but hazy memories here, like a lot of things I've seen and done, I wonder myself if I imagined this part.
The Hammond Civic Center - a large cavernous building - is ancient now, hell it was old at the time. With the low stage, which I think was set up and taken back down, non permanent, It was more like attending a party with the band then actually being in the audience. This place seldom seems concerts anymore, I think local residents now bitch about traffic and noise, hosts mainly sporting events, pro-wrestling, boxing, ultimate fighting tourneys, and circuses. With it's high ceilings they can even have trapeze and high-wire acts. I really doubt if the acoustics are the best, but don't know for sure due to the sheer volume those rock bands belted out.
I know BOC played the Hammond Civic Center in the 70s with there incredible laser shows. I sure wished I'd have kept those ticket stubs! We used to go see all the big rock shows in those days, I've seen so many bands in so many combinations that I really have lost track of it all. The only info on BOC at the Civic Center I have I got from a web site archive of the old WLS radio station in Chicago which states that BOC played the Hammond Civic Center on Oct 14, 1977. I know I must have seen this show. I also know I saw BOC at the Civic Center sometime between 1978-80. Wish I could be more specific.
I talked to an old friend who's memory seems better than mine. Incredibly, he told me he and I never saw BOC together. He does remember seeing BOC play with some other bands at a large outdoor concert at Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Indiana in 1972 or 73. I didn't know him at that time and I definitely wasn't there. Thought I'd add that in hopes somebody else might be reminded and do a write up.
Anyway, I'll ask Ray again about the Illiana Fest. He is an old time hippy who started seeing shows in Jr. High, before I knew him. I only wish I'd seen some of those early 70s Indiana gigs. I wasn't that interested and my folks woulda never let me see those shows way back when. Some other local shows I missed were KISS, Styx, Foghat, Bad Co, Zeppelin, and a few others. All at small local venues.
Besides the Civic Center and Illiana, you could from time to time catch big acts for one night only at: OMNI 41, the Poison Apple, Point East, and the Midway Ballroom right here in the small resort town of Cedar Lake! Within walking distance for me, I saw Foghat (great show!), Molly Hatchet, Steppenwolf (fricken awesome!), The Guess Who (beyond words), Iron Butterfly, and others I can't remember.
The Midway only held 800 people and actually started to sink into the lake during Foghat and had to be evacuated cutting the show short. I guess all that foot-stomping was too much for the old pilings, this venue was built on a pier over the water. With large open windows facing the water, you could hear the music all around the lake. Many would anchor boats nearby and you could see right into the building. Unfortunately this historic place burnt about 15 years ago and the dept of natural resources would not allow it to be rebuilt.
I think I will post a review of the Midway Foghat gig on foghat.com. I know I really enjoy reading stuff like that, so I like to add what I can. Hopefully someone finds my crappy writing of some value. For a laugh if nothing else! I have posted a couple reviews of fantastic Nugent shows that I have seen. Even had a few people doubt that I was serious, but it all happened. Those younger than I who never lived through the 70's have no idea how wild those shows were back then. If interested you can find them here: http://www.tednugent.de/ See Mike meets the Nuge.
The Midway was a special place. Built way back when, 20's maybe? It hosted big names of many different types of artists. In the early days (so I have been told) they had all the big names of the "Big Band" era. Before my time, don't recall the names, prob wouldn't mean nothing to you anyway. At various times it was under used. They had a bar and also a flea-bag motel attached. All over the water. They also had a restaurant/cafeteria for a while and a nice array of pinball machines that us "juvenile delinquents" played faithfully. Was a nice hangout. The kind of place you had to sneak in and out of, because all our parents told us to stay the hell out of there! I met all kinds of seedy characters there and also picked up a chick or two there. Actually one hot blonde I met there became my girlfriend, much to the chagrin of my pals... but that is a story for another time.
Anyway, later on, in the 60s it had a revival and started booking big time country artists. I couldn't have cared less and actually most of us hated that shit. It brought into town all these shit-kickers in cowboy hats and fancy duds. As I told you before the music carried across the lake and virtually could be heard throughout the whole town. I used to be able to hear it at night in my bedroom when the windows were open. This changed in the late 70s, early 80s.
The son of the original owner, who is my age, and an old friend, took it over and started booking rock bands. This was a huge thing in town. When the first band... Iron Butterfly or maybe Steppenwolf appeared on the marquis out front, it was the talk of the town. Me an my mates were ecstatic! Those shows were all 8-10 bucks and they had a cash bar. Also nobody cared if you did a couple lines right there on the bar and cocaine was used in abundance. Those who were shy did it in the john. Man, if you had to get into the stall you were screwed! There was always somebody in there hitting the coke spoon. Ah, those were the days. When the Midway burnt everyone said that the ol man had torched it on purpose. He always claimed it was a headache, needing major repairs annually after the ice broke up, and that he never made any money off it.
The big shocker was the revelation that he had canceled his insurance during the Winter when biz was slow. He had NO insurance. This had a lot to do with it not being rebuilt, although I know that dept of natural resources had at least preliminarily gave them a thumbs down to rebuilding. Makes sense if you think about it. Anyone could buy a crappy little lot on the lake and build a huge structure right over the water, which of course is public property. Hard to say one guy could and another couldn't. One by one all the structures that had once been over the water have disappeared. Goofy sots in the dead of winter were know to slam their snowmobiles into them. I used to get drunk and ride the lake too, but always was aware of the piers. Others have died or become crippled for life, those piers don't give much.
Seen them multiple times in Chicago too. I'm thinking at the International Amphitheater and the Aragon Ball Room. Any who've never been to the Aragon should go if they get the chance. It is amazing and they still have rock shows there to this day.
My memories of seeing Blue Oyster Cult seem to be limited. Maybe it had something to do with all those teeny tiny orange microdots and little pieces of paper (Mr Natural or Mickey Mouse) we always consumed about an hour or two before the show. At any rate, at the time these shows were awesome. Nothing else matched the experience. The lasers were amazing. I remember lasers coming off the stage. I'm thinking maybe they fanned out from behind the drums. I also recall seeing them either shooting out of the guitar, or maybe just reflecting off of it.
There were mirror balls hanging from ceiling, don't remember how many, but several... at least 3 or 4. There must have been other mirrors mounted around the auditorium, because once the lasers were all going full tilt, and the mirror balls spinning, they would be reflected around over and over, multiplying the effect. If you can, imagine thousands of beams of light going back and forth every which way. The building of course was smoke filled. This let you be able to see all the beams. The thing that stands out most in my memory is what happened when these reflected beams intersected each other. Where ever two or more beams intersected, you would get a floating spot of color that was a combination of the colors involved. Blue and Yellow made a green dot, Blue and Red made purple. These dots of color seemed to hover and move around, floating.
As the show progressed and more lasers were introduced, it gave the effect of being in a snowstorm, but the "snow" was every color of the rainbow! This is what I remember fondly about the shows. Never saw anything like it and doubt if I ever will again. You see, many times you'd get a laser right in the eye, which I guess is dangerous?!? For those who never experienced a laser up close, when you get one shined at your eye you see a spot of colored light which seems to have lots of little black spots in it. These spots would swirl around too, it seemed to me like you were looking at something alive under a microscope.
The other thing I remember vividly was the first time I ever saw the Godzilla mask bit. All of a sudden the drummer had a mask on. Don't remember if they dimmed the lights or not, but suddenly there he was. Honestly it looked like an alligator head to me, not sure it was godzilla-like at all. Later on maybe it was. At any rate it was cool and the crowd would go wild during Godzilla.
One other thing I'll add is that I also saw them post-laser days too and the light show was still pretty awesome. Nothing matches lasers, but they did a good job without them. Still one of the top light shows you could ever see.
Hope some of you enjoy what I've written and I'd like to thank Ralph for all his hard work and the opportunity to contribute to this fantastic web site.
24 August 1974 in Fargo... my 1st BOC show. It was at the Fargo Civic Auditorium. A guy comes onstage around 7:00... says the NY Dolls said something to the effect of "Fuck North Dakota, we aint coming!" We could get our money back or stay and watch BOC who agreed to do a double set. They took the stage about 7:30 and I remember looking at a clock behind the stage that said 11:40 and they were still playing!
I do remember BOC played a regular set... came back for a one song encore, then another 2 song encore, then a 3 song encore, a four song encore, and came out yet again and played 5 more songs. So they took quite a few breaks.
I was not very familar with their songs at the time, I remember at the end they seemed to be doing a lot of covers, they might have even played a few songs twice, but it was definately almost midnight when they quit playing. I thought the stagehand said the NY Dolls were back in Minneapolis and didn't want to come to N Dakota so I don't know if they played the Minot show the night before or not.
Great show... glad the Dolls decided to skip out.