1972 is generally regarded as year one in the BOC calendar (though, of course, they were touring under this name in 1971).
The year kicked off with the release of their eponymous debut album in January and in April/May BOC struck promotional gold when they got to support Alice Cooper on a number of dates on the "Killer" tour.
Many of the dates on this page come straight from Bolle Gregmar/Gary Aschliman's 1972 gig lists for boc.com. With most of this site's gig pages, I've been able to use their invaluable research as a starting point and then investigate further. However, with the years 1972-4, this has proven a difficult task.
1972 has been the hardest of all- solid definitive info on gig dates for this year is very hard to come by - even the Alice dates are open to much debate and trying to firm out this schedule is very frustrating, so please chip in if you know anything.
I'd also like to thank Paul 5, Peter Nielsen of the thinlizzyguide.com, Ian Cassetty and Bert Gangl for their help with a number of gigs on this page.
Have you got anything to contribute to this page? Reviews, missing info, ticket stubs, posters etc etc - if so, let me .
Various pages on the internet cite 16 January 1972 as the release date for this record but as that was a Sunday, and as nobody releases records on a Sunday, I have very little faith in that being accurate.
Wikipedia seems to be the root of this misinformation campaign, but that cites no sources - and people just seem to accept it without a second thought...
For more details on this record, please visit the Blue Oyster Cult Songatorium page for this recording...
OK - maybe this is a bit of a stretch here, but I've added BOC as a possibility on this bill because of the following post by David Ramage:
I was at one of the Rockpile shows. Edgar Winter was also on the show and Paul Simon was standing next to me in the audience.
He was with Columbia Records, as were Winter and BOC, so we thought he was checking out his new stable mate.
This was always of interest to me because I had the following Rock Pile gigs already listed:
Fri 25 Feb 1972: The Rock Pile, Island Park LI NY
Sat 26 Feb 1972: The Rock Pile, Island Park LI NY
Sat 04 Mar 1972: The Rock Pile, Island Park LI NY
Sun 05 Mar 1972: The Rock Pile, Island Park LI NY
Fri 24 Mar 1972: The Rock Pile, Island Park LI NY
Sat 25 Mar 1972: The Rock Pile, Island Park LI NY
I spent some time trying to find out was Edgar Winter on any of these shows, without much success.
The annoying thing is that, while Google have done a great job creating an online digital archive that includes issues of "The Village Voice", the entire first few months of 1972 are missing (as are the entire run from 1968, which is sad from an SWU point of view).
If you examine the issues that they do have from late 1971, it's evident that The Rock Pile advertised every week with the full running list of who was on that week.
I'm convinced that the answer of who was on the above-mentioned BOC bills lies within their pages, so if anyone has any access to these old issues (maybe next time you're in the micro-fiche dept of your library, if you live local), then please let me know.
But one thing I did discover - in the 30 Dec 1971 issue of the Voice was a pic box ad for a production of "Superstar" which was scheduled to play The Rock Pile on 7-8-9 January 1972.
Squeezed in at the very bottom of the ad was this:
Jan. 14 - The J. Geils Band
Jan. 21 - Edgar Winter's White Trash
Both those dates were Fridays, but after studying all the ads from 1971, it's possible to see that headline acts generally did two nights, usually Friday and Saturday (but not always). Therefore, I've pencilled in a second night after this one.
Of course it's possible Edgar Winter played the Rock Pile again a month or so later, but he was reasonably successful at this stage with a couple of albums under his belt, so I'm thinking that maybe this wouldn't be especially likely...
Anyway - that's my guess - if anyone can help with specific knowledge or a January edition of the Village Voice, please get in touch.
If the above holds true that BOC were on the Friday bill with Edgar Winter, then bearing in mind, that most acts did two nights (Fri and Sat) then logic would suggest that BOC were probably on this supposed Saturday show also.
If you know better, please get in touch.
The name of the town where the Action House was is Island Park, NY, not Rockville.
The "Rockpile" has a colorful history. It was formerly known as "The Action House" and was instrumental in launching many major artists.
The Rockpile/The Action House was run by a man by the name of Phil Basile. You may not know him but he was associated with some very well known if not infamous people in American culture. Phil Basile was a Lucchese crime family mob associate who served under Paul Vario and worked with Henry Hill. Who are Paul Vario and Henry Hill? Ever see the movie "Goodfellas?" They are the real life "Paulie" and "Henry" as depicted in the film.
You can read more about Phil Basile here:
And here is a good website that gives the history of this club. It is truly amazing who played here.
This particular location (50 Broadway, Island Park) has gone by many club names: The Action House, Rockpile, Speaks (aka SpeakEasy), Industry, and many more forgettable names. All these clubs were in the same building. It is now an empty lot in a residential area waiting development. I know all about this location as I grew up just 2 miles from it!
There is a publication on Long Island known as "Good Times." This is a free weekly newspaper that covers the local music scene. If there are any advertisements about early BOC shows, it will be in GT. Every local club advertised in GT, and I mean every one:
I could not find an archive on their website, but it must exist somewhere.
They claim they have been in publication for 48 years, so that brings us back to 1969. I saved some old copies, but they would be from several years later. I was too young to go to the clubs The Shell House, The Action House, or Rockpile, (all in the same building) but I did go to Speaks when that opened about 1976.
The Phil Basile club "Speaks" had a split "personality." It was a disco dance club Monday through Friday known as "Speakeasy" and a Rock and Roll club Saturday and Sunday called "Speaks." At one point it became all disco or all rock, I cannot remember. Local bands used to play there every week (Zebra, Twisted Sister, The Good Rats, etc.) I saw two showcase shows there, one for Tommy James and the Shondells, and the other for Mick Ronson (ex David Bowie and Mott the Hoople).
I just thought of another way to learn about Rockpile shows for BOC... radio advertisements. Speaks used to advertise regularly on the local radio stations. I knew the guys who produced and recorded those commercials. They were too young to have done any for Rockpile, but there just might be commercials that exist. Just look for airchecks from WLIR or WBAB, two of the local rock radio stations at that time. YouTube has many of these.
BTW, the Rockpile club building (on the waterfront no less) was vacant for many years and was finally torn down at least 10 years ago.
Here is a link to a Google street view that will show you the exact location in 2007, without the club. If you rotate the view to the left, you will see a self storage building. This was the parking lot to the Action House/Rockpile/Speaks. Also, notice that the club is in a residential area. The neighbors complained constantly as the noise, drunks, and riff raff trampled their lawn daily. I believe the club was built before the surrounding houses.
Some sources have placed this gig at the Centrum, but, thanks to a helpful email from Marc Miller which pointed out that the Centrum didn't open until 1982, a more likely venue would seem to be the Harrington Auditorium (part of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute).
Stop Press: Check out the stub above which I found on Sick Things - seems like it was the Harrington Auditorium after all!
This show is generally regarded as the opening gig of the run supporting Alice Cooper.
In a Classic Rock Revisited interview, Eric Bloom said this:
"We were signed to a booking agency called ABC. Alice Cooper was their biggest act. Alice Cooper was on a tour and Redbone was opening... there was some sort of problem between their management or between Alice Cooper the band and their band or something... it's still a foggy story. Anyway, our first album wasn't even out yet. Our agent came to us and said, "If you do one show with Alice Cooper and they like you, I'll get you the remainder of the tour."
It was at Worcester, Massachusetts and we went over. Alice Cooper was happy. We were happy, and we got 15 shows with Alice!"
So it looks fair enough to say that this Worcester gig is the first BOC/Alice gig - even if it was an audition of sorts.
I was interested in the mention of 15 gigs - I wonder if Eric meant this as an actual number or a rough approximation? Also, Eric didn't say whether or not Redbone played on any of the gigs BOC opened...
I was at this show.
By the way - it is Cold Spring Harbor, not Cold Spring. Cold Spring Harbor is on Long Island, near Dix Hills. Cold Spring is on the Hudson near West Point.
I found adverts for this gig in the Thursday 16 Mar 1972 edition of the "Wilkes-Barre Times Leader":
BOC PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS...
Plus Special Guest Stars
"BLUE OYSTER CULT"
M.C.: WARM'S T.J. LAMBERT III
Sunday, March 19th - 2 Shows 4 & 8 P.M.
PARAMOUNT THEATER, Public Square, Wilkes-Barre
TICKET LOCATIONS: Book & Card Mart, Wilkes-Barre; Spruce Record, Scranton; Wayne's Record Dept., Kingston & Taylor; Paramount Theater Box Office.
ADVANCE TICKETS $4.00 - AT DOOR $5.00
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CALL 823-3705
Opening act was Plum Nelly.
I know this venue having gone to 95% of the shows presented there back then (missed this one though) and I (still) am a friend of the family that ran it.
Venue name should be corrected to 'The Golden Nugget' (Pizza Parlor was NOT in name, though they served it). Technically location was a Rochester suburb called 'Henrietta'
BOC played a lot in the area back then, being from New York State. I also saw them previously when briefly signed to Elektra and known as 'Stalk Forest'.
The Golden Nugget also hosted quite a few national artists during their one and a half year run... Miles Davis, Harry Chapin (first tour), Little Feat (first tour), Shawn Phillips (first tour), Steve Goodman (first tour) , John Prine (first tour), Mike Nesmith of Monkees (first SOLO tour), the New York Rock & Roll Ensemble, Cheech & Chong (First Tour).
Almost all of the gigs had a least one night broadcast on the local hip FM station WCMF-FM 96.5.
I know for a fact that there are tapes out there in posession of former DJs from WCMF and have been searching for one gentleman in particular for the last 20 years.
Sadly, no luck but I haven't given up yet!
Regarding the correct name for the venue, I have done some internet searches, and did find a few "Do you remember the Golden Nugget in Henrietta?" type posts in forums and such like, so that seems kosher so fas as that goes.
However, I did see a 1970 reference in The Courier Gazette (Newark, NY) which mentioned the "Nuggett Pizza Place on East Henrietta Road"... obviously, it's from 1970, so they could have revamped their name by April 1972, or else it just might be a colloquial reference to the venue, so it's hardly definitive.
I did some more searching, and found that the Rochester "Democrat and Chronicle" was calling the venue "The Nuggett, Henrietta Pizza Palace" in 1970, and during 1971-1972, it was simply called "The Nuggett Pizza Palace on 1455 East Henrietta Road."
I also saw many classified ads for waitresses throughout 1972 where the venue was given with the slightly different spelling of "Nugget Pizza Palace".
This does make me wonder where the Golden" bit comes in...?"
The recording from this gig resulted in the famous "official bootleg" disk, which was released by Columbia in October 1972 and released to radio stations for "promotional purposes" only. It then later became more widely available as an actual bootleg as "Fantasy Distillation of Reality"/"Live in Montreal" (!!)/"Live in New York 1972" etc (it had a number of names). My own copy was in a nicely printed glossy black sleeve featuring a large kronos logo on the cover and the famous Verdi Statue promo shot on the back...
Here's the History to what the Early Presskits written by Columbia Publicist Arthur Levy, told of this Item.
In 1972/3 as a pre-release to Tyranny & Mutation Columbia issued this 4 Track 12" single/EP called the BOC Bootleg EP. It did contain: Side One: The Red & The Black, and Buck's Boogie. Side Two was: Workshop Of The Telescopes, and Cities On Flame With Rock & Roll.
It was a 4 Track Live recording from a Radio Station (WCMF-FM) broadcast in an edited format a week after the day of the recording 72-04-03, from The Nugget's Pizza Parlour in Rochester, New York.
The Full Broadcast was 36 minutes long and actually didn't include Buck's Boogie as that song lacked Publishing copyrights security at the time of the broadcast.
The Radio Show did have the following setlist though: The Red & The Black, Stairway To The Stars, Transmaniacon MC, The Came the Last Days Of May, Before the Kiss, A Redcap (Strange attempt at a re-arrangement), Workshop Of the telescopes, Cities On Flame With Rock & Roll, and Born To Be Wild.
Backline Power fuse blew just as they started that last song, but the power came back and the band went through the song and then some.....
The Vinyl History of "The Bootleg EP" COLUMBIA AS-40 is as such... the 12" was only released to radio Station as a White label promo EP. Then it was Bootlegged in 1976 by Vicky Vinyl company Idle Mind Productions as IMP-1106 and presented as "In My Mouth Or On The Ground" in a 10" format on Blue Vinyl and Black Vinyl on re-issues.
Two different covers were issued for this release, One artwork the other a Photograph from the Famous Publicity shoot in 1971 at "Needles Park" in New York.
Using that Photo and some great artwork the record was released in Europe as another 12" Vinyl in a deluxe packaging with a special Presskit fold out inner encosure with Lyrics to the first albums and the fantastic promo pic from Secret treaties called "Max Effo:rt" (supposed to be read as a diacritic) and became commonly known as The Soft White Underbelly record, thus creating massive misunderstanding and a popular misconception of what the real SWU was all about...
This all due to the fact that the labels on the Vinyl read Soft White Underbelly... this was issued in 1976. In 1978 TKRWM released "Fantasy Distillation...." which had a rubber stamp with the erroneous info of "Live In Montreal" on the cover sheet. and included a poorly centered SFG single on that 12" vinyl and more people got this rare collectible than ever before....
CD age and French semi-legal label SkyDog re-issued the EP and just called it Live in New York 1972, and actually issued a Vinyl to go along with it and to complete the story of its release. So there you have it...
Save this explanation and use it whenever somebody gives you any shit or whatever about this recording and its various CD or Vinyl releases.
I went to college in Rochester, NY from 1969 - 1973, and while I wasn't at the famous Nugget Pizza Parlor show on Apr 3, 1972, some of my friends were - though I did manage to hear the show sitting in my in the dorm when it was broadcast on the radio a week later...
Anyway, my friends who went to the Nugget came back raving about it and told the rest of us that we had to go see these guys at the Fun House, so we did...
When my friends and I got there, there were maybe 25 or 30 people in the club, not counting band/crew and staff. It was VERY inclimate weather. I remember the band played a set, then jumped down from the stage and shot pool at the club's pool table for awhile (did any of us go over and talk to them? NOOOOO - we were stupid). Then they got back on the stage and did another set for us brave, hearty, 25 or 30 souls.
The official site has these gigs down as a week run from Tuesday 4 April to the Sunday 9th April. However, there's a slight anomaly with this. It's a matter of record that BOC's early promoter Phil King was shot and killed on Thursday April 27th 1972.
I mention this because Joe Bouchard says that when Phil King was "shot to death in a gambling dispute, we were on tour in Rochester NY at the time at a gig he booked when it happened. It was at a club called The Funhouse in Rochester - it was a week long gig with mostly bikers and pool players."
If Joe's right, then that would put the Funhouse stint broadly during the week of 24 April - 30 April.
Could either the Fun House gigs have occurred a couple of weeks later or even might there have been a second week-long residency at the venue, which would correspond with them being there at the time of Phil King's shooting?
One problem with this,however, is that around this week, BOC were playing various dates in support of Alice Cooper so that would seem unlikely.
I don't know for sure what the dates were, but it would make sense that they were right after the Nugget gig, as they were already in town.
I seem to recall that after listening to the show on the radio, my friends who didn't go to that one and I decided we HAVE to see them the next night at the Fun House.
I know they didn't come back to the Fun House after that run, or we would certainly have gone - we understood them and were BIG TIME fans at that point. Plus, it was much more likely for a blizzard in early April than in late.
If that's correct that you heard the Nuggets broadcast on the radio and then decided to go and see them the next night at the Funhouse, that would tend to suggest the actual broadcast was earlier than a "week after" the show (see Bolle's piece above under 3rd April).
The latest the broadcast could have been would be Saturday 8th April, as the residence apparently ended on Sunday the 8th.
And, if that's so, then the broadcast would have taken place whilst BOC were playing their Saturday night Funhouse show - meaning BOC themselves might have missed it!!
Phil King was definitely killed during the Fun House residency. David Ramage was staying at the band house and had to identify him. It was winter. There was snow on the ground but not a lot.
I think the Phil King date must be wrong. Because we were on to tour with Alice on April 27th and it did not happen then.
You often see 27 April 1972 as the date generally given for the fatal shooting of Phil King, who was an early promoter for BOC, apparently as the result of some gambling dispute.
This was always problematical: Joe Bouchard had already told me that that Phil King had been "shot to death in a gambling dispute - we were on tour in Rochester NY at the time at a gig he booked when it happened. It was at a club called The Funhouse in Rochester - it was a week long gig with mostly bikers and pool players."
This was a problem because the Funhouse residency was 4-9 April, so if Phil King's death happened during this period, it couldn't have been on April 27th.
Albert Bouchard also got in touch to say that it definitely happened during BOC's Funhouse residency earlier in April and not on the 27th (when BOC were touring with Alice).
However, I have now received definitive information that Phil actually died on the 5th of April (see next post) so this means that once again, the internet is wrong...
Incidentally, all over the internet you will see references to Phil King being a former BOC vocalist. I've asked but have received no confirmation that he ever tried out on vocals, even during the time everyone from Richard Meltzer to Sandy Pearlman had a go at the job.
For example, here's what "The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches" (by Jeremy Simmonds) said:
"In their formative years, Blue Oyster Cult (apply umlauts as appropriate) found the position of vocalist the hardest to fill. BOC signed, briefly, to Elektra, the label that had enjoyed enormous success with The Doors over the previous years; it was believed that singer Les Bronstein had a similar presence to that of Jim Morrison. However, Bronstein suddenly quit, leaving the door open for a series of frontmen, of whom the shortest-lived was probably Phil King."
"King was not considered reliable by the other members of the group and had already left by the release of their eponymous debut for CBS (1972) - the vacant slot was taken by the band's manager, Eric Bloom. The wayward King had fallen into a twilight world of drink and gambling, and it was during such a session that he was murdered in New York, shot three times in the back of the head following an argument..."
I have also seen a reference that described him as "Phil King (aka Phil Friedman)"... Was that his real name, I wonder...?
By way of introduction, my name is Terri Friedman Bracken. I am the sister of the late Phil King aka Phil Friedman. I can tell you that he was killed on April 5, 1972.
The rest of the information you have regarding his death is pretty much true. But the date of April 5 is exact. It was 9 days before his 25th birthday.
I don't know if there is any more information I can provide you, but I wanted to thank you for your informative bio. I did not know about the 2 songs that BOC wrote about him and I am very grateful he is remembered by them. Please don't feel you have to be delicate. I loved my brother, but I also was very aware of what he was.
We were out of touch for a while because of some other financial matters, but we had planned to get together soon. The last time I spoke to him was probably 2-3 weeks before his death.
Again, thank you for the bio. I really appreciate it and so does my husband and my friends who are also big BOC fans.
Thanks for getting in touch, Terri. I'd certainly be interested in finding out more about Phil, so if anybody has any memories they'd care to share, please let me know.
There's a lot I can't remember, like how we came to meet him.
I know that before Phil we had somebody named Richard Dostal who got us gigs but they were pretty few and far between. He did get us the Swan Lake show where we met David Lucas. We might have met Phil through him.
Once we started to work with Phil we get gigs pretty regularly. As he was big into gambling most of the clubs were close to racetracks.
Phil might have sung with us at practice but we already had Eric as the singer when we met Phil.
I remember one time where we got a gig at a fraternity at Dartmouth College and all the students were so blasted that they were barfing all over the place - some of the Fraternity brothers were even licking the alcohol that had spilled off the floor. Phil was appalled and said, "These are the future leaders of our country!"
Phil was a dapper guy in many ways. He did not get sloppy.
He always said that he thought Karen Carpenter was the sexiest woman alive and insisted that he was going to have sex with her and she'd be wearing white go-go boots and hot pants.
"Hot Rails to Hell" was written about a slick promoter in the early days, Phil King. He and I lived in the Dix Hills house with assorted other freaks. He first introduced me to Alice Cooper back in 1971. He booked the band when nobody else would. He was shot to death in a gambling dispute. We were on tour in Rochester, NY doing a week-long stint at a club at a gig he booked for us called The Funhouse at the time - it was mostly mostly bikers and pool players... It was a shock. I guess we never paid his commission. ;-(
Fact: 1277 was the number of a subway car I rode in with Bill Gawlik coming back from NYC after a jazz concert. And indeed it had "KING" sprayed in red paint on the inside of the train car. Graffiti was rampant in those days. Pretty scary sight when Phil King had only been murdered only a few days before.
I think I was closer than the rest of the guys to Phil.
Yes indeed, his real name was Phil Friedman. However, according to Phil, who wasn't known as an out-and-out bullshitter, he got his NY State license because he made friends with Vincent Toffany's daughter. At the time, Vincent Toffany was the head of the NYDMV, dept. of motor vehicles. Phil told me she had a one-nighter with him and helped him procure a driver's license that said "Phil King". (no idea if this is true).
When we played in PA for a week of shows in Wilkes Boro, the promoter provided an apt. for us to crash. Phil and I shared a room and I often rode with him in his Lincoln.
At the time of Phil's death, he was living in the band's house in Dix Hills Long Island. I was the only band member living there. I was the one to receive the call in Rochester from David Ramage telling us of Phil's death. It was shocking because he was so full of life. Terrible way to go.
The way I heard it at the time was that Phil and an older guy had a yelling match at the Farmingdale Diner about money owed. And I think it was the other guy who owed Phil, but that's not important now.
Phil used to play the trotters and always walked around with a roll of cash. I went to the track with him a couple of times because he always wanted me to go. He had a circle of friends there. Many retired to the Farmingdale (Long Island) Diner for late night bacon and eggs after the track (the now defunct Roosevelt Raceway).
The older guy left the diner, got a gun and chased Phil through the parking lot. Phil tried to take refuge by banging on the door of a local house and was shot through the screen door while trying to escape.
Police showed up and the guy took at shot at a cop on a motorcycle and tried to run but he was apprehended. He did time, not sure how much but the rumor was it wasn't particularly long. (I have no facts about a lot of this, just what was told to me by a variety of sources).
And Phil never was the singer in BOC, Underbelly or any other incarnation of the band. Not even in a rehearsal. We were way too weird for him.
His favorite song was "Vehicle" by the Ides of March. He wanted to sleep with Karen Carpenter so he could be on top of her and sing "Love , look at the two of us".
He had his faults, but he had a good heart and a great sense of humor. Truly a 'character' and one of a kind. If he was around I think we'd have stayed friends all these years.
And oh, yeah - that book that claimed Phil had slid into an underworld of gambling and drink... total bullshit. Never saw Phil drunk. He was the same guy the whole time I knew him. He did relish hanging out with gamblers, though. I think he would have outgrown that eventually. He was only a kid...
It was during a BOC road trip and club engagement in Youngstown, OH that Phil had booked. Phil came along, driving his Lincoln, seen in the photo with the hood up talking to a mechanic.
The car was an early '60's Lincoln Continental that had lots of miles on it, and it required fixing often. Jeff was along as a roadie for the gig, and sent me the picture he'd kept all these years and scanned two summers ago.
The second photo shows BOC playing in the club (can't remember the name of it) and Phil sitting at a table at the side of the stage looking at something in his lap. You can see Eric and Joe in the photo.
I'll echo what Eric said about Phil being a character, and although we knew we would be moving on from involvement with him, his memory and impact on our lives endures.
There had even been some talk about Phil maybe helping Sandy Pearlman with some of the nuts and bolts aspect of management in the future, but of course it didn't go that far with Phil's untimely death.
OK - this is where matters start to get murky... the Alice tour!!
The poster above shows Alice played here on this date. Redbone are also mentioned on the poster. In view of Eric Bloom's contention that BOC replaced Redbone, it remains to be determined if Redbone actually played or not...
BOC.com also mentions that BOC played here on this date.
Ergo: it seems fair to say that this is the second BOC/Alice gig.
I attended the April 14, 1972 concert in Charlottesville, Virginia. Yes indeed, the posters around town promoted Alice Cooper, with Redbone opening. However, on the day of the concert, I heard the rumor that BOC would also be on the bill. I was really into their first album, so this was exciting news.
Redbone definitely did NOT play that night. I can remember BOC taking the stage, followed by an emcee announcing that "This band on stage is not Redbone. Redbone cancelled on us..."
Eventually he introduced BOC, and they just blew a storm! Alice Cooper were fine, but they could have cancelled, too, and I would have been totally satisfied with just BOC.
Actually, I'll mention that I found your site after searching for info on the Columbia AS40 "BOC Bootleg EP." I have a cherished copy of this item, and was just listening to it over the weekend. Per your site, I see that those tracks were recorded just the week before the Charlottesville show that I saw!
Honestly, I can't remember a single track that BOC played that night, which kills me. I'm sure the set list was close to what they played at Rochester a week earlier. Aside from the emcee introducing the band, what I remember is that near the conclusion of their last song, Eric Bloom did his version of the Chuck Berry duck walk: Bloom was near the center of the stage, put his arms over his head, and went "Wooooooooooo" as he somehow propelled himself across the stage to the very edge. Crazy!
BOC have played locally a few times in recent years, but for some odd reason, I don't want to "contaminate" the memory (however vague) I have of seeing them in their prime. Oh, and one more memory: I don't think the girl I took to that concert ever went out with me again; I guess BOC and Alice scared her off!
BOC.com has this gig down as "Raleigh Unc" in Atlanta GA which obviously must be a mistake, so I can only assume that Raleigh is the town and the University of North Carolina is the venue.
This concert was part of what was called "The Day" at NC State University in Raleigh, NC. It took place on the Lower Athletic Field on campus.
It was a free show to students and whoever else could sneek in (which wasn't hard)
Great times - Free music, Free Beer, Free women. A great day was had by all!!!!
While conversing with a friend of 25 years today, the subject of Alice Cooper came up and we discovered we both attended, and sat near each other at one of his concerts in 1972. The event was called On Campus Weekend which took place in early May of 1972 on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.
This type of all weekend concert was typical at the time for many colleges and universities. I was trying to remember who else was on the bill and all I could recall other than Cooper was Blue Oyster Cult and Tom Rush. I came across a photo I got of Tom Rush just recently.
Rush performed in the afternoon so there was plenty of light for pictures. My cheapo camera was not adequate for pictures of Cooper or BOC since they performed after dark.
I was searching the internet to see if I could find something that might tell me who else played this concert when I found your site and saw some of the information surrounding the N.C. venues was a little confusing. For people from outside the state it is understandable.
The state has one of the nation's best state supported programs for its university system, thus lots of universities called UNC at Asheville,at Chapel Hill, at Charlotte, at Wilmington, etc. The university in Raleigh, where BOC performed, is in the same state system, but simply called North Carolina State University.
Hope this helps.
Well these two posts would appear to be referring to the same show simply because they share the same location and time frame... ish. I notice, though, that JaCeLewis says his gig was early May. It's also odd that Paul doesn't mention the presence of Alice Cooper...
Anyone got any more info?
I want to make some corrections to the 4/15/72 concert in Raleigh, NC. Yes, it was April the 15th but the name given for the event every year at NC State university was All Campus Weekend. I have the Ticket stub to this day. The funny thing about it was that on the ticket it was AC 72 and I thought that was cool because Alice Cooper was playing.
I also have the ticket for AC 73. The first one I believe was in 1970. I was 15 yrs old at the time and what I saw flipped me out. It was Steppenwolf and then Jefferson Airplane. I remember the guys up front near the stage were wearing German military Helmets and those big crosses.
Getting back to 1972, Redbone cancelled and for some reason I want to say the word BloodRock, the band. Either they were there or supposed to be there.
Also, I saw the Byrds but not sure if that was then or the next year with J. Geils and Steve Miller. There is something bothering me about BloodRock and also The Byrds. I will look into it further.
Yes, a of people did get in free by pulling the bottom of the fence up but, it was not free. The cost for a ticket was 5 dollars for a day or the whole weekend.
They stopped the concerts at NC State (All Campus Week-end) because people were building fires all over the place to stay warm during the night because it was April and it gets cold at night here. They were getting out of control and many had to be put out by the fire Department.
Hope that helped you.
The presence of the Byrds on the bill is confirmed on this link:
At this stage, I'm fairly happy that Alice Cooper and The Byrds headlined, that maybe Redbone were originally scheduled to play - but cancelled, and that Tom Rush might have played in the afternoon.
I decided to check with Tom Rush to see if he recalled playing this gig, and if he did, what could he remember of it...?
Ah, the memories come flooding back. But not many of them, unfortunately. I know I DID play with Alice somewhere, sometime, outdoors. I remember because it was such an odd pairing the folk rocker and the guy who bites the heads off live chickens.
I don't know who else was on the bill, but I doubt the Byrds were because David Crosby is a good buddy and I would remember him being there. (On the other hand, my being unable to remember could be construed as evidence that he WAS there.)
I can't help you with the BOC question.
The one thing I do remember clearly is that as part of the spectacle the promoters had arranged for a skydiver to parachute down into the crowd, after dark.
Problems arose when the parachute was getting close (it had been announced over the PA) and several helpful people started shining powerful flashlights up at the guy, thereby blinding him.
Unable to see where he was going the poor fellow ended up straddling an 8 foot-high chain link fence, where he sat screaming bloody murder until someone could fetch a ladder and get him down.
Every guy in the crowd had his legs crossed. Biting the head off a live chicken seemed kind of tame after that. But I realize that's not the question you asked.
Thanks Tom - incidentally, here's a link to Tom's site:
Robert Zuccarelli said that Redbone cancelled, which agrees with the line-up shown in the campus paper, but seems to think Bloodrock, and not BOC, subbed for Redbone. I guess that kind of makes sense: the names are similar.
Here is the originally-scheduled line-up of the NCSU All-Campus Weekend festival, taken from the student newspaper printed the first day of concerts (Friday). Alice Cooper and the Byrds played on Saturday, Apr 15.
Thanks for that, Bert.
Stop Press: Massive thanks to Si Halley for sending me the review of the gig above. Thanks to this, I now know that there were two distinct phases of this gig:
The afternoon show, featuring:
Then the evening section, featuring:
Here's the review from that 21 Apr 1972 edition of the Collegiate [Atlantic Christian College] magazine:
The Music Thing
By Jim Temple
It was a beautiful day in Raleigh last Saturday and the crowd of 10,000 lolled in the sun sipping beers and passing pipes while listening to some very good music. Among the afternoon entertainment were Mick Greenwood and Tom Rush. Greenwood is from England and Rush is from New England. Both Greenwood and Rush were good in concert but neither was outstanding. Taking into consideration the time and crowd they were playing at and to they did a good job.
To finish off the afternoon entertainment were the Byrds. The Byrds have been around for a long time although the group has undergone many personnel changes in the last few years. As a group they still remain one of the finest in music. They combine rock and folk music with blue grass and country extremely well. Roger McGuinn and company should remain prominent in the field of music for many more years.
After a break between the afternoon and evening performances everyone was ready for the bigger names. In the place of Redbone who cancelled their show the Blue Oyster Cult from N.Y. was brought in. Blue Oyster was a very pleasant surprise as they put on one of the best shows I've seen in a long while. They are certainly a group to keep an eye on in the near future. They have released one album that is fantastic and well worth purchasing. If you like good rock and roll then Blue Oyster is a group to listen to.
The big show of the evening was none other than the legendary Alice Cooper. Cooper and his music is very unique and is very hard to catorgorize. The groups last album Killer was a best seller and really brought Alice to the attention of music fans nationally.
With the stage set the group came on followed by Alice. The costuming was outstanding and the show began with a screech and a roar. The concert was entertaining but didn't live up to my expectations, at least musically. The stage show was the best I've ever seen and any group would have a very difficult time competing with it.
One question that still haunts many people is just how much of Alice Cooper is for real and how much is a stage act? I hope that Cooper is all act because of his stage show. During the song Dead Babies Alice mutilates a baby doll and throws the pieces to the crowd.
The fact that the crowd was cheering over this act was rather astonishing. One may argue that as the show progresses Alice is finally brought to justice as he is hung by the neck in a most effective manner and so the cheering crowd many cheer because they know the doll is plastic, and that it is done in the name of "musical theatre". The mutilation is done as part of an act, and as such is fine, yet that still doesn't explain the cheers. I wonder how many would have cheered if the doll was not plastic but flesh and blood? It sounds absurd I know, but it many be that Stanley Kubrick's future society is not far off.
The one thorn in the side of the evenings performance by Alice Cooper was the way I interpreted the crowd reaction to some of Cooper's actions. As "musical theatre" (a term I don't like using) Alice Cooper is tremendous. If in real life he is as infatuated with as much violence as his show projects then I fear for those who like him or those who adore him.
This has been a difficult gig to pin down, but I think I've got it right now. Initially, the original blueoystercult.com gig lists had this show down as "The Citadel Auditorium, Charleston SC". Then I got the following info:
I have just found your site while doing a search for Alice Cooper gigs, 1972.
First, I am from Charleston SC - there is no place called the Citadel Auditorium.
The Citadel is a military school and although they used to throw some wild beach parties, there were never any performances there.
However, I saw BOC back up Alice at County Hall, Charleston SC right around that time...
I know I was at this show because I caught the chopped up baby leg during "Dead Babies", as Alice was using a hatchet by then to dismember the dang thing.
This was interesting because this was corroboration for a BOC gig at Charleston but with a different venue and a named headliner - but what about the date? Was it the 16 April date I already had listed?
The 16 April date was on the original BOC gig schedules, but those schedules often don't seem to have taken account of any cancellations or changes.
Incidentally, sickthingsuk.co.uk had Alice at either "Township Auditorium, Columbia, SC" or "Citadel Auditorium, Charleston SC" for 16 April.
I suspect they might have seen the Citadel reference on this site, which would leave just the Columbia possibility for Alice on this date.
One thing - Alice did play the "Township Auditorium, Columbia, SC" with White Witch (see this flickr link) - Hunter Desportes, the photographer says he doesn't know the exact date of the show, but the info beneath the photos say the pics were taken on 10 May 1972, so how much credence can be given to that is currently unknown...
I should mention that alicecooperechive.com has no Alice date listed for 16 April 1972.
I have seen various mentions around the internet of people having seen Alice at County Hall - for example, in a youtube comment, a guy called "penguin99ify" says he "First saw BOC on tour with Alice Cooper in 1972 at Charleston County Hall."
Then I got this info:
I was at this gig on April 16, 1972.
As I recall it was known as the King Street Palace (but might have been called County Hall). I was 13 years old at the time!
My older brother took some photos of Alice Cooper with his Instamatic camera. No pics of BOC. In those days you had to save your film!
I know the "April 16, 1972" date is correct because it was written on the backs of those photos that my brother took.
I have to say, though I became a fan of BOC later (and even worked with Joe Bouchard's Cult Brothers briefly), my friends and I were not impressed with BOC that night.
Here's a report from the 8 May 1972 edition of the "The Greenville News" - it confirms there was an Alice gig at County Hall in Charleston "three weeks" earlier:
Blocks of Fans line-up for Alice Cooper Show
Alice Cooper went to Charleston three weeks ago and according to one fan who caught the performance, "Charleston ain't been the same since".
Well, I'll admit that Alice Cooper has become a much-talked about legend in his relatively short music career, but I doubt that he's enough of a musical phenomenon to change Charleston. I'm sure Charleston is as Alice Cooper found it.
This is not to wage any kind of battle with Charlestonians. Not at all. Because their azaleas are a thing of beauty. But it is to bring up an interesting question - how can a city that prides itself on war memorials and aristocratic class have such a tremendous turnout for, Rhett Butler forbid, Alice Cooper?
There are probably many reasons, but the most obvious one is that there just might be a new Charleston on the horizon. At least as far as the young people are concerned
Alice Cooper was to commence his now legendary show at the Charleston County Hall, a run-down, dilapidated structure for an auditorium, at 8 p.m., or that's what the $4 tickets said. But there was another back-up group on first which made it about 9:30 p.m. before Alice Cooper came on.
The 9:30 starting is not such an unusual thing, but the 6 p.m. time slot is. It was at that time, an hour and one-half before the hall was to open, that a line started forming at the box office. The line eventually reached the length of four blocks and went out of sight at a church on Trade Street.
What went on outside County Hall before the concert was not unusual. If the people had been waiting to hear Jethro Tull, they would have talked about Jethro Tull. So this crowd naturally talked about you-know-who.
"I've heard Alice Cooper albums, but I've never seen him perform," one fan remarked.
Apparently most of the 8,000 fans had come to see Alice Cooper and not hear his music.
When Alice Cooper struts into the room, it's like everybody there knows him. Midway into the show, it's also apparent Alice Cooper fans know their subject's stuff quite well.
His music seems to play second fiddle to his show, and for an obvious reason. The show is so unique, different, unusual and other adjectives that suggest "weird" that it is easy to lose the music in the message.
Alice Cooper will be at Greenville Memorial Auditorium Sunday night, May 14. And I'm sure someone in the audience is going to remark "Greenville ain't been the same since" three weeks after Alice Cooper's left town.
Alice Cooper's show is not to be missed. It's the weirdest thing since Mary Poppins took to using umbrellas for airplanes.
So... BOC aren't mentioned by name and like I said, no exact date is given, but the time-frame checks out - the original BOC gig schedules say BOC played Charleston on this date, and both Doctor Steve and Philip Romano confirm that BOC played with Alice at the Charleston gig. Furthermore, Philip confirms the actual date from his photos, and the newspaper review dovetails nicely with this.
Consequently, I'm reasonably happy this gig happened on that 16 April 1972 date.
An advert for the gig appeared in the 19 April 1972 issue of "The Spectrum", but didn't mention BOC:
WKBW and Buffalo Festival present
April 21st at 8 p.m.
Advance Sale Tickets $4.50
Tickets at door $5.50
Although BOC.com doesn't mention this show, proof of BOC's presence at this gig came recently (Jan 2013) courtesy of eBay in the form of a copy of BOC's contract for this gig - they were contracted for one forty minute show and were paid the princely sum of $750, "payment in full upon completion of the engagement"...
I was interested to see that "Donald Roeser" was down as the signatory on behalf of BOC, and not a member of management...
Both sickthingsuk.co.uk and alicecooperechive.com confirm this BOC/Alice gig - sickthingsuk.co.uk also mention the existance of a ticket although it's not displayed on the page. They also say Fleetwood Mac were on the bill.
BOC.com mentions this show as having taken place on this date.
BOC opened, the second band was Fleetwood Mac, the headliner was Alice Cooper
The Fleetwood Mac line up included Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie and Bob Welsh ! They were all there ! I saw it ! They played Sentimental Lady. It was wonderful !
I initially had this down as a BOC gig because the original lists on BOC.com mentioned BOC played Rochester on this date, but didn't mention a venue.
Then I saw that Alice played the Rochester War Memorial on the same date, so I didn't think it was unreasonable to assume that BOC and Alice were on the same bill, being as they were touring together at that time...
This email didn't help, though:
My friends and I saw every Alice Cooper show, so we were at that one in Rochester, but funnily enough, I have no recollection of BOC opening! My powers of recollection are not the very best, however...
So, there was a seed of doubt sown but I continued to list it as a BOC gig in the absence of any actual evidence to the contrary. That seed has now been trampled underfoot by Si from sickthingsuk.co.uk:
BOC were NOT there. I have a review of the show now and adverts. The show was advertised, right up to the day, as Alice Cooper, Lighthouse and Redbone. Redbone canceled and were replaced by... Fleetwood Mac!!
No BOC, sorry...
Thanks for that info - at least I know, now. That's weird though - 'Redbone cancelling' is a common thread running through all the BOC dates because that was the band they were replacing, but why didn't BOC play as normal.
It's not like they had any other pressing engagements...
72-04-28: New Haven Arena, New Haven CT Setlist:
Opening up for Alice Cooper. A Great 45 Min set, and this is that quirky version of B4TK that they did that spring.
I found a listing for this gig in the 22 April 1972 edition of the "Hartford Courant":
Alice Cooper, the acknowledged queen of drag rock, will bring his (her?) show to the New Haven Arena Friday at 8 p.m. "Show" is the word for it, the group throws money at the audience, has a boa constrictor onstage, and usually ends the show by hanging Alice. Also on the bill will be Edgar Winter, bluesman, and Blue Oyster Cult, a highly-touted hard-rock band from New York City.
Only alicecooperechive.com confirms this BOC/Alice gig and also mentions that Edgar Winter's White Trash were on the bill.
BOC.com mentions this show as having taken place on this date and it's listed on the Rolling Stone advert.
A tape of this gig appeared on dimeadozen recently - looks like the guy who went there to tape Alice taped BOC as well. Must have had some spare batteries. I salute him/her for their good taste and foresight!!
Anyway, check out the clipping above from the 11 May 1972 issue of Rolling Stone. It was from a full page advert for the first BOC LP, and at the foot of the page it gave the dates as you see them.
As it was dated 11 May, which is right slap bang in the middle of the quoted dates, I initially gave it a fair bit of credence as good contemporaneous dating evidence.
Like an archaeologist finding a bit of a dateable pottery at the bottom of a trench they've just dug, I attempted to cling to this during the next series of so-called Alice dates...
But it turned out to be not that easy - as per bleeding usual...
Blue Oyster Cult? Man! They fucking RULED in the early 1970s!
I saw them for the first time at the New Haven Arena at the concert that changed my life forever... Blue Oyster Cult, Edgar Winter and Alice Cooper. Blue Oyster Cult was good, but not great... On the other hand--Alice Cooper changed my life that night! It was the single greatest concert I've ever seen in my life and this concert is why I started PUNK magazine!
Later on, I saw Blue Oyster Cult at the Schaefer Festival in Central Park--when I almost got my head kicked in because I attempted to grab one of their drumsticks--this was the first time I failed to get a souveneir...
Then, in 1977, I saw The Ramones open in Long Island for Blue Oyster Cult at the height of BOC's popularity... "Don't Fear The Reaper" and all that... Man, the Ramones sucked that night. I mean, they put on a good "Ramones" concert but their flaws as an arena act were exposed for all to see. They never did figure out how to be a good opening act, and I think this is part of the reason why they never made it... Well, that's a long story.
Anyhow, seeing BOC that night with their laser lights and all was awesome! But still, I liked them much better at the Schaefer Festival, that concert was impossible to top.
This gig gets a mention on the brown.edu (Brown College) site, and lists the supports as:
I don't remember much about that Brown College bill except our performance.
In those days, folks liked diverse booking with all sorts of acts. I do too. I know I like all those acts.
I'm a huge Bonnie Raitt fan, she sings and plays as well as anyone.
This show was Spring Weekend at Brown Univ. The line-up was as follows:
This is from the April 28, 1972 Brown Daily Herald. Here's the full text of the relevant part:
Spring Weekend Concerts
BLUE OYSTER CULT, Sat. 8 p.m., Meehan. Ultra-amplified, heavy acid rock in the tradition of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Grand Funk's juggernaut music. Musically flawed, the Cult's performance relies mainly on decibels for effect.
IKE & TINA TURNER, Sat. 8 p.m. Meehan. The magnetic moaning and writhing of Tina Turner is very effective, if commercial, and she rasps out gutsy numbers accompanied by Ike, a talented guitarist who strums quietly in the background. As a total production, the show is professional, calculated, and lively. Impressive, if one can get into such a mechanical come-on.
Neither of the main Alice sites mentioned this show originally, but BOC.com did feature this show as having taken place on this date.
Check out this blog link by Bob Lefsetz:
At the end, he confirms that BOC shared the bill with Alice Cooper at this show:
I saw Blue Oyster Cult open that spring for Alice Cooper at Boston's Music Hall. What a double bill! Alice killed.
But the audience... it wasn't familiar with the boys from Long Island. The guitarist was wearing a white suit. Live, they were sans charisma, and the vocals were less than perfect, far from dominant. But that first record, I've never gotten over it.
I have a listing for the Alice Cooper show at the Boston Music Hall on Sunday April 30, 1972 from the Friday April 28, 1972 Boston Globe but there's no mention of Blue Oyster Cult.
Thanks to Bob Lefsetz's personal testimony, I'm reasonably happy that BOC were indeed the support for this show. I think their name is missing from all the ads and advance publicity materials because it was originally Todd Rundgren who was scheduled to play this gig - amongst others - but he subsequently cancelled for reasons unknown, and BOC filled in for him (as they also did for Redbone on other shows).
However, if anyone has any actual evidence that places BOC as support on this gig for sure - or, indeed, some evidence that says differently - please let me know.
The Todd Rundgren Dimension
In the 22 Apr 1972 issue of "Billboard", they published this info inside a piece entitled "Rundgren Set for 1st Tour":
Rundgren will perform at the Music Hall in Boston with Alice Cooper on April 30. Other dates (with Alice Cooper) include:
May 05: Dallas
May 06: Houston
May 07: San Antonio
May 12/13: Boulder CO (with Van Morrison)
Again with Alice Cooper in:
May 19: Memphis
May 20: Fayetteville NC
May 21: Hampton VA
May 24: Jacksonville FL
May 25: Pensacola FL
May 26: Tampa FL
May 27: Miami FL
May 28: Orlando FL
I don't know the reason, but it's obvious that Todd definitely didn't perform on the majority of these gigs - but he also definitely did play with Alice on some gigs that aren't listed in that Billboard piece.
To say it's a confused picture would do a disservice to the whole concept of confusion. First we have Redbone as the support; they're then replaced by BOC on some gigs, and Todd Rundgren on others, the latter being then replaced by Bang and Canned Heat for the Texas gigs and Dr. John for some of the Florida ones...
Good luck to anybody trying to piece this mess together some 45 years later... oh wait, bugger! That's me...
This gig was initially shrouded in some confusion, and for a while I even doubted whether it actually happened or not, but now, thanks to Philip Gaeser, I think it's been sorted out:
My band at the time opened for BOC and Trapeze @ UNCA / Asheville Biltmore College ?
We were called "Radio" long before Ray Parker Jr. used the name, and comprised:
My poster says "May 3", however there's no day of the week or year - most from back then didn't.
Trapeze was off to Odessa Texas after Asheville, per the road crew.
That was 1972 for sure. I've since found adverts for this gig in the "Asheville Citizen-Times" (30 April and 3 May issues):
Blue Oyster Cult
Trapeze (From England)
Wed. May 3 - 7:00 P.M.
$2.00 Advance Tickets - $3.00 At The Door
Advance Tickets Available At
Family Record & Tape Center (Tunnel Road Shopping Center)
Wise (Radio Station)
Siren Stone (In Biltmore)
Stereo Tape Center (Merriman Avenue)
OK - thanks to Darrel Goodman's post as well as the following email sent by Greg of The Tour Archive, (see below), I am now certain this gig took place alright, but not with BOC on the bill:
BOC was not on this bill. Alice Cooper, Canned Heat & Bang played at the San Antonio Convention Center Arena on May 5, 1972.
This information is from the May 5, 1972 San Antonio Express newspaper.
Greg [The Tour Archive]
As this is from a newspaper issued on the day of the gig, I think that's pretty good evidence. It's not conclusive, of course, as I have a number of examples of contemporaneous newspaper reports containing inaccurate information, but for now, I'm happy to go with it.
Actually, there's always been a lot of confusion over this date... Initially, I had the "5 May" gig down as Dallas TX supporting Alice because of the above Rolling Stone advert.
I'm not sure where "Hemisphere" comes in, as the stub says "Convention Center Arena", although I was a little concerned that the stub wasn't torn, indicating it may not have been used or a possibly cancelled concert, but in the circumstances I was willing at the time to take the stub at face value.
Just to confuse matters even more, BOC.com has BOC in Jacksonville FL on this date!!
As it happens, in the light of Greg's email, maybe BOC did play Jacksonville FL if they didn't play this gig...?
The Fri. May 5, 1972 gig was Alice Cooper + Canned Heat + Bang at the San Antonio Convention Center Arena.
B.O.C. was not there!!!
I took photos at this concert and talked to "Bear" from "Canned Heat" after the concert!
Re your confusion over "Hemisphere" - the "Hemisphere Arena" was built in 1968 for the Worlds Fair here in San Antonio, Texas. After the Worlds Fair it was renamed "Convention Center Arena", but many people still called it "Hemisphere Arena" for years.
The Rolling Stone advert above says "May 6: Houston"
The original giglist on blueoystercult.com adds to the confusion by placing BOC in Pirates Cove, Miami FL.
It's all a bit of a mess at the moment, so I can only really classify this as a "possible" BOC gig right now until I can get some more information.
In the light of it now being likely that BOC didn't play San Antonio the night before, nor Houston the night after, maybe BOC did play Miami after all...?
I've since had to re-designate this as a "Non-BOC" gig due to the poster featured on the sickthingsuk.co.uk site.
My current assumption is that Alice played all three Texas gigs with the Bang/Canned Heat line-up.
If that's true - where was BOC? BOC.com reckoned they were in Texas on this date, only they reckon it was in San Antonio!
BOC.com mentions the following show as having taken place on this date:
Now, I had been wondering if this date was a joint BOC/Alice date - both sickthingsuk.co.uk and alicecooperechive.com confirm Alice played a gig at "Warren Wilson College" in Asheville on 9 May. I was thinking there might have been a mix-up with the Wilson College and Wilson NC mentions, so far as BOC's possible participation might have been concerned?...
Then I got the following email...
Just trying to help out with the 71-73 history. BOC played at Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, North Carolina - I was in high school and can't quite remember the date, but they only played songs from their first album, which was in fact released because I immediately went out to buy the cassette... which when i got it it was recorded backwards on the tape... but I digress. :).
So if their first album was released Jan 1972, and T&M wasn't released until Feb 1973, 1/72 - 2/73 is our window for the ACC show in Wilson NC... and most likely closer to 1/72, because they didn't play any songs from their "upcoming" album.
I saw another entry for May 1972 on the site where there was confusion about Wilson, NC or Wilson College in Asheville NC on May 3 or May 9 1972, but I can tell you that the gig I saw was DEFINITELY in Wilson NC, so May 1972 meshes perfectly.
I was in high school and this concert was my first ever. It was in the college's smallish gymnasium, and acoustics were awful. The volume level was ear-splitting... my ears rang for days after.
The two other things I remember from the show was 1) that the front man remarked: "Let's take our clothes off and have a party." 2) One of the songs (later identified as "Then Came the Last Days of May") had the most gorgeous ever long sweet guitar solo... that I still remember and can hum because my friend recorded some of the show on his portable cassette player, and i played the tape over and over for weeks... ever a part of my psyche now.
It was a real letdown to find that the studio version from the album that I purchased shortly after wasn't nearly as interesting, and that just in general the album did not live up to the live experience. That show however still lives in my top 3 favorite concerts.
Thanks to that, I decided the most likely date for this show was the 9 May date provided by boc.com in the first place (how could I ever have doubted them??) :-)
My first time seeing BOC was in the early '70s at Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College)in Wilson, NC.
Tickets were 50 cents for students and $1 for general public. This was 2 blocks from my house...
Thanks Paul. All I need now is for someone to confirm that I've got the actual date correct...
Now, this is getting confusing. The Rolling Stone advert above says BOC supported Alice in Knoxville Texas on this date. So that's why it originally got included as a date on this page.
And that's how it stayed, until I saw Rick's great ticket stub collection on Facebook, which had a 12 May 1972 stub for Alice supported by Free and Todd Rundgren in Knoxville Tennessee. I asked him for confirmation that BOC weren't on this show.
I'm quite certain there was NO BOC at this Alice show. I was very into BOC by then and would have noted it for sure.
As it was, that was my first nite of Todd Rundgren, and I immediately became a huge Todd fan, now over 50 concerts...
So I am sure no BOC that nite [and I have a newpaper ad from that show -- must scan and post that!!]...
For more Alice stubs - and for that matter, stubs relating to - seemingly - every other major touring band of the period, be sure to check out Rick's great anotated stub collection on FaceBook here:
I was at the May 12, 1972 Alice Cooper concert in Knoxville, Tennessee, but I do not recall BOC on the bill. Free was an opening act and I do not recall another band on the bill.
I was at the May 12, 1972 Alice Cooper concert at the Civic Colliseum in Knoxville, TN.
Free opened for Alice Cooper and BOC did not play. I would remember if Todd Rundgren had played. I loved his Something/Anything album later on. He might have been on the bill, but I did not see him there.
Both sickthingsuk.co.uk and alicecooperechive.com confirm this date as an Alice gig, although the former doesn't mention any support act whilst the latter reckons Todd Rundgren and Free were on the bill.
Well, there's a used ticket stub showing the date, so at least we know Alice played this town on this date...
But was it with BOC or Todd/Free? Can you help?
BOC.com is no help again with this one...
May 13th 72 Greensboro was Alice with Todd Rundgren and Free...
14 May was another previously supposed gig on the BOC/Alice tour - according to my Rolling Stone advert, it was supposed to be at Louisville KY. According to the poster above, it was Greenville SC with Free and Todd.
That advert can now officially sod off!! I believe the details on the poster... bloody Rolling Stone...
May 14th 72 Greenville was Alice with Todd Rundgren and Free...
In the review of this show that appeared in the 18 May 1972 edition of "The Greenville News", only Todd Rundgren seems to get mentioned as the support, and not Free, so I think perhaps there has to be a question mark regarding their participation...
According to my less than useless Rolling Stone advert, this was supposed to be a gig with Alice. See the above entry to see why I now reckon Alice was elsewhere on this date.
So - did BOC still play Louisville on the 14th, but without Alice Cooper?
BOC.com doesn't mention this date as a known BOC gig...
May 15, 1972: "Arie Crown Theatre", Chicago, IL with SPIRIT (headliner), CHASE (middle), BOC (opener).
I found a listing for this gig in the 12 May 1972 edition of the "The Times" [Munster IN]:
Arie Crown Theater, McCormick Place, 23rd Street at the Lake Front, Chicago: Jeff Beck appears in concert Saturday and Spirit-Chase-Blue Oyster Cult appears Monday.
At last!! Agreement!!
Helpfully, BOC.com mentions this show as having taken place on this date.
However, the original gig lists on BOC.com mentioned this show as having taken place on this date.
I did find a listing for this gig in the 16 May 1972 edition of the "The Robesonian" [Lumberton NC]:
Rock star Alice Cooper and his group of the same name, along with the Chambers Brothers will be in concert at Fayetteville Memorial Arena on Saturday night, beginning at 8 o'clock.
Advance tickets are $5 and at the door $6, according to auditorium management. Tickets can be obtained locally at the auditorium box office at Tarts downtown Lumberton.
But... no mention of BOC...
Wanted to let you know that this show definitely happened; I was there in the front row and had never even heard of Blue Oyster Cult. They came out and absolutely killed.
My clearest recollections are of Eric Bloom on the drum riser hitting Al Bouchard's cymbals with a real chain (now he does it with a drumstick) and Buck Dharma's playing, which was faster than anything I'd ever seen, or heard.
I also remember the entire band standing to the side of the stage watching the Alice Cooper show (this was the "Killer" show where he was hung from the gallows).
I became a HUGE BOC fan that night and went out the next day and bought their first album, which I still have. I've seen them twice in the last six months and they haven't lost much.
Bollocks!! That agreement mentioned above didn't last long, did it?
As for BOC.com, they reckon this show was in Birmingham Al (venue unknown).
It looked like this gig wasn't Hampton, after all and my faith in that Rolling Stone advert had suffered a real battering...
It did spark back into life the other day when I noticed this extract on mattbarrett.net:
"Alice Cooper: 1972. Hampton Roads. Va. If you were going to see Alice cooper then this was the show to see. It was during their Schools Out Tour which was by coincidence the year me and several million other people graduated from highschool. This show had it all, the snake, the gallows and a band that despite their reputation of being a bunch of drunks, was musically flawless. Maybe it's because I was young but this was one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen and it had nothing to do with the props. This was a great band at that moment in time."
So, there was an Alice gig in Hampton VA in 1972 - none of the Alice sites had such a show listed - could this be the mysterious BOC/Alice gig from the advert?
I decided to email Matt to ask if he knew the date of the show, the venue and the support act - was it BOC?? He replied: "BOC did not open the show that I recall. It had to be in July or August of 72. It was at the Hampton Roads Colliseum."
Stop Press: OK - I now have a Birmingham ticket off eBay for this gig so that would appear to be that! One thing - it does say the gig was at the Municipal Auditorium - is this the "Boutwell Auditorium" by another name? Or is that a different venue?
Regarding the venue for the Birmingham show, the Municipal Auditorium and Boutwell Auditorium are, indeed, one and the same venue, as the Bham Wiki confirms.
As an Alabama native who began his concert-going years in the mid-1970s, I've always known it as Boutwell Auditorium.
That said, a quick search on eBay turned up two pieces of convincing evidence: a Dec 28, 1976, Ambrosia ticket with the Municipal Auditorium stamp, and a Jan 25, 1977, Black Sabbath stub which lists the Boutwell namesake.
So, if I were a betting man, I'd say the venue adopted the name of former Birmingham mayor Albert Boutwell just about the time of the dawn of the new year, 1977. Hope this helps!
This would appear to be the last gig on the tour, if it indeed took place.
Both sickthingsuk.co.uk and alicecooperechive.com confirm this date as an BOC/Alice gig, and they feature the poster above. However, I don't much like the look of that poster. It sort of looks "wrong" to me - but it's nothing I can put my finger on. And there are a number of fake Alice posters about...
I should mention: BOC.com doesn't mention this gig either.
I wanted to help document the fact that this concert indeed took place.
I acquired the poster in question and an original intact ticket from the Tifton, GA concert. I got the items from the grandson of the late promoter Gus Statiras who also founded Progressive Records and ran a recording studio in Tifton in the 1970's & 1980s. He and his late son Perry promoted other bands and concerts including Dr. Hook in the 70's.
Hope this info helps.
Well, there you go! Eric Bloom mentioned in the 3 March entry that BOC did 15 gigs on top of that Worcester date - making 16 in all.
My current reckoning is - any help you can send to help me get a more accurate idea of what happened on that tour would be gratefully received.
This is the tour I would most have liked to see if you gave me my own time machine (this and the MC5/Stalk Forrest Group at Stony Brook gym - or maybe the SWU/Dead gig at the same venue) - anyway, I love BOC and I loved Alice (especially the Killer period) - and seeing them both on the same bill would have been too fantastic for words, and so that's why I'd especially like to get a handle on these dates. It was an important tour and I'd like to see it documented properly and accurately.
I saw BOC perform at the Student Center of the University of Tennessee in 1972, but I don't know the date. It was probably the May 29 Knoxville, Tennessee date on your list...
I saw BOC in Knoxville, TN in 1972 at the Univ of TN University Center (Student Center). Concert was a blast, but there were no chairs, open seating on the floor.
They overfilled the area and it did not take the students long to realize with no aisles, etc there was no way to quickly get to someone who lit up.
With all the fragrence in the air, this was the last concert in the University buildings for a long while.
I don't remember any other bands playing. No name bands for sure. I would remember if it was other than a local band.
Don't know on date, but sounds right. I was there in Winter and Spring quarters of 1972 (Jan thru June).
Great concert! Still remember it.
I was at that show. Opening act was a local band named Courageous Dong. They did some Sly and the Family Stone covers.
No seating, just an open floor, in the student center ballroom.
Great show by both bands.
I found a listing for this gig in the 2 Jun 1972 edition of the "The Tampa Times", so even on the morning of the gig, four bands were being advertised:
And for the rockers
... a four-barreled supershow takes to the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory tonight at 8 p.m. featuring Spirit, Big Brother and The Holding Company, R.E.O. Speedwagon and the Blue Oyster Cult.
However, thanks to the following review of this gig from the 3 Jun 1972 edition of the "The Tampa Times", I now know that R.E.O. Speedwagon didn't turn up:
A Hard Rock Menu
By Rick Norcross
Times Staff Writer
Rafter-shaking hard rock captured the menu at last night's Fort Homer Hesterly Armory with Blue Oyster Cult as the appetizer, Big Brother and The Holding Company as the main course and Spirit as the icing on the cake.
An estimated 1,400 rock fans turned out to clap and stomp for nearly five straight hours of the rock and roll banquet. The scheduled appearance of R.E.O. Speedwagon was cancelled when the group failed to materialize.
Though Epic Recording artists Spirit were billed as top honchos at last night's concert, each of the groups easily coaxed the audience to both standing ovations and encore demands.
It was Big Brother and The Holding Company featuring superchick Kathy MacDonald who proved that hard, driving rock can be musically tight and that Janis Joplin wasn't the only girl singer in the business who can really belt out a tune. Miss MacDonald is a refreshing change from the sad-eyed hard-luck style of singers Tampa has recently been subjected to as her infectious good-time stage demeanor was quickly transmitted through the band and her music to the enthusiastic audience.
Above Kathy MacDonald and Big Brother dish up their excellent music while at the left is Columbia Records' Blue Oyster Cult - (Staff photos by Rick Norcross)
I feel that Mr Norcross allowed his "enthusiasm" for Kathy MacDonald's performance to overshadow his basic requirement to at least mention how the other bands on the bill did...
Sadly, this sort of reporting seems par for the course... :-(
The 11 Jun 1972 edition of the "New Orleans Times Picayune" featured an article on BOC, doubtless based on an interview with the band and Sandy after this gig, and contains one of the first references to Imaginos I've seen in print:
Blue Oyster Cult Rock is Hard to Pinpoint
Bored with the monotony of daily life? Well, here is a remedy. Try to describe the music of Blue Oyster Cult.
Road manager Butch Krowe starts off, "It's heavy." Everyone seems to agree on that, but the sound goes beyond just heaviness into something much more harder to pinpoint.
Some listeners have described it as "cosmic." Others use terms like "powerful," "sadistic" and "downright mean."
In any case, it is this element that adds dimension to the Blue Oyster Cult's music and gives it quality.
Blue Oyster Cult originated one and a half years ago in New York. Buck Dharma (lead guitar) and Albert Bouchard (drums) had been playing together three years when they joined Eric Bloom (vocalist), Allen Lanier (organist), and Albert's little brother Joe (bass) to form the band.
The name was supplied by Sandy Pearlman, lyricist and manager. "'Blue Oyster Cult' is one of a series of songs and lyrics I wrote called 'Soft Doctrines of Imaginos'," he explained, grinning from behind wire-rimmed sun glasses. "It's the story of a kid who learns the powers of transformation - a combination horror story and fairy tale."
Swaying rhythmically from side to side, he continued. "Blue Oyster Cult was formed under the influence of groups like Moby Grape, Doors and The Who."
"Blue Oyster Cult," the group's first album (recorded at the Warehouse in October 1971), is an outstanding example of their music. It is heavy, but not monotone, and both the cosmic and mean theories fit in nicely. It is the kind of album that you want to listen to more than once.
Likewise, the live performance of Blue Oyster Cult is diverse and fascinating. Three or four psychedelic numbers are interspersed with 13 original tunes (including a fantastic drum solo for people who don't like drum solos"). There is even a tidbit by Alice Cooper used as an encore - "something we picked up while on tour with them," smiled Joe.
In striking contrast to their music, the personalities of Blue Oyster Cult members are far from harsh.
"We don't sing from the diaphragm, we sing right from the nose," joked Albert.
Steve Munro, equipment manager, shrugged off Buck's crack about having to drive all the way to New York the next day and commented, "The work is exhausting, but I wouldn't be doing anything else."
"Do you know what we do to relax? We work crossword puzzles," Joe interjected. "We also love to swim - someday we are going to have a synchronized swim show," Joe laughed, his blue eyes sparkling.
It is hard to comprehend how such amiable fellows offstage can become musical villains while performing. One thing is certain, Imaginos isn't the only one who has discovered the secret of transformation.
Dorcas O'Rourke || New Orleans Times Picayune
By the way - check out this great list of all the acts who've ever played the Warehouse:
This was the date of Buck Dharma's marriage to Sandy and was marked by Richard Meltzer's interesting take on how to behave at a wedding...
This gig is confirmed by bbhc.com, the official Big Brother site as the first in a short mini-tour with BOC.
Unfortunately, they didn't have any specific dates for these shows but it might have been around 12 June (see below).
Regarding the venue, I'm as sure as I can be that the venue was "The Scherwood Club" - for two reasons.
Firstly, BOC played Schererville again a year later - on 29 July 1973. On that occasion they played the Iliana Speedway, and James Harding, a contributor to this site, said this:
Schererville was a rather small, undeveloped town at that time, and were VERY few "venues" at which to play. In fact, Illiana Speedway and the Sherwood Club were about the only venues at the time that COULD or WOULD host rock bands.
Secondly, I know that the promoter of the Hersey High School gig on the 15th was Dex Card. Dex Card seems to have been an interesting character. Between 1964-1967, he was a DJ on Chicago's WLS, before leaving and becoming a local promoter.
He started presenting gigs at The Wild Goose in Waukegan, before branching out at other venues across the region, such as The Green Gorilla, The New Place, The Pink Panther, The Crimson Cougar amongst others. Soon, he had quite the circuit in operation...
One interesting technique he had was to approach certain venues and asked them could they be called "The Wild Goose" just for his gigs. Check out the flyer attached to the 15 June gig below and you'll see an example where he put on shows on alternating weeks in Hersey and Wheeling High Schools as "Wild Goose" gigs...
Anyway, one of the venues he worked with was "The Scherwood Club", so it's not unreasonable to assume that this gig was also a Dex Card show...
However, if you know better, please let me know...
Those Big Brother dates were my honeymoon! Right after our wedding on June 10, Sandy and I flew to Chicago to spend our honeymoon playing those shows around Northern IL and IN area. Not much of a getaway!
Big Brother was OK, it was the band minus Janis. The new gal was pretty good, but of course, no Janis. I believe those Big Brother gigs started on the 12th. It was 3 or four, I can't remember...
Small world: The drummer David Getz' then wife Nancy years later managed Sandy Pearlman's recording studio in San Rafael CA, where BOC recorded Harvest Moon, The Horsemen Arrive and Still Burning.
Yes, we played with Big Brother and the Holding Company at some high schools in the suburbs of Chicago. Really small time gigs, we were desperate for any gigs at that time.
No, Janis Joplin. They had another singer who wasn't bad, but no Janis.
This gig is confirmed by bbhc.com...
This gig is confirmed by bbhc.com...
June 14, 1972 - Willowbrook High School Villa Park, Illinois U.S.A.
BOC was opening act for Big Brother & the Holding Company August 8, 1972. I was at the concert.
My suspicion is that this might have been another Dex Card promoted gig...
I saw a mention in the 24 Jun 1972 issue of "Billboard" that this gig was happening:
Hydra, an Atlanta rock group, and Blue Oyster Cult and Spirit, are due in at the Overton Park Shell...
Then in the 1 Jul 1972 issue, I saw a note that it had taken place:
A three-group show played the Overton Park Shell, Atlanta's Spirit, Hydra and Blue Oyster Cult.
Obviously, they meant to say "Atlanta's Hydra", rather than Spirit, but so far, that's all I've been able to find about this gig...
June 23, 1972: A gig was scheduled at the "Aragon Ballroom", Chicago, IL with Spirit, It's a Beautiful Day and BOC.
However, BOC cancels at the last minute for some unknown reason, and is replaced by a local band called Ever.
Blue Oyster Cult was scheduled to play June 23, 1972 at the Aragon Ballroom on a bill of: It's A Beautiful Day, Spirit, Blue Oyster Cult.
The June 23, 1972 Chicago Tribune noted that Blue Oyster Cult had cancelled and been replaced by a local band Ever.
The interesting part is that this would be around the dates of the Illinois shows in Niles and Romeoville that you have listed without dates (above). I have found no references to BOC playing in those cities in June 1972.
Cheers for that info Greg - though I do believe the dates for those currently undated Illinois shows are likely to be in the week immediately following June 10 (see Buck Dharma's comments regarding the dating of the shows under the Schererville entry above).
BTW: here's the text of that 23 June 1972 Chicago Tribune mention:
Chicago group Ever which set some attendance records during a recent appearance at Alice's, replaces Blue Oyster Cult as opening act at tonight's Aragon Ballroom rock concert at 8. The group includes four former Flock members and one Aura alumnus.
Well, if BOC cancelled out of the above Chicago gig, that leaves 23rd June free for other possibilities...
Right - the presence of the next two gigs largely came about as a result of a casual remark from Albert Bouchard - he emailed to say he remembered BOC playing a couple of gigs at Jai Alai Fronton in Miami supporting the Allman Brothers Band around about this time period.
He originally thought one of them might have been the 20 October 1972 show I had listed for this venue, but I now think the October show was at the Sportatorium with Jeff Beck.
The obvious thing for me to do was to investigate the Allmans angle - are there any known Allmans gigs during this period that would fit the bill?
I found a great site: Hittin' The Web with the Allman Brothers Band - actually, less a site and more an online community, and I searched their database and found these links:
It seems like the Allmans played this very venue on the 23rd and 24th June 1972. Now - the next thing to find out is: is there any chance that BOC could have been on the bill for these two shows?
Here's what they say for the 23rd:
RANDYGALVAN on May 14, 2002 - 06:52 PM
First ABB show that i saw missed both shows in Pittsburgh with original members! Was down there on a little vacation and heard radio ad and me and a buddy hitched a ride with some freakin friends.
Scored a little blonde hash from a 7 or 8 year old dude who was from New York. Blue Oyster Cult opened then John Hammond then Alex Taylor who was the best act that night.
ABB seemed a little off to me but considering the situation understandable. Mountain Jam was the closing number. Had to hitch back to our hotel and could not catch a ride. Bitten by a million mosquitoes.
rabidr57 on Jun 15, 2005 - 04:02 PM
My first show, Blue Oyster Cult and John Hammond opened...
This was great! Two posters both mention BOC as being on the bill!!
By the way - check that Hittin' The Web with the Allman Brothers Band site out - it's a must for any ABB fan...
Stop Press: Thanks to a clipping from the 20 June 1972 issue of The Hurricane sent to me by Bart van Alphen, I now know for sure that BOC played this venue on this date.
Also - I saw this short report in the 23 June 1972 edition of the Fort Lauderdale News:
Miami - Tonight and tomorrow night, Leas Campbell presents a two-day rock event at the Miami Jai-Alai Fronton headlining The Allman Brothers Band along with The Alex Taylor Band, special guest John Hammond and Blue Oyster Cult. The concert begins at 7.30 pm, and all tickets are $5.
Again - like the previous gig, this show is confirmed by the Hittin' The Web with the Allman Brothers Band site:
The line-up info they give for this show is slightly less explicit that that for the 23rd:
One fan reports Wet Willie opened. Another says Blue Oyster Cult opened, followed by Alex Taylor, then John Hammond Jr, then the ABB.
Thanks to Albert Bouchard's memory of playing two gigs, I think it's reasonable to assume BOC played this show also.
If you have any concrete info - please let me know.
Stop Press: Again, it's thanks to Bart van Alphen that I now know for sure that BOC played this venue on this date.
Also, on 29 June 1972, "The Miami News" carried a short piece on these gigs (although it doesn't specify which gig it refers to):
Rocking blues and soaring guitar riffs were the order of the day as the Allman Brothers and their music shook the Miami Jai-Alai Fronton recently.
Opening the show, Blue Oyster Cult faced a decidedly pro-Allman Brothers crowd, but still managed to get the Fronton audience up on their feet. Blue Oyster Cult likes their music two ways - loud and louder, but the fans liked it.
Following was John Hammond, a blues singer in the classic vein. In a night of high decibel music. Hammond's quiet mood provided a nice respite from the other bands, or maybe a needed rest to recoup energies for the next two bands.
Alex Taylor is about as different from his brother James as can be imagined. The burly Taylor has a loud strong voice ideally suited for his foot stomping blues "You've Got to Change Your Sexy Ways," "I Don't Need No Doctor," and "Good Morning Miss Brown" were the standouts with Taylor's gutsy voice and a thumping piano pounding out the tunes.
Augmented by a tight band, Taylor gave it his all, the audience responded less to him than it did to previous acts. I guess they just can't shake the image of Brother James from their minds.
After sitting through three other bands, I thought the audience would be exhausted by the time the Allmans finally reached the stage, but I was wrong. The Allmans were met with a loud standing ovation.
This was the first time I'd seen the band and they were a surprise. For over an hour they entertained the crowd with their brand of good-time country music. Each of their numbers pleased the audience, but "Mountain Jam" from "Eat a Peach" pleased me the most.
A long, flowing composition with each musician getting a chance to shine, the piece is based upon Donovan's "There is a Mountain." It reminded me less of a mountain, but more of a stream, full of twists and turns, swirling one way and then finally building to a climax.
If the band has suffered and musically since Duane Allman's death, there was no evidence of it. Dicky Betts is developing into a fine guitarist in his own right.
I remember the band talking about these dates... the Allmans stored their Harleys in BOC's dressing room & would come in and fire one up every hour or so... running everyone out into the heat with the exhaust fumes...
I saw the following mention in the 25 June 1972 issue of "The Journal News" [White Plains NY]:
Schaefer Music Festival in Central Park:
Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult 7 p.m. Mon
Nina Simone 7 p.m. Fri.
Wollmann Memorial Rink Theater.
Tickets $1.50 and $2.
If anyone knows anything about this "gig" - either to confirm or deny its existence - please let me know...
However, as the listing mentions Alice Cooper as headliner, then that puts the gig into doubt as Alice can't have played Central Park on this date - he was en route for the UK at the time... there's a possibility that BOC moved up the order and played the gig anyway, but I've seen no confirmations anywhere of that.
Here's a list of the known Schaefer Music Festival/Central Park gigs (I don't normally quote wiki but it looks to be reasonably comprehensive):
Interestingly, according to the wiki link, the other act mentioned in the above-quoted listing, Nina Simone, did play on 30 June...
I saw a gig (not listed on your site) in which Blue Oyster Cult opened for Quicksilver Messenger Service at Constitution Hall, Washington DC.
As for specifics, the 1972 DC show was definately june 72. I was in 11th grade, that year was when I started going to shows. I had just seen Led Zeppelin 6/11/72 in Baltimore, winning tickets from a radio station... I know that the BOC/QMS was within 2 weeks after.
A lot of tickets from that year were printed and torn so that sometimes the date and/or band are gone, so I cannot confirm the exact day of June, just that it was June 1972.
I noticed that BOC.com list a gig at this same venue at about the correct date (24 June), except they say it was 1973!
I was wondering if the year was just a typo and this is the same gig?
Anyway, all I can say for sure is that BOC/QMS definitely happened at Constitution Hall, Washington DC in June 1972!
I don't think it could have been the 24th June - see below...
According to the June 28, 1972, issue of the Washington Post newspaper, BOC played Constitution Hall on the previous evening, June 27.
I saw this show - but I thought the gig I saw was at Atlanta Civic Center with Steppenwolf as headliner
In any event, BOC was the opening act. As they came on, I said to myself, "Sheesh! Get these guys off, I wanna see who I paid to see". As BOC started to play, I was mesmerized. By the time they finished, I was totally blown away. I totally forgot about the headliner and was begging for more BOC. They obliged with an encore, and I spent the rest of the concert talking to my date about great BOC was. It is a compliment to BOC that I can no longer remember who was headlining.
This gig is burned in my memory because the summer of '72 was my break between high school and moving to Atlanta to attend Georgia Tech. I came down in the summer to see that concert at the Atlanta Civic Center on Piedmont Avenue. Back then, we graduated high school in mid June, so the Atlanta gig was somewhere between the middle of June and the end of August '72, cause school started back then the first week of September.
I had a look on Black Sabbath's web site and could find no trace of an Atlanta gig that year, so that makes me think it was definitely Steppenwolf that BOC opened for at the Atlanta Civic Center, and not Sabbath.
This has gotten under my craw, so I am going to look at Atlanta newspaper archives at the library until I find the concert announcement. I will inform you when I get the facts.
BOC.com doesn't mention this date, but this gig was confirmed on the now offline Sabbathlive.com:
"07/22/72: Atlanta Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta GA - Confirmed by Artists Calendar in ROLLING STONE - 7/72"
This actually falls into your Summer timescale...
At the time, I was eighteen and moving to Atlanta to attend college. There was a lot on my mind, and I had not been to Atlanta before. I took a girl to the show I had met at a Beta Club convention earlier that year in Atlanta on a "field trip". The more I think about it, the show I saw musta been the July 22nd show with Black Sabbath at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium.
I definately need to research this at the library's newspaper archives.
BOC opened for Sabbath not Steppenwolf on Saturday July the 22nd at the old Atlanta Municipal Auditorium. While I don't have documentation, I know this is correct as it was the first concert I ever attended and it was an event that I would not be "gray" on.
I recall BOC performing "Born to be Wild" as an encore, and Black Sabbath only performed for about 30 minutes, as legend has it, Tony Iommi was pretty messed up.
This gig also confirmed here:
This site also offers the information that the gig was originally scheduled at this venue for 19 June 1972 (with no opening act advertised) but was later postponed until 22 July.
BLACK SABBATH and BLUE OYSTER CULT
What a disappointment! I had waited all summer for the "Kings of Downer Rock" but Saturday night, Black Sabbath didn't live up to expectations. They just couldn't seem to get it together enough to freak the audience out.
The evening started reasonably enough. The concert sold out around show time, and when I finally made it through the crowded aisles to my seat, there were already some guys on the stage making good sounds.
They were Blue Oyster Cult from New York (with a record on Columbia). Most of the impact of their first song was lost on me, but when they started "Do It to The Sky" I paid attention!
The vocalizing made the audience sit up and take notice (which isn't often done for the first group of a concert), and then the lead guitarist turned loose. Donnie Roeser knows what he's doing on that guitar, and he does it! He and Eric Bloom on guitar form the center of Blue Oyster Cult's hard sound.
The next song they did was so intense; I never heard a title. Allen Lanier's organ was featured on this one, and I just shut my eyes and held on through the rushes - even though Blue Oyster Cult puts on an enjoyable visual act.
"Workshop of the Telescope" and "Speshul for Atlanter" was followed by one of the most unique drum performances I've even seen: Eric and Donnie and Albert Bouchard, the drummer, were all playing one set of drums!
Joe Bouchard who regularly plays bass, switched to guitar, while Allen moved off the organ to bass, and it sounded all right. In fact, when they made the transition back to their own instruments and into "Johnny B. Goode" the audience wasn't exactly sitting still.
Donnie can really play! We asked for more (clapped an' hollered for about a minute and a half, I'd say) and were granted a stand-up-and-jump rendition of "Born to be Wild." I said to myself, "Ah, Black Sabbath is going to be even better!"
But I was wrong. The auditorium was excited (memories of last summer's concert and anticipation of what was coming, perhaps), and the aisles were crowded with people trying to get close to the stage. We were kept waiting long enough to get restless.
When the group finally came out there was a mad frenzy that carried people right onto the stage. The first song was from the new album, which will be released in a couple of weeks. The applause that followed it was polite and expectant. "Sweet Leaf' made things look brighter - a familiar song, which fit right in with Ozzy's comment "It smells good from the stage."
Black Sabbath's music is simple, and if done right, it goes right up your spine. It took a while for "Snow Blind" to get to my spine. Ozzy seemed to be only halfway into his performance, so I contented myself with watching Tony lommi on guitar.
The songs they played from their new album sounded a lot like those from "Master of Reality" with less emphasis on Tony's playing and more emphasis on the group's overall sound. The audience kept yelling for more familiar things, so we got "War Pigs".
This brought Ozzy back to us, and let Bill Ward show off on his drums. Another new song "Under the Sun," let Geezer Butler jump around on stage for a while, and the audience got enthusiastic. But I still hope that the new album will sound better when I become more familiar with it.
Our favorite was next - "Iron Man." I was letting the music pound my head when I suddenly had to open. my eyes - Tony was playing off-key! I felt ripped-off, but everybody around me liked it, So I stayed optimistic. "Iron Man" is the kind of song that makes Black Sabbath's reputation - it sounds good if it's loud.
"Wheels of Confusion" (another new one), "Children of the Grave," and "Paranoid" let us down. though, and Black Sabbath left the stage. No encore - they said Tony was sick. He may have actually been sick or Black Sabbath may not have liked the audience, but they simply would not play any more!
Either way, and this is a hard thing for a real Black Sabbath fan to say, Blue Oyster Cult should have been the headliner.
When I was 12, (1972) I went to see my very first concert. Black Sabbath. Which happened to be my favorite band at the time. I was really excited, and on the way to the show, there was an ad on the radio about the show. That's when they mentioned the opening act. Blue Oyster What? I was thinking,, what the hell kinda name is that? I bet they're gonna suck!
I've been a fan ever since because they killed it that night. I ended up leaving half way through Black Sabbaths set because they were so boring in comparison.
The next day I rode my bike to the store and was lucky enough to find a copy of Tyranny, and Mutation. Still one of my favorite albums! I couldn't understand, or decipher a lot of the lyrics, but in fine print on the bottom of the album it said you could write to CBS in New York for a copy of the lyrics. I did, and after months went by, I completely forgot about it. In the meantime, I would see them any time they came to town, and bought all the albums. None of my friends liked them, but I didn't give a crap.
Then out of the blue, (no pun intended) about 6 years after writing CBS, I got a letter. Inside was a big long thing of computer paper, all connected with holes still on the edges from the printer, with all of Blue Oyster Cults lyrics! And, a cool bumper sticker. I was shocked to see that one line in the Red and the Black that confused me so much was really..."Hornswoop me pungo pony, and dog sled on ice". How cool is that?
Years later, (mid-eighties) by chance I got to meet Buck after a Soft White Under Belly show. What was so cool about that was, it was just me, and him, talking for about 30 minutes, with no one else around. Truly a really nice guy!!
Hmmm,, it just dawned on me... I never asked him for an autograph. Probably a good idea! (Stairway to the Stars!)
The date is confirmed here, although there's no mention of BOC:
However, thanks to Greg from The Tour Archive, who sent me a newspaper review of the gig, I can now be confident that BOC opened the show. The review was not kind to them, but at least it shows they were there...
I'm a film maker in New York and my brother was a sound engineer, producer, lighting tech in the early 70's. We have some family folklore that when my brother was eighteen, he produced a Blue Oyster Cult concert in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
At that time, my brother, Lynn "Rusty" Sutton, was "Eclipse Productions" and, as he tells it:
"was absorbed by Spectrum Systems. At that time, Spectrum was house lights at about 4 clubs, and a traveling light system and a small/rehearsal sound system. We were doing Foghat, Mountain, Grass Roots, Mike & Suzie Quatro, Earth Wind Fire, Strawbs, Flash, Conquer Worm, Nugent etc on the Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa circuit"...
My brother seems to think that he booked BOC in between open dates on a tour they were already on.
However, the show was a bust. My brother only had enough money for the deposit, no money for advertising and, since nobody showed up, my parents had to pay the band between about 3-5 thousand dollars out of their own money.
The opening act was a band from Chicago called Wedgewood (my sister eventually married the keyboard player).
I've narrowed the date of the gig down to either 25 or 26 July 1972 - according to my sister, it was almost exactly on her 15th birthday (which is July 27th, 1972) - my brother was just barely 18.
One other clue I have about this is my brother says he got a hold of BOC through a booker or agent who handled REO Speedwagon (who my brother was working with at the time). We (my family, my brother) lived in a suburb of Chicago.
My brother is now retired from rock and roll and owns a comic book store in the suburbs of Chicago.
I would love to get more info on this show, tickets posters, ads, stories if anyone knows anything.
Thanks David - well, it doesn't look like it's the 25th, due to the gig above, so that leaves 26 July for now.
If anyone out there can help with this one, I'd love a date confirmation - although, I have to say, that seems a bit unlikely, bearing in mind it wasn't widely advertised in advance and consequently not many people actually came to the gig itself!!!
Anyway - David's started a Facebook page here about the show so please check it out and contribute if you know anything:
Rob Dwyer's - now sadly offline - Sabbathlive.com confirms this gig took place on this date, and mentions BOC/J. Geils Band as both being on the bill.
BOC.com doesn't feature this date.
Also: this gig gets a mention on the theband.hiof.no site in the guestbook section. A guy called VT says:
"First concert? hmmmm... how about Blue Oyster Cult, J Geils (stealing the show) and Black Sabbath Nassau Coliseum circa 1972"
I can confirm that this show took place, I was there. BOC opened, I had never heard of them. They played first and the house lights were still on when they started playing. People were moving about in the isles and finding seats for the first couple of songs.
J. Geils played next and were high energy, bring the house down unbelievable! Black Sabbath closed and were so loud and the sound was terrible, very muddy and muffled.
When the show was over, the parking lot was full of J.Geils converts. In typical NY fashion the chatter was Black Sabbath sucks, J.Geils is great. Sorry, I can't remember the set lists....LOL
I can confirm that BOC was the opening set in a triple bill with J. Geils Band and Black Sabbath as the headliner.
This was my first concert, so I remember attending the show well. I cannot remember the BOC set as I had not heard of them.
J. Geils on the other hand was unbelievable. I can still recall them playing "Hard Driving Man," as their set was similar to the "Full House" album.
Black Sabbath I cannot remember that well either. We left halfway through the set, as I was a young kid and the people who brought me had to get me home.
There were about 10 of us who attended the show, and all of us were raving about how great J. Geils was. I wish I could tell you more about the BOC set.
I dunno... I'm getting the distinct impression that the J. Geils performance at this gig wasn't that bad... :-)
I was at this gig precisely because BOC was the opener. I was a huge fan of the album, especially "Workshop of the Telescopes" and Allen in particular (no disrespect to the other members, he just struck a chord with fifteen-year-old me).
Most of my friends were Sabbath fans, and didn't care about seeing the opening acts, but I dragged them to the show "early" so I wouldn't miss BOC. At the time, there was no need for tailgating before the show, since one could indulge in any type of refreshment inside the venue without consequence.
Although I agree JGB had the best overall performance that night, BOC definitely held their own.
I think the half-empty arena, audience continuing to enter, house lights up, the relatively more cerebral nature of the songs (no cowbell that I recall), the newness of the band, and (for all I know) perhaps post-war umlautphobia all contributed to the notion that they didn't show out as well as they could.
But, I disagree. Of all the concerts I've attended in the past 40+ years, this one is still a stand out.
In July/August 1972, BOC opened for Black Oak Arkansas and Black Sabbath at Cole Field House, Univ. MD.
Sorry i dont have an accurate date but i can tell you that boc should have headlined and it was definitely late July or early August.
I checked Rob Dwyer's Sabbathlive.com (now offline), and they confirmed this gig but had Argent down as openers!! BOC weren't mentioned.
The bands were definately as i said: Black Sabbath headlining, Black Oak Arkansas in the middle and BOC playing first.
As for Argent, I do not recall if they were originally supposed to be on the bill or not, maybe they were switched at a later date?
They definitely did not play, nor were they supposed to when we went. We knew the 3 bands we were going to see. I simply don't remember anything about Argent in connection with this...
Regarding the College Park, MD gig from 7/28/72, it's highly possible that Blue Oyster Cult shared the bill with Sabbath that night. And given that B.O.C. opened for Sabbath on the previous night in Uniondale and on the 30th in Providence, I'd say it makes perfect sense.
During the 1st leg of their VOLUME 4 tour, Sabbath had a revolving door of opening acts. They didn't nail down a stable opener until the 2nd leg, when they chose Gentle Giant. WHY they chose Gentle Giant is beyond me, because they were a very odd pairing. Maybe they didn't want any competition?! This was admitted by Ronnie Dio during their '81 tour, when they chose Southern Rock acts like Johnny Van Zant and Doc Holliday to warm up for them!
As for Argent, they did play with Sabbath at a few odd shows during that leg (confirmed by 8mm film too), but these things are always subject to change. I'd go with B.O.C. / Black Oak Arkansas theory, regardless of the handbill. Ticket stubs and handbills are often printed up weeks before a show, so they can still be wrong.
When putting this page together I checked the relevant Sabbathlive.com page at the time and was surprised to find this show no longer listed there.
Instead, it had been moved to their cancelled gig page!!
It said: "Conflicts with confirmed show at Gaelic Park. Cancelled?"
Steve seems very sure of his facts - if there definitely was a confirmed Sabbath gig at Gaelic Park, then maybe the original date for this Cole Field House gig (which I got off the now offline Sabbathlive.com) was wrong and it took place on another date?
If you know one way or the other, please let me know.
Yes, I was at this show in July, 1972. My best friend pulled me there to see this new band from NYC. Argent canceled a few days before. The concert was advertised on local radio as the "Black & Blue" show.
The band opened the show, with Black Oak Arkansas and Black Sabath headlining the bill. Of the three bands, B.O.C. blew everyone away. Black Oak Arkanasas was pretty much boo'd and made an early exit. Sabbath was road weary tuning a whole step down so Ozzie could sing.
It was the first time I saw Buck and Eric's pyrotechnic display with crossing guitars and letting the sparks fly. Stairway To the Stars was particularly memorable with Eric's swinging arm during the lyrics - "On your cast, you're broken arm..."
"Before The Kiss" was another highlight with the Long Islanders getting down into a rolling boogie. It was a night to remember. That night made me a die-hard fan for many years to come. Still am!
Strange - black-sabbath.com also has Sabbath cancelled out of this gig:
Does anyone else who was at this show care to chime in with their thoughts?
I was there, Argent wasn't. Terrific show, though I remember all three bands being very "on" that night...
Regarding July 28, 1972 @ Cole Field House, College Park, Maryland. I was there with my now ex-wife and the line-up is correct. Blue Oyster Cult opened, followed by Black Oak Arkansas and then the headline act, Black Sabbath.
Great show although I must admit, at the time, I was unfamiliar with BOC and that was my first exposure; I was a huge fan of Black Sabbath and had seen Black Oak Arkansas the previous year and knew they put on a great LIVE show.
There was no Ritz Theatre in NYC 'til much later...
The Ritz was a rock venue in Greenwich Village from sometime in the late-70's/early-80's til some time in the 90's when it was renamed Webster Hall (which was its original name when it was a Polish dancehall, then an RCA recording studio in the 50's and 60's.
If Marc's right - and he probably is as he comes from there - then that means I'm short a venue name for this gig. Anyone know?
I can confirm that the July 29, 1972 show was at the Ritz Theater, in Staten Island, NY, owned by the Unganos folks. BOC opened for Cactus.
Check out my tour archive sites for Mountain, Ten Years After, Humble Pie and Procol Harum as well as a few venues, like Capitol Theater Port Chester, NY, Aragon & Kinetic in Chicago, Boston Tea Party and Hampton Beach Casino:
I found an ad for this gig that lists two shows at 8 P.M. and 11:30 P.M.:
Thanks Ian. On further inspection of that site, it's possible to get an idea of how that gig originally shaped up. They don't give dates or the sources of any of their newspaper clippings unfortunately, so it's hard to be specific about dates, but if you examine the date of the first gigs listed in the ads, you can get an idea.
On the ad featuring gigs from 9th June, this gig was originally being advertised as "Cactus, John Baldry", "with Special Guests Uriah Heep". Heep were in large capitals using the same size typeface as Cactus, so it's hard to sure if they would have opened or played second...
However, by the time of the ad that appeared around 16 July, it was just "Cactus" - Long John and Uriah had slipped off the bill for reasons unexplained.
And that takes us to the ad that Ian mentioned, dated around a week later, indicating that BOC had been drafted in to take up the slack...
As well as being confirmed on the now offline Sabbathlive.com (it mentioned BOC/Bedlam were on the bill), this gig is confirmed here as having taken place at the "Palace Concert Theater":
The 1972 show on July 30 in Providence RI (with Bedlam and Black Sabbath) was NOT at the Palace Concert theater... it was at the Providence Civic Center (now known as the Dunkin Donuts Center). I know... I was there!
Late Model Racer magazine
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.
Thanks to Anton, I discovered that there is a review of this gig on rocksbackpages.com but you have to pay to see the full thing.
The review is entitled: "Jeff Beck/Blue Oyster Cult/Flash/Argent: Gaelic Park, New York NY" and it was written by Jon Tiven, Phonograph Record, October 1972.
Thanks to Peter Greendale, I've been sent the two paragraphs which relate to the BOC performance:
"BLUE OYSTER CULT had a real bad time at the big park and oh boy did they know it... one of the guys backstage connected wit Da Cult said "They blew the drum solo" and they may have caused a near-riot in Oswok, Wisc. and a full-blown craze in Virginia, but in their own home they blew it..."
"Heavy metal is their cause, and they got chains and flash guitar and when it's good it's great, but like in Providence last December it didn't go so good. Sandy Pearlman was spotted moaning at the side of the stage, being comforted by Murray S. Krugman and R. Meltzer."
I wonder what was so bad about this show, then? The text above doesn't really give any clue - and as for the mention of "they may have caused a near-riot in Oswok, Wisc. and a full-blown craze in Virginia", what the hell does that mean?
BTW - I also noticed a mention of this show on b15sentra.net where a guy gives the band running order as "BOC/Flash/Argent/Jeff Beck"...
I was at this show, though all I remember about it was that Jeff beck was playing with Beck, Bogart and Appice at the time. He came on very, very late . In fact, many people had left already.
There was an 11 PM curfew at the stadium which was strictly enforced. There were a lot of apartment buildings in the area and the people had made many complaints about the shows, so they had to stop at 11 on the button. They would actually kill the power on stage.
Anyway, I remember Beck only played about 4 songs and then had to stop, which really pissed people off. Sorry I don't remember anything specific about BOC, but I know I had a great time that night!
The only evidence I have that this gig occurred is the above poster off eBay and the newspaper advert.
My first indication that a Chicago gig had been scheduled for this date came from the following email...
Here is a new gig to add to your lists. The information comes from the Chicago Reader weekly newspaper dated August 4, 1972 and gives the band running order as Argent, Blue Oyster Cult and Jeff Beck headlining.
Check out my tour archive sites for Mountain, Ten Years After, Humble Pie and Procol Harum as well as a few venues, like Capitol Theater Port Chester, NY, Aragon & Kinetic in Chicago, Boston Tea Party and Hampton Beach Casino:
That seemed fair enough so I added this date as a new gig. Then I got sent the following:
I was at this gig (I got my first traffic citation in the McCormick Place parking lot!) Arie Crown was a large, sterile theater located in the center of the huge McCormick Place convention complex, on the lakefront, just south of the Chicago loop.
BOC definitely did not play on this bill, only The Jeff Beck Group with Argent. Actually, it was Beck, Bogert & Appice, with Max Middleton on keyboards, and a rather dainty male singer named Kim Milford, who just didn't fit in.
When Kim didn't return for the encore, rumor was Beck fired had him after the main set, before the encore! At one point Beck threw his Strat way up in the air, letting it land on it's back the stage with a resounding SPLAT!
I saw Jeff Beck twice at Arie Crown, this was the second time, the first being the Cozy Powell/Bobby Tench/Clive Chaman/Max Middleton lineup, with The Looking Glass (their big hit was "Brandy") opening. But I never saw BOC at Arie Crown.
The only explanation I can come up with was that there were two separate shows that night, or two shows on consecutive nights, and BOC played the show I didn't attend. Unfortunately, there's not much of a concert history on the Arie Crown website.
So there you have it. That Chicago Reader mention of BOC being on the bill was dated 4 Aug 1972 - that's just 4 days before the show so it looks like they were definitely on the original schedule at least, and must have pulled out pretty late if Robbie's right...
It's would seem especially unfortunate if BOC didn't play because they'd also cancelled out of another gig in Chicago as recently as 23 June with Spirit and It's a Beautiful Day.
Arie Crown Theater Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.
BOC was opening act, followed by Argent and Jeff Beck Group as headliner. I was at the concert.
Yikes! Now I am confused...
This gig clearly never happened as far as BOC were concerned, at least - they were at the Minneapolis Armory on this date supporting Emerson, Lake and Palmer (see below).
Whether or not "Noah" turned up and played, I have no idea, and is beyond the scope of this page to relate...
I saw BOC open for Emerson, Lake and Palmer at the Minneapolis Armory on 8/10/72. I still have the ticket stub - somewhere. It was a general admission show, $4.50 per ticket. It was also the day I bought my 2nd car - a '68 VW bug - and we drove to the gig in it. Good memories.
I saw both BOC and ELP several more times (mostly in the 70s) and am still a fan of both. The '72 show was my first time seeing BOC and they definitely made an impression on me and my friends. We were soon turning lots of people on to this cool band and their music.
The August 4, 1972 "Minnesota Daily" University of Minnesota student newspaper has the ELP show as "next Thursday" which would have been August 10. There is also a review of the show in the August 18 issue and refers to the concert as "last Thursday."
BOC is not mentioned, however, in either article.
The July 29, 1972, issue of Billboard mentions the upcoming August 10 ELP concert in Minneapolis.
Because of the existance of the handbill giving an Arlington Heights gig down for 10 Aug (see above), and in the absence of the stub referred to by Jeff Johnson above, or any newspaper reviews that would put BOC elsewhere, I decided to keep this date as Arlington Heights, and await further info/evidence on BOC's possible involvement in the ELP Minneapolis Armory gig at some future date.
Well, the future is now here. Actually, that future is now in the past, and what it brought in its wake was this review I found in the Friday, August 11, 1972 issue of The Star Tribune (page 30):
Emerson, Lake and Palmer by Mike Anthony
It was a long, hot evening for the nearly 7000 young people gathered inside the Minneapolis Armory Thursday, but the virtuosity of three Englishmen, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, made it not only bearable but definitely worth the price of the ticket.
The crowd, seated on the floor and in the balcony, was eager for music. They gave a warm reception to the opening act, Blue Oyster Cult, a five-man group specializing apparently, in fast, frenetic, hard rock. They're musicians of some talent and had they not insisted on begging response from the audience and had they not done a rather aimless finale, the group would have left with a bigger reaction. As it was, it seemed like a long hour.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer's hour and half seemed short by comparison. The trio, made up of Keith Emerson (keyboards and synthesizer), Greg Lake (vocals and guitars) and Carl Palmer (percussion) was formed in mid 1970.
Their arrangements are elaborate, many in the form of lengthy suites, with little in the form of funk, soul or actual rock. It's an eclectic approach heavy with allusions to the work of Bartok, Janacek and Moussorgsky, among others, spotlighted by Emerson's classically trained keyboard stylings.
However, in concert (if one dares to call the Armory a concert hall) it is just this virtuosity, particularly that of Emerson, that makes for a whale of a show.
Emerson's keyboard work, alternating between organ, grand piano, synthesizer and theremin, has to be called brilliant. His cadenza during "Take a Pebble" began in quasi-Bartok fashion, ran on into an elaborate bookie and concluded as Palmer joined him on drums with a jazz solo that stopped just short of Oscar Peterson.
Much assistance of course, comes from his partners. Lake's vocals, particularly in "Take a Pebble" and "Lucky Man" were sensitively rendered. His guitar work, both electric and accoustic, is highly effective. Palmer, nearly hidden behind a jungle of chimes, gongs and cowbells, provided strong percussion support.
There's still a touch of exaggeration in their performance, as when Emerson tips and drops his mini-synthesizer around on the floor. But, all in all, they do a superb performance and the audience, there for nearly four hours, let the titanic trio know they enjoyed it.
So there you have it - hardly a ringing endorsement for BOC's performance, but evidence that they actually played the gig, at any rate...
I only know of the existence of this show due to a box ad which appeared in the 21 Aug 1972 edition of "The Charlotte Observer":
Friday Aug. 25
4:00 P.M. 'Til
Highway 64-70 East
Blue Oyster Cult
Advance Tickets $4.00
Hickory - Beef & Cheese Shop, Britches Galore, Reggie Saddler Music
Lincolnton - Tillman Music
Conover - Cracker Barrel
Newton - Britches Galore
Taylorsville - WTLK Radio
Lenoir - Brother Pearson Jewelry
Statesville - The Happening
Admission at Gate $5.00
FIRST EVER IN HICKORY
I've gone with the line-up as presented in the ad... however, I don't know if the "Big Brother" mentioned in the listing was actually "Big Brother & the Holding Company" or just some other band called "Big Brother"...?
If it was the former, then surely they would have headlined...?
I was reviewing your giglopedia for 1972 looking for when BOC appeared with Chuck Berry in Annapolis, Maryland. I noticed from your database that on 1 Sept 1972 BOC played in Annapolis at an Unknown Venue.
I was at that concert. BOC was the supporting act for Chuck Berry that night in Annapolis, and they played at a place called New World Beach, an outdoor covered pavilion next to the beach. It has been closed down for many years, and I haven't found anything about it on the internet.
I was actually looking this up because of Berry's passing this weekend, and I wanted to remember as much as I could from the one time I saw him in concert.
In truth, my friends and I went to see Berry, but we all were blown away by BOC, and became instant fans. After that, we saw them several other times in concert.
I would be interested if any of the BOC band members remember playing at the same gig with Chuck Berry back then.
Anyway, I wanted to pass this along since you asked for updates to fill in holes in your giglopedia.
Thanks for that. I found this to be especially interesting - I knew all about the SWU playing with Chuck as his backing band back in 1968 of course, but I'd never heard of BOC sharing a bill with him before.
I tried to see if I could find any adverts for a potential Chuck/Annapolis gig on 1st Sept 1972, but had no luck initially. I did find this mention in the 2nd Sept issue of "The Capital", however:
A rock concert at New World Beach where Chuck Berry was playing tied up traffic for several miles from Edgewood Road to Forest Hills Avenue, county police reported.
So, not much to go on, but that brief mention did seem to tie Chuck in with that particular venue around that particular time. However, after a bit more investigation, I finally found an advert for "Chuck Berry - New World Beach - Fri 1 Sept 1972 (tickets $4.50 in advance or $5.50 on the day of the show)" on page 86 of "The Baltimore Sun" (dated Sunday, August 20, 1972).
Unfortunately, there was no mention of BOC on the advert, but that's nothing new, so I decided to ask some people who might remember if BOC had ever shared a bill with the Chuckster.
BOC did support Chuck before I was in the band at Generation, a club in NYC, SWU era.
I do remember a show when we were on the same bill as Chuck, tho I couldn't tell you when that was. He showed up in a rental car with a guitar only.
The promoter had hired a pick up band to back him , no rehearsal or sound check.
I remember they performed all his hits and My Ding a Ling was a hit at the time.
I distinctly remember opening a show in a tin roofed pavilion on the Maryland shore.
True to legend Chuck pulled up in a rented car and got his guitar out of the trunk. He sat on the rear of the trunk and talked to people very casually. (He must have gotten his money already.)
We played our set which was very good. Then Chuck took the stage with the pick-up band. He played his set of CB standards.
I remember he played his current hit my Ding-a-Ling for a half hour. We'll it seemed like it. But he entertained the crowd very well.
I thought we could have backed him up much better than whoever they had play with him. But as soon as it was over Chuck got into the rented car and drove away.
Bruce Springsteen tells a similar story about backing up Chuck in a tin roofed gig on the Maryland shore. It might have been Springsteen, but I'm not sure.
Yeah the date sounds about right. :-)
I remember that gig. It was as reported, down to Chuck showing up in a rental car with only his guitar, and leaving as soon as he was done.
So, to sum up, on the one hand, I have a BOC gig at an unknown Annapolis venue on this date taken straight from the old BOC schedules, and on the other, I can now place Chuck Berry in Annapolis on this same date at a named venue (New World Beach) thanks to the newspaper advert. Consequently, I believe I can now merge the two parts of the equation together thanks to Randy's personal testimony above, which has been indirectly backed up by BOC members.
Hence, I'm now reasonably content to list this particular gig as "the one that BOC did with Chuck Berry"... :-)
I don't know where the name "New World Beach" came from but being from Annapolis we would know it as either "Carr's Beach" or "McGonigles Seaside Park". I was there.
I do remember Chuck getting out of a car with his guitar. He was wearing what looked like a velvety green sport coat at the time. It was during his "My Ding A Ling" hit fame.
The pavilion was packed and it had just rained. The grounds were full of mud. He rock and rolled the place like mad. Believe it or not kids were actually climbing up into the open rafters above him and would drop down on stage and shake his hand.
And if I'm not mistaken BOC did a cover version of Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf.
Well, I got the name "New World Beach" from contemporaneous newspaper reports. For example, page 86 of "The Baltimore Sun" on 20 Aug 1972 featured a box ad which said this:
Fri Sept 1, 8 p.m.
New World Beach, Annapolis
Tickets: $4.50 Advance
$5.50 Day of Show
According to the Sept 15, 1972 issue of the College of William & Mary student newspaper, The Flat Hat, BOC opened for Rare Earth on Sept 08 at William and Mary Hall, which is located on the campus there in Williamsburg.
The venue was Charlotte Park Center, and they opened for The James Gang.
James Gang was the headliner, I believe, and the venue name - Charlotte Park Center - is correct. I lived there then and remember that show.
This would have been the first time I would have been much-anticipatedly able to see them live, and thus the date is seared into my memory.
I remember hearing Cities on Flame, Born to be Wild, the drum solo with Eric and Buck(?) helping out.
I was definitely at a concert there, with those two bands, and the date fits for me because it was the summer after my college freshman year. I'm sure you would need more verification, and my ticket stubs are long lost.
I'm indebted to Ron Fritts for sending me a copy of the above advert. The venue, the "Gaslight au Go Go", would seem to be a later incarnation of the "Cafe au Go Go" but I was a bit puzzled by the following:
Usumacinta Center Cultural Innovations Benefit Concert
Smoke Da Show
Regarding that first line - Ron also sent me another ad for a "Usumacinta Center Cultural Innovations Benefit Concert" - see 2nd October 1972 - only that one was spelt "The Uscumacinta Center" - Google hasn't been much help in determining which is actually correct.
I initially thought "Beekman Street" must be an address - but for what? The venue is in Bleeker Street, so it's not that. The way it's part of a list of three names suggests it's a support act - but again, Google is no help for "Beekman Street", "Charles Farris" or "Smoke Da Show".
This gig was held at a Chapel Hill dance club on E. Franklin Ave. called The Electric Company. Unfortunately, I don't remember any other details. I was a freshman at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that fall.
I found an advert for this gig in the 12 Sep 1972 edition of the "The Daily Tar Heel" [Chapel Hill NC]:
Tomorrow Night - Wed. Sept 13th
WDBS 107.1 FM Stereo
Electric Co. Nite Club
Eastgate Shopping Center
I wonder what a "Blanket-Concert" is...? If it was outdoors, I'd maybe understand, but this was a night club in a shopping centre...
This gig gets a mention on the runet.edu (Radford University) site.
This show was to be held at the Radford College Preston Hall Auditorium with Flash and The Divots.
The concert was scheduled from 10 pm to 1 am on Thursday September 14, 1972. This is from a listing in the September 11 Radford News Journal and the September 12 Pulaski Southwest Times.
Both publications gave the same information:
A three-hour rock concert will kick-off Radford College's 1972-73 pop concert series Thursday. Featuring the rock groups - Blue Oyster Cult, Flash and The Divots, the concert will be held from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. In the college's Preston Hall auditorium. Blue Oyster Cult is considered to be one of the most promising of the young rock groups today.
Its sound has been described by one music critic as the "freshest and most original new sound" to come on the music scene in a long while.
Tickets are $2.00 for Radford students and $2.50 for others. For ticket information call: 731-5321. The concert is being sponsored by the college's Student Life Committee.
I've designated this as a BOC headline show, partly because that's the general thrust of the above-quoted clipping, but also because it's listed on the Flash gig archive site. They make a distinction on their list regarding the shows they headlined, and this wasn't one of them...
OK, before I go any further, I better tell you about the temporal butchery I've committed here... The original boc.com schedules listed these 2 gigs:
Fri 15 Sep 1972: Clinch Valley College, Wise VA
Sat 16 Sep 1972: Unknown Venue, Greenville NC
However, later research has shown that the Clinch Valley gig actually took place on Sat 16 Sep 1972, in which case, what became of the Greenville gig, originally scheduled for that date?
The obvious first thought was that it might have been cancelled, but "Chathamshooter" below says he went to this gig, although he has no dating evidence regarding just when it took place.
The conclusion I have drawn from this is that - perhaps - there might have been a transcription error when Bolle & Co. first copied down all the original BOC schedules back in the day - maybe they just mixed these two dates up...?
Obviously, the original schedules might have been as denoted above, and subsequent developments enforced a switch of dates, but the Clinch Valley magazine evidence (below) makes no reference to this, so I think it's doubtful...
So, I got out my digital scissors, cut these two gigs out the lists and reversed them.
However, be aware - although I am sure of the following Clinch Valley date, my placement of Greenville on this date (15 Sep) is speculation only and could well be wrong.
If anyone has any dating evidence for this gig, please let me know...
The club in Greenville was called the Music Factory. It's still standing but it's an office now. There were 2 other bands with them, but I don't remember their names. They were locals and not well known.
There was a group of 20 or so fans from my hometown who took over the front of the stage for the show. We had never seen any pictures of the band before that night, so we didn't know what any of them looked like, but we knew all the songs.
Please see the previous Greenville entry to see the story of how this gig got to be re-dated. The ad above, from the front page of the College's "Highland Cavalier" magazine, was published on Mon 11 Sep 1972, and forms part of the reason why this gig is now dated as 16 Sep 1972.
If the text is too small, here's what it says:
BLUE OYSTER CULT will be appearing Saturday evening in the Greear gymnasium beginning at 9 pm. The admission for stags will be $3, and should you have a date then the cover charge climbs to $5. The back-up band is the very respectable Blackberry Hill. Although the presentation will be a concert, dancing won't be prohibited. And, by the way, who were the two couples that danced last Wednesday night - was once enough?
On page 4, they re-iterated the date that BOC would be appearing:
Everything has been completed and Blue Oyster Cult will be here this Saturday night. This will be a concert not a dance and it will be open to the public.
The admission price will be $3 single and $5 a couple. They will be the most expensive group we've had here so it should be a great show.
The 11 Sep issue of the "Highland Cavalier" was the first of new term - the next 2 issues sadly didn't mention the gig at all (the paper's only got 4 pages, after all, so they probably didn't have room for any reviews).
However a letter to the editor in the 4 March 1973 issue mentions that the SCA shouldn't be "resting on the laurels of a successful 'Blue Oyster Cult' concert"... so that confirms the gig took place...
I was in the warm up band that played before BOC at both the Clinch Valley concert and also the 27 Jan 1973 Johnson City TN gig that replaced the scheduled 23 Sept Kingsport concert mentioned below. (It was an indoor stadium, connected to some school, I think. It was pretty packed and a great audience).
I played lead guitar in a band called Mulberry, we out of Martinsville, VA and later Fort Lauderdale, FLA.
Blue Oyster told us they would fly out from NY area for every gig - booked like tours, but they didn't tour at the time. This was better for them from the personal side, although it probably cost them to do it. They also said they were on their second rise - they had sort of made it many years before, but faded, then in the seventies they were coming back after so many years.
They were interested in us because our originals were somewhat 'cosmic' - more like Yardbirds and Moody Blues. We used the harmonica as well. Rocket-fast leads but not as heavy or dark as they were. In other words, we probably reminded them of musical roots in their past. I was of course pleased to play with anyone who had a big audience. We had played before Alice Cooper and the Allman Brothers, etc. so we had some experience but it was always a big deal and a thrill to be on the bill with a professional group. Fun times.
Lets see, I think both gigs were booked by a guy named Dick Winstead. He booked a few other jobs for us.
At the Clinch Valley gig they used Red Wheeler sound - they had these huge base bins.
In Tennessee, the monitors were Altec A7 (Voice of the Theatre) hung off the front of the stage. Nice.
I was in awe of BOC's amp set: stacks of Hi-Watt, Marshall, Orange.
They used the same guitars we did that were popular at that time: Gibson SG, Gibson ES335. Buck Dharma had a switch on his SG guitar to select between two amp stacks. One was set clean, the other overdrive. They had the industrial style that became known as metal. We were trying to be more of a Brit style, I guess.
Funny thing, at the VA gig, we got an encore, and although we had played originals, we came out with Gimme Shelter by the Stones for the encore, and management had a cow about this because you can't play a big gig like that and just do other bands music - they can demand royalty payment right then. We- did not realize it till they told us afterwards, but no harm done - it worked for the crowd. We opened the show with Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well" before going to the originals, but they may not have noticed that one because it was an underground fave at the time.
Another funny thing - at the Tennessee gig, I was surprised to see all this stuff being thrown up on stage - it was like grasshoppers or something. A bit later I realized it was a shower of joints. They were throwing reefer up on stage. Of course nobody picked it up because security was standing around but still it was wild. Nevertheless we always tried to play straight because we wanted to be in tune, and getting high hurt the quality of the music.
Following these jobs, we were supposed to front the band Argent (Hold Your Head Up) but that got cancelled because the band folded before the gig. That may be the cancellation the other poster remembered (see 28 July further up the page).
You'll see from Mark's post above, in which he says his band's name was called "Mulberry", that I have had the colossal nerve to disregard that personal testimony and have designated the support band name to be "Blackberry Hill".
I have done this purely based on the contemporaneous newspaper clipping above. How do I explain the discrepancy? Well, I don't know of course - they both share the word "berry" so there's that, but maybe they later changed fruits - maybe "Blackberry Hill" later became "Mulberry"... I dunno... all I know is that I have printed evidence for the former, so what I do in these cases is make a note of the possible discrepancy and await any future evidence, one way or the other...
I am pretty sure the 1972 Kingsport TN date did not occur, as if my [smoky] memory serves me at all, we heard about tickets going to go on sale, but the show was canceled before they went on sale.
It was going to be at the Dobbins Bennett HS football field, and there was something about noise levels [imagine!].
I remember being very excited when we heard they were gonna play East Tenn. State Univ to 'replace' that gig - then it was 6 months before it happened (see 27 Jan 1973).
My home town is Bristol Tenn, between K'port and JC. It was my first year of college...
I think this concert was held in the Gym of Dobbins Bennett High School in Kingsport, TN.
If you check the previous note, you'll see that Rick reckons this gig was cancelled and re-scheduled 4 months later at East Tenn State Uni gym.
I couldn't tell from what you say if this was a gig you actually attended (so that would mean it DID happen) or was one you remembered hearing about or something like that - meaning it might or might not have definitely happened?
I did see the note about the cancellation, but I did see the band in the Dobbins Bennett High School gym. I can't be positive about the date. I was the first concert I ever attended. I was a Junior at a near by High School at the time (72). I was right up front and my ears rang for several hours after the concert.
I was a fan from thereon. My brother went to ETSU so I would know if it was actually the later concert in Johnson City. Thanks to WQUT-FM there were a lot of fans in the area. It was the only hard rock station in those days between Knoxville, TN and Roanoke, VA.
It's thanks to Ron Fritts that I know about this "Uscumacinta Center Cultural Innovations Benefit Concert" - see 12 Sept 1972 for another such Benefit concert - only this time it's spelt "Usumacinta".
Obviously, I don't know if it took place or not - the above advert was from the 14 Sept 1972 edition of the Village Voice - the 21st Sept issue is missing from the online archive, so I couldn't check that for added confirmation, but I did examine the 28 Sept edition and could find no advert for this upcoming gig. This doesn't mean it didn't take place, of course, it's just that it throws up a doubt, so I have to make a note of it...
I found the following ad in the Thu 05 Oct 1972 edition of the "Lexington Leader":
146 E. Short St.
Presenting the Finest in Rock Entertainment
Friday: Blue Oyster Cult
Saturday: Pure Food & Drug Act
Special Preview Thursday: Buster Brown Band (Also Appearing Fri & Sat.)
Cover - Thursday $1
Friday & Saturday $3.50
Suds and Dancing
I found the following info on the online Illinois Digital Newspapers. This is one I didn't know about.
Wishbone Ash and the Blue Oyster Cult
University of Buffalo, October 14, 9.00 p.m., Clark Gym, $2.50
Thanks, Bob. Here's a review
Clark Gym Starts on Flame with Rock 'n' Roll
by Billy Altman
So here we are at the Gym again, merely weeks after Flo and Eddie, ready for another night of rock 'n' roll. But tonight is different, very different indeed.
The bands here are at real high points in their musical attack. Wishbone Ash is headlining Melody Maker week after week, and the Blue Oyster Cult is about to release a second album that will cause earthquakes in Cincinnatti. And Five Dollar Shoes, man, they don't even have to play to get fans. In fact, they shouldn't have played at all. They should have just stood there for a half hour or so, and let all the kids just look at 'em.
Their roadie had a black cat on his shoulder, and had trouble counting up their pay because his fingernails were so long. And they don't call themselves Five Dollar Shoes for nothin'. What foot gear. I think they're the Jaggerz in drag. Their drummer looks more like a ghoul than Mickey Finn. Last of the New York rock 'n' roll bands, huh? As Sandy Pearlman, the Cult's mentor, said, "I thought they said we were the last of the New York rock 'n' roll bands!"
Actually, the Blue Oyster Cult might be the last of the rock 'n' roll bands, period. After you listen to their record and then see them, you don't really need anything else, except maybe a bowl of chili to dip your bag of Salerno Oysterettes into.
Did you know that a year and a half ago they played at Gilligan's for a few weeks as the Stalk Forest, doing Stones and Steppenwolf and all that. They even played at Aliotto's! I guess this town ain't so bad after all. I mean Alice lived here for a few months. And Sandy Konikoff still lives here, bless his soul.
Rock 'n' Roll Soul
Anyway, they were here with Alice last year, but the kiddies wanted to see the show and they didn't really give the Cult a fair shake. But Friday was a different story. The crowd wanted some rock 'n' roll for a change, and they were the best rock auduence I've seen since the Canadians at the Stones extravaganza. They didn't really know much about the band beforehand, but I know they're all home now listening even as I write this sludge, waiting for City Hall to go up in flames (pass the chicken wings)
Not since the old Small Faces has there been such a Short band. I know that Page wins between 5'6" and 5'10", but Buck Dharma is under 5'4". I see Moby Grape records running through his head each time he takes a solo. And Ted Nugent, and Leigh Stephens and Hendrix.
He's so good he doesn't need tone controls or toggle switches. Just volume, and that's what it's all about anyway. Their killer showpiece for Buck is "Buck's Boogie," (hmm, oh that Jeff Buck), and he blew the ears off everything save the PA speakers.
Buck always wears his white suit, and the rest of the gang is all in black, a nice touch. 'Cause the band plays as close to the rock absolute as is cosmologically possible. Eric Bloom, not only a great lead singer, but former college chum with Jeff Nesin, is all in leather.
So is Joe Bouchard, not only great bass player but brother of drummer Albert. Allen Lanier looks like a runaway folkie, but his subtle guitar and keyboard work should not be underestimated, especially when a suitable Deep Purple sound is needed. If you noticed, on "It's Not Easy," the Stones tune, Allen did Brian's part perfectly. Real class.
They did a few new songs, like "Seven Screaming Diz Busters," (don't ask me, I asked Pearlman, who helped write it and he doesn't know either), but they even rearrange their old tunes. "Screams" sounds so pretty now, close to "Liar Liar." Joe's vocal is dynamite. Eric sings "Transmaniacon MC," like his mouth is an exhaust pipe. And little Albert sizzles through "Cities on Flame with Rock 'n' Roll," one of the classic tongue songs ever to be stuffed down my throat.
And they put on a show besides playing. And at no extra cost! Triple drum solo on "Easy," Eric brandishing his chain all over a cymbal or two - and then, for their encore "Born to Be Wild," the biker's national anthem. Eric and Buck pull a "Duel In the Sun," and everyone knows Gregory Peck is really a good guy gone wrong, so it's all right.
It's hard for anybody to follow a holocaust like the Cult, but the Ashes manage quite well. They wait for a while before coming on stage, and that helps quiet the crowd down. They are real slick, these foreigners, and they don't even have to get dressed up to put the point across. Two guitarists that pull off nice harmony riffs, a little Allman influence, adequate rhythm work. And they sure sing well for youngsters. Very pretty two part harmony, maybe a little Yes but I don't mind.
I know they did "Warrior," and I'm not all that familiar with their records, so I can't quote titles, but the crowd knew all the songs, and they like them as much as I did, maybe even more. They were all real tired, so the encore was short, and then it was all over I went home, raced up those Stairways to the Stars, and dreamed of burning down the Pan Am building. Who could ask for more?
I just saw the following mention on Facebook:
I saw BOC as line up band for Stevie Wonder - it was at a college concert at Morehead State University 72/73 - it was a terrific show by both...
This was interesting - I've never heard of BOC supporting Stevie Wonder wonder before, and the idea of it intrigued me.
Now, I had a BOC gig listed for Morehead State University on 19 Oct 1972 but I had no "other acts on the bill" info to go with it - could this be the gig in question?
I did some research and discovered mentions of an upcoming 19 Oct 1972 Stevie Wonder concert in "Contact", the student magazine of Morehead State University...
The next edition featured a photo of Stevie from the gig, so it looked like he played the show - but, sadly, nowhere was there ANY mention of BOC...
I also looked in old copies of the The Courier-Journal newspaper [Louisville KY] and found a number of small mentions, eg on Sunday, October 01, 1972 there was this:
Homecoming activities will open Oct 19 with an 8:30 p.m. concert by Stevie Wonder.
On 19 Oct 1972, it said this:
Vocalist Stevie Wonder will perform tonight at 8:30 and Victor Borge, the humorous concert pianist, will perform tomorrow night at 8:15. All events will be held in Morehead's Fieldhouse.
Press releases gave the following info:
MSU's Golden Anniversary Homecoming is scheduled for October 19th--20th--and 21st. The Golden Anniversary Homecoming will feature Stevie Wonder in concert, Thursday, October 19th at 8:30 p.m. in the Laughlin Fieldhouse. Tickets are 3 dollars 50 cents for non-students.
A record turnout of alumni and other friends of Morehead State University is expected October 19th thru 21st for MSU's Golden Anniversary Homecoming...
"Kentucky's Greatest Collegiate Weekend" begins with a concert by Stevie Wonder Thursday night in the Laughlin Fieldhouse...
So, that seems to confirm that Stevie Wonder definitely performed at this venue on a date which corresponds with one also listed as a BOC performance, so that would seem to be prima facie proof of sorts... but it'd be nice to get some evidence that BOC also definitely played, though...
I remember that gig quite well. Stevie rocked the crowd as expected.
In his band were the Brecker Brothers. I talked to them later about that gig. They were dissatisfied since there was no rehearsal, just playing off the cuff, and they didn't always know where Stevie was going with the tunes.
He was making it up as he went along. Hey, he's a genius, right?
Addendum: We flew back into LaGuardia Airport. Waiting for our bags I see this really decked out dude, I remember he was wearing a gray long coat with a fur collar. Really sharp! He was getting into a pay phone booth. It was Stevie!
I said to his entourage we were the opening act at the show the previous night. They said we were really good, they really liked us.
Sweet! I'll never forget that endorsement.
Joe mentions being in LaGuardia the next day but that obviously can't be right as BOC were in Miami the next night being recorded for a possible future live album (and wouldn't those tracks be interesting to hear??)... Presumably the meeting with Stevie and "his entourage" took place at the nearest Kentucky airport the next day or else, if had been at LaGuardia, then it must have been after BOC's Florida weekend gigs...
Which led me to ponder on the size of BOC's own "entourage" at this time - maybe just Elliot Krowe and the infamous Screamer Steve and his dog...?
I originally had this gig listed as being at the Jai Alai Fronton as this was the venue given on the original boc.com lists. However I've now switched the venue to the Sportatorium as a result of the above advert and Billboard clipping.
This short piece was from the recording studios section of the magazine, and gave details of what Criteria Sound Studios from Miami had been up to recently. Here's the relevant text:
"The weekend of the 21st found Ron and Howie Albert at the helm of Criteria's 16-track remote equipment for three dates with The Jeff Beck Group in Jacksonville and at the Miami-Hollywood Sportatorium.
Assisted by Carl Richardson, Al McAdam and Rick Allison, the Alberts caught both Beck, for Epic Records, and Columbia Records' Blue Oyster Cult."
There's a few things of interest there - first, a date is given: "The weekend of the 21st " - well the 21st of October (remember - this article came out on 11th November) was a Saturday, so I'm assuming the fact that I have this Miami gig down as Friday the 20th is no great stretch.
They mention "three dates" with Jeff Beck - the assumption is that all three were with BOC - though, I realise that's not explicitly stated.
Also - they say that they "caught both Beck... and... Blue Oyster Cult". This means that there is a 1972 recording of a BOC gig - possibly more than one gig - lying round on someone's shelf somewhere!!
A criminal waste, I call it...
Also - before I added the article above to the site - I was contacted by Albert Bouchard who said he thought this gig might have been one of two BOC played with the Allmans at the Jai Alai about this time.
However, I have since discovered that those gigs with the Allmans happened back in June 72.
I've since found a listing for this gig in the 19 Oct 1972 edition of the "The Miami News":
The same night British rock guitarist Jeff Beck makes a return Miami appearance at the Hollywood Sportatorium. As usual Beck has a new band, this composed of ex-Vanilla Fudge members Tim Bogart and Carmine Appice. This merger has been nearly two years in the making. Featured with Beck are Ursa Major, Foghat and Blue Oyster Cult. Admission is $4 advance, $5 at the door.
I also came across an advert in the 20 Oct 1972 edition of the same paper (any spelling mistakes you might spot in the text were present in the original advert):
HBS Productions Presents
a return appearance by
a rock & roll spectacular with
Special Guest Stars
Blue Oyster Colt
All Happening At:
Tickets: $4 in advance
$5 at door
So - were BOC recorded or not? The article above says BOC were caught on tape...
I wonder if this Criteria Sound Studios are still going in some shape or form?
Apparently, there was an article in a Circus mag where Buck and Eric told the story of them recording for the OYFOOYK record and BOC opening for Jeff Beck
I believe it was a Florida gig. Something about Beck freaking out 'cuz BOC was recording. It was raining and, according to Buck, BOC killed 'em that night.
"Jeff Beck... we had this amazing show in Jacksonville recorded during a hurricane, and it was amazing, and about half an hour before the show, Murray and I were meant to be recording both Beck, for a future 'live' album, and the Cult, and he said: 'you can't do this, this bothers me'. So an amazing show was lost to posterity."
So, clearly we're talking about an outdoor show. I've looked long and hard for details about the details of Jeff Beck's itinery around this time, without much success.
Apparently, when BOC played/didn't play with him (the story is currently confused) back in Chicago in August, he was playing under the "Jeff Beck Group" name.
Upon returning to the US to kick off his latest tour in Miami on the 20th Oct, it was as "Beck Bogert & Appice", although newspaper ads etc seemed to have trouble keeping up with this.
Anyway, I finally came across the following mention of this gig in something called "Amusement Business, Volume 84, Issue 3", a 1972 Billboard Publication:
Concerts East has lined up Jeff Beck to play the Jacksonville (Fla) Raceway for a $25,000 gross potential, Oct 21, followed by date at Syracuse (N.Y.) Loew's State Theater with an $13,000 gross potential, Oct 24).
So, the venue was described as the "Jacksonville Raceway". However, I can find no trace of such a venue, only a "Jacksonville Speedway", so my presumption is that this was the venue, and so I'll list it as such until I hear evidence to the contrary.
I originally thought this gig was with Jeff Beck because the above article mentions three FL gigs and, as this was BOC's third gig listed as part of a mini-Florida tour on boc.com, I was happy to go with it...
Then Greg from The Tour Archive kindly got in touch with a clipping from the 20 Oct 1972 edition of the "Florida Today" newspaper, which said the following:
Rock Concert: Blue Oyster Cult and Marshall Tucker will perform in concert Sunday, 8 p.m. at Brevard Community College, Cocoa campus. Tickets are $4 in advance and $4.50 at the door. Available in advance at Keller Music in Melbourne, B&K Music in Cocoa Beach and Streep's in Cocoa.
So, not a Jeff Beck gig after all... My supposition that BOC headlined is because Marshall Tucker only started touring under that name in 1972 - and their first LP didn't come out until 1973 - so BOC would seem to have been the "bigger" band at the time...
The band returned to New York and spent the next three days at Columbia Studios NY - presumably to rehearse new material for their forthcoming Tyranny album...
Thanks to Ron Fritts for the above adverts.
By the way, the 29 Jan 1973 edition of the University of Maryland's student newspaper, "The Diamondback" made reference to the fact that this gig does not seem to have been a financial success for the organisers:
In an attempt to reduce confusion and misunderstanding within the University Program Board (UPB), student board members asked Mike Hession, UPB director, to produce financial records and a budget at their next meeting.
Chris Columbo, University Commuters Association (UCA) vice president, said he still does not know how much UCA lost from sponsoring the Blue Oyster Cult concert in October.
He added that he and other UCA members have visited Hession "a couple times and we still don't know."
Leer told the meeting that all financial records are on file and easily accessible to any UPB member. He suggested the organization leaders gather the financial information themselves.
According to the Oct 27, 1972, issue of the Daily Tar Heel, which is the student newspaper at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the show on Saturday, Oct 28, 1972, was held at the NC State University Theatre.
The opening act was Rittenhouse. The bands gave two performances, at 7:00 and 9:30 PM:
Blue Oyster Cult
Rittenhouse (back-up band)
Saturday, October 28
Shows at 7 and 9:30
at N.C. State University Student Theater
All tickets are general admission
$2.00 in advance
$2.50 at the door
Tickets are on sale at the ticket desk
N.C. State University Student Center
Your excellent database lists the date and town for this concert but not the venue or other bands which appeared.
Over the years I have been compiling a concert listing for Wishbone Ash and my records have Wishbone Ash and REO Speedwagon supporting BOC at the Electric Park Ballroom Waterloo Iowa on the 30th Oct 1972.
The book 'Blowin' Free - Thirty Years of Wishbone Ash' by Gary Carter & Mark Chatterton contains a listing of Wishbone Ash concerts and on the 30th October 1972 they were playing in Waterloo Iowa. The venue is given as Electric Park Waterloo.
I'm afraid I don't have a reference for the source of my info which included REO Speedwagon at this concert but I am fairly confident the details are accurate.
Best Wishes on collecting the missing info.
This Ballroom was actually an unused bar connected with a bowling alley in Waterloo.
November 1, 1972
Blue Oyster Cult
The original boc.com had this gig listed as "2 Nov 1972: Unknown Venue, Philadelphia PA". Then I got an email off Greg from the Mountain Tour Archive:
The Philadelphia date you have listed for 2nd November was actually Friday November 3, 1972 opening for Quicksilver Messenger Service at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA.
In an article in the 14 March 1973 edition of the Villanova University student newspaper about the upcoming March 16, 1973 Quicksilver concert at the Tower Theater (with Grin and Vinegar Joe opening), it refers to the last time (November 1972) that QMS played at the Tower and describes the QMS show and states that BOC were a late cancellation (with no explanation given) and that QMS did not come on until 9:30 pm.
Furthermore, in a copy of a concert schedule from the November 2, 1972 Philadelphia Drummer newspaper it lists that QMS and BOC would be playing the Tower the next night (November 3).
I've since found a couple of listings for this gig from the actual day of the gig itself.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 3 Nov 1972 :
Tower Theater (69th and Market): Quicksilver and Blue Oyster Cult, tonight at 8.
The Philadelphia Daily News, 3 Nov 1972 :
Tower Theater, 69th and Market (352-6665). Quicksilver and Blue Oyster Cult, 8:30 p.m.
So, they differed over the actual start time, but both were still clearly saying that Blue Oyster Cult were the support for that evening's gig, so whatever caused BOC to leave the bill, it must have been happened pretty late in the day...
Also, looking at the ticket stub as well as the newspaper listings, the band seemed to be going simply under the name "Quicksilver"...
I only know of the existance of this gig thanks to research done by Jill Atwood who unearthed the above advert...
Camel were the openers for this show, but as they are described in the newspaper report above as being from Stamford CT, then clearly this is a different Camel to the better known English prog rock band from Canterbury UK...
The band spent the next six days at Columbia Studios NY - presumably to rehearse new material for their forthcoming Tyranny album...
I noticed that for the Nov 17, 1972 BOC gig, the list reads "Unknown Venue". The venue was Blue Max, and my band, The Fog, opened for BOC at this show.
On this night, BOC never finished their set because a fight broke out between members of our band and theirs over a broken microphone. The PA and all other backline gear belonged to us. As I recall, BOC had played two or three songs before vocalist Eric Bloom threw one of our microphones violently against the stage floor, breaking it on contact. He'd accidentally switched the mic off, I think, but thought it was broken so he got angry.
Our keyboardist leapt onstage and started hitting Bloom because that particular mic that belonged to him. BOC drummer Albert Bouchard then jumped onto our keyboardist's back and within a minute or two nearly all members of both bands were brawling onstage. I didn't get involved, and neither did BOC guitarist Buck Dharma. The two of us retreated to the green room and jammed on practice amps.
Meanwhile Winston-Salem police arrived and stopped the fight. BOC refused to play any further and left the club. Blue Max club owners sued BOC for violation of contract and destruction of our gear. I don't remember what the outcome of the lawsuit was. It was certainly a memorable night.
I don't ever remember anything remotely like this. Sounds like the guy is mistaking Blue Oyster Cult for a different band. Or he's making the whole thing up. Crazy!
I remember the rumpus, but not the particulars. We generally avoided bad situations, but there was an exception. Despite our ominous image, BOC were not brawlers.
Since Joe doesn't think this can be the same gig, although Buck seems to remember some sort of "rumpus" - but doesn't know where - I'll put the venue info down as tentative for now...
My brother and I are BOC fans.
I LIVE in Lynchburg, VA.
For years, my brother told me of a legendary BOC concert in Lynchburg VA.
It was SUPPOSED to be at Randolph Macon Woman's College at an earthy little venue called "The Dell" -- sort of an outdoor amphitheatre.
Well, it rained that day, and rather than cancel the gig, the band played in the RMWC's Chapel. That's right -- in a church.
He always swore this was true. RMWC is now co-ed and is known as Randolph College.
Oh doubting brother of mine! Yes indeed it happened, I believe they mentioned it was one of their first US "tours" as well.
The controlled chaos within the chapel was incredible, they played for about 90 minutes, +/-. They hadn't started performing the 5 guitar audience assault yet but a couple of them did take chains to the drum kit.
BOC in a chapel did lend itself to a certain cool irony I thought but the weirdest part of the day was the opening act, a 2 man comedy/bluegrass act that went by the name of Chicken Hot Rod.
I want to say that there was free beer that day but I cannot confirm that.
I was initially alerted to the possibility of BOC being on the bill of a three gig run with Deep Purple thanks to a mention on the Deep Purple site, www.purple.de:
02 Dec 1972: State Fairgrounds Coliseum , Indianapolis IN
07 Dec 1972: Hara Arena, Dayton OH
08 Dec 1972: IMA Auditorium, Flint MI
I asked Dirk Kahler, who runs the site, what evidence he had for BOC being a part of the proceedings:
The data I already have a few years in my list. I cannot say where I got the information, unfortunately. But you should vote, otherwise I would not have entered into my list. Also I have no ticket or poster from the concerts.
So, there it was - the only evidence I had for BOC playing these three dates was their inclusion on that Deep Purple giglist. A ticket exists on the site for this first gig, but it only mentions Deep Purple and Fleetwood Mac:
However, I now know - thanks to Nic Luciano Sr and the research of Bert Gangl - that on this date at least, BOC did not play Indianapolis.
From the Dec 02, 1972, issue of the Indianapolis Star:
Deep Purple, rock group, will appear with Fleetwood Mac in a concert today at 7:30 at the Coliseum. Dick Heckstall-Smith, is also on the bill.
Looks like BOC sat this one out.
It also helped that Bert discovered that BOC were playing with Flash in Teaneck NJ on this date (see next entry).
Just as a belt and braces-type approach, here's a review of the Indianapolis gig that appeared in the 15 Dec 1972 issue of "The Thorn", the official organ of The Rose-Hulman Institute Of Technology:
by Frank & Ahmed
On Saturday, December 2nd, the Indy Coliseum was the site of a concert that had several thousand people begging for more ear-shattering music. Dick Heckstall-Smith, Fleetwood Mac, and Deep Purple put together a show that won't be forgotten for some time. Heckstall-Smith started the evening out fifteen minutes ahead of schedule, which is a rarity as concerts go.
Unfortunately the sound, which is never the best at the Coliseum, was at one of its all-time lows. Echos were bad and one couldn't be sure if Dick's sax was even plugged in.
The crowd hung in there, though, and started to get really keyed as Fleetwood Mac got into their act. The band was thoroughly professional and had a well-rounded set, which included all the styles Fleetwood is famous for.
Deep Purple was as usual HEAVY! But even Ahmed will admit that they were great. Much of their set was devoted to Machine Head with just oodles of fantastic jamming all over the stage. An encore complete with strobe show ended the evening with just the right touch.
Deep Purple was very impressive in their reaction to the audience; you could tell they were enjoying themselves and this seemed to make them get better and better as the show progressed.
All in all, even with the bad acoustics, this was one hell of a concert.
So, proof if it were needed that BOC didn't play this date. It's more than likely the other two Purple dates were not with BOC also, but I'll have to wait to see if any proof emerges for these - one way or the other - at some future date...
I've been trying to find information on a show I attended back in late 1972 or early 1973.
Blue Oyster Cult opened for a band named Flash, at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
The show was held in the cafeteria due to horrible ticket sales. I was one of about 12 people who bought tickets.
I can imagine that the band would prefer to forget this gig but any info would be appreciated. I enjoyed the show regardless.
Thanks to the research of Bert Gangl, this mystery gig has now been solved...
According to the December 06, 1972, issue of the FDU Teaneck student newspaper, The Tarrevir, Flash played two shows at the school cafeteria on Saturday, Dec 02, 1972.
BOC is not mentioned, but, given the time frame Nic mentions, this would almost surely have to be the date in question.
Again, this gig is listed on the www.purple.de site, and there's a ticket here (but like the one above,it only mentions Deep Purple and Fleetwood Mac):
As proof that BOC was not present at this gig, here's a review of this show from the 9 December 1972 edition of the Dayton Journal Herald:
Warm-up band beats 'Purple'
by Tom Scheidt, Journal Herald Special Writer
Dayton rock fans were treated to one of those unusual rock concert happenings Thursday night, a warm-up band that out-did the feature attraction.
The evening of heavy sounds was kicked off by Fleetwood Mac. They were too loud, had no showmanship, were just average musicians and singers, performed some dull blues numbers and all in all I really liked them!
Despite, all their flaws (and they were numerous) Mac projected sincerity, and occasionally came up with some unique musical ideas. These young men were truly into their music and were successful in conveying this to the fur-bearing friendlys at Hara Arena.
Deep Purple was the top bill but would have fared better as Fleetwood's warm-up band. They were better musicians and singers, tighter, had some showmanship, but lacked any type of uniqueness that would have set them apart from any other typical heavy group.
Purple's songs contained nowhere near the imagination or feeling of Fleetwood's.
The warm-up act was more spontaneous and natural whereas the feature group was too polished - they were going through the same old paces of a well-rehearsed routine.
The entire concert was an interesting and enlightening study of how a more talented group with superior technique can fail to create a charisma and special feeling, while a hand lacking in musicianship but blessed with inventiveness and an ability to communicate their emotions can almost always succeed.
In the one ad I found of the concert, in the 7 December 1972 issue of the same newspaper, BOC was not mentioned:
R0CK CONCERT: Deep Purple with Fleetwood Mac, at Hara Arena, Shiloh Springs Road, 7:30 p.m.
Thanks Ian. Whilst reading that pretty useless and poorly-written "review" reproduced above I had a distinct feeling of deja vu - where had I come across a similar example of such awful journalism only relatively recently...? Then I noticed the "author's" name and remembered...
This is the last of the three BOC/Deep Purple gigs mentioned on the www.purple.de site.
As the first two have proven to be demonstrably inaccurate, I'm now reasonably happy to classify this gig also as a "phantom" event - the Purple gig will most likely have occurred but with Fleetwood Mac, not BOC...
This date was heavily publicised in the Detroit Free Press throughout December 1972 and is also confirmed by the motorcitymusicarchives.com website.
One gig that is conspicuous by its absence from your lists was the Dec 31, 1972 New Year's Eve show in Rochester; it was at some dome kind of venue, I'll find out from some of my friends still back in Rochester what the name of it was.
It wasn't the War Memorial - it was much smaller than that, though my friend Bruce says the venue was in the Monroe County Fairgrounds...
BOC headlined, and they weren't very big at that point. I'm sure somebody must have opened, but I have no idea who it was.
The main thing I remember about the show was that when Buck and Eric rubbed their guitar necks together during "Born To Be Wild", and making a wild noise, I was seeing sparks shoot out from the guitar necks and was frantically worrying while they were doing that, that they were going to electrocute themselves!!
Could the actual venue name have been the Dome Arena? I looked it up and it's on the site of "the annual Monroe County Fair" and it does seem to fit your description of the venue...
My friend comfirmed that the actual venue that BOC played on NYE in Rochester was the Dome Arena, and he says the support was Manfred Mann's Earth Band...
I looked on Nigel Stanworth's Manfred Mann site for possible corroboration and it says there that Manfred Mann were playing Plymouth UK on the day before this gig (30th December 1972):
Plymouth UK one day, Rochester USA the next would be rather tight, from a scheduling point of view, especially during the Christmas holidays... I wonder if that UK gig is definitely accurate? The Manfred Mann gig list does show the band were playing US dates earlier in December so I think it's a possibility they could have still been around for New Years Eve...
I'll try and investigate further, but - as usual - if any of you folk know anything, please get in touch...
Stop Press: Well, I've found evidence in the December 31 Dec 1972 edition of the Democrat and Chronicle [Rochester] that places BOC here on this date, at any rate:
For rock and roll fans who think their only New Year's Eve choice is Guy Lombardo or the Sugar Bowl, this year is different. Blue Oyster Cult, one of the few true underground bands to remain underground, will perform tonight from 8pm - 1am at the Monroe County Fairgrounds. With horns, hats and special lighting effects, it should be a rollicking way to bring in the new year.
As for Manfred Mann being on the bill: I think Larry's friend might be mixing up his recollections of this 1972 gig with the one from 1973...
I think also that these date(s) were played in 1972 - if you have any info, please let me know:
A friend wrote me to say:
"Bob, did you go with JH and myself to the free concert they gave at the Albright Knox in fall of 71?
They played outside, facing Delaware Park Lake. And they were selling their 1st Album for 99 cents!"
I wasn't there and I don't specifically remember it. I'm guessing it was not likely 1972 if it did happen. But for what it's worth, two of my BOC shows I saw were with the same JH guy.
And I did see free shows in Delaware Park (1974 and 1976) so I know they had them, though my shows were not in the same area - the Albright Knox Art Gallery is a world-class gallery that borders Delaware Park.
Nowadays they have Jazz Concerts in the area he's describing, but I don't recall rock concerts there.
OK - well as the first LP came out in January 1972, Bob's mate can't have seen them in 1971 if that first LP was also on sale at the event. So I think we're definitely talking 1972...
Interestingly enough, if you check back further up this page to the gig dated Saturday 14 October 1972, you'll see a gig listed for Buffalo at an unknown venue.
Could we be talking about the same show?
I attended a BOC concert in Mobile, Alabama in Fall 1972 or Spring 1973, Mobile Civic Center. A fight or something broke at the end - I had not stayed 'til the end ( had an early curfew!) but read about it the next day in the paper (parents were very upset that I may have been there during).
Hope this helps. Newspaper would be Mobile Press Register, can't remember month or time of year.
This gig was at the Mobile Municipal Auditorium, which has been torn down and now, at the same spot, is the Civic Center. I'm not sure of the date though - it may have been in 1971 or 1972. I was 16, my birthday is in September, I was born in 1955.
Dr John played, then Blue Oyster Cult - Spirit was the headliner. I recall lots of kids with painted faces in the fountain out front.
There was such a small turnout, most of the fans were on the auditorium floor, after BOC, there was a too long wait and people started chanting, "Spirit, Spirit, Spirit, etc". Then the announcer finally came out and said the concert was over, they were sorry but not enough tickets had been sold for Spirit to play.
Everybody yelled obscenities and some folks grabbed their metal chairs and slung them about until there was a pile of them, people started leaving, then someone slung a chair into the glass doors.
Mobile is the home of the America's Junior Miss pageant. The crown and scepter was displayed in a glass case in the outer hall of the auditorium. Someone cracked it open and disturbed the relics, whether they were just mislaid or stolen, I don't recall.
I walked out and there were cops chasing kids and kids throwing bottles at cop cars. I imagine they arrested quite a few. That's all I recollect.
Here are the details.
My cousin was the promoter for the Mobile gig. He put every penny he had into the show trying to make a big score.
He had a contract that said there would not be another show with this lineup within some radius of Mobile which included both Pensacola and Biloxi both of which were big venues.
Well he got screwed by the fine print and Pensacola was booked for the following night. Ticket sales collapsed. He went to work in the shipyards and never got over it.
This was at the time Spirit was hot, having released "12 Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus".
He always talked about how great Dr. John treated him.
I know we played on the Gulf of Mexico in the early part of july. It was most likely Pensacola but it could have been Mobile.
We weren't into taking a month off in the middle of the summer.
Can't help noticing there's an unknown Mobile date above this gig - could they have been one and the same?
I am certain my first gig was at the Spectrum in Philly PA; it was Blue Oyster Cult. I got in with My Mom and My brother. The price was only eight bucks a piece, and we also got to see Alice Cooper and I am almost positive that Johnny Winter was on the bill, too but don't hold Me to it, I was only 7 years old and I have short term memory now.
It might have been a different concert with different people, Johnny Winter that is.
Anyways, I do remember the fact that the lasers were cool and the guitar solos were amazing as was the drum solo, but then again I heard better drummers since.
Like I said I was 7 at the time. Anyways, it was a ball.
A strange conundrum, this one...
BOC only ever played with Alice in 1972 (though no dates in Philly are on record), plus one show in 1973 and one in 1980, a European gig in 1998, plus single gigs in 2000, 2006 and 2007.
The lasers only came in early 1976 and stayed until early 1979, so fall outside the dates they could have played with Alice Cooper...
Obviously, any help would be appreciated on this one...