1975 was a golden year for Blue Oyster Cult. February saw the release of their epic double live album "On Your Feet or on Your Knees" and to publicise it, the band had secured a prestigious spot supporting Rod Stewart and the Faces, including a gig at Madison Square Garden!!
This was backed up with months of solid gigging, appearing on the same bill as bands such as REO Speedwagon, Trapeze, Foghat, ZZ Top, Journey and Uriah Heep amongst others.
In October/November, the band finally got to tour Europe and the year culminated with a New Years Eve appearance supporting KISS, a band who'd opened for BOC on New Years Eve only two years before...
This page, as with a great part of the rest of the site, would not have been possible without the help of ex-BOC roadie, Sam Judd, whose notes have helped provide most of the information contained within this page...
Once more, I'd like to thank Bolle Gregmar, Paul 5, Peter Nielsen of the thinlizzyguide.com and Bert Gangl for their help with a number of gigs on this page.
Have you got anything to contribute to this page? Reviews, ticket stubs, missing support band info, posters, flyers, missing venue names etc etc - if so, let me .
This was the day ex-Hydra roadie Sam Judd first talked to Blue Oyster Cult roadcrew Elliot Crowe and Road Manager Rick Downey about the possibility of working for BOC.
Sam had previously made their acquaintance after a Hydra support gig with BOC (with Slade headlining) in Louisville, KY on September 1973 (more details here).
After flying into New York on the 27th to join up with the BOC crew, new roadie Sam Judd was met at JFK airport by George Geranios and was taken to his appartment where he spent the night on the floor.
On awakening the next morning we proceeded to the appartment of Allen Lanier to fetch his Hammond organ (cut-down model) down 5 flites of stairs...
While there I was introduced to Patti (Smith) and I was quite intrigued by the fact that she kept running up to Allen with little scraps of paper with letters on them, saying "play these letters in this order and let's see what they sound like" and Allen would eke them out on his piano.... she was composing music by letters... similar, I guess, to how she would write poety...
Our next stop was S.I.R. (Studio Instrument Rentals) where we unloaded the equipment truck... perishing cold and I had no proper winter coat (I'm from the South)...
Once ensconced in the warm confines of the rehearsal studio, I was given the guided tour of Buck's guitar rig that I would be responsible for...
At this point the crew consisted of myself and Moe Slotin... Rick Downey had just been promoted to Road Manager but he was still helping to load and unload trucks as well as George...
At gigs Rick would come down and put Albert's kit together and Moe and I would get it onstage & miked up...
BOC Rehearsals at Studio Instrument Rentals, New York continued for two more days before moving to the Fillmore East...
The SIR rehearsals were then followed by a stint at the old Fillmore East with full lighting rig... where there was no heat except for kerosene space heaters (only run during the day while the band were there)...
By the way, it was no longer the Fillmore & the new owner had opened it as "The New Fillmore East" but big Bill Graham sued him about the Fillmore East part and he had changed the name to "The NFE Theatre" which stood for "The Night Flite East Theater"...
At this point I was appointed night watchman and got to stay there during the night to "protect" the gear...
This also entitled me to be present during "The Dictators" rehearsals which were held at night...
By the way, I discovered Szechuan Chinese cuisine wile rehearsing at the Fillmore and kept going back to the 2nd Ave. Szechwan restaurant... I've even got a pic of me standing in front of it somewhere... I believe it's even still there... when I walked into a Taters rehearsal, they would break into a song they trumped up about me that had the line "Goddamn... It's Szechwan Sam !!"...
After a few days of this I got a reprieve and was able to spend several nights at the Downey household with Rick's Mum and Dad (both of whom were fantastic folks who treated me as a son of their own)
At this point we added a large transparency of the 1st album cover to the giant flags that had been the backdrop for sometime and some footlights to illuminate the dry ice fog... since this radically increased the work load on Moe and myself, Eric Weinstien (E-Factor) and Carol Dodd were added to our merry little troop...
Eric roadied for numerous bands before and after BOC (Kiss, Alice Cooper, Black Oak Arkansas and is presently Personal Assistant to Mr. Mark Wahlberg of movie acting fame... you can even catch E-Factor in a film now and then... he beats up John Cusak on the street in NYC near the beginning of "Being John Malkovitch" and plays a roadie (what a stretch) In "Rock Star"...
Carol went on to be L.D. for the likes of Jan Hammer, Nugent, U2 and is still at it, as far as I know... by the way I'm the one that gave him the name E-Factor as 3 people in our organization were called E for their first names (E.Bloom, E.Crowe, and E. Weinstien) and I made the comment one day that Bob See might have the See Factor (our lighting company), but we had the E-Factor and it stuck on him as a nickname....
So that was the state of our organization as we hit the road opening for Rod Stewart on a string of shows... At this point I only had to take care of Don... but we were all pretty busy...
Drove through the snow to Rochester for the Faces gig...
One of the first really good laughs I had from the band was the first show I did for them in Rochester in Feb 75.
I was tending to Buck's and Joe's needs then and the first time I walked out on stage to do a guitar swap with Buck, I was towering over him as I'm 6'2 and was wearing rather large boots... he just looked up at me and says "Lose the Boots"... I'm still laughin years later...
Capitol Park Center, Heavyweight gig with TV screens and 20,000 people...
Unloaded at N.F.E.; Fixed castors and people showed up for concert; there was an Elvin Bishop concert scheduled for that night at the NFE that had been canceled for about a month (the place was belly up and the new owner was broke... that's how we rented it so cheap and it had NO heat..)
These people started coming in the theater thru a door that we didn't know was unlocked and seeing all that gear on-stage, refused to believe there was NO concert scheduled that night... now mind Moe and I are the ONLY fuckers there against what ended up being about 50 really pissed off folks holding tickets... we finally managed to get them all out of the buildingand locked the door and called the coppers and they dispersed the crowd, but not before they broke out the glass in a door or two...
Later, Moe and I went for dinner when we got a frantic phone call saying that we had a gig the NEXT DAY at Charleston so we had to pack up out of the Fillmore and drive all night to get there... initially they couldn't even tell us if it was Charleston WV or SC...
There are at least a couple of instances where trucks and/or buses showed up at the wrong Charleston... a guy I worked with on Hydra once left Knoxville TN with a semi loaded with a stage for an Elvis show in Charleston... he drove all night and all the next day to Charleston SC, only to find out the show was actually in W.VA.. about 1/2 the distance... there was a near riot when the show was canceled and he was fired...
This was my first BOC concert. Went to see them, not Rod Stewart. After getting blown away by BOC we just about fell asleep during Stewart and left early.
Since then I've seen BOC countless times; every time they come around my part of the country. Seen them at least 15 times since.
Thanks for the memory of that fine show. I love On Your Feet because it is basically a recording of that first concert I saw.
I can't offer you much additional info on the show except the setlist was most of OYFOOYK. I'll never forget all 5 band members playing guitar on ME262, or the playing of Astronomy, which if I recall was near the end, maybe the encore.
REO Speedwagon was on the Cincinatti show... they played after us on this show and there were BIG arguments and schisms over it...
It was negotiated that we were NOT to use our flash pots, but management conveniently forgot to tell the BOC crew that little detail...
All of their crew pitched such a fit, that at one point in the set change I noticed all of them were back stage arguing, so I had the union crew remove most of their backline with ours and transport it to the rear of the arena...
It took them bozos about 15 min to figure out they were missing an ampline and they had about 15 min till they needed to start playing... aah such fun...
I recently visited a childhood friend who now lives out of state. He had been going through old papers and clutter in his basement and showed me a hand-written setlist for BOC at the Cincinnati gardens on February 22, 1975.
They were the opener of a three band bill of BOC, REO Speedwagon and Rod Stewart and the Faces. Setlist was:
This was the first time I ever saw - or heard - BOC. And I was a fan after the opening riff of Stairway.
Madison Sq Garden, NY with the Faces; Played Garden - big party afterwards; left for Providence...
That party was really something... amazing food... there was even a separate Kosher serving line with all the Gifiltefish, Lox and Nova and stuff like that... mmm mighty tasty...
Always remember seeing Buck tell Andy Warhol "Hey have a big time Andy, Knock yourself out"... I also believe John and Yoko made a walk thru appearance...
I have a ticket stub from the show... but it doesn't confirm anything other than an event that night at the Providence Civic Center.
I recall the Strawbs opening and performing a fine, albeit short set. B.O.C. was a good as ever. The crowd really enjoyed their music...they play a great set... and I got an excellent recording.
A newspaper ad scan from the Feb 25, 1975, BOC/Faces/Strawbs concert at the Providence Civic Center show can be found at the link below:
New Haven, CT; Gave Rod and the boys their champagne...
This was my first time seeing BOC. I was aware of them, but my friends were hip to them even before me, from the first 2 albums.
This would definitely be pre laser days, heavy on the stobe lights.
I came aboard between Secret Treaties, and this show as apparently as they were releasing OYFOOYK.
Pretty memorable show. Faces were I think nearing their end, at least live. Rod Stewart was still rock and roll and not a solo act. Ron Wood, who everyone knows from the Rolling Stones, was still in the band.
Elvin Bishop was very good also. This was a year before Fooled Around and Fell In Love even. Though he did have a funny song getting a lot of airplay at the time. I may have the title wrong "Yes Yes Yes". The one with the lyric "like the man says, every refuge has it's price".
The other memorable thing people remember about New Haven Coliseum. The parking lot was on the roof, and you had to drive up a helix that curved sharply about in about 15 circles on the way up.
75-02-26: New haven CT Setlist:
February saw the release of "On Your Feet or on your Knees" but I don't know the actual official release date. Does anybody out there know (or know where I could find out) ?
For more details on this record, please visit the Blue Oyster Cult Songatorium page for this recording...
Concerning the actual release date of OYFOOYK, I was just listening to a bootleg entitled "Providence Treaties" that was recorded on 2.25.1975 at the Providence Civic Center in Rhode Island.
Eric introduces Buck's Boogie as a song that will be on their upcoming live album which he says will be released "sometime this week".
Hope this is helpful.
Thanks for that info. Well since the only other gig in February was the next day in New Haven, I think it seems obvious then that OYFOOYK must have come out on either Thursday 27 Feb or Friday 28th Feb - because the record was released in February, those are the only two days left in that month for that to happen in.
How do I know it wasn't on the 26th? Well, as Gerald reports, on the 25th Eric said the LP would be out "sometime this week" - he didn't say it'd be out "tomorrow"...
BOC headlined... it was the first time we used our new See Factor Lighting truss... up till then all BOC lighting was done with Genie towers...
This show took place at Bergen Community College in Paramus, NJ, which is in Bergen County, New Jersey. As you also have listed, the James Gang with the Dictators opening were also on the bill. I would guess that's your "anecdotal BOC/Dictators 1974 date" because BOC didn't play BCC in 1974. I worked there and was the person who recommended bands to the student activities director.
Click this link to see some of my photos from that night (you'll have to scroll down to "Blue Oyster Cult" in the Gallery listings.
BTW - if you enter 16-006 in my site's search box, you'll get a non-related photo with a LONG story that has some details about the BOC Dec 31, 1973 gig lineup at NYC's Academy of Music.
This was the day when Carol Dodd got taken off the case and Richard "Ho Chi" Holtz was put in charge of our lights...
Full rehearsal with lights and everything; Ran spot...
NB< A Lancaster gig had originally been scheduled for this date but was cancelled...
Cleveland; Sold out; left that night for Indy...
Indy; Sold out; used the scrim; stayed overnight...
Blue Oyster Cult - March 8th, 1975 - Indianapolis, Indiana at The Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum
Band Performance Order:
The stage setup had really large white cloth banners about 14 feet tall sporting the Kronos symbol, one on the left and one on the right of the band. There was an even larger cloth backdrop directly behind the band which had the 1st LP cover on it.
I saw someone throw a lit road flare from the top row of the Coliseum into the crowd of people and hit someone below. It was equivalent to the drop from a 4 story building. Ouch! The set that evening was incredible and the crowd was real rowdy. I was 15 and it was my first look at the drugged out, crazy concert scene.
After the show was over, rowdy, screaming fans were exiting the Coliseum only to run into a long row of Marion County Sheriffs lined up outside the doors blocking our way forward and also blocking to the right. Each sheriff had their own German shepherd K-9 attack dog barking ferociously at the end of their leash. The crowd got un-rowdy really, really fast. People shuffled away to the left without making much noise after seeing the K-9 attack dogs. It was a very surreal moment and was like we were trapped inside a bad 1940's WWII movie.
One of many BOC shows I attended in the Indy area 38 years ago tonight with Tim Carr and others.
I remember the giant banners with the Kronos symbols and the band in black leather except for Buck Dharma in his white suit. Eric with the mirror sunglasses. It was like a perverse rock n roll good cop/bad cop scene. Eric the menacing vocalist with Buck fighting him off with his insane, blazing guitar riffs.
BOC could certainly whip the crowd into a frenzy.
This (above) poster hangs in my son's room - he met the band in 2004 and had my copy of Secret Treaties signed by the band.
Spokane, WA. Good gig but truss broke.
This refers to the fact that when the lighting truss was being lowered, one side was being brought down faster than the other and it hung up, then slipped about 5 ft...
This caused a flex near the center that broke some welds and the whole thing then came crashing down, kicking the large lifts out from under either end of it...
A very dangerous situation that could have meant serious injury had there been many people around on stage... just another reminder to NEVER stand under moving loads no matter how many years it's been since you've seen one fall...
This wasn't the only time something like this happened... I've even got pictures somewhere of essentially the same thing happening in Dijon France [1 Feb 1984].
It was March 13th 1975 at the Spokane Coliseum. It was my 19th birthday as well!
My Mother actually wrote me a note to get out of school to go see the show that was 100 miles north in Spokane, WA. I was living in Walla Walla, WA at the time. A little farm town with a population of only 25,000.
I left in the afternoon with two of my best buddies in a very beat up VW Bug that had dents all over it because it had been rolled. We got to Spokane in the late afternoon and secured our crash pad with one of my buddies friends who's girlfriend and he were complete Todd Rundgren fanatics. So I heard a lot of Todd Rundgren before the show at their apartment. I did get them to play the first BOC album which the had so we could all get in the grove before the show.
When we got to the show I found out there was a opening act. I think it was a band called Mann. Not positive on that and I have been trying to find out for sure ever since. Who ever they were, they were forgettable. I was there to see BOC! We then found at least four other of my best friends from High School who had drove up in another car. It was festival seating of course and we all found out spot on the floor about 30 feet from the stage. I can't remember what they opened with but they just exploded on to the stage like a bat out of hell.
Eric had the mirrored sun glasses with the cape with the red satin lining. I have to tell you it was very surreal because we had ingested quite a bit of weak Phycodelics and the band really had the mystique about them. I remember " Flaming Telepaths" coming across to me as if they were speaking directly to me with the chorus, "and the jokes on you", as a stay away from hard drugs message.
Another highlight was during ME-262 when the band started goose stepping and the audience all started marching as well. The sirens and explosions were incredible I am not sure if they had lasers in 1975 but the shot this beam of light at a mirror ball during "Astronomy" that shot stars all over the ceiling. This little farm town boy had never seen anything like that. Buck's Boogie / Masarati GT was also a highlight!
I also remember being very surprised to hear "Born to be Wild" as the encore. It seemed to be some kind of message they were trying to get across through a long geology of Rock N Roll. It jogged my memory banks because I don't think I heard that song since I saw Easy Rider in grade school.
At the end of the show I just stood in front of the stage in astonishment. The Coliseum had pretty much cleared out and my small band of friend had found me after we were separated in the rush and crush for the stage. There was all sorts of trash and bottles everywhere. My buddies were all snapping bottle caps and tripping on the tracers because they were all still tripping.
Then Eric mysteriously appeared on stage. He looked like a biker with leather pants and a leather vest. He kicked a few beer bottles off the stage and disappeared as mysteriously and he appeared.
I am 50 years old now and have been a die hard fan ever since except for a couple of years in the early eighties when I got into the Punk thing and so called "New Wave" thing. I was back going to see BOC every time the came to LA by 1984. They just keep getting better with age, despite the lack of lasers, flash pods and Godzilla props. The last show I saw at the Avalon Ballroom on Catalina Island has to be one of the best shows I've seen. That was just last Monday! [ 21 Aug 2006 ]
I was amused by the previous reviewer mentioning taking psychedelics at the Spokane show. I came over from Coeur d'Alene in Idaho with several friends and we all dropped acid. When we were standing in line, we talked to at least a dozen other people we knew, and all were tripping. I was 18 years old, it was spring of my senior year, and a bunch of us were big time BOC fans.
There was also a lot of drinking, as in hard liquor. I had been to many other concerts at that venue, and that was the most hard liquor I had ever seen in there. It seemed the crowd was quite rowdy, maybe mixing acid and drink? I saw a few fights break out, which seemed unusual at the time.
After that BOC show, the Coliseum staff was very strict on searching people.
I remember thinking I had never seen a rock guitar player as good as Buck was that night. I seem to recall him being dressed in all white, with a white Les Paul? They didn't have the lasers yet, but the mirror ball was a total trip during Astronomy. It seemed like we were flying through space. It was incredible. The boys all got up and played guitars at one point, was it Born to be Wild?
I was a big fan of 60's rock at the time, and was not really into many of the hard rock bands of the day, as they seemed too commercial and trite, but BOC stood head above those type of bands, and I have been big fan ever since.
Drove to Seattle to pick up cases and then down to Portland...
Salem OR. Picked up Clair Bros. Semi, Played with Flash Powder... at this point we ditched our rented equipment truck and all our gear went into a semi with the P.A.
I found a listing for this gig in the 15 Mar 1975 edition of the "The Capital Journal" [Salem OR]:
Armory to rock tonight
The Salem Armory Auditorium will resound tonight to the "heavy metal" sound of three rising rock groups - Blue Oyster Cult, REO Speedwagon and Man.
The walls will start vibrating about 8 p.m. Tickets (at $6) will be available at the door, and at Meier & Frank during business hours.
75-03-15: Salem OR Setlist:
Jive gig on shakey stage at fairgrounds. Honest to God, the place has a dirt floor... Idaho is very rural... Deke Leonard & MAN opened this show... John Cippolina (of Quicksilver Messenger Service was also in the band at that time... Lost my ring. Rode overnight to Salt Lake.
By the way - I found that ring a few days later in a road case... Lost it for good in 1981...
75-03-18: Boise, ID Setlist:
Jive gig with front-door load-in and up ramps and small stage. Stayed over.
REO opened for BOC and put on a great show. They had a new singer named Michael Murphy. I thought he had a great voice with a lot of soul. He added a lot to the band. He had more hair (big hair) than Dee Snider and Peg Bundy put together.
It was Gary Richrath's custom to mingle with the crowd and did so during the BOC set. I was lucky enough to shake his hand and it did not take long to see that his focus on females had been disrupted by Buck's Guitar. He seemed mesmorized by Buck's mastery of the fretboard. I lost track of Richrath, but that did not matter to me.
BOC's use of Lighting and Fog was unlike anything I had ever seen. Eric Bloom commanded the stage like a Warlord. All five band members on guitar for ME-262 had driven the crowd to places they had never been sonically. It blew me away that the drummer could play a guitar, and they were all playing side-by-side, with great precision, at such an Ear-Splitting Level.
At the encore, they played Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild". This performance by BOC became the standard by which I judged all further concerts I attended in my lifetime, and thus began my lifelong love-affair with Blue Oyster Cult.
I saw this show at the Terrace Ballroom.
REO Speedwagon was with them pre Kevin Cronin. A red headed dude sang, he sang on the studio version of "Back on the Road Again"". I thought they were edgier and better than than the line up that went on to put out the "mega hits".
I'm pretty sure that BOC headlined. They rocked! it seems that everyone on stage had a guitar for "7 Screaming Diz-Busters". I especially remember "Buck's Boogie" and "Last Days of May". It was a small and intimate venue, probably 800-1000 people.
The funniest thing I remember is that there were folding chairs lined up on the floor. The minute the lights turned out everyone grabbed their chairs and tried to get as close the the stage as possible. Making this huge mass of seats, it was impossible to leave the floor for the duration of the show. It was before heavy security, you could stand up and lean on against front of the stage.
Played Orange Festival on Fairgrounds. Broke scrim. Drove to LA...
75-03-21: San Diego CA Setlist:
75-03-24 & 25: Rehearsals At S.I.R. Los Angeles:
Played gig at Shrine with Xenons. Led Zep showed up. Stayed Over.
The Xenons were these very large xenon Lantern Projectors that took 31/4"x4" slide transparencies (Kodachrome and Kodalith)... we used them to project BOC logos,(today people call them the Kronos, but nobody from the band ever calls them that) and copies of the Album Covers and pics of the band on the walls on the Shrine... the images were about 50x 50 and could be seen for miles...
They were the property of Jay Sloatman who was the guy that whipped most of Skynyrds ass in Louisville the year before when he was out with BOC working for Tychobrae Sound... Jay was Frank Zappa's brother in law, but the night before after eating that amazing dinner, Rick Downey and I accompanied Jay as he went by Franks house/studio to pick up the Xenons and test out the slides that we had picked up at the airport... I was very briefly introduced to Frank who was working in his studio on the lower level of the house...
Plant and Page were there driving their rented Ferraris and they had Linda Lovelace (Deep Throat) with them, they were in LA doing a week of shows and staying on the entire top floor of the Sunset Hyatt (Riot) House... there were about 6 or 8 bands staying in that same hotel that week... they were at that show cause Pretty Things were on their Swan song label and Plant and Page went out and told the crowd what a GREAT BAND they were about to see and then intro'd Linda, who intro'd the band...
(Incidentally "Stayed over" refers to the fact that rather than leave immediately after the show and rolling to the next city (Standard R&R procedure) we stayed over in LA as it's a quick drive down to SD the next day...)
Wish I had a tape of my intro that night... I got inspired being where the Doors had played so many times and even recorded live and so I borrowed some of Morrison's poetry...
We actually had a curtain that night and had one of those xenons projecting the Me262 and other album covers and stuff working back to the 1st album cover going up as the house lights went down and my intro began...
I started out howling and shit and then recited the beginning of "Celebration Of The Lizard":
Lions in the street and roaming, Dogs in heat... rabid, foaming...
A Beast Caged In The Heart Of The City...
The body of his mother rotting in the summer ground
He fled the town...
Went down south and crossed the border
Left the chaos and disorder back there... over his shoulder...
Is everybody in?
The Ceremony is about to begin...
Citizens of Los Angeles !!!
Allright you dogs, etc, etc,
The curtain opened, the flash pots went off and those people were never the same again I'd wager...
I actually remember little about the show except that I was vaguely dissatisfied with the sound that night (gee, that's unusual.) I was also put off about all the fuss being made over Pretty Things, a band whose subsequent history speaks for itself. But there was a lot of strutting going on that night combined with the buzz of Big Stars in the house.
What I DO remember tho' is returning to the Riot House that night. The lobby of the (then) Continental Hyatt House is not particualry large to begin with. Much wider than deep and not all that wide to begin with that lobby is quite underwhelming except for the fact that as I walked in the door that night I was greeted by what must have been 300 liggers jammed into that small space.
It was like a massively overstuffed club. You couldn't move or get to the elevators. The hotel staff were attempting to sort out who belonged and who didn't. Most didn't, but the hotel was filled with Rock Notables that week and the hangers-on wanted to be there. I finally waved my key at the right person and was admitted to the magic elevator. Safe at last!
I've stayed at the Riot House many times but have never seen anything like that mob in the lobby....Gpg
The only time I interviewed Eric, Buck, and Allen was the night before they played the Shrine Auditorium in March of 1975. They were staying at Hyatt House on the Sunset Strip and a friend of a friend worked for a newspaper who set-up the interview and he needed a ride to Hollywood. So I became the wheels and we went and did the Interview. It was so cool!
One thing I did notice was that you show Pretty Things opening and they did along with REO Speedwagon in the middle spot. One cool thing that happened that evening was having Robert Plant come on stage to introduce Pretty Things because they were the new kids on the Swan Song record label. Thus the intro from Robert Plant. That was an unexpected surprise.
I found a review of this gig in the 28 Mar 1975 of "The Los Angeles Times":
At The Shrine: An Unconvincing Blue Oyster Cult
by Richard Cromelin
Blue Oyster Cult's Wednesday night show at the Shrine was but the latest of a string of local appearances in which the band failed to establish its heralded (in some quarters) mystique. The essence of its presentation remains unchanged, and by this time the doubts over the validity of its New York youth blitzkreig must begin to solidify.
That whole aspect of BOCs reputation - involving a bizarre melding of futuristic violence, science-fiction sex and wild-in-the-streets politics - looks intriguing on paper, but onstage the band simply doesn't do anything to make it convincing.
The aggressive mass of sound and the visual spectacle, impressive and entertaining as they might be, are no substitute for the riveting, threatening onstage personality which the concept demands, and it's in that regard that the BOCs premise crumples.
All that aside, the group unleashes an imposing heavy metal attack fronted by some searing, adept lead guitar. BOC has an exceptional gift for the harnessing of electrical power and should learn to be content with that distinction.
Second-billed R.E.O. Speedwagon pleased the crowd with its solidly executed mainstream rock after the Pretty Things turned in a rather odd set. It was an uneven affair, with moments of brilliance that the band wasn't able to sustain. But it kept plugging away, come hell or high water or the house lights, the presence of which didn't convince the Things to vacate the stage, much to the consternation of stage manager and promoter. Well, that's rock'n'roll.
Hmmm... yeah, I bet that was on everyone's lips as they walked out of that gig:
"Do you know what? Impressive and entertaining as that aggressive mass of sound and the visual spectacle might been, there was just no threatening onstage personality which BOC's whole concept demands..."
75-03-26: Los Angeles, CA Setlist:
This was the gig where Moe Slotin hurt his leg... he just went out near the end of the show to tape down an effect box for Don & kneeled down on one knee & when he stood up he could NOT straighten his leg & it was hurting like hell...
He didn't get a new kneecap, they just had to lift his up & remove bone splinters from the joint & reattach it... ouch!
I was in the Navy at the time stationed in Norfolk, VA. Was in San Diego for 2 months. Went to the concert. Walked in hearing Pretty Things singing "Joey". Had just bought their album and thought they were unknown at the time.
REO followed and I noticed some band members went down to the seats in front after they finished. When BOC played Cities on Flame they all had guitars at end of song and I believe Kevin Kronin from REO ran back on stage and joined them. Great concert.
Ironically after I was out of the Navy and in electronic test equipment sales and service in NJ I rented the band some equipment for their Laser light show that never became a permanent part of their act for legal issues and worries about lasers.
Had backstage passes for a show in Bridgeport CT at an outside stadium. Passes were a roped off area in front of stage, in front of band, in front of speakers
Weird gig where nobody showed up until right before we went on. There was maybe 200 people there when REO finished... by the time we started playing there were about 5,000...
Here's a review of this show from the April 10, 1975, issue of Sacramento City College's The Express newspaper:
Blue Oyster Bends Ears
By Edgar Gardner
The March 28 extravaganza inside Sacramento's accoustically perfect Auditorium was essentially a tale of three winners. Headliners Blue Oyster Cult won the decible battle; R.E.O. Speedwagon enthralled the crown on the strength of tasty guitar licks; and Pretty Things lived their legend as rock's inspirational tour de-force.
Pretty Things opened festivities as a curiosity, having created the first rock opera ("S.F. Sorrow," which inspired Pete Townshend to create "Tommy"), as well as influencing early Stones, Animals, and Yardbirds (Pretty Things records for Swan Song records which is Led Zepplin's label, and Zepp is Jimmy Page's Yardbird reincarnation). Add to this their '71 f.m. classic "Parachute" and therewith is an impressive legend.
On stage their set consisted of complimentary parallels between Peter Tolson's guitar rockin' and John Povey's honkey tonk keyboard mastery.
R.E.O. Speedwagon came stage center with shakin' and quakin' aforethought, mainly on the strength of Gary Richrath's clever chicken pickin' guitaring. Vocalist Kevin Cronis set the mood for the sparse crowd (about 1500) by issuing, "There's not too many of you, but let's have a party anyway." On that note Neal Doughty threw in a synthesized surprise and created an energized boogie atmosphere. "Golden Country" slowed the pace down to 95 mph by virtue of Richrath's note bending chords (this kind of acceleration would make Alvin Lee hide in shame). By set's end the audience was swept to its feet for "Riding the Storm Out," journeying along Richrath's tough ravine-jagged riffs. Their encore was boogie charged, and their ultimate compliment was a chorus of boos when a third encore failed to materialize as Winterland's Jerry Pompili came forward to do his master of ceremonies duties.
Blue Oyster Cult came out bearing an ad slogan for their latest album release, cranked the volume level slightly beyond the pain threshhold and demonstrated their power of getting an audience on its feet in hysteria or on its knees in ear splitting pain.
An interesting and disturbing contrast of Cult's set was visuals. Vocalist Les Bronstein sported a mop ala Ian Hunter (with gritty distorted shouting to match) and a suit which Lou Reed might have sported in the good old days (along with some Reed alley struts to match). In contrast was lead guitarist Bucky Dharma, living proof that high amounts of volume can hide low amounts of talent (his prettiness appearance was stark contrast to Bronstein's gutter grit). Besides, except for some slight streaks of humbleness, Dharma appeared too casual about his string striking sauntering (as compared to Speed wagon's Richrath, who swayed ala Elvin Bishop and sported a sly grin of confidence which hasn't been seen in these parts since Robin Trower's November '73 appearance inside Winterland).
Albert Bouchard seemed lost in a state of euphoria, as he lost countless drum sticks, and added some flash by hurling sticks which reacted like shooting stars over the awed audience. The height of pomp and flash came during "Cities of Flame" as the stage went dark, engulfed in a gigantic ball of flame, and followed with stroboscopic psychedelia.
Hmmm... I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something about that review that would suggest a distinct lack of basic background research on the part of reviewer Edgar Gardner...
Band played great and kids went nuts.
I had moved to Modesto, CA during the winter of 74/75. Thanks to Dean, BOC was already my favorite band but nobody I met in Modesto knew anything about them. I changed all that and they were soon the most played band when we were partying, which was pretty much when we weren't sleeping.
When we found out that BOC was playing in San Francisco, that instantly became the must see event for everyone in our group. At the time, I was working on a ranch in Chowchilla and was pretty much up all night watching over pregnant cows or pulling calves that were too big for the mama. I remember taking off for Modesto to meet my friends that morning. I must of had a bunch of candy left over from Valentines Day because I was eating these little pink hearts I kept in a tin. We stocked up on weed and alcohol and headed for SF. None of our crowd was 21 but we never had trouble scoring beer or liquor. We would just put our chicks in front of a liquor store to sweet talk some unsuspecting customer.
When we arrived at Winterland in SF, we had to stand in a long line waiting for the doors to open. Some guy was walking up and down the line advertising his windowpane for $1 a pane. Damn near everybody was a buyer. One guy had his taken away by a security cop or something, but it was quickly replaced since the seller didn't want any unhappy concert goers.
Pretty Things was the first band to take the stage. I had never heard of them and was greatly unimpressed. At the time it wasn't what I called rock and roll.
REO Speedwagon was the 2nd band. It seems about that time I learned that pink hearts and windowpane don't make a real good combination. I could of swore that my heart was going to beat right out of my chest. Right in tune to the bass guitar. I really thought I was going to od on life about then. I had read somewhere sometime that Winterland had an od crew to take of such idiots, so I went in search of them only to find out they had taken this show off. So I spent the majority of REO sitting on a can in the bathroom waiting to die.
When the Speedwagon was done and the bass had quit trying to take me out, I managed to make it back out and was standing in a aisle between seats not far from the stage as Blue Oyster Cult started playing. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen or heard in my life. I'm sure I saw the rest of the guys in the band, but I just remember watching Buck Dharma with one foot on a monitor completely mesmerizing me. I know I was rocking out in that aisle, singing along with all the songs, but now I couldn't tell you a single song that was played other than astronomy. The solo seemed to last about 30 minutes and just when Buck really go into it, a light hit some mirrored ball hung in the center of the house that started spinning. It proceeded to reflect little white dots all over the place and the faster Buck played, the faster that ball spun and the faster the little white dots moved. Between my condition, the music and the little white dots, it's a miracle I survived that moment.
Well, that's about all of the sketchy parts I recall. After the show we discovered the car we came in had been broken into and the 8-track player stolen. The thief left all the tapes though. Somehow we made it back to Modesto without crashing or getting thrown in jail. (those are other stories)
The concert was a very memorable one. Winterland shows were mostly general admission, open floor gigs, where you could stand or sit anywhere you wanted. Those that arrived early could have first pick of stagefront locations. We being young impressionable musicians (all of 16), of course picked a stagefront spot between where Eric and Buck would be playing.
I don't remember anything about Pretty Things. REO played a strong set of American midwest rock n' roll.
Then came BOC.The Oyster Boys were not only in another league, but from another dimension! I don't remember the exact setlist, but do remember them playing the Red and the Black, Harvester, Bucks Boogie, Last Days, Cities on Flame, Hot Rails and Flamimg Telepaths.The Group was in top form, and the crowd was wild.
The Boys were very well received in the home venue of the Greatful Dead and Jefferson Airplane/Starship. Buck was in all white, Eric in his traditional black leather and mirrored shades. Albert was shirtless in shorts. I can't remember what Allen and Joe wore.
The Band was incredibly loud, I seem to recall, just the way they should be. One standout moment came during Telepaths. When the song starts to build up towards the end, Eric keeps repeating "And the Joke's on You", over and over, the music buliding, his maniacal laughter louder and louder, all of a sudden with the last "And the Joke's on You", he pointed towards us and a lightning bolt flies from his fingertip! What showmanship!
They played Born to be Wild as an encore, and did the 5 guitars. We left the concert that night totally impressed. This was the second time I had seen them in 5 months. We would see the group again at the Winterland later in the year on December 21. This was one of the best concerts I had ever seen!
This rehearsal session was mainly to learn the single version of "Born To Be Wild", so that's when that song version was recorded...
75-04-05: Los Angeles, Hollywood S.I.R. Rehearsals, going through
The only sessions I attended were on Wednesday 9 April for the recording of an Albert song called "Sally" (which finally ended up on a re-release) and recording of some basic tracks for a Lanier song called "All The Hipster's Come From Puerto Rico"...the music for that eventually became "Searchin' For Celine"...
It was certainly an exciting time at the Record Plant with BOC on the bottom floor and Kiss and Aerosmith upstairs... with us sending them buckets of Hershey's Chocolate Kisses and them sending us buckets of oysters... once the gear was installed there was little for us to do so besides fetch the odd burger (Joe) or liverwurst sandwich (Allen)...
I was fascinated with being able to watch Pearlman, Krugman and the band at work... they would work for hours to solve a problem that I could only barely detect... I wondered for years about that "Sally" song and was sure thrilled when it finally came out...
Did jive gig at Ice Chalet; loadout was very cold; Blasted flashpots to bits...
75-04-11: Shererville, IN Setlist:
Willow Spring, IL. Load in on ice; Everybody was late; mucho good playing...
I was at this show. front of stage in front of eric. was not "a mosh", in fact we weren't crushed at all. i was leaning on the stage when the "stairway" flash pots went off. that was fun. couldn't see for a couple of minutes. remember bloom sitting on baby grand during astronomy. lots of angel dust victims at the show. several laying in bushes outside venue before the show even started. ah, the seventies.
Albert wore a gasmask during born to be wild, as they had fogged the crap out of the stage. (chemfog, i remember the smell.)
They used the dry ice fogger for ldom, as i got covered with it as it rolled off the end of the stage.
Rodger moon totally sucked. someone hit him in the face with a t-shirt that had been used to wipe up vomit. i laughed. hard.
Vitelli's madmen were what was left of the band barnstorm after joe walsh left. i remember them playing rocky mountain way, and really missed joe.
They also played the rick derringer song "uncomplicated". (and it was).
I was on my first date with a babe named sandy, the first of three. (girls named sandy, not dates).
Eventually married the third one, and happily, still am.
And she likes boc. Which is a plus.
30 plus years ago, one of my older brothers was the first to turn me on to BOC, and we used to listen to the first 3 LP's daily. As it turned out, all the guys I hung around with were also in the BOC groove, so it all came to be a natural following.
When the boys came to our area (I believe it was only the 6th. time they had played in Illinois), My friend " Moose" (the worst juvenile delinquent you'd ever want to meet... AND, who coincidentally dragged me into a lot of his situations) had invited me to go with him to the show. We purchased our tickets at the local Head Shop " Swollen Head" records & tapes (&etc). I recall paying $4.75 General Admission.
So that afternoon, Moose and I, along with his cousin Eddie, drove to the show in Eddie's car, which was an old Chevy beater with 4 completely bald tires on it. The venue was only ~5 miles from home.
All my brothers friends showed up, but not my brother. He'd later said that he thought the show was for younger kids...???? So once we got inside, we hung with the older guys for the first opening acts. I remember seeing kronos's everywhere.
Some girl had must have spent days studding her pants and jacket with BOC logos. Everything seemed surreal, as this was my first concert, and the realization of the commonality had hit me.
After Joe Vitale's madmen exited the stage, Moose, Eddie, and myself started pushing our way up front towards the stage (Some things never change). Well, everybody else soon got the same idea, because during the entire BOC act, we were getting squashed nearly to death in the worst mosh I'd ever been in. It was so tight that I could have lifted my feet off the ground, and still not have slipped down.
The show sounded great. I remember getting goose bumps listening to what I was hearing. It sounded as well produced as their studio recordings, only the element of hearing it live, gave it a whole new feeling. Some of the things that really stood out were Buck in his white suit, and the 5 guitars. At the end of the show, Albert had tossed out a broken drum stick, which somehow I ended up with, but I gave it to Eddie after the show.
Re the "Willow Ice Chalet" venue name - us "homeboys" knew it as the Randhurst Skating Rink, since it's in Randhurst at the Randhurst Shopping Mall...
This was the first concert I ever went to. I was 14 and remember telling my parents I was going with a friend to the Ice Chalet and them telling me to have fun at the hockey game. I didn't bother to correct them. It's funny that Ice Dog was at this show. He and I had met that fall (getting into trouble with the ever-delinquent Moose!), but I went to the show with another friend and his brother. Since then, Dog and I have seen many shows together over the last 30+ years.
What an amazing show. Cities on Flame and the 5 Guitars during ME262 were highlights. I'd never been anywhere so loud. I thought my ears would melt... I was yelling for Wings Wetted Down, and recall wishing they had played more from the first album. But, I wasn't complaining! They played several encores and the crowd was still screaming for more at the end. There's a live recording of this show around which is very cool. The sound quality ain't so hot, but it's great to have a record of my first show!
It was a pretty rowdy crowd and we almost got crushed when BOC came on. I had to push for all I was worth to stay on my feet (probably saved the guy up front from getting squeezed). After the show, I almost fell in the creek near where we parked after we polished off the six pack of Schlitz Malt Liquor we had in the car.
As a side note, this venue was definitely not at the Randhurst Mall as another posted (sorry Sy). The Willow Ice Chalet is in Willow Springs, Illinois on Wolf Rd. out in the middle of nowhere and I don't recall them ever having more concerts there. They couldn't have topped BOC!
Another strange BOC gig, this time at a southwest suburban ice rink that held only a few concerts. Our group of eight people crammed ourselves into a Datsun Deathtrap and headed to the rockshow, getting somewhat more jolly as the seemingly endless ride wore on. Ahhh... the 70's! We parked in a muddy field across the road and slogged into the rink, coming face to face with Joe Vitale in the lobby.
Opener Roger Moon came on stage late, said "you don't know us, and we don't know you, so let's rock!", and was greeted with a shower of booing and tossed trash. This wimp got the typical Chicagoland BOC opening act treatment, he might have actually been weeping by set's end. Truly a "deer in headlights" moment.
Joe Vitale's Madmen were next up. Having seen them recently, opening for the J. Geils Band. I enjoyed the same, fairly brief set again. Vitale and bassist Kenny Passarelli had been in Joe Walsh's Barnstorm, now Vitale was touring on his solo LP "Roller Coaster Weekend". Pretty harmless, fairly bland, but I'd seen much worse. Since the crowd had already spewed it's bile at Roger Moon, Vitale went over fairly well. Vitale's claim to fame was being The Eagles tour drummer for many years.
Our group moved to the upper row of bleachers at the opposite end of the ice rink, under the scoreboard. One of the guys, who was nicknamed "The Human Smoke Machine", was happily shotgunning weed at any stranger (especially women) who walked by. He also pulled a huge wine skin out of his jacket, passing it around once, then chugging the remaining contents himself.
My date, Diane, the only female in our group, was in awe of his herbal & alcoholic intake. The rest of us were accustomed to it. Did I mention he was also the driver that night? No such thing as a "designated driver" back then!
After a while, we noticed people passing by us a few (empty) rows below us began to seemingly disappear before our very eyes. We thought it may have been the combination of weed and wine causing us to see things, but, upon inspection, we noticed a gaping hole in the floor, which unsuspecting people were falling into. Lawsuit city! One of the others headed off to find someone to cordon off the hole, while we bravely stood guard. While trying not to laugh, of course!
As for the gig itself, BOC's playing was great, especially Albert, who was introduced as "Rockets Bouchard" (sounds like a hockey player, doesn't it?) going into his solo. The explosions were massive, while the sound, at least at our end of the low-ceilinged building, was fairly echoey, but the playing came through loud and clear.
A killer set list, too. But we were so far away, it was difficult to see the onstage action clearly. I do remember Albert had a huge, clear plexiglass kit, and at one point, Buck came dashing out of a huge cloud of smoke machine smoke to the front of the stage for a solo. BOC, awesome as always!
Late again; Power was off of generators (which presents it's own set of problems - see French Granny story for one later on) and the scrim was trying to fall...
The scrim was a huge 24x24 kodalith mask of the first album cover sandwiched between black scrim material in front and white scrim material behind (scrim is a "Gauzy" type of cloth that's semi-transparent) the effect being that it looked like a plain black backdrop till we hit it with light from behind and then the image was very bright...
It had two 10 ft velour curtains that had big scrim logos sewn into them that were lit at the same time... we had a really jury rigged little truss works to attach it to and a hydraulic lift to raise and lower it and numerous cables and turnbuckles to stabilize it...
The SLIGHTEST flex in the stage (plywood on scaffolding usually) would result in this thing swaying about wanting to fall... scary shit when you have to work underneath it all night and if it falls TOWARD the stage would take lighting system down and into crowd as well... luckily it never quite happened..
I was at this show. The venue was called the Cascade Ice Arena. Still to this day one of the best non-stop rock-n-roll shows I ever saw!!!
Ted Nugent opened and he was awesome, playing most of his self-titled 'Ted Nugent' LP.
Status Quo followed and I had never heard of them until this concert. Needless to say, in 1975 they were at about their all-time boogie rock best. To see the three of them on stage rockin' back-n-forth as one was a sight to behold for this 15 year old.
Then of course, BOC playing what was basically their 'On Your Feet' LP was incredible. Three bands, all of whom could headline and have and all of whom were probably at their musically peak.
Wow, what a show!
75-04-13: Grand Rapids, MI Setlist:
Late again but really good gig with good food and everything...
I saw them on April 14, 1975 and if you are into accuracy on your site, FYI the location was actually in "Lansing" rather then "East Lansing". The Lansing Mall was by my house. East Lansing city limits is about 8-10 east of concert location.
Sunrise: St Louis; Arrived Baton Rouge to find gig canceled... there was a BIG storm overnight and into the morning and the 2 basement levels were flooded (fucking Louisiana... worse than Holland for fecks sake)...
Unfortunately for us, the lower of those 2 floors is where the electrical hookups were for our production...
Went to Warehouse and set up for rehearsal; the band came in and worked for the afternoon... went to Dungeon later...
The Dungeon was/is a bar that consists of about 5 very small stone rooms stacked vertically on the side of a building... the music gets louder and more intense as you go up the spiral staircase in one corner (one way only) or come down the spiral staircase in the other corner... god knows how they get around fire regs as the joint is always jam-packed... the owner was a big BOC fan and our money was no good there and he knew lots of "nice girls" too
The Warehouse was THE place to play in NOLA for many years... just a huge old warehouse down by the river fitted out with a stage and dressing rooms... it was run by Pace Concerts, the premier concert bookers in the south and had quite a history of top bands playing there... it was operated by Ray Compton and his younger brother K.C. and I knew both of them from my Hydra days....
This is also the place where I had a run in with the Strawb's soundman - the Strawbs wouldn't stop playing so Ray Compton cut the power to the stage and turned off the PA, leaving them with only a drummer making any noise... Ray then personally began helping the stage hands remove the Strawbs' shit from the stage while the band was still standing about with their instruments (Ray wasn't kidding about the curfew the city imposed and he wasn't going to cut OUR set), so their sound man stormed up onto the stage and got in Ray's face and then began wrestling him and crashed into my keyboard mixer/amp stack...
So Ray being a friend of mine anyway I snatched up this Strawbs breath fucker by the hair of his head and the back of his belt, took him behind the amp line and smacked him face first into the brick wall at the back of the stage a few quick licks till he calmed down and Ray escorted him from the premises...
The chump actually tried to press charges, but Ray had the NOLA police well bought by that point and it was determined that I was never involved and that he had somehow fallen in the dark and smashed his face against the wall... (at least 3 or 4 times)...
The Strawbs may have carried a grudge after this episode, but I sure as hell never had anymore trouble out of the sound man (I was very careful not to damage his ears... that would have been just mean)...
Yep I was young once and it didn't pay to fuck with me or mine...
Check out this great list of all the acts who've ever played the Warehouse:
The venue for this Blue Oyster Cult 4/24/1975 show in Houston Texas was the Houston Music Hall, which no longer exists.
I was at this show with them headlining and then saw them again in September 1975 as backup to Faces at Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Houston Music Hall was a 1930s era theater that was adjacent to Sam Houston Coliseum. Both were torn down in the late 90s.
I was at this show and to my knowledge it was the first BOC performance in Houston. I believe the opening act was a Houston hard rock band called Navasota.
This is where I had a wreck... I was driving the "people truck" (the green dragon APC that Moe Slotin and I are in that picture driving) van and as we got into Dallas during rush hour, I was a bit sleepy and driving too fast and slid right into a delivery truck, smashing up the front end of our van... we were in Rented station wagon till we came back to Dallas a few days later on the 6th....
Corpus Christi; Played jive gig in old broken down theatre called Ritz Theatre; Flash box didn't work
Great show that night. I turned 18 at midnight that night and was really celebrating.
I recall that BOC did three or four encores.
I was at this show. It was a great time. You could tell that the band was having fun. I am not surprised to learn that that was one of the members 18th birthday.
I was in the Navy in Corpus at the time. The following day my bike club cruised up to Austin, Texas and ran across the band at a picnic area along the road. We hung out for a while and partied. It was fun.
Just as you have recorded, the Ritz was a gutted and broken down old movie theater. But it was a great venue. I really enjoyed all the shows I saw there. And I saw a lot of them between 1972-1975.
Not lots of facts, but I witnessed this show and loved it.
Columbia Records free concert... we played outdoors on the STEPS of the Cotton Bowl... also appearing Stoneground, Rusty Weir, Freddy King, Blood Sweat and Tears
We stayed at Registry Hotel in Dallas, and this was the place where I ordered the entire left side of their room-service menu (and 2 pitchers of sweetened iced tea and 4 shrimp cocktails)...
There is a good quality video tape of the freddie king portion of this show out there in the world -- I had it in the late 1990s, but lent it to a friend who left the area. never knew BOC played this gig. Freddie was pretty wild, but he wasn't always playing along with the rest of the band (or the other way around).
Also, for a few years now I have been trying to find information on two gigs BOC played at the Niagara Falls NY Convention Center. One was opening for ZZ Top's taking texas to the world tour (they blew ZZ Top Away), the later in the fall was them with Bob Seger and I think styx was on the bill but had to cancel. The convention center is now an American Indian Casino and when i visted the place in June, I asked if they had any of the history of the convention center but they said no.
The following link has more info about the bands on the bill and some pics, including a great pic of BOC's 5 guitar line-up...
San Antonio Tx - the first date of the ill fated Trapeze tour... these were Bloodrock, BOC, Trapeze in that order (they were headling as Trapeze have always been Gods in Texas...)... this gig was a small theatre... Jive gig, we couldn't get out till 1.00AM...
"Stone City Attractions" Presents: Trapeze + Blue Oyster Cult + Bloodrock at the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium...
BOC + Bloodrock were Great!!
Trapeze sucked!!! They could not play in time on their Hot Wire Disco Crap!!! We walked out halfway through their set! Glad they played last so we could leave!
Love their first 3 studio albums!
I only know of this gig because it was actually entered initially in Sam Judd's gig calendar and then subsequently crossed out.
Clearly, there was a European tour scheduled for May 1975, and it got close enough that dates and posters were produced, and BOC crew were informed of specific dates.
In the end, however, it was postponed until October/November later in the year.
From Sam's calendar, the dates that I definitely know were scheduled were these:
Odessa TX - Trapeze - Huge rodeo arena... played that same hall many time over the years... it was eventually cement, but in 75 it had a dirt floor (for the Rodeo dontcha know)... I almost got arrested for throwing a punter off the (4ft high) stage...
Did Bloodrock also play?
Amarillo Tx- Trapeze - Got to gig at 15:45... usually the headliner is set up completely sound and lights and ready for openers to load in (not to stage yet) by noon... we were thinking ourselves late and nothing had even been started... and the semi was not being unloaded...
They tried to jack us here by letting us close and then playing over to shorten our set... Sandy Pearlman ponied up the union overtime, we played a full set, blew the audience away and left town without telling Trapeze that we were blowing off the rest of their tour...
Trapeze had been fucking us over every way they possibly could... not letting us load out till after they were completely out and just anything they could come up with... they claimed BOC had stolen a drum throne from them somewhere in the past and they were taking revenge...
I've met Glenn Hughes a few time over the years and even asked him about this and he could cite no examples of what we might have done to piss him off...
One of the great mysteries of life I suppose...
Trapeze reformed around 94/95 for a bit - I saw them here in ATL and hung with Glenn and Mel, as I had a good friend who was pals with them from the 70's...
They played on a show with BOC in Memphis in the 72/73 time frame... I was not there but Hydra opened the show and creditors showed up to impound Trapeze's gear and the Hydra guys hid Trapeze's gear in their truck till the constables left...
Here's a link of the known Glenn Hughes gigs with Trapeze (amongst others) but it doesn't have the above Texas shows listed (as it - naturally - only lists the gigs Glenn played with the band):
I'm intrigued by the Hydra/BOC/Trapeze gig in Memphis in 1972/1973, though. The Glenn Hughes tourography has the following Memphis gigs listed for 1971-1973:
Obviously, it's unlikely the gig I'm interested is unlikely to be one of the last 3, as they list the bands on the bill (although, the two 1973 gigs (March and June) both seem to feature Argent/Trapeze at the same venue, so maybe one of those is a mistake - who knows?)...
Although it's not listed in the text, the site does feature an advert for a series of Trapeze/Hydra dates between 18-27 May 1971, and that 27 May one above is listed. The only problem with that gig being the one Sam was referring to - despite it being a year earlier - was that BOC didn't exist as "BOC" until the end of July 1971 - before that they were The Stalk Forrest Group...
As a matter of interest, here are those 1971 Hydra/Trapeze dates:
18 May 1971: Barton Coliseum, Little Rock AR
19 May 1971: Municipal Auditorium, Birmingham AL
20 May 1971: Municipal Auditorium, Asheville NC
22 May 1971: Municipal Auditorium, Charleston SC
23 May 1971: Municipal Auditorium, Pensacola FL
24 May 1971: Exotic Sports Arena, Atlanta GA
25 May 1971: Peabody Auditorium, Daytona Beach FL
26 May 1971: Florence Lauderdale Coliseum, Florence AL
27 May 1971: Overton Park Shell, Memphis TN
Oh well... if anyone knows for sure the date of the attempted Trapeze gear seizure, please let me know...
But one thing I did find on that site's forum was a post relating to the 1975 Texas shows, with a reply which gives a hint at the animosity between the two bands, as alluded to above by Sam.
As forum posts I've linked to in the past often seem to disappear/move etc, here's the text in question:
One of my favorite shows
I saw many really, really good concerts in San Antonio at the Municipal Auditorium. One that tops the list was a three band show consisting of Trapeze, Blue Oyster Cult and Foghat(?). Not sure about Foghat because they seemed to be on just about every other show there in the late 70's.
Anyway, Trapeze closed the show and they were playing songs from Hotwire so it was the Galley, Wright, Kendrick and Holland line-up. I remember that as having a profound musical impact on me as I had never heard rock played in that fashion (funk).
I also remember BOC having a better crowd response which I attributed to the fact that they were touring in support of On Your Feet Or On Your Knees album which was doing really well. It seems as though the new style of music that Trapeze was playing caught that San Antonio audience a little off-guard and perhaps a bit biased. Would love to hear from anyone that was at that show (and can remember it, always lots of substance abuse at the shows back then).
I also remember that show as the first time I saw a particular lighting technic used "gobos". That effect was reserved for Trapeze so apparently they had their own lighting designer who actually knew what he was doing.
70's Rocker [Mar-07-2008]
I've heard Mel talk about this tour. I don't think they were too enamored with B.O.C.
In fact, the members of Trapeze added their own version of what the abbreviation on the sign on the dressing room door meant! Answers on a postcard please...
If anybody has any info on these Trapeze gigs - or any info on what might have caused the bad feeling between the two bands, please let me know...
Regarding the name of the venue, here's some information from the April 25, 1975 edition of the Pampa (TX) Daily News:
Rock Quintet To Perform In Amarillo
Trapeze, the redoubtable British rock quintet, will perform at 8 PM on Sunday, May 4, at the Amarillo Civic Center Coliseum. Trapeze enjoyed critical acclaim on their latest Warner's release "Hot Wire." Blue Oyster Cult is also sharing the bill with Trapeze.
The Cult's newest Columbia release, On Your Feet or On Your Knees, produced by rock wizard Todd Rundgren, is riding high on Billboard's album charts at 22 with a bullet. This will be Blue Oyster Cult's first concert appearance in West Texas.
Rounding out the evening's show will be the formidable Texas Rock favorite, Bloodrock. Bloodrock has recorded five albums for Capitol records. Bloodrock's D.O.A. was a million seller. Bloodrock is well known for their concert appeal through extensive touring with Grand Funk Railroad.
I originally only knew of this gig because it had been entered - and then subsequently crossed out - in roadie Sam Judd's 1975 gig calendar.
Since then, however, I have come across a flyer for this non-show - hence, that's why I know what the venue was to have been.
Clearly, there was a European tour scheduled for May 1975, and it got close enough that dates and flyers were produced, and BOC crew were informed of specific dates.
In the end, however, it was postponed until October/November later in the year.
From Sam's calendar, the dates that I definitely know were scheduled were these:
The decision to cancel Lubbock was made before we even played Amarillo that these fuckers could eat shit and die... we didn't need the aggro...
Presumably the Lubbock show still took place with Trapeze minus BOC... (?)
According to the Apr 27, 1975, issue of the Lubbock Avalanche Journal newspaper, Trapeze was set to headline the May 06 concert with BOC and Bloodrock. The concert was scheduled for the Lubbock Municipal Auditorium and advance tickets were $4, $5 and $6. Zot Presentations were in charge of promoting the event.
The May 07 issue of the same newspaper reported that the original running order, from first to last, was slated to be: Bloodrock, BOC and Trapeze. Joe Bailey of Zot reported that, although about 100 fans requested refunds due to BOC not appearing, 1,800 concert goers nevertheless enjoyed the show, which featured the other two bands:
Blue Oyster Cult Misses Show
A crowd of about 1800 turned out in Municipal Coliseum Tuesday night for a three-band rock extravaganza which turned unexpectedly into a two-band show.
Blue Oyster Cult had been scheduled to play between Bloodrock and Trapeze in a rock concert promoted by Zot Productions of Houston.
But Joe Bailey, representing Zot, said he learned about 6 or 6:30 p.m. Tuesday that Blue Oyster Cult had returned unexpectedly to New York. Lubbock was the final point on a Texas tour that included weekend stops in Odessa and Amarillo.
Blue Oyster Cult played as scheduled in those other West Texas concerts.
Bailey said about 100 Lubbock concertgoers asked for and received refunds Tuesday night. He apologized in behalf of Zot Productions for the failure of Blue Oyster Cult to appear as scheduled.
I was at this show. Was a student at Texas Tech at the time, loved all 3 bands and was especially looking forward to seeing BOC and my personal fav. Trapeze (at least the first 2 LPs kicked ass and loved the trio lineup).
Was disappointed no BOC, now I know why I suppose. Trapeze were great anyway w/ the Hot Wire lineup - still remember Mel Galley with his black Les Paul Custom.
There were some no-shows but still a good concert.
It's clear that even on the day of the gig, people were being told BOC were playing the gig - next to a large advert clearly showing Trapeze were the headliners in the 6 May 1975 edition of "The University Daily", was the following preview:
Concert Tonight Offers Respite from Finals
By F. David Gnerre
Fine Arts Writer
Ready for that one last fling before finals? Tonight's concert at 7:30 offers a great opportunity to do just that, as Zot Presentations brings Trapeze, Blue Oyster Cult and Bloodrock to the Municipal Auditorium for a one-nighter guaranteed to please even the most jaded of rock fans.
Headlining the bill is a British quintet known as Trapeze. The group has toured the States some ten times, having become quite popular in the South, particularly here in Texas. After beginning their recording career with the Moody Blues' Threshhold label, Trapeze then moved over to Warner Brothers. "Hotwire" is their latest release for the label. Blue Oyster Cult is a prototypical metal band with some truly blistering records to their credit. Their first album, "Blue Oyster Cult," is a continuous cloudburst of heavy metal rain. Those who are still wondering what the term "heavy metal" is all about should consult this record. Released in 1972, it remains a definitive statement in the style.
Subsequent albums have been progressively less scintillating but all have their moments. "Tyranny and Mutation" is brilliant from a technological standpoint but doesn't burn as brightly as "Blue Oyster Cult." It does contain "Hot Rails to Hell," a real rush of blazing intensity and probably the all-time BOC song. "Secret Treaties" is my least favorite BOC album, although it's still better than a good 75 per cent of the contemporary product on the market. It's more melodic than previous efforts, and even has a sense of humor "Dominance and Submission" has always struck these ears as being quite funny, as if BOC realized that all this violence and doom and satanism was just a little on the absurd side.
The latest BOC album, "On Your Feet or on Your Knees," is live, and although I still prefer the original versions of these songs the ones here are not at all bad. Included are their best titles and the previously unavailable "Born to be Wild" (the Steppenwolf song), which contains that line about "heavy metal thunder" and is a perfect vehicle for the conveyance of BOC's basic stance. I can't wait to hear this and other BOC blitzes in person. It ought to be great.
Also sharing the bill will be Capitol recording artists Bloodrock.
Just as an apropos to nothing in particular, here's F. David Gnerre's review of the Cult's seminal "Secret Treaties" written the previous year for the same publication:
Blue Oyster Cult May be Running out of Steam
By F. David Gnerre
Fine Arts Writer
Imagine if you will a group who comes out with songs entitled "Screams," "Hot Rails to Hell," "Career of Evil," "Dominance and Submission," and so forth. Or whose first few album covers map out a bizarre, geometrical no-man's land that matches the music inside. Or whose organization will send inquiring parties their song lyrics in the form of computer printouts.
Such a group is the Blue Oyster Cult, dubbed by many as the kings of the heavy metal slag heap. Their first album is probably the premier American statement in the style. The second is more "restrained" and very melodic in spots. The third, "Secret Treaties," is less electrifying than the first two. BOC is still hot, but they may be running out of steam. "ME 262" is the closest they get to real metal mania this time around. The mind is boggled by the distinct possibility that BOC copped that morse code vocal technique from the Easybeats' "Friday on my Mind."
"Harvester Of Eyes" is another neat one, spiced with a spunky guitar hook. Rock writer Richard Meltzer, whose contributions to BOC's music and mystique have been considerable, composed the lyrics.
"Dominance and Submission" has the same chunka-chunka licks as "Hot Rails to Hell," though here they don't work as well. The insertion of a quote from "Outer Limits," an old instrumental hit, seems somehow related to the song's lyric content,
The rest, with the exception of the two fine melodies that close the album, is not particularly notable. At times they seem to be holding back, a foreboding tendency that threatens their once-strong position. While BOC can still burn as bright as the best of them, they may already be past the nova stage.
Another gig that was to have been part of the cancelled BOC European tour - these are the dates I know were originally planned:
Big Rapids, MI; This was the show where George Geranios missed the plane and I mixed the show... Bob Seger opened... After gig, couldn't leave town cause of no gas...
The only show of thousands that I ever missed (was late to a couple, was deathly ill for one and stayed in the hotel in Europe). Screwed around at home, took a late taxi and I knew I would miss the plane. Just a strange moment in time.
This gig was held at a sports arena on the campus of Ferris State University.
This show was amazing. It was the first time I would hear Bob Seger do 'turn the page, and with a depth of feeling I would never hear him repeat.
The BOC show made a believer of me. The light show seemed to be designed with great professional reserve - compared to most of the shows I would have seen up until then. For example, there would be a time to use strobes and a time for the lasers, but never a need to mix them.
Each song was allowed its own visual identity which really fortified the impact of the performance.
Other band's shows I recall from that time had sort of a 'more is better' philosophy which came close to alienating the audience with a barrage of crap.
Bloom had a black long sleeve t-shirt on which "nyc" was spelled in cursive script with rhinestones. He did do the wrist-mounted-laser gag, but as cool as it was, came off as more of a demonstration of the technology, i.e. it was on, we cheered, it went back off. It may have been malfunctioning.
Buck was in the white suit about 20 feet away from me, stage-left. I think he played a white Gibson SG. It was a surprise when each of the guys suddenly appeared, donning a guitar, evenly spaced across the whole stage. I don't know what the song was, but man, it was cool!
A fourth gig that was to have been part of the cancelled BOC European tour - these are the dates I know were originally planned:
Madrid was to have been the final gig that I know of that had been scheduled as part of the cancelled BOC European tour - these are the five dates I know of that were originally planned:
Commack, LI; Played good gig and taped show for King Biscuit Flour Hour...
If you've heard the broadcast, that's me doing that "Citizens Of Long Island... yada yada, The Terror You've Spawned,etc. etc." intro... right before I took the band to the stage, Sandy Pearlman asked that I do a "special" intro... so that's what I came up with between the dressing room and the stage...
Still have a big ol' scar on my leg where I sliced it open on a case latch that day... REALLY should have gotten stitches, but when you're as young and dumb as I was then, not really a priority...
One other memory I have from that day is that we had a few odd pieces of gear that were spares/optional gear... horn for the Keys rig, xtra bass bin.. couple boxes of floor lamps that actually belonged to See Factor,etc., etc... but everything we left in the truck was STOLEN during the show... lock was cut off with bolt cutters and it was cleaned out... Welcome Back To Long Island !!!
I was at the May 17, 1975 show at the LI Music Center, and had third row seats right in the middle. A great and memorable concert!
A couple of weeks later I also taped the radio broadcast that featured only four songs from this performance: Stairway to the Stars, Astronomy, Dominance & Submission, and ME 262.
I do know that a recording of the full concert was made, and I remember very clearly listening to the broadcast of the concert in my car about a week or two later, and rushing to get home to record it. However, by the time I got back it was pretty much over. It's the only time I've ever heard it , and I am pretty sure it was on WLIR (I distinctly remember a great version of OD'd on Life).
I have searched high and low for this complete version, but have not been able to find it. Does anybody know if this particular full-length recording was preserved, and if yes how would I go about acquiring a copy?
The cassette tape that I have of the show has held up well over the years, and is one that I listen to on a regular basis.
Saratoga; 7.00 Am load-in; good gig with lots of people;
I found the following mention of this gig in the 7 Jun 1975 edition of "Cash Box":
Columbia Hosts Saratoga Freebie
NEW YORK - Columbia Records, in conjunction with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center presented a free concert last week at the upstate New York Amphitheater. The bill of Blue Oyster Cult, Journey and Pavlov's Dog drew a crowd estimated to be in excess of 25,000.
A publicity campaign for the event was launched by Columbia last month which included a tie-in with seven radio stations, including WPTR, WRPI, WKNY, WSNY, WIZR, WGY, and WTRY which service the upstate New York region. The stations helped promote the event with public service announcements.
Also helping to promote the concert were several regional publications including the Albany Times Union, the Saratogian, the Schenectady Gazette, the Times-Record in Troy. and the Glenn Falls Post Star who worked in association with Columbia and Craig Hankenson, Herb Chesbrough, and Ed Lewi of the Saratoga Center.
The concert, which drew people from as far as Montreal, Syracuse, and New York City marked the second time that Columbia used the Saratoga site for a free concert. "The Saratoga site has become an important showcase for both new and established acts in recent years. stated Jonathan Coffino, director of new artist development at Columbia and coordinator of the concert.
"Both the Columbia label and the bands involved gave their time and effort for free in order to assure the concert of being a success and an enjoyable event for the entire community."
The Saratoga Performing Arts Center will begin their 10th year of concerts next month with a summer calendar of shows which include Chicago, Frank Sinatra, Eric Clapton, the Carpenters, Ramsey Lewis, and the Jefferson Starship.
I was at this show. Freshman year of college.
Free concert put on by Columbia Records to introduce Pavlov's Dog and Journey.
Front row with 2 of my best BOC friends.
Pavlov's Dog was a violin based rock band pretty good.
Journey was awesome. Pre Steve Perry. Great set by Rolie, Schon, Valory and Dunbar. Met Dunbar and Rolie right before the BOC set at the bathroom. Very cool.
BOC was on fire and stole the show as usual.
The article clippings above mention "Myles and Lenny" as also being on the bill. Does anybody know for sure if they played - and, if so, what was the running order?
Arrived late but caught the end of Myles and Lenny (heard last 2 songs and were decent) and a nice set by the original Journey. As mentioned by another concert goer pre-Steve Perry.
Pavlov's Dog was a great band to set up BÖC. More of a prog rock artsy type band with violin, mellotron and a singer that sounded like Geddy Lee on helium. David Surkamp was his name and I didn't realize he was a dude until song 2! The album they were promoting "Pampered Menial" is a Krugman/Pearlman production.
This BÖC show was promoting the "On Your Feet" album but still drew heavily from "Secret Treaties". First time hearing the extended version of "Astronomy" for me which kicked butt. "ME262" was even longer than the last time I had seen them. The "five guitars" was expanded about 4-5 minutes longer.
The heaviest BÖC show I've ever seen. Being an amphitheater with an outdoor lawn for overflow seating probably had a lot to do with song choice. "On Your Feet" is a heavy album to begin with. The mob of folks that rushed to stage front to get past security got a real treat. First time I had ever seen crowd surfing which was pretty rare during this time period.
Down State New Yorkers always seemed to make that trip North to UpState for their metal heroes. The crowd stayed in a frenzy from start to finish.
75-05-24: Saratoga, NY Setlist:
The poster above doesn't give a year but would appear to be from 1975 given the fact that it was on a Sunday.
However, the mention of Wet Willie and Duke and The Drivers being on the bill introduces a bit of a discrepancy into the official record, as roadie Sam Judd reckons the support on this gig was Journey, so I asked him for more info...
My calendar doesn't list any support for that show... I can deffo say that Journey were on it as I have clear memories of borrowing some tools from them and also doing a bit of work on Greg Rolie's Hammond...
I also remember having a chat aftershow in the dressing room with Rick Downey and Aynsley Dunbar about Frank Zappa (he was a bit sour on Frank at that point)... but those other bands may well have been there too... Duke & The Drivers were a New England/Boston area band that were to be found in an opening slot very often when in that area..
75-05-25: Cape Cod, MA Setlist:
By this I mean the fact that everything that could go wrong did during the show and it was ALL over E-Factor's head (have we introduced E-Factor yet?) I realized at this show when it took waaaay too long to get our stuff offstage and when I finally got down to the floor level our gear was scattered all over the backstage area, that I needed serious help and wheels were set in motion to add Pelican Hiltz for the drum Roadie and replace E-Factor with Ricky Reyer...
I can say for certain that Brownsville opened, but either BOC or Hogfat could have closed...
The ticket listed Foghat first but BOC was the headliner. I distinctly remember "Last Days of May" because the show was on May 31.This tour was a co-headliner in which they switched in different cities.
Memphis; Trucks were late and we played last...
75-06-01: Memphis, TN Setlist:
Drove all day to Columbus; Partied w/ Bee Gees later...
We were partying with the Mahogany Rush crew in my room as I got on really well with both their crew guys and a knock on the door came and there stood Maurice Gibb (not sure why but there were a bunch of bands staying at the Holiday Inn that night), so I invited him in and went back to our conversations...
He eventually picked up a guit that one of the M.R. guys had brought along and began to strum about... next thing I knew he was demanding SILENCE whilst he was playing... I told him to carry on as his playing wouldn't affect my conversation a bit... he took exception to this, insisting I had better shut up or else... remember I mentioned I was young once??... so I took the guitar and laid it down gently, then picked him up by the collar and belt, one of the MR roadies opened the door and Bob's Yer Uncle, out he went into the hall (not so gently).... RIP Maurice... you twat!!
There is a picture in my boxes somewhere of me on stage doing the set change... it was taken by my Sis as both she and my Mom came down to the show and hung out...
Ooh I believe there are even some pics in the dressing room of Mom hanging out with the band...
75-06-04: Knoxville, TN Setlist:
Hey! My memories of this concert are that BOC opened.
It was my first time seeing BOC. They played a really long set - seems like the entire (or close to it "On your feet or On your knees" LP.
BOC was at the top of their game that night. They put on an awesome show and blew us all away. Loved the 5 guitars at the end, sparks from the fingertips, etc...
Foghat was a letdown after the BOC set and I had seen Foghat numerous times previously and was a fan. I remember us all remarking afterwards that Foghat should have opened for BOC and we would have enjoyed them more.
75-06-05: Charlotte, NC Setlist:
I found a mention of this gig in the 25 May 1975 edition of the "Sunday Gazette-Mail" [Charleston WV]:
The Foghat-Blue Oyster Cult concert scheduled for June 6 at the Civic Center has posed a slight billing problem. Foghat, a very big blues and boogie act in England, is not all that popular here. Blue Oyster Cult, on the other hand, has a very big following in some parts. The band's albums are good-sized sellers regionally (and this area is one of its regions). Last week's newspaper ads put Foghat on top, but Blue Oyster probably will be the larger draw.
So, it looks like Foghat headlined this gig. Despite Bob Seger not being mentioned above, Sam Judd's road diary clearly indicated he was also on this bill:
Charleston WV; Played gig with jive stage crew and proceed to Richmond VA - Foghat - Seger
75-06-06: Charleston, WV Setlist:
The best crew of the tour. Much celebration of the end of the Foghat section of the tour
75-06-07: Richmond, VA Setlist:
Dayton OH; Played gig; Stagehands walked out but we were out in decent time anyway after waiting 1 hr for mirror ball...
75-06-09: Dayton, OH Setlist:
Brooklyn Navy Pier was a 75'x50' building right next to the Navy Pier that we used a few times to set up the backline and work on EVERYTHING...
We eventually got a lease on it and stored a lot of stuff there and used it for rehearsals till the wall for the Navy Yard fell over and crushed the building...
16 June was noteworthy as it was Ricky Reyer's first day "on the job"...
Ricky Reyer's first gig with BOC...
The following Styx link gives the extra info that "Climax Blues Band, Bob Seger and Hot Foot were the featured artists":
No Flashpots or organ... it was not unusual in those days for our Hammond not to work (it was one of the first "Cut Down" modifications and had been a really OLD unit to start with)...
The promoters were supposed to furnish one, but sometimes that didn't happen either... they would just work around it... just like nights when we had no piano....
The Hammond had been cut down and modified by a company in L.A. This was the hot mod of the day since the original C-3 was a bear to haul around. The company was run by some wiz-bang humheads who had done mods for all the big bands.
I remember that it cost a fortune (in those-days dollars). The original tone wheels system was maintained but all the original tube electronics were replaced with solid state, potted amps. They were fitted with octal sockets. The only problem was that they would stop amplifying at inconvenient and regular intervals. The damn thing NEVER worked.
The company swore we were the only band who had a problem with these amps. Perhaps the Curse of The Cult at work...
Hello I was looking for a ZZ Top date I couldn't find anywhere and found your site. Thank you for helping here.
I was telling a youngster about a stupid thing I did that night: standing inside a monitor at the June 27 Lincoln show. I wouldn't swear the Hammond was on the fritz, I can't say for sure since it was so long ago and I was really baked that night, but BOC absolutely rocked, much much better than later in their history (no disrespect).
If I had to make a guess I would say there was a Hammond at least in "Astronomy". Anyway I am writing to offer the setlist was BOC was the first act and ZZ Top the headliner. They both were (are) top drawer acts, but BOC was first.
Hope this helps and thank you for the great compilation!
We opened for ZZ Top... supposed to be outdoors at the State Fairgrounds but tornados wrecked the stage we were supposed to play on just after dawn that morning... the heavy rain saturated the ground, getting trucks and equipment stuck in mud... they moved the show indoors into a small hot (115 degrees!!) rodeo arena (also on the fairgrounds) with a dirt floor and a jury rigged stage...
Because of the mud, a long trail of plywood was laid down to roll our gear to the building and the stage hands destroyed the casters off most of our gear on the gaps between the sheets of plywood... it was so hot that ZZ's bass player passed out and was ambulanced to hospital and a roadie finished the show on bass... there was no second show as promised (the little gig would only hold 1/2 the ticket holders) and we had to wait behind police lines till the crowd was dispersed... all in a days work eh?
It was supposed to be a outdoor show at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds. Heavy rains in the days before the concert had flooded the racetrack where it was to be held. There was a arena... The Stockyards Arena I think it was called on the fairgrounds. They decided to move the concert indoors but because of it's small size they said each band would do 2 shows that day. ZZ Top, BOC and Sugarloaf). You went to the afternoon or evening show depending on your ticket number.
I went to the afternoon show. It was over 100 degrees outside that day with high humidity. The arena was for livestock shows, it held about 3000 and it was packed, there was no ventilation. Had to be well over 100 inside. Sugarloaf never showed, BOC opened and they were drenched in sweat after one song. People in the audience were passing out from the heat.
BOC make it thru the set OK, ZZ Top comes on and after about 3 songs, Dusty the bass player passes out from the heat. A roadie comes out with a bass, joins Billy and Frank for La Grange, show ends after that. We leave the arena and there is already a crowd outside for the second show. I don't think that show ever did take place, it was too freakin hot! But anyway I believe the unknown venue you have listed was actually the Red River Valley Fairgrounds Stockyard Arena.
Fixed new pots; used new Fog machines; Split for Redding...
I'm 99.9% sure that the arena BOC played in Fresno was the Selland... there's really no where else BOC could have played - if you have ever been to Fresno you'd know what I mean...
This was my first BOC show. Redding was a fairly small town back then, and rock concerts were rare or even non-existent. I heard about the show a week beforehand, when a buddy from L.A. called to tell me he had seen BOC's tour schedule in Rolling Stone. I frantically called the Civic Auditorium box office to see if there were any tickets left.
"Why, yes sir, there are tickets left", I was told.
"How good do you want?"
"How good do you have?"
"How does second row center sound?"
That's to demonstrate that in Redding in 1975, no one had heard of this band from New York. Those who did show up did so because they didn't care that they had never heard of the band, they went because live rock in this little Northern California town unheard of. And those who went have probably not seen any show that even comes close in the 31 years since, no matter where they may have gone.
I drove over from the California coast, never really believing that BOC would actually be playing in Redding. It made no sense. It wasn't until I arrived at the small auditorium and saw two huge Ryder semi's parked in the back that I started to think it would really happen.
Well, I hate to disappoint you, but the details have faded from my memory. I remember that there was absolutely no talking by the band members. It was just one song after another from BOC, T&M, and Secret Treaties, without a single introduction.
I think the only thing said that night was, after some wild song (I don't remember which), Eric said, "We're going to slow things down a little", and the boys launched into Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll. Two things stand out - a stellar 5 Guitars that I can still hear in my head; and a cool cowbell-strobe thing Albert did that I won't try to describe.
The sound was perfect, the band was incredibly tight, the setlist was the best you could ever ask for, the evening was enchanted. I've seen BOC many times since, but to see them at their peak in a small venue is one of the great memories of my life.
Robert in his acccount above mentions BOC's schedule was published in "Rolling Stone" - if you have any old copies in their attic/cellar, then I'd really appreciate it if you could have a check through and see if BOC have any gigs advertised...
July 3, 1975, Redding Civic Auditorium, Redding CA
Blue Oyster Cult
Ace Jet - Local act warm up band
The auditorium was packed near the stage during BOC. I was standing in front of the PA column on the audiences left stage side. I remember the show vividly. I have seen BOC quite a few times through the 70's and early 80's and the last time was in Warren Michigan this year for the 50th Anniversary Bash. BOC and Foghat this year.
I was 16 years old and this was one of my first big rock experiences. I was blown-away by the heavy sound that the BOC had. I had listened to the first two albums and dug the sound on them. When the live show came, I was there. I still can hear the ringing in my ears from that show today. That was definitely the best BOC show I have seen to date.
The all band members ME262 guitar only jam was really memorable. The Cities on Flame loosened all my fillings too. I can't even remember what Journey played that night... It didn't matter. When BOC finished up, nothing else compared.
The feeling I had when the lights in the auditorium went on was only surpassed by the echoes of the amplifiers in my ears. I looked around and as I focused on people, I noticed that nobody was really moving much at first. I'm sure they must have felt the way I did.... that surreal feeling you have after witnessing a car crash at night, the lights of the cars shining through the steam and the sparkle of glass in the lights as it settles to the ground in slow motion and everything comes to a rest.
Standing there slack jawed wishing the show would go on for just a bit longer. Not ready to leave just yet. But finding my brother and our girlfriends standing near by I decided to make the first sound. "Fucken eh"!!!, I said to my brother as I made my way past a few other souls standing between us. The look in his eyes was all I needed see, as he too was blown-away.
The intensity has only been matched one time since. That was a Danny Gatton show in a small club venue known as Sully's Blue Room, in Dearborn Michigan around 1991 supporting 88 Elmira St.
Thanks for the site, Thanks for the memories!
Neal Schon or Steve Perry, Journey could never kick out the jams like BOC (imho). One hell of a show that night.
The very first note of "Stairway to the Stars" was accompanied by semi-nuclear flashpot explosions. Many people found themselves a couple rows back! There was a dozen or so of us in the front of the balcony. Many were first timers. All of us blown away. Myself it was BOC show #4.
Seattle WA; woke up late and then trying to get to that show, the crew's van broke down leaving Portland, we had to drop it off at a dealership, go back downtown and hook up with the band and fly up to Seattle with the band..
We had a guy on the crew that had so little to do that we named him "Gravy".. and true to form he got snot-flyin drunk on the plane...
On arrival, I had to pretty much carry him off the plane and drop him in a wheelchair to get to baggage claim... the bags were delayed and Gravy had surfaced enough that he began doing wheelies all over the baggage claim in the wheelchair...
Bloom was fascinated with his technique and availed himself of a wheelchair and lessons ensued... much to the delight(?) of the other passengers and officials...
Bloom caught on fast and had it down by the time the bags were there...
Now, the live version of Dizbusters that's on one of the remasters says it's from 1974... it isn't - it's from this same Paramount 75 show... and Eric was looking right at Gravy standing over on stage right with me as he dished out his little rap later that evening about "Me 'n' Jeff Beck and Elton John doin wheelies down the hall in jet-powered wheelchairs and grabbin all the nurses"...
The Paramount was one of my favorites in those days. It sounded (along with the Fox in Atlanta) damn fine. Put a good system in there and you could paint-a-picture.
5 July 1975 was my first ever concert of any kind.
I was 18 and in the U.S. Army. I remember the line all the way around the block outside of the Paramount NW. I had 100 hits of LSD on my person... eating, selling and dropping some on the ground. I was as high as a kite... but in tune with every single note that was played by BOC.
The Paramount was the perfect venue for BOC... you could hear a pin drop from the top row. I remember Albert's little shorts... Buck's white suit. It was a scene straight out of the inside of the OYFOOYK album cover.
It was the most amazing thing that I had ever seen.... and nothing has ever come close since. Eric shooting a 6 foot long bolt of lightning out of his finger at the end of Flaming Telepaths.
I remember watching spec5 Hough inhale a whole freshly lit joint down his throat as the flashpots went off at the start of born to be wild. I remember being amazed at AB's drum solo and Buck's solo that went on for seemingly hours.
By far.... the night I would go back and relive if I had the chance. And for 20 years after that night... I preached what I had seen... until I found BOC on the internet.
After the show the trip back to Ft. Lewis involves a broken down Honda 500 (550?) stuffed in the trunk of a 66 Chevelle with 6 U.S. servicemen packed inside.
Amazing post Bob... mainly because even without the LS-Crazy I was trippin during that show because the band played better than I'd ever heard them play... I remember soooo much about that night so vividly that it's like it happened last week.... of all the shows in 75, I think I remember that one the best... cause it just might have been the best... I think of that night almost every day, cause the "bird" finger on my left hand was crushed between two cases during the load-out and it's still quite crooked....
I could write a small book just on shit that happened on that day, from the van breaking down leaving Portland and having to fly up to Seattle with the band, to the activities that went on post-show at the fine damn Edgewater Inn...
Not to mention waking up that morning in Portland and realizing I had left Lanier's Les Paul sitting under the stage ramp to the loading door and having to frantically find someone to let me in to see if it was still there.... (it was...phew)... quite a day allright... Glad you enjoyed it too...
That was my third. Most of the songs on "In The West" were recorded that night.
I'm so glad Journey cancelled and we got an evening with BOC!!! Also the only time I ever saw 'em play "Be My Baby"!
Went back down to Portland to get van fixed then drove on down to Medford...
Yakima WA; 105 degrees outside bummer gig; Stayed over...
Here's a link to a Journey tour archive which provides a venue name for this gig. Of course, they may have simply lifted the venue from Setlist.fm or another similar site, many of which contain information that isn't always 100% accurate, but if the locale cited by the Journey page is indeed where the Yakima performance was held, the venue name was simply Yakima Speedway:
Well that beats "Unknown Race Track", which is what I had previously, so I'm happy to go with that. :-)
Great gig until Joe's bass rig caught on fire... When transistorised amps blow and the output transistors dead short, the DC operating voltage is passed directly to the speaker (around 80 Volts DC, but at 10 amps or so current available), this will burn out the voice coil windings and in some cases actually catch the glues alight and then the speaker cone, the grill cloth, then the baffle board of the cabinet... this was caused by the hose popping off a fog machine and a solid stream of water gushing into the back of Joe's Sunn Coliseum amp...
The amp was actually fine after it dried out and I remember repairing the cabinet and replacing the speaker in Pekin Ill.
Corpus Christi; we got jacked around all over the stage...
I could write a book on this day... War decided early on that they just didn't like us for some reason and did everything possible to ruin our day...
They wouldn't let us onstage till the last second, wouldn't let us use ANY of the union crew all day... wouldn't let us load out till AFTER they were done...
They DEFINITELY got annoyed with me hanging round their lasers all day as they had the first big water cooled ones that I had seen and wanted all the info I could snoop... The SHOWCO techs running them were being HIGHLY secretive about their rig and told me to get the hell away from them several times... , but I was still able to get most of the info I needed from the local electrician they were using...
Pekin IL; Hot gig in Ice Arena; early loadout...
It was fun seeing my old Hydra mates again... this was the place where I finally had everything I needed to repair Joe's speaker cab...
I have a copy of a concert poster. Hydra was listed as the opening act, but as I remember they were a no show and Starz opened.
According to roadie Sam Judd, Hydra did play this show, so if Starz were also on the bill, they opened the show, but I think it's possible you're mixing this gig up with another, perhaps...?
Was back visiting relatives here and caught this cool lineup. It was at the Century 2 convention center where I had seen my first concerts like Frank Zappa, Head East...
I tell ya what though although I've always been a big fan of boc, Joe walsh just blew everyone away. He played for over 3 hours and I was exausted and impressed by both bands this evening.
Before heading to NE Oklahoma, a friend called me and said there was a big all day concert in a few days in tulsa with BOC, Kansas, Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes and I stopped him and just said you get the tickets and ill drive. lol (see 27 July below...)
Colorado Springs; Jive outdoor gig and truck broke down in Des Moines NM...
I was at this gig and it was one of the most amazing shows I ever saw even if it was in the dirt of Penrose Stadium (rodeo arena, dirt ground and dusty).
First off the billing was opened with Point Blank followed by BOC and then a somewhat drunk Joe Walsh who proceeded to throw his Gibson LP up in the air and miss catching it, sad sad sad.
Anyways, Point Blank put on a good show for being a band I knew nothing about and they played very good but then they were the opening act and not much reaction from the crowd.
Then BOC came on and opened with Harvester of Eyes and I was an INSTANT FAN. Eric of course dressed in leathers and black tee was captivating and of course Buck in white.
They ripped through a set of jams I had never seen the sights of. Then they did Flaming Telepath and this little ZAP of lightning bolt came out of Eric's finger after the last line "And the Jokes on You", both my buddy and me turned to each other and said "DID YOU F**KING SEE THAT".
The band then moved on to ME-262 and Al came out from behind the drum kit and all five band members proceeded to do their famous "ALL FIVE IN-SYNC JAM THING" it was great.
As for Joe Walsh, well what can I say: go buy his live album from 1976 "You Can't Argue with a Sick Mind" - I'll let you imagine the show he put on back then. YAWN. YAWN.
One cool thing about Joe playing was, at one point my buddy and I looked up in the outdoor sky (it was an outdoor venue) at the same time to see a falling star split in-two as it fell, that was another one of those "DID YOU F**KING SEE THAT" thing all over again...
What a fun show, think I was 16, and the funny thing of it all is that I still remember it very well for all the years that have past.
BOC left a lasting impression on my brain and I am still a big fan.
So BOC... When you coming to the wonderful town of Bend Oregon (Beer capital of the NW)?
This was my first concert ever. In Colorado Springs, there was a school for the deaf and blind (although I'm sure they call it something nicer now).
A bunch of kids from the school were up front, and they climbed up INTO the big bass speaker cabinets.
They just sat in there grooving to the vibrations, since they couldn't hear a thing. It was great to watch them enjoy the show that way.
Oklahoma City; Arrived late and Richard was real late getting everything set up; Richard was our lighting guy: Richard (Ho Chi) Holtz... not to be confused with our drum roadie, Robert (Pelican) Hiltz
The show in Okla city was where I first hooked up with Larry Shaeffer of Little Wing, the civic center had never allowed cameras so we went early so I could try to talk with someone and did get in. Larry Shaeffer mentioned the concert in tulsa the next day and we had not planned on going or maybe didn't know about it. so on the way home we turned back to tulsa, We had Larry paged when we got there and got in.
Tulsa; great outdoor gig B.C. was at the hotel when we arrived; we hung out overnight;
Not sure of band order but can deffo say that Diamond Reo would have opened...
Well with the buzz of the boc joe walsh show in wichita still buzzing in my ears we waded into this day long hot as hell outdoor sweatfest.
Kansas was in a groove and being handed up all the pipefulls of weed that they could reach out to try from some very well stocked and generous fans all along the front of the stage, ahh those were the days.
Terrible ted was fun but by this time i was ready to here ladies and gentlmen on your feet or on your knees...
Best song of the night was Bucks Boogie. at least in my opinion. that song was always a fav of mine.
When we got there, think Diamond Reo had played already or was playing, think Kansas was next, then Ted since my pictures show it starting to get dark. Then BOC played...
The show was at the Tulsa Fairgrounds but took place at the speedway, (dirt track with the grandstands)...
When we went over into Canada, we forgot that we had about 200 lbs of various fireworks bought out west around the 4th of July in the back of our van... mostly really sinister looking silver tubes about 4 ft long that were roman candles with about 25-30 balls in them... we had been using them at outdoor shows, shooting off a bunch of them attached to the back of the stage at the end of our show... anyway, the US authorities were having NONE OF THAT and held us up for ages and dismantled a goodly portion of the van looking for other "contraband"... they kept our fireworks too...
The Showco crew got busted. We had the day off and somebody smelled them smoking reefer at their hotel and called the cops... we were in the much cheaper hotel across town... We went to Niagara Falls and rode Maid of the Mist...
Really untogether gig - they couldn't make up their mind when we could load in, when we could eat lunch, when we could put our gear onstage, when we could wipe our ass etc.... openers are really at the mercy of the headliners in most cases, but we eventually got along great with the Heepsters...
But we had a great food fight in the dressing room later...
Arrived Saginaw 1.00 PM and Heep wasn't even there... I remember they showed up in plenty of time to do the show, but again, we had hurried for naught..
It's one hell of a long way from Buffalo to Saginaw... whoever booked it was a sick fuck...
The following words of a fan finally solve the mystery about the August 1st, 1975 gig:
The August 1, 1975 Heep show was definitely at the Saginaw Civic Center in Saginaw, Michigan. I attended as a 14-year-old - and it made me a lifelong fan of Uriah Heep! Blue Oyster Cult and Point Blank guested on the bill.
The "unknown" venue has been found. Point Blank as the opening act as well.
Konstantinos is responsible for maintaining and updating the giglists at www.uriah-heep.com.
If you've ever seen Uriah live, please check out the site to make sure he has your gig(s) listed. And if you have a ticket stub or handbill he doesn't have, even better!
The sum of our experiences in our teenage years tend to carry over into our whole adult lives, both good and bad. For me - the good is always associated with the amazing concerts that rolled through Flint and Saginaw, Mich., during the 1970s and Blue Oyster Cult, more than any other, shaped my outlook, dark as it often may be, and led me to New York City and a career in journalism.
The Flint/Saginaw corridor was bustling in the 1970s, with the two cities and their myriad auto plants still cranking out V-8 GM muscle cars to solid sales. Still, in many ways it was a cultural wasteland - and to my friends, the view into a magical world of possibilities came in the Creems, Rock Scenes, Circuses and Hit Paraders we grabbed up from the drug store each month.
Around 1974, Purple, Heep, Tull and of course Zep ruled the rock roost, but my friends and I were always intrigued by BOC. They seemed to come from off-center - a lead singer with a voice as much menace as melody, a drummer who seemed to skip stones instead of sledge-hammering, and most of all, a lyrical bent that placed it squarely in the dark American experience instead of the pastoral verbiage coming from the English bands.
At age 14, we finally got our first live BOC experience. The summer of 1975 at the Saginaw Civic Center. BOC was sandwiched between Texas boogie band Point Blank and Uriah Heep on their Return to Fantasy tour.
For Cult, this was at least nominally their On Your Feet Or On Your Knees tour - live albums, from Kiss Alive that year and Frampton Comes Alive the following, were breaking bands in a big way. We loved, fully devoured the live two-fer - BOC seemed to play at double speed from their already fast studio arrangements, and that was catnip to us.
Strangely, the band opened with Stairway To the Stars that night; a song they didn't even include on the live album. But they looked so cool, Alan with his ever-present Kool dangling from his mouth, Albert a happy little skin-thumping gnome behind the kit, Buck with his strange little half-smirk while he fired off one blitzkrieg solo after another.
By the time the five-guitar attack of ME 262 was over, we were hooked more than ever. Strangely, the usually boisterous Saginaw crowd didn't seem to know what to make of them - were BOC too cerebral to win over the Midwest?
That question was answered 13 months later when they returned to the SCC as a headliner, with Rush supporting on their 2112 tour. It just shows you what a hit single can do for a band - now the crowd was fully on BOC's side as they whipped through the Agents of Fortune tunes and blew everyone's mind with the lasers and strobes during a blistering version of Flaming Telepaths, still one of the most memorable single songs I've seen among the more than 1,000 concerts I attended.
Even though Saginaw and Flint were barely 35 miles away from each other, they were treated as separate touring markets, and BOC returned to the area barely four weeks later for a show at the Flint IMA, this time supported by Mahogany Rush and Starz.
That October 1976 marked the first time I ever stayed out all night - never did a 15-year-old feel so adult. We were all so hepped up on BOC we couldn't have slept anyway.
Flint and Saginaw became prime BOC territory for years. We were lucky to get the Spectres tour in 1977 at the IMA, with the band being backed by The Dictators, who went over like a lead balloon.
And by this time, we were firmly convinced BOC was rising to major arenas heights and would never again play our 7,000-seat venue. We figured it would take a 75-mile drive to Cobo Hall in Detroit if we were to ever catch them again.
But a year later, they were back in Flint, for a September 1978 IMA show with the incomparable Thin Lizzy supporting. Once again touring on a live album, BOC once again struck their delicate balance between malice and merriment - and it's no mean feat to even warrant the word delicate in a band that employed stun guitar.
Did BOC keep returning to the Flint/Saginaw market? I'm sure they did, but I fucked off to college so haven't the knowledge. Of course, we turned to new wave and, later, so-called college rock while I watched from afar as BOC's career hit peaks and valleys, more of the latter than the former.
Still, I miss those teen years of our yearly, sometimes twice-yearly BOC concerts, the memories of the parties of the year and seeing the one band that truly dared to be different. In last year's film Roadie, I loved the line when a bar patron says to the roadie that BOC were big and he replies, "Yeah, but they should have been bigger."
BOC were cerebral, but I never thought they were too clever for their own good. In the annals of rock they truly stand out as a band of a different color and if the rest of the house wasn't sleeping I'd put on Secret Treaties right now!
Jive gig on showboat. It rained all day so we cancelled, REO played and there was a riot...
I noticed the following post on a guestbook page (now gone, unfortunately) on a REO site which said this:
Location: U.P. of Michigan
Comments: I first saw REO at a small outdoor venue. It rained like crazy and none of the other bands would go on stage. BOC was one and I forget the others. But REO still went on and that was when I fell for Gary's guitar work. Blew me away. A few months later I saw them at an indoor venue with Kiss as the opening band. As great as Kiss was, REO still came out and did a phenominal job. Gary was perfect.
As far as Gary rejoining the band, I think it would be a very bad move. He has success with his own music and doesn't need Cronin and Crew. It just wouldn't be the same anymore. What's past is past.
Just an opinion,
Friday, July 18th 2003 - 08:51:06 AM
Sounds like the same gig to me - just wish she'd given a venue name...
And I wonder if the cancellation had anything to do with BOC wanting to keep their gear dry for the big stadium gig on the morrow...?
The official venue name for the Aug 02, 1975, show in Lowell, MI, was the Lowell Showboat Amphitheater. There have been five boats at this location, with the first one operating from 1932 to 1935. The current boat, built in 1979, can still be seen at 101 Main Street in Lowell.
Sam's account of the show is pretty much spot-on, according to the Aug 07, 1975, issue of the Lowell Ledger newspaper, which estimated attendance at 5,000 people. Apparently, BOC and two other groups refused to play, while REO Speedwagon, who went on at 6:30 PM, only played a shortened set before calling it an evening.
In response, 30 to 40 of the disgruntled concert goers regrouped outside the amphitheater and advanced on the Lowell Police Department, demanding their money back. Reinforcements from the county sheriff's department, and the Michigan State Troopers, were brought in to aid the Lowell police.
Not surprisingly, the president of the Showboat Corporation, who sponsored the show, vowed never to host another rock concert.
Worked spaced act gig with 11 bands and 6.30AM stage call...
This was the last show for Ho Chi Holtz... (not sure why he was even there, as we were using Aerosmith's lights)... he got roaring drunk and when he decided to leave a nice shiny new Corvette had parked at the opening of the alleyway that held his truck... not to be outdone he put the truck in reverse and began smashing into the vette, hoping to knock it out of the way... took at least 10 tries, but he got it out of the way... when he got to the hotel, he was still fired up and when the bar cut him off, he wrecked the joint whipped the hotel security and the first 2 cops that showed up until he was finally subdued...
We had some time off after that and don't think I saw him again till the 80's... he was dressed in drag at the time... But that's another story...
I can tell you that the August 3, 1975 festival they played was called the "Ohio River Music Festival" and it was held at Nippert Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.
It was an all day gig and the bands in order of appearance were:
The article clipping above has some differences in the artists listed on the bill - namely no Bobby Womack/Status Quo, instead there's Styx. Does anybody know for sure?
On Aug. 3, 1975, BOC played at the Ohio River Music Festival in Cincinatti. There was a question as to whether Styx was also in the lineup. Well, I'm emailing to say that I was there and Styx did play.
For some reason I remember they did "Lady". I saw BOC about 3 times and this was the first.
I attended the Ohio River Music Festival in August 1975 with three of my close friends. Note the band line-up on the front of the T-shirt (above).
A good time was had by all 35 years ago when I was a 20 year old college student.
I worked this gig. A group of us were hired to come down from Chicago on the Friday night to work for the weekend...
This was one of my first concerts. It was great show. Long and hot! I remember it fairly well since I wasn't a real heavy partier yet :)
Styx was definitely on the bill. They played pretty early, probably 1st or 2nd. I think Lady was on the radio at that time.
The band order you have doesn't look right. There was a really down (slow) part of the show when the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Bobby Womack played back to back. Most of the infield crowd had fallen asleep or passed out. There was a long break after Womach that was followed by BOC, They did the typical start with the anouncer screaming "On your feet or on your knees, the amazing Blue Oyster Cult!" At that point some explosions went off onstage and the crowd surged to their feet. First time I had seen them and it was great!
Status Quo and Foghat were both excellent and Aerosmith topped off the show nicely. Quo did the pose from the cover of Piledriver where they were lined up across the stage jamming while leaning over with their hair touching the stage - really powerful. Foghat was touring Rock and Roll Outlaws and wore the colored suits they are wearing on the album cover.
REO was supposed to play but backed out. I think I remember it was because they were not the headliner. That was how we got Bobby Womack.
We sat up in the stands for a little while and watched the crowd outside get into a bottle throwing fight with the Cincy riot police. At one point the crowd took off the brakes of a delivery truck and rolled it against the wall. A couple dozen of them then climbed the truck and jumped over into the concert.
Oh how I miss the old days!
I was at this gig! Great concert! My first exposure to BOC which was awesome for a 19 year old!!.
Any pics available?
I had previously queried whether or not Uriah Heep played this gig as uriah-heep.com had them playing the Martin Coliseum in Little Rock AR on this date...
However, I have since noticed that they've now changed that listing to Orlando so it looks like this was indeed a BOC/Heep show after all...
BOC blew everyone at the Capital Centre away. Crowd loved them. Mick Box with Uriah Heep had broken his wrist August 2nd and so was not in greatest form.
Additionally, it took Uriah Heep forever and a day to set up after BOC. DC crowd was unforgiving, and booed them off the stage after only three songs or so. Not sure it would have mattered, however, as following BOC was such a difficult act to pull off that night (like many other nights).
Was at this show. I was 14 years old. Blue Oyster Cult gave one of the greatest shows I've ever seen and I still remember the stage blowing up and the drummer had a gas mask on and at one point all the members of BOC had guitars and were playing.
Uriah Heep was not memorable and all - I remember 2 members of UR were sort of leaning on each other during the show (I was not aware of Mick Box's injury).
Flew from DC to NY and got down w/ Lasers. Went to See Factor...
Cedar Rapids; Jive gig in smelly hall with Zinn Audio; Leave 1AM for Fort Wayne...
The venue name was Veteran's Coliseum. Somewhere I have a ticket stub that I'll try to find, scan, and send.
Sam Judd is right, it was a smelly old place. The acoustics were bad and the seating was worse. My seat had a big pillar right in front of it and I could hardly see the band until I moved.
They rocked and I was inspired to see them 4 more times through the 70's and have remained a fan. The drum solo leading into Godzilla when they played the 5-Season's Center in May of '79 is still one of the best rock-show moments I've ever witnessed.
By the way, BOC headlined this show. Styx was just coming up. I remember "Lady" was on the jukebox at the pizza joint I worked at then, but none of us were fans yet. BOC on the other hand... :-)
Thanks for a great site!!
Crazy scene when we got to Cleveland... there were a dozen or so bands ranging from Elton to BOC at that hotel (Swingos) and it was party central control...
There were half naked women wandering the halls, drugs everywhere you turned... disgustin', it was... I partied with my aforementioned Mahogany Rush mates...
Cleveland; Mahogony Rush, BOC, Aerosmith, Heep, Faces; Big gig with lots of people...
I can't remember the exact year but I think it was 1973 or 1974 in Cleveland Stadium. The event was called "The World Series of Rock" and consisted of several bands playing over the course of the day. BOC didn't headline (obviously) but played somewhere in the middle. I can't even remember any of the other acts.
A few years previous I got hooked on them after hearing their second album and they have been my number one band ever since. I've probably seen them over 30 times since, going to where ever they played within in about a 20 mile radius.
I regret that I've missed them several times in the past 10 years because I can't find anyone around my age (50) that will get off their dead ass and go anymore. Anyway... I was with 2 other diehards at that concert (which are the same 2 that have gone with me to all the other shows).
We were initially in the upper nosebleed section (stadium seated about 86,000) but when they came on we worked our way to within about 50 feet of the stage. The temperatures and women were very hot, we were very buzzed and for about 30 minutes I thought I was in heaven. To this day that type of setting gives me the most happiness.
If I only had a time machine that worked...
I saw BOC a bunch of times in the 70's, but I believe it was the summer of 75 that they played Cleveland Stadium at "The World Series of Rock" in front of about 80,000 people along with Mahogany Rush, Uriah Heep, Aerosmith and Rod Stewart.
I remember Joe's bass amp blowing up in a puff of smoke during Dominance and Eric pacing back and forth saying "we ain't got no bass" over and over again as the band kept playing the same riff over and over. Finally he says "we're going to try to get out of this song without the bass" and just then Joe jumps out from behind the amps plugged back in and rockin and the crowd went nuts!
The old stadium, summer of 1975: opener was Uriah Heep (not quite Stone's Angel moment, but pure rock camp nevertheless), followed by Blue Oyster Cult (pre-Reaper but still way cool), Aerosmith (right after "Toys In the Attic" came out), and the headliner was The Faces, with Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Ronnie Lane, and the great Ian McGlaglen all there.
Needless to say, a memorable evening. Talk about Memorywood--I still had all my hair. Later skaters!
There is some info on this concert here:
Can that possibly have been 36 years ago?
We were sitting straight across from the stage and up in the nose bleed section doing some “pane” and smoking Afi-Black mixed with Reb-Bud. What memories.
I pumped a lot of iron back then and was wearing a tight t-shirt. I was standing with my friend, leaning against the drink line rail and some guy came squeezing through the crowd carrying two jumbo sized cokes and spilled one of them all down my arm. My friend and I both looked at the guy, who was just shaking like you can’t know, when both my friend and myself simultaneously broke out laughing. The guy just walked away shaking his head.
Later, we were sitting upstairs when we noticed we heard the crowd over and over again going “ooh” “ah” and wondered what was going on. I believe it was the Heap playing but the crowd sounds were not because of the music. With our binoculars we noticed that both sides of the stadium and most of the ground audience were looking under us. We went downstairs to investigate. We got down just in time to see a man working his way down a large rope (part of a netting system). He was hanging from the rope by both legs and hands. As he worked his way down, first one leg and then the other released the rope. I could see that he was quite exhausted.
While we were watching, someone informed us that he had just did some sort of parallel bar type performance entertaining the whole crowd.
As he got down to the height where his ankles were about shoulder height, about four police/security officers came out of the crowd and yanked him down and started leading him off as if to arrest him.
What I remember most from that day is not the music, it was the sound of 80,000 people booing. The next thing that happened was the officers disappeared into a cloud of flying fists, the man was lead off into the crowd and the officers came up with their guns drawn and backed off.
Stupid authority figures, bringing pea shooters to a drug induced freedom festival.
Two other memories: is some idiot threw a shrimp (I believe that is what they were called (1/4 stick of dynamite)) into a small group (never did hear if anyone was hurt seriously); a naked man approached a girl and ended up getting beat pretty bad by the guy with her, he sat in a puddle of water for most of the remainder of the concert.
Those were the days my friends, we thought they’d never end.
Mecca area in Milwaukee is correct. They warmed up the Heep, actually blew them off the stage.
We were about 30 rows back dead center. I know they played Flaming Telepaths because thats the song tney used strobe light for effect and the strobes got faster and faster at the end.
Plus they did whatever song they were doing at the time with the five guitars. I have a cool pic of this with EB in a tight NY CITY shirt, Lanier in blk. leather pants, Buck in white [of coarse] Albert in blk top hat, leather shorts with suspenders and calf length blk socks and Joe in silk black shirt and looks like chordory pants.
Buck is playing the "sunburst gibson" I think its called.
Whilst BOC were playing in Davenport, Iowa I was in New York checking out out lasers in the fog and Pearlman turned them down... went to Szechuan and then to Taters Rehearsal...
By the way - by Szechuan, I am always referring to the one on the N.E corner of 2nd Ave and 6th St (across from the old Fillmore East) in NYC... it's still there... my daughter checked for me just last summer...
They used to have a picture of Sam on the wall!! "Very good customa"!!
Tuesday August 26, 1975 - Davenport, IA. Special guest star Mahogany Rush. At RKO Orpheum Theater by Front Row Productions.
I found a "review" of sorts of this gig in the 28 Aug 1975 edition of the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch":
9000 At Concert Hear Uriah Heep
By Dick Richmond
Of the Post-Dispatch Staff
Uriah Heep opened its concert concert at Kiel Auditorium last night with an explosion. As it turned out, that blast was the quietest moment the crowd of 9000 was to endure for the entire evening.
The albums of the British rock quintet are filled with fine songs, many of which have interesting and often story-telling lyrics. Why the group insists on making such crushing noises for its performances makes no sense at all.
The five claim to be the loudest band in the world. I've heard others as loud, including Blue Oyster Cult, which shared last night's program with them. However, I didn't think I've suffered any that were painfully louder.
The tragedy of this is that their effort to sound like a steel mill in wartime distorts the music so much that the efforts of singer David Byron look ridiculous.
And Byron works. He runs, jumps, hops, stands on the equipment, lies on the floor, falls on his knees, stares at the audience in postures that fall between mock heroic and mock chicken, and sometimes resembles a cross between Al Jolson singing "Mammy" and a Christian having a final word with a hungry lion.
It's all a waste. Nothing conquers an electric organ bent on undermining the foundation of the building on which it sits.
Blue Oyster Cult was also very loud. The heavy-metal quintet, however, managed to maintain a sense of difference in each of its numbers. So even when the vocals became lost in the strength of four guitars and thunder drumming, it wasn't objectionable.
The real compensations were in the distinctive melodies the band was able to maintain, especially on a number called "Buck's Boogie."
On that, the drummer, Albert Bouchard, played a solo that was nothing short of sensational. It wasn't just his hands and feet moving all at once; it was the way in which they were producing this captivating beat. For his efforts, he was awarded a standing ovation.
Conclusion: A pat on the back for Blue Oyster Cult; a pat somewhat lower and swifter for Uriah Heep.
NB: there used to be an internet link (from a domain now long gone) containing info on a supposed BOC Denver gig on this date, on a page professing to offer info on "Concerts and Events in the Denver area from 1965 to 1976"
Dunno why this gig was cancelled... I just know it didn't happen...
There's a useful blog that charts the story of all the acts who played the Freedom Hall here:
Found a little bit more info on this non-gig from the August 30, 1975, issue of the Glens Falls Post-Star:
The rock group Blue Oyster Cult, which had been scheduled to perform at SPAC at 7 p.m. Sunday, was cancelled by mutual agreement between the group and the Center, according to officials.
Persons holding tickets for that concert can obtain refunds by mail only. Tickets should be sent to "Box Office, Saratoga Festival, Saratoga, N.Y., 12866." Money will be returned by mail.
Went up to Capitol Theatre in Portchester CT for rehearsal...
Arrive in time to unload and work gig; truck wouldn't make it out of town...
Arrive gig and let truck run all day; Stage hands began dismantling The decking and scaffolding of the back 20 ft of the stage during show... union hands... what can I tell ya... Aerosmith probably put them up to it...
I almost killed Joe Bouchard with a flying flash pot... I believe this was the very last time the band asked ME to do the pyro... it was the damned English Flash powder I'd gotten from Heep's crew...
I was there. I have been trying to remember the whole line-up of bands that day, but my memory is fuzzy.
Recall BOC (last of the night, I believe), Aerosmith, ARS, but cannot remember others. It was an all-day in the stadium event.
Here is a more complete act listing, taken from the Indiana University Arbutus 1976 Yearbook (Page 46):
Jordan River Review fills 10th Street Stadium with students, Safety and sound. Despite a nippy September wind and sound equipment problems, over 11,000 people turned out for the Jordan River Review.
Groups such as LTD, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Savoy Brown, the Chris Hillman Band, Aerosmith, and Blue Oyster Cult had the crowd dancing and screaming. Those whose budgets couldn't stand the strain of the $9 pre-sale or $11 gate-priced tickets could be found outside the 10th Street Stadium enjoying the fresh air and the music.
Even people in the library were entertained by the sounds - whether they wanted to be or not. While officers in the stadium helped those who were too polluted to help themselves, outside Safety was having a field day ticketing and towing illegally parked vehicles.
As one concert goer remarked, it was a "real old-fashioned acid-rock festival." Uh...
Thanks Bert. I'll go with the line-up they quoted then until I find out any different - though I've never heard of "LTD"...
Arrive Des Moines A.M. and did really incredible gig with Slade...
Great pro crew, easy load in, lunch provided for us, no aggro from Slade, right out the door after we had finished, our shit in the truck & back door closed before Slade even started playing & we could party down with a big birthday party for Pelican later...
Just a really fun smooth day... you're bound to have one of those sooner or later, no matter where you work...
I found the following mention of this cancelled gig in the Saturday 13 September 1975 issue of the "Terre Haute Tribune":
Blue Oyster Cult Postpones Hulman Center Rock Concert
A rock music concert by Blue Oyster Cult and Slade, scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Hulman Civic University Center, has been cancelled due to changes in Blue Oyster Cult's travel arrangements.
The concert is to be rescheduled for a later date this fall. Refunds on tickets for the Thursday concert can be obtained beginning at 8 a.m. Monday from the Hulman Center Box office.
There was no clarification what these changes to "travel arrangements" might have involved...
Despite BOC supporting Slade 3 days earlier in Des Moines, I have this down as a BOC headline slot with Slade supporting because (a) the headline mentioned only BOC and (b) if they were only intended to be the support, then if BOC cancelled, the whole gig wouldn't have been kiboshed - Slade would just have got another support act to fill in...
It seems pretty clear that BOC were the proposed headliners on this occasion...
We weighed the equipment and did gig and stayed over that night...
The weighing was for the Carnet paperwork we were going to need for customs in Europe... each piece had to be weighed, measured, serial number of each piece in each case recorded... took a while...
This was Larry Miller's FIRST show working for BOC...
Left for Houston A.M. and truck ran out of oil...
Fort Worth; Left for Fort Worth A.M. and truck broke down; we arrived not too late & went to big S/P party; Later left for Atlanta...
25 Nov 2015: Some news crew footage of BOC from this gig has emerged on "texasarchive.org" which is very interesting.
According to the site: "This film, most likely shot in 1975, captures a Blue Oyster Cult concert in Dallas. Jim Ruddy shot the footage for KDFW 4 News, the Dallas Fox affiliate."
One thing I find odd about the footage - all in all, it's around 20 mins in length - is that this was a SUPPORT slot for Rod and the Faces - yet there's not one frame of the main act... I wonder what was going on - this was a local news crew, so they must have had a BOC-only remit, but I wonder why?
Some "faces" to be seen in the second clip besides the band are Sound Man Emeritus George Geranios, working his magic, and manning the lighting board next to him is ace lighting maven John O. Watkins in a red Deep Purple shirt...
The guy in the shades next to Johnny is the legendary Sandy Pearlman who managed BOC and wrote lots of their material..
At the 9:11 mark there is a QUICK shot of me standing off the side of the stage with a black BOC shirt on with the round 1st album cover graphic on the front (I had about 20 of those, wore one every night)...
At the 9:50 mark you can see Glen "Gravy" Cotita in his black BOC shirt with a red logo on the back, getting the dolly under that big yellow grand piano case...
Then we get to see Ricky Reyer packing up some Marshall heads... seems like only yesterday...
I even spotted Larry Miller & Robert "Pelican" Hilz in the dressing room shots (in the 1st clip)... Rick Downey was Road Manager at the time... he's seen in that second clip with the red BOC shirt, checking the band into the hotel...
We had been opening shows for the Faces off and on since February... this was the next to last one we did...
All the crew are happy cause we were about to have several days off in Atlanta... and myself, Rick Reyer and Larry Miller were from ATL...
After that show was a HUGE party at a big house outside of town with Faces... at dawn the crew vehicles rolled for ATL... very carefully...
I was surprised to see Sandy Pearlman watching the gig - I suppose I thought he might have only turned up for the "big" prestigious shows or foreign tours, where he might be expected to be available for interviews etc...
No, Sandy always kept his finger on the pulse... IN the crowd to watch the crowd reaction to the songs and set choices...
As well as the fact that anytime he needed to talk to the band, he would show up where they were... and he was subject to show up anywhere...
Can't tell you how many times we'd be in some podunk town like Davenport Iowa and middle of show Pearlman would show up standing next to me onstage... AND be LONG GONE by the time we got done!...
He was sort of an enigma like that I guess... these clips are blowing my mind...
Columbus; Did gig and cruised with baby Carriage and French Connection later...
Here's a gig review from the October 2, 1975, issue of the Ohio State Lantern, which barely acknowledges BOC's performance that night:
Rod Stewart makes best of 'Cowtown Palace' atmosphere
By Glen Duffy
When Rod Stewart and Faces made their "Atlantic Crossing" for their current concert tour, they probably didn't anticipate stumbling across one of the last remnants of the American frontier.
However, that's what happened Tuesday night when the band played the Columbus' Cowtown Palace, otherwise known as the Fairgrounds Coliseum - a building with the structural simplicity, acoustics and atmosphere of a mammoth garbage can.
After Blue Oyster Cult opened the show with a good hour of hard-driving rock and roll, it was discovered that the stage, apparently some sort of paper mache - cardboard aggregate, was buckling. Afraid that it would collapse if the crowd didn't stop leaning on it, stage hands delayed the concert as they pleaded with the audience to move back.
WHEN STEWART and Faces finally appeared, it was through a silver portal at the top of an ornate platform, swishing in to the tune of "The Stripper."
Stewart was garbed in a multicolored striped satin two-piece costume, his Mt. Rushmore features shaded by a red baseball cap.
As the band broke into its first number, Stewart made a bee-line for the mike stand and began his antics with it that have become a trademark. Stewart intermittently flung it into the air like a drum major's baton and weilded it like a sabre. He was usually given a wide girth by the other members of the band, but there were times when he came intentionally close to hitting lead guitarist Ron Wood.
WOOD IS AN interesting story in himself. After accompanying the Rolling Stones on their "tour of the Americas," where he was often a target for Mick Jagger's on-stage abuse, he joined the Stewart tour where he could well be collecting a stunt man's bonus.
That is not to say that is Wood's sole purpose. While he will never be a great guitarist, he plays with an intensity and freedom that suits Stewart's style perfectly. Tuesday night was no exception as Wood and the band anticipated Stewart's mood and movement beautifully.
The singer's voice, something of a cross between Nelson Rockefeller and Ethel Merman, pierced the dense undercurrent of noise created by the building's acoustics. He moved where his whims carried him, the freedom of his performance bordering on chaos, but always maintaining a certain sincerity and credibility.
About one-third of the way into the show, Stewart paused to thank the audience for coming to "this hole," as he termed the Coliseum. "This is a real hole, this is," he reiterated in an angry gravel voice, "but we're going to make the most of it."
HE THEN threw himself into "Sweet Little Rock and Roller" with a furious passion, high-stepping and spinning about the stage as Faces rose to the high level of adrenalin. As the number concluded, Stewart flung his mike stand to the stage, bending it to a 90-degree angle.
Stewart and the band didn't let up for the rest of the night. The only pauses in their wild, wonderful show came for occasional warnings about the flimsy stage ("if we disappear, just send out the lifeboats") and for a softer number in "I'd Rather Go Blind" that was handled with surprising care.
Toward the end of the concert an orchestra's string section appeared at the top of the platform and took seats. They joined the band for "Angel," at which time an ornate crystal chandelier over the stage began to slowly rotate. For a while it was almost possible to forget you were viewing the concert in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
THE BAND ended the concert as they had begun it - in hard-rocking style. On one of Stewart's final stunts with the mike stand, he tossed it into the air, but failed to catch it. As the pole moved dangerously close to the audience, Stewart dove to grab it and was pulled out into the wild crowd. A tug of war ensued between security guards and several frenzied fans with Stewart in the middle. The security guards won and Stewart returned to the stage unruffled.
It has been said that this might be Stewart's final tour with Faces. It would seem logical to assume it's his last appearance in Columbus.
My first BOC show was october 2 1975 at the Springfield Civic Center.
Although it's been over 36 years - due to the fact that we had nothing to smoke at that show - it is one of the few from that time period that I can still recall.
It was festival seating and we were all within 25 feet of the stage.
Being almost blinded by the flash bombs at the beginning of Stairway, Buck in a strobe light during Harvester and the balloons and confetti falling from the top of the stage at the end of ME-262 were moments I can still visualize to this day.
This was the second time I saw BOC - the promoter was Don Law.
I don't remember alot about the show, but it was likely pre lasers and heavy on the strobe lights.
My friends and I were entering into a time frame where we'd see BOC over a dozen times, though about 1979 or early 80s.
Let me add an "only in the 70's" story I remembered from this show.
We had multiple cars making the 50 mile or so journey from where we live in Connecticut. One of the guys broke down just before the Massachusetts line, about 5 miles before Springfield.
A buddy in another car CUT his seatbelts out, and they used them to tow the disabled car. TO the concert, then ALL THE WAY HOME. About 50 miles with the second car about 2 feet from the first one. Going through toll booths and everything.
As I was recalling this recently. I thought how nowadays with everyone with phones, someone or the toll booth operator would have reported it.
As I said, crazy things that happened in the 70's and you got away with.
Boston; Stayed at airport all night and spent 1.5 hours looking for the gig...
BOC only played about a 1/2 hour before some nitwit tossed a bottle out of the upper deck that hit Albert's drum kit and exploded into shards all over him... I'm still amazed he only had a few small nicks and got none in the eyes... I remember helping him pick the shards out of his hair so he wouldn't get any splinters in his hands... could have blinded or killed him or anyone else on that stage...
There was a very evil vibe coming from that crowd that night and that wasn't the first bottle that hit the stage... I had one hit my foot and the stage deck at the same time and shatter... I jumped like I'd been shot...
At first I was pissed that he walked off and refused to continue, but after thinking about it later I was I was proud of him and glad he had the sand to do it (he took a lot of heat) for everybody else... including me, as the next bottle might've had my name on it...
The night wasn"t a total loss. Because we had an early evening Rick Downey and I went to a club after and saw the Tubes in full regalia. Great show...
I was there, too. Bunch of rednecks wanted to see Lynyrd Skynyrd. I have a copy of a ticket that says The ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd. BOC was a fill-in because Ronnie and the boys couldn't make it to the show. Too bad it was pre-laser! Eric could have "lit 'em up" with his wrist unit.
It's funny how many people I have run into in my life who attended that show.
Duke and the Drivers played Check you bucket and What you got sure's good.
BOC played 3 songs and left the stage. I have no idea what ZZ played because I didn't stay.
I am not sure what songs BOC played other than Stairway (the opener) but I do remember Eric say, "That's it! We're through!" and walked off the Boston Garden stage.
I'm still going to kick Tommy Caswell's ass if I ever see him again! The Colombian Gold we paid dearly for turned out to be homegrown leafs... Not a bud in the bag! We were in a hurry and didn't look at it since we bought from him before.
Pekker! Great, now I'm pissed off at something that happened back in 1975...
The original bill had ZZ Top/Lynyrd Skynyrd/Duke and the Drivers on it but for some reason Skynyrd didnt show - Blue Oyster Cult came on stage and blew me away. Then some idiot threw a bottle at the band - I'll never forget watching it fly threw the air from someone who was there. I'm very sorry...
The 10/3/75 gig at the Boston Garden was a surprise since the show was billed as Lynard Skynard and ZZ Top, but LS canceled and BOC replaced.
People were pissed (that accounts for the bottle incident), but someone on the 3rd level (near me) reeled out the fire hose, draped it over the edge and turned it on. Wild times back then.
When I was at the Blue Oyster cult concert somebody threw a beer bottle at the drummer just as he was going into a solo.
He threw his sticks down and said FU Boston and walked off. It ended up okay because ZZ top played longer.
I was at this show. It was general admission and the rowdy mob was impatiently waiting inside for these huge metal doors leading to the Boston Garden entrance ramps to open.
The doors were loosely chained closed and people started pulling hard on them over and over again actually trying to force or break them open. The crowd started chanting "One, two, three, four, open up the fucking door!"
Once the doors were opened by the staff people ran like mad to get a good spot at the general admission show. Whoever threw that bottle was obviously an idiot. We were totally loving BOC's show, but the band was totally justified to leave.
Arrive Akron in time for loadin and had weird gig with Sound & Lights that we never had used before or since...
This was Karl Kuenning's very first show... detailed in his book "Roadie", but he got a bit of it wrong...
I was lucky enough to see them at the Akron Civic Theater. It is a beautiful place for a show. It had clouds that seemed to float across the ceiling.
We scored some really good trips before the show and this might have had some thing to do with my buddy that went with us, as he freaked out when Eric was singing Flaming Telepaths. The Strobes were flashing, Eric pointing to the crowd (my buddy thought at him) with that sinister laugh of his as he sang the jokes on you, my friend proclaims he's pointing at me, he's talking to me as he leaps up and runs toward the doors. This is one of my all time favorite show. I think they played Secret Treaties in its entirety...
Secret Treaties in its entirety? Well, if they played Cagey Cretins, I'd LOVE to have that confirmed....
Karl Kuenning here. I could have sworn that gig was in Cleveland at the Agora Ballroom. Definitely Michael Stanley as the opener so I guess Akron is right.
I remember we brought two 55 gal drum dry ice fog machines with us. I can still smell that wonderful dry ice fog order as it poured over the stage.
One more mystery from that night, I was near the monitor board stage left and a BOC roadie (backline I guess) was drinking a beer and talking to me and then he ran across the stage and dove head first at a young girl knocking her back into the pit just as the flashpots went off.
I always wondered who that was. Any idea?
Dayton OH; Spent all day trying to get the van running. Miller and Bolt missed gig; Party later...
In oct 9 1975, BOC opened for Uriah Heep (with J Wetton). I was a UH fan at that time but I had to recognize that BOC played better than UH.
Salt Lake; Wild drive to Salt Lake; Hired drivers and sent them out...
As best I remember we had 3 days between the show in Salt Lake City, Utah (with Uriah Heep incl. one of my favorite musicians, John Wetton... I used to continually bug him to play me some King Crimson during Heep sound checks) and our departure date for the UK. In the interest of making things better for the crew, the band agreed to hire a driver to bring the equipment back to NYC, giving us a few days to get ourselves sorted out before leaving the country.
Great idea that just didn't pan out...
If memory serves me correctly, the October 13, 1975 venue was The Salt Palace - BOC opened for Uriah Heap.
24 hrs after the hired driver left SLC, Rick Downey (Road Manager at the time) got a call from a young BOC fan who now had our equipment truck, but no money and no idea where exactly to take it!! It seems that the hired driver had picked this guy up hitchhiking and gave him Rick's phone # and the keys before leaving at the next truck stop.
We had no choice at this point but to wire this kid some float and hope for the best...
Around noon on the departure day we get a call from the kid and he says he's almost out of gas and out of money, almost into New Jersey. We set out to meet him on the road, communicating with the truckers with a C.B. radio until finally spotting and flagging down our truck. The kid wanted no part of NYC so we gave him a few hundred bucks and said bye to him on the side of the road... I've often wondered if he ever had any clue as to the key role he played in us making our deadlines...
We now had a matter of hours to get all this gear to the freight brokers, verified against a carnet and get ourselves on a flite. I'm not sure how but we managed to accomplish all this, even though we had to use the equipment truck to get from the freight brokers to the terminal and pretty much left it on the curb and caught our plane to Heathrow.
Left for London 8.05...
Arrive London 7:30 AM; First stop after arriving at Heathrow was the Montcalm Hotel for breakfast and a nap. This was not only my first experience with UK money (explained to me by a porter as "just like yours, but worth twice as much") but also my first experience with bangers, broiled tomatoes and real toast (with a few mushrooms on the side)... Tasty enough for a working man (what's in bangers anyway??... surely not any meat products..)
After a nap we found out that our gear had indeed made it to Heathrow and after a quick trip back to the brokers - I had to sign the friggin carnet - we settled in for a night off in London... can't speak for the rest, but mine didn't amount to much beyond a really great Italian dinner with Joe Bouchard... We spent the rest of the evening listening to old Jazz/R&B singers from the 20's and 30's on a "Stars of The Apollo" tape of mine.
The next day we had a rehearsal scheduled at the Manticore rehearsal theatre of ELP... We were met there by the folks from the production companies we had hired for lights and noise...
After assembling with our Lites and Noise at the Manticore I went on a run across London with Colin Waters to a company called ILS where we picked up the Hammond Organ for the tour as we needed one that would run on 240v/50hz... this was quite an interesting trip as I was able to view quite a bit of the city (NO clue which parts... don't even know where the Manticore was) and we made a stop at some friends of Colin's who were squatting in a big old house... quite a deal...
Arriving back at the Manticore and getting the band settled in I promptly fell asleep in a foam-lined case for a Genie hoist... woke up several hours later shivering and deaf as the case was in front of the PA which was now on and quite loud... the case was now also closed and latched which led to a few exciting moments getting someone to let me out...
In Glenn Cotita's pic: in the foreground are Rick Downey [ Left ], John Watkins, Eric Bloom [ w/stun guitar ], in the background - under the influence of massive dose of Thai Stick - is myself (20D) and Joe Bouchard (17D)...
Now the fun began as we loaded our band gear into the semi (Artic to you Euro types) followed by sound and lights, only to find we were about 15 feet short of truck space.... several very laborious re-trys later another truck was summoned and we were finally done around 4AM and headed for Hammersmith.
I don't have many memories of that first gig except for all the GLC rules that almost kept us from using any special effects, but I do remember Motorhead as I was already a big Hawkwind fan and was anxious to see just what Lemmy had cooked up... as you mentioned, the crowd had no idea what to make of them except that they were too loud to enjoy...
My all time Motorhead memory is from that night though... as I was helping carry off the drum kit, the first cymbal stand I picked up slipped right through my fingers to the floor, it was then I noticed that the metal stands were all covered with a thick coating of what looked to be motor oil, upon inquiring "what the feck" I was informed that the drummer liked the smell of the oil on the metal stands as the stage lights heated them up... I remember thinking "these boys have got a bad case of Heavy Metal"... Little did I know the history that Motorhead would compile...
We always had fun working with them as they were interested in little else besides how loud, fast and high they could play... no politics involved... gotta play that Ace Of Spades from No Sleep Til Hammersmith every so often on the old home stereo... just to blow the cobwebs out of my Carver pwr amp.... Ahhhh the memories....
The sound company for this tour was Electrosound (later to become Electro-Tech in the U.S). It was the famous "Rod Stewart" system and was quite compact and well put together. The only problem was the system engineer was fearful of "Full Cult Level" and I spent the entire tour fighting a rather sluggish compressor that was strapped across the mains.
The system engineer, Colin Somebody I understand later went on to mix Def Leopard for awhile. I apparently held some kind of record for sound level at the Hammersmith (2nd or 3rd loudest ever). This was a later Anthrax show.
I remember at the time I was quite sure I didn't like beer. My feeling was changed radically when introduced to Newcastle Brown Ale by some lads at the Electrosound. They had a closet full in one of their offices. Ah, the English...
Let's get things in perspective before we go any further. The Blue Öyster Cult's performance at Hammersmith Odeon wasn't the aesthetic nightmare portrayed by some reviews, but on the other hand it wasn't the mind-wrenching experiences that reliable witnesses in the States had promised us.
Part of the fault lay with the Cult - the pacing of the showwith the aural and visual climax coming after only four numbers in "Harvester of Eyes" and "Flaming Telepaths" left something to be desired, and the persistent dissipation of energy in twiddling guitar solos(and I mean solos) gave the performance a constant feeling of coitus interruptus - but part of it, I felt lay with the theatre itself.
Rock'n'roll isn't meant to be taken sitting down anyway, and when you're perched in your comfy armchair halfway up in the circle, it's difficult to get truly involved with what's happening far below you onstage.
You tend automatically to lapse into an objective, critical frame of mind instead of letting yourself roll with the flow. From the point of view of the band - especially a physical band like the Cult - it's not easy to bridge the gap when faced with an enforcedly static audience.
Consequently, although the sound was OK and the musicianship solid, after the rather ropey first two numbers, and although the lighting and staging were effective, at times stunning, there was an automatic slickness to the whole show where I'd anticipated a somewhat higher speedo spontanaiety quotient.
Still, I got the impression that given an environment more conducive to honest-to-God rock'n'roll insanity - a nice, impersonal hockey arena, let's say, or good ol' Friars Club, Aylesbury, somewhere to really bring out the animal in an audience - then the Cult could be the definitive sonic assassins of which we'd been forewarned.
Coming across this site was a stroke of luck as I was looking for something else. I'm glad I did as it has reminded me what an excellent gig this was.
Me and my mate Goody travelled down to London from Derby for this gig. We went based on about two hearings of On Your Feet and reading a gig review in some rock mag.
Motorhead were first up. They hadn't really been formed for very long and it showed. After a couple of songs Lemmy announced "We may not be the best band in the world, but we're certainly the loudest" which just about summed them up. Disappointing really as was devout a Hawkwind fan (still am). Anyway, they eventually cleared off and it was time for the main event.
I think this was BOC's first ever UK gig, so the atmosphere was electric waiting for the band to kick off. When they finally started up the wall of sound almost caved your chest in. Motorhead were just loud, BOC was loud and powerful. The set looked pretty good with the BOC drapes and most of the band looking suitably menacing in black, contrasting with Buck in white.
I don't remember the exact running order of the playlist but a couple of highlights for me were Flaming Telepaths and the Last Days of May, both of which allowed the musicianship to shine through. Bucks Boogie was excellent too, with Buck in his guitar hero role showing what an excellent musician he is. The song that really got the crowd going though, and the one I consider to be the absolute best one of the show, was Dominance and Submission. Wow.
I left the Hammersmith half deaf and wholly happy. An excellent gig, that I will remember fondly for years to come.
As a footnote, the band returned to the Hammersmith about a month later, so I went to that show too.
Just to say that Lemmy's exact words to the crowd were "We might not be the best band in the world but we are the fucking loudest." and on that note most of the audience hit the bars or the loo to avoid a truly terrible performance.
It was a great night for the BOC, so different from anything that had been performed at Hammersmith before, enough to forgive them for the guitar hero histrionics.
I was there and thought the band were absolutely great. I tell my children that it was one of the best gigs I ever attended. They were certainly far better than Aerosmith who I saw at the same venue in, I think, the same year.
I thought Motorhead were poor and ridiculously loud. My mate and I went to the bar almost as soon as they started.
I was at the Hammersmith Odeon gig in October 1975 (and the November one too).
My first memory of that night is a painful one: Motorhead... they were insanely loud. I remember that Lemmy kept on shouting out "Is it loud enough?" When the crowd roared back "It's too loud!" Lemmy would yell to the sound engineer "OK, Charlie, turn it up!" Crazy. My ears hurt for days afterwards.
The Cult were fanatstic - totally blew me away. Two things really stand out for me: the guitar dogfight in ME262, with all 5 band members on guitar. I was gobsmacked. I mean... five guitars???
The high point was Dominance and Submission. The album really hadn't prepared me for the live experience. It's an utterly weird and creepy song anyway (still my favourite BoC ever!) and with the call-response ending, it was the band yelling "Dominance" and the crowd screaming "Submission". Amazing.
I was on such a high afterwards that I immediately grabbed a ticket for the next London gig. Happy days!
This was my first BOC gig. I am 99% sure they played Cities on Flame. I remember Eric Bloom juggling the light sticks during the Coda.
Highlight of the night was Flaming Telepaths. I remember the sequenced strobe lighting.
Funnily enough, I saw them in El Paso last Saturday night. (June 30th 2012).
Motorhead's Lemmy has often said that BOC sabotaged their sound when they supported them for their very first gig.
He might be on to something there... that tour was the very first time we had ever toured in Euro, where the sound companies routinely CHARGED the opening acts to even USE the PA!.. and we found out a few shows into that tour that they were not only doing THAT, but charging them for use of monitors as well AND sandbagging the volume of the openers because, well "That's how it's ALWAYS done over here"... we made 'em STOP that shit... but Mhead just might have gotten bagged the first set of shows... but they were still VERY loud however...
Flew to Stockholm and did gig in beautiful hall... it was all very nice wood paneling & perfect acoustics, with a full recording studio board and tape machines built in... I believe it was used for Orchestra & Opera and we were told that Robin Trower had recently recorded a live album there... and I believe I even have the album...
I love the boc, and saw them here in Stockholm, sweden in 1975 and 1978. Therefore I'm afraid I must correct you over the venue.
The gig in '75 was indoors at Konserthuset (The Concert House, I was on row 10, in the middle, I still have the ticket. If I find it, I'll scan it for you), not Gröna Lund, which is a sort of a luna park, where they played outdoors (so the laser show wasn't that much to see), in '78.
As I remember there was not any support act.
The Scandinavian Setlists are all the same (5 guitars) with Candy Store for the Power change for the Lights. A Generator back then only had an hour guaranteed...
The only problem there is that I don't know what the different encores were for each night...
I saw the band in 75,in Gothenburg Sweden. On the BOC website it says "Konserthuset", but it wasn't. It was in the ice hockey arena "Scandinavium" and it holds 12,000 people, but only 3000 turned up.
I've seen a few bands there but never have I seen 3000 people do so much damage to the chairs in the stadium. The crowd went nuts, because it was a kickass gig and I still think it's one of the best I've ever seen.
However having moved to New Zealand I haven't seen them again. Before the concert in 75 i met the band and got my "On your feet" copy signed by the band. They were all shorter than me and i was 15 at the time.
Lund Sweden; Long ramp for loadin; Gravy met up with NELA; travelled to Copenhagen...
I was on that concert together with 5-6000 others (small concert hall)... I remember it as the best concert i have ever seen!
We made noise like 50000 that evening. Blue Oyster Cult where wery big in Sweden during this period and i was 17 years. Life was good!
A funny (tragic) thing is that i had to wait 33 years to see them again (Sweden rock festival june 2008) but now we were more like 10-15000! Yes they played on festival stage (biggest stage) and i was certainly not disappointed. They still rock and will always be my favourite band !
I believe that the warm-up band must have been the Danish band Lollipops who were quite popular in Denmark and Sweden in the late sixties.
Lollipops dissolved in 1971 but were reformed in 1973 achieving new success, now singing in Danish instead of English, then performed on a less frequent basis in the eighties. Lollipops ended in 2004 when one of the founding members died from kidney problems.
The other Danish opening band, Gnags, originally (1966-69) sang in English. In the beginning they called themselves Those Gnags and their first release (1969) was sung in English. In the seventies and eighties they were among the most popular (If not the most popular) of all the Danish bands.
They still exist although their live performances have been much less frequent as has their recordings.
I contacted the lead singer of Gnags, Peter A. G. Nielsen, to see what he remembered of this show and to find out the venue name:
"Blue Oyster Cult played at Holstebrohallen. The program was: "
"Blue Oyster Cult traveled with the biggest production we till this date had experienced."
Adding a little info on Holstebro Hallen, Denmark concert 25.10.75
667 tix were sold at D.kr. 30,- (aprox. £3,- ). Concert arranged on a split deal with ICO A/S and Holstebro Hallen. No review of concert in papers, but small pre-add.
Info comes from archive of Holstebro Hallen.
I didn't see the concert. I'm checking the archive for book release and stumbled over your page. I talked to a concertgoer who told me that it was the loudest concert so far I Holstebro Hallen and that the warm up Lollipops was so mis-billed, an embarrassment. He couldn«t give any detail on BOC show, sorry.
667 tix is approximately a half filled stadium. Same arranger did Bay City Rollers same place the day before BOC and made 803 tix sold so it was nice enuff for a relative unknown orchester with no hit records in Denmark.
Black Sabbath played the Falkoner Teatret (Falkoner Theater) with Chapman & Whitney's Streetwalkers in support.
Some BOC Crew and band-members attend - Buck confirmed he went on his BDTE board.
Played Tivoli and Larry got arrested for having Flash powder... I guess it was some sort of crime in Denmark... wish Larry was around to elaborate... I just remember some aggro about the pyro even being in the building was a fire reg violation...
The danish band, Bifrost, was support for BOC in Tivoli, Copenhagen 1975...
A word about what's been labelled as "Candy Store/Turn Out the Red Light" which precedes Cities on Flame on setlists throughout this 1975 European tour: this little piece was inserted due to the European follow spots needing a carbon change at this point in the show...
I didn't think it ever had a name and was pretty much just a jam fill till we got the high sign that the follow spots were ready to go... the drum solo that became a staple in Godzilla came about much the same way...
Simply a piece that could be pulled off without follow spots till the carbon rods could be changed (apparently the rods are longer in the US models)...
Let's see here... The jams were different about every night, and they were just called Candy Store because it has a lot of goodies there for you...
One of the nights the Candy Store was actually a full Grateful Dead feel and Albert started to sing "turn Out the red light"... so he said that's what it should be.
I went through these details with him a long time ago when I was young and curious... and he was helpful as few always helped me in deciding for things like these...
When we left Denmark for Germany, our coach broke down at the ferry, along came the coach carrying Chapman and Whitney's Streetwalkers (who we had met several nights before when we went to see them open for Sabbath (who booked that?) in Copenhagen).
The guys on our sound crew knew them from a previous tour. I knew their music and had been a big Rodger Chapman fan since Family...
Quite a treat for me as we loaded up onto their coach for a ride to Frankfurt... not much conversation from Charlie Whitney as he seemed to be VERY sleepy (can you say smack attack??) but a splendid time was had by all as the vino and cognac flowed.
Also met Bob Tench on this trip as he was on second guitar...
Ludwigshafen; Travelled from Frankfurt to Ludwigshafen and played really small gig; No Support Info
Blew off original hall because of weird load in. Changed to smaller Hall - dunno the name - I just know that it was definitely changed the morning of the show... the load in was up about 3 flites of stairs and was a really small stage, so we got the master electrician on the tour (my room mate Nick from Curved Air) to claim to all concerned that the electrics were not adequate...
I remember being taken to a brothel in Frankfurt for my birthday (31 Oct)... the less said about that the better... how about one word... TWINS!
My gal at the time (Varya) and I supervised the brothel expedition. I have a hilarious anectdote about this that I may someday share.
From what Sam says above, the venue change happened more or less at the last minute. Therefore the poster above - clearly printed in advance of the tour - which gives the venue as "Volksbildungsheim" would seem to be wrong. The boc.com site gives the venue as the "Festhalle".
If anybody knows for sure, please let me know.
So here is my story on this gig which seems a little mysterious. I read about this gig in German rock magazine "Sounds". It clearly mentioned "Volksbildungsheim" as the venue. So I persuaded my buddy Eberhard to drive to Frankfurt with me which is a long long 5 hours trip by car.
We went straight to the Volksbildungsheim. We were not aware of any change of venue. So it must have taken place there. A "Volksbildungheim" in Germany is a place you may call "adult education evening classes". Of course I have not been there before but it look exatly like that. They also had a theater inside which was probably used as a cinema. BOC performed there. I'm sure.
Frankfurt is the biggest American Army Base in Germany and they may have expecting a lot of US soldiers. So the concert may have been arranged for the "Festhalle" first. Because the Festhalle is a much bigger venue. But the ticket sales were probably too low to let the show go at the Festhalle. So they changed venue to the Volksbildungsheim.
When we got inside we were informed that the show was sold out. But we did not have any tickets. When we were looking around for some touts, Eberhard spotted Joerg Guelden. He was a rather famous rockwriter for German rock magazines and you could recognize him at once because he was over 2 meters tall. He did not know us (of course) but I told him we were big fans and had no tickets. We were very lucky that he tooks us inside with him. So we didn't even have to pay.
Inside were 80% US soldiers and all (!!) were stoned. Most of them were already sleeping on their seats or on the ground. Something I have't seen before like this. At first a support band played. It's a german band called "King Ping Meh". Nobody really cared but they were a lot better than I expected. They had a great singer whose name is Geff Harrison and they rocked.
BOC's gig was awesome. Sorry I can't give you the setlist but they played the songs we expected.
What a great day it was. Even after another 5 hours drive back home.
Weird stage and even weirder load in... the stage was kind of in a corner & was not even a proportioned shape... just a strange combination of weird assed angles... we had to load in around the corner & roll everything down a bunch of hallways to the room where the stage was...
Erlangen on Halloween has the same setlists as the Scandinavian shows!
The only problem there is that I don't know what the encores would have been...
The biggest show on the tour was to be in this huge place in Paris... All the European press was gonna be there and we were told all must be perfect...& everything was till 30 min before showtime when I discovered that all the power in this place was coming from portable generators and was not frequency regulated... therefore the Hammond Organ (1/2 of Allen's rig at the time) was useless as it would warble flat and sharp and never lock up...
So yours truly grabbed an interpreter and all of the extension cable I could find and ran down the street knocking on doors till on the next block we found a little french granny who agreed to let us plug a line through her front window and into the wall to get a regulated source!
We put at least 5 lbs of gaffer tape on it so she wouldn't be tempted to unplug it... and at the end of the nite we couldn't get her to the door so we just cut it off at the window... it's still plugged in for all I know...
That was also the show where mid-way thru the set someone walked between the backlites and the backdrop, casting a huge shadow behind the band... As I apprehended the culprit and prepared to show him the door, I discovered it was none other than Mick Jagger, who only wanted to know if they were going to play Maserati GT!!
I put in the request with the boys and Mick got to hear his favorite BOC (Yardbirds) song...
Mick was movin' that night. At one point at the mix position I turned around at there he was. He was capable of really blending in, I remember. No Rock Star clothes or vibe...
Blimey! I wouldn't like to have been Sam's French granny when she got her next electricity bill!! That's if she survived the cut live cable that would have dropped down into her front room...
I'm just amazed the local kids left a long trailing leccy cable in the street alone - if it had been round our way, that would not have been the case...
Anyway - here's a link to some footage from the TV show:
Rheims France; Drove to Rheims from Paris; wierd gig with sloping stage...
On 1975 Nov 4th the gig was at the Opéra Cinema in Reims (France)...
Strasburg, France; Drove from Rheims, great load in and easy gig although very cold; Stayed at H-I...
Arrived Amsterdam AM... I certainly remember the day off in Amsterdam and a late nite trip to the Canal Strasse... the basement bar at the Paradiso was the first time I had ever seen Hashish (& anything else you could imagine) being openly sold and used....
Amsterdam; Played Paradiso and had a great time...
I have the tape from this show. Albert, ever the afficianado of cannabis was the "Drummer From Zontar". He had been sampling the wares downstairs and was basically in no shape to play...
75-11-07: Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland Setlist:
I was doing some newspaper research in a Dutch collection this evening when I found this concert review of a Blue Oyster Cult show in Amsterdam. I have attached the original article AND provided the original text and my rough translation for you. (Gotta love Google Translate!). Anyhow, enjoy!
AMSTERDAM Achteraf hadden de organisatoren van het enige concert dat de Newyorkse Blue Oyster Cult vrijdagavond in Nederland er spijt van dat zij dat hadden laten plaatsvinden in Paradiso en niet in bijvoorbeeld) het Concertgebouw, tweemaal zo groot, dat ook gemakkelijk zou zijn volgelopen.
De roem was The Cult vooruitgesneld, ondanks het feit dat de eerste platen alleen in importwinkels te koop waren en nu pas "Secret Treaties" en "On your feet or on your knees" officieel in ons land uitgebracht werden.
Bleu Oyster Cult werd aangekondigd als een "heavy metal band". De groep vertegenwoordigt een uzikale stroming die zijn oorsprong vindt in New Vork. Anders dan de vloeiende blues rock uit het zuiden van de Verenigde Staten en de zonnige popmuziek uit Californië, is de muziek van The Cult loodzwaar. 'De gitaar is het hoofdinstrument. Dat we daar niet aan hoeven twijfelen, bleek tijdens "Cities on flame", toen drummer Albert Bouchard de slaggitaar hanteerde. Op dat moment stonden er ijf gitaristen op het toneel.
Ook het geluid maakte bij tijd én wijle grote indruk, hoewel opgemerkt dient te worden dat het soms aan kitsch grensde. Dan leek de muziek sterk op het soort onzin dat groepen als Black Sabbath (vorige week in Scheveningen) te berde brengen. Gelukkig waren deze momenten in de minderheid en konden we vooral genieten van fraaie rocknummers gebouwd op keurige riffs.
De goocheltrucs die er af en toe aan te pas kwamen (vuurspuwende drumsticks) verhoogden de eestvreugde en onderstreepten het agressieve karakter van de muziek. Een beter nummer om het optreden mee te beëindigen dan "Born to be wild" (ooit een hit van Steppenwolf en één van de mooiste popsongs uit de zestiger jaren) was nauwelijks denkbaar.
FRANK VAN DIJK
From Het vre volk : democratisch-socialistisch dagblad, Netherlands, November 11, 1975.
AMSTERDAM - Afterwards, the organizers of the only concert that the New York based Blue Oyster Cult Friday evening in the Netherlands regretted that they had made it happen in Paradiso, and not in, for example the Concert Hall, twice as large, would also have been easy.
The Cult's fame has grown, despite the fact that the first albums were for sale only in import stores and now only "Secret Treaties" and "On your feet or on your knees" were officially released in our country.
Blue Oyster Cult was announced as a "heavy metal band". The group represents a musical flow that originated in New York. Unlike the flowing blues rock from the south of the United States and the sunny pop music from California, The Cult's music is tough. "The guitar is the main instrument. The fact that we did not have to worry about that was revealed during "Cities on flame" when drummer Albert Bouchard used the guitar. At that moment there were many guitarists on the stage.
The sound also made a great impression in time and time, although it should be noted that it sometimes bound to kitsch. Then the music seemed strongly based on the kind of nonsense that brought groups such as Black Sabbath (last week in Scheveningen). Fortunately, these moments were in the minority and we could especially enjoy beautiful rock songs built on neat riffs. The magic tricks that were occasionally adapted (fiery drumsticks) increased the most delightful and underlined the aggressive character of the music. A better song to end the performance than "Born to be wild" (once a hit of Steppenwolf and one of the most beautiful pop songs from the sixties) was hardly imaginable.
FRANK VAN DIJK
From The Free People: Democratic-Socialist Newspaper, Netherlands, November 11, 1975.
Thanks Rob. I loved this bit: "during "Cities on flame" when drummer Albert Bouchard used the guitar. At that moment there were many guitarists on the stage." Well, Frank got the song wrong, but he was right: there were indeed "many guitarists on the stage." :-)
BTW: Rob Dwyer, once of "Sabbathlive.com", is now heavily involved with updating the gig lists on "black-sabbath.com" so if you have any Sabbath information that would help augment the gig lists over there, please contact him with your info...
Drove to Cambrai from Amsterdam and spent too long eating dinner so opening act didn't play!!
The crew dinner that was prepared for us was totally disgusting frogginess... and I can usually eat anything (including Cheval) but this shit looked like Bangers and Mash after it had already been eaten and chucked back up... with Xtra onions...
We refused to eat it and made the promoter pay for cabs and take us to eat at a nice hotel or we weren't going to do the show (he didn't know we didn't actually have such power)...
After having a Four Star meal of delicious Steak Au Poive and Pommes Frittes and some lovely asparagus and butter with a really impressive Blancmange(?) for dessert, we made our way back over to the gig... this was the maddest I think I've ever seen Rick Downey... the support act had no clue how to even get power onto the stage, much less turn on and operate the sound and lights as ALL the crew went to dinner...
Click the following link to see some photos from this show:
Our trip to Spain was highlighted by one of our trucks being damaged near Madrid... the truck was towed to the gig and we offloaded before the show... the first nite - Madrid - was televised LIVE to the entire country...it was all sold out...
The promoter told us we could have whatever we wanted for crew food as he had made a bunch of money, so we decided on steak and potatoes (Pomes Frittes?) come dinnertime we were chowing down heartily till one of the Brits inquired as to the origin of the "steak" we were eating... upon finding out that it was indeed horse, most of the crew went off in search of "proper" food while I rather enjoyed extra helpings of "Cheval"... this story is told often around my wife's group of horse enthusiasts when they accuse me of not liking horses... I assure them that I really do love them... with a bit of garlic butter on the side...
On the second day someone discovered that drugstores (Chemists in Euro) in Spain sold Mandrax (European Qualuudes) over the counter! This almost brought the tour to a screeching halt... thank goodness for a day off...
When it came time to leave Madrid for Bilbao we were forced to rent a local truck as a replacement had not arrived... It was what we refer to here in the states as a stake truck... wooden fencing for sides and covered with a large tarp...
We christened it the Cabbage Wagon as we had to clear several hundred lbs of rotten cabbage out of it to load our gear...
Der Kabbage Vagen was sitting at the next gig waiting for us though and we finally got a replacement in Barcelona...
Bilbao Spain; Really nice hotel; Sellout crowd; I did Flashpots; Larry got X-Rays; Left for Barcelona...
Spent two hours finding gig; Der Kabbage Vagen was late; Busted Star on loadout...
There was a big GIANT star on the ceiling of this place made with about fifty 20ft long fluorescent light tubes... when we discovered that the promoter & the stagehands had fucked off and left us with NO help to load the trucks, we were standing around grousing about it when SOMEBODY - no one was REALLY sure just who - ahem - yelled out 10,000 pesetas to the first man that can knock one of those fluorescent tubes out of that ceiling... at which point everybody on the crew launched a Heineken bottle at that star & it rained bottles & fluorescent tubes for a couple of minutes...
Donald's really nice boots he had just bought the day before were stolen from the dressing room that night as well... I remember him leaving the show in his sock feet singing the line from the old Chris Kenner/Alan Toussaint song "I like it like that" that went "The Last Time I Was Down There I Lost My Shoes"...
We went by the hotel on our way out of town & picked up a driver who had brought us a new tractor unit for our damaged truck... while the bus was parked outside, several of the crew snuck into the wine cellars & kitchens of the hotel & stole a load of wines & champagnes... not to mention about 10 lbs of Napoleon pastries... they were ever so yummy... we had just been thru some shit days & had the next one off so all the lads were jolly & the bubbly was flowing... I remember brushing my teeth with Moet Chandon the next morning as we had more than we knew what to do with...
In barcelona friday 14 nov 1975 the unknown venue are a historic theatre from barcelona whin name is Casino L' alianca del Poblenou. i'm present in busted big neon star and think that theatre not have any faul so that they werw breaking this historical star ligth. but now is a history in theatre also that BOC crash this light.
So that they were breaking this historical light
Played small Hall in Zurich and found out that Macon was canceled the next day and left for Brussels...
All I remember about Switzerland was how expensive everything was...
Rewind the way-back machine to November 16th,1975. I was just 18 attending my first quarter at the all girl American Fashion College of Switzerland in Luzern.
Homesick for hearing anyone who could speak English, I took the hour train ride north to Zurich to see a band I had never heard of, solely on the poster that had USA printed across the bottom in large capitol letters.
Arriving early for the sound check, I met John Watkins LD, from SeeFactor who ran the amazing (when it worked) red and green laser light-show and Rick Downey, tour manager, who had the biggest "fro" ever seen on a white guy.
Hanging with crew for a few hours was like being beamed home stateside. The vibe was good. The music was infectious. I didn't want it to end.
When invited to the next show in Brussels, I gladly accepted and jumped on board the tour bus to join the endless party of roadie debauchery.
My first Blue Oyster Cult Gig - Hot Rails to Hell...whoww...
A hot Saturday afternoon back in Summer 1975... an old Tube-Radio in my Room, me 19 Years old still living by my parents in a countryside Village in Switzerland...
First Time I heard about Blue Oyster Cult... I got possessed then and still i am...
In October 75 instead of learning for my profession, me and my friend went to Munich Oktoberfest and in a small Shoppingmall we bought On your Feet and on your Knees.
Back Home there was this Ad : Blue Oyster Cult are coming to Switzerland... I couldn't believe it, great News like having Christmas, Easter and Birthday together.
No problem to get the Tickets and then almost no sleep till 16. November 1975.
Back in the Days, it was not usual to have a Car that young age and so a older Friend of us had a fast Ford Capri and Time because it was Sunday and while smoking some Weed he drove us to Zurich.
It was the first Time for me to see a real Concert in a big City, and I was amazed to see so many Freaks.
The Venue Volkshaus was and still is a a pretty old Building in the Center of the City with Space for about 1000 People and has a nice Bar to get some Beers.
First there was this Support Act Goertz and Garza, somewhat a Mixture between Country, Folk, and Popsongs... boring and enough Time to have a couple of Beer and another Spliff...
And then, its already 40 bloody Years ago but I still remember like it was yesterday, there was a dark Stage with some strange Sound, a Voice howling on your Feet or on your Knees, from New York City, here they are, the amazing Blue Oyster Cult !!!
They started with Stairway to the Stars and the Gig ended with a brutal Born to be wild.
Behind the transparent Drumkit in the Middle in green the Symbol from the Cover of the first Longplayer, on the left and on the right the Cronos-Symbol in red... like in a black Mass...
I was liked paralized, a earshattering noise like deep from Hell, a fantastic Lightshow with dry Ice, Stroboscops and Machinegunfire, duelling Guitars black and white, explosions, smoke and Gasmasks at the End... unbelieviable...
The Audience was almost on their Knees and long after the Concert at the Trainstation, when we were waiting on the Train back to our village, our ears were still ringing from the sheer Soundassault and even the Message from the Speakers, who told about the incoming Train sounded to our tormented Ears something like Hot rails to hell...
My first Concert, and in the Years until today I had the Luck to see many Blue Oyster Cult Concerts, but this was the Concert of my Life...
Thanks to Blue Oyster Cult, may the Cult life forever...
No clue as to why is was cancelled... at that point just one less pain in the ass gig and one more day off...
Brussels; Really neat gig; Looked around for an 18" speaker and ended up using an Electrosound Bin...
Brussels was the scene of the now infamous BOC/Gestapo encounter..... I don't guess I'll ever live it down...
The morning after the show when checking out of the hotel (most of band & crew, including myself already on bus), some discrepancy came up & the hotel manager snatched a bunch of our baggage into lock-up and was holding it for ransom...
At this point (unbeknownst to me) some of our crew went up the stairs & trashed the first room they came to... which happened to be mine... Meanwhile I'm sitting out on the bus next to our advance man Eric Gardener (more on him later), when several carloads of the old "Stats Polezei" roll up....
After checking out their jack-boots & leather trench coats, I commented to Eric (who is Jewish) that I was really glad it wasn't 1943 and that those guys hadn't come looking for me... the trench coats came back out of the hotel a minute later, tromped up into the bus and demanded to know "Who is this Sam Judd? Is this a man or is this a PIG!!!???" I was then marched up to the trashed room (frigging great job, TV through the window into the alley below, water spewing where the sink used to be before it went to the alley, etc etc), where I was questioned as to why I did this...
I asked the group which one spoke the best English, then looked him right in the eye & told him, "I didn't do this, but you give me 60 seconds on that bus & I'll hand you whoever did..." Returning to the bus, I informed Gravy & Geoff that the jig was up and it was time to pay the fiddler (Never mind how I found out it was them between the hotel & the bus)...
After all the damages were settled it was off to the airport & back to the good old Montcalm in London... On arrival there we found out that Buck had become a papa while we were hassling with the Gestapo that morning... Cuban cigars & Hennessey Cognac were the order of the day...
Drove up to Newcastle... Whilst setting up for the show a chap informed us that there was a fire smoldering in the ceiling near the stage and that we would have to leave the building.
One of our lads named Larry Miller (A fellow Atlantan...there was even one more for a total of 3 at this point... more about Larry later) had once served as a fireman & went squirming into the attic & began frantically calling for us to pass any & all extinguishers up to him as there was now a healthy blaze going...
He managed to hold it at bay till the Local F.D. showed up and began praising him as a hero for his quick work... headline in the paper next morning "Rock Hero Saves City Hall" & a big photo of Larry's Smiling facade.....the local paper may actually have it on archive...
My day went fine,found a great record shop round behind the gig and a fine steakburger,chips & beans (don't be stingy with that H.P. now)... until during the loadout I rolled my ankle over a fat power cable & took a header off several steps of the choir section behind the stage...
I went to stand and the ankle said NO! in definite terms... ambulance ride to hospital... no break only a bad sprain... as I'm leaving... ambulance arrives w/Larry who has had load shift onto him in the truck OBVIOUSLY breaking his arm...
Someone on the tour took a picture of Larry and I in the Hotel lobby next morning, me in a wheelchair, Larry's arm in a sling and we're holding up the paper w/Larry's pic...
I finished the rest of the tour and flite home on crutches and we got extra locals to load the trucks... big fun...
Larry is at this moment in time battling inoperable cancer and has only JUST retired from the road & gone fishing... he actually lives only a few miles from me these days & I think of him often with a smile...
I'd never heard of BÖC until '74. I'd got heavily into Sabbath (still am) the previous year after hearing the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath album and had bought all the Sabbath back catalogue, and then my friend introduced me to BÖC by lending me On Your Feet. I then went out and bought the first three BÖC albums.
So I was quite heavily into both bands by the time gigs were announced at Newcastle City Hall late '75. First Sabbath in October and then BÖC in November.
The Sabbath gig was great. Everyone stood as soon as the band came on and remained so for the rest of the gig. The BÖC gig was great too but different. They started with Stairway to the Stars. Twice! The guitar started and then when the rest of the band were supposed to come in somebody didn't. They stopped, stared at each other and then started again. I'd never seen anything like it but then I thought, having not seen that many gigs, that maybe sometimes this happens. I've seen a thousand gigs since and I've never seen it happen again!
The other thing that was different was that before the first song was finished I'd been told by a bunch of old hippies behind to sit down. It seemed strange to me then to watch a whole gig sat down - and it still does. Great show though that got better and better as it went on. Maybe they were nervous? I think it was the first night of their first UK tour.
Manchester Eng; I went to hospital to get X-Rays and hung out at Hotel; Stayed over...
So there I was, a tender boy of nearly 15, going out to see the mighty BOC.
I had been lucky to date; a few Status Quo concerts (in the good old days of Caroline, Down Down etc) Dr Feelgood, Budgie, etc but nothing had prepared me or this.
My friend Mike had introduced them to me earlier in the year by virtue of a new album that he had picked up, On Your Feet or on Your Knees. He was 17 at the time and modelled his hair on Buck's, even attempting to grow the moustache. Over the course of the summer, we all but wore that album out. I had read reports that BOC did not consider it to be an adequate reflection of their abilities and were disappointed with the album. We thought it could not be bettered. For months we argued about who was Buck Dharma as we air guitared away in the bedroom and we raced into Manchester to get the tickets as soon as we heard that they were performing in the UK for the first time.
By this time I had picked up the first album and also Tyranny and Mutation, though for some reason Secret Treaties evaded me for some time. The following year I was sold my only bootleg album/EP In the Mouth or on the Ground (though I don't recall my copy having this title); it did though have the rawest version of Red and Black that I have heard.
I didn't see the support band, which I see from the gig list was Birth Control. In those days, it was not considered cool to see the support, unless you always knew and appreciated their stuff. Instead we went to the bar and had a few beers. We were in the stalls, probably about fifteen rows back but that did not matter as we would just make for the front as soon as the band appeared.
After the customary shouting during the interval, the lights went down and to the cry of Manchester, on your feet or on your knees for the amazing Blue Oyster Cult, we were up and forward. I recall it was a bit of a crush but do not remember too much more about the opening couple of songs. I really came alive at Harvester of Eyes, which was one of my favourites.
Must admit, I cannot remember Candy Store, but the sublime and beating Cities on Flame was superb before the fantastic Ain't got you (Maserati GT) and the playful Buck's Boogie. We had practised this so many times, we just joined in on our air guitars. The sight of Buck stood there in his white costume may appear theatrical these days, but he held that audience in the palm of his hand and he was without doubt the world's greatest guitarist.
The lasting memory though was the one we had been waiting for all night; all five on stage playing guitar together. Yes the inside cover of OYFOOYK may look slightly surreal but this was the real thing, no doubt about it.
The encores were all too short; the night could not possibly end, though we knew it had to eventually. I had been on my feet all night; now I was on my knees before the mighty gods of rock.
I went to the gig with 3 friends, Pete Spencer who had first bought BOC albums plus some Soft White Underbelly demos and bootlegs from a shop that was on Oldham Street Manchester which appeared to sell nothing but bootlegs. My other two mates were Andrew Allen and Jonathan Griffiths. The gig was by no means a sell out but it was fantastic. We were also impressed with Birth Control who performed a really innovative drum solo. I find most solos very boring. Our seats in the stalls were next to two guys doing a bootleg and they encouraged us to whoop it up into their mic.
Andrew who was the only one who was not that impressed. He wrote a letter to Sounds, which was published, complaining it was too loud etc. He signed it off as a Ritchie Blackmore fan. Letters were published the following week asking how a Ritchie Blackmore fan could complain about volume etc. The letter was even quoted in an interview with the band a week or so later in Sounds
I saw BOC about 10 years later at the Manchester Apollo but it was not a patch on this concert in 1975. I have recently been playing BOC early albums and they really do stand the test of time. Fantastic
I went to this gig, and I have a copy of the bootleg cassette from the concert, which my then girlfriend (now my wife) bought me as a christmas present in 1975- the first pressie she ever bought me.
I was at the Police Training Centre at the time, and it was my first week. I got home to Manchester at 6, eat my meal and was straight out to the Free Trade Hall to see BOC and Birth Control, who I had picked up on a couple of years earlier when I was buying Krautrock albums.
Considering that later shows would feature fireworks, lasers and light shows, this was almost a club gig in a massive venue, and they pulled it off, playing the most high energy set I'd seen for a while.
In 2003 BOC played in the Live Cafe which was across the street from the Free Trade Hall, and I was talking to one or two chaps like me in their late 40s who were there in 1975 when we were in our late teens.
Where has the time gone?
The end of 1975 and the Liverpool Empire have great memories for me. First of all, on September 14th I saw Alice Cooper there - the Empire was reportedly the only provincial UK venue which was big enough for the Coop's stage set and then on November 22nd I saw Blue Öyster Cult.
Alice's gig was sold out, BOC's wasn't, but there's no prize for guessing which show had the biggest effect on me.
Earlier that year, "On Your Feet" had finally come out - it had seemed an age since "Secret Treaties" and Max Bell of the NME had been teasing us with reports of a double live album which would kick the Who's "Live at Leeds" into touch. Do you remember old Max? He did some sterling work on behalf of the UK BÖC community plus he was a big fan as well, and it showed.
"On Your Feet" though made a seriously deep impression on me - at last, I was able to hear what they sounded like live... I thought it was the greatest thing I'd ever heard. I loved the vibe - from the lyrics which got me reaching for the dictionary and the aspirin in equal measure to the enigmatic Gothic cover and centrefold of the 5 guitars on the altar playing to the hooded masses (a pretty amateurish cut and paste job when you look at it now - it was "pp", after all ("pre Photoshop") - but then it was the coolest thing I'd seen. Sabbath could bugger off - this was the real thing.
When we heard they were coming to Liverpool as part of a small UK tour, we couldn't believe our luck. I just knew I wouldn't be allowed to go another city on my own so this was too good to be true. Me and my mate Ridgey got our tickets - front fecking row, no less and on November 22 we set off, armed with the crappest instamatic camera in the known universe and an unfaltering - though ultimately baseless - trust in the abilities of our pack of flashcubes. Do you remember flashcubes? They'd illuminate anything you pointed the camera at - providing it was no more than two feet from the lens. But we didn't know that then.
A quick anonymous phone-call to the local hotels told us they were staying at the Liverpool Holiday Inn so we wandered over there to wait. I was wearing my home made BÖC T-Shirt - the kronos symbol was actually half an "i" and an upside down "c". In a dark room, you'd think it was pretty good. In a room with a bit more light in it, Ridgey had earlier taken one look at mine, and decided smart casual was going to be his look for the day.
We had no joy at the hotel and after a while decided to head on over to the Empire. There, we hung around outside getting colder and colder - that bloody T-shirt was a big mistake - and watched the crowd build up. Looked a LedZep/Quo/Sabbath collective - a mixture of denim and Afghan coats, and the Patchouli fair took your breath away. And they - we - were all so young!! Little did I realise then but these were the people who were going to age with the band.
We went to hang around the stage door as the Cult finally rolled up and we got a couple of pics - we gave a Buck a Liverpool football scarf and he sort of looked at us with a "what the feck are you giving me a scarf for?" type expression. I think we were hoping for an onstage: "I'd like to thank the people who gave me this little scarf - I'll keep it and cherish it forever" but if so, we were disappointed.
Anyway, after a swift drink we finally got in to the Empire Theatre and claimed our front row seats and waited. The stage set looked portentous - two massive backdrop sheets hung down featuring the Gawlik first LP cover artwork, and, in between, a raised drum dias with Albert's kit in front of the biggest gong I'd ever seen.
Then the lights went down and we held our breath - shadowy figures came on stage to pick up instruments plus one small figure all in white - hard to sneak on stage in the dark if you're dressed like Alec Guiness's Man in the White Suit, Buck mate. It would have looked more impressive if they hadn't then spent a minimum of two minutes or so fine-tuning but finally there was a hush and a roadie invoked us to assume either a standing or kneeling position (apparently it was optional) and - BAM!! There they were belting out Stairway to the Stars.
This was fantastic. Eric dressed in sort of black satin pyjama get up, shades glinting menacingly, Buck in a white jumpsuit, Joe shirt open and brother Albert in his leather "heaven" gear. Allen looked a bit like he was attending a cocktail party, thigh-length leather jacket, leather trousers, white deck shoes - definitely too hip for the room. He played like that too, I thought. He's always been a bit of an enigmatic figure for me ever since. I'd love to see a proper interview with him sometime.
No gap between songs - it was straight into OD'd and it was great to hear them doing songs that weren't on OYFOOYK - we were both hoping for Telepaths and Astronomy ideally - how they missed the cut for OYFOOYK was a big dish of ointment to us, I can tell you.
Harvester followed - seemed a bit slower and more solid than I'd heard before. Next up - deep joy - Telepaths. It was a privilege to hear my absolutely favourite song in the world done live - the keyboards and guitar in that just do it for me every time. I loved that great echoing laugh tape playing as it built up at the end - and it was fantastic. But would it lead into Astronomy?? - we didn't know then that they don't do those two together live... Well, no, but it lead to the next best thing: a great "Last Days of May" introduced by Eric saying "Very glad to be here - Liverpool's a big town for Americans, y'know..." Hmm... You should try living in it, mate..
Though it was great to hear, this Last Days version didn't quite match up to OYFOOYK's one - mind you, that version is probably the best that it could possibly be so it's no wonder, but Buck seems to like to go for a wander during these solo bits - it's unlikely to be the same thing each time so that's why he should tape every gig - you never know when some amazing sequence is going to manifest itself.
Next was Before the Kiss - is Conry's Bar still open, by the way. It was back then - this was great - this version seemed faster, a bit less relentless than the record - a driving wall of guitar sound with a brilliant middle section which just shifts emphasis without warning to take you unawares.
I can't honestly tell you what followed next - it was 2/3 minutes long, consisted of a bass run, hihat and snare rhythm - punctuated by echoey bluesey guitar fills. Albert was snarling out some very echoey lyrics over this and it built to a head - and then stopped suddenly. Bolle Gregmar of the Fan Club has identified a song on other dates of this tour as "Candy Store/Red Light". I've bowed to his starry wisdom on this one because buggered if I know what it was.
"And now... the main event" a maniacal echoing laugh and we're into Cities on Flame. Albert was brilliant - he put everything into it and we loved it. Buck was especially great on this at the end with Eric bashing the cymbals on the podium.
"That was Albert Bouchard on the vocals... and Eric Bloom on the flying drumstick..."
They wandered into Maserati GT next - I say "wandered" because the very beginning was a bit messy but then it got really good. Then it hit the Buck solo bit where Mr D attempted to make as many strange noises as he could to a hi-hat beat laid down by Albert. The crowd joined in in a semi-slow handclap - no, it wasn't in protest, just a desire for interaction but then when the beat wandered about a bit, the handclap sort of tried to keep up, and then petered out and even at my tender young years, I didn't think this the best thing I'd ever heard. This struggled on for a minute or two more and then went straight into a fantastic Buck's Boogie. This really picked the show back up, and Allen Lanier was particularly good I recall. There were Buck solo's throughout this also of course but the beat was always solid.
And then we hit the drum solo... It was keyed into the lighting well, - any epileptics in the audience had it bad for a few minutes, I can tell you - and it was as good as drum solos get, plus I like Albert as a drummer but I am not now nor have I ever been a fan of drum and bass solos. They just kill the momentum of the show. At least we hadn't yet had a bass solo...
"Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!", dropping bombs and wailing sirens introduced Me262 which kicked off at a fair old rate but soon transformed into a festival of self-indulgence which at times slowed the show down to a real crawl and at other times looked and sounded great. First there was some laid back "stereo" guitar swapping (a la Thin Lizzy) during which time the tune meandered about all over the place for a while. Some of it was technically brilliant - there was one bit which built up faster and faster into a crescendo of echoing sound only to fade gently away...
Then THUD!! - the dreaded bass solo, but it didn't last long (especially when compared to later gigs) and Buck quickly joined in. I remember how I was still hoping for Astronomy at this stage and was worried about the amount of time left.
Then things changed as, in a manner reminiscent of a goalie running into the opponent's penalty box towards the end of a game, Albert popped up with a guitar to create that legendary force known as "The 5 Guitars". Wearing a black top hat, Albert's emergence snapped a jigsaw into place and we had an electric version of duelling banjoes. This bit was just like the record and - at last - we had an idea of what was going on visually onstage during that part of the track. Me262 built up to it's climax and then they were off.
Cheers, shouts and stamping on the echoing floor brought them back: "We only have time for one more..." Oh no - only one!! What would it be? Would it be Astro - "this is off our live album and is sung by Mr Joe Bouchard..." Oh well, at least Hot Rails is a brilliant track to end on and this was a great performance of it. Then it was "Thank you and Good night..."
We fled out into the night, ran like buggery to the Holiday Inn and caught them arriving - got a picture of me with Eric and Allen outside, got my (by now a bit creased) Secret Treaties cover signed and finally went home to bed. Do Cultoids dream of eclectic sheep? I can't say, but that night the world was mine - all mine. Blue Öyster Cult had played the Liverpool Empire. And they didn't know it - but it was all for me. Just for me.
Oh yeah... and for Ridgey too.
I also remember the flash cubes because I took pictures at a Buffalo NY show where Be Bop Deluxe opened for them (another of my faves -- they only played songs from drastic plastic as I remember and werent well recieved) and all that came back were little blobs of light that look like the photos of UFOs that you see in tabloids!
Played Hammersmith and went out for Big Dinner...
I was at this gig , the main thing i remember is when my father came to pick me up from the show he told me he could hear the encore quarter of a mile away from the building.
i remember the 5 guitar part and that it was an amazing gig!
I was at the 1975 Dec 17th show in San Diego, here is the order of appearance:
LA Rehearsals; Set everything up and checked all the effects...
Long Beach; Played jive gig in LBA and didn't get out until 3:30; Stayed over...
BOC headlined an incredible show on Dec. 21 '75 at the Winterland in San Francisco. This was the third time in just over a year I had seen the Band. Hot on the release of "On Your Feet Or On Your Knees" earlier in the year, the Group were finishing out the year more popular then ever (until '76's "Agents", of course).
The line up for this nights concert was Link Wray, whose claim to fame was the late '50's instrumental "Rumble". He did not seem to impress the crowd much. He was an older dude even in '75. He would strike a chord on his semi-hollow body guitar and really work the whammy bar! That was his thing.
Kansas was second on the bill. They played a very strong set of American hard progressive rock. '76 would be a big year for them as well, with the release of their excellent "Leftoverture" and the hit "Carry on Wayward Son". One odd memory I have of Kansas was that their guitar player Rich Williams looked very out of place dressed in denim overalls. He looked more like a pig farmer than a rocker!
The Oyster Boys took the stage to round out the show. I cannot remember the exact setlist, but do remember "Stairway", "OD'd", "Harvester", "Last Days" & "Telepaths". The Winterland was very ahead of it's time when it came to presenting concerts. They were one of the first venues to feature live cameras projecting the show onto two large screens flanking either side of the stage.
There were cameramen located on two raised towers about ten yards from the stagefront on the floor. Before the show and in-between bands they would play footage from past concerts, not just tunes cranked out over the P.A. like was customary. How cool would it be to somehow get your hands on the film of the BOC show for this night! The Group also did "Born to be Wild" and did the 5 guitar jam at the end.
The Band was tight as ever, belting out all their twisted, bizarre songs as only they could. Eric is the master at working the crowd, and Buck at wowing the audience with his guitar skills. I do remember Buck in his white satin suit, doing the occasional high leg kick (started to get kinda showy, eh Don?). Eric was in black leather and shades as usual for this era. Allen, Joe & Albert were all in fine form for this gig.
A buddy from school went with me, he wanted to see Kansas, as he was more familiar with their stuff at the time. When the show was over he was a true BOC fan, determined to learn to play guitar. Not too long after this show, he bought his first axe - a Gibson SG just like you-know-who's!
Great concert, great memories of one of the greatest Rock Groups of all time.
I played with Link Wray on that date. don't really remember much. :)
I am searching for an image of the poster for the evening.
75-12-20: San Francisco, CA Setlist:
Bolle has this labelled as 20 Dec, but thanks to Sam Judd's road diaries, I know that the 20th was actually spent transporting the gear up to SF, and that this gig took place on the 21st.
OK - I originally had this show down as BOC supported by SAHB and Manfred Mann. Then I got the following email:
Great site, I saw blue oyster cult for the first time December 26th 1975, at the Aragon ballroom. I was shocked to see that this web site shows alex harvey as the opening band. That is a mistake because that night the opening act was Artful Dodger then Rush, then boc.
If you check the date november 29th 1974 at the aragon was the date that alex harvey band played. and the way they went over from what I heard I doubt any promoter would have made that mistake twice.
Please check it out...
So I did... and all indications are that Jim is right about Alex Harvey being on the Nov 74 show and not this one, so I've made the change.
I also read on the artfuldodgersite.com fan forum the following post from Steve Cooper, Artful Dodger's bass player:
"I began keeping a list of tour dates in 1976, but my records for 1975 are a little sketchy, so you may be helping me out, rather than the other way around. We did indeed play two back-to-back nights at the Aragon Ballroom in late '75 as the opening act on a three-act show each night. My recollection is that while we played both nights, the other bands were different. I don't remember exactly who played each night, but the bands that I recall were Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and... Iron Butterfly! I do remember that two other bands played each night, and three of them were Rush, BOC, and Iron B."
"What I do remember clearly is that we were soundly booed! Before we played a note! The crowd wanted no part of us. We artfully dodged quite a few projectiles. The next night the stagehands couldn't believe we came back for more abuse. They were laughing it up... and we got basically the same response."
"However, we came back on January 30 and opened for Sweet and Eric Carmen and got a much better response."
Now, the Aragon's own site mentions that BOC played on 26 Dec 1975 (no support acts mentioned) and for 27 December 1975, it gives a line-up of: "Ted Nugent Artful Dodger and Iron Butterfly" so that's a sort of corroboration.
This ticket appeared on eBay - BOC's name, you'll notice, is blacked out - the eBay page said Styx actually opened this show for KISS, so presumably BOC did, in fact, play a gig in Toledo with Mott and Bob Seger, after all, as originally thought (see below...)
The venue was the Toledo Sports Arena which was demolished a little over a year ago. I was there and will check in with more info at a later date.
The clipping above mentions Peter Frampton and Black Sheep as also being on the bill - does anyone know for sure?
At the Kiss show in Nassau County Coliseum on New Years Eve the BOC road crew were being used as pawns in a game of leverage being waged by our management & the Kiss management with the promoter in the middle...
Basically each time Kiss informed us of an effect (flash pots, glitter cannons, etc) that they were going to prevent us from using, our management would tell us to pack the gear in the truck....
The 3rd time I closed the door on that truck I informed all concerned that I was done for the evening & would be seeking employment elsewhere in the future.
I remember this show pretty well. It was New Years Eve. We drove for about two hours to get to the show and then waited in line for aboout another six hours. Back in those days Blue Oyster Cult used to sell out large arenas especially on Long Island, being that they're from Oyster Bay Long Island.
Back in those days they also used to have what they call " General admission Concerts" - there was no pre-assigned seating. So everyone would rush in and pack the area in front of the stage.
When the lights finally went out for the show to start every one was pretty psyched. Then this guy with an acoustic guitar comes out and starts playing this lame folk sounding stuff. He didn't last long - people started throwing things at him and half way through the second song he left (Thank God) It was not the right place for that type of music.
Then I see this fat silhouette walk on stage and he just started ripping at the guitar. It was Leslie West - I believe the other guitarist with him that night was from Spooky Tooth. They were great, although I don't remember what they played.
Then BOC played. I would have to say back in those days one of the highlights of the show was the five guitars. You know when Albert Bouchard would put down his drum sticks and pick up an axe. It was like a wall of sound. I seem to remember that Last days of May was especially hot that night.
Then Kiss played. This was in the height of their Kiss Alive days with all the make up and blood and fire etc... They basically played the live album.
Well it was a great show all around and just the beginning of a long list of Blue Oyster Cult shows for me.
The following gig is mentioned on the official site as having been played in 1975:
However, it doesn't feature in Sam Judd's calendars so is unlikely to have taken place, although it is barely possible that a local NY gig could have occurred in very early January before Sam joined up...