1976 was a notable year for Blue Oyster Cult. May 1976 saw the release of "Agents of Fortune" containing a little ditty by the name of "(Don't Fear) the Reaper".
DFTR has become BOC's signature song - it's their hit - despite never reaching higher than no 12 or whatever it was in the charts. This was the song that started to open doors for BOC but the jury is still out whether this was good or bad for BOC in the long run...
Many of the dates contained on this page are from the road diary of ex-BOC roadie, Rick Reyer, and many thanks go to him - as well as Sam Judd for his assistance.
Once again, I owe a big debt to Peter Nielsen of the thinlizzyguide.com and Bert Gangl for their invaluable assistance with a number of gigs on this page. Thanks also go to Art Liming for help uncovering some new gigs.
Have you got anything to contribute to this page? Reviews, missing info, comments, ticket stub/poster scans etc etc - if so, let me .
1st Jan - Cancelled due to Buck's stone - rescheduled for the 23rd Jan...
I have attached another scan of a stub I have that will either help (or deepen) a mystery!
Although your site lists a Chicago Aragon date of 1 Jan 1976 as the original date for this show, I have a stub that seems to indicate it was actually scheduled for 2 Jan 1976. (This show was cancelled and made up on 23 Jan 1976).
The stub shows a date code of "102" and a partial date of "02 1976", so I believe that may be the actual originally scheduled date.
Although roadie Rick Reyer had this cancelled gig down for 1st Jan, I think Ken's ticket evidence seems pretty clear.
His Ticketron stub clearly shows a date code of "102" as he says, plus there's also a "12/30" on there which I believe to be the purchase date.
Therefore, accordingly I've re-dated this gig to 2nd Jan 1976...
The only strange thing for me is that the stub appears to be used!! To get a refund, I imagine you'd have to surrender the original ticket at the box office. But even if you didn't, that still wouldn't account for it being ripped.
I suppose it's possible they honoured these tickets for the later gig on the 23rd?
I was at that show. Cant remember many details, I was 15 at the time. I'm 46 now.
Ted Nugent seemed to play every concert that came to the Cap Centre. Rush was great, BOC was even better.
I do remember the Laser light show from BOC, I dont think many bands used that then, it was pretty new.
I remember all members coming out to the front of the stage playing guitars, awesome. Tickets were like $8.00 US.
By the way - BOC headlined!
I went to this one - It was general admission I believe.
All the bands were great. I was right up in front of the stage. Very loud - took my ears a few days to recuperate.
Leslie West did Mississippi Queen !!
Can you confirm that there were these other four bands on this bill: Ted Nugent, Rush, Leslie West and REO Speedwagon, and do you have any idea of the actual running order?
It was definitely those five bands. I've been telling friends about this concert for years.
The fella I went to the concert with moved to Texas after college and I haven't spoken to him in years but I may try to get in touch with him and see if he remembers more about the show.
I don't remember BOC as being the headliner but I would say they were the most well known of the five groups. The only band that I didn't know anything about at the time was Rush and I think (?) they were the last band to play. My memory isn't what it should be.
I went to the concert mainly to see Leslie West because I was a big Mountain fan, but all of the bands were great.
By the way, the Capitol Centre was torn down a few years ago and a shopping mall was put in it's place. I went to probably 20 concerts there including the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Three Dog Night, Grand Funk Railroad (In I believe 1973), Queen, Rod Stewart and the Faces, Grateful Dead, U2, Clapton, etc...
Those were the days !
BOC did indeed headline this all day show (must have been a Saturday or Sunday). However, for whatever reason they chose to have Leslie West close the show. There was a mass exodus to the doors which was too bad, because Leslie gave us a pretty good set - Mississippi Queen and Nantucket Sleighride being the obvious highlights.
Rush opened the show and was actually pretty horrible. I think Neal had been with the band less than a year. I saw them 2 years later at the same venue (the Cap Centre was a fantastic place to see shows - incredible acoustics for a hockey rink) and I couldn't believe it was the same band - they cooked.
Back to 4 Jan 76 - REO was up next, followed by Ted. We're relying on a 32 year old memory that's pretty shaky anyway, but I seem to recall that Ted tore the place up. Lots of loud, fast guitar for the whole set. Sadly, I can't recall anything about REO's set which is really too bad because I think they were recording these shows for their "You Get What You Play For" album - gotta be one of my all time top 5 live albums.
BOC, as usual, were stellar. Highlights for me were Last Days of May and Born To Be Wild with 5 guitars. Your Ears Will Melt And Then Your Eyes!
Somewhere in my parents' basement in District Heights, MD there should be a box with this ticket stub ("A Holiday Spectacular - 5 bands for 5 bucks" was how the show was advertised) and the review from the Washington Star. If I ever find them again, I'll scan & send your way.
Thanks for the chance to relive some great times!
This gig was apparently a make-up gig because the originally scheduled 2nd Jan show at the Aragon Ballroom had to be cancelled due to "Buck's stone".
My name is Bill Torpy, as a high school senior, I attended the Dec. 26, 1975, concert at the Aragon Ballroom and the Jan. 23, 1976, one at the same place.
Imagine BOC playing with Rush one month and them Bob Seger the next! An amazing run. Both Rush and Seger were established but hadn't hit the Big Time quite yet. This was Blue Oyster Cult's peak.
There is a show that I attended that is not in your 1976 lists. It was 27 January 76 also at the Palace Theater in Albany, NY.
Bob Seger opened the show.
The setlist is missing 2 songs. I should've noticed this years ago. I'm not sure where in the setlist they belong.
BÖC (Eric) announced they were testing a couple new songs from their upcoming album. No album title was given. The 2 songs they tested were "Sinful Love" and "E.T.I." Both songs got a great and the same reaction from the crowd. Oddly "Sinful Love" disappeared from future AOF concerts I attended.
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band played more than 40 minutes also. I don't know why the press reported that he only played 40 minutes. I was wearing my new watch I had just received that previous Christmas.
From then on I started clocking the length of bands sets. Seger played a full hour and the sound was good. Once again not sure why Seger was complaining about the sound. Whether or not he got a soundcheck I can't answer. He was more than well received. He even got to play an encore.
The concert was more like a double headlining show. BÖC killed it with their new stage show. Flash pots a blazing and a newer light show which was similar to the upcoming laser light show I would see in September 1976 after AOF was released.
I was at the Jan 30 1976 BOC show in Mt. Prospect Illinois. I got there early and was in the front row and took photos of Rory Gallagher and BOC.
I also grabbed the BOC guitar pick Bloom threw out at the end of the show.
Here's the review of this gig from the 6 Feb 1976 edition of the "Arlington Heights Herald":
Randhurst remains intact after Blue Oyster Cult
by JOE SWICKARD
Rock 'n' roll came to Randhurst and to the surprise of some, the Northwest suburbs are still standing, property values intact.
You know what rock means: loud, primitive music played by a bunch of long-haired screamers for thousands of other long-haired screamers. Such a combination, it was feared in some quarters, was sure to cut a swath of riot and destruction the length of Rand Road.
The Randhurst Twin Ice Arena was ringed with police last Friday night when Blue Oyster Cult topped the bill, which included Bob Seeger and Rory Gallagher.
If the area was going to have rock 'n' roll, it was going to get the real stuff, not some low-key outfit that parents might enjoy, too. The bands on the bill play it loud and fast and hard.
Not only did police squad cars idle outside the arena; they patrolled the parking lot as well. The police were not alone. A private security group took tickets and frisked all patrons for bottles and cans that might become missiles in the hands of the unruly rockers.
One private guard looked as if he were let go from the Pittsburgh Steelers for scaring Mean Joe Greene. He and his co-workers accumulated a pile of confiscated wine bottles and beer cans just about as big as he was.
Nearly 5,000 fans, according to fire department estimates, packed the ice area. They filled the bleachers and sat on the covered ice wall to wall.
The hand-lettered signs prohibiting smoking in the rink area were widely ignored by tobacco and marijuana users alike.
Gallagher, second on the bill, is currently assaulting the FM airwaves with a hard-driving tune called "Souped-Up Ford." Although he saved his big number for the end of his set, he didn't disappoint his fans.
Gallagher plays the basic, transplanted, transAtlantic blues common to rockers from Great Britain in the past decade.
His work is not challenging to his audience - but then it is meant for rocking and not thinking. His hoarse, throaty delivery and fast guitar work were greeted with loud, unintelligible chants from the crowd.
The arena's acoustics are good - good for an ice rink and good enough for rock 'n' roll.
The sound was also good enough for the mostly suburban crowd wearing basic flannels and denims.
The headliner, Blue Oyster Cult, has a reputation for being loud, loud even for a rock band. It successfully met the challenge of its advance hype.
An exploding star announced the Cult's arrival on stage. The crowd reacted and surged against the temporary barriers. After some very minor shoving between the fans and the security personnel, the confrontations were over. The show continued.
The BOC churned out good rock 'n' roll. The showmanship (now having almost equal importance with the music) was technically fine.
The fog machine, meant to produce a murky haze, seemed to be a little overactive and at times totally obscured the stage. However, when the smoke thinned the desired result was highlighted with red and blue spotlights.
The Cult has adopted the name of its live album as its motto: "On your feet or on your knees for Blue Oyster Cult."
Evidently it means either cheer the music or submit to it. The Randhurst crowd chose to cheer it.
BOC comes across as a strange blend of old Bill Haley and the Comets featuring Jim Morrison-style vocals. But when the strobe lights (yes, they are still being used) come into play, the group become a mix of 1960s psychedelic images and a clenched fist, street-fighting band.
But, what the hell, everybody says the '70s are still seeking an identity, and BOC matches the confusion and ambiguity.
Lastly, a round of applause to the kids who showed that rockers can rip the joint without destroying it. After 20 years, rock, like it or not, is part of the musical landscape and can be played in the suburbs safely.
Keep on rocking, kids. It's finally come home.
What happened in February? Anybody know?
I'm very sceptical about this one. BOC were supposed to be off the road during this period, presumably engaged in the production of their upcoming "Agents of Fortune" LP, so I was surprised to see this listing in the 13 Mar 1976 edition of The Daily Reporter [Greenfield IN]:
Blue Oyster Cult will be in Ft. Wayne Sunday, March 28 at 8 p.m.
Robin Trower is set for Convention Center March 28 at 8.30 p.m.
The same listing appeared on Friday 19 March and Saturday 27 March.
Then I came across this in "The Indianapolis Star" (Sunday 28 March 1976) - that's the day of the supposed show:
Fort Wayne - Today - Gallery Concert, 8 p.m. Performing Arts Center. Blue Oyster Cult - Wishbone Ash Concert 7.30 p.m. Memorial Coliseum.
Robin Trower Concert - With special guest, Wishbone Ash; 7:30 p.m. today: Indiana Convention-Exposition Center.
Well, Wishbone Ash can't have played at both gigs, so which, if any, is true?
This is an interesting query as I also came across the Fort Wayne/BOC gig recently. I've added this gig to my list as 'Unconfirmed' i.e. needs further investigation. My own concert listing has the 28 March concert for Wishbone at the Convention Center Indianapolis with Robin Trower as there are a number of things that back this up:
Wishbone's tour poster from early 1976 has them at the Convention Center Indianapolis on 28 March.
The gig with Trower at the Convention Center Indianapolis (The Stampeders were also billed to appear along with Wishbone) was advertised in the press several times including, as you say, on the day of the gig.
Lookatstubs have tickets for a Robin Trower concert at the Convention Center Indianapolis on 28 March (although no mention of who the support was).
It could be possible that for some reason Wishbone didn't appear with Robin Trower on 28 March and did play at Fort Wayne with BOC. I have not seen any reviews of the Robin Trower gig so no documented confirmation and I did see an early advert say 'guest still to be announced'. Maybe it was never finalized that Wishbone would support Robin Trower. Bands did seem to cancel/change gigs or dates of gigs at short notice back then as promoters/tour managers haggled over costs and fees.
An example of this can be found only a few weeks earlier when Wishbone were advertised as support to Peter Frampton along with Roxy Music at the Riverfront Coliseum Cincinnati on 19 March 1976. This was widely advertised in the press (still being advertised on 14 March as Frampton, Wishbone and Roxy Music). My list had Wishbone Ash at the Mecca Arena Milwaukee on 19 March 1976 as that was what was listed on Wishbone's tour poster. The band couldn't be in two places at the same time so something was wrong.
Problem was solved when I came across a review of the Frampton concert in a Cincinnati University magazine. The support bands at Frampton's Riverfront concert were Roxy Music and Starcastle. I'd have been upset going to that concert having bought a ticket to see Wishbone Ash!!! (There were 18,000 at this concert so some must have been disappointed).
So no definitive answer to your query about the 28 March gig unfortunately...
OK, thanks for that info, Bob - I'll designate this as a "possible" BOC gig for now, and I'll stick a "?" after "Wishbone Ash" as the possible support, but, from what you say, my feeling is that the bill was indeed Robin Trower in Indianapolis with Wishbone Ash, and that if BOC played Fort Wayne that night, it wasn't with them.
Can anyone help with some definite info on this one?
For a long time, there have been rumours that BOC played this venue with Slade on this date. I've remained skeptical. Then Bert Gangl got in touch...
As it turns out, BOC almost surely did NOT play the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Mar 31, 1976. A quick look at the Los Angeles Times archives shows that Supertramp played the Santa Monica Civic on Mar 31, 1976. I found this by searching on "Santa Monica Civic" and "Supertramp."
When I typed in "Santa Monica Civic" and either "Slade" or "Blue Oyster Cult," the results came back empty for the time in question.
Also, the Pasadena Star News lists Supertramp and Gallagher & Lyle on Thursday, Apr 01, so the same two bands almost surely played the evening before on Mar 31.
What happened in April? Anybody know? Probably work on Agents of Fortune but what exactly?
Various pages on the internet offer Friday 21 May 1976 as the release date for this record but as those sources have also cited clearly incorrect dates for the first two BOC LPs, I'm going to need more than their word before I can have any trust in it - I want to know what their sources are - and the answer better not have the word "wikipedia" in the url...
I have found the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) website to be helpful in the past in this regard, but as they reckon it was released on the clearly impossible date of 1st January 1976, my faith in them has now unfortunately been shaken.
For more details on this record, please visit the Blue Oyster Cult Songatorium page for this recording...
The reason I think this was the first laser show is that I quote a newspaper review of the 12th May show further down the page which mentions the lasers.
Logic would suggest - if this actually is the first gig in this run - that the first lasers were unveiled at this gig.
If you know better - please let me know...
A gig I remember well! I worked as a stage hand for Cedric Kushner Productions. What a great show.
Southerland Brothers and Quiver had a hit "In the Arms of Mary". Styx had "Lady" and "Lorelei" and that's about it. No Tommy Shaw yet.
BOC did essentially the Live Album type of stuff. I got to talk to Buck before he went on. Many people - 7000 with a sell out being 7700. No real hits by BOC yet, but everyone knew every song! They closed with ME262. They did Born to be Wild almost every show then.
Notice the date on the advert above - "Sunday 3rd May" - the only problem with that is that the 3rd was a Monday!!
Stop Press: Ken's stub above confirms the gig took place on a Sunday so that would suggest "Sunday 2nd May" - looks like the newspaper ad got the date wrong...
This gig took place on the 2nd May at Dutchess Community College (in the gym) - I know it was the 2nd because I have kept a diary of every show I've ever seen and May 2 is the date.
The opening act was The Beaver Brown Band, then Styx then BOC.
May 2, 1976 concert was at "Falcon Hall" Not the miss print Salcon hall!! (see above ad)
I stumbled upon a pair of mentions for a BOC gig that's not on your site: 6 May 1976, Dome Arena, Rochester, NY.
The first mention was in the 2 May 1976 issue of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
BLUE OYSTER CULT. 8 p.m.. Dome Arena.
... and the second was in the 6 May 1976 issue of the Canandaigua Daily Messenger:
Where The Action Is - Finger Lakes Weekend
Blue Oyster Cult, Dome, Monroe County Fairgrounds, Henrietta, 8 p.m., admission charged.
These are the only mentions of that gig I could find...
Thanks, Ian. Can anyone confirm or deny this gig? Please let me know...
There seems to be no doubt that this line-up of bands played this venue on the 8th May, but the newspaper ads all said there were two gigs here - May 7 and May 8.
However, nobody seems to have any knowledge of a gig on the 7th, and it is not listed on Capitol lighting director Moyssi's official Capitol gig list.
Therefore I've designated this to be a "Cancelled Gig", if indeed it was ever really scheduled.
May 08 at Capitol in Passaic, New Jersey was definitely with Dr. Feelgood and Slade - I went to that show and as I recall DFTR was the second song in the set - and they did a great I Ain't Got You...
They opened with Tattoo Vampire, as I recall. Great show.
Bill's mention of them opening with "Tattoo Vampire" is interesting.
Bolle Gregmar once remarked that "Allen sang True Confessions live a few times". When I asked if he knew when, he replied: "Same 2 weeks they tried out Tattoo in May of 1976. Unfortunately and according to SLS, They gave out the tapes to Allen, who apparently claimed he reused the cassettes for his own pleasures... "
"Seriously sad to hear, when I asked him about it as well, he only said... I can't remember at all... But he did say he had a dozen or so live shows stashed away with other things I am sure he never looked at again :-( "
So it looks like "Tattoo Vampire" had a very narrow 2-week window in which to be heard, and, if Bill's right, this gig would seem to be smack in the middle of it...
BTW: as mentioned under the 7th May entry above, newspaper ads mentioned two gigs at this venue - 7 and 8 May - but it seems clear that only this one on the 8th actually happened.
By the way - the newspaper ads included mention of "twin screen video projections for all performances"... I wonder if, like the Cap Centre gig later in the year, they were actually committed to tape...?
According to the capitol 10th anniversary program I have, only the 8th was listed.
John Scher, the promoter for all Capitol Theater gigs, videotaped the shows in b/w - many are on youtube, I'm sure this was too. However I've never seen it, and whether it survived is anyone's guess.
What was unique was the showcasing of Agents of Fortune which was released soon after. Slade were on a decline and played songs from In Flame and the power trio of Dr. Feelgood included Lee Brilleaux and Wilko Johnson.
I sat third row center and was one of my favorite shows ever, because I loved all three bands.
Also, this date is confirmed by the Capitol gig list on Moyssi's website.
Moyssi was the guy who did the lights at the Capitol.
BTW: Moyssi also went to Stony Brook alongside George Geranios and for a time, those two were handling the sound and lights at the gym gigs there (together with a guy called Seth Dworken - more details here...)
But talking of light-shows - did this gig feature any lasers?
Capitol was a small 2500 or so theatre, definitely no lasers... my first laser show was Nassau (4 Feb 1977)...
FWIW, going to the Passaic show, I had no idea they had a new record coming out, let alone a laser show...
I was there, no lasers for sure..
This was only my third concert, but I was already a huge BOC fan.
I remember that they played a lot of "Agents of Fortune" but as this was before the LP came out, I didn't know any of the songs.
"This Ain't the Summer of Love" stood out to me, but obviously DFTR became the hit. They did the 5 Guitars during Diz-Busters, if memory serves me right.
Styx were good, and I enjoyed Starcastle. They had a very similar sound to Yes. And their singer was Terry Luttrell who was the original singer for REO Speedwagon.
Just a quick note. You had the venue down as the "Stanley Civic Arena". This concert took place at the Civic Arena. The Stanley Theatre is a separate (and much smaller) venue.
Here's an odd thing - if you can believe the newspaper report from the next gig in Allentown on the 12th that BOC's lasers were in operation, then you'd have expected that there would have been lasers in operation in Pittsburgh for this gig... but apparently not...
BOC played at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh on May 10th with Styx and Starcastle as openers - I only remember Summer Of Love and Reaper played - but there were no lasers yet...
They came back in the fall again with more AOF songs and the lasers, but I didn't attend that one.
The arena show you mentioned was not one of the better BOC shows I had the pleasure to attend, although it was the only time I ever saw them open with "Sinful Love" (!)
The arena was only about half-full (if that) and that seemed to be reflected in the band's performance.
Their previous appearance at that Arena, opening for Uriah Heep the year before, was a scorcher - they blew the headliners away, and I was a huge fan of Heep as well.
But there were definitely NO lasers at that Arena show. It wasn't until the next one.
OK, that's two people who went saying there there no lasers at that show on the 10th, but it seems clear BOC had the lasers at that time so you have to wonder what happened that could have precluded their use in Pittsburgh...
Of course, it's always possible the local civic authorities or venue forbade their usage at the show - that seemed to happen occasionally.
Also, they were very fragile - thus there might have been transportation issues - and they needed vast quantities of water to cool the lasers at the venue, so again, that could have presented problems.
Then again, maybe they just broke down that evening...?
And Sinful Love as an opener...? Weird...
I found a review of this gig in the 13 May 1976 edition of the The Morning Call [Allentown PA]:
Blue Oyster Cult Show Makes a Glittering Finale
By Jonna Bartges of The Morning Call
Blue Oyster Cult, born to be wild a decade ago in Long Island, proved a dynamic group with which to end the Council of Youth indoor concert series for the season.
Performing to a near sell-out crowd last night in Agricultural Hall at the Allentown Fairgrounds, The Cult ushered in its show with light pods, smoke and sparklers for "Cities on Flame."
Although The Cult is classified as a heavy metal band, it never resorted to theatrical extremes to pull off its set. Instead, the band relied on tight instrumentals heavy on bass and well-tuned vocals to convey the music.
Lead vocalist Eric Bloom and guitarist Buck Dharma grimaced when feedback pierced the opening numbers, but the sound system eventually calmed down and The Cult had to contend only with the usual ridiculous Ag Hall accoustics.
One of the more mellow numbers the group did was a cut from its first album, "Blue Oyster Cult," which it also recorded for the new "On Your Feet Or On Your Knees." It's "The Last Days."
"Stairway to the Stars," another hit, was quite well received, as was the unique "Dominance-Submission." Drummer Albert Bouchard was featured in a krypton-argon laser light percussion solo which showered the stage in a blinding strobe and electrified the audience.
The Cult appeared cordial yet somewhat distant during the body of the concert but jumped to life for the rock favourite, "Born to be Wild." The entire number, complete with Bloom and Dharma rubbing guitar strings together for a jarring electronic shriek, was performed amid billowing clouds of smoke over the stage.
Opening the show was "the best kept secret in New York City" - the Dictators.
The six-man band, which was formed three years ago, is something of a cross between classic rock and roll and wholesome hard metal. Dick Manitoba, lead vocalist, sported dark glasses and a black vest with "I Am Right" spelled out on the back in gold glitter.
They have an album on Epic, "The Dictators Go Girl Crazy," and the band performed the title track for the receptive crowd. Especially effective was a gutsy rock version of "America."
This is the first printed evidence I have come across to date which mentions the lasers. It only mentions them during the drum solo, so how wide-spread was their usage remains to be seen...
I came across your site trying to verify and understand how I could possess ticket stubs to BOC in Albany, NY on 9/20/76 and Rush at Ag hall in Allentown, Pa the night before. The crazy things we did.
Anyhow, what got my attention was the BOC show 12 May 1976, Agricultural Hall Allentown, Pennsylvania. Your site comments that this show may of been the first laser show or at least the first mention of a laser show.
For what it is worth, there were lasers at that show. I don't remember too much about the particulars, but to this day I have a few choice memories of that show.
One was the green laser alternating between pencil beams and broad swaths creating shapes out of the dry ice and flash pod smokes directly above our heads while BOC's brand of metal was smashing us in unrelenting waves.
I was only 16 at the time with only a few rock and roll shows under my belt but I knew right there and then that KISS was for kids.
Another vivid memory was the outro of Flaming Telepaths with the repeating phrase "And the jokes on you" while powerful pulsating strobes created a phantasmagoric atmosphere. It is silly now but I think I breathed a sigh of relief when the song ended.
And finally, the clashing guitar on guitar during Born to be Wild (or was it MC262?). As close to Armageddon as you can get and still go to school the next day.
My 3rd BOC show. Rush was the opening act. Great show! Thanks for all your efforts on this website - very cool having all this data.
On 23 May 1976 BOC played Duluth Arena. There's poster/ticket stub evidence, as well as other indications, to show that this was the case - see Duluth Arena below for some more info on that.
But I've always been intrigued by the above clipping, sent to me by Peter Nielsen of the thinlizzyguide.com.
Published in the "Lima (OH) News" dated Saturday 22 May 1976 (the day before the gig), the article tells of a gig with Slade at the Handcock Recreation Center, Findlay OH "on Sunday". Now, logic would suggest that the "Sunday" they're referring to would be the next day - the 23rd - the Duluth date - otherwise, they'd have said "next Sunday" or else printed the actual date.
Of course, it might have been just a typo - maybe they meant "a week on Sunday" - meaning Sunday 30 May 1976?
The gig line-up was always going to be a credible proposition, in that Slade were definitely around and had already played with BOC recently, so I found the whole thing intriguing... and confusing...
And then I got the following email from Jim Fry...
I came across your incredible website while doing a BOC search and came across the BOC concert listing for Duluth on May 23, 1976. I can tell you without a doubt that the Duluth listing is probably legitimate, and I will tell you why.
The Cult were indeed supposed to play on May 23, 1976 in Findlay Ohio as support for Slade. The newspaper clipping you show is legit and was intended for the next day and not the next week.
My best friend, sister and girlfriend were huge BOC fanatics and eagerly anticipated the upcoming show. We all lived in Lima Ohio which is 40 miles south of Findlay. We drove up pumped beyond belief to see the Cult .
We arrived at the Hancock Recreational Center and shortly before the concert was to begin an announcement was made.
Before a packed house it was announced that the Blue Oyster Cult would not be playing due to equipment problems. As a result they did not travel to the show! I was pissed beyond belief.
Replacing Blue Oyster Cult will be the Michael Quatro Jam band. Incredibly the crowd did not seem phased at all and I figured that all hell would brake loose. Apparently the throng were there to see Slade.
The show was actually memorable in that I literally had to be persuaded to stay after Quatro played his set. I had no interest in Slade and no desire to stay for their performance but I'm damm glad my buddy convinced me to stay.
Slade opened up with "hear me calling" and I was hooked from that moment on. The show was incredible and the Hancock Center rocked like no tomorrow.
I went out the next day and bought 5 Slade albums and became a lifelong Slade fan and supporter.
So although it was dissapointing that BOC failed to show it would explain why considering they were in Duluth putting on their incredible sound and visual onslaught of music and mayhem.
Hope this clears up that date and I now have some closure knowing why the guys never showed up in Findlay...
Thanks for that info, Jim...
It does throw up another mystery, however. Those Duluth posters and tickets (below) weren't printed at the last minute - they've been printed a fair bit of time in advance of the show, so it can't have been a last minute switch of gig. BOC and Rush in Duluth must have been known about well in advance of the gig itself.
So - this leads me to ask - what on earth was the "Lima (OH) News" doing advertising the gig as BOC/Slade only the day before the show if it was already apparent - if only to Yanqui Productions (the promoters), if nobody else - that BOC would not be coming??
And as if that wasn't misleading enough, why did the venue let people turn up on the day - and even pack the hall - before telling them what seems to be a downright lie: that BOC wouldn't be playing due to "equipment problems" and hadn't travelled to the show??!!
Well, they got the last bit right - but the reason BOC didn't travel to the show was that they were travelling to another show. Equipment problems, indeed...
I can't help thinking that something else might have something to do with all this... namely, the prospect of headlining an arena show with Rush possibly producing a better payday for BOC than supporting Slade at a recreation centre gig...
And the promoter and venue left it to the very last minute to tell anyone in the hope of reducing the likelihood of having to pay out any refunds!! ... and the BOC fans who turned up at Findlay that night could either like it or lump it...
I'm now fairly happy that this gig did indeed take place in Duluth on this date. Here's why:
See the cancelled Findlay Ohio gig entry above to see why previously there was some confusion over this date...
Stop Press: - I've recently come across the University of Minnesota's online digital student newspaper ("The Statesman" - obviously a popular name) archive and found the following preview in the 20 May 1976 edition:
Blue Oyster Cult and Rush
Consisting of Buck Dharma (guitar), Albert Bouchard (drums), Alan Lanier (keyboards), Les Bronstein (vocals) and Andrew Winters (bass), B.O.C. became a local legend, their notoriety - combined with several select appearances in New York City - turning into a recording contract with Elektra Records. Many dollars, much yelling and light years of studio time later, the boys found themselves with a lot of fans, some valuable record industry experience and two unreleased albums.
Three years and three albums later, The Cult finds itself on the verge of an empire. Sales on their three records - Blue Oyster Cult, Tyranny and Mutation and Sl!cret Treaties - are close to a million in the U.S. alone. They perform before sold-out audiences in giant arenas all around the country, and a new live album, entitled [sic - that's how it was left hanging!! Someone was clearly going to fill it in later... but forgot...]
Also trying to avoid meaningful relationships with trendiness, roots, traditionalism, futurism, simplicity, corn or obvious humor, the attitudes of the members of Blue Oyster Cult vary on almost anything. Eric Bloom is big on professionalism. Buck Dharma is a self-confessed sucker for bop, groove or melody. Alan Lanier stresses basics and molten cohesiveness. Joe Bouchard drives both the rhythm section and the spirit of the band, while brother Albert remains an experimental force.
Within the past six months, Rush has become the paramount new group to emerge in Canada. Its last single, "Fly By Night," was Top 10 in the north country and the album of the name has been charted over six months and is still Top 30. The group's first two albums have sold a combined total of 80,000 in Canada, equivalent to 800,000 U.S. sales.
Following a four month U.S. tour (with Aerosmith and Kiss) the band returned to Canada for its first headlining tour. It climaxed on June 25 at Toronto's Massey's Hall. The show was a sellout, with hundreds turned away.
Both Blue Oyster Cult and Rush will be appearing at the Duluth Arena this Sunday at 7 p.m. Appearing with them will be Ozone Moon Crater and its Amazing Electric Laser light Show. Tickets are $5.00 and $6.00 at the door. This is a Yanqui Production.
In the 27 May 1976 edition there was a review:
Blue Oyster Cult at 140 decibels
By Ron Brochu and Dean Cox
Blue Oyster Cult transformed 4500 youngsters into a teenage wasteland last Sunday night at the Duluth Arena. The Cult, known for their underground steel guitar style presented a blend of selections from their old albums, and several cuts off of their latest album, "Agents of Fortune."
We settled into our seats on the side of the stage. We had seen some passive crowds before, but this crowd was sleeping. It's unfortunate the Duluth City Council could not have been here to see the violent and destructive nature of the degenerated youth at Sunday's concert.
Producing a driving beat while maintaining clarity and distinctiveness in vocal and guitar leads is something many groups attempt but few attain with any authority. Blue Oyster Cult has mastered the concept.
"Cities on Flame" presented an early indication of the Cult character... pounding bass leads intermixed with occasional riffs and multiple vocals, this time led by drummer Albert Bouchard. The heavy steel continued via "ME 262", a cut off B.O.C.'s, live album, "On Your Feet Or On Your Knees." Again, the vocals were excellent, although the lyrics were quite unintelligible.
A frequent fault of less professional live acts is an inability to 'get down' when the nature of the selection dictates. Blue Oyster fell into this situation when doing a cut entitled "Then Came the Last Days of May" off their first album. This cut a mellow, rolling tale of a border run in a rented Ford, was modified to suit the distortion freaks, whose minds turn off whenever the tempo drops below excessive. True artists are seldom found 'selling out' their music under similar situations.
A synthesized drum solo by Cult drummer Albert Bouchard was distinctive in its sound, but seemed to exhibit a limited percussion ability. Only minutes earlier, the Rush drummer had presented one of the best solos we have ever heard, and quite possibly this influenced our judgement. Bouchard was not nearly the caliber drummer.
Though lacking in media exposure, Rush, came to Duluth carrying a reputation of being a damn fine group. They lived up to every word of this rumor.
The music began when Rush took the stage. The rush began when the music took the stage. For three musicians, they really had a packed sound. The bass and lead guitar were were really together. Lead vocals were strangely unique. They slightly resembled the Robert Plant style, although Plant doesn't sound like he recently swallowed a role of scotch tape.
Rush, being from Canada, asked from stage how many of the crowd were from there. The response appeared to have been about half the audience. Where the hell are the people from Duluth? How do we expect to attract really big names when we won't patronize the locally promoted shows?
Ozone Crater and the Moon Rock band opened the show, but the crowd didn't seem to notice. The only applause they received was when they left the stage. Someone informed us they were playing Jethro Tulls' "Thick as a Brick," but if they were, it was to our surprise. We thought they had played the same song five times.
Following their percussion number, we were firmly convinced that these people had never played together before the show.
Blue Oyster Cult represented the best and worst aspects of the concert. Their music was excellent, as was its presentation. However, the volume of their music was OBSCENE! The music was so loud you could see it creep up on you and blast your auditory canals into painful numbness. This is a practice professionals don't need and should not engage in.
Below the above review, there was another article to do with this gig:
Canadiens, tuxedos and roadies
By Angelo Gentile and Terry Schultz
In the parking lot before Blue Oyster Cult last Sunday night at the Duluth Arena, it was hard to tell whether one was at a Vikings game or a rock concert.
Tailgate parties were vogue as were halter tops as the locals ushered in another summer of rock.
Culture hungry UMD students contrasted with the younger teenybopper crowd who inevitably frequent Duluth concerts.
As the crowd filed into the concert, the perennial panhandlers milled around outside. One fellow with a beard and Kelte pack tried to sell us a camel hair tuxedo.
"Man, this thing cost me $85.00," he explained, pulling out a lint-ridden suitcoat from the pack. "I used to use it on my job. I was bell-man. I'll give it to you for ten."
We gave him 31 cents worth of spare change, wished him luck, and sent him on his way.
Canadian license plates also dotted the Arena parking lot. One of the reasons for the predominantly Canadian crowd was "Queen Victoria Day," a national Canadian holiday. This meant a long three day weekend for the Canadians. But more significantly, in addition to it being a long weekend, the most important reason for their presence was that it was simply another Duluth concert.
According to one Canadian, "It doesn't make any difference to us who is playing. It's just a really good time for us. It's a high point in entertainment."
Most of the Canadians at the concert came from Thunder Bay. As one Bay resident explained, "Thunder Bay is dead as far as rock is concerned. We've never had a real rock concert up there."
When Canadian rock group Rush opened their set that night, they asked how many of the people were from Canada. The Arena virtually erupted when the Northerners responded.
Once inside the Arena the routine search that usually plagues concertgoers seemed surprisingly less stringent than usual. However, busts were made, albeit only on the more obvious individuals.
According to one policeman, "If I see a kid smoking dope in front of me, I'll bust him the same as if someone ran a red light... they're both breaking the law."
After Ozone Crater (Easy Steam in disguise) opened the concert; Rush, a three piece group insisted on playing loud.
The lead singer sounded like a poor imitation of Robert Plant singing for Black Sabbath.
At this point, we decided to abandon the concert for awhile in favor of some beer in the car, since we had heard this kind of noise-making before.
"I can't find my car," a young Ranger whimpered frantically as he walked up to our car. "Got a beer?"
"What's happening?" we asked, wondering if he too had a camel hair tuxedo he wanted to get rid of.
"Oh hell, I got busted. And it wasn't even my dope. And I've got three arrests on my record already, and... "
We heard this all before too.
Behind the stage before and during Blue Oyster Cult, there was an obvious carnival atmosphere, as roadies hustled the equipment on and off the stage.
In the reception rooms, the hospitality was warm and the beer was cold.
Harvey Van Horn, promoter of the night's concert was beaming. "It's impossible to tell in this kind of business. Johnny Winter should have sold out. And tonight - I never expected this big of a crowd."
The roadies continued to move the hodge-podge of equipment backstage.
As we watched, we noticed a large green Kelte pack, leaning up in an unobtrusive corner, with a Camel hair tuxedo hanging out of it. Our man got in.
The roadies went on with their work, oblivious to the crowd and oblivious to Duluth itself, oblivious to the polluted bay, the asbestos in the water, and the filtration hassle. What did they care? They would be gone the next day.
"I don't care about pollution,
cause I'm an air-conditioned Gypsy."
I do have some additional information for you on the May 26, 1976 date in La Crosse, WI.
This show was cancelled and although the reason was never given to me at the time, I did hear much later from a box office employee it was cancelled due to lack of ticket sales.
The opening bands were supposed to be: Rush and Sunblind Lion. I did have a ticket to this concert but I did return it for a refund... I believe the price was $5.00.
Like the clipping above, boc.com has this gig down as Brown County Arena, Madison WI - but ex-roadie Ricky Reyer's diary has this gig down as "Civic Auditorium, Green Bay WI"...
Does anybody have any info on this gig that might help me nail it down one way or the other...?
Just found your site after having interest renewed after seeing BOC at the Harley-Davidson event this past weekend (30-31 Aug 2008).
Just wanted to confirm that this gig was at the Brown County Arena in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Thanks Rich - I've changed the town to Green Bay. I should have checked at the start just what town Brown County Arena was in... meanwhile, here's a review of sorts that appeared in the 28 May 1976 edition of the Green Bay Press-Gazette (courtesy of Ian Cassetty):
Drummers Highlight Voltage-Laden Rock Concert
by Warren Gerds
Spectacular drum solos amid brash bombardments of high-voltage rock marked a three-band concert Thursday night at Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena.
The turnout of blue jeaned youths was on the light side around 2,000. But the bands are minor characters in spectrum of rock, and their drawing power is limited to followers of tough, loud playing where the music seems to originate in the center of your brain and go outward, rather than come from without.
Blue Oyster Cult headlined in a gimmick-filled act, the Canadian trio Rush unleashed an attack of power and the state band Sunblind Lion from Plymouth fared well with a mix of melodious and gyro-driving music.
It was Rush's drummer, Neil Peart, who provided the highlight of the night. With muscle and finesse, Peart roared through an act-closing solo sometimes sounding like an organized cannon barrage, sometimes a 100 m.p.h, steam locomotive, and closing with an oriental ditty on bells and had the crowd shouting for an encore.
Without the Peart display, it's doubtful the urgings would have been as strong because the rest of the Rush act was not that much of a knockout.
Blue Oyster Cult's Albert Bouchard also had a dazzling drum solo, but his impressed in a different way than Peart's. Peart used drumming skill, while Bouchard played off electrical trickery sound-activated lights on the skins to get a reaction.
Electricity is much a part of rock concerts these days. So much Juice is fed into amplifiers that what comes out virtually causes sparks.
And plenty of power goes into the lighting systems. All the music is choreographed in color, with a lighting director serving as another member of the bands syncronizing flashes and color changes to shifts in the music.
Blue Oyster Cult feeds on the electric marvels throwing in flashing, smoky bursts of light and rubbing guitars across the body to reorganize electrons into new sounds.
Its music very busy, with its six players almost constantly cranking out sounds. Simplicity isn't in its vocabulary.
Its keystone is the lead guitarist (Buck Dharma, I think) dressed in all-white Thursday whose emphasis is plain, brute power in his zigzagging improvlsatlonal runs. Eric Bloom sings and prances in grandiose manner.
To me, Blue Oyster Cult is no great shakes. The clincher was its playing of "Born To Be Wild" as its climax song. In a field that demands originality, here Blue Oyster Cult is a parasite, using Steppenwolf's rock classic as its performance high point.
Rush is an amazing band in one respect: For Just two guitar players and a drummer, it can sure make a lot of noise.
Rush is a concept band. It played side one from its latest album, "2112," and while vaguely interesting, it is definitely not the last word in futuristic predictions.
Lead singer Geddy Lee has an intriguing voice - a towering half-scream. It suits Rush's rock well.
Sunblind Lion, another concept outfit (dealing with the survival of the earth), got a standing ovation. It showed a broader scope than the other bands and delved into more styles.
Well done, Warren. That was probably the most poorly-written piece of prose I've read in a long time. You don't get to be that useless without a lot of practice... It was like my mum wrote it... hats off to you...
I and my wife to be were at this gig. Don't remember much. We thought that is was Queen. Still married after all these years...
When BOC played the Lakeview arena in Marquette, Michigan I was there. The back-up band was REO Speedwagon.
I have the poster from the concert, it hung on the wall of my room all through college.
I don't remember much about the concert except that I really liked the light show. I also took a girl along that I really liked but it never worked out.
The Lakeview is a hockey rink when there werent concerts going on and we sat in the bleacher seats at the center ice on the right side, good visibility of the band.
Some Rush websites have the following info down for this date: "29 May 1976: St Paul Civic Center Arena St Paul Minnesota (supporting Blue Oyster Cult / Reo Speedwagon)".
A Thin Lizzy site reckons Lizzy played this date: "29 May 1976: St Paul Civic Centre (with Rush, BOC, REO Speedwagon)"
Then a complication arrived in the following email:
A record store I frequent in St. Paul, MN (about 75 miles away) has an old BOC concert poster hanging in their back room. When I was up there today I checked it out to see where and when the concert was. When I got home I checked your list to see if it was on there but I can't find it listed. Just one problem, I don't know what year it was.
My guess is it has to be 1973, 1974 or 1975. I think it was held at the St. Paul Civic Center. I didn't pay much attention to this detail since I didn't think I would need it. My son seems to remember it as being the civic center.
Anyway, they have their picture on the poster and are the headliners. Also appearing with them were Steve Marriot's Allstars and REO Speedwagon. The date of the concert was May 29 (no year of course) and the ticket price was $4.00. I seem to remember my friends brother going to a BOC concert right about the time I started getting into them. That would be around 1975.
The more I think about it and looking at the "Giglopaedia" I think the year for the May 29 concert would have been 1976. They were in the area then and that would work out better for my memory.
Regarding the possibility of Rush being on the bill - it's quite possible that Steve Marriot canceled and Rush took their spot. Wow what a concert that would have been.
My first show was in about May of '76 in Minneapolis, MN, not sure of the Arena. They had their Laser Show and Rush, Reo and Mott were the warm up bands.
At least, I think it was Mott. I remember that who ever it was, the first act got booed off stage then REO came on, then Rush and the Almighty BOC!
I was at this concert. It was the best show I've ever seen, great light shows. Blue Oyster Cult, Rush, REO Speedwagon, and The Boys all for $4 at the St. Paul Civic Center, May 29, 1976... 2 weeks before my graduation.
If I remember right, It was this line-up order... First band (and I could be wrong) was either The Boys or The Baby's, unknown, we'd never heard of them, they weren't very good. They're sound system was very poor, and we were anxiously awaiting the next bands to come on.
Next came Rush, again, fairly new, they were just starting to become well known. After The Boys/Baby's went off the stage, it was only seconds it seems before there was an explosion followed by red lights and smoke, Geddy Lee appeared with an organ/keyboard rising out of the center of the stage, playing the simple doodoodo do do do dododoooo. Chopsticks... There was an oriental theme to the stage. Again an explosion of red smoke and lights and the band was all standing on the stage and went into the 2112 overture and Temple of the Syrinx.
If you'd like to see what I mean you can check out this live youtube video... it's the same opening for them except this video didn't have the chopstick beginning with the red smoke and lights before the whole band appeared on stage. I would imagine the setlist was a little different at each show, but don't know why they wouldn't keep the red smoke and lights as that was amazing and the crowd went wild.
Their whole show was filled with spectacular light shows and at the end a holographic UFO flying above the audience.
Next up was Blue Oyster Cult, also pretty new on the scene at that time. They're light show was amazing as well, "Don't Fear the Reaper" was the only song we knew of from them at the time, but the rest of they're set was unbelievable.
Then came REO Speedwagon, but to tell you the truth, I was so blown away by Rush and BOC, that I can't remember much about REO playing, except that we knew none of their songs on the setlist. REO was also just becoming huge in the music world.
The bands appeared in pecking order, like is done at shows still, least known to best known, but all of them in the "just coming up stage". Either way, the best show I'd ever been to was only $4. Advertised as "Four bands, four bucks". Unfortunately, I don't have anything to remember the concert by other than my recollection, and discussions over the years that I've had with friends who were with me at the concert. I just found that youtube video tonight when I was trying to find the chopstick type of music that started off the concert.
Regarding confirmation of the date, the following site link states that Rush opened for BOC and REO and also lists the same date that I remember (which was important because it was 2 weeks before my graduation):
I hope this helps. Sorry I couldn't tell you more or offer a stub or something more.
I wonder if Cindy's mention of "The Boys or The Baby's" as the opening act could actually refer to The Babys?
THE BABYS did not tour the US until April 1977, matter of fact they were still letting the ink dry on their recording contract, hadn't even recorded their debut album...
I am absolutely positive they didn't tour in 1976; however they did tour the US extensively with bands like REO and Rush during mid to late 1977 and 1978...
Check out my Babys sites:
I just checked with a friend of mine, he said it was Thin Lizzy, and that they were very "green".
Wow, to think I heard Thin Lizzy in the early days without even realizing it. And then to be part of the $4 bill...
Thin Lizzy did not play with BOC on 29th May 1976 - check out the following link on www.thinlizzyguide.com:
Thanks to the advert above sent to me by Eric Hansen from powerWindows, I now know that it was in fact Steve Marriott and his Allstars who were the other act on this bill.
This, in fact, chimes in nicely with Dan Helmbrecht's account above, and the advert also confirms that BOC definitely headlined...
Steve Marriot's All Stars were held up. The Boys played. They didn't even turn down the house lights while they played and they were booed off stage.
Rush was supporting 2112 and the Cult played the "On your feet or on your knees" set.
Following a drum solo Bouchard scooped up a guitar and all played guitars to strobe lights. Think it was "Cities on flame"...
I believe I was the friend Dan H referred to. It was a FABULOUS show!
It was the Boys as the first warm up band and the lights were on as Douglas said. The lead was wearing a leather jock (over his jeans) and they were BOOED off the stage. They sucked.
It was the era of General Admission tickets and I was in about the 5th row. RUSH play as the Allstars canceled. I remember one of the guys I partied with was really bummed about this cause that's who he wanted to see.
REO played well. I'm sure I have a ticket stub somewhere for this show. I've been to a lot of shows and will always remember this one as one of the best!
I found a preview for this gig in the 28 May 1976 edition of the "The Minneapolis Star":
OYSTER HAS METAL PEARLS
Previewed by JON BREAM
Minneapolis Star Staff Writer
Blue Oyster Cult, America's most intellectually and musically imaginative heavy metal band, will headline a rock concert tomorrow at the St. Paul Civic Center Arena.
The quintet's fifth album, "Agents of Fortune," which was released this week, covers a broader range of rock styles than its predecessors. Yet the Cult's crowd-pleasing stage show will feature no radical changes, keyboardist Allen Lanier Lanier said in a telephone interview yesterday. "It'll be the same maniacal energy as always."
That probably means the high-energy quintet from Long Island, N.Y., will play such monolithic favorites as "Harvester of Eyes," "Dominance and Submission" and "Buck's Boogie." Most of the Cult's songs are about outer space and other science fiction related topics.
THE BAND, which comes across as sort of a heavy metal Jefferson Starship, has added a laser light show to its concert presentation to complement the group's science fiction fiction orientation.
"Agents of Fortune" is the Cult's most accessible album. It includes ballads, mainstream rockers and a couple metallic songs. The Byrds-inspired single, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," is the kind of song that could be a breakthrough for Blue Oyster Cult, a popular concert band that has never had more than a cult following.
Also appearing tomorrow will be Steve Mariott's All-Stars. Marriott, the former lead singer of the Small Faces and Humble Pie, released his first solo album, "Marriott," this spring. The veteran British singer's voice is stronger here than his material, which was also the case on his Humble Pie records.
Opening the concert will be Rush and REO Speedwagon, two unmemorable rock bands.
Just a note to let you know that the gig at the St. Paul Civic Center Arena in St. Paul, Minnesota was a fabulous show.
I was about to turn 15, and I, and a few buddies were there.
'The Boys' came on 1st, played a song or two, and were pretty much booed off stage.
'Rush' came on next and played about half an hour, including side one of a brand new album nobody had ever heard of (then), called '2112'.
'REO Speedwagon' came on 3rd, and played about 60-90 minutes as I recall. They were pretty good even then.
Finally BÖC came on & played great. I had been a fan about a year then & loved the show. Buck had the lasers up his sleeve, Buck & Eric did their guitars scratching their strings together thing, and there was a great drum solo with sound driven strobe lights underneath the clear drum set around midnite. It was a general admission show, and get this price for the tickets .... believe it or not, $4 ... a ticket for those 3 great bands!
(Ahh, the good old days!)
I remember some black dude (with a huge afro) waving his arm above his head between shows, as all kinds of people wandered the main floor, yelling at the top of his lungs "Acid for sale! ... Get your acid here!" I don't recall too much of the show after that for some reason. :-)
So, I just thought I would add my memory to everyone else's who has wrote in. I love BÖC to this day. Not many can out play Buck Dharma.
Would love to hear Buck and Robin Trower collaborate on some song or album before we all get too much older.
Yes we played! Three day outdoor festival... BOC was a featured headliner, as was Rainbow and Bachman Turner Overdrive. Nazareth played before us on the first night. We were supposed to leave our lights on stage for the other two days shows... BOC was going to Oakland CA to do Day On the Green in the interim and didn't need the production support; i.e. sound and lights...
Then we found that the promoter had left with the money and from the booking agent in New York we learned that B.T.O. didn't even know they were to play! That's when Rick Downey and I took over the ticket booth. I had a 44 mag. hand gun a security guard lent me. We continued to sell tickets for the three day event not even knowing if we would get past that first day... trying to get the Cult's money. We counted nickels and dimes!!
We started taking down the light rig after our show... that started the riot... the kids had been ripped off by this promoter before and were ready to strike... first thing out of the ordinary I noticed was an ice cream truck tumbling down the grandstands... then some kids got in a Freightliner and started driving around the race track with kids hanging from the mirrors!!!!! There was a 100 foot crane to put up the top over the stage; the top was tied off to two empty forty foot trailers on either side of the stage... kids got in the crane and started moving toward the stage, jerking the boom from side to side!
A lighting guy attacked the crane with a large/big ass fork lift while we were struggling to get the equipment off the stage before the crane strikes (stage hands had left as did the horseback riding security guards)... we just got the lasers in the truck and as I was driving away, in the rear view mirror I saw the crane fall on the stage; the top came down and flipped the trailers that were supporting it!!!!... the kids then burned everything in site: four big genie's, about ten big Winnebagos (used as dressing rooms) the stage, grandstands and every building on the site... WOW!
One of the most dangerous scenes I've ever been part of!!!!!! The highway was on a rise and the state patrol had about ten cars up there (1/2 mile away) just watching the riot!
The poster above off eBay gives some useful info as to who else was on this bill.
BTO seem to have been the main headliners - and presumably were due to have closed the final night (6 June) - and then BOC and Blackmore's Rainbow were due to headline the opening two nights BOC (4th June) and Rainbow (5th).
Other bands due to play over the 3 days were:
Here's a post I saw on the Pat Travers board [since removed]:
Randal on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 11:43 am:
I hitchhiked 150 miles to Stateline, Idaho in 8th grade to see a 3-day festival. BOC played the first night with Nektar and Bighorn. Allen Lanier of BOC was more ripped than I've ever see him (believe it) - he was so blasted he nearly fell over on the keyboard! Eric looked extremely pissed off, and the band had a hell of a time keeping it together with Allan's botched playing! On the five-guitar jam, they were basically holding him up between their shoulders!
The next day, the promoter split with the cash due to low ticket sales -- and quite naturally, a riot ensued! I watched some guys roll a milk truck down the hill, was issued a stolen doughnut from a guy who was passing them out, and saw a hot wired semi-truck doing brodies around the race track.
It was when I was backstage looking around when I saw a guy whose head was busted open by one of the rocks people were hurling back there that I decided to leave. My brother showed up looking for me (he had arrived the morning after I got there) and we took off JUST BEFORE the state police shut the place down! There was a column of smoke rising as we left -- quite a memorable scene for a 13-year old head like myself!
I was intrigued by this - there were a couple of discrepancies with Ricky Reyer's account - the name "Stateline" and the two named support acts for example - I asked Sam if he knew anything...
I've never heard it called "Stateline"... MSN has no listing for Stateline ID... but has several for a Stateline Road which is fairly near Coeur D'Alene..
Could Stateline Raceway possibly be the name of the track where this was held??
I think you're right about the racetrack name: State Line. I know Nazareth played before us, not Nektar, in fact Bobby Thompson and maybe John Hougdaul (sp?) (Bugsey) were there and there were other groups...
The milk truck was the before-mentioned ice cream truck I saw tumble down the concrete grandstands... that's when I knew the shit was going to hit the fan. You've got to remember that we were feverishly trying to get our equipment and production (sound and lights) off the stage, with NO stage hands!, before it crumbled...
Many people were hurt... especially the kids holding on to the Freight Liner cab doing burn outs in the infield... Wild and Crazy!
Don't remember Alan being anything but normal, you know... I'd like to hear what George Geranios has to say about it - have you asked?
I think it was Stateline Road, it was a track. Let's not forget the large crane that was tipped and burned!
As a matter of fact, I remember all the concessions on the top of the grandstand hill being looted and burned. I have pics of the milktruck going down the stands. I mostly remember convincing (not untruthfully) a host of angry rioters that B.O.C. was a victim too and they shouldn't trash our P.A. (we provided production), band gear and (I believe) our lasers. I'm pretty sure R.D. Reyer and I loaded a truck with all our stuff and R.D. drove it away, up the long road from the track to the highway and past the police who were sitting a mile away watching the festivities with what, I suppose, was amusement.
I remember that column of smoke and being thankful that no one was seriously hurt and our gear remained intact...
It's funny how many of my recollections are almost word for word with the account above... the ice cream truck, the semi tractor, the guy that hot wired the crane that put up the stage...
I didn't think we were the first day but then again, so many bands pulled out (I think they were touting 30 live acts etc...) that we were the first and last day...
And yes, as I was talking to Wally Meyerwitz and or Steve Schenck back in New York, on the payphone nailed to a piece of plywood nailed to a pole in the backstage area, while watching the little dressing room trailers go up in smoke, a rock the size of a softball wizzed by my head, hit the board and at that moment I decided it was a good idea to get me and the band the f@*k outta there!
Re the venue - yes, it was the track name and the area, sort of like "tri state area"... I've been passing thru there every year for the past 10 years since I've been in racing....
Sam, it was the second day. We played the first day of what was to have been a three day festival. The only reason we were on-site the second day is that all our production was there and we were "minding the store." None of the bands showed up the second day and that's when the feces hit the fans. (I'm not sure any promoter production people were about either).
I will look for the pics. They may be in 35mm-slide form but I have a flatbed that scans now.
I found this site while searching online for any comments on the State Line Racetrack concert/riot in June 1976. I was 19 at the time and drove from Portland, Oregon to Post Falls for the concert with three friends in my car. BOC was the main reason we went, but were looking forward to three days of partying and music.
I remember the show seemed really disorganized from the beginning, and the Friday night show started late. But BOC rocked out and played late, and we had a great time that evening. We camped in little tents in a grassy field adjacent to the racetrack, and the parties in the camping area went late into the night, with a lot of noisy people keeping us awake half the night.
Then we finally got a couple hours of sleep and different noisy people in the morning woke us up. I think a lot of the people there were sleep-deprived on the second day. The concerts were supposed to start late morning, but nothing seemed to be happening, and then when we finally got back into the concert area, the band was packing up all the equipment. The news spread through the grapevine that the promoters had skipped, and we had gotten ripped off. All those peace-loving stoners became angry rioters pretty quickly, and there was a lot of talk about what to do.
Sometime in there was when someone got the idea to drive or push the ice cream truck to the top of the berm where the seating sloped to the track, and down it went, eventually rolling, if I remember right. That seemed to trigger the crowd, and a bunch of people raided the office and concessions stands, where the employees were packing up and getting out of Dodge. I don't think there was any money left, but someone found a ton of concert tickets and tossed them to the crowd. I went home with a couple dozen extra tickets.
All the food in the stands got grabbed, then someone yelled "Burn it down!" and things started getting torched. Some of us pushed a telephone booth over the top of the grandstands, where it bounced a few times and the glass broke before it came to a stop partway down.
I remember the semi truck careening around the field, and thinking someone was going to die. Eventually they kind of crashed it and then set it on fire. I remember seeing the crane going down, and then people were piling fence boards around the wooden light poles and setting them on fire. Eventually everything there was on fire.
In the meantime, the police were lined up along the raised highway as far as you could see, and everyone was speculating whether they could arrest all of us, or if the National Guard would be coming. As it began to get late in the day, things wound down, and we went back to camp to pack up and go home. We didn't have enough money to stay in a motel or campground, so we were going to drive the 8 hours back to Portland that night.
While we were walking back to camp, someone who was leaving drove their pickup up against a plastic outhouse and started pushing it over. We heard someone yelling from inside, and when it hit the ground with a big splash of water and other stuff, the door flew open and a cursing guy rolled out. We had been laughing, but cleared out, because he didn't think it was very funny and was loaded for bear.
That night, I drove all the way home by myself, because everyone else was too tired and I didn't trust them with my car. At about 2:00 a.m. on the freeway about an hour from home, I fell asleep and weaved from the right lane to the center guardrail, then back to the right shoulder before a girl in the back who was kind of conscious asked me what I was doing and woke me up. Scared the crap out of me! I didn't get sleepy the rest of the way home.
Needless to say, a disappointing experience as far as music went except for Blue Oyster Cult, but a once-in-a-lifetime experience otherwise. It was weird watching the tv news later that day about the riot the day before and thinking about being there.
I was there this night. It was my graduation night from high school and my friend, Cliff Knutson, a fellow concert photographer and i were on top of a semi with Rick Downey watching the riot. It was ugly. The band was at the Red Lion Inn in the Spokane Valley and my friend Bob Salsbury worked there. The band left a huge tip that no one can forget. The cult was over the top cool. But the promoter, not John Bauer, called himself John Brauer and scammed with the loot. Very chaotic.
Dave Riggs, Seattle
Wish I had been there when they raided the beer vendors! I have a blog recounting an experience at a Nugent show in Spokane. www.etherhuffer.typepad.com. Look for "Where the Cordite Blossoms Grow". It's all true...
I was there - 17 years old. turned into a 3 day riot/keggar. One of the most memorable events in my life. Unfortunately I didn't take a camera. This site was the first I've found regarding this event. Many of these accounts are word for word with my memories.
The friends I was supposed to ride home with took off when things got bad, so I was there for the duration,with no supplies. Some memories I have include cars and motorcycles racing around the track overnight; guys chainsawing down all the tall light poles around the track; huge bonfires made of large tires and sheets of plywood from the fence that had surrounded the track; a guy carrying two large garbage bags full of cartons of cigarettes from the concession stands who also had many feet of linked Kielbasa type sausages wrapped around his body like an ammo belt. There were keggars all night (kegs taken from the beer trucks).
By the 3rd morning a lot of people had left and the police cars finally came in saying we had to leave or we'd be charged with starting a riot. Me and a couple of friends had to walk to the nearest little town and use a pay phone to get one of the guys mom to come get us. (A couple of hours drive each way).
The concert would have been great but this I'll never forget!
I was 16 years old and at that crazy gig. The opening act was actually a band named Nektar who put on a fine performance. B. O. C. was stellar. it was a cold night however...
Recently talked with an old friend who was with me at this spectacle. Sad to note there were at least two fatalities at this event, one from a mushroom O.D. and another from one of the kids hitting his head on a lightpole while a passenger on the back of a motorcycle doing laps around the speedway Sat. June 5.
We were up from the Boise valley and my friend confirms that Nektar also played. He says he has his ticket purchased from the Boise area and I will try to E-mail you a copy when I get down to Boise.
Friday June 4th was a cold night and I remember Eric commenting to the audience that it sure is cold. You could see the frost on his breath. B.O.C. put on an exellent show.
Nektar was touring on their Recycled L.P. One other band opened that night I'll try to find out who it was.
Idaho experienced a manmade disaster on June 4th when the Teton Dam burst in southeast Idaho. Rumor had it that was why the National Guard wasn't called in and the State Police kept their distance managing outgoing traffic.
Although we didn't participate in the violence we did sneak home with a keg of beer in the trunk and more coldcuts than 4 of us could eat in a week!
Quite the experience for a 16 year old kid.
I was the guy who inadvertently started the riot - or struck the match to the already smoldering powder keg. Hopefully statutes of limitations are in effect 32 years after the fact. There were four of us who'd come to the festival together from Mountain Home, ID. Day one had been great and BOC was fantastic! (And I remember that it was Nektar as well, the other band was Big Horn) We were looking forward to day two.
Around 12:30 we headed over to the gate since the show was supposed to start around 1, I think. The gate was locked and there were a lot of folks standing around speculating about what had happened. We went back to our van which wasn't too far from the gate and watched for movement. When we saw the crowd going through the gate we headed in. If I remember correctly this was about 4 p.m. and everyone was pretty pissed off.
The bleachers sat on an earthen embankment. You walked from the gate up the embankment and then down into the speedway. The ice cream truck sat at the crest of the embankment along with the concession stands. When we got to the ice cream truck it had already been broken into and someone was passing out "free" ice cream. We looked down at the stage and saw the crew tearing down the equipment. "What the...?" A crowd was gathering in front of the plywood barrier at the front of the stage.
We went down onto the inner circle of the speedway and up to the barrier. At this point someone had started to rip the barrier apart and I slipped through the barrier with my 35mm camera and made my way onto the stage where I proceeded to take photos of the crowd and what was going on. More of what happened to those photos shortly. So I'm on stage taking pictures wearing a t-shirt from a Boise, ID music store wearing a civil war kepi hat, and I guess looking like part of the crew.
The crowd was ugly and yelling at everyone on stage to put things back and put the show on. Really, we all knew that we'd been ripped off and there was no way the show was continuing, but it made people feel good to vent. Some of the venom was directed at me personally, so I pulled off my hat and pulled out my ticket and waved it in the air to show that I was one of them. Mistake #1. The crowd got louder and some people started throwing things onto the stage. A piece of wood almost hit me and pissed me off. I picked up the chunk of wood and threw it back. Mistake #2.
Now everyone on stage ran for cover because the air was then full of rocks, beer bottles, and wood. A rock hit my leg pretty hard as I scrambled - I guess I deserved it. Unfortunately, as I've been reading some of these other recollections, there were others not as lucky. I never saw anyone with their head "busted open" as one commenter stated. I felt badly enough, that would have made me absolutely miserable.
My recollection of the balance of the riot is as it has been described here. I seem to recall hearing that someone was seriously injured by the semi running around the track but I didn't see it. I didn't feel responsible for the truck incident since that kind of crap had already started (with the ice cream truck) before I hit the stage.
Now for the pictures... Mistake #3. I had mis-loaded the film in the camera and I got NOTHING but memories!
Holy Crap I cannot believe I have finally stumbled on an incredible past experience.
I will never, I am mean NEVER forget Stateline, Idaho 1976.
BOC was my first laser show and of course the mayhem of Stateline Idaho. Don't Fear The Helicopter.
Laser, Beer, Flames... Bummer.
BOC now one of my daughter's favorite bands.
Tom Dunne (then 19 years old)
I was at Stateline Speedway with the band on the first night (June 4th) and did not realize the overall situation going down. I had just driven Nektar over the Canadian Rockies from Calgary on a relaxing scenic route, we arrived and noticed that security was kinda strange, horseback riders and a lack of unity back stage, not the usual joking and friendliness.
I didn't do a lightshow that night, not because we were not the headline band... but because it was cold, we had water cooled lasers... but no water and not enough power (we'd blown out two city blocks in Edmonton just four nights earlier).
Other reasons were that the FOH tower was too far from the stage for good projection and the stage had too much equipment to raise our screen safely in the wind.
Thus, once our semi was unloaded, we stashed our "genie rigs" under the stage and returned our lighting truss into the truck. After I did house stage lights/follow spot for the Nektar set, our crew decided to wait until BOC had finished before loading our gear... only to find that our genie rigs had disappeared.
It was then that we all realized that there was a serious situation brewing, so we left without those towers, having searched everywhere except inside the BOC stage truck, which was gone.
Although pissed about OUR loss, after hearing about the subsequent riots, I'm just thankful we played on that first night.
Thanks for posting the great info about the 1976 Stateline Idaho fiasco!
I can't add a whole lot, but check out this pic I took on Sunday after the ordeal:
Now look at the first response. It is from John Brower, the promoter. Does that jive with your memories of the event? He is trying to say folks started burning stuff to KEEP WARM, what like a semi truck? Also says local people ripped him off???
Without going into too much detail, I can say I was not lucky enough to get a ticket, even though John Brower came out to Coeur d alene and gave away some free tickets to some of my friends.
I am big BOC fan, and saw the band in 75 and 77 at Spokane coliseum, then drove over to see them in Missoula in 78. I just barely missed the stateline show that night. I was at a keggar party up in woods above Coeur d alene, and my friend with the car (an awesome 66 GTO) left me there despite me reminding him over and over to get me before they headed out to the speedway.
They got in for free BTW, said the people at the gate let em in without a ticket!
I been thinking about what to write for quite awhile. Have read all the posts, articles, poster and ticket. Now in the light of recent archive and journalistic work by Steve Jackson it's time to really set the record straight!
Seriously though. I was the one mentioned who collected the 400 signatures' (three of which were teachers at CDA HIGH) and felt moved to present positive reasons to have this Music Festival in our back yard at the opposition meeting. I was shocked at how threatening a 18 year old kid with some pieces of paper with signatures on it could create such a reaction!
However my efforts were duly noted by John receiving 4 free tickets to the show. Which was pretty cool! I was there the whole day Friday with some friends. I remember the afternoon was quite cool. A couple of really trippy bands. Then after dark Nazareth hit the stage and we were pumped! Then I think it was over or something. Everybody went out to their cars or where ever and we just partied as we were expecting to see BOC. Then we all piled back in after the "deal" went through. It was awesome!
I had seen BOC the first time in 1975 at the Spokane Coliseum and that was a real trippy time I must say and this was even better! The highlight I think was the Finale when they played Born To Be Wild and they crossed the guitars in the air with the lasers flashing and that was like way cool.
The next day we drove back and was told the concert was cancelled and was told to just drive through and go home. Right! We parked, were spectator's, and participated in the whole rest of the day and evening.
Later on after getting totally polluted on barbs and wine, we went back and helped throwing plywood off of the stage into the Final Effigy of The Rock and Rollin' Storm! I remember climbing up the 9 foot scaffolding, losing my grip and falling to the ground. Fortunately I was not a casualty.
It's funny to remember now the story of the Port a Potty getting pushed over. I remember that. The guy piled out of there his coveralls still down swearing like a mother as we all were just laughing our asses off! He goes, "I don't think it's so fucking funny!" And totally forgot about Sausage, Cigarette Man. He was selling cartons of Marlboros for like a buck.
After coming to early Sunday, we got out of there. What a time that was!
In retrospect... I recently received the latest Musicians Friend Catalogue and you can now buy a portable Laser Rig for $150.00. But a carton of Marlboro's is over 50 Bucks!
I saw BOC two other times. Once more at the Spokane Coliseum and the last time in 1979 at San Diego ball park when I was in the Navy. Cheap Trick was the highlight there for me. BOC headlined. We went up to the top of the stadium 4 stories high and watched them play. The Bass Solo on Godzilla was phenomenal. So were the tracers.
I think it really would be cool if BOC came back up in 2011 for a 35 Year "Reunion Concert." Only this time maybe offer "Reserved Seating" instead of "Limited Attendance."
Former "Norwester 76" Activist
Check out Spokane Public Radio's Facebook Page - there's a great link to an MP3 feature on this festival by Steve Jackson, including an interview with the promoter:
Also - I notice Jim above mentioned that Nazareth played before BOC. This is interesting. Roadie Ricky Reyer whose account kicks this whole thread off further up the page said that it was Nazareth - and not Nektar - who played before BOC.
Now, as Nektar were mentioned on the posters, were also mentioned as having played in the newspaper reports, and Mick Brockett (Nektar's lighting guru) himself said Nektar played before BOC (and mysteriously lost a valuable piece of equipment in the process!), I thought Ricky must have got the two bands mixed up - after all, Nazareth are not mentioned anywhere as even being on the bill, never mind actually playing.
So that's why Jim's mention of them interested me, Unless, he meant Nektar, of course...
YES NAZARETH Played after dark. Definately... It was wild...
There there was this long delay. We thought the show was over so it's like the story. We went out to the lot and kept partying.
Then the word got out that BOC was going to play so everybody piled on in...
Now this is weird - Nektar's Mick Brockett confirms that Nektar did play just before BOC as they were waiting to reclaim their genie towers (which subsequently went mysteriously missing) from under the stage - yet a number of posters claim it was a band not even officially on the bill, namely Nazareth, who played before BOC...
I think you have to place a high level of credibility in Mick Brockett's account, after all, Nektar had their gear nicked and they weren't happy about that so I'm reasonably sure that Nektar preceded BOC that night...
Regarding so many mentions of Nazareth... either this is some sort of weird collective psychosis, or could it be that Nazareth were a late addition to the bill and played before Nektar?
Wow what a blast from the past. These are the only pictures that ive seen other than one's my friend who was with me took. And I had never read any of the newspaper articles at all.
It is one of the most memorable times that I had as a kid growing up in Kennewick, Wash and going to the different festivals in the NW at that time.
I was at the site a couple of years ago and the racetrack is still there. Although most of the other properties in Stateline are now gone. After they built the freeway it was bypassed and kind of died.
I did enjoy your band and Nazareth the first night before it all went to hell on Saturday. Thanks for posting all this info from the past.
I was just telling my son about this weekend when I decided to look it up, not surprising that I would find it. The first night started late but was really great, the next day however was not so enjoyable.
I was up in the stands or back in the parking/camping area milling around waiting for the music to start at 10 or 11 am but it did not. We got word that the music would start at 1 pm all the while everyone was imbibing quite a bit and getting more impatient. By late after noon 3 or 4 pm I was very near to the ice cream truck and the looting that had started.
I remember long strings of hot dogs being paraded about and the ice cream truck being pushed down the hill, it started to feel like the energy of the crowd had changed and was heading in a direction that kept you on your toes because stuff was happening all around and getting explosive.
The hot wired semi cab and the people hanging off of it definitely let you know people were in danger, there was stuff being hurled at the stage, reckless driving around the track and people commandeering the cranes etc.
Everything around the stage was being wrecked and or burned, I was aware that anger at the promoters and the lack of on going concert was going to be avenged with no regard to participants safety.
We could see the whole thing from the stands including the line of traffic winding out the single lane back to the highway where there were many cops lined up watching.
I remember that there was this guy who was passed out or sleeping under this winnagago getting some shade presumably, when it started up and drove off driving over part of this poor guy.
We finally left when the crowd had thinned and the destruction had taken it's toll, we drove to some camping spot where we found other escaped festival participants and they had like 3 or 4 stolen kegs and food to feed everyone for the rest of the weekend.
I had a hard time relating to the ongoing party mood because this event made me take pause and hunger for the safety of home, I was 15.
A few thoughts about Norwester '76...
My friends and I drove out to the Stateline Raceway on Thursday 03 June from Tacome Wa. and set up a party tent. I was 19. During the day, the weather was good and warm, but at night the temps dropped down to uncomfortably chilly, and the promised free firewood was in short supply. Everybody corrected for that by getting wild and the atmosphere was good. Everybody was primed for a great weekend of partying and rock.
Friday the show started late. Nazareth DID NOT PLAY. I was a Nazareth fan before I'd even heard of Blue Öyster Cult. I'd damn well remember if they showed up to a festival they were not advertised for and played before BOC. Didn't happen. Nectar played before BOC.
I don't remember anyone from BOC being drunk or to stoned to play. I remember a great show. Of course I also remember an enourmous quantity of pot, mushrooms, acid and (your best guess, enerything else HERE) floating around.
I missed the start of the riot because some of us took a road trip back to Tacoma at ca.1:00 to 2:00am to pick up more head bending consumeables. After an Acid fueled 15+ hour drive we drove back through Spokane towards the Idaho border sometime around or after 5:00 pm and saw a huge column of smoke coming from the direction of our goal. Helicopters circling around. WTF!
We were trippin' out over the enormous amount of Idaho State Police and Sheriffs along the highway (Highway 2?). The entrance to the raceway parking was blocked but we parked on the side of the road and walked through the fields down to the camping area. The cops were just lining the highway and doing nothing. Picture us surprised. By the time we got to our tent and then to the berm the largest part of the destruction was over.
Luckily some of my friends had rescued a keg of beer from the consession stand before it burned down and so we decided to stay planted where we were and consume the consumables. Sunday morning we packed up and headed back west. All in all, in spite of the fact that only 3 pands played, for 18 dollars, it was worth it.
I was 19 had bought 3 of the passes for this show for my brother and a friend, a huge rock fan wanted to see BOC and Blackmores' Rainbow in particular and so excited about this concert, will never forget it as I was one of those that ended up in the semi going around the race course!
Notice that there were no arrests? every one knew that we got screwed including the police and in those days that was something.
And for any one that is wondering we did not blame the bands but the promoter. (still do)
I was at that that concert, met a friends that we went to that gig.
I was living in Kelowna Canada so it was a journey at 16 and we headed to the border not knowing the borders close at 12 midnight, so we found a open field and camped. We partied at that field, and headed to the border.
When we arrived the border security smelled something funny in our veh. so they began to tear our veh apart and found seeds and stems! Sheesh - we did not know what was going to happen to us... While they where testing the seeds and stems, there was this redneck trucker kept saying "book 'em book 'em, these little long hairs", so we managed to convince them that we were no harm and that these seeds and stems were not ours.
We arrived at the concert and we were astounded it was a tent city. We parked and started to walk around we met a few chicks and we thought yeah free love is here, until one of my buds sits down with us, and his cut off shorts were exposing his balls, the chicks took off we just laughed all over the place.
As we carried on we noticed that there was a little street between these tents and people where set up selling all types of materials that would make this gathering pleasant. We were just amazed.
Night came on we gathered at the track BOC, Heart played thats about all I remember of the last evening.
Morning came and we started the the good mood feeling and went to get great seats. We bought a bunch of beers from these trucks Coors we had never seen that before we where hicks, ffs.
Then this guy steps up and announces that there will be no music happening, the promoter took off with the cash and the bands were not going to play.
All of sudden people stood up and started yelling this is a burn, and a beer truck tumbled down the stands partially on the track and some sections were on fire on the track and someone started to race this truck on the track.
Then someone climbed on this tumbled truck and stated yelling PARTY that's when this truck that was racing on the track hits this person that was yelling party.
Then everybody started to leave, so we decided to do the same. We gathered at our car, but we could not find the friend that wore the cut offs. We finally found him at this tent and he was choking and could not breathe - we loaded him in the car and raced to the nearest hospital, where we were asked if we had consumed mood altering materials? We answered Yes. That's when they said you are Canadians and we cant help you! WTF!
So we raced across to the border and they let us through with out any hassle to get attention to our friend.
This was our adventure to this journey of rock and roll.
Rob Bryn Dave Doug
Stumbled on your site while Googling this show.
I was there, with a buddy. We were freshmen at WSU so we came up from Pullman as we were done for the summer and with the acts list, we thought we could swing it. I may still have the T-shirt.
Friday was cold, remember Buck wearing a leather jacket over his white duds. I seem to recall seeing the breath out of Eric as well. They came on around midnight or a little bit after, played their standard set.
I can say that Nektar was the band that played, not Nazareth. I had a Nektar album (A Tab in the Ocean, I think) so I knew some of the songs.
Can't really remember who played before them, but looking at your list I remember seeing Earthsong and Bighorn on the list of acts.
I recall waiting all day Saturday for things to start. The crowd was ugly and we wondered if we just shouldn't leave. We hung around until I saw this guy in a black T-shirt run up to the stage from the right; he came along where the racetrack was banked for a turn, and threw something. At that time a big roar went up and folks started charging the stage.
My buddy and I ran the other way, to the fence in the back where the entrances were, and headed for the car. We got out of there post-haste. Don't doubt the cops were there already and they might have waved us out as we hit the entrance.
Didn't see much on TV that night, but once we got home the next day, it was all over the media.
Afterwards, we decided to get tix for their show the following week at the Seattle Center Coliseum.
I came across a short article on this festival here:
As links often change or become dead over time, here's the relevant text:
1976 | NOR'WESTER FESTIVAL GETS LIT!
By Daniel Walters
Think of it like 2017's Fyre Festival debacle, but in State Line, Idaho, and with actual fire.
The three-day "Nor'Wester '76" festival was supposed to feature headliners like Bachman-Turner-Overdrive and Blue Oyster Cult. But everything started going wrong from the beginning. The festival was in debt. The first night's opening had been delayed for five hours because of lack of payment. Bachman-Turner-Overdrive refused to fly in from Vancouver, B.C., after learning they probably wouldn't get paid.
And when a big piece of equipment fell off a forklift and onto a crew member breaking his leg the sound and light crew called it quits, deciding to pack up. And that sparked a riot.
While only a fraction of the crowd of nearly 7,000 rioted, others cheered them on.
Five concessions stands burned, and thousands of pounds of beef and 600 cases of beer were looted. Propane and diesel trucks blew up, sending gouts of flame shooting 50 feet into the air. Rioters pushed a dairy truck over the grandstands, and then set it on fire. Cars and motorcycles tore recklessly through the infield. A huge crane backstage was toppled and set ablaze. Six people were hospitalized though one merely from a drug overdose. The eight-foot-high plywood fence was burned and looted.
"The speedway literally looked like a battlefield during the height of the riot," Spokesman-Review reporter Les Blumenthal wrote.
Security could have stopped the riot but the security hadn't been paid either. They left a half-hour before the chaos started.
"I don't think we'll be having any more of these in this part of Idaho," Kootenai County Sheriff Thor Fladwed told the Review.
The original print version of this article was headlined "1976 NOR'WESTER FESTIVAL GETS LIT!"
I was at this festival! A girlfriend and I hitchhiked (over 400 miles) from Boise, ID - we were 14!
The first night BOC played, to us it sounded great! Talk about scared when the riot started! I recall news crews in helicopters flying over we were thinking how much trouble we were going to be in if our parents saw us!
I believe the milk truck was on fire, everyone "burn it to the ground", I think they succeeded!
We watched, didn't participate, except chanting along, it was a pretty crazy experience for 2 girls from Boise!
I still love music festivals!
I work at Stateline Speedway, formally known as Northwest Speedway and stumbled across this story when I started working there 4 years ago. Ever since I read into it and the history behind this epic event on the same grounds I step foot on every day, I've been fascinated with all of the stories and comments and photos, and information I keep finding.
I can almost picture myself there in the heat of it all since I spend so much of my time at the track, even tho Norwester all happened before I was born, it's crazy to think that all this happened and so many people don't have a clue.
I am intrigued by this story so much I've recently reached out to the Bachman Turner's record label which happens to be the same as Blue Oyster Cult currently and pitched the idea that the 2 bands come back to Stateline Speedway for a Norwester '19!
While I don't know if the members of the bands actually got word of the idea to come back for another try and perform at Stateline Speedway, since conversation between the general manager of SLS and the record label pretty much ended when we found out Bachman Turner wanted something like 50k to come play for few hours.
I think if they thought about how awesome it would be to revisit the venue where there were 7000 people rioting because they didn't have the chance to see them play, they would want to come back and put on a hell of a show.
It's my hopes that Bachman and Turner will get wind that we want them to come back with BOC and other bands that were on the ballot for the weekend and make history come alive with us as we use the same ticket design from the tickets in 1976, the same look and feel for the posters, the same design look for the shirts offered in the gift shop etc.
No I don't think a 3 day rock fest is necessary, as the audience for these bands are no longer 15 and 16 year olds who can make it through a weekend long rock and roll party. For a one time, one night event where the fans of good old rock and roll can get together and remember the old days, making history as we bring back Norwester but do it right this time. Maybe offering some closure for some, or bringing back the memories of when life was fun and crazy.
Whatever the reason, it's a piece of history for Stateline Speedway that a lot of people don't know about and I want to share it with everyone who still comes to the races every Wednesday and Saturday to this day.
Not only because classic rock shows do very well in the area, but tickets would have no problem selling because THE STORY AND THE HISTORY behind the event is what's going to draw the people in. We can get the fans no problem, maybe somebody reading this can help get the bands and let's make history again at Stateline Speedway!!
me if you're interested.
Check out the BOC line-up as printed on the concert programme page above - it's hilarious:
BOC gains in popularity. They currently list three albums out: "Blue Oyster Cult", "Tyranny & Mutation" and "On Your Feet or on Your Knees".
The band consists of Buck Dharma on guitar, Albert Bouchard on drums, Alan Lanier on keyboards, Les Bronstein on vocals and Andrew Winters on bass.
Bill Graham's people must have found the line up from the Fillmore East gig a few years earlier and didn't bother to update...
Check out the date on the backstage pass sent to me by Clifford Schuchart above. Intriguingly, it says 10 June 1976.
However, my initial thoughts are that this gig took place on the 7th, not just because of the poster above, but also because roadie Ricky Reyer's notes clearly state that Medford was 7 June.
Oh I believe the concert was on June 7th, but they probably already had a bunch of passes printed up with Jun 10 1976 and used them that night, or maybe even a misprint on their part.
From my memory, back in those days promoters weren't exactly as professional as they are these days, I could almost guarantee they weren't at least in Southern Oregon hahah. I think Albatross Productions was out of Portland though.
Since Clifford sent me his "Albatross" pass (dated 10 June 1976), I have now got a definitively-dated Medford "Marty Productions" pass for 7th June.
This highlights an innate incompatibility, from a promoter's point of view - if Medford was a 7 June 1976 "Marty Productions" gig, how could Clifford have been given an Albatross 10 June 1976 gig pass? Note that the Albatross pass has no venue/town info on it...
I'm left wondering - could there have been a gig on 10 June 1976 somewhere else in the PNW that I currently don't know about...?
I know I saw BOC in Eugene with Bob Seger opening. This gig appears to be the one.
Don't remember too much - crowd was small. I do remember there was no good FM rock station in Eugene at that point - so there wasn't a lot of promotion.
Bob Seger wasn't a big band then - I don't think "Night Moves" had been released at that time.
Would have loved to have seen the previous night's show. Frank followed by Buck! That would have been special!
Eugene, Oregon - it was Bob Seger opening...
I was at this show too. I came to see Bob and the Silver Bullet Band. BOC was louder than hell. Started off with a huge explosion. I think they opened with Fear the Reaper.
I am turning 54 in a couple of days. Good memories...
Scroll up to the 7th June gig in Medford to find out why I think a gig may have been played on this date in this area, promoted by Albatross Productions.
Or if not actually played, then at least scheduled and subsequently cancelled.
If anyone can help me out on this one, I'd be grateful...
Regarding the above show, I was there and I can confirm 100% that Patti Smith was there and guested on a song.
Also, I seem to recall Mahogany Rush being on the bill (as the first act) as well. I know this wasn't advertised, but I'm pretty sure they were there.
There's a review of the show in the Seattle Times Archives. Unfortunately, it's a pay service so you can't access the whole thing without paying, but you can see an image preview using the following link which will confirm the date and venue.
Hope that helps.
I was able to confirm Mahogany Rush from that link - thanks! One thing I did notice - on the 7th June Medford gig, Mahogany Rush were second on the bill, judging from the poster...
I shot the show using a rangefinder 35mm camera using Ektachrome slide film. I still have some of the prints I made of the best stuff, but not sure where the slides themselves are.
I had a setlist at one time; it's actually a cassette tape with all the songs in order culled from the various albums. Patti Smith did appear; had a pic of her as well.
Had a guitar string and one of Buck's guitar picks. He's the reason I started using the 346-shaped picks.
The lineup was BÖC headlining, Bob Seger second, and Mahogany Rush opening...
Despite the existance of the above poster, which had BOC headlining over Nils Lofgren, Mahogany Rush and Bob Seger, this gig was not on Ricky Reyer's lists so I was always rather suspicious as to whether or not it happened.
Then I got the email below which confirmed that it didn't take place.
This show never occurred to the best of my knowledge. I've seen Mahogany Rush with Nazareth and Rush but never BOC. Nils Lofgren never backed up the Cult in Vancouver between '76 and '78.
I'm very sure that BOC did not actually play the Pacific Coliseum venue because if they did, I would have definitely been there. BOC was my favourite band and I would have cut school or my job in a second to see them from '76-'78.
I quit playing in the orchestra pit for a school musical when I found out that Queen was coming on a night of one of the school performances.
I did see a 1976 gig in Vancouver, though - there was only one backing band for the show, Bob Seger, and it was played not in the Pacific Coliseum but in the much cozier P.N.E. Gardens Auditorium. (see 26 November).
I don't have a ticket stub so I can't prove it wasn't a different performance that I saw. Sorry.
It's quite likely that ticket sales weren't great for so many bands at such an expensive venue to use as the Coliseum and it was moved to the Gardens. This happened frequently back in those days because they were located a stone's throw away on the same exhibition ground property.
The Gardens was a very small place and the stage was 6' high or so. Add the platform shoes many of us wore in those days and you saw everything just fine when standing at the stage fence.
NB: I had a 4 AM "flash" about the show and, looking inside my original vinyl copy of "Agents of Fortune", there were 2 newspaper reviews of the Gardens show. However, at the time I clipped them both without the dates.
In both reviews, it states that the concert occurred on a Friday night in the Gardens.
Stop Press: Mystery Solved. Check out 26 November below.
Is the clipping above the worst ever graphic used to advertise a BOC gig that you've ever seen? I don't think I've ever seen a more inappropriate one, certainly...
By the way, the link below has a photo from the gig and states the attendance to have been 2948 (when ZZ Top played a few months later, the crowd was 10,086!! Still trying to work that one out):
I originally had this listed as a gig in an unknown Joliet venue, but the following notice that appeared in the 17 June 1976 issue of the "Southern Illinoisan" indicates that it was actually cancelled:
Rock Concert a Failure
A rock concert scheduled for Sunday in Joliet Memorial Stadium has been canceled because of poor ticket sales.
Local promoters expected the concert, starring such groups as Nectar and Blue Oyster Cult to attract some 10,000 young persons. City officials however, fearing disruptions, demanded that a $100,000 bond be posted if more than 5,000 spectators were to attend.
I saw BOC twice at the Convention Center that year - this show was opening for ZZ Top's "Taking Texas to the World Tour" - the one where they had the steers on the stage and such.
That was the first time I saw the lasers and they blew ZZTop off the stage. ZZ was in their third song before people stopped screaming for BOC.
So, when they came around again in the fall as the headliner, we were there. Still the best two BOC shows I ever saw...
I know there was another band on the bill, but I don't recall Starz from that gig. They played with them in 1977 (I think) at Rich Stadium outside Buffalo, NY -- that show was Starz, Ted Nugent, Lynryd Skynryd and BOC.
Remember Starz from that gig because that song "Pull the Plug" was on the radio then and they all dressed in white.
My first show was at the sweltering Cape Cod Coliseum in MA (once owned by Vince McMahon of WWF fame - the coliseum, not massachusetts)...
Agents was either just out or due any day, but reaper was already on the radio - the first band was Starz (featuring rex smith's brother on vox), who used to open for everyone back then - i always thought they were underrated and their "violation" album is exceptional - guitarist richie ranno works record shows, sells Starz stuff and is a real cool guy!
Nothing could have prepared me for BOC, however - opened w/Stairway and ripped out one climax after another - thousands of brains visibly liquified during Last Days, as many had never seen a laser show before - the crowd, largely unfamiliar w/the boys, were completely floored!
What really struck me --- and maybe it was the drugs, but it also seemed to happen at later shows at the Music Hall in boston (w/be-bop deluxe and the band Boston opening different shows / tours) --- was that, the lasers actually appeared to fragment after hitting the mirror balls, so instead of a straight beam / reflection, there were these free-floating cylinders of green light, as if they'd "broken off."
i realize this is probably impossible under the laws of physics and whatnot, but i'd still swear under oath that that's what i saw - the music, of course, goes without saying - i saw one of the few performances of "morning final" at one of those shows, plus "kick out the jams" and "we gotta get outta this place." (eric had mentioned they were recording, but i guess none of those tracks made into onto Some Enchanted Evening) - friggin' to die for!
Headliners ZZ Top were an absolute snooze after this, and i ACTUALLY DOZED OFF during their set, something i'd have not guessed possible given the decibels but nothing could have come close to BOC at this point - i was Sworn For Life...
In years to follow, they always headlined and i saw them w/openers like Boston, Rush and Be Bop Deluxe - i most recently saw them in New Haven this year (1998) and the band is simply devestating - you guys keep playing, i'll keep coming!
I'd been invited to this gig by Sandy Pearlman when I met him with Helen Wheels at the 18 June Dictators' show at Club 82.
BOC were sandwiched between opener Ted Nugent and headliner ZZ TOP. BOC would be performing songs from their newly released Agents oF Fortune, including DON'T FEAR THE REAPER to their newly acquired laser show.
Sandy said the Cult would talk to a fan all night, and they did!! I met my heroes, had backstage passes, saw a great show and met Ted Nugent, another guitar superhero.
This was one of my early concerts, and one of the best 3-act bills I've ever seen.
We had never heard of the opener, Ted Nugent, when some maniac comes jumping out from atop his amps. Ted rocked it good, and was very impressive, having never heard him before.
Back in the day, concerts in Philadelphia used to include people throwing M-80's and firecrackers from the upper levels. It was nuts! Fireworks going off in crowd every couple of minutes. It was a case where you didn't feel safe to sit in the good (lower) seats. Can you just imagine if someone did that today?
Then Blue Oyster Cult just blew the place away! Their laser light show was absolutely spectacular. To this day, I attribute my bad eyesight to seeing B.O.C.'s laser show (lol).
My friends father (who worked at the Spectrum) came up to us during Albert Bouchard's drum solo and said: "that man has got to be on drugs to play like that."
And even though Blue Oyster Cult was the 2nd act, they played a very long, full set, and basically stole the show.
This gig had giant video screens set up on each side of the stage, giving close-ups of the band where the p.a. was. This was the first time that I had ever seen that.
ZZ Top were on their World Wide Texas Tour with 12 tractor trailers worth of equipment, which in 1976, was an awful lot. Their stage was set up like a Texas prairie, complete with live cattle and snakes etc. etc.
ZZ didn't take to the stage until almost Midnight. Imagine that, this was an 8pm show. I guess in those days there weren't any curfews to worry about because ZZ Top was like: "Don't worry Philadelphia, we're gonna play all night!" I remember leaving at 1:15 am and they were still jamming away.
I can confirm that BOC did headline over ZZ Top. ZZ top was billed as the headliner, the radio station that put it on (WMMS) said they were headlining and they were advertised as the headliner.
In fact, I remember talking to Kid Leo (the main DJ) and expressed my concerns over ZZ Top playing after BOC and he concurred, but said ZZ Top had it in there contract that they headline. I said fine. Just make sure they play before BOC!
Well any way, we planned our trip to peak just in time for the boys. Oh shit, here comes the band and it's ZZ Top. Cool someone actually took my advice.
Only problem, ZZ Top screwed up the sound system or something like that and BOC didn't take the stage till like 12:30 or so and played close to 2 hours. It was after this show they put in a curfew.
I was at the same show. Awesome. Didn't get home 'til about 4am. Lasers in boxes the size of large coffins behind the stage. Steer, buffalo, vulture and rattlesnake. And Seger's breakout tour.
This was the first BOC show I attended. Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band opened and were tremendous. ZZ Top, the headliner, played second because they had a long trip to make for their show the next night.
Unfortunately, this meant that their Texas-shaped stage, which was festooned with cages for various animals (I remember a longhorn steer, a rattlesnake and some sort of bird of prey, but there may have been others) has to be disassembled before BOC could load their equipment onto the stage. This process took a couple of hours.
BOC finally came on stage around midnight. I remember Buck wearing his white jump suit. They opened with Stairway to the Stars. I don't remember the set list, but I do know they played Dominance and Submission and Born to Be Wild, the latter with the trademark Buck and Eric guitar neck sawing.
Buck played a white Gibson, and the lasers worked only intermittently.
This was my first concert, I was 16 years old. I'd never heard of Bob Seger before, but he just blew the roof off the Richfield Coliseum. The sax player was walking out on a triangular extension in front of the stage, balancing on the thin end of a 2x4, it was so cool.
Somehow we worked our way down to the floor between the opener and ZZ Top. We sat in the front row before Top came on, but kept getting kicked out as people came back to their seats. It was wild to see all the animals on stage up close, cows and snakes. A security dude told us if he caught us up here again he would kick us out.
Can't remember much of the ZZ Top set, but I remember the long wait for BOC, two hours between acts. Rumors were that there were problems with the lasers. The Coliseum was probably half full by the time BOC hit the stage.
We had moved to stage left about 30 rows back looking down from the side of the stage. I was sleeping when BOC came on, my buddy elbowed me as BOC hit the stage with an explosion of light and sound. The lasers were so cool.
We got home about 3am on a Monday and our parents were pissed.
Here's a review of this show from the July 1, 1976, issue of the Charleston Gazette, which mentions BOC being an hour late as their flight in got delayed by bad weather!
The Long Wait for ZZ Top Worthwhile
The lengths to which rock groups will go for attention these days, and the lengths their fans will go to give it to them, was exhibited quite well by the ZZ Top concert at the Civic Center Wednesday.
The opening act, Blue Oyster Cult, was delayed by bad weather in Ohio. Their flight was late getting into Charleston, and a show that was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. got under way at 10 minutes of 9.
The Cult's set was mainly mediocre, saved only by its finale, "Born to Be Wild." Someone really should preseve the band's performance of that number as an example of the excellence of plain ol' rock'n'roll. The group's production was enhanced by staged explosions, strobe lighting and some of the most effective laser lights in rock.
But behind all that was the super fine music itself. The driving drum beat, never let up; the guitars raged and stormed; the vocal was pure menace. The song, as its lyrics suggested it should, exploded. "Born to Be Wild" redeemed the set and made the long wait somehow worth it.
The wait wasn't over, however. ZZ Top didn't get started for an hour after Blue Oyster Cult's set ended. There was much stage preparation, the stage had to be transformed - the ZZ top tour is called "The Worldwide Texas Tour" and what that entails is setting up a piece of fencing, erecting a screen onto which to project desert scenes, scattering animal bones, cacti and yucca about the floor.
Backstage, awaiting the encore, was a pound buffalo (3 years old with some growing left to do) and a registered longhorn steer who weighed approximately the same. The two, along with a buzzard and a Western diamond-backed rattle snake, provide "atmosphere."
All that aside, it is the music which must ultimately count, and with ZZ Top, the music counts for a great deal. It is heavy music sounding as if it comes from much more than two guitars and a set of drums.
The music is basic rock stuff, heavily laced with Texas blues and presented with little adornment. In addition to the usual tunes for which ZZ Top is known, the set Wednesday included a new single release, "It's Only Love" and an excellent rendition of a solid concert hit, "Jesus Just Left Chicago." The long wait paid off. The music of ZZ Top was outstanding - worth the wait.
BOC played at Wings Stadium, Kalamazoo MI on 7-26-76 - Mahogany Rush opened, Mott were on second.
I got the info from a master list of concerts directly from the stadium. Then I went to the Kalamazoo public library to look for any old newspaper articles on this show. This is where I came up with the opening acts. Its been about 3 years since I did this - I can't remember if I got the info from a actual concert review or a flyer. It was one of the two. I know the info was in old Kalamazoo Gazettes.
OK - Brian's date of "7-26-76" in his account above is an obvious discrepancy with the date I currently have listed for this show, but I've now got a handbill which confirms it was indeed 2 July 1976...
Furthermore, an advert for the show featured on page 6 of the 02 Jul 1976 edition of the "Battle Creek Enquirer" which had the same line-up mentioned on the flyer and declared that the show was "Tonight - 8pm".
At the July 4th 1976 gig at Liberty Bowl, Memphis, the support acts were ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws...
I was there - I was 15. What I remember is being about the fifty yard line in general admission. I got my ticket for $10 from a guy and his wife sitting in a van in the parking lot - although I am pretty sure it was face value.
If remember correctly - it has been over 30 years - the bill was supposed to be Warmup band - never showed up. I was told it was going to be Point Blank. I had never heard of them, but since no one showed it could have been anyone
I remember seeing:
I thought Skynyrd was better than ZZ. I remember I was bummed because BoC played and it was still light out so their showed seemed to be missing something.
I also remember they were selling beer in these plastic cups and people were making 20 foot towers out of the empties. The towers of course kept falling and people were getting hit with the glasses. Then eventually people started throwing them around. A friend of my Dad's got hit in the mouth with an Pony bottle - remember miller ponies? - and we left shortly thereafter during ZZ's performance.
I lived 200 miles away from Memphis in Jackson, Mississippi at the time. However, the big outdoor concert at the Liberty Bowl was being heavily advertised in our area by way of radio and newspaper ads. Our local record shop, Be Bop Records carried tickets to the show. It was a perfect setup for the Summer of '76.
I had just graduated from high school and my girlfriend Angie was living in Memphis that summer. That all the excuse I needed for a road trip. I hyperventilated when I found out four of my favorite bands were going to jam outdoors on our nations bicentenniel. I cut the ad out of the paper and anxiously awaited to see the Headliner ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blue Oyster Cult and as the ad read....Other surprise guests!
I jumped into my 1974 bronze pinto and cruise on up I-55 North. I remember listening to the local radio station WHBQ as I approached Memphis. The female jockey was talking about Blue Oyster Cult's amazing laser light show. We got to the Stadium early that afternoon and sat outside the gates until they opened. Then we flooded inside and got a seat down on the field about halfway back from the stage. I had my camera and took tons of pictures that I still get a kick out of to this day.
The surprise guest were the Outlaws and they were the first act. They were tight and had beautiful harmonizing vocals.
Next on was Blue Oyster Cult. They really boogied and the music was great. They were riding on the hills of "Dont Fear The Reaper" and this broke the crowd into a frenzy as Buck Dharma pounded out that unmistakable opening riff. I remember were were disappointed we did not get to see their laser light show as it was still daylight and thus, not conducive for projecting a light show.
Next up was Lynyrd Skynyrd. This was one of Steve Gaines first live appearances with the band and they did not disappoint. Prior to their set, the roadies brought Artimus Pyle up to the front of the stage and he sat on the front edge just over the crowd twirling his drum sticks. Leon Russell was shooting off bottle rockets as he left the stage after their final encore Freebird. It got dark toward the end of Skynyrd's set.
ZZ Top was the last of the four bands that day and they brought a whole lot of Texas with them. I remember it took forever to set up. They had an elevated stage in the shape of Texas with a live buffalo, coyote and rattle snake on the stage. Those boys sure were funny but they sure gave us a dose of Texas. Memphis would never be the same.
In my opinion, that had to be the ultimate outdoor concert, especially considering it was our Nations 200th Birthday!
On July 4, 1976 I joined 75,000 other Memphians for an all-day rock concert at the Liberty Bowl Stadium. For a mere $10.00 ticket price I got to see The Outlaws, Blue Oyster Cult, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top. Hughie Thomasson's band The Outlaws opened the show. I'd be lying if I said I remembered their set as I was too busy making time with my date. (I wonder what ever happened to Teri Williams?) The third act, I do remember. Ronnie Van Zant leading Lynyrd Skynyrd. Just over a year later that band's plane would crash killing Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister, singer Cassie Gaines. Hughie Thomasson's Outlaws would continue to create southern fried rock for a long time.
I was looking through some of the BOC stuff I had scanned and I had made this homemade flyer for the show to post here in Enid Okla. The xerox copies were made lighter so the lines would not show as much.
It seems that Mott was going to close the show although BOC was top bill, but seems that time ran out and Mott didn't get to play and a small riot took place with chairs being thrown.
Did Rush play?
My negatives show some BOC, Rush and UFO right together. Not 100% if UFO was before Rush, but probably...
I just remember Mott was to close the show, not as a headliner or anything, so was a strange setup... seems my pass was not there so took me a while to get in...
Mott and UFO were also on the Dallas (10th July) bill - they didn't play, by all accounts, and were replaced by Starz. If Mott didn't play this gig either, then maybe something was going on with them during this segment of the tour...?
In the meantime - can anyone confirm that Rush and UFO both actually played this gig?
I found out the line-up for this proposed gig from the 30 June 1976 issue of "The University Daily":
Concert Action - Wouldn't you know it.. Amarillo has a heavy set scheduled for the night before finals. Blue Oyster Cult, Mott ( the Hoople ) and UFO gather July 7 in Amarillo's Civic Center for a heay metal showdown. Put your money on the Cult, and if you miss it, don't worry. You can attend your make-up concert on July 14 when the rejuvenated Santana invades that same coliseum.
Also on tap in July for Amarillo is a killer featuring Ted Nugent, who mesmerized a Lubbock crowd not too long ago, and FM favorite Head East.
Did Mott play? I know the poster above lists them, but they don't seem to have played on the 6th at Tulsa, nor did they seem to have played on 9th (San Antonio) and 10th (Dallas)...
Mott definitely played. I was there with my Army buddies. Rush played just before BOC, and Mott played before Rush. The full running order was:
BOC did great. But when I saw the crew bring out Neil Peart's drum kit I thought "Look out!" - I became a Rush fan then and there.
I remember Mott because Buffin's drum kit was turned sort of diagonally and a mic stand fell over during their performance.
I was in the Army then and played in a 3 pc rock band in Texas. My favorite band was BOC and we played three of their songs. I sang and played drums to Last Days of May, Astronomy and The Red and the Black.
I was at the BOC concert at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum on July 8, 1976. I'll tell you what I remember about it.
It was my first real concert other than a couple of minor things at Six Flags, so I have vivid memories. It was 2 days before I turned 16, and any partying we did would have been limited to a few illegal beers in the parking lot.
We drove from Longview, Tx., about an hour away. The radio ads we heard listed 5 bands for some reason, with UFO included. I was disappointed because I had discovered them by then, and was looking forward to seeing Michael Schenker.
Starz did not play. I knew who they were, but for some reason only 3 bands played. Mott opened and I knew very little about them, but I thought they were fairly good.
Rush played next, and I knew who they were but wasn't real familiar with their music. 2112 had just been released and that's what they started with. Geddy Lee was really shrieking like a banshee at that point, and I had a little trouble getting past that.
Musically, I was impressed and became a huge fan a few years later. We had came to see BOC, and weren't disappointed. Don't Fear the Reaper was becoming a hit around then, so they were becoming more popular.
I believe the first song was Stairway to the Stars, but I'm not 100% sure on that. They did the laser show at the end of Flaming Telepaths that night.
My friends and I were big fans of the song Astronomy, but they didn't play it. That was the only thing I was disappointed about, but they did play several other songs off Secret Treaties.
It was a great first concert, and the only time I ever saw BOC live.
Can anyone else confirm that Starz didn't play this gig?
Yes, I can!
I believe this was the first show I saw was - the first band was Mott (not Mott the Hoople but after Ian Hunter left the band), the next band was Rush and then Blue Oyster Cult came out and blew everyone away!!!
Lasers, lights coming from Bloom's ring, Buck's awesome guitar playing and one of the tightest bands I'd ever seen!!!
I love Starz, but I've never seen them live to this day.
The opener (as I remember) was Mott who were made up of former members of Mott the Hoople after Ian Hunter left the band. Mott only made 2 albums which I liked, although not nearly as much as Mott the Hoople.
They had this new singer, Nigel Benjamin, who could hit amazingly high notes. I was looking forward to Mott!
My 16th birthday and my first concert. I was hooked on BOC since the first record and it was a great time to be a kid growing up listening to rock and roll. I remember going with my friend Henry Morgan and thinking how lucky I was to get my parents to let me travel from my small town of San Marcos to the big city.
The opening act was STARZ and I remember the big hair, glam suits and the song Cherry Baby which was getting a lot of air play on KISS FM. Oh, and I remember laughing my ass off when the lead singer was crooning on the edge of the stage and got hit the face by a hot dog. He flips the crowd off and everyone busts out laughing.
Then Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow takes the stage and we're sure it can't get any better than Ritchie and his little red wagon full of white guitars. But we were wrong my friends, because nothing prepared us for the spectacle of BOC and the amazing light and sound to follow.
And to quote Ed Thompson's letter (below) about that same tour "BUT... THE WRIST MOUNTED LASER THROUGH A SMOKY CONCERT HALL APPEARING TO ORIGINATE FROM A GUY'S FINGER KICKS BUTT!!!!" is an understatement. We were absolutely spellbound by the laser scattering off the mirror-ball. They were the first band to come to Texas that had lasers if I remember correctly so we were suitably impressed.
From the announcers declaration of "On Your Feet or On Your Knees, here they are the amazing Blue Oyster Cult" it was hands down one of the most memorable rock shows I've seen out of many. I saw them at least a dozen more times after that but that first one made me a fan forever.
According to the promoters' website - stonecityattractions.com - the actual openers at this gig were Mott, then Starz, then Rainbow, and then BOC...
The newspaper adverts for the gig were slightly more ambiguous about who was scheduled to open. For example, this is what it said in the 27 Jun 1976 edition of the "San Antonio Express":
Stone City Attractions
Blue Oyster Cult
Friday, July 9
The implication of laying it out like this is that Starz were scheduled to open...
Starz opened the show at Moody Coliseum. Moody is on the S.M.U. campus and tarps were used on the floor and it was usually general admission seating with no chairs on the floor. First come first served during a time when ones space was respected, and mosh pits were something where pigs wallowed. Being twelve at the time my memories are general but vivid. STARZ had big hair, posed a lot and were generally pretty cool.
RUSH was from another planet! I didn't quite get it and the silk pants and clogs were a bit much for my blue jean mind but they were awesome! I am still in love with RUSH to this day and wish I could hear a tape of this show. It was overwhelming. In all fairness about the silk pants thing, look at the 2112 album band portrait and I'll bet even Alex Lifeson (Guitar God) laughs.
B.O.C was a sight and sound extravaganza. The stage presence of Eric Bloom, all in black with shades on and Buck Dharma, all in white was a great start. They were just cool as sh--!! I am sorry to say all I remember musically is that they played well.
This memory is one that is forever branded on my mind. Watching Eric Bloom point out and have what appeared to be a laser beam come from his finger was one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my life. I believe this was the first time I had seen lasers used at a concert. I remember two lasers moving from the behind drum riser and a grid type laser hi-lighted by all the smoke... BUT... THE WRIST MOUNTED LASER THROUGH A SMOKY CONCERT HALL APPEARING TO ORIGINATE FROM A GUY'S FINGER KICKS BUTT!!!!
The show ended with every member of the band out front playing guitar, which was also very cool!
This was what concerts used to be like and how I wish they still were today. All this for less than ten bucks and all the bands appeared to feel as though they were the luckiest people on the planet to be playing for us. What happened?
Although I have some very vivid memories of the concert, my normally excellent memory for details fails me a bit for a very simple reason: I had only heard of Blue Oyster Cult a few days before the concert, and had never heard any of their music. Although I had heard of Rush, I was similarly unaware of their catalog. On the other hand, Starz was getting a lot of airplay on a couple of local stations (including "The ZEW") with their song "I Pulled the Plug", which was obviously inspired by the controversial Karen Quinlan court case.
My most vivid memory of the Rush set is the very intensely focused fellow standing next to me, shouting "Anthem, Anthem!", as if by force of will he could bring about the commencement of this tune. Starz was excellent.
BOC was definitely memorable - in fact, this was the best concert I have ever seen, by an order of magnitude. Unfortunately, other than the opening number, "This Ain't the Summer of Love", I can't tell you what songs played during what were, visually, the most memorable parts of the concert. Since BOC songs up to that point tended to lack hooks, I had no idea what the names of the songs were until the next day when I rushed out and bought "Agents of Fortune". They definitely played "Don't Fear the Reaper", "ETI", "Astronomy", and "Born to Be Wild", "Flaming Telepaths", and "Buck's Boogie". I'm not sure about some of the obvious others, like "Stairway to the Stars" and "Cities on Flame".
I'm not sure which song they used for the Texas Chainsaw Guitar Duel, but it was really cool. One by one, they added guitarists (Joe Bouchard definitely traded his bass for a guitar in this), and the crowd went slightly nuts when Albert Bouchard jumped out from behind his kit and bounced up to the front of the stage with the other guys. Each one stepped forward for a solo, then Buck and Eric, who were on each end, stepped forward, crossed axes, did a couple of back-and-forths, and then raised the guitars, creating a sort of "metal Doppler effect", punctuated by a perfectly timed explosion.
The opening introduction was perfect, too. Starting from total darkness, the announcer intoned, "This ain't the summer of love, it's the summer of Blue Oyster Cult!!", and the flash pot/explosion was timed perfectly with the first note. At the front of the venue, where I was standing, we were temporarily blinded. Our vision returned to see BOC all in position at the mikes just as the vocals began. The guy next to me said, "Cool, where did they come from!?" the first two songs, Buck kept nodding his head in rhythm, with that slight, wry grin of his. This brought on the comment from one of the nearby concertgoers, "Man, he's freakin' me out!"
Aside from the assorted lighting effects, another very cool moment was when Buck sprinted across the length of the stage with the strobe lights. Everyone there also will remember the effect created when lasers were combined to create "smoke trapped in glass" effect just a few feet over the heads of the people on the floor.
The lasers seemed to be working perfectly. They were positioned just to the left and right of Albert's head. One was aimed at a crystal ball in the middle of the right side of the Coliseum, the other was oscillating right to left, and aimed at a crystal ball just opposite the other. When Eric sang Astronomy, his wrist-mounted laser was working perfectly, and my brother and friends farther back later exclaimed, "Man, did you see when the laser came out of his finger!?" He pointed it at the crystal ball on the right side, which was totally cool. It was a truly unbelievable sight in 1976, not that long after "Pong", and before "Space Invaders".
Eric: All black, with leather jacket
Buck: All white, of course, with white coat jacket
Joe: All black
Allen: Black pants, white shirt
Albert: White shirt, black pants and vest
The PowerWindows site has an audio clip of a radio commercial for this gig - they bill it as a BOC/Rush gig with special guests "Mott and UFO". From what Ed and Rick have said above, I originally thought that Starz must have been a late replacement...
However, I have since found a listing for this gig in the 27 Jun 1976 edition of "The Paris News" [Paris TX] which shows Starz were on the bill two weeks earlier:
Blue Oyster Cult, Rush, Mott the Hoople and Starz will lead off the heaviest production, called the "Super Nova" concert, July 10, at SMU's Moody Coliseum.
I saw BOC in July 1976 at the Sam Houston Coliseum. I believe that the backup bands at that show were Rush, Mott the Hoople and Starz. Obviously the back up bands weren't listed on the tickets but I used to write them down on the back of my tickets. My ticket showed Rush, Starz and a ? mark. I'm pretty sure that the ? was Mott because I know I saw them in 1976.
I also found a Rush site that showed these same bands listed as playing backup to Blue Oyster Cult in Shreveport Louisiana on 7/8/76 and in Dallas Texas on 7/10/76. In fact virtually all shows in late July 1976 had these same bands together.
I attended this show and the BOC laser show was in full use. It was great. I recall the Coliseum only being about 2/3 full.
Gig review from the July 15, 1976, issue of the Houston Summer Cougar, which mentions Mott being no-shows, and, during Rush's set, some smart guy throwing a firecracker at Alex Lifeson:
Cult Plays with Lights, Music
By Mark Fowler
It may be presumptuous to say that the Sunday evening Blue Oyster Cult show was the ultimate hard rock concert of the year, considering it is only mid-July, but the overwhelming talent, showmanship and illusionary lighting effects lead to just that conclusion.
With three scheduled opening acts, it came as a blessing that one group, Mott, had canceled. Stars kicked off with a typical set of high-energy rock. Most of their set was marred by the competition between the screeching vocals and screaming guitars on such songs as "Tear It Down" and "Starfire."
Rush played the same brand of music but with a better sense of timing and stronger material such as "Lakeside" and "2112." Unfortunately, during the first encore, some crazed person threw a firecracker into the face of the lead guitarist, temporarily halting the set.
Following their notorious reputation for being purveyors of cosmic evil, the Cult bombarded the audience with scores of laser and other strange lights while alternating between eerie musical passages and tight rock 'n roll.
Twisting geometric shapes floated overhead while lead guitarist Buck Dharma weaved complex guitar runs during "Flaming Telepaths." The flexibility of their music soon became apparent during the softer "(Don't Fear) the Reaper" and the moving "Dominance and Submission."
The Cult also possesses something the majority of rock bands need badly, a vocalist who can actually sing. Eric Bloom came on as a menacing figure of mystery but his every word was understood and sung with a good sense of melody. Drummer Albert Bouchard proved to be no slouch either; he beat a furious solo to a pair of synchronized strobe lights during "Buck's Boogie" and was rewarded with a standing ovation.
The lighting effects varied almost as much as the music. At one point, the laser seemed to reflect from Bloom's wrist into a spectrum of jade rays across the floor area while the nimble Dharma nonchalantly layed down some of the finest riffs in the business. Dharma's highlight came with the encore version of the bluesy "I Ain't Got You" when he cut loose with accurate speed while clowning around onstage.
As a live group, Blue Oyster Cult is on top of the rock pile. Hopefully, a large commercial success won't spoil their dynamic performances.
I originally had this Orlando gig listed as an unknown venue, but I was able to rectify that deficiency, thanks to the 11 July 1976 issue of "Florida Today":
Orlando Sports Stadium presents back-to-back concerts.
Tuesday, July 13, at 8:30 p.m. Parliament and the Funkadelics. Tickets $6.
Wednesday, July 14, at 7 p.m. Blue Oyster Cult and Rush. Tickets $5.
All tickets available at B&K Music Store in Cocoa Beach. There is an additional 25 cent service charge on all tickets.
We drove through a south FL monsoon to get to this show. In the parking lot we walk by this Chevy conversion van with a beautiful noctune of night skies, planets stars and wizards. The wavy old english lettering read Fly by Night and that was my very first intoduction to the band Rush.
The set list was probably a lot like the Maryland show from Live 76 and I was kind of proud of myself that at 15 years old I knew by heart just about every song BOC played.
I drank to much alcohol and smoked to much dope because the laser show made me pretty freakin ill. But I was young and held my own no puking or anything just alot of cold sweats.
The only thing that seemed weird about the show and line up is Starz closed the show. We hung out for that and I can remember how good it felt as most of the people left and the doors opened cooling off the auditorium.
According to the 14 July 1976 edition of the Miami News, UFO were also on this bill...
Can anyone confirm?
Regarding U.F.O. being on the bill... I live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and U.F.O. were on the bill here until a week before the show and were replaced with Starz.
I believe they were scheduled on several of the BOC shows on this tour... but had to bow out and were replaced with Starz on those dates!
The show for 20 JUL 76 at Chattanooga, TN ,was supported by RUSH. It was held at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium which seats 5,000. Sparse crowd of around 1200-1500. I still have ticket stub of the show, which was signed by Buck and Allen.
I recall that RUSH had equipment problems, which caused a short delay. During the time out Geddy Lee made a role call of US States asking if anyone attending the show was from the various locations; small attempt at humor.
Despite delay, RUSH was excellent. Look at the back cover of ALL the World's a Stage, and the pictures of RUSH performing in dim lighting with tan curtains as a back drop are from the this show.
BOC was also very good with full working laser show and Harley, and left no doubt they were the headliners.
Ticket cost was $3.50 advance, $5.00 day of show.
If you check out the ad above, you'll see it says Greensboro was on the 23rd July. However, I came across the first ticket stub above on eBay which said Greensboro was Saturday the 24th!
Now, roadie Ricky Reyer's notes say:
7/23 - Greensboro NC
7/24 - Fayetteville NC
That tends to add credence to the ad above being correct, especially if you check out the images I have for Fayetteville Cumberland County Arena below, you'll see they - also - are both dated Saturday 24 July (I know they're both small, but if you squint you can see!!)
So, in the absence of any other evidence, I was forced to conclude that the Greensboro ticket was wrongly-dated as Saturday 24th July when it should have been Friday 23rd July.
Then I came across the second ticket above, also on eBay. If you check it out, you'll see that it's been stamped over with a new date. Although only a part of the text is visible - "Friday Ju" - I'm still happy that this refers to Friday July 23.
Apart from the wrong date, there are two other mistakes on the ticket - for a start it has Rush down as third on the bill, plus it designates Mott as "Mott the Hoople"!!
1976 was a seminal summer for yours truly. My mates and I started listening to RUSH and BOC that spring. Both had put out three albums but we did not know it at the time.
We only knew about 2112 and Agents of Fortune. The former was luck, my friend thumbing through albums at Belk's Department Store and liking the cover. BOC had exploded on to the scene with DFTR getting lots of airplay.
Anyway, when we heard they were coming to Greensboro, we knew we had to go.
I don't remember much, but if memory serves me, they served beer in bottles. It was hotter than hell inside too. The Triad Arena, which we were still calling the Piedmont Sports Arena, was a hockey rink that held about 6K. Festival seating so we got up fairly close.
We were thrilled the most with RUSH playing Side One of 2112, and the oyster boys playing DFTR. At the end of the show, Albert joined the others for the five-man guitar assault. Now that was cool!
Mott surely played "All The Young Dudes" but my brain cells are fried on that one.
An interesting side note:
For years, PowerWindows, a great RUSH site by Eric Hansen, listed this show as being held at the Memorial Auditorium. I finally had enough, and went to the Library of Congress (about a 20 minute drive on a Saturday morning) and looked through the microfilm for the Greensboro Daily News. Found the ad, sent it to Eric and he updated it with the correct info.
By the way, in the newspaper, the Ramada Inn had an ad for "All You Can Eat Seafood Nite." $1.95.
Of course, all the rock heads went to Roy Rogers on High Point Road. Double R Cheeseburger, anyone?
Despite me having a ticket for Greensboro NC dated Saturday 24 July 1976 (see previous gig), I'm still reasonably happy that this gig was, in fact, Fayetteville NC...
Rush opened - I remember that the equipment wasnt working properly for Rush or something of that nature and they were late getting started by at least an hour and then they only played about 25 to 30 minutes.
This was my first concert and it was sold out. Got quite alot of things offered to me to sell my ticket. I could possibly still have my stub but it would take some searching.
I vaguely remember that Mott's soundman couldn't make the show and I mixed both B.O.C. and them. That's why I have a Mott cassette of that show.
They jammed quite a bit in their set, something I had long ago forgotten. There's a Mondo Medley at the end!
There were photos taken back stage with one of the guitarist sitting or standing with or on a 1976 black Harley-Davidson belonging to a good friend of mine whom has now passed on.
We were working the show that night and had a blast. Would love to have a copy of the photos taken that night if possible.
If I remember right the guitar player had on a long black jacket and was playing a black Les Paul. Would have made a great picture.
BOC cancelled as Albert was sick - but ZZ Top still headlined...
I've seen a (blurred) poster on ebay which gave the venue as Mile High Stadium (aka Bears Stadium), and gave the full band running order as:
However, the official site has this "gig" down as McNichols Arena and Ken Langford's ZZ Top gig list site concurs, giving the additional information that this gig was "rescheduled from Mile High Stadium", so that fits in with the poster...
Was Point Blank the support for this show?
On your BOC gig list for 1976, for 2 August, you have "unknown venue" for the Boise, Idaho, USA show. I can tell you it was at the Fairgrounds Expo Building on the grounds of the Idaho State Fairgrounds.
It would have been the only place where rock concerts would have been able to take place in the mid- to late-1970s in Boise. It's my home town and I was in junior high school and high school in the late 70s.
In the advert above (from Ken Langford) Rory Gallagher is listed, but I've read a review from this gig and he isn't mentioned.
Does anyone know if he actually played this gig?
No Rory Gallager. (Too bad for us).
The Winters were great and they played with a big black tarp over the top of the stage to block the hot mid afternoon sun.
Here's a gig review from the August 21, 1976, issue of Billboard magazine:
Aug. 7 was the date for another of the massive rock extravaganzas that has characterized the summer of '76.
Exploding into its set through a cloud of smoke, Blue Oyster Cult succeeded in tight musical presentation and a strong stage presence that captured the crowd. The three-man frontline started off with Eric Bloom, guitar /vocals; Donald Roeser, lead guitar/vocals, and Joe Bouchard on bass. Allen Lanier doubled on keyboards and guitar while Albert Bouchard stayed for the most part on drums although he, as well as all other members of the band, took his turn at the front of the stage. This changing lineup and the band's pleasing stage theatrics, especially on the part of Bloom, gave the set enough versatility and movement to keep it energetic and interesting.
The group's music, a good selection of material taken mainly from the band's recent Columbia LP "Agents Of Fortune" featured Roeser's guitar work and Bloom's vocals. These, however, remained fresh due to the good contrasts of keyboards and solos. The rendition of "E.T.I." from the above-mentioned album was especially pleasing.
The "Cult" saved its popular single, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" until the encore, and predictably, this number was the highlight of the set.
Point Blank, a new act on Arista Records, launched the afternoon's activities. Despite the difficulty of appealing to such a large number of people with unknown material, the band won a favorable reception and warmed the crowd up for the following acts.
The Winter Brothers set was primarily made up of a selection of foot-stomping standards that had the crowd clapping approval. Opening with "Let The Good Times Roll," the band fell into a nice bluesy style that easily moved into "Johnny Be Good" and "You've Lost That Loving Feeling."
The set continued in the same vein until the last number, the favorite "Frankenstein" at which point the band broke into a high-energy synthesized sound which shows this number at its best. This continued through the encore with "Jumping Jack Flash." The only obvious flaw of this performance was a tendency on the part of Johnny and Edgar Winter to dwell upon an exchange of screams until it became tiring.
Headliners ZZ Top were recently reviewed in Billboard at a New Orleans appearance.
The posters above give two different venue names on them - one says "Charger Stadium" and the other says "San Diego Stadium". Just to confuse matters, another source gives the venue as "Balboa Stadium".
If you know which - if any - is correct, please let me know...
We always refered to it as Balboa Stadium.
I was at this show and it was at San Diego Stadium not Balboa Stadium...
It was at San Diego Stadium in Mission Valley, I worked a vending stand at the venue. Great Show while getting pay! J
According to the Jul 25, 1976, issue of the local newspaper, The Sioux City Journal, BOC played the Sioux City Municipal Auditorium on Fri, Aug 13, 1976, at 8:00 PM, with Rush opening the festivities.
The advert also mentioned the "special laser and flash light show," which, as you know, impressed many a concert-goer during the Agents of Fortune tour.
Special thanks goes out to Nancy Neumann, the Sioux City Library research librarian, for her help on this one.
Here's a preview for this gig from the 13 Aug 1976 edition of the "The Sioux City Journal":
Concert Features Laser Light Show
The Blue Oyster Cult concert at 8:30 o'clock tonight in the Municipal Auditorium will feature a $100,000 laser light show designed by one of the nation's top optical laboratories.
Among the devices used in the show are lead singer Eric Bloom's bracelet, a small prism assembly capable of projecting a cone of laser light wherever he points his hand.
Drummer Albert Bouchard is equipped with a "laser rifle" used to explode containers of mylar-reflective flakes over the audience.
Bouchard's plexiglass drum riser also contains additional laser and optical devices.
The laser's 21-watt capacity is roughly 20 times more powerful than most commercially available lasers according to the band's manager Sandy Pearlman.
A digital computer system is used to handle the programming of many laser effects.
A series of theatrical effects designed by a Broadway effects house will augment the laser system. Conventional lighting will come from a 120-instrument, double truss theatrical lighting system which powers, among other things, 10 laboratory strobe lights.
Next to the above text was a boxed picture ad for the gig, which had the worrying strapline: "Tonite! Plenty of Seats Available."
Obviously, the implication of this is that not too many tickets had been sold for the show. I mean, c'mon Sioux City!! BOC and Rush plus a state of the art laser show!! What more do you bloody want?
The ad had the following additional information:
Special Laser & Flash Light Show
Tickets $5.00 advance, $6.00 day of show, available in Sioux City at Uncle John's Records, Lefler's Records, Record Roost, World Radio, and Goldfines; in Sioux Falls at Rolling Thunder; in Vermillion at Rolling Thunder; in Brookings at Captain Ahab's; in Yankton at Karl's Music; in Wayne at the Joynt.
Hi. The other bands on the bill on this show were 1. Point Blank and 2. Rush. Great site. Thanks.
I'm not sold on the idea of Rush being the support on this Fargo, ND gig. I vaguely recall an interview from around 5 years ago where Neil Peart said they have played nearly all the 48 contiguous states but 2, and I thought ND was one of those states.
Also, that particular date falls during a believed rest between the 2112 and All The World's a Stage tours, so its an oddity...
Heading out tonight (12 May 2015) to see Rush headline the Xcel Energy Center with two grade school buddies who made this show in Fargo in 1976.
BOC really delivered and I will verify Rush was in the house this night and as much as BOC blew us away Rush wasn't far behind. Think I bought 2112 the next day...
Great site for BOC fans way to go!
I was at this show. Rush was on the bill. BOC headlined. I was 19 years old. Long time ago!
Was Point Blank the support for this show?
Here's some information from the August 15, 1976 edition of the The Kansas City (MO) Star:
The Cult is Coming
Blue Oyster Cult, with special guests Rush and Point Blank, Tuesday, August 17, 8:00 PM at the Topeka Municipal Auditorium. Special laser and flash light show (watch out!).
Tickets are $5.00 in advance.
17 Aug 1976 in Topeka Kansas was my first BOC concert and very memorable. Rush was the headline act and Point Blank was the opener. There were only a few hundred attending, no formal seating, just open floor.
Most of the auditorium lights stayed on while Point Blank opened. The audience generally ignored them while playing frisbee or milling about. Occasionally, people booed or shouted insults. It was clear that the crowd was there for BOC and Rush. An outlaw country rock band like Point Blank was not a good match.
Then it was announced that Rush had cancelled and anyone could get a full refund if they left right then. I saw maybe a dozen people leave. Everyone else was psyched for BOC.
I was in the middle of the crowd and only about 25 feet away from the stage and right under the mirror ball hanging over the audience. Despite the tiny crowd BOC gave it their all, including 2 encores.
The most memorable things about the concert were the kick-ass laser show and the huge yellow explosion that kicked off Born to Be Wild. I'd seen explosions and lasers before but never anything as dramatic. Especially loved the laser on the mirror ball, breaking it into many small beams that showered the audience. The explosion singed my eye brows and I couldn't see anything for ~10 seconds.
I saw BOC at least 3 more times over the next few years and was disappointed that they had to scale back the lasers and explosions for safety reasons. A friend of mine from North Dakota also saw them on that tour. I found it amazing that a band popular as BOC was set that time played venues as small as Topeka, Kansas and Fargo, North Dakota. They truly were the hardest working band. I've never met anyone who did not love one of their concerts.
I started university a week after that concert and those cool technical effects were partly what inspired me to major in chemical engineering. I even bought my own laser a year later to give light shows for my friends as we listened to music. It cost $200, which was a lot back in 1977, enough to buy a decent stereo system.
I was reminiscing about that concert and did a search to find out what the name of the opening band was who got booed off the stage. I didn't like them much either but I was shocked at the rudeness of the crowd. I can't remember any other opening act being treated so badly at any other concert I ever went to. Do you remember any other bands who played with BOC who were treated like that?
Thanks for curating the website.
The poster above clearly says 21 August, yet Ricky Reyer's road notes from the period have this gig down as 23 August 1976.
However, I've since seen a box ad in the 13 Aug 1976 edition of "The Decatur Herald" that confirms the 21 August date:
Blue Oyster Cult
Aug 21, Pekin, ILL.
Only at Co-op
Mon. Sat. 11 am-9 pm
Sun 12-6 pm
I have a ticket from Aug 21st 1976 in Pekin IL. Also, Angel cancelled and was replaced with Piper.
I only know of this gig as a result of the following review that appeared in the 25 August 1976 edition of "The Salt Lake Tribune":
Blue Oyster Cult, Laser Succeed
By Mike Dunn
The Salt Palace, home of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for the past week, was the setting for another one of the "Greatest Shows on Earth" Tuesday night as Blue Oyster Cult performed before 6,000 persons proclaiming heavy metal an art form, not just a pain in the ears.
With the help of a leading optical physics laboratory, Blue Oyster Cult developed one of the most sophisticated laser light shows ever created for their latest concert tour. Costing more than $100,000 the laser system incorporated many dramatic effects into the rock'n'roll show.
Among the devices that the Cult integrated into its performances were: lead singer Eric Bloom's bracelet which was actually a small prism assembly that projected a swirling cone of laser beams wherever he pointed his hand: drummer Albert Bouchard's laser rifle, with which he exploded containers of reflective plastic flakes that fell in a shower on the audience: other optic devices used by group members Allen Lanier, Donald Roeser and Joe Bouchard which bathed the stage in a wide variety of effects.
The laser's electrical capacity, according to an optical physicist employed specially to operate the show, is powerful enough to write on clouds in broad daylight.
I don't know about that, but the system definitely lit up the dark, smoky Salt Palace arena.
And then there was the music. Although Blue Oyster Cult's precise studio work, which is apparent on each of its five albums seems to melt into raw driving rock when the musicians climb on stage, the music manages to retain an adequate measure of subtle melodic temper.
Led by Don 'Buck Dharma' Roeser, an adequate guitarist to say the least, the Cult both riddled and soothed the stomping crowd with such varied selections as "Me 262," "The Three Friends" and the current chart-topper "Don't Fear the Reaper".
Preceding the headliner was Straight Shooter, a gritty five-man band from Texas whose musicians played a combination of thumping western-rock tunes reminiscent of of Black Oak Arkansas.
In respect to its music and performance, Blue Oyster Cult is a concept band, but that concept didn't prevent BOC from earning a reputation as one of America's premier heavy metal concert groups.
Though the concert as a whole was hurting a little from the noticeable absence of the group Paris and entertainer Bob Seiger, both of whom failed to show up for the Salt Lake show, the headliners pulled it off in grand fashion.
The August 27th, 1976 gig in Louisville, KY (I was there, but wouldn't confirm the exact date) was at Louisville Gardens. It was a great show.
Starz was the opener. This was right after their first album came out, and they were getting a lot of airplay in Louisville. The crowd was into them during "Fallen Angel" and "I Pulled the Plug". Michael Lee Smith popped the cork on a champagne bottle, put it between his legs and sprayed the first couple of rows.
Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush were 2nd billed. They were good, but not as high energy as Starz.
BOC were awesome.
The clipping above tells of an Aug 28 festival in Morgantown NC that was going to feature BOC but apparently it was struggling to get the official go ahead.
Now, I know BOC ended up playing in Warren OH on that date (see directly below), so they clearly didn't play this gig, but I don't know if the show actually went ahead anyway with the other bands?
If it did, Rush apparently didn't play as they had a gig in Traverse City, MI on that date (according to PowerWindows)...
This was a wild one. I remember there were thousands of crickets everywhere. There was some guy walking around with a baggy full of live crickets. Needing gas money to get home, he was offering to eat them for cash. Needless to say we scrounged up a bunch of change to make our donation, it was gross and funny all at the same time.
As for the show, well just as J Geils was setting up, (they had an all white stage, amps, piano everything was white) a lightning storm rolled in (of course). So now they start tearing down as the lightning crackles all around. The crowd started getting really pissed. They set up for BOC as the crowd continues to get rowdy and then all of a sudden, they take the stage as Eric proclaimed "We're not going to let a little lightning stop us."
After the show there was a show of force by the men in blue. They marched shoulder to shoulder in their riot gear to clear the people out. If I remember correctly, I think someone was even killed at this show.
It was my first big concert, I was 15 and spent most of the day in awe of the entire scene - a memory I never want to forget.
I am not sure about a death as mentioned above, but I do know where was a stabbing early on because it was close to where were sitting - also there was a baby born - it was on the news the next day.
I also remember lots of fires being started after the show in the dark - concession stands burning as the police cleared the place. My buddy only had his permit and the rest of were not 16 yet, so he stole his dads car and drove from Youngstown - then of all things he lost the keys and we had to call his dad to come out after the concert - what a day what a night
This link to a book about Cleveland rock memories says BOC didn't turn up and there was a riot!!!:
Here's some info from the August 30 issue of the Sandusky Register:
Violence Disrupts Concert
WARREN, Ohio (UPI) - Two persons had their throats slit and another had a lung punctured when he fell into an open manhole during a riot following a rock concert near here Saturday.
The 12-hour "Mosquito Dam Jam", near the Trumbull County Fairgrounds, attracted an estimated 40,000 rock music fans, which turned into a rock and bottle throwing melee. At least 25 persons were injured.
The crowd, apparently angered when rain caused curtailment of the concert, tore down refreshment stands and threw rocks and debris at police cruisers.
Richard Glaser of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Darrell Saunders of Bellevue, Pa., suffered slit throats in the melee. They were in fair condition Sunday at Trumbull Memorial Hospital. Officials said they did not know how they suffered the injuries.
Officers said Jeffery Pasquareli, 22, Painesville, fell into an open manhole, puncturing his lung. He was in critical condition Sunday in the intensive care unit at St. Joseph Hospital. Seven persons were treated at Trumbull Memorial, while 15 persons were treated at St. Joseph Hospital. All were released.
Trumbull County sheriff's deputies were aided by Ohio Highway Patrol officers and policemen from several nearby communities in quelling the disturbance.
Shortly before midnight many of the rock music fans still refused to leave the speedway grounds, northwest of here in northeastern Ohio. "There were 60 to 75 deputies in full riot gear there to get those still there to leave," a witness at the track said.
One person said the officers were threatening them. "Nobody wanted to leave even though it was midnight. There also was big traffic jam there."
More than 100 automobiles were towed from the area, officials said. Fans were upset not only that the concert ended abruptly, but many said they had understood "The J. Geils Band" had been scheduled to play and complained of being "ripped off.
Officials said another rock concert is scheduled to be held Labor Day at a nearby race course and confusion may have developed over the appearance of the Geils band.
Trumbull County Sheriff Robert Barnett said many of those who attended the Saturday rock concert camped at the fairgrounds the prior night, and he had had trouble with the group at that time. They reportedly stole lumber from home construction, sites in the area to build fires for cooking and warmth. Barnett said the campers had caused "all kinds of litter."
The rock concert program called for music by "Bob Seeger and the Silver Bullet," "Blue Oyster Cult" and "Starz".
Here's some more info about this show and the riot that occurred from the August 30 issue of the Findlay Courier:
Ugly Rock Concert Crowd Spoils Jam
WARREN, Ohio (AP) - Six Cleveland area men were arrested early Sunday following a rain-canceled rock concert at the Trumbull County fairgrounds, authorities said. A spokeswoman for the sheriff's department said she could not name the men or the charges on which they were booked.
The "Mosquito Dam" turned into a rock throwing brawl about 9:30 p.m. when the 12-hour concert was called off because of the rain.
Two Pennsylvania teenagers were listed in serious condition Sunday in Trumbull Memorial Hospital with slashed throats. A hospital spokesman said they were the victims of a rock fan who "went berserk."
They were identified as Darrell Saunders of Bellevue and Richard Glaser of Pittsburgh, both 18. The hospital also treated 14 drug-related cases and four policemen who were injured by thrown objects as they tried to disperse the crowd of 25,000.
A 13-year-old Akron girl was injured early Saturday when she was struck by a car which took a shortcut through a field where she was sleeping. Barbara Mauk was listed in satisfactory condition, the hospital said.
Deputies and police from 10 departments were called in to help break up the crowd at the site near the southern end of Mosquito Lake, about three miles north of Warren.
Extensive damage also was reported to the fairgrounds. Deputies said scores of area residents complained of a sleepless night from fans' profanity and other disturbances. Motorists said they were pelted by eggs and tomatoes. Bottles and cans were thrown at passing police' cruisers, deputies said.
The concert featured Blue Oyster Cult, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, R.E.O. Speed Wagon and Starz.
Note the date on the T-shirt image above which says "Aug 30th" - the gig was definitely on the 29th August!!
The BOC show 29 AUG 76 was at the Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta.
Bands performing in order of appearance were 38 Special (rumored to be their first ever show), Bob Seger, Edgar and Johnny Winter, BOC and KISS. Was poorly attended with about 17,000 due to bad weather and (besides BOC and KISS) weak line-up.
BOC had to stop playing at least once due to rain, and I recall Buck addressing crowd and stating he could not touch his guitar. Laser show did not function properly, yet despite these setbacks, BOC won the day musically.
I have a ticket stub for the show, but only KISS is mentioned. Cost for show including parking was $7.50.
A friend saw the show at the Fulton County Stadium which hosted many other groups among those being Kiss... anyway...
He said there were a lot of scattered thunderstorms that day and that Allen Lanier had trouble with his keyboards due to the rain... he said it appeared that he was being shocked when he would play... so he would jump back and curse a lot :-)...
Atlanta show 8/29/76: I do recall the rain, the unintended set breaks & the fact that BOC seemed to keep getting zapped onstage. Earlier, Bob Seger broke out some Night Moves material (at that point unreleased, I think) to an indifferent audience-but he did get them going a little bit with "Ramblin', Gamblin' Man."
All I remember from Edgar & Johnny Winter was the crazy, long version of "Frankenstein." At some point, during a set change, the audience began to tear up the tarps covering the bases on the playing field-a basic, inevitable redneck moment, I guess. (When you consider all the rock shows & moto-cross events held in that relatively dire, utilitarian facility, it's no wonder that its infield was considered the worst in Major League Baseball.)
I recall .38 Special opening the show, but they were new to me. Little did I know that, over the coming years, I'd see them more times in Columbus than I ever needed. It was a very long day. By the time Kiss went on, it was pretty late, making for a long ride home to Columbus. (Thanks, mom.) Lots of soggy, drunk & stoned 96-Rockers at that messy gig. Still have the ticket.
This show was heavily promoted and early ticket sales were high. Kiss did an entertaining in-store promo at Peaches record store (well known to Atlantans at that time). But despite all of this early optimism, the rainy weather dominated the event by causing long delays between bands and interruptions in BOC's set.
It also turned out the show was on the night before school was due to begin in the metro Atlanta area. Thus overall attendance was low due to no-shows and people trickling out once the rain really kicked in. The headliners, Kiss, didn't hit the stage until midnight !
BOC hit the stage around 9 p.m. and I was anxious to hear their new material from Agents of Fortune. They opened up (after the lengthy rain delay) with a strong presence but they had to stop during a heavy down pour. They resumed but it never returned to the same energy level as before. Also their famous laser show didn't come off so well. They readily acknowledged this though they did a solid job of finishing the set.
However, they made up for this gig the next year in 77 when they played Atlanta's Omni arena and did a spectacular job - Eric even mentioned that it was the "make up" gig for the rain-out at the 76 stadium show.
The other opening bands turned in unremarkable performances- 38 Special opened the show, no one knew them, so there was only polite applause. Bob Seger did better but being a virtual unknown in the Southern US at that time he too only received polite applause (it was only months before his career exploded with Night Moves). Bob was well known in Detroit and surrounding environs at the time of this show but almost no where else.
Everyone thought that the Winter brothers would put on a spectacular show but it too was lackluster with a seemingly interminable version of Frankenstein. Two intensely stoned attendees in the row in front of me seemed to have a spiritual experience during the infamous synthesizer breakdown in Frankenstein and that made for better entertainment than the band. I had hoped that Johnny Winter would have exhibited some of that fiery playing he was so well known for but the flame never got beyond a flicker.
So after the Winter bros there was a long delay because of rain and many people just gave up and left. Originally I had thought this a good thing because, as this was a general admission show, I could then easily walk up next to the stage but the down pour made that a pain. I didn't care about being soaked but it I wasn't going to stand there with no music playing.
As mentioned previously Kiss hit the stage at midnight when the sky had cleared. I must admit they put on a good show but then again everyone was so tired that I don't think we would have cared if was bad or not. I do know I felt really bad having to get up bright and early the next day to start school.
I have a strong suspicion that this gig was cancelled, so much so that I have removed it from the giglists. Here's why...
For a start - this gig is not on Ricky Reyer's lists so straight away that makes it a bit suspect, ticket or no ticket...
Now, I often check out eBay for ticket stub/poster info and I can confidentally predict that there will be at least two tickets from this show on sale at any given moment. Not only that, but they will never be used stubs. Always pristine full tickets.
Consequently, I think this gig was cancelled and somebody has since come across a wad of the unused tickets and is hitting eBay with them with a vengeance...
If you know the truth, please let me know...
You are correct to doubt that this gig took place. I know it did not take place because I am from Jackson and was deeply disappointed that it was cancelled.
I don't recall the reason but I remember hearing about it's cancellation on the radio.
You can still find a lot of unused tickets for this show on Ebay, as of course, the tickets were never used.
You do see a lot of unused concert tickets on Ebay that are from Jackson, MS concerts. Here's the reason. BeBop Productions brought the vast majority of concerts here. BeBop is actually a locally owned record shop.
Since Jackson is between Memphis and New Orleans and is a much smaller town than these other markets, our shows did not always fill up. Drake Elder is the owner of BeBop and I imagine Drake held on to all the leftover tickets over the years. Probably before and after Ebay became a known and valuable commodity, Drake either got rid of a lot of these tickets or sold them to others and then the cycle kept going.
If my memory serves me right, I think Bob Seger was supposed to be the opening act.
I was at this show, what a night!! This was the Kickoff event for our senior year in high school. It was the final blowout of the summer. Anybody who was anyone was there. Even a couple of teachers! Hey, it was the 70s. The good old days...
Hara Arena is a dumpy, low budget hockey arena. But it was ours. We dominated that venue. General admission days. It amazes me when I look back at the bands that played at Hara. That night was fantastic. All three bands were really peeking at that time.
Rush was touring 2112, Styx was touring Crystal Ball and the ticket price was 6.50$ Are you kidding?
BOC was out of control. We were out of control. There was some rant about the government and smoking pot, worked everyone into a lather. We were screaming Dominance and Submission all night. it was a crazy night. I was a BOC fan for life.
My 1st BOC show was Sept. 4th, 1976. It was an outdoor show, with beautiful weather. The opening act was Wet Willie ("Keep on Smiling"). BOC opened with "Stairway to the Stars". The major highlight for me was the 1-2-3 punch of "Morning Final", "Then Came the Last Days of May" (complete with "true story" monologue), and the instrumental 5 Guitars/Golden Age of Leather.
I was 19 years old - it was 1976 - do I even need to say Major Party Time? During "Dominance and Submission" when Eric was doing his "pot/free speech rules! Government sucks!" rap, someone threw a joint onstage and... you can guess what happened next.
Eric got a standing ovation. Times are different now though, and I would caution you not to make the same decisions that teenagers made back inthe '70's.
Anyway, the encores were "Hot Rails to Hell", "Before the Kiss, a Redcap" which segued into "Bucks Boogie". My only disappointment was they didn't do "Astronomy". I had to wait until I saw them with Black Sabbath to see them do it. But thats another story...
OK - this is a strange one.
First off - the post above, which I got off the now deceased "alt.music.boc", doesn't mention a venue or location.
The offical site indicates that - on this date - BOC played:
So I went with that, in the absence of any other info.
Unfortunately, roadie Rick Reyer's notes have this date down as:
As the Dayton show seems to have taken place on the 3rd (and was confirmed on a Styx fan site - now offline), I'm currently still with Evansville. Yet Mike Phelp's review says it was an outdoor show.
Is Mesker Music Theatre an outdoor arena? I'm guessing not.
So this date remains wrapped in a spot of confusion. Can you help?
I have the stub. 09/04/1976 is the correct date and Mesker Music Amphitheater in Evansville Indiana is the correct venue. The stub says Blue Oyster Cult with special 'guests' and three acts were typical at Mesker in those years.
To be honest, I cannot remember the opening acts. I do remember seeing Wet Willie at Mesker but can't truly be sure it was at this concert. I can say for certain that Wet Willie was the third act when I saw them and this concert most likely had three acts.
By the way - Mesker Amphitheater is indeed an outside venue and it has been known by Mesker Music Theater as well. I believe the name changed to Mesker Amphitheater after some extensive renovations were done there, probably in the late 70's or early 80's.
Mesker is still an awesome place to see a concert.
Apparently, according to kissfaq.com there was "a minor fan riot" at this gig, as fans rushed the entrance for the general admission seating trampling some fellow fans... I'd love to know more about this...
I was there, no fan riot.
I and my friends went to see KISS - Destroyer was out. BOC had released DFTR and it was getting radio play.
BOC opened and put on an amazing show. Kiss had all kinds of problems, even had to restart a song.
We all left talking about how amazing BOC WAS.
I was at this show. We waited all day for the general admission seating.
There was a small fan riot on the outside. People smashing the doors trying to get inside the stadium. Not too serious. The grass turf was flying all over as people ripped up chunks and threw it into the crowd.
I don't remember much of Artful Dodger but BOC and KISS were both great. A very memorable event.
I originally had this gig potentially down for 1977 as that was the only year which seemed possible if we're to believe the "Saturday 10 September" as detailed on the above poster...
Then I got emailed first by Kenny Welch of the BOC road crew - who said "BOC was still in the rehearsal hall on that date in 1977" - and then by Eric Hansen of PowerWindows who said Rush were in Saskatoon on that date, so Rush couldn't have been on the bill...
In the face of this info, I decided that this must have been a 'phantom' gig and took it off the lists...
Then I came across the online searchable archives for the Ann Arbor Sun newspaper and in their Friday 10 Sept 10 1976 edition they had this:
So!! That bloody poster got the day wrong - "Saturday", indeed!!!! I should mention that there was no mention of this gig in the preceding week's edition (3rd Sept).
I was at this show, although I don't remember the setlist or much more about it other than it was probably my 3rd BOC show and was spectacular. I had just started my new job that I've been at for 33 years, and had to beg to get the night off, I'm glad I did.
This was my first big concert. I had just turned 16 and the show was in downtown Detroit at Cobo Arena. I was in awe of the show and had a great time.
Roadie Ricky Reyer had this date down as a gig in Erie PA. No other details.
I know the stub (off eBay) above doesn't give any definitive info as to gig location but it's context does point to it being from a Columbus gig on that date.
First of all, it was amongst a job lot of other BOC tickets - all from Columbus shows from 1975 - 1991. The promoter (Sunshine) was the same on all the tickets and the ticket designs and formats were all consistent with being Columbus gigs.
Now - I do know of an Erie gig for either Sept or Oct 1976 - no definitive date is currently available, but circumstantial evidence points to something like 14 Oct. See that date below for more information...
The Vets Memorial show was at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Columbus on 9/12/76 with Bob Seger. Seger was very good but BOC killed. I remember they did "D&S," "Cities on Flames," "ME262," "Buck's Boogie" and "The Reaper," and others.
I managed to interview the band - I got 30 mins. with them after the show. The guys were very friendly, and shorter than I thought they'd be!
Regarding the date, I'm positive it was 12 Sept so the ticket stub on your site is correct for Columbus. Sunshine promoted shows around Ohio.
Also, the Vets Memorial website lists all their concerts and has BOC/Seger as 9/12/76 there - here's a link:
Unfortunately, I don't have my ticket stub but on my list of interviews I've compiled over the years I wrote Sept. 12 at the time.
My would be wife and I attended this concert as the first we ever went to together. Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band opened the show as mentioned. BOC was using laser lights in the show, which was the first show I ever saw with them.
I don't remember the specific set list, but I know it was heavy on music from new Agents of Fortune album, and many of the songs from On Your Feet or On Your Knees live album.
After the show, the band signed autographs at the local Buzzard's Nest Records store from behind the counter. It was jam packed and hard to move around to meet all the band members, but I talked to Allen Lanier, who kidded me when I told him my name was Alan, but I told him, "yes, but it's spelled different." He passed the page on to the other members of the band to also sign it.
I was perusing my old Performance Magazine Box Office Roundups and came across the info for the Sep 12, 1976, show.
The concert did, indeed, take place on that date at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial Coliseum with Bob Seger opening. The venue held 3,964 people, 3,330 of whom (85% of capacity) filed into the Coliseum to witness the show.
Tickets set back the lucky attendees a mere $5.50, or $6.50 if they waited until the day of the show to make the purchase.
I saw Angel, Rush, and BOC at Murray State University in Murray, KY in 1976. I can't find the show listed anywhere. i don't know the date, but I would like to. It was my first concert, I was 14 years old...
According to the Sep 10, 1976, edition of the Murray State University student newspaper, The Murray State News, the concert in Murray, Kentucky, was held at 8:00 PM on Monday, Sep 13, 1976, in Roy Stewart Stadium there on campus.
Special thanks goes out to Jeff Henry of the Murray State University library for his invaluable help on this one.
I was at this concert, a birthday gift from my sister. It was a solidly packed house, I recall my sister telling me she came through the doors off of her feet, wedged between people, and she's not short. I was down near the front when Angel played, but the crowd was so tight, breathing meant moving someone out of the way. A friend and I went for fresh air during the changeover to Rush, but then couldn't get back in when Rush started, because of the packed people, so I really missed actually seeing Rush play that night. Found my sister (and her friends) when BOC started and watched them from there, exhausted by that point.
This was one of two shows I saw at that venue back then, and this entry here is the first mention of either of them I've been able to find. It's like venues this small just don't show up on anyone's history of tour dates.
9-15-76 - BOC, Rush, doing all of 2112, Angel. It was at an armory type venue I think.
Best show ever. Full BOC laser festival, and clear 4-way windowpane...
Well, Wally reckons this gig was Wednesday 15 Sept - I think it was Monday 13 Sept. Anybody know for sure?
I was freshman at NH College and needed a job. I was at the NH unemployment office and learned that there was a need for roadies at the show.
Having just seen them 9 months ago, I called and got the last spot. Pay was $25.00 and a concert tee shirt food and Bud. Had to sho up at the ice rink (do not remember the name) at 7AM.
There was no stage, so one had to be built. I hooked up with the Laser guy (don't remember his name) and became his worker. Placed mirror tiles on the back walls and hung a mirror ball on scoreboard.
The ball was in danger of falling during the show and we had to lower it during the show. I think we did that between acts.
Working with the Laser had one great benefit. Got to drink the Band's beer. Green bottle, either Molsen, but more likely it was Heineken.
Opening act was Angel, I had never heard of them.
The next act was Rush. They were great.
BOC played just as great as the first time I saw them. We did not finish breaking down the stage and loading the trucks until 7 AM the next morning. S25.00 for 24 hours of work and I got stiffed on the tee shirt.
This show I think was on a Thursday night. I skipped school to go and think I missed most of my next days classes.
Stop Press: Thanks to the tireless investigations of Bert Gangl who found out that BOC actually played Murray on the 13th Sept, I can now safely re-date this show back to Wednesday 15 Sept - just like Wally said in the first place!!
This gig was confirmed on the the Angel "grndzero.com" tourdates site. Unfortunately, it currently seems to be offline...
Here's a show review from the September 23, 1976, issue of The Racquette newspaper of Potsdam NY:
Blue Oyster, Rush, and Angel
When the term rock concert is uttered, it usually conveys a number of meanings. One person may associate it with a gigantic frisbee exhibition. I mean, any concert-goer knows the pleasure derived from watching some unsuspecting innocent bystander get "clocked" by a frisbee. (Or the exhilaration of getting even).
Another might associate rock concert with the idea of consuming "herbs" in complete safety. Once again, anyone who has attended a concert knows of the immense clouds of sweet, aromatic smoke which rises from "various" portions of the arena.
Even if you came empty-handed, there is always some kind individual ready with a handout. But the majority of people associate a rock concert with loud, driving music which has become the trademark of the institution. Some find this repulsive, such as world-reknowned musical genius, Yahudi Meneuhin, who recently attended a Rolling Stones concert.
He found it to be astoundingly loud and described the occurance as a menagerie. I guess he's correct in some respects, but most of the people appreciated the high intensity volume (I being one of them), and that's what the groups give them.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending one of these rock and roll extravaganzas. It seems that Blue Oyster Cult, Rush, and Angel decided to congregate in the Syracuse War Memorial. The last time I attended an event in this building, I saw possibly the worst concert of all time - Z.Z. Top and Slade.
Once inside, the pre-concert ritual was already taking place. The "haze" was beginning to take form, the frisbees and rolls of toilet paper were flying, and everybody was just having a good time. What surprised me was the size of the crowd. Expecting a full house, I was amazed to find the arena only about three-quarters full.
Soon the lights dimmed and Angel was announced. My first incounter with this relatively new group occurred in a Circus magazine article last winter. They were reviewed and described as being in the developmental stages, but mention was made of their "metal" abilities, and so I was a bit anxious to hear their first number. Little did I know that they'd be the worst opening act I'd ever seen since Skyhooks opened up for Uriah Heep.
Angel was a cross between Kiss, Queen, and Monty Python (for their comic value, not intended of course), but with none of their talent. They emerged with out-landish costumes, obviously to give them optimal appeal and to disguise the lack of musical talent which was obvious. They went through about ten numbers which could have been all the same song for all I know. It was cliche rock taken to its paramount. (Exaggerated stage actions, coupled with pseudo-guitar licks by a totally mediocre guitarist).
With Angel safely out of audible range, the stage was set for one of rock's most underrated and relatively unknown groups, Rush. They are out of Toronto, Canada, and have released such excellent albums as: "Rush," "Fly By Night," "Caress of Steel," and their latest, "2112." These albums are usually a blend of total metal rock and some extremely classy soft selections.
When they were announced, the crowd gave the virtually unknown band a polite reception, (probably expecting something similar to Angel's performance and growing with anticipation for Blue Oyster Cult). Little did they realize the high caliber of the group and the group's music.
Rush came out and opened with "Bastille Day," a rocker from the "Caress of Steel" album and song after song displayed the group's musical tightness and ability. They were free from the emptiness which is usually present in a three-piece group.
Alex Lifeson, possibly one of the best chord men in rock, punched out tons of power chords with plenty of tasteful solos, pushing Geddy Lee's bass lines and Neil Peart's drumming. The crowd, previously polite in their welcome, was now on it's feet and screaming for more.
The stage was now set for Rush to do a series of songs fron the first side of "2112," an album which is basically in two parts. Side one being about life in the year 2112. It seems that the old Star Trek concept of Federation has finally happened.
The planets in the "Solar Federation" are governed by priests who regulate everything and have the people "in control." The story is one of man's struggle to find his own freedom and identity in an identity-lost world. It is an excellent concept and is highly musical in nature. Side two possesses what I talked of earlier, a combination of rock and mellowness.
By the end of the "2112" set, the crowd was on its feet demanding an encore from the Canadian group.
As the lights dimmed once more, the partisan Blue Oyster Cult crowd went absolutely berserk. Chants of "Cult, Cult..." erupted from all corners of the now electrified arena. The group they'd come to see was finally on, and the devout Cult followers were going to make their presence known.
The chants increased ot a deafening proportion and the familiar cry of, "On your feet or on your knees, Blue Oyster Cult," was heard. Suddenly, with four blinding flashes of light. Blue Oyster broke into their first number, "Harvester of Eyes." With this, the crowd was truly "hoppin" (including yours truly). Cult played cut after cut from their various albums, such as "Hot Rails to Hell," "Secret Treaties," and their latest blockbuster, "Agents of Fortune."
The Cult that I saw last weekend bore no resemblance to the group I saw on New Year's Eve. With the exception of poorly mixed vocals, they were amazingly tight and completely "rock and' roller." They exploded into songs like "Cities on Flame," (which featured Eric Bloom's excellent vocal interpretation), giving the ticketholders all the rock and roll power they could handle. Cult can only be described as magnificent and the entire concert, with the exception of Angel, was a completely enjoyable experience.
I have some info to help with the BOC Gig lists. These come directly from my notebook where I kept records of all the shows I attended and sometimes the setlists also.
For 1976, Sept 20 is listed - Albany, NY. This show quickly sold out and another show was added on Sept. 19.
I attended both shows and have the setlists for each (in my old notebook from that time). Opener for both shows was Tommy Bolin. These shows featured the lazers heavily.
This is the setlist for the show on the 19th (although the order is probably wrong):
ME262/Dom & Sub
Born To Be Wild
Summer Of Love
Regarding the Tommy Bolin appearance at both the Albany shows, you'll see various references on the internet to skullduggery occurring both back and onstage to hamper the Bolin shows - they were trying to record the sets for the King Biscuit Flower Hour show.
Here's what it says on tommybolin.com:
This lineup is well represented on some Tommy Bolin Archives releases, including shows from September 19 and 20 opening for the Blue Oyster Cult at the Palace Theatre. Columbia Records was investing heavily in moving Tommy to being a headline act, and many shows, including these, were recorded for radio broadcast.
In the case of the Albany show on September 19 the target was the King Biscuit Flower Hour, but the results were not deemed worthy of a straight commercial release due mostly to technical problems with the sound system.
As an opening act Tommy was not being allowed sound checks, and there have even been rumors of sabotage, so in spite of the label support and radio opportunities the band remained in the position of opening for other bands and being at the mercy of their sound crews.
Another consequence of being an opening act were the relatively short sets they were allowed, having to shut down right as they were really warming up.
This next quote is from a site page that is no longer online, so far as I can tell - I saved the page back in 2003, and the only identifying text on it says "Tommy Bolin Archives":
September 20th, 1976. Albany, New York.
Tommy was awake by late morning... fairly early by his standards. He couldn't sleep much after the previous night's disastrous show.
From the outset, there were huge sound problems. "Excuse the feedback," he told the crowd at the Palace Theater, "I'm trying to!"
The final insult came during the closing number, "Post Toastee." The audience had been slow to warm up, But they were just starting to rock out when the full house lights were turned on!
Tommy and his brother Johnnie were stunned. "Blue Oyster Cult had backed Tommy up with The James Gang. And back then, the deal was 'well, you have 60 minutes to play. But if you play 65 or 70, that's okay. Don't play for two or three days, but we won't sit there with a stopwatch.' I guess that's the way Tommy looked at it.
We were the opening act, and we went to 50 minutes, and it was during "Post Toastee," the real cool part in the middle. All of the sudden the lights came on. It ended the whole vibe. We vamped out real quick. We didn't lay it on like we usually did. And the crowd is looking at each other like, 'What's going on here? Is there something wrong? Is there a fire?' I've never been to a concert where the white lights came on during the band playing. We ended the song. He set his guitar down as fast as possible, then shot upstairs to the dressing room, and proceeded to tell Blue Oyster Cult off."
The echo of the last chord was still ringing. Tommy slammed his stratocaster into its stand. It was a miracle the guitar didn't shatter.
Blue Oyster Cult's tour manager was blocking the entrance to the dressing room. "You can't go back there", he said. Tommy pushed him aside and walked through the door. "When I used to play with The James Gang... you remember the band, James Gang? You were supposed to play 60 minutes. Sometimes you played 65 minutes. Did we ever do that to you?"
There was no reply. Tommy turned and stalked out.
Another page from the same (now offline) site featured a short piece by Johnny Bolin:
THE STAGE WAS SET...
By Johnny Bolin
I had been with the Tommy Bolin Band for about a month. Three weeks of rehearsal then to Denver for the "Big Gig in The Sky Mile High"!
Returning to L.A. for a week then off on our 30-day tour of the states starting with the gigs in Albany, NY for two nights with legendary rockers, Blue Oyster Cult.
Finding out that King Biscuit Flower Hour was recording was a little scary but it enhanced the excitement of our first gig. Business as usual. We got to see the tour bus and our new equipment for the first time, then to the hotel to unwind before the performance.
There's something to be said about being an opening act. First of all, no sound check, the lights, 1/3 of the monitors, small drum riser, no back drop, etc. Regardless of who you are or used to play with (Tommy AKA-Deep Purple).
We got there ready to rock. It was a huge old auditorium and the sound was real boomy but the show must go on. Back stage was the norm. Talking about the song list, arrangements and how we're going to go on stage and kick what's their names asses.
BOC had opened for James Gang with Tommy in the past so we knew what to expect but we only had 30 minutes to rock and that's what we did.
We were to do two nights but cancelled the second show due to a conflict between the bands. These things happen but things did get better as time marched on.
Thank you and enjoy,
I know all this doesn't reflect well on BOC's professionalism as a touring entity but I feel it's important to lay out all the different sides when documenting this BOC gig history - the good and the bad...
I can understand all the rivalries that probably develop backstage between the different status levels of acts that have to play together, and the headliners tend to exercise their right to put their feet to the throat of the bands below them, but that's self-defeating and short-termist when you look at the bigger picture, the longer game...
You know those bands that you step on whilst you're on your way up? You may well meet them again whilst you're on your inevitable way down...
Just a final note on what Johnny Bolin said above about the second Albany show being cancelled - Steve DelSignore posting below confirms he attended both nights, and that Tommy Bolin opened both shows, so that part of Johnny's account, at least, would seem to be inaccurate.
20 May 2019 Update: An article has appeared on the glidemagazine.com site which reckons quite a few people got up and left after the Bolin set, and that of those that remained, their cheering for Tommy Bolin caused BOC some discomfiture during the opening part of their set.
Here's a link:
Sounds like a load of old revisionist claptrap to me... plus there were two shows at the venue, not one. BOC sold the place out and they had to lay on a second show the next day to cope with the demand.
Do you honestly reckon members of that sold-out audience are going to get up and leave after the support act?
My arse they were...
I have some info to help with the BOC Gig lists. These come directly from my notebook where I kept records of all the shows I attended and sometimes the setlists also.
For 1976, Sept 20 is listed - Albany, NY. This show quickly sold out and another show was added on Sept. 19.
I attended both shows and have the setlists for each (in my old notebook from that time). Opener for both shows was Tommy Bolin. These shows featured the lazers heavily.
This is the setlist for the show on the 20th (although the order is probably wrong):
ME262/Dom & Sub
Summer Of Love
Born To Be Wild
Roadie Ricky Reyer had the following entry down for this date:
Now Steve's post above would seem to have put paid to this - the Plattsburgh gig didn't take place... at least, not on the 20th Sept...
Stop Press: See next entry....
I saw Blue Oyster Cult for the first time around 1976 in Plattsburgh NY. Lead in bands were Angel, followed by Rush.
I am not sure of the exact date, in fact I wasn't even sure of the exact year but according to your gig list the only time they appeard with Rush and Angel was around Sept, 1976. That seems to jive with what I recall. Can't recall an exact date unfortunately.
The concert took place at the Crete Civic Center just outside of Plattsburgh, NY.
First concert I ever went to; was a fantastic concert. Been a die hard BOC and Rush fan ever since. Also liked Angel in their early years.
The Plattsburgh show was Sep 21, 1976, at the Crete Civic Center.
The show was reviewed in the Sep 30 issue of the Plattsburgh State University Cardinal Points student newspaper:
Blue Oyster Cult
by Neil Jacobson
On Tuesday night, September 22, Angel, Rush and Blue Oyster Cult appeared at the Crete Civic Center. There had been an extensive advertising campaign to promote what was to be the first of a series of concerts at the "New" Crete Civic Center. Unfortunately, both financially and artistically, the concert failed. "Angel" was the opening act and showed no flair whatsoever (except in their desire to appear extremely feminine-looking). If they spent as much time on musicianship as on make-up they might improve. "Rush" were second and being somewhat of a local (Toronto) act, they fared somewhat better.
The powerhouse trio delivered a scorching set that obviously was very basic. They received their obligatory encore and were gone for the night.
The audience now anticipated the arrival of "Blue Oyster Cult". The media had hyped the presence of BOC's $100,000 laser light show and this obviously had the crowd excited.
Here is where the trouble started. This reporter learned before show time that the laser light show was broken and the part required could only be purchased in Orlando, Florida.
This reporter saw the BOC concert in Albany on Sunday the 20th with the laser light show. Comparing the two shows is unfair to say the least as the laser generates a good 50% of the audience's reaction, as well as enhancing the bands performance. Nonetheless, Jack Johnson, BOC's road manager ordered the show to go on. In talking to him this reporter learned that the band is aware that the laser show is probably their strongest selling point, especially in a market like Plattsburgh.
Still, BOC delivered a high energy level, as well as professional band, BOC handled the situation admirably. Rhythm guitarist and lead singer Eric Bloom was the front man pacing the stage and keeping the flow steady. During "Dominance and Submission", Bloom pranced around the stage spewing archaic yet seemingly logical remarks about drugs, sex and other contemparary issues.
The Bouchard brothers, Al and Joe, on drum and bass respectively each had impressive solos. During his solo Al had his drum bet coinciding with the lights as well as having the sound mixed through a drum synthesizer. Buck Dharma, the lead guitarist, is the best musician of the group. His solo on "Bucks Boogie" was decent as was his overall playing. In the annals of hard rock Buck Dharma is a well-respected musician and guitarist Allan Lanier rounds out the band on keyboards and guitar contributing nice background.
The concert closed with a rousing rendition complete with exploding flash pods, of "Born to Be Wild". The encore, as expected, was the current hit album "Agents of Fortune" and "Don't fear the Reaper."
In speaking to most of the band members this reporter found out some interesting facts. Allan Lanier told me that all the band members are in their late 20s or early 30's. He is 30 himself (yet does not look older than college age). He is also very excited about the single "Don't Fear The Reaper" written by Buck Dharma. It currently is numbered 27 on Billboard's charts and is still climbing. The band has been around for 6 years, had 5 albums and has toured constantly. They hope this single will put them over the top.
Although BOC projects a macho image onstage, they are pussycats offstage. It is all part of the corporate image Columbia Records likes to foster for the band. A nice bunch of guys, they deserve a break today.
Confirmation on the RUSH, Angel, BOC show September 22, 1976 in Rochester New York at the Dome Arena:
This gig is also confirmed on PowerWindows...
Here's a show review from the September 29, 1976, issue of the Stylus newspaper of Brockport State University:
Blue Oyster Shells Out
by Doug Pagano
Last Wednesday at the Dome, Angel, Rush, and Blue Oyster Cult put on a mesmerizing performance for over 600O fans.
Angel is a new group on Casablanca Records, the same people who brought you Kiss. The group has quality talents centered around Punky Meadows, the lead guitarist. Their sound was much like Deep Purple during their Haydays. Angel looked great, until Rush came on.
Rush is Canada's number one band and Wednesday night they confirmed that fact. The group is made up of Geddy Lee on Bass, Alex Lifeson on guitar, and Neil Peart on Drums. The crowd appeared to like them. When they began with "Bastille Day" from the "Caress of Steel" album the audience went wild.
Rush continued their hard driving rock with "Lakeside Park," "Fly by Night" and the whole first side of their new album, "Rush 2112." "Finding my Way" was the final number.
The group returned on stage for an encore, playing "Working Man." Highlights of the set were Peart's drum solo, Lee's ability to sound like a bassist and rhythm guitarist, and Lifeson's crunching power chords.
Between sets a couple of things kept our interest. A fight had broken put and a door was forced open and hundreds of ticketless fans got in free.
The background music was classical and then Blue Oyster Cult (BOC) took the stage. The set-up was the same as their performance in Buffalo with leather-clad Eric Bloom singing lead, Buck Dharma in his standard white suit cranked up his guitar. The Bouchard Brothers, Joe and Albert, were on bass and drums respectively. Holding down the rhythm guitar was Patti Smith's romancer, Allen Lanier.
The music, as usual, was hot and heavy. They played many favorites including "Cities on Flame," "Harvester of Eyes," "Dominance and Submission," and "The Last Days of May." A favorite part of the show was unquestionably unique and spacey. It started in the middle of "Buck's Boogie" during Bouchard's drum solo.
Two rays of light, one green and one blue, shot out, to the top of the Dome. The beams started at 2 inches wide. The crystal ball was used to good effect. Usually all the spotlights converge on the rotating ball and you get a continuous flow of light segments in a circle, with the lazer being used like a strobe, angles. The most incredible part was the dry ice which produced smoke engulfing the first ten rows of people.
The beam widened, then strobed, moved and shortened. The crowd could see the smoke being sectioned off like magic. People just sat there soaking it in. When they combine the lazers and lights with the off-beat drum solo. It makes for a high time lost in space.
After that they played "Before the Kiss" as the final number. Once again the crowd demanded an encore and got "Born to the Wild," some loose jamming and two blinding flashpots. We also were treated to the new hit single "Don't Fear the Reaper" which everybody anticipated throughout the concert.
Finally, after a four hour show, we went home and discussed the show. It was in agreement that Angel, Rush and Blue Oyster Cult put the rock back in rock and roll.
I originally only found out about there being two gigs at this venue courtesy of the following concert listing that first appeared in the 22 Aug 1976 edition of the "Journal and Courier" [Lafayette IN]:
Blue Oyster Cult Sept 24, 25, Aragon Ballroom, Chicago
Tickets $7, advance; $7.50 day-of-show.
It also later appeared in subsequent editions, and there was also this in the "Arlington Heights Herald" on 24 Sept 1976:
In the area - Blue Oyster Cult, tonight and Saturday, Aragon Ballroom, Chicago;
So, that made it pretty likely that the two gigs took place, but the clincher came in the 27 Sept 1976 issue of the "Chicago Tribune":
Meanwhile, on the harder rock scene. Blue Oyster Cult, purveyors of heavy-metal fire and brimstone, held forth Friday and Saturday night at the Aragon Ballroom, bringing with them an impressive laser light show and the most eyeball-scorching flash-pot effects I've seen. Led by lead singer Eric Bloom (less menacing-looking than usual in chic black leather jumpsuit) and guitarist Buck Dharma, at its best their music approximated a ride on a subway bound for hell - which can, to us hard-rock fans, be heaven.
Not exactly an in-depth, detailed review, but at least it did confirm the two dates. Not a word on the support acts, and no mention of Patti Smith.
I know Patti Smith came onstage to sing "Vera Gemini" with the band on at least one of these Aragon shows, but which? Or was it both?
Here's a reference from a large full page piece on Patti Smith that appeared in the 5 December 1976 edition of the "Chicago Tribune":
Patti's Power Runs on Rock Energy [excerpt]
"I just feel really optimistic now about the music. I'm playing all the places I love in the next few months, and I'm going to be playing Chicago for the first time."
Actually, Smith appeared in Chicago briefly several months ago, doing one song with Blue Oyster Cult [her boyfriend of six years, Allen Lanier, plays keyboard for the group] at the Cult's concert in the Aragon. "The kids at that show didn't know who I was," she said. "They figured I was some maniac who leaped onstage - lots of kids leap onstage at my shows, too, and want to sing 'Gloria' along with me - but the way the audience reacted convinced the promoters I could handle that place.
"See," she explained "when the promoters talked to me a while back about doing my December date in Chicago, they wanted to put me into another hall, someplace smaller. They didn't think I could handle the Aragon. But I said, 'Please, give us a chance.' See, my mom and dad used to dance at the Aragon years ago, when it was a big ballroom. Mom told me all about how, in its heyday, Al Capone used to go there and so did all these other elements of society, the criminal and the sensual. And now it's a place for art, for rock and roll, and I think that's just great.
"But the promoters didn't know if I could draw that well, until they saw how things went when I did a song with the Cult. It was so fantastic doing that. I was singing, and I looked around and kids were hanging off the balconies.
"See," she said, " I was born in Chicago. I lived there until I was 4. My memories are pretty condensed; they're like baby sauce, but whenever I'm back in Chicago, I get excited... just being back where you were born. Like my mom went back to her home in Connecticut about 30 years after she left and her heart was beating so fast she made me put my hand on her chest to feel it. That was how I felt at the Aragon that night. Total mania, the sweetest energy, so exciting; and I'm always looking for that. Always looking, you know, for the most exciting place.
She makes no mention in that text of two shows with BOC - it was all "the kids at that show" and "that was how I felt at the Aragon that night": all references to a single occasion.
Therefore, I think she came onstage for just one of the shows. But, like I said earlier, I still don't know which one...
I did see this on Facebook:
Scott Thomas Schiffour:
On 9-25-26 they were at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Earlier that day in Downers Grove Illinois where they did a record store signing at Flipside Records.
It was very cool. Two big black limos pull up to the front of the store and Patti Smith and Allen Lanier get out of the 1st limo and the rest of the band were in the 2nd limo.
We all get into the store and "ON YOUR FEET OR ON YOUR KNEES" is blasting from the store speakers. BOC made them take "Knees" off. Some of the BOC guys did not care for that record due to a bad PA system.
It was a great BOC day for me!!!!!!!!! Went to the concert that night and you know dug the music...
So Patti was with the band at the record store signing before the gig - would they have done this signing before or after the first Chicago gig? My guess would be they'd do it before that first gig to maximise the publicity for the show(s)...
So, for the moment, until I come across more detailed information, my guess is that Patti Smith guested only on this first night (24 Sept 1976)...
If anyone can confirm or deny this, please let me know...
Greetings from Chicago, Just came across your site. Very cool archives.
My buddies and I were at the Friday night show at the Aragon. I was the only one not tripping but I still enjoyed the laser show immensely. Had never seen anything like it.
The openers were Rick Derringer and Tommy Bolin (who passed away three months later)
I did not know it was Patti Smith that came out when they played "Vera Gemini".
Thanks Chip - and since you kindly included a copy of your stub which included the date, I can now be reasonably happy that it was on this first night (Friday the 24th) that Patti made her famous guest appearance.
The above stub from the Aragon in Chicago has a date of Sat. Sept. 25th but no year. The color scheme and price seem to indicate a date range of 1975 - 1977 however nothing in your database matches those years. My guess would be 1976 since they were in the area (Indiana, Wisconsin) around that time.
They were at the Aragon on 23 Jan 1976 and the ticket stub you have for that show shows a price of $6.50 versus mine that shows $7.00. It kind of "fits" but I'm not sure. Chicago had a HUGE BOC fan base at that time so 2 shows in one year would not be unheard of
Unfortunately, between the "recreational chemistry" of the time and the 35+ years that have passed since then, my memory of these concerts is a little "hazy". ;-)
I can tell you these shows did occur since I only collect stubs from shows I have attended and do not buy them.
See the entry for the previous gig on the 24th...
One thing - I have Point Blank and Derringer listed as being on this bill, but I have no notes that I can find to tell me where I got that info from.
Derringer is probably correct as the post by Chip Uchtman above confirms Derringer opened the previous night's show, along with the Tommy Bolin Band.
The question then arises - did the Tommy Bolin Band play this gig also? We do know that there had already been some trouble between BOC and Tommy Bolin following the two Albany gigs the week before, and if you check the entry above, you'll see that Johnny Bolin had said of the second Albany show:
We were to do two nights but cancelled the second show due to a conflict between the bands. These things happen but things did get better as time marched on.
Now, all reports have said that the second Albany gig did go ahead, so could Johnny Bolin have been thinking of this double-header in Chicago instead? Might it be that they were booked for two nights, but further shenanigans and bad vibes etc made them sack that second Chicago gig off...?
I don't know - but if you do, please let me know...
I previously only knew of this gig thanks to a used ticket stub appearing for it on eBay, but then I found this concert listing in the 19 Sept 1976 edition of the "Journal and Courier" [Lafayette IN] which mentioned this Fort Wayne gig almost as an afterthought following the Chicago listing:
Blue Oyster Cult, Sept 24, 25, 8 p.m., Aragon Ballroom, Chicago
Tickets $7, advance; $7.50 day-of-show. ALSO, Sept. 26, Coliseum, Ft Wayne.
I only know of this gig thanks to this blog:
I grew up in Terre Haute, IN and was at this concert, age 14. I remember Starz and Angel as the openers. I don't remember the setlist order but recall these numbers:
There was a big laser show during a drum solo. It was my first real stadium show and made a huge impact on me, being then a lad of an impressionable age.
My garage band went back, learned a few of their tunes and attempted to play them at a Jr. High School sock hop.
This show also at Milwaukee Auditorium 9/30/76. We were in the front row for this one dead center.
I have the Starz and Rick Derringer opening. I have one pic of Derringer and about 15 pics of BOC.
My set list lists:
The first real show I saw was Blue Oyster Cult (with the laser light show) with Mahogany Rush as the opening act.
Frankie Marino was the guitar player and did a dead on version of Red House. Great show.
I saw BOC at Erie County Field House in Sept. or Oct. of 1976 - Be Bop Deluxe opened, and the second opening act was KGB.
The roadie's date mentioned in the 12th Sept entry give sounds pretty close to the date of the gig I saw. I am quite certain it was in September and a Thursday night ( I went work Friday morning and after I got out ran right to the store and bought On Your Feet Or On YOur Knees !!!! )
I am almost positive about Be Bop Deluxe playing the show. Someone in the audience had painted a cardboard cutout of the Axe Victim album cover and Bill commented on that.
They also did a song I am not sure of the title of, Bill wanted to do an audience respond to a line he would sing and was unfortunatly greeeted with silence. They also did Sister Seagull which I fell in love with. I think this was also the show Bill said was the first show of their new American tour. It was also because of seeing them live I got Live In The Air Age when it came out in 1977.
My best memories for both this show and the 1978 Erie gig I saw was the laser show that they were using at that time. With all the so called big name bands like the Stones and the Who and Zeppelin using lasers in their shows. To see a band like BOC come along and blow them all away with a show that was just amazing said alot for them.
I will always remember the tunnel of light effect during Al's drum solo at this show. It was too bad that the operating expense and the fact the lasers didn't always work caused the band to discontinue their use. But the the music was what we were all there for. The lasers just made a great enhancement to the music !!!
Anybody got a date for this show? - Mark reckons it was Sept or Oct - BOC played some dates with Be Bop in October so that's my likely guess.
Furthermore if it was a Thursday, as Mark thinks, that'd make it taking place on Oct 7, 14, 21 or 28. If you look at the gig schedule, you'll see a PA gig with Be-Bop on Friday 15th Oct at The Spectrum in Philadelphia.
Thus my final guess for this Erie County Field House show would be Thursday 14 October.
Does anybody out there know any different?
I attended this show at the Erie County Field House in the Fall of 1976. I was a Freshman at Gannon College (now Gannon University) in Erie PA, in 76. I do not recall the exact date, but Thursday October 14th sounds right. I do remember it was a "school" night as I had classes the next day. This was my first date with a new girlfriend so it kinda stays with you. :)
As far as the opening acts, I'm not a 100% sure, but I thought it was Paris who opened. I knew there were two opening acts. I couldn't remember who they were until I saw your web site that mentioned Be Bop Deluxe, and I do remember them. But KGB doesn't ring a bell. That's why I'm thinking it was Paris.
I know Paris opened for BOC at Agricultural Hall, Allentown PA on 20 Oct 1976 - could they have also opened this gig?
I'm pretty sure Paris did more than 1 gig with BOC... although I may be confusing those BOC gigs with the ones that Fleetwood Mac ALSO did with BOC a couple of years before. (I left Fleetwood Mac in December'74 to start "Paris")...
Hope this helps...
Thanks for that - check out Bob's site for more info on Paris, plus pics and downloads etc
Stop Press: Thanks to an ad on the Erie County Fieldhouse Concerts Facebook page, I now know this gig took place on Thursday 7th October and the opening act was indeed Bob Welch's Paris.
The show opened with Paris and The Godz - this was my first concert...
Gig review from the October 12, 1976, issue of the Hamilton News-Journal out of Hamilton, Ohio:
Music Subordinate To Special Effects
Blue Oyster Cull's five gifted musicians drowned their talents Saturday in a blitz of noise and flashiness.
With the volume at their Riverfront Coliseum concert turned to an ear-piercing level, individual instruments and voices were impossible to distinguish.
The music, instead, was one big blur of noise. And the bizarre lyrics which the group is famous for were lost in the confusion.
Listening to Saturday's screeching renditions of "ETI" and "This Ain't The Summer Of Love" off their new Agents of Fortune album was an especially big letdown. Blue oyster Cult just didn't do justice to its own work.
The group toyed dangerously with the crowds patience, waiting almost three hours before they began to play.
Still, some segments of the audience seemed to thrive on the noise and the gimmickry.
Showy displays of smoke, sparks, strobe and laser lights and broken guitar strings might excite some people, but it can't redeem a concert when the music is lost in the clamor.
The group boasts of having the most expensive mobile laser system ever built, costing over $100,000.
The Cult has even hired an optical physicist to attend to the laser system during the tour.
Although the system did produce an unusual light show, the effects were drawn out for so long that they became monotonous.
The concert was intense, to say to the least, with its drawn out laser sho and nonstop, hard and fast, heavy metal music.
Instead of trying to overpower the audience with sound and special effects, Blue Oyster Cult should concentrate on showing the crowd their musical talents.
Isn't that what concerts are all about?
I went through some other tickets stubs I kept and found one from 10/10/76 where I saw Nektar and BOC at Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis Mo.
I went to the BOC Nektar show in St. Louis on Oct. 10, 1976.
Nektar opened, and at the end of their set one of the band members complained that they were ripped off, and that they were supposed to be the Headliners!
Be BOP Deleuxe warmed them up.
I have notes on this set list as the BOC were coming around a lot so I figured I'd keep better track of some shows.
I still have my ticket sub but the date is torn off. It was in the fall of '76 in Oklahoma City at the Fairgrounds International Building (not normally a place for concerts)
I believe the Fairgrounds arena was being used for a rodeo or something. Bob Seger opened for them and they had the full laser show. Buck told me a couple of years ago that he remembered the show because of a limo and police escort to the venue. I do remember Bob Seger mentioning that we were hearing "Night Moves" live for the for the first time ever...
Please help me put a date on this gig... we know from the ripped stub that it was on a Wednesday, so if you assume that Fall isn't really September (that's really just the end of Summer) or December (that's definitely Winter by then), so probably we're only looking at October and November. If you extract Wednesdays within that range that are known to have featured BOC gigs, that leaves these options:
Wed 06 Oct 1976
Wed 13 Oct 1976
Wed 27 Oct 1976
Wed 03 Nov 1976
Wed 17 Nov 1976
Wed 24 Nov 1976
Wed 01 Dec 1976
I saw Blue Oyster Cult and hung out with them in the Autumn of 1976 at their gig in Philadelphia - this time they headlined The Spectrum and sold it out with Angel - on their previous visit in June, they'd supported ZZ Top...
I was at this gig...
Angel opened, then Manfred Mann. I actually went to see Manfred, so I don't recall much about BOC, but... The 5 guitar bit was very cool... had never seen that before, and haven't since!
The band lineup also confirmed in the Manfred Mann's' Earth Band tour archive:
I would love to have a BOC setlist!!!
When I went to this show, I was only thirteen.
It was a big deal... not too many of my friends had attended a concert before. I didn't really know their music back then... I didn't even own any of their music at the time, but when someone presented me with a ticket to a CONCERT, I had to go!
They still had the laser show: I remember the lazers shining on the mirrors on the back of the guitar and into the disco ball above the stage, and Eric, who had one in his sleeve.
Put it this way, it was my first concert and I was hooked... even to this day, and whatever how many shows later, the concert experience is one that remains special.
All i can tell you for sure is the gigs all take place at the Music Hall, now called the Wang Center, in the 70's.
The show with Boston opening was also supposed to have Angel on the bill, but they didn't appear for reasons unknown. Pretty sure Boston's debut LP was just outta the gate.
Part of this show is available for free listening (sorry no downloads) at Wolfgangs Vault. They have digitally remastered copies of many original soundboard tapes from King Biscuit, Bill Graham, Record Plant, other original sources. There are no bootlegs or audience tapes, some shows are available for download, but unfortunately not the two BOC shows they have.
The show is available for listening at:
I attended the 10/17/76 BOC show in Lewiston, Maine. The opening act was (at the time an unknown act called) Boston -- they rocked. Angel was scheduled to appear, but didn't.
As usual, BOC opened with "Stairway to the Stars," and closed with "Born to Be Wild." While I don't have a setlist, I know that they played "Astronomy," "Harvester of Eyes," "Buck's Boogie/Maseratti GT," "ME 262," "Hot Rails to Hell," and lots of tracks off "Agents of Fortune," including "ETI." "Don't Fear the Reaper" was one of the encores. Very much like the 1976 show that's on DVD.
The venue is a hockey rink, and not a large one at that. The concert set an attendance record for the state of Maine at that time, around 6,000 people. The place was absolutely packed! There was a local music magazine/paper called "Sweet Potato" that covered this and many other concerts in Maine at the time. It would be fun to find a copy...
The 22 October 1976 editon of the Lewiston Daily Sun detailed all the furore caused by this gig over violence, violation of fire-codes, trouble with local residents, etc. Apparently the venue was only allowed to admit 3960 people in but 6000 were let through the doors...
The upshot was a decision by the Committee on Rock Concerts to ban any further gigs in Lewiston... in which case, that committee would then be pretty much out of a job...
My partner and I actually co-promoted this show with Tony Ruffino and Larry Vaughn. We held an exclusive presentation agreement for the Central Maine Youth Center, so Tony and Larry were forced to partner with us.
Below are some facts that correct some of your information:
The venue was rated for 6,000 people. We actually sold more like 7,000 (general admission) tickets because the demand at the door was so robust.
When we planned the date, we thought BOC would be a bust in Maine. I was friendly with Boston's then-manager, Charlie McKenzie, and in order to save the date, I asked Charlie to book Boston as the show opener. They were beginning to cause a stir given that Lewiston is only 1.5 hours north of Boston.
However, by the time of the show, both "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "More Than a Feeling" were Top Ten hits.
Boston agreed on $1,000 but the day of the show demanded $2,500, which we paid. The "King Biscuit Flower Hour" recorded the show live.
Our stage manager, Butch Tardif, defended Boston with BOC who were arguing over space on the stage. As a result of his defense, the band hired him on the spot to go on tour. Butch worked for several years as Sib Hashian's drum roadie.
The Lewiston Mayor's Commission on Rock Concerts, of which I was a member, was a face-saving ruse for then-mayor Lillian Caron. The city had no standing with the building, which owned by the Dominican Fathers, a Roman Catholic order. Their motivation was ice hockey and concerts provided a much need revenue stream for the venue.
The Commission did not vote to ban further concerts; it simply held an inquisition during which I was excoriated but no official action was taken and the matter fizzled. (Two weeks later, on October 31st, we promoted the J. Geils Band in the same venue.)
The demise of concerts in that venue is attributable to the opening of the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland in July 1977. That arena had a capacity for concerts of 10,000.
I promoted many shows in Maine during the mid to late 70's along with my partner, Andrew Govatsos. I'd be happy to provide my own recollection of any other show from that era in which you may be interested.
Thanks for the background info and clarifications. A couple of points stand out for me:
(a) If Boston were contracted to play for $1,000, then - even if they were currently enjoying chart success - how on earth could they suddenly demand $2,500 on the day? I thought that was the point of a contract - otherwise chaos reigns...
(b) KBFH recorded the show? Do any tapes still exist?
Wed. October 20th Agricultural Hall, Allentown,PA.
I was at this show, the opening act was a band called Paris which was Bob Welch (x-Fleetwood Mac) and the Sales Brothers (Before they were in Tin Machine).
Great show! Remember it was mostly the set from "On your feet or or your knees" with quite a few AOF numbers thrown in.
Remember people in the parking lot selling Tyranny and Mutation Tour T-shirts (guess they had leftovers) but definitely at this concert as my 1st at Agricultural Hall in Allentown.
I found a report of this gig in the 21 Oct 1976 edition of the "The Morning Call" [Allentown PA] which reported that BOC's lasers weren't working at this gig:
Blue Oyster Cult Plays, But Lights Fail
The Blue Oyster Cult worked overtime last night to compensate for a malfunctioning $100,000 light system which was to premier at the Allentown Fairgrounds.
Although the brand-new laser system was rigged up and surrounded by banks of computers and huge spools of thick cable, insufficient power at the hall or a rush wiring job resulted in shooting sparks and real smoke - a light show the group hadn't counted on.
One of the band's light technicians said the safety of the audience was more important than trying to keep the expensive system operating. The laser will not be used at Cult concerts until the entire system has been checked in a lab, the technician reported.
Aside from that, the group put on the show their fans came to see. Agents of Fortune, the group's latest LP, reached gold status last week, according to Jerry Deane, concert promoter, and the Cult drew heavily from the popular album for their show.
Paris, a rock group featuring Robert Welsh, formerly with Fleetwood Mac, Glenn Cornick, former Jethro Tull bass player, and Hunt Sales, Soupy's kid, on drums opened the show.
The program was sponsored by the Allentown Council of Youth and produced by Mayac and Dicaeser-Engler Productions.
A couple of days later (23 Oct 1976), the same newspaper gave an actual review of the show (although they did seem slightly confused as to who was the lead singer and who was the lead guitarist):
Blue Oyster Cult Provided Satisfying Pandemonium
The crowd that gathered at Allentown's Agricultural Hall Wednesday night had to stand in a downpour before being let in and the heavily advertised laser light show was nowhere to be seen. Yet despite the inconveniences, the jolting performance of the Blue Oyster Cult made the concert a pleasure.
Opening the night's entertainment was Paris, a new semi-power trio. They played a competent, low-key selection of songs which drew drew mild applause but left nobody howling for an encore.
Bassist Glenn Cornick, formerly of Jethro Tull, was versatile and adept, and guitarist Bob Welch, formerly of Fleetwood Mac, showed taste but no inspiration. Drummer Hunt Sales laid down a reliable if somewhat simple beat.
Paris got warm but didn't come close to being the blazing act that most of the audience was expecting.
The entrance of the Cult was almost anticlimatic, considering the classical music being piped through the speakers and the booming, triumphant voice of the announcer as they were introduced.
Instead of a stunning early blast of raw energy, they opened with "Stairway to the Stars" done in a rather subdued (for them) manner. This began a set that was to last the better part of two hours.
In a gradual buildup, they opted for tight, clean musicianship which paid off handsomely in a purity of sound. This initial restraint allowed them to build a base from which to add the numerous guitar and synthesizer peaks which came in crashing, thunderous intervals during the remainder of the concert.
Fronted by lead vocalist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, they went into hot, supercharged renditions of crowd pleasers like "Harvester of Eyes," "Cities on Flame," "ME-262," and "Dominance and Submission," during which Roeser gave a peculiar drugs-and-politics pep talk.
Vocals and instrumentation were on the whole, excellent, particularly in the timing. Vocally, smooth, clear harmonies and rich, multi-colored tones went beyond the barely audible and distracting near screaming of many bands of this type. This was most evident on "Don't Fear (The Reaper)" and "Sinful Love," two cuts from the "Agents of Fortune" album, their latest.
Lead guitarist Eric Bloom coaxed an array of sounds from his instrument, from a liquid, flowing mellowness to a hard, grating blast for the more extreme segments of the show. The galaxy of stage lights, mirrored glass balls hanging over the crowd, dry ice fog and strobe lights all harmonized with the music, reinforcing the moods and themes set by the song lyrics.
Towards the end of the concert, Blue Oyster Cult began to thrash away, the guitars setting up a wailing barrage of high-note, high-volume insanity, especially when all five members stood on stage.
Starting with the old Steppenwolf hit "Born to be Wild," they bombarded us with a wall of sound. From a conventional reproduction of its controlled animal wildness, they dismantled it down to a series of primitive beats, then topped it off with a conclusion of blast-level guitars, smoke bombs and flashes of light which clearly demonstrated the meaning of the song's title.
The encores consisted of "Don't Fear (The Reaper)," one of their most popular songs from the new album, and "Hot Rails to Hell," another pile-driving hard rocker.
Following this workout they left a tired but very satisfied audience.
Stephen J. Boudreau
At the Commack Show - BOC definitely headlined over J. Geils and Styx. That's when the boys threw in Kicks (Paul Revere & the Raiders for the under 45 set) into D&S. Cool.
J. Geils played a full set it seemed and were terrific.
Styx wore big boots, did "Lady" and we hated them.
The thing I remember most about this show was that we had trouble finding the arena. We were from Connecticut and had never heard of Comack, Long Island. I don't recall alot about the show, except it was my first exposure to the BOC light show. And back then, we thought Styx was pretty good too. (It was before they got all poppy in the 80's.)
I got there late and missed J. Geils and Styx. Matter of fact I didn't even know they were on the bill until now! When we arrived we had to park on the far end of the parking lot. I remember the entire parking lot being covered with broken glass. You could not step with out stepping on glass. It was a pretty wild party scene. I went with a friend who was a big BOC fan. I became a big fan after this show. They were great.
Another thing I remember is that someone threw a lit firecracker on the stage near Eric Bloom. Bloom immediately stopped the show and said in a very quick and angered tone.... "if you want to see a rock and roll show you DO NOT throw things at the band" with that the band started right back up and that was the last thing that was thrown at the band that night!
Afterwards we picked up two gals that were hitching home to Smithtown from the show. The one was limping due to an injury from the show. We went out of our way and dropped them off right at their house. They did not invite us in for coffee.
This was my 2nd BOC show, the first one in 1972 when they were the opening act for J. Geils Band and Black Sabbath on 7/27/72. I remember thinking to myself how that BOC was now the headliner, when 4 years earlier they were the opening act. The Agents of Fortune album was out and BOC was becoming a huge act.
The Long Island Arena where the concert was held was originally the home of the Long Island Ducks, a minor league hockey team. In 1975, the arena was refurbished as a concert hall called "The Island Music Center." I had seen Jefferson Starship about the time it opened. It did not have this name for long. I believe by the time of this BOC concert, the name had reverted to the Long Island Arena. It was torn down in 1996 to build a shopping mall.
This was a wild show. The floor had no seats and was standing room only. Most of the people were wasted or drunk and there were fights breaking out during the Styx and J. Geils sets. The people were packed in tight. One fight started and two drunk guys were swinging at each other while the crowd opened around them in a large circle. When the fight was over, the crowd just moved back in to cover the area like it never happened. I don't recall ever seeing security guards.
Bob Albin mentioned that "someone threw a lite firecracker on the stage...." I can confirm that something was thrown at the stage, but my memory it was a beer bottle. Regardless of who's memory is correct, something WAS thrown at the stage. Bob is 100% accurate when he wrote that Eric Bloom said "if you want to see a rock and roll show you DO NOT throw things at the band," with one addition....
Immediate after that Bloom said, "Take whoever threw that outside and kick the shit out of him." And as Bob said, the band started right back up. I wish I could remember the song they played or the set list, but I do remember the wild atmosphere.
I just noticed that this particular BOC show was promoted by "Concerts East." This organization has an interesting bit of history...
Concerts East was run by a man by the name of Phil Basile. You may not know him but he was associated with some very well known if not infamous people in American culture.
Phil Basile was a Lucchese crime family mob associate who served under Paul Vario and worked with Henry Hill. Who are Paul Vario and Henry Hill. Ever see the movie "Goodfellas?" They are the real life "Paulie" and "Henry" as depicted in the film.
You can read more about this here:
I also wrote about the Long Island Arena being called the "Island Music Center." This next article about the Long Island music scene mentions that the Island Music Center operated from May to October of 1975, consistent with my memory. It also gives more info about Concerts East:
October 23 1976 Providence. With J. Geil's Band and Mother's Finest. BOC was 2nd, J Geil's were headline In fact, I happen to know that BOC and J Geils played together the night before in Long Island NY and BOC was headline.
I did not go to that one so I have no more details as to venue etc. It may have been the Nassau Coliseum, but I am not positive.
At the time I hadn't the faintest idea of who Mother's Finest was. I remember watching their show from the side of the stage. They had a bass player named, I think, Wizard who was some kind of kiss-ass apparition and a killer babe singer. The band was half black-half white and they knocked everybody out!
i was at the providence show. mothers finest sucked. j giels was alright but boc stole the show. boc had a wicked laser light show and they sounded great.
i have seen boc about ten times in concert and never seen a bad show.
Definitely the best concert experience of my entire life.
My second BOC show began with a car trip from Conn. We were four and I had front seat privilege in my friends Fathers big old Buick (probably because I had a cigarette pack stuffed with a dozen red Colombian hooters covered in honey oil)...
Mothers Finest were a surprise, they really rocked.
BOC put on the finest performance I ever saw. I remember me and my three other friends covered in Kronos's (Kroni?) during the part when Eric shot his laser at one of the mirrored balls hanging from the ceiling and him urging the crowd to send a letter to Jimmy Carter to demand the decriminalization of weed.
I also remember the back part of the floor turned into a giant dance floor during J. Geils headline act.
I guess the show was running a bit late because the management of the Civic Center turned on the house lights and cut off their sound around midnight. The crowd turned very ugly and after a few minutes I guess they had second thoughts and the show resumed, they boogied on till around 1 A.M.
What an experience.
I found a listing for this gig in the 22 October 1976 edition of "The Spectrum" [Buffalo NY]:
The Blue Oyster Cult, Styx, and Bob Seger are appearing this Sunday at p.m. in the Niagara Falls Convention Center. Tickets are available through all Ticketron Outlets.
Seeing that ticket really brings back a lot of memories. My younger brother Dennis went with me to that show. I forgot that it was on a Sunday night, but remember that nothing was going to keep us away. It was general admission - which was the way most shows were before the Who played that gig in Cincinnati.
We headed up early and when we got to the convention center we pulled up to the booth at the parking lot and I told the attendant I was Councilman H****'s son and we signed a sheet and they let us park for free right near the entrance. (My father wasn't a city councilman, but that was how my older brother used to avoid the $2 parking fee when we went to Niagara University Basketball games, so I figured, why not?)
When they opened the doors, everyone headed right to front. I couldn't run because a year before I had broken both my legs and was still having trouble walking, so Dennis ran ahead and got a good space about 20 feet from the stage in what I guess would now be called the "Buck Zone."
First (and only) disappointment of the night was hearing that one of the bands (Styx I think, but not sure) had cancelled. Bob Seger was the opening act and two things I remember: Drew Abbott, (I think that is who it was), his guitar player (he played a cool-looking Gibson Explorer) sucked! (I later found out that Pete Carr played on the studio album!) And his sax player had on a harness that let him be pulled up from the stage and hang out over the crowd during his solo. They were OK, but not great.
In between the bands a guy sitting next to us showed us his tattoo and shared a joint and we got pretty high. He asked if we had any tattoos and I showed him the 13 month old open wound on my left leg and he thought I was pretty sick but he made a point of having me show it to all his friends for the next 20 minutes or so. He kept telling people "you gotta see this man! You can see the bone!"
We had beers - you could take anything into a concert back then - and traded a beer (Genesee Cream Ale) for another joint, which we saved for the show. When all the lights went off, everyone cheered because we knew the show was starting and the music started playing (Wagner maybe? flight of the Valkerie?) There was one maybe two giant kronos behing the backline and the big gong. All you could see was a dark silhouette or two and flashlights pointed at amp and then came the "NIAGARA FALLS NEW YORK ARE YOU READY! ON YOUR FEET OR ON YOUR KNEES! FROM NEW YORK CITY THE AMAZING BLUE OYSTER CULT!" followed by blinding flash pots and Stairway to the Stars. Everyone stood up and no one sat down for the whole show. We all pushed toward the stage.
The lasers were awesome and I think they started with Eric with a hand held laser on HOE - he shot it at a mirrored ball over the crowd at the end of teh song and people went wild! Memory is a little hazy about all the details, but a couple of things I remember were Hot Rails (Joe had a black fender P-bass and a black leather jumpsuit) (also think they did "morning final," Me262, Dominance, Buck's Boogie, COF, DFTR, BTBW) "Last Days" and the laser show during Albert's drum solo.
By the way - Dominance in that show, in addition to Eric's drug rap, features "Kicks" by Paul Revere and the Raiders.
We were stoned but I really think I saw the red and green lasers make all sorts of incredible patterns on the back wall of the hall including a checkerboard! I know I looked directly into the lasers on a number of occasions (I wear trifocals now btw) and can still see smoke going up into the light waves. Buck and Eric had mirrors on the back of their gits and used them to direct the laser beams at the crowd. they did five guitars (Joe played bass and Albert wore the black leather hot pants from the OYFOOYK album cover and played an Sg with p-90 pickups)
It was the best show of my entire life - best of all the 62 BOC shows I ever saw. Best of all the laser shows I ever saw. We had screamed so loud that we couldn't talk when we left and we drove home in a light rain that made the road seem black as ink. We almost got killed when we went to stop at an intersection - skidded on wet leaves and almost hit a car.
When we got home the car was on empty and the next day my father wanted to kill me because there was no gas left and his car wouldn't start when he tried to go to work in the morning! I caught Hell, but it was all right because the show was so great! I was 19 years old, supposedly crippled for life, unemployed and still living at home. I would start working again shortly thereafter and started college the following january. I would go to see BOC whenever I could from that point on, and in August of this year had the great privilege of being able to say that I had hired and introduced the band for a free gig (8/2/06) attended by thousands!
The Bob Seger show, we were right on the railing, getting crushed. Bob Seger's Sax Player gave us a can of coke in between songs, and the flash pods during Born To Be Wild blinded us for a few minutes. When we regained sight, Eric Bloom gave my friend, Robbie, a guitar pic, apparently to make up for the eye injury...
A memerable part of that night was that Styx canceled, and Bob Seger AND BOC agreed to play double. Bob Seger was Green and we got to be the first to hear most of "Night Moves" which I do not think was a hit album yet.
They both ROCKED!!
This was the first concert I ever went to. Was not for BOC but for Styx who were touring Crystal Ball. There was another act opening up who we all thought was some Bob Segerini guy.
They announced that Styx had some issues getting their equipment, so the other 2 bands would play a bit longer each (I think I recall BOC doing DFTR twice, once during the show, and once during the encore).
Overall I enjoyed the gig, but was pretty bummed out about Styx not showing up. I thought Seger did a great job, and it was pretty cool seeing him perform what would become one his signature albums. NM was released in October as well.
Thanks for the memory.
Before BOC played someone passed some joints our way. They were laced with something... weird... something I wasn't used to...probably PCP. So unexpectedly I started having a bad trip or panic attack or something.
I read another description of the show and it's exactly the way I remember it: the darkened stage, the intro music. A groundswell of noise from the crowd as flashlights became visible on the stage. And suddenly the lights came up, they were playing, the crowd rose up on their feet around me and I started freaking out.
I was barely keeping it under control but when they got to the laser portion it got bad again. I couldn't stop thinking that they were going to kill people with the lasers. Eric had a beam going that he slowly brought down from the ceiling to the crowd and it felt like he was cutting the whole auditorium in half.
By the end of BOC I was happy to be back to normal and was enjoying the music. Seger came out and did his Live Bullet material and for me it was great. Shortly after he started to stink but at that time put on a masterful show.
I regret getting so loaded at some of these BOC shows, missed out on a lot of musical memories. It's funny because BOC aren't really a 'drug' band per se; what was it that brought out the drug beast in people?
Whilst browsing the online archives of the Ann Arbor Sun, I saw in the 1 Oct 1976 edition the following gig notice:
I checked the following two issues (8th and 15th October) but could find no further mention - and the online archive stops after the 15th October issue so I couldn't check nearer the proposed gig date.
So - did it happen - or, as the lack of any further mentions seems to indicate - was this gig cancelled?
There's a useful blog that charts the story of all the acts who played the Freedom Hall here:
However, they list the Ramones as being on the bill when the ad says it was, in fact, Starz.
The notes next to my pass above say 27th Oct, but upon close re-inpection of the actual pass itself, it looks like the faded date could indeed be the 29th, so I am OK with calling it the 29th if you have other documents...
There's no venue on the pass, but is certainly Freedom Hall, as I got the passes from a girl friend whose mom worked at the radio station, and easily found out where the bands stayed [one of two hotels in the area at the time, before Nascar] - and we got to hang out with them after the show a bit at the Ramada!
Scary bad-ass on stage, great guys fun at the bars!
And I am sure the Ramones opened, because they didn't go over too well, and BOC were really big by then, and the crowd was yelling for BOC during their set.
I have a few pictures that I took at this show. EB playing the 'symbol' guitar, buck in white suit - will dig'em out.....
Cheers for that clarification. By the way, be sure to check out Rick's great anotated stub collection on FaceBook:
The Mid-South Coliseum show in Memphis, TN that you have listed for October 28th, actually took place on Saturday, October 30th.
Well, it could be considered having taken place October 31st. I never did hear confirmation of why the show started so late, but Bob Seger did not come on until almost 9:30. Wet Wille came on about 10:30. BOC finally took the stage a little after midnight.
I remember this well, as I was only 16 and this was my first BOC show! The set was identical to the Live 1976 recorded show without "Astronomy".
Regarding the date though: I am 100% positive it occured on the 30/31.
A friend of mine actually taped the show, and I can remember BOC's announcer doing this 90 second intro about "5 beings on stage with powers far more than those of mortal men" and mentioning that it was now "All Hallows Eve". So, on this I am positive.
Wow, I remember Wet Willie! Halloween 1976 Memphis Mid South Coliseum, Blue Oyster Cult was the headliner, with Wet Willie and a little known singer opening that night named Bob Seger. Bob BLEW US AWAY!!!! He was called back for encore after encore and no one wanted him to leave the stage EVER!!! We all forgot who we came to see! Wet Willie was an established act and I cannot imagine how they must have felt having to follow Seger. Ah memories of the good old days!
Correction: This show was definitely on Halloween October 31st, not October 29th (see above images for verification)
Blue Oyster Cult - Halloween October 31st, 1976 - Indianapolis, Indiana @ Market Square Arena
Band Performance Order:
Etched in my mind forever. Helium-Neon lasers were aimed at the audience and by using rotating mirrors, gave the effect of 3-Dimensional planes of light going up, down, sideways and everywhere. Absolutely Incredible! The technical know-how for these effects was way ahead of its time. It was amazing how everything worked so well because lasers back in the 70's were very prone to malfunctions.
There were a large number of people dressed up in Halloween costumes that evening which made the atmosphere very surreal. Walking around in the crowds in between bands was a real trip. Ghostly characters were everywhere.
A local TV personality was also on the bill that evening. His name was Sammy Terry (Sammy Terry = Cemetery) [website] and he was a very popular late night TV host and ghoul who showed horror films. He had quite a local following. At this concert he talked about Halloween being his favorite day of the year, etc and he did his TV show routine in which he talked to his pet spider, George. George always dropped down from an invisible fishing line onto Sammy's shoulder.
The act was about a 10 minute ramble and he was making the crowd cheer and laugh a lot! They would always go bonkers when he started talking! Most everyone in the crowd had been watching his TV show since they were little kids. After this opening slot, Sammy's subsequent appearances to introduce each of the bands in turn were much shorter, about 3 minutes long...
I would show up at local record stores and headshops the day after concerts and ask the cashiers if I could have the concert poster hanging in the window. It worked most of the time because I was quick to point out that the concert took place yesterday and they did not have any reason to keep it hanging up anymore. The ticket image above lists this as the 3rd Annual Halloween concert and the attached concert poster image says the 4th Annual. I'm not sure which one is correct. Of all the posters I have collected after concerts I attended, this is my favorite one.
I'm completely sure that BOC played Salem VA on 6 Nov - see the stub and gig recollections below - but this date has been the subject of some contradictory information in the past.
The original listings on boc.com had this gig down as BOTH Salem and Chicago! That'd be a good trick if you could do it! I know Phil Collins played both London and Philadelphia Live Aid shows on the same day but he had Concorde to help him!
Also: I have previously received anecdotal reports of a Chicago gig within this time frame which also - reportedly - had Patti Smith guesting on "Vera Gemini".
Indeed, Georg Cizek-Graf initially mentioned on his pattismithlogbook.info site that on 6 Nov 1976, Patti Smith sang "Vera Gemini" onstage with BOC, but he has since removed that reference.
Where the 6 Nov date came from is anybody's guess...
Nov. 6, 1976. Blue Oyster Cult, Salem, Virginia. The opening acts were Mother's Finest and Starz. My partial ticket only lists BOC, though. It does give the date of Nov 6, 1976. You're in for a little extra luck on this one. Nov 7 was my birthday, so this concert ended on my birthday. So, the date sticks out extra for me.
I also recall that the bands arrived extremely late. The doors were kept shut forever. When we were finally let in, they were still setting up the stage.
Then, there were two opening bands, so it pushed the show to being extremely late. A friend took photos and let me borrow the negatives so I could get prints made. I found the negatives recently and still have never gotten them printed.
So, that's a little extra memory I have, plus some photo evidence which I don't actually have prints of. I have a negative scanner but don't have the software installed currently (compatibility problems with XP). Maybe I can get it working on my old computer.
I also remember that their laser show was messed up and wouldn't work. I think I took photos of this show but I'll have to look. If so, I should have prints of those.
Visit Mark's site.
Mother's Finest and Starz opened this show.
I found a review of this gig in the 12 Nov 1976 edition of the "Albuquerque Journal" which helpfully provided me with the name of the support act:
Visuals Top Sounds in Blue Oyster Show
By Denise Tessier
All the ingredients that make for good visuals were there, but the simple fact is: the sights outshone the sounds in achieving the spiritual feeling - mysterious and raunchy - of Blue Oyster Cult.
Wednesday night at Albuquerque's Civic Auditorium the anticipation started with brief orchestration flowing into call-to-arms trumpets. It was interrupted by a blaring announcer: "Albuquerque, New Mexico - Are you READY?"
No, not really. The woosh of fire that followed, the band's black jackets (save for lead guitarist Buck Dharma's "clean" look of shiny cream leather), the glitter ball and stage antics showed the mark of self-assurance. But the show's most memorable aspect could well be the hair pattern on Dharma's chest - if you were close enough to see.
All of Blue Oyster's better songs were done amid a barrage of colored lights. The standout was "Harvester of Eyes" from the "Agents of Fortune" album.
Solos by drummer Albert Bouchard and bassist Joe Bouchard were dynamic, accented strongly by the lighting. Jitter lights punctuated the drum solo, casting a silver shattering glow on black that ceased with the solo.
Later, the bassist was lit solely by a red light, emerging blood-red - all that was visible against the blackness.
The musicians moved freely from one instrument to another. Keyboard player Allen Lanier switched off frequently to boost the guitar sound and Eric Bloom, Dharma and the drummer switched on vocals. Outstanding was Albert Bouchard on vocals and drums, who surprized the crowd by jumping up and donning a guitar. All five members closed the show with their guitars crashing against one another - the impact stretching to pierce the air with weird moans.
But it wasn't over. The groups' cross/hook symbols were still glowing red against the black, and they returned to deliver "Don't Fear the Reaper."
Bloom annoyingly interrupted about midway through the show to ask if Albuquerque "got high" and plugged decriminalization of marijuana when he got an affirmative answer. He urged the relatively small (about 3,000) Civic Auditorium audience to write to Congressmen for changes in drug laws - and speed limits. "I wanna go 90 - I wanna go a hundred," he screeched.
The show's lead-in group - England's Be Bop Deluxe - was a disappointment. The set started off with smooth flowing blues but halfway through it seemed Bill Nelson (who is a fine guitarist) couldn't make up his mind between jazz and rock 'n' roll. The style could best be described in the title of the group's new album - "Modern Music." Trying to please too many?
I found the following review in the November 12, 1976 of the "New Mexico Daily Lobo":
New York Rock meets England's Guitar Wonder
By George Gesner
A blinding light exploded in the dark answering the calls of 3500 predominantly young Blue Oyster Cult fans. When my eyesight recovered the Cult had arrived for the fourth time in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
England and Long Island, New York combined Wednesday night at the Civic Auditorium as Be Bop Deluxe and BOC electrified the place.
Blue Oyster Cult blasted off with "Stairway to the Stars", possibly one of their worst numbers. "Harvester of Eyes" was the next number off their Secret Treaties album. The piece was too methodical and the bass was penetrating. It seems they succeeded in taking a good number with good vocals and instrumentation and turning it into a repetitive rock 'n' roll bore.
BOC finally landed on track with a number off their new Agents of Fortune album. "Sinful Love" featured drummer Albert Bouchard on lead vocals with everyone else singing along. The piece showed signs of better musicianship resulting in a richer and fuller sound.
A. Bouchard went into a fit as he started screaming. It turned out to be the intro for "Cities on Flame With Rock 'n' Roll." The hard rocker featured the three guitarists and bass guitarist Joe Bouchard in what sounded like 1000 guitars. Donald Roeser (Buck Dharma) found the piece fitting for some intense jamming on the guitar to satisfy claims of critics world-wide that he is indeed the world's best rock guitarist.
"E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)" came out hard and animalistic and was saved to an extent by good vocal chorus that was smooth and somewhat melodious.
Then came the high point of the evening. BOC's debut performance of "Then Came The Last Days of May" transcended from their first album to the stage in a pleasant surprise. It is a slow beautiful bluesy number that did not get any airpiay when it first came out, although it certainly warranted it.
The piece proved Dharma as the musical saviour of the group, as his vocals and guitar artistry were on another plane. The mellotrons helped in adding a spacy feel to the number as well as the mirror ball that produced a galactic atmosphere in the hall. I'm sure those who were totally stoned had a glorious flight.
Dharma's vocals were smooth and relieving. He certainly tends to take out the raunchness of the group. His string machine interludes were supreme. He appeared to be the divine Carlos Santana standing alone bathing in the beams of colored light playing some nice blues riffs that enchanted the crowd.
"Dominance/Submission" started off hard enough, but right at the end came the low point of the evening. Eric Bloom started a rap on drugs (namely marijuana) advocating the freedom of it's use. The speech was totally nerve-wrecking and the reference to the American flag on stage was corny. After all we've had enough of these speeches in the '76 election year. It was a complete bringdown at that point.
"Buck's Boogie" was dynamic as always, taking the majority of the half hour. Dharma went wild and the song served as a solo outlet for the musicians. The ten-minute solo by A. Bouchard had me really drummed out. He bewildered the crowd with his excessive use of mechanical goodies on his drums and the use of a blazing hot red spotlight and super strobe.
The drummer then came out on stage in his fake tuxedo and did a grossly contorted dance, probably to get the kinks out of his legs or to mock Marcelle Marceau.
Then the spaceship entered signifying the start of the long awaited finale to "Buck's Boogie." "This Ain't the Summer of Love" had shades of Black Sabbath and included a bass solo by J. Bouchard that was energetic to say the least. The drummer came out with keyboardist Allen Lanier to do their five-man guitar army foutine.
Although the clouds failed to materialize, "Born to Be Wild" proved to be exceptional. Bloom and Dharma did their traditional guitar massage bit which is always a hit. Dharma savagely ripped off his guitar strings and gave a group of fans a $1 souvenir. The show supposedly ended to no one's belief as the crowd stood in a thunderous ovation and a shower of matches and zippo lighters.
"(Don't Fear) The Reaper" opened up the encore. The BOC hit single is basically why some people showed. The group ended the night with "Hot Rails to Hell" and the crowd was finally BOC'd out.
The supergroup from England, Be Bop Deluxe, was excellent and got a warm response from those who appreciated their style of romantic rock. It seems that some of the musical intricacies of the group were beyond some.
"Sister Seagull" was especially nice with the guitar precision and technique of Bill Nelson. Bassist Charles Tumahai supplied the charming background vocals.
"Adventures of A Yorkshire Landscape" was a mellow blues number that gave keyboard player Andrew (Simon) Clarke some well deserved exposure.
The group performed two numbers off their new album Modern Music, "Forbidden Lovers" and "Down on Terminal Street" in a well-seasoned medley.
The group closed their 45-minute (much too short) set with "Blazing Apostles" from "Sunburst Finish." Nelson, Tumahai, Clarke and drummer Simon Fox finished out the evening in excellent fashion. I was quite impressed with Nelson's supporting cast. Fox played his drums with the enthusiasm of a little boy on the drums for the first time. Fox is a very stylish drummer and I'd certainly rank him as one of the best. Tumahai is a very energetic bassist (an excellent vocalist, too) although he didn't do his kangaroo act.
What the fans did see Wednesday night was two of the best guitarists around. Dharma and Nelson both excellent in their guitar techniques and vocal abilities, are two individuals with two different styles that deserve praise. Blue Oyster Cult has been here four times, they'll be here again. It can only be hoped that Be Bop Deluxe will return as headliners.
I was kind of a runaway kid in 1976,found myself in Denver and was at the Nov. 11th 1976 show at McNichols Arena... always wondered the exact date and now I know for sure. Thanks.
The main reason I remember is because the opening band was none other than Tommy Bolin. Today I am a programmer at KKFI in Kansas City and am going to do a two hour special on his music next week Dec.4th 2006,the 30th anniversary of his passing.
Stormin' Norman at kkfi.org
The original gig lists on boc.com had a show listed at the San Diego Sports Arena on 12 November 1976.
However, I always strongly doubted this gig took place as there was a documented show at this venue on 17 Dec - plus there's a stub for that date also.
Two gigs at this venue a month apart was always just plain unlikely.
Furthermore, also according to boc.com, this date also saw Buck Dharma as a guest DJ on the "The Ron McCoy Show" on KNAC-FM, Los Angeles.
I was BOC's chauffeur for their 76, 77, and 78 concerts in San Diego. I have the limousine logs from my entire career, and I do not have a BOC log for November 12, 1976.
Believe me, I would have driven them if they were in town.
That gig never happened.
I was the guitar and bass tech on that tour and drove the backline truck from Denver straight through to the Forum. Only reached the Forum around 8AM on the show day.
Further to that, that is the show that the PA collapsed on the stage left side just prior to sound check and the entire LA show ran very late.
The following review of this show (from Performance magazine - 24 Dec 76) is featured on the billnelson.co.uk site (Note: There's no mention of Angel in the review which seems strange if they did indeed play on this bill):
Performance magazine - 24 December 1976
LOS ANGELES: In their guest appearance with Blue Oyster Cult (Columbia) at the Forum (Nov. 13), Be Bop Deluxe (Capitol) delivered a superlative set received as enthusiastically as the headliner's presentation. At a time when concert promoters are struggling to balance bills with potent support acts, Be Bop has burgeoned forth as an artistic rocking force that can reinforce hard line rockers, as well as the more pensive progressive groups.
Bill Nelson, the guiding force behind BBD, approached the Cult crowd almost apologetically. Clad in a sharp three-piece suit and sporting closely cropped hair, Nelson wryly proclaimed, "I'm sorry our hair isn't quite long enough for the wind machines on stage, but we play good music that I'm sure you'll enjoy." The rowdy crowd appreciated the sincerity and from the moment the band launched into their classic "Fair Exchange" the act was sold.
Be Bop's music employs a curious, yet effective array of styles.While their tunes are based on rock progressions, most of the material showcases an intelligent dose of melodic and instrumental twists that works to give the overall sound of the group a sense of originality and diversity. Rather than letting itself get pigeonholed as a simple rock band, Be Bop has carefully introduced jazz and classical elements that shine richly through the songs.
On stage, lead guitarist/ vocalist Nelson assumes an innocent stance that augurs well with the group's persona. It is an unusual juxtaposition for an audience to see a conservatively attired and groomed gentleman delivering punky rock, but Nelson has utilized the gimmick to its fullest extent. Even a rough 'n tumble Blue Oyster Cult crowd rose to its feet during stunning versions of "Dancing In The Moonlight," "Modern Music," "Twilight Capers," and "Forbidden Lovers".
With Simon Fox on drums, Andrew Clarke on keyboards, Charles Tumahai on bass and Mick Close in a supporting rhythm guitarist role, Be Bop Deluxe is well on its way to headline status. For the present, Be Bop is ably filling in many guest slots in a most admirable and convincing fashion.
Blue Oyster Cult's headline appearance provided the anticipated measure of hard rock, with the exception of their lilting single "Don't Fear the Reaper." Their extended two hour performance earned them a standing ovation.
Yes - the band angel was there, they were the opening act, they were less than well received - be-bop deluxe was okay, - but it didnt matter to those of us who came out for b.o.c - this was one of the best shows of all time - i have a cassette tape of this show that i found at a swap meet many years ago, the sound is awfull, still i cant part with it!!!
i really like your site and will be looking in often - my 1st b.o.c. was in long beach in 1974 - since than i have seen them some 50 plus times!
Saw them in 76' at Phoenix Memorial Coliseum. Closed with Born to be Wild.
According to the Nov 12, 1976, issue of the Scottsdale Progress newspaper, BOC was slated to play the Phoenix Civic Plaza Exhibition Hall two days later, on Nov 14.
The Oct 31, 1976, issue of the Phoenix Arizona Republic lists Bob Seger as the opening act.
Blue Oyster Cult
Incredible Laser Light Show
And the Silver Bullet Band
Sunday, November 14, 8 PM
Civic Plaza Exhibition Hall
General Admission tickets $5.50 advance, available at all Diamond's Select-a-Seat outlets and the Civic Plaza Box Office.
No other BOC performances in 1976 are mentioned in either paper, outside of the Nov 14 show, so I would imagine that this may be the same as the one Doug Hill mentions, although he lists the venue as the Arizona Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix.
I also two listings for the show from the day of the gig (also from the "Arizona Republic"). On page 134, it said:
Blue Oyster Cult - with Bob Seger's Silver Bullet, 8 p.m., today, Exhibit Hall
On page 139, it had this:
Blue Oyster Cult, special guest Bob Seger, Sun., Nov. 14
So it would seem that both "Exhibit Hall" and "Civic Plaza" are shorthand references to "Civic Plaza Exhibition Hall".
However, the 17 Nov edition published this footnote:
Sunday's Blue Oyster Cult show at Civic Plaza Exhibit Hall was a total shambles. Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band never showed, pleading physical ills in New York; Graham Parker was pelted with paper cups during a 35-minute fill-in (after the show finally started more than an hour and 15 minutes late) and the Cult didn't make it on stage until 10:45 p.m.
This was interesting. Albert Bouchard on his radio show once mentioned a show for which Graham Parker were the support, and they got rather rough treatment from the Cult crowd, and Albert said he hadn't been comfortable about that and had an apologetic word with them afterwards.
Also - I've read a Graham Parker interview where he mentioned "I've opened for Blue Oyster Cult, Kiss and some other totally incompatible people" - it seems clear that his experience supporting BOC did not leave him with happy memories.
I did find a more detailed explanation in a Brinsley Schwarz interview on "furious.com":
There was a gig we played in Phoenix. I think that the gig was Blue Oyster Cult supported by The Bob Seger Band, Bob Seger was ill, something with his throat I think, and I'm sure we just happened to be in Phoenix with a day off and got drafted in as a convenient replacement, but Martin tells me we were booked to open the show.
Anyhow the show was very late starting because of an accident with some PA at their previous gig, and that had to be fixed, and so the audience had got a little restless by the time the compere, possibly a young Englishman, announced glibly that Bob Seger couldn't make it but here instead was Graham Parker and the Rumour.
We were greeted by howls of abuse and by about 15 minutes into the set I looked across the stage and saw that myself, Andrew and Martin were pinned to our back line by the constant barrage of coke cups (empty of coke but full of crushed ice) that the audience were hurling at us and Graham was a lone figure at the front dodging the missiles.
With Bob and Steve tied to their instruments I beckoned to Andrew and Martin that we should go forward.
So we saw out the rest of the show giving the audience as much stick as we could from the front of the stage.
Afterwards, some of Blue Oyster Cult, who were very pleasant chaps, came and apologised for the audience's behaviour and one of them said he couldn't understand why we stayed on stage.
I think one of us did tell him why. But I don't think the audience meant us any harm, just their way of having fun!
Over the years we had some terrific gigs - Chicago, New York, LA and San Francisco were always great audiences and we had great gigs in the UK and Australia. It's a blur though and you remember the weird ones more than the really good ones.
The only point that isn't clear is this: were Graham Parker already on the bill as openers (although they weren't advertised as such beforehand), or were they drafted in as a late replacement for Bob Seger, as Brinsley Schwarz thinks...?
76-11-20: Winterland, San Francisco CA Setlist:
I can distinctly remember the opening group being announced as "Sasha." I don't remember the "Yuri" part, but that could be me - or they simply went by a group name - I don't know for sure...
Then it was Rory Gallagher, followed by Bob Seger. BOC headlined, of course.
This line-up was confirmed by this rather useful link which lists all the Bill Graham promoted shows:
I remember the other bands that played with Blue Oyster Cult at this show: Bob Seger - I remember his sax player getting on top of the speaker stacks on the right hand of the stage. I mean right on the edge. If I'm not mistaken Rory Gallagher was the other act.
I'll say this much, when someone asks "What is the best concert you've been to at Winterland?" Blue Oyster Cult by far. It was the loudest show I had ever been too. No sorry second. Y & T in a bar in Santa Rosa's Railroad Square was.
Blue Oyster Cults laser light show, outstanding. I guess that must have been before they outlawed the laser directed towards people's eyes. But it was the best concert I had been to at Winterland. And I could not tell you how many I had been to there. Not enough fingers and toes.
This gig was at the end of a week of scheduled shows that were cancelled and bands were quickly moved around to other gigs. Rory Gallagher had been scheduled earlier in the week with Point Blank.
Seger may also have been on a different bill, but not certain. When they cancelled the Rory gig and moved him to the weekend bill i imagine that they cancelled or changed his San Jose visit.
Sasha & Yuri were from Moscow and had defected. They came on at 7 pm though showtime was 8. Their last song was "Out" of the USSR. Nice lyrical changes of the Beatles song.
Rory Gallagher was amazing. This set began a long love affair with Rory's music.
Bob Segers set was good. Definitely recall Alto Reed blowing sax from the big P.A. speaker.
The BOC came out with Stairway, and the show was so awesome. We were up in the balcony enjoying the light show. Eric did use the wrist laser, and he pointed to our area and shot that thing right into my face!
I moved and saw it on my chest. I was blown away and friends were howling.
Winterland had a vibe that was really special. It seemed like a perfect place to see the band.
Show did not end until 1:30 am.
Over 40 years later this remains one of the best concerts I will ever attend.
76-11-21: Winterland, San Francisco CA - 2nd Night Setlist:
Well, Billboard clearly thinks Rory Gallagher played these two Winterland gigs, but Rory Gallagher fansites have him down as playing San José University CA on this date.
Can anyone confirm or deny Rory's presence on this second night at Winterland... ?
To clarify, the bill for this show was the same as the previous evening at Winterland. Rory Gallagher did not play in San Jose.
I attended the Saturday show.
I only know of the existance of this concert thanks to Heiko Klages who kindly sent me an ad for the upcoming show from the 21 November 1976 edition of The Register-Guard newspaper...
I did have anecdotal evidence that Patti Smith guested on "Vera Gemini" at this gig... however, I've been in touch with Georg Cizek-Graf from the pattismithlogbook.info site and he told me that Patti was playing the Bottom Line NYC that night (source: The Save the Bottom Line site - now unfortunately offline).
For two years in a row 1976 and 1977 - Blue Oyster Cult put on two of the best shows I have ever seen in my life. In 1976 they were playing in the Seattle Center Arena, with Bob Seger and Commander Cody. This show featured more songs off of the on your feet on your knees album. I thought that Donald Buck Darma was the best guitar player on the planet at the time.
This Agents of Fortune show with Seger is hard to remember, since I was on a half hit of purple micro-dot both shows..
I do believe that patty smith was there, but I only remember for sure that the guitar work was awesome. Reaper was the encore.
The show was more about Buck's guitar work as the laser show was not as smoky. The thing I remember about both the shows was not being able to look away for a whole show.
The agents of fortune show was some of the best guitar work I have ever seen whereas the spectres show in 1977 was that same guitar work with an incredible laser light show with laser projections on smoke.
I thought commander cody opened for the first show with seger. Both of them were horrible. You almost needed to call rampart and hook us all up to a respirator to revive us.
Seger put everyone to sleep then everyone came back from the dead to rock the place when blue oyster came on... Seger belongs with fleetwood mac or some other mellow back concert. Seger and blue oyster were not a good match at all.
Seger used Peavy sound system while BOC used Marshall. Random Peavy feedback squelches were constant. Peavy seems to be less powerful so the piano doesnt get overwhelmed. Marshall seems to hold power chords and shake the building.
All of the Peavy groups - Journey, Lynard Skynard - were subject to random squelches. It seemed all of the piano/hammond g-3 groups used Peavy, while the Marshall groups used synth.
Anyway Peavy was ok but Marshall sounded better. Marshall also rang my ears for days.
The above ticket, poster and newspaper clipping all confirm that this gig took place at the Coliseum, not the Center Arena - I can't get any info on Commander Cody though...
I saw BOC perform "The Revence of Vera Gemini" in Seattle with Patti Smith on Thanksgiving Day 1976.
Opening was Bob 'Like A Rock" Seger. The Coliseum was about half full. I think alot of kids couldn't go, it being Thanksgiving and all.
I was about 20 feet from the stage, as they were walking back onstage for the encore, and I screamed at the top of my lungs "It's Patti Smith!!!", and everyone around me gave me a "Who's that?" kinda look, and much to my delight they went right into Vera! WOOHOO!
Well that's two people now who saw Patti Smith onstage with BOC singing "Vera Gemini" at this gig, so I'm beginning to think two witnesses in the hand is worth one NY report of Patti in the bush...
Just don't understand the Bottom Line NYC setlists on the pattismithlogbook.info site for this date, though...
I've managed to pin a date to this show by gathering a number of pieces of information and piecing them together into a coherent whole.
First of all, further up the page under 15 June 1976 you'll see the entry for a cancelled gig at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum - David Erickson had kindly got in touch to tell me that the 16 June show didn't happen, but he did see BOC supported by Bob Seger in Vancouver on another occasion in 1976, but he didn't know the date. Review clippings he found, however, did point to the gig being on "a Friday". He also knew the venue, so at least I had that.
Then I came across an interview with Bob Seger in the Saturday 4 December 1976 issue of the Montreal Gazette which said this: "We are sitting in a hot, stuffy Holiday Inn room, just a walk up from the chlorine odour of the pool. The city is Vancouver, where Seger had just opened for the Blue Oyster Cult."
So - a gig in Vancouver fairly recent to the date of 4 December clearly occured but when? Well, thanks to David's reviews, I knew it took place on a Friday. Now, the Friday immediately preceding the 4th December was the 3rd December, but BOC were in Texas on that date. So I would have to go back a week to the previous Friday. No further though, otherwise the newspaper interview wouldn't be contemporaneous.
But would BOC's schedule allow a gig in Vancouver to fit in on the 26th? Absolutely it would - BOC played Seattle on the 25th and Spokane and Portland on the 28th and 29th.
I remember this show vividly because 5 friends and I skipped school in the afternoon and lined up outside the doors so we could get front and center.
Seger opened and he was angry with a roadie about his microphone for the first part of the show. When not satisfied, it culminated with Seger unclipping the mike and throwing it extremely at the back of the unsuspecting roadie. Needless to say, this callous display didn't make a single Seger fan out of any of us, saxophone player swinging on trapeze above us or not.
When a Cult crew member came out to do a sound check, a single A major power chord sent shivers down our spines and we wondered where all this volume had come from. Standing right in front of the stage, I reached ahead, lifted up the stage curtain and saw nothing but stacked Phase Linear power amps as far as the eye could see.
BOC's opening "Stairway to the Stars" was incredible and the rest of the show, lasers and all, was most impressive. After the show, none of us talked because, after trying, we found that we'd gone a bit deaf.
We even stopped at a drive-in to get food and, being the driver, I had to relay the order to the waiter. Being temporarily deaf, nobody could hear that I'd gotten the entire order wrong but I was forgiven just this one time.
Could the gig you saw have been on this date? I can't help noticing Bob Seger was on the bill, so that's another link to the gig mentioned on the poster.
Dunno why they'd switch venues though if it was....
I don't have a ticket stub so I can't prove it wasn't a different performance that I saw. Sorry.
It's quite likely that ticket sales weren't great for so many bands at such an expensive venue to use as the Coliseum and it was moved to the Gardens.
This happened frequently back in those days because they were located a stone's throw away on the same exhibition ground property.
The Gardens was a very small place and the stage was 6' high or so. Add the platform shoes many of us wore in those days and you saw everything just fine when standing at the stage fence.
NB: I had a 4 AM "flash" about the show and, looking inside my original vinyl copy of "Agents of Fortune", there were 2 newspaper reviews of the Gardens show. However, at the time I clipped them both without the dates.
In both reviews, it states that the concert occurred on a Friday night in the Gardens.
For what its worth I saw BOC backed by Bob Seger at P.N.E. Gardens in 1976 - small seating capacity 2500...
Seger played Night Moves on a portable Rhodes type piano with spindly legs (the keyboard not Seger).
My recollection was it being in late Spring near the end of school year could be wrong though. Maybe they kept the original date and moved the venue.
Do remember a review saying "bring the right act and the grease come out in buckets"... Ha ha - guess we were the grease. One of the loudest shows I ever heard.
I have since been sent tickets for this show dated "26 November 1976", so my original guess would seem to have been correct.
Nov 28th 1976, my second Cult show, after the Spokane show in March of 75, and after missing BOC at the notorious June 4th 76 show at Stateline speedway, when I got left behind at a keggar party.
I can't recall a whole lot, but that's likely from it being 33 years ago, and smoking copious quantities of dope at the show. I guess Bob Seeger opened, but I don't remember that at all. As a young rocker I probably could have cared less for his set.
I DO remember the green lasers being a trip. I also recall the feeling that now that BOC had a hit with DFTR that a lot more people were aware of the band, and it was not "our" secret little society anymore. But even feeling that, I had nothing but utmost respect for the band and their playing. They were still head and shoulders above what other bands of the era were doing!
I was a sophomore at Western Oregon University and my roommate Jimmy and I went to see BOC at the Portland Coliseum. It was arena seating and we got there early and were right at the front of the stage. I was a big fan of both Bob Seger (my current dog is named Seger) and Blue Oyster Cult, so the show was a double whammy.
I remember Seger wore this fuzzy green jump suit that looked like it was made from terrycloth (and was way too tight for my liking). Others are badmouthing Bob on this site, but he was very good in my recollection. This was before he got big and was still doing rockers like Katmandu.
When BOC hit the stage an explosion went off and when the lights came up they were all nailing riffs on guitar on Buck's Boogie if memory serves me right. The set was incredible, the laser show was enhanced by the mushrooms we had eaten before the show and by the end of the night we were exhausted.
Sorry I can't remember the set list, but it was during the hit run of Don't Fear the Reaper so I am sure a lot of the songs came from Agents of Fortune. I had been a long time fan of BOC and of course recognized every song in the set. It was by far one of the best concerts of my life and I have seen quite a few. Definitely the most memorable.
Bob Seger opened for them, and he was awful!!! BOC was more than that.
I remember two things of that December 1976 El Paso show. The first one: the lead singer didn't sing any songs, not any word - he had some kind of problem with his throat. The drummer (Albert Bouchard?) sang all of the show and that was an incredible concert without the voice of Bloom( ?) ...I'm not sure of the names.
Second: The Finale was all guitars, five guitars on stage in one line and that was amazing (for a 17 years old teenager) - I wasn't a Blue Oyster Cult fan, but I can remember that they did a really great show.
That would have been a memorable evening, I have no particular recollection about it...
[ Buck was responding to a question posed about this gig on the BDTE... ]
Well, of course, I was there but I really don't ever remember a show where I sang the whole set in BOC. I remember around that time I was doing a lot of vocals and for the Agents record I did about 5 lead vocals (not all of them were used) so maybe I sang more songs than usual. I'm sure Donald and Joe did some leads also even if Eric didn't sing.
For years we ended our set with the 5 guitar bit (Eric's idea). It got better every time we did it so it was probably pretty hot in those days. I hope nobody lost any money on this post. [ Thanks to Redcap for this email extract... ]
The following "review" appeared in the 4 Dec 1976 issue of "El Paso Herald-Post"
Blue Oyster Concert Entertains Teeny-Bops
By Peter Ashkenaz
When speaking of rock and roll, it seems to have changed throughout the years, if last night's concert in the Civic Center is any indication of things to come.
With a crowd of around 3,000, Blue Oyster Cult and Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band presented their own styles of rock and roll to a screaming audience who were on their feet only for a few short songs.
If old-time rock is what an observer was hoping for, Bob Seger came closer to it with the Oyster Cult. Beginning with "Rock and Roll Never Forgets," the band featuring Joe Randolph, a guitarist in a white suit and straw hat who never "boogied" more than by nodding his head.
They were able to mellow with "Beautiful Loser," but the rock was back with "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" and "Nutbush City Limits." As one persons said, "Seger moves almost good as Tina Turner on that one."
Disappointing was the fact there was nothing innovative, save the Oyster Cult's use of laser lights.
Here was another disappointment if one had seen the lights at this summer's Yes show. Not as many of the audience were on their feet trying to catch the rays, or even clapping in time to the music.
As in the past, the show demonstrated the use of rock music for political means, almost like Steve Stills used to do. Except the difference was the cause; instead of politics it was the legalization of marijuana.
In a song entitled "Dominance and Submission," the lead singer took to the soapbox expressing the need for everyone in the audience, "when you become 18," to write a letter to Plains, Ga. telling Jimmy Carter "we want to get high without being hassled by the law."
The crowd cheered and most probably had to count on their fingers to figure how many years it would take them to reach 18.
All in all, the entire evening was an assault on the senses with nothing as musical as Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones or the Who, and not even a light show as professional as Yes or those perfected in the late 60's.
So it seems rock has changed, but through it all, the guy who stands in the very front playing his invisible guitar and throwing his jacket in the air seemed to enjoy it, although the jacket wasn't up as much as usual.
No mention in that piece that any of the band had any vocal problems, though...
76-12-??: Civic Center, El Paso, Texas Setlist:
BOC played at Ector County Coliseum in Odessa, TX sometime in 1976. Unfortunately, I don't remember the exact date but was probably during the Texas segment of the tour in December. Bob Seger opened.
I'm quite sure it was 1976. I was a senior in high school ('76-'77) when I went to this show and I've always remembered it being in 1976. The other tour dates in Texas that year certainly coincide.
FWIW, Odessa is midway between El Paso and Dallas (they played both of these cities), so it makes some sense. I generally save all my concert ticket stubbs but I don't have that one unfortunately. I am still in touch with a good friend who went with me. Maybe he can remember more details than I can.
The blurb below, from the (Sunday) Nov 28, 1976, issue of the Odessa American newspaper, confirms the date of the Ector county Coliseum show as Saturday Dec 04, 1976:
Bob Seger, Blue Oyster Cult Plan Concert
The sounds of heavy rock will echo off the rafters at the Ector County Coliseum Saturday night when Blue Oyster Cult and Bob Seger combine forces for the first rock concert in Odessa in several months. Advance tickets for the 8:00 PM concert are $5 in advance and $6 at the door.
The concert will feature laser illusions and multi-colored fog spilling from the stage. Blue Oyster Cult had its start at The State University of New York at Stony Brook in the winter of 1970. Allen Lanier, Albert Bouchard and Donald Roeser joined with Andrew Winters and Les Braunstein to form Soft White Underbelly, which quickly became a popular cult group in the New York City area. Braunstein left and was replaced by Eric Bloom, while Joe Bouchard Replaced Winter, and the name was Changed to Stalk Forrest Group.
The group adopted the name Blue Oyster Cult from a poem by manager Sandy Pearlman and signed with Columbia Records. The Cult has released a number of albums, including its current release, Agents of Fortune. A single, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper, has been culled from the album for national distribution.
Blue Oyster Cult's stage appearances are highlighted by a laser system costing more than $100,000. The Cult incorporates lead singer Bloom's bracelet into the laser system. It actually is a small prism assembly capable of projecting a swirling cone of light wherever Bloom points his hand. Drummer Albert Bouchard has a laser rifle to explode containers of Mylar-reflective flakes that shower over the audience.
I must admit, until I came across the torn ticket stubs above on eBay, I was beginning to wonder if this gig took place...
Reason I thought that was that brand spanking new looking ticket stubs for this gig were continuously appearing on eBay - you'd never seem to see a ripped/used one. Something like that makes you wonder if the show actually occurred, but now that I have a ripped one, I feel a bit more confident the show took place...
The 10 December 1976 edition of the Lyon County Reporter says that some sources were listing Pete Seeger as opener for this show by BOC (whom they described charmingly as "heavy metal maniacs") at the Coliseum, instead of Bob Seger, who actually did open.
Did Bob Seger open...?
The alltime best concert i ever saw. riding on the success of their album "agents of fortune" the boys from NY kicked major ass.
The lazer show was stunning and the sound level was unbelievable
Stairway to the stars
harvester of eyes
hot rails to hell
then came the last days of may
dominance and submission
this aint the summer of love
dont fear the reaper
OTHER ACT(S) ON THE BILL: Bob Seger
The list of tickets on www.LookAtStubs.com/bands/blue_oyster_cult.htm has this gig taking place at the "Municipal Stadium" (and gives the support band info).
According to the frankly ridiculous review in the "Lawrence Daily Journal" below, the venue was the "Municipal Auditorium", whilst according to the review featured in the 10 Feb 1977 edition of "Rolling Stone", the venue was "Kansas City Arena".
I had previously gone with "Memorial Hall" as that was the venue given in the listings for this gig that appeared in the 6 Nov 1976 edition of "The Kansas City Times" - I figured they'd know the truth - but in the end, I've opted for "Municipal Auditorium"...
Gig review from the December 13, 1976, issue of the Lawrence Daily Journal of Lawrence, Kansas, which seems to focus more on BOC's laser show rather than BOC themselves:
Audience Beams at Light Show
It was the perfect concert for the Christmas season: the package turned out to be more interesting and compelling than the contents. In this case, the content was the Blue Oyster Cult, which stimulated the nearly 10,000 persons in Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium Sunday night.
The package? Well, according to the advertisements, the show was supposed to feature "laser guns, laser bracelets - lasers to illuminate your mind." When the last thundering chord died, there were probably few who were humming BOC's monotonous tunes - but there were even fewer who were unimpressed by the band's laser-light show.
It was hard not to be impressed, even enthralled with the laser exhibition. Laser lights have become the technological grandchild of the swirling light shows that characterized the rock explosion of the mid-to-late 1960s. Rock went through a period where flash and showmanship were considered passe.
With the success of production-type shows by artists like Alice Cooper and David Bowie, the rock extravaganza was suddenly de rigeur again; the event had returned to rock. In some cases, such as the The Who's 1975 Kemper Arena show or Paul McCartney's Kansas City appearance last May, the use of lasers and other effects-dry-ice clouds, booming flashpots - is merely an added attraction.
It was the band and its music that drew the crowds, in both cases the special effects were the icing on the cake. With Blue Oyster Cult, at least for this viewer, the gimmicks were the best part of the show. This group of rock nihilists' music seemed secondary to the visual magic its crew produced.
The band plays foreboding, ominous music; to give you an idea, one of their tunes was titled, "Darkness and Submission." It is generally concerned with violence, death and mystical terror; it is also generally as interesting as listening to someone who has just received his first electric guitar distortion device.
Turn on the laser lights, however, and it wouldn't matter what the Cult played. As long as one's eyes were riveted on the brightly-hued, dancing beam of brightness that sprayed the auditorium, the group could have been playing Gregorian chants for all it mattered.
This was most apparent when the band's drummer took a 15-minute solo. While drum solos are always the least welcome element at any rock concert, this one did not annoy because, again, the listener had other things to focus on.
The percussion served as accompaniment to a vivid laser display, with projected light patterns twisting and dancing across the back wall of the auditorium. The laser show is the most interesting development in the rock world since Jimi Hendrix and The Who were smashing their instruments on stage.
It can make even an act as tedious as the Blue Oyster Cult worth sitting through for a glimpse of it. I could probably sit through an evening of Lawrence Welk or "Hee-Haw" if they promised "lasers to illuminate your mind."
I was at that concert, it was at Municipal Auditorium in downtown KCMO. Although the laser show was great, the music was what I remember the most.
Previously, the only indication I had that there might have been a gig here on this date was this link:
There's no stub or info about other bands on the bill, just someone called Connie who says she went to it...
Anyone got any info on this?
A tape of the San Diego show a couple days later just surfaced on YouTube, and if Eric's banter during that show is any indication, then the Las Vegas show almost certainly happened:
Cheers - that seems quite a reasonable assumption, so I've now re-designated this one as an actual gig.
All I have to do now is find out who else was on the bill...
Did Montrose also play on this bill...?
Montrose opened up. I know I was there...
Montrose opened. Very Good Set. Loved it when they all had guitars.
Here's a copy of a Ticketron generated receipt that I personally wrote on the back of a gig not on your lists where Montrose opened for BOC. On the back, it says, "BOC and Montrose 12-18-76" but nothing on the front indicates who I saw, just what I wrote. I was pretty diligent about keeping stubs and making sure they were recorded accurately.
Swing Auditorium, by the way, had an airplane crash into it and destroy it a few years later (on Sept 11th, 1981).
Also, the Rolling Stones played their first gig in the USA at the Swing. [Keith Richards - San Bernardino, June 5, 1964.] "Actually (our first ever American) gig was in San Bernardino. It was a straight gas, man. They all knew the songs and they were all bopping. It was like being back home. Ah, love these Americans and Route 66 mentioned San Bernardino, so everybody was into it."
Paige : ) [ Paige's Photo Link ]
Here's a review of this gig from the 20 Dec 1976 edition of the "San Bernardino Sun":
Blue Oyster Cult stages another quake (ho hum)
by Mark Lundahl, Special to the Sun-Telegram
SAN BERNARDINO - Like a well-predicted earthquake, another evening of thundering, assaulting rock and roll was felt at Swing Auditorium Saturday night when heavy-metal bands Blue Oyster Cult and Montrose took the stage. Quickly approaching in the future is a day when we will be able to gauge the earth's tremblings so accurately that an earthquake will cease to be a looming, unpredictable event, but will instead be just another date on our calendars. This giant step in science will save many lives and much damage, and will kill some of the sheer force of the quake. Power will be lost to predictability.
The same has happened in rock. Once unleashed and unprecedented, heavy-metal rock was awesome and downright scary. But years of repeated listenings have tempered the original force to a mere shell of its former presence.
Headliner Blue Oyster Cult was plagued with this problem. The group used every trick possible to evoke a harried response from the spirited audience. With sheer volume, the band scored higher on rock's Richter scale than any of its musical peers (Black Sabbath, Kiss and all). Still, the ominous undertones have been heard much too often for the band to cause any lasting damage. Through the years of its existance, BOC has used three distinct stances in its performances, combining hard city-boogie and controlled space-rock with a sado-masochistic attitude. Least effective of the stances is the s-m attitude implied in the stage 'presence and song lyrics ("Dominance and Submission"). Though it has milked this image since its initial plunge (remember the dead wolves on "Secret Treaties"), onstage the projection of implied evil turns out to be as harmless as a blind man with a rubber knife.
These boys may come from the big bad city of New York, and hang out with the darkest of characters (Patti Smith), but performing they are all scrubbed and smiles - hardly a threat.
Blue Oyster Cult's affinity with hard boogie was its most popular stance with the San Bernardino audience. This band's specialty is a hard pounding bass line fueled by super-speeded tempos. At times, the method was extremely invigorating, as in "Buck's Boogie" where lead guitarist Buck Dharma slashed out riffs that fired straight into the spines of the foaming crowd. But at the other end of the spectrum this mode was also the most abused, with endings that were dragged out to the point of diminishing returns.
BOC's third stance of crafted and honed space-rock is its newest attempt at musical growth, and in many ways it was its most attractive and satisfying offering. Out of this mode has come its first hit single ("Dont Fear the Reaper") and a search for a wider audience. The controlled and textured playing provided a musical change of pace that emphasized contrast and helped intensify the rocking conclusions.
The evening's stage show was aided by a magic bag of light effects that included virtually every trick in the business. In the bag were flash bombs, strobes, smoke machines, and laser beams. They helped to transform the Swing into a galactic wonderworld rivalling the gaseous seas of Jupiter.
In turn, the lights riveted much of the crowd attention away from the band. And after a spell even the light show proved boring, leaving the slumbering metallic behemoth of Blue Oyster Cult snorting and spitting on cue, much like a Disney monster outwardly authentic and powerful, but underneath as tame as your kitchen clock.
Saturday's concert opened with the well-polished rock of Montrose. Led by the talented Ronnie Montrose on lead guitar, the band performed its derivative but athletic rock and roll with the punch and flair worthy of a prizefight. Montrose relied on music and flash alone - no bag of tricks here - a highly commendable move. Performing most of the same material as in its last show here, the band has expanded its sound to include softer, space-ballads to balance off the rock. While it can execute this style of music with flair, Montrose could take a few lessons in pacing its material. By leaving a ballad for the end of the encore, the group only left the caged crowd a bit edgier and dissatisfied.
Mark Lunduhl is a graduate of the University of Redlands and is general manager of radio station KUOR-FM, in Redlands.
BOC.com has this gig down as at the "Convention Center" but the ticket above says "Selland Arena", which is just one venue within the Convention Center complex, so that's why I'm listing it as such on this site.
I Attended this show with my soon to be, and now ex wife, we were 19, and 18 and living in Carson City NV. We drove to Stockton knowing full well the show was sold out.
My buddies had seen BOC at Winterland in November, and I didn't know about it. Concerts were hard to hear about in C.C. back in them days.
Just a day or two before the show, I was half asleep, listening to cable FM radio (remember that?) out of Woodland Ca. one night and heard about the show.
I had never been to Stockton and decided to take the "back" way, and got lost. We still got there plenty early, and good thing too, tickets were almost non exist ant. We realized we would have to buy them one at a time and pay more than 10 bucks for them!
We did get our tickets,after being out bid a couple of times and the show was great, Yesterday and Today opened for them, and I remember them being pretty good. The lasers were awsome, I had seen "Laserium" in Reno, but nothing like this at a concert. They still shot them in the crowd back then. They did the five guitar thing on I think, ME 262. This was the first time I had seen them, have seen them five more times, maybe go see them again this summer.
Thanks for the memories!
Wings Wetted Down; The Red and the Black; Teen Archer... I couldn't believe all that music was coming from five men! The full-bodied, raucous, sensual, and horrific music and images became for me a cornerstone for what would come... lasers! Oh dear Lord in heaven, the lasers!
Smoke rolls from the stage as green lasers dance around the room... they flatten and fan out through the smoke, creating a swirling vision right before my eyes. The laser moves up and down, slicing the audience with brilliant light and causing much screaming in delight.
Laser lights are everywhere all at once, coming from all points... bouncing off the backs of strategically placed guitars, emanating from wristband devices gone unnoticed.
A magnificently massive mirrored ball drops from the ceiling... the laser points directly at the ball, creating thousands of smaller lights that dance all around the audience and over the walls and ceiling, creating the impression of floating in space. Yes, I am one of the few, the proud, the blessed, who have experienced the Blue Oyster Cult laser show in full glory, and it is humbling, to say the least.
I wanted to make note of the show you list on Sun. Dec. 26 1976 at the Norfolk "Scope" arena. I attended the show and remember distinctly driving to that show with friends from college.
On Dec. 26, college would have been on Christmas Break, so I believe that date is suspect. It must have been earlier in Dec.
Also, the opening act for that show was The Atlanta Rhythm Section.
Can anybody help with this anomaly? For now, I'll leave it dated 26 December in the absence of anything else but your help in pinpointing an alternative would be appreciated.
I must mention that there needs to be a correction as far as Norfolk, Va. Dec. 26 1976. The opening act that night was a southern band called Grinderswitch... which bored me to no end!
Keep up the good work!
Wow - more contention. If anybody can help at all on this one, please let me know...
Great gig as this was the first Concert that I saw with Lasers (I had seen them 3 times before). The lasers caused a major issue with the sound system however and Joe's Bass was a constant problem for the Sound folks. By mid concert they got it all working. Albert's drum solo rocked with the lasers. It was a real highlight.
Buck was a scream as he kept looking at himself in the large TV screens above the arena. On the 76 Concert video you see him doing it. That is what he is looking at!
Once the Sound was fixed, this concert was pure magic. I brought a ton of fans to see them. many where fans of Uriah Heep (who I liked as well). But I told them BOC would blow them away and they did!
I was stationed on Norfolk in the navy. I drove to Asheboro, picked up my girlfriend, and went to Greensboro. Grinderswitch was the opening act. Some powerful smoke abounded. I fell asleep during Grinderswitch. Don't remember much of BOC. (fortunately the Live 76 can jog my memory...)
Took my girlfriend back to Asheboro, then turned back around and headed to Norfolk, 5 and a half hours away. The droning of my MGB put me to sleep a couple times. I was very fortunate (young and stupid). Finally stopped and napped. Was late for muster on the ship, but I made it back.
Dec 30th 1976: the venue was The Civic Arena and the opening band was Point Blank...
They knew I was a serious fan, a bandaid you would call it. The year before, I saw BOC strictly as a fan at Nassau Arena in New York where they opened for KISS. I explained to Sandy on the flight that it isn't New Years' Eve for me without BOC. Some love Guy Lombardo, I love BOC.
The Cleveland show was tremendous!!! Everyone was up for it being New Years Eve 1976. The cult was bonafide stars now that "Reaper" was a hit that year. 20,000 fans packed the Richfield Arena! Afterwards, we ate at an all night steak house and we joked how if we were in NYC, we would be eating at our favorite Chinese eatery, Wo Hop.
BOC, their crew and management, were always respectful and kind. There were no prima-donna attitudes among anyone. Everyone was friendly and professional. Anyone expecting to hear about wild groupie parties or drugs or elaborate perks, were sadly disappointed. BOC were just five regular guys who played rock and roll for a living. Four out the five were married with homes of their own and some were soon expectant fathers.
Food was the big vice at BOC shows. Food before, during and after the shows. During my time in the recording studio with them Sandy made a career of going food shopping at boutique eateries.
I can guarantee without a doubt that BOC played the Richfield Coliseum [near Cleveland] on December 31st 1976 NOT Dec 29th as listed on BOC's website.
At midnight BOC and crew came back out [they just finished playing a few minutes before] We all counted down and they lined up with their arms around each other and sang AULD LANGE SYNE and kicked their legs up Rockette style as a huge balloon drop from the ceiling came down.
They then did another song, some old 1950's song that I have never been able to remember and Eric joked about never having done that song before and probably never would again.
I'm positive it was New Years Eve also because we got back to my girlfriends [now my wife] house that night about 1:30 AM and her parents didn't get home from their New Years Eve Party until about 2:30 or 3 and they were never out that late except on New Years Eve.
I've seen that Dec 29th date listed before but it was without a doubt the 31st...
I was at the New Years Eve show at Richfield Coliseum near Cleveland 1976-77, I drove up from the south but picked a girl up in Cleveland. It was snowing real bad.
When the show was over, I couldn't find my car for almost 45 minutes. There was over 6 inches of snow on everything which made it impossible to find the right car.
I love Uriah Heep and I musta got there late cause I was stone cold sober and I don't remember them playing at all!!
Great, Great! concert. I was 17yrs old. Loved the "Agents of Fortune" Tour. I remember the lead guitarist (Roeser) flashing/reflecting the lasers off the back of his guitar into the audience.
I remember one member - I think it was the lead singer Bloom (?) - with a laser strapped to his wrist shooting it out and reflecting it off mirror balls strategically placed around the coliseum.
The streams of light would flash onto the audience and when I got hit with one (or two) I went crazy along with everyone else...
Uriah Heep was great: easy living.
Years later in 1989-90 I met a band member who was selling products through a pyramid marketing scheme like Amway (?!). We talked about "the old days" and he gave me and my friend free tickets to see B.O.C. at a local club in Cleveland (don't remember the name of it now). The guitarist was Roeser or I would have thought it was a rip off band.
I never did buy any of his products though or sign on to sell them. He was very focused on my friend who introduced me to him and was already selling Amway. He was a short skinny guy with black curly hair.
All I can figure is it was Bloom but he didn't seem to sing lead when I saw them at the club?? It's baffled me since but there they (and he) were at this night club in Cleveland playing all the hits like Godzilla, etc.
My friend told me that he was talking to this guy (Bloom?) one time on the phone and somehow the conversation went to his product and why he was selling these Amway-like products (as I think about it, maybe they were nutrition products??) and he said "Well, I wouldn't have to if you would buy my new album!" I thought that was funny... I guess he wasn't rolling in riches anymore?? If he ever was a legitimate member of B.O.C... It was all weird and confusing and didn't seem real somehow.
I think also that these date(s) were played in 1976 - if you have any info, please let me know:
I can't recall the date, I was stoned out of my mind, but I know I saw Blue Oyster Cult in 76 at Acker Gym in Chico California. It was my very first concert, so I recall it vividly.
Do you have ANY clues as to other details that might help me pin this gig down a bit better - for example, are you SURE it was definitely 1976?
Do you recall any other bands on the bill - could it have been Montrose, for example? - or even what time of year it might have been - Winter, Summer, school holidays etc - anything?
You know, I don't recall if there was an opening act. I just know it was a month or so before I saw Montrose and Earthquake together right after Montrose put out the Warner Bros Released album.
I know it was during Spring/Early Summer because we went up in a Convertable Firebird with the top down doing 110 mph. I didn't have a car back then so I had to hitch rides with whoever had one at school, so I know it was before summer vacation on the Agents of Fortune Tour because the ONLY song I clearly recall them doing was ETI.
Sorry, wish I could be more help.
Dr Feelgood opened, followed by Slade - anecdotal mention of this gig on a board... if it took place, then June would be a likely date...
Of course, the guy posting on the board I saw could be mistaken about the town - there's a confirmed Feelgood/Slade/BOC gig at the Capitol in Passaic NJ on May 8 - maybe this is the NJ date he was thinking about?
Also - there are some dates in Feb which were supposed to be with Slade including a Passaic one but these probably didn't occur until June. Probably....
The December 76 edition of Creem reviews a gig at a "greasers' palace in Minneapolis" and says BOC opened with Tattoo Vampire, then Stairway to the Stars, Harvester of Eyes, Sinful Love, Cities on Flame, Flaming Telepaths, Last Days of May, 2 songs not named, Dominance and Submission, Buck's Boogie, Summer of Love, Born to be Wild and Hot Rails for an encore.
Needless to say - a date and venue for this would be nice...