For everyone in the UK and Europe, 1978 was the year we finally got to see the BOC laser show. We'd read stories about them with envy for the past couple of years and wondered if we'd ever get to see them in action for ourselves. All I can say is: it was fantastic!
Once back in the US, BOC did a major set of tourdates supported by British Lions and UFO and ended the summer with a Day on the Green show which saw the return of Sam Judd to the BOC fold.
September also saw the release of the live "Some Enchanted Evening" LP, containing maybe the best ever version of "Astronomy" - although why this wasn't a double LP, I'll never know (though of course, the remastered re-issue has since somewhat rectified that particular mistake).
A massive thank you must go to BOC pyrotechnician, Ken Welch, who has kindly sent along a whole bunch of hall reports and gig itineries - these have been instrumental in sorting out and confirming many of the gigs on this page.
Have you got anything to contribute to this page? Reviews (your own/local paper etc), missing support band/venue/gig info, ticket stub/handbill/poster scans etc etc - basically, anything that would be relevant to this page. If you do, please let me .
It was the coolest show I've ever seen! Unbelievable. They had those glitter balls you'd see later in discos hung all over the place and they'd shoot a laser into one in the center which was spinning and the laser would ricochet to the other balls that were spinning and you felt like you were in a war zone. They seemed to be coming from all directions. They had rings with lasers, guns with lasers and those strobe light guns.
I was on the floor, 13th row. Municipal Aud Kansas City Missouri. First band was Millionaire At Midnight and then Black Oak Arkansas.
I can't recall which songs they used them in, but they definately did not detract from the show.
To this day I still say that it was the greatest rock concert I have ever seen.
Opening act was Millionaire At Midnight and followed by Black Oak. My first BOC show and the lasers were stunning. "Cities On Flame" had a lasting impression.
BOC played in Springfield, IL on January 7th. The opening act failed to show, and one of BOC's equipment trucks either failed to show or was robbed of their outfits, so they performed solo in jeans, new tennies, and BOC t-shirts, well over a 2-hour show.
This was the last time i saw the fabled laser show.
The band that was supposed to open the show was called "The Rockets". They did not show and a gentleman came out on stage and said, "the opening band, The Rockets couldn't make it tonight, so tonight you get to spend the entire evening with Blue Oyster Cult".
They opened the show with "Golden Age of Leather". Amazing sound that night and the full lazer show too. :-)
This was a rescheduled date from 27 Oct 1977 (check out the stub above dated 27 Oct). I remember that they used a lot of red lasers in the show and then Eric yelled, "More lasers!" and a laser shot from out of a ring he was wearing. This was back in the days when they were still allowed to project lasers into the crowd. What a great show.
This gig is down as an opening night at Nassau Coliseum on boc.com.
However, it's down as Providence Civic Center in Ken Welch's Hall report for this gig, and he backs this up with travel itineries and details of accommodation and travel between Providence and NYC.
Further proof has since arrived in the form of a review of this gig kindly sent by Heiko Klages above, not to mention the fact the gig has appeared as a Lampinski download off Dime together with the stub and gig poster!!...
Thus, I think we can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that 12 January 1978 was Providence!!
One of my favourite live shows was Blue Oyster Cult and Rush on Friday the 13th at Nassau Coliseum, January 78, during an ice storm, no less. It was one of the most enjoyable and memorable shows I had ever seen then or since, with hand-held lasers breaking into hundreds of beams when hitting mirror-balls, and flash boxes exploding when struck with a laser beam, things you just don't see anymore (hand-held lasers were outlawed soon after that show). Rather than identify a specific song or moment, let's just say the band was at their artistic peak in front of their hometown audience in a celebratory mood.
I got seperated from the gang as we were exiting and spend at least an hour walking around the circular parking lot in the pouring, (literally) freezing rain looking for everyone. When I finally found them, all of us soaking wet frozen, we boarded the car (which had no heat or rear windows) and tried to exit the parking lot, which was still jammed with concert-goers.
In our haste to exit the lot, we had the misfortune of sliding on the ice and side-swiping a van, knocking off its side door. Inside the van was a gang of angry men who became more angry as the driver of our car tried to speed away. About 6 of them piled out of the van and chased us on foot. It was not hard for them to catch up, considering the traffic and slippery surface. Reaching in through one of the malfunctioning rear windows, an angry guy unlocked the driver's door and ripped the driver from the car. I slid over from the front passenger seat and took the wheel.
By the time I got to the van, my friend was being pummelled by the angry pack. We stopped and they threw him out. We collected our friend and began the long drive home.
It took close to ten hours to get home, and that was after being nearly electrocuted due to downed power line as well as nearly arrested due to small riot at the Hempstead Jack in the Box (they ran out of food). In the company of seven of my closest friends, all aged about sixteen as I was, it was about as cool as cool could be - I had seen my two favorite bands on the same stage. The night And despite the ordeal that had befallen us that night, I have never enjoyed a concert as much since.
Another BOC ticket I never got to use. I should have known, 13th row, Friday the 13th, 13 inch snow storm = no BOC for 3 kids from Jersey...
I just (re)discovered your site and wanted to add my three cents about this gig that is so full of memories, seemingly not just for me...(and thanks for the opportunity to experience the reverie)...
I grew up on LI, but by the Autumn of '77 I had only recently heard of BOC. I started at a new school and met a bunch of new kids, many much more into rock and roll than those I left behind. Rock was still Classic and a lot of kids were feeding off what their older siblings were handing down. Sabbath, Floyd, and Zeppelin of course were huge. I didn't have any older sibs and not knowing any better, I fell for the Sex Pistols and BOC in the same year.
"...Reaper" got AoF into a lot of households, including mine. I was slowly making new friends. Talk was of BOC and Rush at the Coliseum. Some guys I was getting to know were going, and I was eager to join in. Before I knew it, there was something like 8 or 10 of us. I was so excited I got my dad to drive me to the box office and pick up tickets for everybody. This was going to be my first real rock show.
Of course, my dad did the driving on the night of the gig, too. He dropped us off in the circular lot as noted by Galluccio. Older teens were tailgating, drinking and smoking. Hawkers touted their bootleg T-shirts, keeping a certain distance from the doors. We had relative nose bleed seats at the back of the upper section, almost opposite the stage. What did we know? But, from our vantage we could observe all the cool older kids, even girls and the air was sweet with weed! THAT was very exciting.
Rush opened and though familiar with at least "Fly By Night" we weren't too impressed. I don't think a large portion of the crowd was either. Half of the house sound blew out at some point during their set and there was distinct laughter among the boos. This was a BOC hometown crowd. (Of course, subsequently Rush became probably ten times bigger than BOC ever were and continue at pace to this day. And my wife is a huge acolyte. So there ya' go.)
I don't remember the BOC set-list since I only knew the one record (this was the Spectres tour), but nonetheless a major switch went off in my head. Hearing tunes from the first three records, in all their twisted riffiliciousness and harmonically weird glory, I "saw" the dark light. To this day I have no doubt it was "Harvester of Eyes" more than anything else that sent me down the wayward path that I willingly wander as both a listener and musician.
After the show, all us little guys (I remain a Buck-ish 5'4". Actually, the last time I saw Bloom as he judged a battle of the bands for Little Steven's Underground Garage, at a cheesy bar by my sister's house out on the Island, which featured a set by Adny Shernoff [Dictators] and Keith Streng's [Fleshtones] really good defunct band I can't remember the name of - he could've been shorter than me!)...sorry!...
Anyway, all us little guys teetered dazed and confused out into the literal darkness of a Friday the 13th laid black by the storied Ice Storm of '78
I found this link:
It took us a good hour sloshing thru the sleet to find my dad in our big ol' Olds Vista Cruiser station wagon. He gingerly drove through downed trees and cables dropping off each of my buddies safe and sound to worried parents.
Back home with no power for days, our place stunk of the food rotting in the fridge. But, I could never shake the stink of that first BOC show and the rot it fomented in my brain. I was a month shy of 14.
Raised in a quietly fierce atheist home, I was never going to have a bar-mitzvah. But that enchanted evening, in that particularly strange Jimmy Carter time-scape, I guess I became a little bit more of a man. Or at least a consumer. As soon as I possibly could (waiting out the damage of storm) I had my little local record emporium order me up the unholy triumvirate of initial post-SWU vinyl.
I turned on other kids for years to come, dutifully sent my fifty cents and SASE for dot matrix lyric print outs and rued my Boomer cusp birth date which relegated my experience to a post radio hit Cult. The self titled debut, Tyranny and Mutation, and Secret Treaties remain staples to this day.
PS Certainly, this was eons before the advent of cell phone and anti-lock brakes. If my 13 year old daughter (a budding Nirvana and Misfits fan - via her pals, I don't proselytize!) was involved in such an escapade, I'd shit! But of course I'd be the nice daddy driving the kids home.
My 1st concert, and I still have the ticket stub! The weather was crazy. 4 of us piled in my buddies sisters VW. Got 2 flats in the Bronx on the way home.
Ah yes, the infamous Friday the 13th ice storm. My friend Warren and I went to this concert. Being carless teenagers living in New York City we had to take the bus to the NYC suburbs where the Nassau Coliseum was.
When the concert ended, no buses were appearing at the bus stop! Assuming these buses were canceled, we schlepped it to some other bus stop that was supposed to go to a train station to wait for a train that didn't stop close to where we lived, but was closer than the Coliseum.
During this time a police cruiser came by shining their spot light by the side view mirror on these two drenched shivering kids back in corner out of the freezing rain to make sure no undesirables were in their squeaky clean town.
When we asked them instead on bus schedules they realized we could actually use some help and as typical of cops of that time they quickly hightailed it out of there. Eventually some bus no where listed on the schedule arrived and we made it home.
I was looking forward to this show as I had not seen BOC in two years, and the show was on my birthday! A "coming of age" show for me in a way. I always tried to get floor seats to an area concert, but this show, my seats were in the "100" section, to the left of the stage, maybe the second row. Close seats for an arena.
Other commenters had written about the ice storm. Frankly, I don't remember that at all. I was living at the time just down the road from the Nassau Coliseum, maybe 5 miles away, so there was no issue getting there.
My memory of Rush were they were loud and outrageous. They had these pyrotechnics - best I can call them are heat flashes - that exploded down the front of the stage. I could feel the heat from them on my face! If you want to see an example of these pyrotechnics, watch the movie "Rock Star." The fictitious band Steel Dragon does their first concert with the new lead singer, and explodes these flashes at the end of the song "Blood Pollution."
In my memory, the Rush pyrotechnics were similar, only larger!
My memory of BOC were the lasers. Not that they had them, but how they were used. I have never seen anything so cool as this evening.
Eric Bloom had a handheld laser attached to the inside of his wrist. During a song - I believe it was "Then Came the Last Days of May" but it could have been "Astronomy," - Bloom nonchalantly tilted his hand back exposing the laser which emitted a beam towards the ceiling of the arena. Think of how Spider-Man shoots a web from his wrist - he did it the same way.
Now, the laser would have been cool enough, but this was BOC during their peak, and a mere laser coming off a lead singer's wrist like Spider-Man was just not enough. To explain, you need to understand the Nassau Coliseum. Back then, the entire ceiling of the Nassau Coliseum had exposed girders that held catwalks, lighting, and the scoreboard. This was one reason why the arena was not known for its acoustics.
BOC rigged pyrotechnics across the girders. When Bloom was singing, he tilted his hand back and a laser beam hit one of these girders, and at the same time an explosion and heat flash came from the ceiling! It seems like the laser was causing the explosion. It was the timing and the spontaneity, and the fact that no one expected anything like it made for without a doubt, one of the coolest effects I have ever seen during a live show.
I found a video on Ken Welch's YouTube channel from a 1978 airing of the TV show "30 Minutes" about BOC. At 54 seconds into the video, you will see the wrist mounted laser I described that Eric Bloom used.
This is the only time I saw BOC... honestly, I went for Rush... my 3rd concert ever...
My memories of this particular show are slightly hazy (I wonder why ?) but I do seem to recall them playing one or two unfamiliar tunes ( Arthur Comics ? )
But I do know they blew Rush clean off the stage...
What was happening in February? If you know, please let me ...
We were most likely on a break. At the time we toured 3 to 3 and a half months and took one month off.
Then started all over again...
Until I got sent the above handbill, the only indication I had that this show occurred is that it appeared on one of Ken Welch's tour itineries...
Wed March 1st Agricultural Hall, Allentown Pa is the venue. The Rockets and a band called Dakota were the opening acts, unfortunately thats all i remember...
After thinking some more about this show, I am now pretty sure it was only Dakota as the opener...
I think you must be thinking of the 1980 show, which had the Rockets in support at this venue.
I have since received the (above) flyer (courtesy of Jim Allford and Sam You), which says the original support was to be Judas Priest, but was later replaced by Horslips.
I was at this show. Tickets were $7.50! Set list was similar to the Baltimore gig listed the next night but I can't confirm that. I was waiting for ME262 but honestly don't think they did it.
I also don't remember "Angel" as the opener, but I suppose it's possible. BOC had the whole laser thing going.
I was at this show and Walter Egan ("Magnet and Steel") also opened with Angel. It was Angel's White Hot tour.
My buddy bought that album and when we were getting baked I noticed the way they designed the name" Angel" it would read the same if you turned it upside down!
My first concert. BOC Spectres tour, March 2, 1978. Binghamton, NY.
Angel opened. As for Walter Egan also being on the bill - I don't remember him and neither do the other guys I went to the show with.
So... we either forgot or Walter Egan sucked so hard we erased him from our memories.
Turns out there no "Walter Egan" on this gig - Paul V sent me a copy of the review from the 03 Mar 1978 edition of the "Press and Sun-Bulletin":
Fans of Blue Oyster Loved Late-Start Show
By Mark Silverman
If you didn't mind wading through a sea of teeny-boppers at the Arena last night to see Blue Oyster Cult and Angel, then you probably didn't mind the hard-driving rock and excessive amplification that characterized both groups, either.
Casablanca recording artists Angel opened the show at 8:30, a half hour behind schedule and ended their seven-number set only 35 minutes later. The crowd didn't ask for an encore, but the group provided one anyway.
The three-chord rock of the five-member group, accompanied by some feedback problems and muddled sound, lacked any demonstration of musical refinement, but that was to be expected.
Lead vocalist Frank Dimino did everything but waltz with the microphone, and Edwin Lionel (Punky). Meadows pranced across the stage with his guitar, providing some flashy picking during brief solos. Angel fans appreciated the performance, but it was nothing to get excited about
Most of the songs were from the group's new and fourth album, "White Hot," which they are promoting on the current tour.
Radio advertising for the concert heralded the group as "Circus" magazine reader's choice as best new group of the year; that's hard to believe.
The 70-minute intermission that followed was intolerable. The crowd began to show its impatience early, but the headliner Blue Oyster Cult finally appeared at 10:15 amid an orchestrated tape and flashpots for a 15-number set that lasted nearly two hours.
BOC's special effects were almost as entertaining as the group itself, utilizing red and green lasers, glitter balls, strobe lights and smoke to fascinate the audience, which didn't prove too difficult a task.
With "Spectres" being their sixth Columbia album, the group had a lot of material to cover. Happily, they didn't rely entirely on material from the new album, but threw in older music as well.
Drummer Albert Bouchard kept up a steady beat throughout, but at times it seemed the group was playing around him rather than with him. Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser, the lead guitarist, showed his proficiency with a hot guitar that never stopped.
Keyboardist Allen Lanier, bassist Joe Bouchard and lead vocalist Eric Bloom all displayed their particular talents during brief solos within various selections. Bloom's guitar playing didn't detract from his clear but sometimes strained vocals.
Highlights of the show were cuts from their fifth album, "Agents of Fortune," including the title cut, "Summer of Love," and encored with their hit from last year, "Don't Fear the Reaper."
"Godzilla," a hard-rocker from the new album, has just been released by Columbia as a single and is the only cut from "Spectres" receiving radio play. A 15-minute laser light show was inserted midway through the "Godzilla" rendition, and was a genuine crowd-pleaser.
The light show was well synchronized with the music, and Bouchard accompanied the flashing lasers on what sounded very much like the synthesized drums of Carl Palmer, Emerson, Lake and Palmer's percussionist. There was even a short synthesizer theme from "Close Encounters" to coincide with the light show.
The group's vocals blended well on some softer cuts to give them a tell-tale sound that is easily recognized on their albums. BOC's music and lyrics were much less muddled than that of Angel, even though BOC played much louder and through the same amplifiers. The solved the feedback problems experienced by Angel.
Later in the show, all five members of the group picked up a guitar of some sort and pounded out a number that made the whole Arena hum and shake. Each performer had a chance to show his particular talents on the guitar with a solo, and they played surprisingly well together.
The all-guitar number was followed by their own version of "Born to Be Wild," Steppenwolf's "golden oldie" from the late 1960s. BOC followed that with a song never before played in concert called "Make Your Way Lucky."
Although firecrackers and frisbees were annoyingly distracting, BOC put on a decent snow, well worth the admission price.
The group is appearing in Syracuse with Be-Bop Deluxe later this month.
BOC followed that with a song never before played in concert called "Make Your Way Lucky."
WTF? The mind is boggling with that one. A song that followed "Born to Be Wild" (the last song) would have to be the first song of the encore - yet he's already said BOC "encored with their hit from last year, Don't Fear the Reaper."
At this time, BOC were sometimes playing "Kick Out The Jams" and "We Gotta Get out of This Place" as encores with Reaper, but I don't see how either would make a listener unfamiliar with these rather well-known classics think that their titles could possibly be "Make Your Way Lucky."
Anyone got a clue...?
Horslips had all of their gear stolen in Baltimore the day of the show. That left the J. Giels band left as opener for BOC. They did a full set and BOC just made the show. They had to come down from NY on the train. Heavy snow.
Another great night of lasers and Quad.
What a great Concert despite the SNOW!
J Geils did a great show warming up the crowd. Peter Wolf was all over the stage.
The Sound in this arena always sucked for most Bands as the lack of sufficient electricity to drive powerful PA systems in this terrible venue was legendary. I was concerned about the Lasers drawing too much power from the Sound System, but as always the Sound Team for BOC did a great job. What stood out most from this concert were the lasers bouncing off the walls to Albert's drum solo. The crowd was mesmerized. Despite the horrible weather and BOC just making it, they rocked the house.
Still remember the stage a blaze with all of them jamming on Guitar before they played Born to be Wild.
J. Geils opened. A third band was suppose to open for J Geils (Horse lips) But had their equipment truck towed away because they parked in a area designated as a snow emergency route.
So the MC came out and told us this and that both J Geils and BOC agreed to extend their shows 20 minutes each. Hands down the best laser show ever. It was before it was found out that the lasers actually burned your retina some and were band from being shown into your eyes anymore. BOC used 4 medium mirror balls, one towards each corner. A 5th one, was a giant one (5 feet across) in the center of the room right under the score board. Then a 6th one was small like in your bedroom size hanging about 8 feet above and a little in front of Eric Blooms head.
BOC blew massive amounts of smoke onto the stage that slowly rolled down into the audience. They also had 2 red light runners on the floor right down each side of the middle floor isle marking where the seat rows were. After a bit into one of Bucks solo's the smoke was head high to the audience and halfway to the back of the floor seats, all glowing red.
They used all colors of lasers: red, blue, green, yellow, orange. Each color shooting at each mirror ball from different directions, and the mirror balls were spinning. This broke the beams into chunks that were real close together and flying all over the place in all directions. So you had 6 mirror balls with 5 colors of lasers on each mirror ball. It was being in the middle of a Star Wars battle.
You would get hit with one and seemed like you should feel it but didn't. People were grabbing the place they landed like they could catch them. Also Eric Bloom had a laser in his sleeve that shot wherever he pointed too. Just like on the Spectres Album cover.
When they played Last Days of May they really stretched it out with Buck doing a 5 or 6 minute solo.
He also used a chrome guitar that they shot lasers at using the strings vibrations to break up the laser light into chunks and they danced all around as Buck moved around.
When they did Godzilla Albert (drummer) wore a giant Godzilla head while he played. He also did a drum solo then and they fired off a mess of strobe lights.
When they played Born to be Wild Eric rode out onto the stage on a Harley that was almost all chrome and danced his way up to the mic.
Also between songs someone threw a M80 out into the air. Eric Bloom said: "NO, No, No don't throw fireworks, in fact if you see someone about to throw one do us a favor and punch him out".
Then they started playing and no more were thrown.
I attended the show with Sanford Townsend, Crack the SKY and BOC. Sandford townsend got half way through "Smoke from a distant Fire" before they were boo'd off stage.
The rest of the show was great!
Mar-5-78 -- Fairgrounds Coliseum Columbus Ohio. Opening Act: the Godz.
The set list was very similar/identical to the lansing show or the show on the 3rd - I clearly remember RU Ready 2 Rock, ETI, Harvester of Eyes, ME262, Cities on Flame, Last days of May, Godzilla, 5 guitars, Summer of Love, Hot rails to hell (but that could have been an encore, so maybe it was like the Buffalo show but without Golden Age), Born to be wild, Dont fear the reaper ---- could they have played Astronomy instead of Golden Age ?
I know they didnt play Golden Age of Leather, but cant remember if they played kick out the jams or we got to get out of this place. I'm certain of the other songs.
The lasers were working well that night (hand held laser during ETI, lasers shooting off of 2 largedisco balls. Lots of pyro during Born to be Wild -- Godzilla mask on Albert during the drum solo.
I also recall Eric holding a machine gun with a strobe light during ME 262, which on later tours gave way to him holding his BOC symbol guitar like a gun. Last days of May was a highlight.
This was a general admission concert that was close to a death scene. It was cold outside and the assholes didn't open all the doors on time and finally when people started smashing the windows they just started pulling people in through the doors and didn't worry about tickets....I still have mine entire ticket stub...well not a stub I guess it is a whole ticket. The Godz opened up....a local band who I had seen many times and really got the crowd worked up.. I love BOC and this concert was ORGASMIC!
This show had the laser lights that were shot onto a disco ball that exploded through the hall... that was before they figured out the lasers could screw up peoples vision!
Here's a gig review from the March 8, 1978, issue of the Ohio State Lantern:
Blue Oyster beams; Godz silly as ever
By John Petric
The Blue Oyster Cult rock 'n' rolled and laser beamed their way to several standing ovations Sunday night at the Ohio State Fairgrounds Coliseum. The concert was sold-out a week prior and was attended by 12,000 youthful, enthusiastic, partying fans.
Opening for the Cult were Columbus' favorite sons,the Godz. Signed with Millenium Records and pushing their debut album, "The Godz," the four Columbus lads, Eric Moore, bass and vocals, Mark Chatfield, guitar and vocals. Bob Hill, guitar, and Glen Cataline, drums, are trying hard as hell to break big nationally. Good luck, fellas, you'll need it.
Led by Moore, who does most of the singing and wears his Fender bass as low as his right arm will reach, the bare-chested Godz played the simplest boogie imaginable. Moore, who is known for being a real tiger of a performer, was as harmless as a kitten. Often he played as if in a stupor or a daze. Or maybe it was pure musical concentration?
Starting with "Go Away" the Godz rumbled into "Baby, I Love You." Next was their tribute to the American pharmaceutical industry - sopors specifically, stupid pills, actually - "714." At one point, Moore was spinning around in circles to the din he was creating, closely resembling one of the dancing bears of the Moscow Circus. No fire, this one, but plenty of hair.
After fifty minutes of uninspiring noise, patronizing drug comments, and plain silly behavior, the Godz left the stage. The screaming crowd brought them back for an encore. The Godz reappeared wearing only bikini underwear and platform boots. While the band played their version of Golden Earring's "Candy's Gone Bad," the only good song they did, guitarist Chatfield put down his instrument, donned a stupid look of madness and, with a leather strap, whipped the daylights out of Moore's outstretched bass guitar. Moore took it off and joined in the fun. Thus endeth the show.
Oh, I get it! This is rock 'n' roll and sado-masochistic idiocy is art nouveau.
What it is really is an example of Moore and his Godz low-level manipulation of rock 'n' roll that mightgetthem somewhere. Poor Columbus - do you really need to be put on the musical map of America by a band that treats its instruments so - so - so savagely? You don't even have snow plows. Such genius. Such originality. Such tough guys. I pity their poor girlfriends.
After a long intermission the Blue Oyster Cult came on amid huge fiery explosions on either side of the stage. The five-man Cult, Eric Bloom, vocals and guitar, Joe Bouchard, bass and vocals, Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser, lead guitar and vocals, Albert Bouchard, drums and vocals, and Allen Lanier, keyboards and guitar, launched into "R.U. Ready 2 Rock." They played hard, tight and well. There was melody in the vocals.
During the next song, "E.T.I." Bloom wielded a hand-held laser, similar in effect to what Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi used in their battle-to-the-death in "Star Wars." An old song followed, reminding people the Cult has been together for nearly eight years. Crowd-pleaser "Cities on Flame With Rock 'n' Roll," sung by drummer Bouchard, ended in funky lead guitar. A moody "Then Came the Last Days of May" followed lead guitarist Roeser wrote it about a true story of three New York City boys who drove to Arizona for a dope deal but were robbed and killed in the desert.
By the eighth number the Cult was ready to pull out all the stops. A fifteen-minute drum solo accompanied by incredible computerized laser displays of red and green beams thrilled the audience. An Oberheim synthesizer in the P.A. picked up the drums' sounds and changed them into weird but neat electronic sounds. The scores of lights directly above the band provided lush and beautiful hues and tone colors. It was all very well done.
In the 23-29 March 1978 issue of "Scene Entertainment Weekly", they published an interview with Eric Bloom obtained during this Columbus gig:
Blue Oyster Cult: Godzilla, Losers and Rock'n'roll by Mark Kmetzko
In Columbus, they have a strange way of showing their appreciation: they throw fireworks at you. At least that's what was happening to The Godz as they finished their S&M-overtoned encore in all their jockstrapped glory.
Backstage, away from the din and the fireworks, things were much quieter. While the remaining four members of Blue Oyster Cult happily jammed away at a blues tune in their dressing room, vocalist / guitarist Eric Bloom stood in the adjacent hallway looking concerned... maybe "pissed" is a more appropriate term. He had just been informed that The Godz' opening comment to the audience regarded their not needing special effects "like some bands do" to get the audience off.
You'd better be careful, they're throwing fireworks out there," someone warned Bloom. "If they try that with us, the show'd stop," was his dry answer.
No, Eric Bloom is not a party pooper. He is, however, dead serious about this rock 'n' roll business. A member of Blue Oyster Cult since Christmas, 1968, the man with the mirrored glasses and ever-present black outfit doesn't kid around when it comes to the future of his band. This was clear when he and I conducted a very business-like interview in his hotel room a few hours before the March 5 Columbus concert.
Further proof of Bloom's (and BOC's) earnestness about their career can be seen in the way they operate. Whether it's on tour ("We have a two-man, licensed pyrotechnics crew; a full-time, licensed laserist; 27 roadies, and three 40-foot tractor-trailers of equipment") or in the studio ("We took a very long time to make SPECTRES - all of last May, half of June, all of July and all of August."), Blue Oyster Cult does things right. But as Bloom will tell you, doing things right didn't get the band much of anywhere until 1976's AGENTS OF FORTUNE and its hit single, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper." After a decade of good songs, hot guitar playing and (for the last few years, at least) a spectacular live show - complete with laser effects - BOC had done it: they'd gone, as Bloom likes to put it, "over the top."
He may not admit it, but I'd be willing to bet that a good deal of SPECTRES' three-and-a-half-month gestation period was to insure another taste of mass success. It hasn t happened yet, (the album had, however, sold a respectable 600,000 copies at the time of our interview), but Bloom sees reason to be optimistic.
"'Godzilla' was just released as the second single (following a failure with "Goin' Through The Motions" - Ed.)," he said, "and it's starting to get a few sniffs here and there. There's a major campaign on 'Godzilla' on the part of the company, and we're putting $6000 ourselves into it as a private promotion. I think it has very good chances."
To some BOC fans, it may seem strange for a member of this historically "FM" band to be talking about the desirability of a hit single. Bloom answered that when he spoke about "The Reaper" 's success:
"We always thought 'The Reaper' would do something, but we never thought it would be Top 10 or voted No. 1 single of the year by several readers' polls. "With SPECTRES, we were hoping to produce songs that could be AM possibilities - that was in mind - 'cause it ["The Reaper"] certainly put the writing on the wall in that we need AM exposure to go over the top and to be able to give the kind of show we would like to."
But old guard BOC fans need not worry that their heroes have gone "commercial." Though catchy, "Godzilla" is hardly your average AM ditty, and there are sufficient heavies on the album to keep the band's veteran followers happy. Take, for example, "The Golden Age of Leather," which even Bloom had to call "quintessential heavy metal."
"The lyric is about the last motorcycle gang fight," he continued. "It takes place out in the desert in the future, when bikers feel themselves to be anachronisms. They just decide that there's no more fun in doing this anymore, so all the bikers - all that are left - get together and have one big gang fight in which no one will survive.
"The song starts out with the big party - all the balling and drinking - and after the gang fight there's nothing left except the gleam of a handlebar. After the fight, there's a sandstorm, and the only thing left is one piece of metal sticking out through the sand."
However, SPECTRES does contain an "AM" tune or two ("Goin' Through The Motions" is about as pop as you can get) to counterbalance the heaviness of things like "Golden Age of Leather." But via the presence of the pretty "I Love The Night" and other subtly intriguing pieces, the word for SPECTRES is "eclectic." This latest BOC effort thus comes off as one of the most ambitious works from the band, an appraisal with which Bloom agreed. But he also shed light on the problems that can result from SPECTRES' kind of variety. "A lot of people see that ns being a weak point," he said.
"A lot of people think that it's too watered-down to have a focus. I've read one review that said, 'Lack of any one particular lead singer waters this album down.' And then a lot of people see it os being an interesting variety."
That variety is considerably played down in BOC's concerts, perhaps because of the adverse reaction that Bloom mentioned. More probably, it's because there is little room for subtleties in a concert atmosphere. As Bloom said, "We feel in a 95-105 minute set that the kids really want mostly the heavy stuff."
So the Cult obliges, tapping each one of their six albums to create a powerful show. And in keeping with a long-standing BOC tradition, the group includes a few non-originals in their set. Recent shows have found the band not only doing their much-lauded music version of Steppenwolfs "Born To Be Wild," but also BOC adaptations of MC5's "Kick Out The Jams" and Eric Burdon & The Animals' "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place."
Of course, for some fans, a Blue Oyster Cult concert would not be whole without the orante laser display the band's used for the past few years. The aforementioned, full-time, licensed laserist shoots brilliantly colored shafts of light into the audience, creating patterns and, in general, lending an other-worldly aura to the music.
Between the lasers and the other pyrotechnics currently gracing the BOC show, does Bloom feel the audience is more turned on by the visuals than the music?
"No, we're aware of that problem," he reassured. "We don't use lasers to the extent that it'll take away from the music. Right now, it's punctuation to the music; that's how we've always done our effects."
"I won't mention other groups whose music takes a back seat to the effects," he continued, addressing himself to goodies such as Earth, Wind & Fire's levitation and disappearance tricks. "But we're not above certain things. Our laserist just found this article about this platform that flies on propane or something. It's a little rocket pack trip. I said to him, 'I'll try it after you take 100 trips on it."
One aspect of Blue Oyster Cult music that - in the course of appreciating the well-structured songs or the hot guitar work of Donald Roeser - has been overlooked by many listeners is the lyrics. As indicated by such numbers as "Golden Age of Leather," the themes are often unusual, and the stories - even love songs - marked by strange twists. Bloom said he feels the lyrics are important, but that they're not crucial to the appreciation of the music.
"We purposely don't put the lyrics on the record jacket," he continued. "We could put the lyrics on the record, but then you just don't listen anymore. You just sit there and as it goes by, you say, 'Oh, that's what he's saying.'
"I'd rather have kids come up to me and say, 'Hey, you know that song where you say, "Get laid in the hay"? I really like that.' I never said anything like that in any song, but I'd rather have the kids hear something other than what I'm saying and think that's cool than trying to read along with it. It just takes the magic out of it."
Bloom added, however, that the lyrics are available (by mail) for those who are really interested. And it's for those same fanatics (as well as for the band members themselves) that the Cult ices their music with humorous overtones and little inside jokes. Take, for example, the middle section of "Godzilla," with its Bloom-delivered speech in Japanese.
"I took some Japanese courses," he explained. "I was a language major in college, and languages have always come easy to me.
"What I'm saying in 'Godzilla' is: 'Attention, attention. Godzilla is entering the Ginza area. Evacuate immediately, evacuate immediately.' The Ginza area is like the Times Square of Tokyo."
Bloom will have a chance to test his new language and Blue Oyster Cult will get an opportunity to see how "Godzilla" goes over in the song's main character's homeland when the group tours Japan in late September. But there ve already been problems with the song in the land of the rising sun, as Bloom revealed:
"I had a funny feeling that we were going to get in trouble for just calling the song 'Godzilla.' Somebody owns GODZILLA (the movie). It's like calling your song 'Chevrolet;' you just can't do that. So we got on the phone ... and we finally got to the people who own the music rights to GODZILLA. A children's music company owns the publishing rights to the music and picture sound of GODZILLA. We had to pay them a considerable amount of money to be able to put 'Godzilla' on our record ... and a percentage of the album's sales. Those creeps are going to make more money off this record than me."
Further helping to slow "Godzilla" 's progress - in Japan, at least - is the fact that a Japanese group must first record the song before BOC can release their version there.
"It's only because you've gotta understand that Godzilla is like Superman... bigger than Superman, it's like Uncle Sam. Godzilla to the youth of Japan is like a national hero, and the Japanese don't feel it's right for Americans to have anything to do with Godzilla until they get a chance to have something to do with it."
By now, you're probably wondering if the song is worth the trouble. So am I. But evidently Blue Oyster Cult think it is, and their insistence to make the song a hit is just a small indication of the drive that's kept this band going for 10 years. It's been a long time since BOC were able to pack all their equipment and members in one van and a car, and what's kept these guys going is a belief in their music along with a dedication to their fans.
"Our show's expenses are incredible," Bloom said with regard to the latter. "I don't know if we're in the red or black. But let's put it this way: if we had one truck and rented less lights and had no lasers ... and just went out and played a one-hour rock set and were special guest to somebody else, we'd make triple the money we're making now. But we don't choose to do that."
I remember Angel was pretty lame. I was in the balcony house left about a third of the way back. A great seat, but surrounded by high school kids.
Went on a whim, since it was finals week at MSU - we were on quarters then instead of semesters.
A full house, and they played every tune I was hoping to hear. The big sound of Buck's guitar on Then Came the Last Days of May was perfect.
Full lasers at this show, and I remember Astronomy with the lasers and mirror ball going, although the set list says no.
Somewhere I have a clipping from the MSU State News reviewing the show.
I was thrilled when Some Enchanted Evening came out and almost completely replicated this show.
By this time, I'd been to 2 more BOC gigs, Cobo Hall in Detroit and Flint, Mich (can't remember the venue. My lady and I were stoked for this show.
This was back at Lansing Civic Center where we saw our first BOC show ever the previous year.
Awesome show by BOC another tat for the BEAST, another incredible night after the show.
My first BOC show was at Finch Field house on the campus of Central Michigan University in 1978 and we always thought that the Quad speakers were because of the AWFUL acoustics of that room!! I think I have seen three concerts there and this was the only one that sounded good at all!!
I was only 15 or 16 at the time, and VERY STONED!!!! Great show tho... a band called HorseLips opened. Anybody remember them???
Finch Field House is on the Campus of Central Michigan University, in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. About 150 miles northwest of Detroit, and 70 miles north of Lansing, Michigan. Just a quite little town of 30,000 with another 17,000 students and a pretty big Indian Casino.
It must have been March, because I know for sure they played Lansing the night before. Also, I recall that when this concert happened I was not yet licensed to drive, and by the fall of 78 I was indeed licensed, so it must have been March!
I think your March 8th date is the correct date.
This gig did happen - and early '78 is probably correct. I think we were touring "The Man Who Built America" album which would place it then.
I remember the gig had acoustic problems - the venue's sound was pretty muddy - and BOC didn't seem to enjoy it a whole lot..
Exact date? Sorry I can't help you there. Maybe Eamon or Jim would know...
Yes, we certainly did play with BOC on at least one occasion, but as for the date or location I've no idea.
However we're in the process of doing something like yourselves, retrospectively documenting our tour schedule for the '70's, so that info may very well crop up. Hopefully we'll get it somewhere near completion over the next 2 or 3 months. If you haven't heard from one of us by then you might send another mail, just to prod us into action.
The March 9, 1978 was opened by Teaze alone. I don't have my stub, but I clearly recollect my memories of BOC shows. The ticket stub that is displayed above has the Guess Who and Be Bop Deluxe in handwriting and is clearly wrong. I distinctly remember Joe Bouchard and Buck doing an imitation of Teaze during the show. I am 100% sure.
I was there it was definitely tease... they were a local band with a hit... something like "boys night out"...
The only indication I have that this show occurred is that it appears on one of Ken Welch's tour itineries...
Here's a ticket stub from March 11, 1978 for BOC playing the Evans Fieldhouse at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb Illinois.
I was there. I can guarantee it was a BOC show. I don't believe I've seen this show listed on a couple other BOC sites I've seen, so you have an exclusive.
I'm especially glad to get a gig for this date because the official site lists an unknown gig in an unknown town for 11 March 1978...
This was my first concert; I also still have my ticket stub. After dozens of other concerts through the years, the last being Yes in Madison WI, this is still my favorite.
This was my junior year of high school, my friends and I drove up from a small town in Central Illinois to DeKalb in two cars. I rode in my buddies '68 Firebird.
We had bleacher seats, stage right about 100 ft. from the stage. My friends and I were all dedicated rockers and between the 7 or 8 of us in the group we had a copy of all 5 albums released to date in vinyl, cassette, or 8 track.
I had so many 8 tracks at one point that I had 5 or six big cases in the back seat of my '70 Pontiac, but I was thankfully forced to switch to cassette after leaving my car unlocked one night.
I have to admit that for a bunch of small town kids the open consumption of beer and pot was quite an eye opener. At one point one of our group, after having over imbibed, was in the process of doing a header off the bleachers (first mosh pit?) when he was reeled back in by the back of his shirt. Some things you never forget.
BOC was great; I wish I could remember all of the songs they played. I do remember not wanting it to end. I can't imagine it being such a vivid memory if the audience had been using cell phones instead of lighters to call them back for multiple encores. This was my first lesson in future concert attendance: always bring a lighter.
I distinctly remember "Summer of Love" and I especially enjoyed "ME 262". I can still see (standing under one white spot with the rest of the arena dark) and hear the guitar solo during "The Reaper".
It is actually surprising how much I remember considering the environment and the 2 hour drive up to DeKalb. The lasers were very cool for the time; remember this was back when you only saw a laser in a college physics class.
There was plenty of smoke in the air so you could really see them beaming across the stadium. We hung out and partied in the dorms for a while after the concert. More stories but not this venue.
The 2 hour ride home (this was pre I-39 days) was less than festive and at one point Cary had the stereo jamming and the windows open trying to wake us up to keep him awake.
Glad we all got back safely; different times than today. I feel sorry for kids these days; how can they possibly have as much fun as we did?
I originally had this date down as a Utica gig.
I can confirm that this gig took place on this date and Be Bop did play.
As far a memories go, I remember the laser's from the first show from Godzilla as being phenominal and obviously the bike coming out during Born to Be Wild. As far as the opening bands, I don't remember much at all. I know I saw them, but that's it.
It seems like it was only yesterday...
While going through some stuff at my parents house, came across my worn out vinyl copy of On your Feet....There stuffed in one side of the album was all my BOC clippings. Concert stubs and programs, magazine and newspaper articles, and other assorted memoribilia that took me back, to easily to this day the best concert I ever saw...
The Aud in Buffalo was one of those wonderful old hockey arenas built in the 30's. Great for sport, terriblet for acoustics, but great seating and sightlines. After buying the Black BOC baseball cap (yes, I still have it in its raggged state somewhere) we ventured to our seats in the lower golds, kittycorner across from the stage. After sitting through a forgettable set from Be Bop Deluxe, the roadies slowly unveiled "THE SET". Black mesh curtains, the Logo, a slight glimmer from the lasers warming up. The lights dimmed and then...
The roar of flashpots and RU Ready to Rock. Here's the setlist for that night...
RU READY TO ROCK
HARVESTER OF EYES
CITIES ON FLAME
GOLDEN AGE OF LEATHER
LAST DAYS OF MAY
SUMMER OF LOVE
BORN TO BE WILD
HOT RAILS TO HELL [ ENCORE ]
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER [ ENCORE ]
I wrote that set list the morning after the show. I wasn't wasted at the show - I was only 17 and too pumped to miss any of the show - so it's the way I remember...
Hi-lites... Too many to recall. Great harmony on Golden Age and Harvester of Eyes. Eric and the wrist laser setting off flashpots on the wings off the stage during ETI. The return of the wrist laser for Buck solo in Last Days, with the mirror ball sending individual beams of light into the crowd. Buck's solo still rings in my ears to this day as the sound echoed back and forth between the suspended speakers across from the stage. ME 262 roared through the arena. Then Godzilla... Ah, the good old days of being bathed in laser light during a 10 minute drum solo.... Where is Al's Godzilla head today ?.....Summer of Love into 5 Guitars with a blistering solo from Joe and then chaos of Born To Be Wild. Smoke, flashpot, lasers, Texas Chainsaw, sparkler fountains...Whoa !!! What an ending.....
The encores... my personal favorite in Hot Rails, and then Don't Fear The Reaper. Buck in white doing his solo with lasers screaming above him...
After this show, saw the Cult another 8 times in the late 70-s to mid 80's betwen Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. They played the Erie County Fair this past August of 2006, but couldn't make the show... Was rated as one of the best shows to play here this summer. But for me at 46, some things are best remembed for their first time...
Looking forward to many more years of BOC...
My first Blue Oyster Cult show changed my life. My very first concert at age 14 was KISS in 1976 and that started it all for me. But this BOC show topped that by a mile.
The one thing I will never forget about this show was how stoned I was. I had smoked some very powerful weed before the show and I barely remember the first act, who happened to be Be Bop Deluxe (I like them a lot now. Bill Nelson was very cool! Great songwriter and guitarist). The crowd seemed kind of quiet, but then again my mind was in a different dimension at this time. I think the crowd got louder towards the end.
At the end of Be Bop's set my high school friends who were with me were laughing and making faces at me because, apparently I was just sitting there in a stoned trance staring at the stage after the house lights went on. It was kind of embarassing but funny too. Ahhh...those stoned high school memories. As I slowly started coming back down to earth, BOC hit the stage all guns blazing. They blew my mind!! Buck Dharma's guitar playing just burned a hole right through me.
I had just started playing guitar 2 years earlier and I just knew this guy was going to be my guitar hero forever (and he still is). And the Laser Show. FUCKING AWESOME!! I had never seen anything like it. I had a seat on the floor about 20 rows back and it was perfect for this amazing "spectrecal". Another highlight was the 5 guitar jam and Albert Bouchard's drum solo in "Godzilla" ( I think he is one of the best and most underrated drummers in rock).
Eric was very cool with his shades, leather and laser ring (way cool!) pointing at the huge mirror ball hanging from the top of that old hockey barn. Joe Bouchard rocked with his solid bass playing and great bass solo. And Allen was in great form switching from keyboards to guitar with ease. And of course, (Don't Fear) The Reaper was just earth-shattering, Buck's guitar notes just flying at me throught the laser light. To me "The Reaper" is the best rock song ever written. I had smoked some more of that dangerous weed (especially to a 15 year old) during BOC's set, but this time it just made me feel those wonderful sounds even more. I would have to say it was the best concert of my life (and I've been to hundreds of concerts).
In the last 29 years of being a mega-BOC fan I have seen them live over 40 times. Rarely have I been disappointed (expect for the time I saw "Two Oyster Cult" at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA back in March of '86 during the dreaded Club Ninja Tour, mainly because I found out Joe Bouchard was no longer in the band). I still think they are the best band on the planet and they (especially Buck Dharma) have been a huge influence on my music since then.
I play B.O.C. almost everyday of my life and I never get tired of them. I will see them this March in Agoura Hills, CA. I can't fucking wait!!!
Long Live BLUE OYSTER CULT ****** On Tour Forever
I was at this show! Buck dedicated Last Days of May to my friend that had died less than a year before! Pulled the letter we wrote to them out of his pocket right on stage!
One of my top 2 or 3 BOC shows for sure. Best version of LDOM ever! Buck's solo was longer than usual and AMAZING!
The lasers, all my friends sitting together about 10th row, the dedication to Urs. Just an incredible show!
Now that you mention that, I vaguely remember that. Do remember Buck's solo going back and forth between the speakers at the back of the Aud during the slower part of LDOM before his extended solo...
I remember it like it was yesterday! We met them at the Record Theater earlier in the day, they were doing a meet and greet. We handed Buck the letter telling them about my friend Urs and how the last song he heard before his accident was Astronomy and we asked if they could play it.
At the show Buck starts playing the opening licks to Astronomy and we all were in shock! Then he suddenly stops playing and walks up to the mic and says, "We met these guys at Record Theater today and they wanted us to play Astronomy for their friend Bobby Urso who died in a motorcycle accident a few months ago. Well, we can't play that tonight, but this song is about 3 friends of ours who were killed.This is for Urs."
Still gives me chills when I tell this story!
This was the first time I saw BOC. I still have the ticket stub and I even have a program.
The opening act that night was Be Bop Deluxe. A very cool show. I went and saw them 13 times after that. The two songs that blew me away was Astronomy and Cities on Flame.
Opening act in this show was actually a band called Charlie, then BeBop, and BOC.
This was my first BOC show and I'm going to my 50th show in Houston in a month or so. And then 51 the next night in Shreveport La. Great website love it
I saw BOC on 3/19/78 in Springfield, MA. It was my third ever arena show and I hitchhiked up from Connecticut to see it. Boy was I glad I did! The laser show was spectacular.
I remember the wrist mounted laser was particularly impressive, and that he pointed it at a large globe on the ceiling that exploded. I still have this image in my mind, clear as a bell.
I remember them performing Born To Be Wild, as well as Godzilla, and I think they did Cities On Flame, but I am not positive about that one.
Be Bop Deluxe warmed up, but I don't recall being too impressed by them.
It's interesting that I don't recall Charlie performing (as mentioned in the previous post). I knew who they were and had an album of theirs, so I would have thought I would remember it. I do not recall being late to the show, but I suppose it is possible I missed the opener. It's a long time ago.
But I can verify that I did not see Charlie perform this night. I did see Charlie perform in 1980, and that was the first time I saw them.
Check out Ken's great ZZ Top giglist site:
By the way - if anyone else can confirm or deny the presence of Charlie on this bill, please let me know...
This was also my first BOC concert, and maybe my second or third arena show. I do remember BeBop Deluxe and also now that you mention it, Charlie.
I was in absolutely the last row in the centre. Which ordinarily is a lousy seat unless you get to see the entirety of the laser show.
Before I got the above (admittedly somewhat small) ticket stub, the only indication I had that this show occurred is that it appeared on one of Ken Welch's tour itineries...
The venue was called the Erie County FieldHouse and all the shows they played were at this location. It was a nice concert venue too. The acoustics were very good for loud bands. It was a minor league hockey arena that would hold at most for a concert about 5,000 people. It is now an industrial park. :-(
Just as in the 1976 Erie gig I saw, Be Bop Deluxe opened the show, followed by Crack The Sky. Crack The Sky announced they were recording the show to do a live album. The Philly show was finally used for their Live Sky album. They were not having a great night thechnical wise at the Erie show so I didn't figure ours would get used.
Click the link from the Erie County Fieldhouse Concerts Facebook page to see a concert ad for this gig:
Crack the Sky opened, and then Be Bop Deluxe. I remember Be Bop getting booed off the stage - everyone was ready for BOC. It was a great show.
I was 16 at the time. saw several BOC shows in the sports arena, great hard rock venue. All gone now...
This website is really cool.
Prior to their gig at the Richfield Coliseum, BOC members did a personal appearance at a local record store, according to the 23-29 March 1978 issue of "Scene Entertainment Weekly":
Peaches & CBS Records Announce The Appearance Of Blue Oyster Cult At Peaches Newest Location, Peaches Willowick 32901 Vine St. At 4:00 P.M. Saturday, March 25.
The 1978 Cleveland show was my first real concert. Didn't know of the Jam beforehand but was disappointed in the lighting - or lack thereof - for their show. Well, since they were the opening band they had to share space with Be Bop Deluxe's and BOC's equipment, and couldn't take advantage of the huge lighting rigs set up for BOC. So, like they only had one or two spotlights on them and it was hard to see the stage. At that point I'm thinking, "this is how BOC is going to look?"
This, of course, changed in a big way when BOC came on - the lighting was magnificent and totally blew me away. And the lasers were absolutely amazing!
By the way, the setlist was exactly the same as the Glasgow concert the next month - I memorized it and then wrote it down (back in 1978). What made me relate that show to the Glasgow show was Bolle's BOC tapelist. I noticed the Glasgow setlist and was thrilled because that was the same show I saw a few weeks earlier. The #1 highlight for me was "Last Days of May" and Buck's solo.
I remember reading the review of the concert in Scene Magazine the next week, and it made reference to Buck Dharma and his "see if you can follow my fingers" leads. It also frowned on BOC playing so many (3) tunes from other bands - Born to be Wild, We Gotta Get Outta this Place, and Kick Out The Jams - saying that "today's bands should let the dead rest in peace".
The review also made the comment that "BOC and Be Bop Deluxe were not that far apart, musically". Hmmm...
The Richfield Coliseum, 20,000 capacity, which opened in 1974, was demolished in the late '90s. The arena was built 30 miles out of Cleveland to attract both the Cleveland and Akron/Canton market.
Moving out of downtown Cleveland was a big mistake... so a new arena was built downtown and the Coliseum was no longer needed. The area has returned to what it once was...a wilderness reserve (park).
Here's a review of this gig from the 27 Mar 1978 edition of the "The Akron Beacon Journal":
Blue Oyster Cult 'panics' Coliseum
By RUSSELL SIBERT (Special To The Beacon Journal)
What does an oversized lizard named Godzilla and a rock band called Blue Oyster Cult (BOC) have in common?
Godzilla, as you may recall, terrorized the Ginza area of Tokyo many years ago on the late show. Well, now as a hit single for BOC, "Godzilla" terrorized a sold out crowd Saturday night at the Coliseum.
The result of the attack by the king of monsters was the same as in years past with a slight hitch. While hysteria was created from the assault, it was not the mass confusion of 90-million Japanese rushing to their Toyotas to keep them from being stepped on. Instead there was a state of madness created by 15,000 fans in a delightful delirium.
AND LIKE "Godzilla", BOC has had a habit of driving audiences wild throughout the world for the last 10 years.
One of the reasons BOC can drive an audience crazy, besides their music, is the use of special effects primarily a laser light show.
During "Godzilla," two green pencil thin laser beams shoot off three mirrored balls suspended from the ceiling. The balls reflect the beams of light throughout the crowd while smoke is released from the front of the stage. The resulting effect is that of time-lapse photography of cloud movement. The clouds develop right before your eyes.
Another crowd pleaser occurred when Eric Bloom during "E.T.I. (Extra Terrestial Intelligence)" came to the front of the stage and shot a laser beam into the crowd from the tip of his finger.
But BOC's music doesn't take a back seat to anything, let alone special effects. With Donald Roeser on lead guitar and Bloom on lead vocals and guitar, the band burned through one tune after another.
THE MATERIAL played was from all six of the group's albums and some added treats. These treats were old hits made famous by other artists. Included were: "Kick Out The Jams," by MC5; "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place," by Eric Burdon and The Animals and Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild."
At times the band's extended solos were a little too long and loud, but the sound for the most part was clean and sharp.
For their encore, BOC played two numbers. The final one being their biggest hit "Don't Fear The Reaper." Some of the song's magic was taken away by its brevity and slowed pace. But despite this, the show was still a giant success.
Here's another review from the March 30-April 5 1978 edition of the "Scene Entertainment Weekly":
BLUE OYSTER CULT, BE BOP DELUXE, THE JAM: The Coliseum - March 25
by Dave Voelker
Saturday night's well-atlended triple bill was kicked off rather unceremoniously by The Jam, an English "new wave" band. I can only sum up their performance as "clone rock." Each formless, unallowable song sounded the same as the last, with the vocals droned in a sterile monotone. If (as their song says) "this is the modern world," please usher me to the nearest time machine.
With the emergence of Be Bop Deluxe, things began to pick up. Those who've seen Be Bop before would agree that this set was consistent with their customary live impression: high in energy, low in empathy. Borrowing heavily from their current release, DRASTIC PLASTIC, Bill Nelson and his cohorts laid down that LP's futuristic rhythms with a pulsing beat theat generated toe-tapping, but stopped somewhat short of handclapping.
In light of the fact that Be Bop and BOC are not far apart musically, it wasn't surprising that the Cultistdominated audience got off on Be Bop's music - especially older standards like "Ships In The Night" and "Fair Exchange." If only the keyboards hadn't been drowned out and if only Bill Nelson hadn't been so damned aloof, the crowd reaction might have been adulatory instead of merely appreciative.
If I've become suspicious of bands that employ multimedia, sensory bombardments calculated to overload the viewer's cerebral cortex (usually already burned out), it's because I've seen THE WIZARD OF OZ too many times. Look behind the curtain of flash powder and smoke columns concealing most dazzle-rock acts, and you'll find a puny band that has to rely on props to do what their music won't.
This isn't the case with Blue Oyster Cult. Their fireworks and laser effects are certainly among the most elaborate I've seen, but though they didn't contribute to the music per se, they supplemented a potent rock 'n' roll show by doing to the eyes what BOC did to the ears. That's the way to use visuals with music: in a supporting capacity, not as the main event.
I'm sure BOC could have done fine without them. Here is a band that plays unadulterated rock'n'roll (a vanishing breed) with punch and passion. One song even had all five members on guitars, flailing away at center stage. If that didn't blow The Coliseum's main circuit breaker, nothing will.
BOC's set included material from all six of their albums. Four lasers (including one on Eric Bloom's wrist), strobes, reflecting balls, and various other show hardware were used throughout, climaxing in a stunning three-dimensional laser/drum solo in "Godzilla." The only real weak spots in the evening were unspectacular renditions of the Animals' "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" and Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild." Why can't today's groups let the dead rest in peace?
Note the "Sunday" crossed out on the stub above because the 27th March 1978 was, in fact, a Monday...
Getting ready to go see BOC at The Grizzly here in Denver tonight (24 July 2009) - but thought I would talk about the first time I saw Eric and Buck and the rest in my hometown of Fort Wayne Indiana - could it really be 31 years ago?
I was 13 and with my friend and his uncle. I remember calling my mom at work and asking her to get out $20 from my bank account so I could see the show. $7.50 for a ticket sounds about correct. (matches the Ticket stub on here)
I remember the opener Be Bop Deluxe - I don't think The Jam was there?. A lot more respect for BBD now but back then I just didn't get it.
It was a sparse crowd - the Fort Wayne police had been cracking down BIGTIME on the 'side action' at concerts and people stopped going. Those were the days you could just go see a show whether you were into the band or not - TIX prices didn't make you float a treasury bond or anything like that. In fact between BBD and BOC a roadie or tour manager or someone announced to the crowd something like it was 'bullshit what was going on and just stay at home and listen to your records' and the crowd applauded. (Side note - later that year Aerosmith came into town and offered to bail anyone out that night who got busted for illegal substance use at the concert - which they did and paid their fines)
The Paul Weller Live Archive has The Jam down as playing this show (though they don't mention Be Bop):
However, Jeff in his post above doesn't recall the Jam being on this bill, so does anyone know for sure that they didn't play?
The March 27, 1978 show in Fort Wayne Indiana was attended by myself and a fellow Jam fanatic. I was into the Jam also and the thought that I could see the Jam as well as the Fabulous Cult together on the same show was a dream come true. I can assure you without a doubt that the Jam did not play!
My buddy was actually in close personal contact with Paul Weller and when it was apparent that the Jam were not going to play he exited while the Cult were performing and talked with someone in the backstage area who told him that the Jam never showed up!
I know for a fact he asked Paul Weller later when he stayed at Paul's parents house in the Uk when he visited Paul but I can't recall what the reason as to why the Jam were a no show.
I've heard an anecdotal account that "Fireworks" was played at this show. I've never heard of this being played live before, so I asked Albert:
I thought we might have played it in Northern California once, but maybe it was Ft Wayne...
OK, Albert's left the door open on it being a possibility, so can anyone who went confirm or deny that "Fireworks" was played at this gig...?
But one thing is for sure - BOC should have made "Fireworks" a regular part of their set - it's such a damn beautiful song...
The show was supposed to be 3/29/78 and was first advertised for the "Ocean Ice Palace", then the venue was renamed the "Brick Forum". After driving 2 hours to get there, we find that BOC won't play, because they had only booked the show as a tryout rehearsal for upcoming dates, and since the stage was very high and the only way to set up the lasers would have meant either playing on the floor or pointing the beams straight down, they decided to cancel.
What a bummer, my first BOC show cancelled.
Opening acts were advertised as Randazzo and the Dictators. I remember seeing somebody walking around in a Dictators satin jacket. At least I found out about the Dictators that night, but I was really pissed at BOC for being lame and not playing without the lasers.
Randazzo actually did play that night, and filmed for a video. I know cuz we were stuck in the cold parking lot for hours with roadies chasing us away, since my dad had driven us and dropped us off, continuing south about 20 miles to my grandparent's for dinner. We called right away, before he even got there, but he made us wait while he had dinner!!!
We watched some of the Randazzo deal from the door, they were the only band to play. They wouldn't let us in. The roadies were there with BOC's gear,as were the Dictators who were milling about, I remember seeing their Satin tour jackets on a few guys. I asked the crew why BOC didnt play without the lasers. They told me the gig was specifically set up as a warmup date to test the laser show, and since they couldn't do that they were cancelling.
I believe they may have been concerned also because the date had been cancelled for a couple days when the venue changed hands, then they decided to go on with it, so maybe BOC were afraid to not get paid, and the laser thing was just a cover story.
I did see that the stage was very high, and the alternative of setting up on the floor with no barriers as we suggested wasn't going to fly either.
I know we were there for hours and only a few people ever showed up and turned away, so I think the tickets didn't sell well. I remember it took quite a while to get the promoter to refund the money too, the store where we bought the tickets didn't want to give our money back, and it was a big hassle.
Here's an article from the Saturday, April 1, 1978 issue of the "Asbury Park Press":
Rock Concert Rescheduled In Brick Rink
BRICK TOWNSHIP - The Blue Oyster Cult rock band concert, postponed Wednesday night, is expected to be held in July. Gary Pascale, the concert promoter, said yesterday he is negotiating to hold the concert at the Brick Forum between July 5 and 12.
Pascale and the band booking agent had said technical difficulties, such as insufficient provisions for the lighting (which is part of the band's act), caused the the cancellation of the concert several hours before it was scheduled to start. More room was needed between the stage floor and ceiling, they said.
The band was to have performed in an elevated section inside the Forum, an ice skating rink off Route 88 west. Pascale said a portable stage would be used on the floor of the Forum for the rescheduled concert to provide more clearance from the ceiling. About 2,000 tickets were sold in advance of the concert. They are to be honored at the rescheduled performance, the promoter said.
Two days before the concert township officials obtained a court order limiting ticket sales and admission to 3,000. The restriction would also apply to the rescheduled concert unless the promoter, band or Forum owners successfully challenge it in court. Pascale had hoped to accomodate 4,200 persons in the Forum. "It's certainly a situation I want to clear up on Monday or Tuesday," he said.
The concert gained more than the usual amount of attention for a rock band performance because Mayor John P. Kinnevy and Director of Public Safety Eugene W. Halton disagreed on how to arrange additional police protection at the scene. There was no question additional policemen would be assigned to the concert. The dispute was over whether the township ought to become involved in arranging security for a private party and whether the policemen should be paid by the township with money the promoter provided.
Being a huge fan of the Blue Oyster Cult, I and all of my friends couldn't believe that they were playing in our hometown.
This was going to be really special. We had previously been to many concerts at the Spectrum in Philly.
I have also seen them in other venues in NYC (The Palladium and Bonds Casino as the Soft White Underbelly) and North Jersey (Capitol Theater).
Well what a big letdown. As mentioned this concert was changed from the Ocean Ice Palace, which has very high ceilings and could accommodate the set up needed for the concert. The Ocean Ice Palace had previously had concerts with groups like Grand Funk Railroad and the James Gang. The BOC show was then changed to another ice skating rink in town "The Brick Forum" that was like a large shed and did have a very low ceiling.
It did take forever to get our money back and I like others do think that the promoter paying the band had something to do with it.
I saw BOC only once in the 70's; 1978, Boston Music Hall, now called the Wang Center. Be Bop Deluxe opened. I'd love a set list from this show... even better a recording! This was my first concert.
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 lazer 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.
There were two nights with Be-Bop, the first of which Be-Bops set was cut short. Eric announced that they were recording a live album these nights, which would become "Some Enchanted Evening", although these shows weren't used.
At one of these, I also caught a (supposedly very rare) performance of "Morning Final".
That's how I have it listed, but it's odd that newspaper advert above doesn't mention the two nights - just this 30th March show... maybe it was a late addition?
I don't recall there being a 2nd night. The night I saw this, there was a terrible problem with the PA... specifically, the right side was cutting out constantly and also a very bad hum/buzz at times. This was during Be Bop Deluxe's set.
Yes, they played a short set being very frustrated with the sound. Most of the set was Drastic Plastic. Not surprisingly, there were no PA issues during BOCs set.
I only remember there being 1 show. Of course being 15 at the time, I only cared about the show I was at...
This second show is mentioned in one of Ken Welch's tour itineries...
If there is still any doubt that there was a second BOC concert - on 3/31/1978 - at the Boston Music Hall, I believe I ran into a piece of info that may support Ken's tour itinerary that there was a show on this date...
On the Thursday 3/30/1978 BOC concert recording, after the last encore (DFTR), Eric thanked the crowd and said "see you tomorrow".
Not definitive, of course, but hopefully helpful!
The only indication I have that this show occurred is that it appears on one of Ken Welch's tour itineries...
One of Ken Welch's tour itineries has this date down as Norfolk VA but I've seen enough ads and gig listings - plus the above ticket stubs - to be confident that this gig was indeed Lexington. Ken did have Lexington KY down on his schedules, but he had it for 7 April.
Furthermore - BOC played Norfolk on 13th July 1978, so perhaps that maybe that was rearranged from this date...? Dunno...
A second area of difficulty with this gig has been to do with the support act(s). A box ad in the 19 Mar 1978 edition of "The Courier-Journal" said it was Angel and Godz on the bill.
Listings from the same paper on the day of the gig itself re-confirmed this:
Today - Blue Oyster Cult, Angel and Godz; 8 p.m., Rupp Arena, Lexington Center; tickets $7 and $8, at box office.
Then again, they all reckon The Jam played at Fort Wayne and we now know that to be false - they didn't turn up for that one. Maybe they'd grown tired of the abuse they had been receiving from BOC fans...
Anyway, their information looks to me like it's taken from original schedules, and hasn't been cross-checked for accuracy using fans' experiences etc...
So, for now, Angel and The Godz it is... unless you know better...
Until I got the above ticket stub from Ima Scandman, the only previous indication that I had that this show occurred was that it appeared on one of roadie Ken Welch's tour itineries...
This was my first BOC experience. The show was the Godz, Angel and Blue Oyster Cult. I was hooked.
The only initial indication that I had that this show occurred was a used ticket stub that appeared for it on eBay, but then I saw the following listing in the Thursday, April 06, 1978 edition of the "Anderson Independent"
The Blue Oyster Cult will perform at 7:30 pm April 6 at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are $6.25 in advance and $7.25 at the door, available at the box office.
Logic would suggest that the Godz and Angel might also have been on the bill - does anybody know...?
The only evidence I have that a gig was played here on this date is that it's listed on the following blog which charts the story of all the acts who played the Freedom Hall:
This doesn't mean it definitely happened, of course. Do you know if it took place?
This was a good line up for a BOC show...
I worked at a record store, and had heard the Godz record and saw that Don Brewer of Grand Funk had worked on it, and they did a tight hot set...
I do remember thinking it was more keyboard than guitar, not like the record, but still good.
Angel were pretty funny in spandex and big hair and poses, but they did rock - I also like the Mott- T Rex tone some of their stuff had...
For BOC the big thing was Godzilla this time out, and I remember EB doing the Zilla--God bit for the reverb part. Really at the top of the game here...
Cheers for that. Incidentally, be sure to check out Rick's anotated stub collection on FaceBook:
I saw BOC on April 8, 1978 at the VBCC in Huntsville, AL. It was a great show, with the crossed guitars, the laser pointer, the 5 guitar lineup, the strobed drum solo where suddenly he's wearing the Godzilla mask, etc.
Ten years later, they played a small club in Birmingham, I think on the heels of Imaginos, where I first heard the reworked version of "Astronomy." I still had the 1978 ticket and both Buck and Eric were good enough to autograph it after the show! I wouldn't sell that for any money on Earth. I still carry the signed ticket around in my wallet to this day.
I was at this concert in huntsville,al. 8th grade/ 14 years old and the opening act was Angel...
i still have my ticket stub and a small concert bill... i think The Godz were also on the bill as the 1st band then Angel and BOC...
Bloom shot a laser off his wrist into a disco ball and we thought it was lift-off!!!
I lived in Jackson, Mississippi at the time and I had a good guitar playing friend from Vicksburg named James Davis. I talked James into going with me to Little Rock to see Blue Oyster Cult at the Barton Coliseum.
We jumped into my 1973 Chevy Nova and headed to Arkansas. Stayed at a Holiday Inn not too far away.
I'll never forget the sight we saw as we entered into the floor arena area of the Barton Coliseum prior to the show that night. The floor consisted on 6" of mud. Apparently they had just had a rodeo there and had not removed the dirt they brought in.
James and I wanted to get close to the stage so we got down there early and stood in the mud. One big problem though... we kept sinking and sinking and sinking!
Anyway, Angel was the opening act and we really thought they were cool! We still get tickled today when we talk about Punky Meadows... we thought that was a funny name.
Once Blue Oyster Cult came on stage, they announced they were recording the concert for a live record that would be out later in the year. James and I made sure we screamed extra loud so we could be heard on the record.
So we knew it would be us, we kept screaming out "Whipping Post" between each song. It was a thrill when Some Enchanted Evening was released because the song from the Little Rock show that made it on vinyl was our favorite song "Don't Fear The Reaper".
I remember the Arkansas women at the concert had really big boobs! That alone was an unforgettable experience. Been a Blue Oyster Cult fan ever since.
The Columbus gig was shuffled forward three days to the 14th due to a terrible accident involving a BOC equipment truck crashing into a car and going over a bridge, resulting in two deaths. Full story below.
You may have seen the dedication to JB Fields on the back of Some Enchanted Evening... here's some info on how that came about...
The scans above come courtesy of Brett Johnson, who also provided this quick synopsis of the incident:
The accident occurred at approximately 9:40 AM on the morning of Tuesday, April 11th (not the 10th, as it turns out), which is the day that the performance was originally scheduled. Killed were Joel Barry Fields, age 32, of Cedar, Michigan, and Cora Lee Perry (age 39) of Columbus, Georgia.
Barry was the owner of a small trucking firm that hauled BOC's lighting equipment; he was only a few blocks from his destination (the Columbus Municipal Auditorium) when the wreck occurred, after a 2-day drive from Little Rock, Arkansas, where BOC had performed on Tuesday night of the previous week.
According to eyewitnesses, it seems that Barry, while heading eastbound into Columbus from Alabama across the Oglethorpe Bridge, which spans the Chattahoochee River, encountered a car that just stopped in front of him. In an effort to avoid hitting this vehicle, Barry swerved and lost control of his semi, which crossed the median into the other (westbound) lane, and crushed the car driven by Ms. Perry.
The tractor-trailer continued over the railing and plunged into the river; it seems both victims died pretty quickly. The driver of the car who was, arguably, responsible for the whole tragedy fled the scene, and I haven't seen anything to indicate that he or she was ever identified.
J. B. Fields was the driver of the semi truck that went over a bridge and into a river with our light rig in Columbus Georgia the year before. He perished, as did a woman coming the other way when the rig swung across the road before going off the bridge. The worst thing that ever happened to BOC.
One of the BOC truck drivers quit so a driver named JB Fields was flown down from Detroit to drive the rig by company owner, a guy called Corona, who'd been hired by BOC to haul See-Factor's lighting gear.
Fields had been hauling ass overnight from Little Rock to Columbus, and while crossing the Chattahoochee River Bridge on 10 April 1978, he ran up on stopped rush hour traffic... it had not rained in over 90 days before that morning, the road film was just like driving on ice, so he lost control as soon as he touched the brake - the truck jacknifed at that point, the trailer swinging into the oncoming traffic and killing a 7th grade school teacher on her way to work...
The truck jumped through the guard rail and plunged 300 ft down destroying him and all of the lighting equipment in the river below. The gig was just on the other side of the bridge... he probably had a great view of the arena as he arced out over the river and landed less than 500 yrds from the parking lot at the gig where he would have parked the truck... so close , yet so far away...
In the court case it was determined that the truck was still travelling at least 70 mph when it went off the bridge, determined by the arc to the impact point as witnessed by 2 fishermen in a boat under the bridge (think that woke 'em up?)...
This thing was complicated even further by state line issues... this accident technically happened - so far as the law was concerned - in Phenix City Alabama, as the state line was at the center of the bridge and he never made it that far... so he killed the woman and left the road in Alabama and landed in Georgia...
The effort to fix the blame and set up some entity to be sued by the family of the woman he killed before going over the bridge took years... The old curse of the cult... EVERYBODY got sued... even the Widow Fields... the lawsuits over this deal went into the 90's: See Factor vs BOC, BOC vs Corona, Corona vs the estate of J.B. Fields... and eventually ended the long-standing relationship between BOC and SFI... I think all the lawsuits were finally settled around 91 or 92...
The subsequent diving and salvage operation (required by the Army Corp of Engineers to clear the channel and billed to See Factor) was interesting as well... the very last thing recovered on the very last dive was the Electrosonics 60 ch lighting board... that was Rick Downey's newest design, the "Darth Vader" system custom made for Downey by Electrosonic... there wasn't another one like it in the world... it was later refurbished by E-sonics and we had it out for many many years afterwards... it was always referred to at SFI as "The River Board"...
The TTI 6 pack dimmers in their anvil cases floated really well and were fished out of the river by various folks MILES downstream... some were returned, but some were in regional bands lighting systems for many years after - I used to run across them all the time, still in their cases that said "B.O.C.- N.Y.C." on the side of them as those were actually owned by the band...
J.B. Fields was well thought of by many people. I never saw so many grown men cry as they did for him.
Jackson Brown mentioned him in the roadie song, "A man named Fields takes us down to shaky town".
Another little known fact is that his seat belt did not function correctly and took several minutes to unbuckle.
I have been told by a witness (J.B. knew he could not jump out of the truck on the way down to the water and he had time to), that he was blowing the truck horn all the way and into the river. I believe that to be true. It was a tremendous loss of a good man.
I originally had this down as a cancelled gig, even though it appeared on one of Ken Welch's tour itineries... Here's what it actually says was originally scheduled:
Then I got the following information:
I found your website with the BOC tour history while looking for info on a show I attended in Savannah Georgia while in High School. I'm afraid I cannot give many actual details but it's for sure they did play.
The year 1978 does sound right and the lineup of The Godz/Angel/BOC also seems familiar... unless maybe that show really was cancelled and they did a make-up show the next year? All I can say for sure is I was still in High School and they did the big light show with the laser ring.
The show was absolutely at the Savannah Civic Center. That part I can guarantee. There was nowhere else in Savannah for shows of that size back then (and likely still isn't).
Being on the I-95 corridor and in between Atlanta and Jacksonville we got an amazing amount of shows. Most any mid to major 70's/80's rock band you can think of likely played Savannah at least once. The list is long and I know without a doubt that I saw BOC there.
So - Greg had clearly seen a BOC laser gig at the Savannah Civic Center and that led me to re-instating the gig again in my lists - and for want of anywhere better to place it, I gave it a date of 12 April 1978 - the originally scheduled date.
Then I got this email:
Hello - My name is Lee Simerly and I have lived in Savannah all my life. The April 12th show was indeed cancelled as a result of the crash of the truck.
I was 13 at the time and had ticket in hand. I wish I could send you a copy but it got returned for a refund. My dad also had a ticket and he paid for both and returned them both. I wanted to keep mine but he was not going to let me keep a piece of paper he could get 6 bucks for - his words verbatim.
He took me to shows from the age of 10 until I was 14 when he figured I was old enough to go alone. I really am grateful he sat through some shows that were very loud and out of his usual genre of listening.
10-19-75 was my first: BTO. My mom took me to Kiss on November 24th 1976 that was the only show he refused to sit through.
Greg Hubbard may have seen BOC but not here on that date - I am positive.
I hope this information helps.
OK - well that seems pretty definite - the 12th April was cancelled - but if Greg Hubbard saw a laser show at the venue, that gives a window of 13 months for the pickup gig to have taken place, as the lasers were discontinued following the 13 May 1979 Honolulu show.
If anyone out there can put a date on this show, I'd love to hear about it...
I'd have loved to have done the intro for SEE (which was taken from this gig). Ain't that a bitch??? I was even standing about 6 ft away from Tony Cedrone when he did that one...
ANGEL was the warmup act for this show as well as THE GODZ...
Here is a link to a homemade video of the opening of this show:
I wasnt able to attend this gig having just recently joined the us navy but ive always wondered about this live album. Up to this point in time I had never heard a live recording by anyone that sounded worth a crap. Then suddenly i hear this album and im like: wtf. first live album i can remember with such a almost studio like clarity to it. most live albums of this time sounded to me like I was listening to them small building with some ear muffs on lol.
was there a technical advance or did the sound people just happen to get it right? Im guessing technical, cause this album was not all from the same place. to bad though the fox in atlanta is the most awesome place to see anything.
Friend of mines uncle was none other that Alex Cooley, im sure that name rings a bell. he was the promoter for 70 percent of the show in this area at the time. 3 nights with Skynyrd there was a test of my party stamina. Mountain sounded hot in there too.
ROCK GROUP PLAYS TONIGHT
Blue Oyster Cult, originally scheduled to appear in Columbus Tuesday night, will present a concert at 8 P.M. tonight at Municipal Auditorium.
The show was postponed after a two-fatality wreck Tuesday morning on Oglethorpe Bridge. Killed were Joel Fields of Cedar, Mich., driver of a truck loaded with the band's stage lights, and Cora Lee Perry of Columbus.
The truck collided with the Perry vehicle and crashed into the Chattahoochee River.
Blue Oyster Cult takes the stage of Municipal Auditorium tonight, barring any further tragedies. The rock group was supposed to appear Tuesday night, but a fatal accident involving its equipment truck delayed the concert.
Tickets are $6 at Sodbuster and Billy, Super Shirts, T-Shirt Shack, and Tapes and Things. Blue Oyster Cult still plans to record the concert for an album, and rock groups Angel and Godz will also perform.
I actually attended the columbus georgia show in that was part of the enchanted evening cd...
The driver of the semi lost control coming over the bridge to columbus municipal auditorium and all their equipment went over the bridge into chattahoochee river. (driver was killed unfortunately).
New equipment was sent down from atlanta and they did the show 3 days later. I may be able to get newspaper archives with pictures at local library and send as well.
I sit and talked to Allen briefly about it in atlanta 2006 and he did remember although he looked like he was still not feeling his best....
Columbus, '78: Of course, genuine tragedy & bad luck surrounded that performance (as documented). But sticking to the music, I gotta agree that "Astronomy" was the highlight, plus "Cities on Flame" had a couple of my friends digging for BOC's first live album.
And yes, that version of "ETI" from Some Enchanted Evening (recorded that night, along with "Astronomy") burned pretty good, too.
first off the original bill was: the godz/angel/boc
the godz hadn't showed by 8:00 and mike blackwell - bash productions/concert promoter came out and gave a small eulogy and got a minute of silence... then brought out angel, for 45 mins easy and blue oyster cult... played till right at 11:00 so maybe 1:30 min show
I can confirm this show took place on this date.
I was at this show. My first BOC concert and I can't confirm a setlist but I can confirm Angel opened the show and BOC kicked so much ass, musically and with their laser show, that I was hooked forever.
This show was the only time in my 45 yrs. I've ever seen lasers pointed at a mirror ball so when they hit they turned into a thousand laser beams all over the Coliseum! Walls, floor, crowd, there were beams everywhere. Of course now we have strict rules so no one gets zapped in the eye, but I don't remember anyone loosing an eye that night, just having the time of their lives watching a 5 guitar assault.
The main thing I remember about the show is it was a brand new auditorium and if BOC weren't the first event there period, they certainly were the first rock concert.
The building was perfect for the show as the wall opposite the stage was flat; no seats; a perfect tapestry for the lasers, which were in full force that night. "I think I hear something big outside the house!"
The April 16, 1978 Blue Oyster Cult concert was opened by Angel. It was the very first rock concert held in the relatively new Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
I attended. I was 17 years old. I do not remember the set list but I vaguely remember they drew heavily from Spectres and Agents of Fortune.
I can remember they opened with, "This Ain't The Summer Of Love" and ended with "Born To Be Wild".
I have a few photos I took with an instamatic camera (110). I got some decent shots of Buck Dharma playing his tobacco sunburst Les Paul while arching his back.
Also, there is a snapshot of him playing his white Gibson SG that was stolen a few years back. If I get a chance to scan them and transfer them I'll eventually send them to you.
I stood front center stage. Maybe that's one reason my hearing has a threshold shift today.
I hope this helps.
The only indication I have that this show occurred is that it appears on one of Ken Welch's tour itineries...
What I remember about the show initially was that Angel had been opening some shows for BOC in the South, and I was hoping to see them. But as I drove into B'ham from Mississippi, the radio spots for the show were announcing Be Bop Deluxe as the opening act. At the show, a guy next to me said he had seen Angel open for BOC in Huntsville, Alabama a couple of weeks earlier. He said Angel were really good and put on a great show.
Shortly, someone from the local rock station announced to the audience that Be Bop Deluxe had not made it to the venue and BOC had agreed to play a little extra than normal.
So, they played a little over 2 and a quarter hours. Back then, most shows were about an hour and a half in length.
I went to see them in Dothan Alabama a few nights before they left for Europe and they put me on standby to do that tour because Sugarbear was having passport problems... they never called me up though...
1978 was the year BOC brought their fabulous travelling laser show to the UK/Europe and finally we got to see what all the fuss was about...
At several of the shows, they also turned up with mobile recording trucks and in September we got to see some of the results when the live "Some Enchanted Evening" was released.
Leicester was supposed to be the opening date of the BOC European tour - however, this show got moved forward about six weeks to 2nd June after the tickets got printed...
Flaming pyrotechnics, lasers, smoke... plus great rock'n'roll, Blue Oyster Cult is the group you always dreamt about. Even though there were sounds problems and the visual effects had to be curtailed somewhat, this first date of their UK tour proved that this is one band who have no trouble living up to their semi-mythical status.
Main vocalist is Eric Bloom, who plays guitar too but takes time out to stalk the stage like a Manson/biker mutation, all leather-coated growls'n'howls. The band's line up has always seemed a bit anonymous on records, but onstage it's easier to enjoy the individual personalities: Allen Lanier doing his guitarings and Phantom of the Opera keyboard-hunch, Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser on stripy suit and six-string magic, A. and J. Bouchard on drums and bass respectively (sturdy boys indeed).
They opened with "R.U. Ready 2 Rock" from the recent "Spectres" album and then whomped into "E.T.I." from Agents of Fortune, their previous record. Those two albums are generally considered to be more "poppy" than the previous four they've done, but in a live situation the unity of all their songs comes through: this stuff blends perfectly with the (supposedly) harsher tones of "Harvester of Eyes" and "Cities on Flame" (on which drummer boy Albert takes lead vocals) where Bloom gets to beat a mean cymbal.
The lasers and all that techno-hardware are used sparingly and effectively, not just as gratuitous embellishment. Sometimes they have a single beam trained on one of those revolving ballroom-globe things, splashing stars across the audience; at others interweaving lines dance across the ceiling through the smoke, the full-scale stuff coming in during "Godzilla" (their tribute to Japanese culture) while Albert dons a horses's head (Patti!?) for a synth-treated drum solo on a Doors/"Texas Radio and the Big Beat" level.
They also showed their Animal-istic side by doing "We Gotta Get Outta This Place", which'll be included on a forth-coming live elpee, and the Stones get a nod during Joe's bass solo in "This Ain't the Summer of Love", when he slips in the riff of "Why Don't We Sing This Song All Together" from "Satanic Majesties".
That leads into the famous bit where the whole band plays axes, followed by their famed "Born to be Wild" interpretation (let's hear it for Mars Bonfire!) where Buck and Bloom indulge in some guitar frottage.... wonderful and enriching life experiences every one.
Gawd, and they encored with the hit single "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" (I refuse to mention the Byrds here), an important late seventies artifact, and that's for sure. I slid out happy, and so did the crowd, the CBS man, our driver, and even our reggae-ised photographer.
And as we left, we saw a normal, healthy-looking girl kissing a discarded plectrum... Let's hear it, girls, for the thinking man's Yardbirds!
Some stuff I recall.
Japan were pre-"Ghosts" era, and to me were just another arty proto-new wave act from the US. Interesting in places though. I recall them slowly using a famous circus riff while DS croaked "welcome to the fairground". But that's about it. Sorry, guys.
BOC's sound WAS dire at first, Japan were EXTREMELY delayed getting on because of techie problems, and it took until half way through ETI before Buck's guitar was audible at all. But from then we were there.
The setlist? you missed out "Last Days Of May", when the solo was very extended, and probably bloody fantastic, but all I recall was standing, mouth agape, watching the lasers interplaying on the underside of the balcony... cannot place where it was in the set though.
...and unfortunately, during ME 262, Albert did fluff his one true solo guitar riff. I totally forgive all, because it is my top 5 best ever gigs attended. Hell yeah :)
This wasn't just a concert it was an total body experience! Japan were dire and having come on late seemed to drag on there then followed quite a gap before BOC exploded onto stage.
As I remember it, the taped background music changed to the sounds of bombs falling and exploding, the auditorium was by now in total darkness, not even a red power led to be seen. As the sounds of the explosions came to a near deafening crescendo a bank of powerful white lights on a gantry over the stage and facing us burst into life and blinded us at the same instant as the first notes of Are You Ready burst into life. No one had EVER started a gig like that before and probably not since either.
I too remember being totally awestruck by the whole experience. Eric Bloom strutting around the stage all in leather with mirrored shades and then treating us to the laser ring mirrored ball display and laser show. Albert Bouchard's Godzilla headed drum solo was done to a strobe linked to his beats so that whilst you were listening to his amazing solo you were watching a drummer that barely seemed to be moving.
The five guitarists all lined up at the front of the stage was amazing as was the shock the front rows got shortly after when some of the band appeared with what looked like machine guns that were pointed and fired at them with flashing lights in the barrels and authentic sound effects. Many ducked for cover! It is still probably the best gig I have ever been to, it is certainly the best 'show' I have ever seen.
Great site, thank you for the memories and putting a date to it. .
Let's get this straight - nothing will ever compare with seeing BOC for the first time. (see my review - my first BOC gig Nov 1975). But now they were my band. I lived and breathed the BOC. I had waited nearly 3 years to see them again and I was going to love every minute of the show - I would even watch the support band, it meant that much to me. As it was such a celebration (and I was nearly the legal age) we went out for a few beers before the show - fortunately not as many as the guy sat next to me in the stalls at the Free Trade Hall. My abiding memory from watching Japan was this bloke from Sheffield looking at the lead singer David Sylvian, and saying " I'd give her one" When I pointed out that it was actually a man, he replied " I don't care, any port in a storm".
The BOC were of course superb, though I have to say, not quite as good as 1975, I think this was partly a result of having to share them with my mate Gary who was never really a fan but pretended he was and went slightly overboard for my liking; and Eric Bloom during " We got to Get Out of Here" tripped slightly over one of the amps, and I was by this stage by the side of the stage watching every second; and it slightly took the gloss off it.
The laser show, I saw as a bit of a gimmick - yes it was cool, yes it was impressive, but I was here for Buck. I wanted the white suit out at the front milking the audience. Single spot light Buck's Boogie and I was happy - but unfortunately it was never to be. Instead we got the tepid " Are you Ready 2 Rock?" which should have been consigned to "Ant & Dec's Greatest hits" and "ETI", which was never one of my favorites.
But then they got into their thing and produced classics like "Last Days of May" and "ME 262" "Godzilla" started well but the drum solo went on slightly too long for my liking - the lizard head just did not work for me - but they returned to the dynamic form with " Born to be Wild" and of course " Don't Fear the Reaper".
I also loved "Summer of Love" as it was a personal favourite. The five guitar medley seemed slightly more orchestrated than in 1975 but this may be me being overly critical- it just appeared as though it was expected and they were playing to the audience - never a bad thing but not so great if you feel that you are being pandered to; I got the impression that it was a burden rather than a pleasure; in a similar way that "Don't Fear the Reaper" has with time labeled the band to a particular image. Of course it is a brilliant song, but they are so so much more; (obviously "OYFOOYK" would testify to this, as does the live 1978 album for those that that have or can get a copy).
Gary predictably went over board after the concert, they were the best thing that he had seen, but who did he have to compare them with? Queen?, Uriah Heep? Pink Floyd? I think not.
My overall impression looking back some 28 years? It was superb, of course it was superb; but they felt constrained by the lasers, which were great but forced them to be in certain places at certain times and this was too regimented for BOC. They needed to be free to roam the stage; they needed to focus on songs such as Buck Boogie, and Harvester of Eyes, and I needed to be there with proper fans and not my mate Gary who really did not appreciate them for what they were. He had not put nearly three years in of hard labour in the bedroom strumming the air guitar to the BOC and could not appreciate the intricacies of "On your Feet or On your Knees" (and I don't care if the band did not like it; it is still one of the (if not the) best live album ever produced"
Of course I enjoyed the show; but it was different to the first time. I came expecting the same as 1975 but they had developed. They had grown and I had not. Unfortunately we had gone in slightly different directions; they wanted the gloss of the light show and I wanted the raw energy of five guitars blistering the audience. We compromised somewhere in between, though I was left wanting more. Less stadium band; more down and dirty...
My first ever proper concert - BOC @ Manchester Free Trade Hall circa '77
Obviously being my first concert I was staggered, and it still rates as one of the best shows I've ever seen...
Lasers were fabulous, including Eric's hand-held one, and another that was fired at a *very* rapidly spinning ballroom mirror-ball - caused small chunks of laser light to fly off like WWII tracer bullets !
Can't remember much of the set list, but I would guess it was promoting Agents Of Fortune ( or would it be Spectres ? )
Saw them again in '81-ish in Leeds - much more low key, but still a great show - no lasers that time.
Incidentally, talking about support acts, the Manchester show opened with Japan, who were at that time in a sort of glam-rock, heavy makeup and spandex phase ( very New York Dolls ) ! Hard to imagine that this was the same Japan who later produced all the new-romantic type stuff a few years later.
I've got the full set list for the 28th April 1978 gig at Manchester Freee Trade:
I went to this gig. second time i'd seen BOC,first time in 1975 same venue. In 75 I was 3 rows from front standing on back of chair but at this one on front row of circle.
Lasers and dry ice created a cloud effect with us looking down through them, fantastic. The band was as good as previous gig but light show made the concert more of a "show". Drum solo with godzila head was amazing as was eric's hand laser that shot mirror ball during the incredible ETI.
Seen band nearly every time they came to UK and they never fail to deliver but this was the best alround gig.
Glasgow was the first time I saw BOC. I'd persuaded 6 or 7 mates to come with me, who'd vaguely heard of the BOC - needless to say, they left fully-converted!
Quite bizarrely; the support band were Japan!! Although I didn't like much of their stuff, barring the odd track, I did feel very sorry for them. David Sylvian and his mates, all dressed-up and made-up to the hilt, getting booed and jeered through their entire set!!
I suppose it would be the modern-day equivalent of having Gareth Gates being the support act for Linkin Park!
The band came on in complete darkness and just blazed into life. Most of the tracks were as those featured on the 'On Your Feet' album. As stated previously, this tour introduced their laser show and it was quite superb, especially for the 'neutral'.
The highlights? Buck's superb 'Last Days Of May' and the duelling guitars on 'Born To Be Wild'. Another was seeing the whole band, side by side with guitars!
We were in a box at the Apollo for this gig and it was nothing short of amazing for a wee 17 year old.
Everything said I'll verify, especially the lasers (the next time we were to see lasers was at Knebworth later that year) and the whole band giving it laldy, each one with a guitar.
This gig also sticks out for the mismatch of the support band. Japan's single at the time was Don't Rain On My Parade (advertised on the back page of the NME). When David Sylvain started singing it it was just him in a spotlight, nothing else.
I'm guessing he'd never heard of the Apollo crowd and I'm guessing he'll still remember what happened next... The noise started slowly and within about a minute it was just incredible.
I really felt sorry for the guy, wasn't impressed with his stuff, but I felt sorry for the guy. Nobody in the place liked him or wanted him to be there. Pretty frightening actually.
P.S. I still have the T-Shirt.
I found a review of this gig in the 13 May 1978 edition of "Record Mirror":
Low down in the register, those mysterious chords that are the bricks and mortar - the sheet metal and Isopon - of power music lie potent in the guts of the heavy metal lords.
Sometimes the latent visceral power is spewed out ugly and unpalatable, stumbling and blind. Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, look to yourself and wipe the sickly vomit from your crushed velvet lapels. You, a sham. You, a mekanik.
Occasionally, once in a million shots in the dark, beefcake chordmasters make a type of music that is not dumb, that is not only for 15 years olds with death obsessions.
The Blue Oyster is sometimes that sort of animal. Sometimes.
To be perfectly accurate, they are capable of being just as tedious as any superchording cowboys, times when their muscle turns into stringy corned beef. Like when they drum solo. Like when they bass solo.
Fortunately, during these perennially tedious occupations, the Oyster Cult provide alternate entertainment, which probably 98 per cent of the audience or so occupy themselves with during these trying times.
They achieve this with light. Diffuse light in the rainbow spotlights. Coherent light with £quarter million worth of lasers, sea green and magic. All shot through screens of thick dry ice smoke. A separate show, pupil dilatory magic lantern wizardry.
Also, Oyster Cult have one of the cleverest skin and sinew guitarists on the circuit. Despite looking like a Midlands encyclopaedia salesman, Donald Roeser is a very fast, very earthy guitarist with a quality that almost never goes hand in hand with plutonium sound i.e. subtlety.
Oyster Cult are also versatile. While sometimes they produce sounds that would not stick out too obviously at a Rainbow concert - as on 'R U Ready 2 Rock' - they can sometimes sound like a toughened up Byrds, demonstrated on the soon to be classic 'Don't Fear The Reaper'.
'Godzilla' represents them at their best. More explosive material than a million Grand Funk Railroads, but as snappy and instantaneous as 10cc. A kind of pop heavy that is something new, something infinitely more rewarding than any of their counterparts are capable of.
Unfortunately, I have a mental block against heavy metal of just about any breed - having shoved it behind me five years ago. Looking back just gives me a cricked neck, so I got bored with BOC unreasonably often.
There is no doubt though, from what I can objectively guess from the adulation of the audience, that the Blue Oyster Cult are ahead of their field and widening the gap all the time. Their image is fairly prissy but their music is pig iron, wrought in fantastic shapes.
They are the shape of heavies to come, an unprecedented combustion of muscle and thought. The fireworks coming from the speakers have the brightness of a thousand of the Brock's type exploding at the stage periphery.
Let's not beat around the bush here. And let's not have none of you poor suckers besotted by Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow or Judas Priest or Starz (or whatever other satin loon-panted collation of behemoths making for your personal cup of meat) penning barbed missives in reference to my next statement, OK., because they'll only be treated with the same 'down the dumper' disrespect they deserve.
See, the facts as I recognize 'em are clean-cut to a fine-boned T - the two kings of heavy metal rock in the world right now are Britain's own Thin Lizzy and the U.S. Blue Öyster Cult.
Not that they're alike, mark you - just that they're the best at what they do.
Ignoring Lizzy's merits (after all this is a BÖC review!) - the Cult's state of grace resides simply in the fact that they are good songwriters, never satisfied with falling into tried-or-true formulas, genuinely creative, write lyrics that are often oblique, yes, but are also thought-provoking, witty and well-constructed as opposed to the usual hard-bitten ream of terrible 'Hand of Doom' variants, self-effacing in regard to their chains-and-leather image and, most of all, as far as the punters are concerned, they deliver with a vengeance.
So, yes of course I was only too happy to trek up to Newcastle to see them live for the first time in two and a half years.
Back then, I'd been reviewing as well and had found them disappointing in the style of those bands who've been working ceaselessly for years and years and had run their inspiration into the ground and were instead just going through the motions.
On that previous showing, I'd figured 'em to be something of a spent force but, shazam, in the following months and seasons came the killer "Agents of Fortune" and later, the slightly less spectacular but still pretty damn impressive "Spectres" and I was hooked once more.
The show I witnessed at Newcastle then, was very, uh, impressive.
Visually for example, there were moments that were nothing short of staggering with lasers flashing and causing gasp-worthy patterns of light so damnably disarming in their effect that I forgot completely that the only sound coming from the stage was a drum solo at one point.
Indeed, it was the lighting that, if anything, was the star of the show because it never ceased to hold one's attention and, as such, it's only in the cold light of retrospective that one can disengage the lighting shenanigans from the band itself and the music being performed.
In such a light I must note the remnant of a residue of the very aspect of the BÖC show that cased me so much discomfort.
That is, the Cult go all out for presenting a spectacle to the point where their not-inconsiderable repertoire is by no means fully touched upon.
The most obvious skull-crushing, monuments to BÖC firepower are all in there - starting with an effective "R.U. Ready 2 Rock" and moving through "ETI", "This Ain't the Summer of Love", "ME262", the poignant respite of a near-ballad (whose title escapes me) that closes "Secret Treaties" with a particular hell-fire piece-de-resistance work-out on "Godzilla" from "Agents of Fortune".
To say they were performed well would be almost too redundant - these boys have never been anything less than pros and the show is an exercise in split-timing effects matched with guitar army fire-power.
Nothing's been lost or worn away by time in the performing of the show-stoppers is all, really.
However, there were some surprises. BÖC are planning a live album I later learnt, which is why unlikely non-original morsels like The Animals' "We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place" and The MC5's "Kick Out The Jams" were tossed into proceedings - both performed with the typical heavy metal thunder expected of the band (although the latter, though expertly executed, just missed out on the edge engendered by the sheer mania of the MC5's archetype).
So far, so good.
But it was when "Born To Be Wild" was trotted out as the last number (before encore time) that things got just a touch too predictable.
The song should really be dropped for a start, but more to the point it brought home the fact that the BÖC's repertoire is too constructive for their own musical good.
"Don't Fear The Reaper" (with Buck Dharma playing all guitar parts, by the way) and "Hot Rails To Hell" were a great double-headed encore, sure, and I doubt as to whether anyone left the hall dissatisfied that night.
But still the feeling lingers. The Cult have a strong diverse repertoire and I for one would have possibly preferred to see them mining just that (where were any of Alan Lanier's fine songs, or "Death Valley Nights" or "Nosferatu" or "Sinful Love"?) as opposed to working their act around the stunning visuals.
One almost gets the impression that they're too frightened to go out on that particular limb - just them and their music - and hide instead behind the amazing laser flashes.
I had my best ever live BOC moment at the Birmingham Odeon (UK), my 4th ever concert.
The security had kept everyone in their seats all evening, which wasn't too bad as I was in the front row. Well when the band launched into Born to be Wild, everyone just ran forward and flattened the bouncers.
I was pressed up against the stage at Buck's feet. The security men started crawling along the floor at the foot of the stage, Buck (whilst playing a soaring guitar solo) started saying "Get back lads, keep back!", the security stood up, linked arms, put their feet on the front of the stage and pushed back, Buck leapt back, and the whole of the front of the stage exploded into flame! Amazing.
That same concert, they had had Japan as support (who books these shows?!), and they got booed and slow-hand-clapped etc. When it came to Godzilla, Eric introduced it "This song is almost Japanese", which got a huge reaction from the crowd.
One of my best ever gigs, and I've seen a few classics.
Seventeen years old, seventy miles from home and two years of waiting over, I strode the Fulham Palace Road with a heap of expectation and an undercooked burger.
In the three years since their last visit, the sound of music had changed in the UK and I had started shaving. Punk rock had largely stripped Britain's rock landscape of pomp and ceremony and the guitar solo was under serious threat from three simple chords. With five guitars, lasers blazing, and a man in a lizzard mask, could BÖC still cut it?
In the shadow of Hammersmith flyover, touts sold badges the size of dustbin lids. Inside the theatre, a strange mix of punks and headbangers mingled around the tour merchandise not quite sure who may have come to the wrong gig.
As the eighth wonder strolled onto the huge stage to an OYFOOYK type intro and rumbled into RU Ready 2 Rock ('We've come all the way from NYC just to ask you this one question.....') it became abundantly clear that the punks were sadly in the wrong building.
The band unveilled a pretty standard set for the period as I recall (ETI, Cities, Buck's Boogie, Kick out the Jams, Harvester, Reaper, Hot Rails and Godzilla), but somehow failed to really lift the roof and move it up into top gear.
For most part the much-hyped lasers simply bathed Buck's white suit in pretty colours. They worked best when spewing out from the end of Eric Bloom's guitar during ME262, but more often than not seemed to be an unneccesary distraction for Eric and Buck who were either chasing beams to bounce onto the mirror ball overhead, or activate a wrist laser whilst playing an E minor chord. Allen stuck manfully to the task of reducing the European tobacco mountain single handedly.
The lights got their full showcase during Albert's interminable solo. Sadly, neither were worth the wait and I suspect that the audience not using halluciegenics took the opportunity to drain their bladder (some even used the toilets provided).
I have tremendous respect for Joe's contribution to BÖC on and off stage, but it has to be said that no song on the planet has yet been enhanced by a protracted bass solo. The mighty (This Ain't) The Summer of Love is no exception.
Five Guitars was a bizarre notion in any language. With Albert out front and with the collective tongue firmly in cheek, it had the potential to be a great comical moment in rock and roll. Look like you mean it, or let them see your tongue out front for just a moment and you sew the seed for a thousand spoof documentary makers.
The finale of Born to be Wild compounded the feeling that this was a band who saw their future wooing the old school rock/headbanger fan base, rather than majoring on the more 'leftfield' elements of their catalogue that had attracted them to many critics. Such is life, they have made a fair fist of it ever since.
Much was riding on this second UK visit. Although they never seemed to relax and allow this particular show to rip, there's no doubt that they made many new fans during this tour and raised their profile from overseas cult to over-here contenders.
As Worner, my brother and I headed out on the highway in my mum's Metro we caught sight of the neon sign over the theatre entrance which read 'Blue Oyster Cult, On Tour Forever'. Any flagging spirits were immediately bouyed knowing we were already one day closer to their next show.
Ralph, the first time I saw BOC was in May 1978 at the Hammersmith Odeon (as it then was) in London. I had been the only BOC fan in my school for the previous couple of years, pretty much since Agents of Fortune. I saw it as my responsibility to spread the word of "The Cult" to my fellow school mates, who were a fairly mixed bag of greasy headbangers and disco heads. (No girls, I went to a Boys school for my sins!) I managed to persuade, cajole several of my school chums that we should all pay the £3.50 or whatever it cost and catch the mighty BOC at the Hammy.
When we all arrived at Hammersmith, there were a few people hanging around outside flying BOC balloons which I thought was both cool and odd as I didn't recognise the logo. I later found out the BOC was in fact the British Oxygen Company rather than the world's greatest Rock'n'Roll band.
Japan were the opening act and were pretty badly received. They had just won some award (Arista New Band of the Year) and they managed to get the opening slot for BOC. Anyway, the BOC audience were not receptive to Japan and I seem to recall items being thrown on the stage, fruit and vegetables. (Why do people bring their grocery shopping to gigs?)
Now the only question mark is the date. I thought my first BOC gig was 3 May 1978 because they didn't play Hot Rails to Hell that night and apparently did the following evening. (One of my school chums managed to persuade his folks that he should go two nights in a row - I could barely get the cash together to do one!!) He told me they played Hot Rails and knew that would wind me up as it was my fave BOC song at the time (that and Dizbusters!) My doubt on the date though is the fact that the Hot Rails site has them listed as playing Golden Age of Leather and I could have sworn that I have never heard this song played live. (Someone somewhere must have a tape!)
Anyway, highlight of the gig (apart from the amazing laser show) was Astronomy. They could have left out the two covers (We Gotta...and Kick Out The Jams) and played a few more originals but as it was my first show I wasn't complaining. Back in the midsts of time, I even had a photo from this show but I was so far back and my camera was so crappy you couldn't see whether it was Blue Oyster Cult on the stage or The Smurfs. The photos have long since disappeared.
I remember going to this concert. I was seventeen, and rabid about the Cult in the way that only seventeen year-old boys can be. I was so excited about going (and worried about being disappointed) that I couldn't keep out of the toilet for the whole day before the gig. Here's some of my strongest memories of the gig:
Buying the programme (which seemed expensive at the time) and being disappointed that it was very nearly all pictures. Also bought badges and a t-shirt (sadly, the design - black on silver - faded away after a few washes). I enjoyed Japan, who were not the smooth sophisticates of later years but kind of kicked ass. Their opening song was 'Love Is Infectious'. I also remember 'Communist China' and 'Suburban Berlin' (which had an accappella intro that really wound up the audinece) from their set. They were heckled and jeered, but I liked them and their attitude. I was pleased that they went on to achieve success.
BOC - I remember them hitting the stage with 'R.U. Ready 2 Rock' and being struck with how short Buck was. As the other reviewer noted, he was wearing his white suit, with outrageously huge flares, and had very long hair. Eric in leather trousers (of course), red t-shirt and black waistcoat.
The intro to 'Harvester of Eyes' (which I think was the second song) - Buck's head bobbing along with the riff.
'Cities on Flame' - Buck doing the widdly-twiddly solo guitar bit and milking it for every last bit of feedback and applause. Eric doing his drum-majorette impersonation and bashing one of Albert's cymbals during the coda to the song.
Joe's bass solo during 'Summer of Love' and Albert's drum solo during 'Godzilla' - I remember that neither solo really impressed me, and I wished we could have had another song or two instead. Same goes for the five-guitar bit - kind of cool but just a gimmick really, and seemed to go on and on and on.
'ETI' was excellent - great riffing from Allen and much better than the studio version.
They played 'Last Days of May', not 'Astronomy'. I remember because it was my absolute fave Cult song and Buck gave a spoken intro over the opening chord sequence explaining the true story behind the song. It featured an extended guitar solo, just like 'Astronomy' on the same tour, with very similar laser effects.
'Golden Age of Leather' - great barbershop-style vocal intro, killer song. Shame they didn't perform this one more often after the 78 tour.
'Me 262' was lot tighter than on OYFOOYK, good sound FX.
'Born to be Wild' was kind of wild indeed, with the sawing guitar schtick and all. Eric's Harley didn't appear on stage in the UK until the 1981 visit (Donington etc....).
Encore was of course 'Reaper'. Beautiful song but not the best suited for live performance. I remember Buck's voice was rather weak on this, and Eric doubled up the vocals on some lines.
Other songs I remember - 'Hot Rails to Hell' and maybe (though I'm not totally sure) 'Kick Out the Jams'. Definitely not 'We Gotta Get Outta This Place'.
As I recall, Buck played a sunburst Les Paul, his white SG, and the natural wood SG (custom-built, I seem to remember reading somewhere) on 'Reaper'. His guitar tone was much more piercing and treble-heavy than on record. Joe played a big, heavy-looking Alembic bass. Eric used mainly a black SG, but did use his BOC logo shaped guitar on one or two songs. Allen flitted between guitar and keyboards all night. As I recall, he used a Les Paul for his rhythm parts.
This was about the third or fourth gig I went to, and it still stands in my memory, 26 years and hundreds of bands later, as one of the very best. I saw the Cult again on the last date of the 78 tour, two nights in 79, 81 at the Venue and Donington and 84/5? on the 'Revolution by Night' tour, and this one was outstanding. The band were at a commercial peak, were confident and awesomely tight, and Buck's playing blew my little mind. The laser show was beautiful, but I didn't miss it at all when they came back in 79 without it.
This review is from the 24 year memory of a 14 year old short-arse (the ones that can be Soooo annoying now at gigs running around your knees !!). I hold no responsibility in it's accuracy (or others that I submit) for reasons that I will explain.
Firstly, this gig was the first that I had ever attended - unless I count seeing 'Mud' mime to few songs once with my dad. Etched firmly in my memory until I came across the BOC web-site was that BOC played 5 nights at Hammersmith in May & returned triumphantly for a further 2 nights in June '78. How accurate is that !!.
Without having my ticket stub ( £ 3.00 or £ 3.50) to refer to, I believe that I went to the second London show, because of one of our crowd commenting that one of his mates went the night before (& said that Japan went down quite well - more in a bit !)
Anyway 5 or 6 of us made our way by Tube from Upminster to Hammersmith (30 odd stops) & made our way to the Odeon. We bought posters (£1.00), programmes (£1.50) badges (50 p) etc. but unfortunately, in my case, no T-shirt. We were in the Circle about row G or H - a bit to the left of the stage. Great view for 'men' of our height.
For our first concert attended, we didn't know the protocol about hanging in the bar & stayed to watch the support act. Well on this night, Japan went down like the proverbial Lead Balloon. Song titles I remembered were 'Communist China' & 'Adolescent Sex'. They were more guitar oriented than in their later years, but the singer (Dave Sylvian) already had very distinct bleached blond hair. Anyway the crowd booed & heckled every song & the set finished (early - I think) with Dave Sylvian just unclipping his Sunburst Les Paul, letting it drop to the floor & walking off. If this happened at the first London show, then that was the one I was at & not the second.
We stayed in the circle throughout the break except for the necessary pee excursions due to the vast quantities of cider (alright, coke) drunk. We gasped in awe when the safety curtain came down, what could be going on behind that? Awesome & that's just the break.
The auditorium started to fill, the lights went down & yes, on strode the Cult. I can't remember the set-list. Up to this point I had only heard OYFOOYK, DFTR (single) & some of Spectres.
I'm sure that Buck wore his legendary white.
Definitely played in no particular order were:
R U Ready to Rock as the opener and we were off into ecstasy
Godzilla - Lizard Mask, drum solo et al.
DFTR, Born To Be Wild - Crossed guitars & did Eric ride a Harley onto the stage?,
Cities - with Buck's pause to take in the adulation of the crowd.
5 guitars and bass solo
Golden Age of Leather - raising our imaginary beer
I can't remember if Astronomy or LDOM were played or even both, just that with the lasers we were into our umpteenth orgasm. The lasers pointed at the mirror-ball scattering like stars - which makes me think it was Astronomy.
Harvester of Eyes, which I remember had a different ending (to the OYF. Version) & probably very soon after discovered was the slower Secret Treaties ending after buying the LP (with Red label & coloured inner sleeve).
During the concert a vivid memory was of an apparent madman in a white lab-coat, looking a bit like 'Jesus', racing around at the front & to the right of the stage. He was, as legend goes, an absolute BOC fanatic. Does anyone know of this man - or is it a distorted myth?
When the concert ended, as you can imagine, we were riding on adrenaline. We probably didn't stop talking all the way back to Upminster & when the return date was announced, eagerly got hold of our tickets.
I have seen them Live in Voorburg, The Netherland, on may 6 1978. That was my first rockconcert. It was a great show, fixed in my memories.
I still have the entrance ticket and flyer as well as the review in the paper from the next day.
Well send me some jpegs then - don't just sit on 'em!!
The official site had the venue as "Salle Franklin", but I saw a great Facebook page - Rock in Le Havre [1950 - 2000] - which gave the following information and confirmed a venue change:
It was at HALL BOVIS N°13. Salle Franklin was too small for all the BOC equipment...
John Mellencamp Cougar was the guest...
I originally had this gig down as taking place at the "Palais des Sports" but Mike's ticket above said "Parc Des Expositions" so I went with that.
I only ever was at Parc Expo in Colmar. And I doubt the hall is called Palais des Sports. But I'll have a good look when I'm there next time...
BOC's pyro-tech Ken Welch once sent me a bunch of hall sheets, and he had this gig as taking place in "La Halle Aux Vin, Colmar" on this date... As far as I know, that Hall is within the Parc Expo confines, so that seemed to fit in OK...
However, if you scroll down to the 20 May Le Mans gig entry below, you'll see that Ken says he is pretty sure that BOC went to Colmar the next day after Le Mans (the 21st).
Then I came across another copy of the above stub but this one had the date crossed out and "Sunday 21" written in its place. I began to wonder if the gig could indeed have been moved to the 21st...
It's now certain. The venue from May 10 in 1978 in Colmar was rescheduled to the 21 after Le Mans and before BOC flew to Stockholm, thus confirming the ticket overwrited by Haumesser (see the 2nd stub above). My friend Georgenthum was responsible by TV7 Colmar and asked the organisers at the time and found out that the cause of the report was technical, not any sort of structural failure with the hall:
The BOC concert of May 10, 1978 was postponed for technical reasons according to the organizers until Sunday May 21. The opening act was Johnny Cougar. As soon as the Cult concert ends, the group will head to Stockholm.
Thanks to Jean-Marc's investigation, I am now satisfied that this gig did in fact take place on 21 May 1978.
Here's the setlist:
"Harvester" as an opener obviously looks to be incorrect. The listing on the right comes courtesy of a tracklist from a tape in Bolle Gregmar's former archive, but, to be honest, it just looks like whoever recorded the tape simply missed off the first two tracks, "R.U.Ready 2 Rock" and "ETI".
If you went to this gig and know otherwise, please let me know...
I had just turned 18 and was about to graduate from high school in Brussels when I went to see BOC at Forest National, the biggest concert venue in Brussels.
I was surprised to discover that a Belgian classmate loved BOC as much as I did so we went together (although now he no longer remembers!). I didn't know Johnny Cougar but as far as opening acts go I thought he was pretty good.
But BOC just blew me away. I had seen a lot of famous 70s bands in concert over the previous 4 years but this was probably the best.
As others have said, not only was the music fantastic but the laser show was dazzling. One detail I remember is Eric Bloom exhorting the audience to buy the official tour t-shirts and not the counterfeit ones of which he said something like "wash'em once and they'll fall apart"!
The 20th and 21st May were originally designated as "days off", so it's clear that this Le Mans gig must have been a late addition...
After this show we went to Colmar France. I remember it well because it was my birthday. For me it was almost 24 and no more.
I drank too much that night after the show in celebration, and almost drowned in my on vomit. The subconscious would not let me puke in my sleep, scared it might spew onto someone else on the tour bus.
I don't drink much anymore after that.
PS. Most of all the shows outside of England, on that tour, were opened by Johnny Cougar, who got my attention with "I need a lover who won't drive me crazy". I liked it so much I wanted to get to know them and remain friends to this day.
At the concert of Le Mans there was no group opening.
See the original 10 May entry for the background to this gig's rescheduling...
From what I can tell, Johnny Cougar opened this rescheduled gig, but if you know differently, please let me know...
I was there but it is rather a long time since then... I was 16 years old then - but I still remember it, that concert made a very strong impression on me.
I remember crossing guitars, feedback solos and last but not least - the lasers. That was beyond anything I had seen at the time (and to be honest, it still is...!). The volume was... well... loud... my ears were ringing for a week afterwards and I think I lost a little bit of my hearing thanks to that event.
The setlist was, to my recollection, the same as in Copenhagen the next day (may 25th 1978). I remember the laser lights going down into the audience (maybe during "Godzilla") - scary and exciting at the same time. If my memory does not fail me, I think that "laser shows" were banned in Sweden after this concert.
I was at this show! I especially remember when the whole band played guitar; that impressed me, but a friend I was with was unimpressed.
Also remember the laser of course. I had discovered BOC in 1976 or so. They were getting quite big by 1978. As far as I recall, Gröna Lund (open air stage, located in an amusement park) was quite crowded.
The next night I went to see Iggy Pop at Domino, Stockholm. I was 18 yrs at the time.
Was there a support act for this show?
Roadie Ken Welch's tour schedule lists the venue as "Tivoli Gardens"... now, there's a well-known "Tivoli Gardens" in Copenhagen, of course, but I was wondering if there could be two of them - maybe "Tivoli Gardens" is a performance area inside the Gröna Lund park?
It was only BOC. Gröna Lund never has opening acts. The gigs usually begin at 8 pm and last no more than 90 minutes. The stage is in the amusement park so I think it's a way of getting people to continue using the various rollercoasters, etc.
Tivoli Gardens is not the proper name. Don't know if there's such a venue in Sweden. I think Tivoli Gardens is in Copenhagen, their equivalent of Gröna Lund.
I've never really understood why BOC never made it bigger! That doesn't make me like them any less, but it's still hard to understand! Truly amazing songwriters and musicians, but I guess that's only part of the equation.
A nice, maybe enchanted evening :-)
I was there with my elder brother, his fiancee and my close BÖC friend Gustaf. Me and my friend had made ourselves our own BÖC t-shirts: white with back page of debute album printed in front, where I'd added band's name in white letters on the black circle. We all four wore them. It was a good show, but not as brilliant as first in Stockholm autumn '75.
Opening with RU ready 2 rock was good, more rolling and better than studio version. Especially Allen Lanier's piano was good and lifted the song.
The highlights were a great 'Cities on flame' with really good singing by Albert, slower than on 'On your feet...' and rocked a lot; a wonderful and sensitive version of 'Astronomy' and a lovely 'Reaper' as an encore.
'Hot rails to hell' can also fit into the best; (It was played there, setlist from next day not fully similar to Stockholm's May 23.) Five guitars (at end of ME 262?) also quite impressive.
It impressed a lot that Eric Bloom spoke Swedish to the audience! :-) He did it well, said some sentences. Many here believed he has Swedish ancestors (Eric Blom would be a very normal Swedish name.) Also because use of letter Ö.
They looked good, sharp guys with style. Allen relaxed elegant, as usual smiling and happy on stage, quite short haired - the same as Albert, shorter then ever which suited him well. After 'five guitars' he balanced his guitar with neck end in his hand for a while while smiling. Eric same good style as ever, not as big hair as before which also was better. Donald and Joe though more long-haired than before.
Before concert, Joe entered stage and took photo of the audience (around 6000-8000), smiling. Also Donald came out in his white suit gave audience thumbs up. Typical of the relaxed and nice atmosphere BÖC show thier fans.
(In end of concert '75 audience on the first rows entered the stage and joined the band digging the end of Me 262! No guards took them down, band just played on. I remember Eric grinned at them while kept on playing guitar - just great!!)
Eric played keyboards during some songs, like ETI and Harvester... and Albert played guitar for 5 guitars. So this can be added to their 'role list'.
After concert, we talked with a roadie, a chief roadie probably. He was SO excited about our BÖC t-shirts and in fact, offered me one of Donald Roesers guitars for mine!! Unbelievably, I refused the offer! Maybe I could not go there with naked upper body. But I could bought a new one there.... Anyway, he gave some of Dharma's plectrum instead - all had BÖC's chaos symbol on them.
All four in a very good mood, it was perfect be in an amusement park! We had so fun doing the rides afterwards. Indeed an enchanted evening
Tuesday May 22 2018 I made a revisit in Gröna Lund, an industry trade fair. And of all artists there over the years and decades there are some photos - only a small, small fraction selected - one of Eric Bloom! Guess if it made me glad?...
Text is: "Diehard main singer and guitarist Eric Bloom with his band Blue Öyster Cult on stage May 23 1978" Eric stands on Alberts elevated drum kit 'stage', dressed in black wearing a BÖC t-shirt with chaos symbol under jacket and black guitar.
I was born 1959 in Sweden and saw BÖC two times, 21 October 1975 Stockholm Konserthuset and Stockholm Gröna Lund 1978, May 23.
When I visited 2012 they had the wrong caption under this picture: (see attached) It showed Eric Bloom but was captioned in error to Buck Dharma! The cation goes something like this: "Rock-hard guitarist xxxxx in style study"
This photo is mentioned by Per Högman, "A nice maybe enchanted evening :-)" under his 23th May 1978 show entry. And his re-visit in May 2018.
I attach this picture here with my correction which later were edited by the Gröna Lund crew in 2012/2013. I know the caption is correct now - saw it in 2013!
Blue Öyster Cult played in the indoor arena Scandinavium in Gothenburg with space for 12,000 people.
The other two concerts in Sweden during the tour, Stockholm and Malmö, were held at outdoor shows in amusement parks.
The amusement park in Gothenburg, Liseberg, had at this time more or less stopped booking hard rock band. That was probably the reason why BÖC was allowed to play in the arena, in front of only 1500 people.
It felt a bit desolate before the music started with John Cougar (Mellancamp) as a support act, but the format of Blue Öyster Cult featured with lasers, pyrotechnics and Albert Bouchard's lizard head under Godzilla more than filled up the arena.
The actual attendance for this gig was only 1,354 out of a capacity of 12,000.
The early summer of 78 was the hottest I can remember. An exciting time for me - I'd just left school, got my first job and Scotland about to play in the soccer World Cup. Expectations were high for that one. And to top it all BOC were coming to town due to public demand for an extension of their Euro tour.
I suppose 31st May that year was a turning point in my life. Although I was a big fan and had all BOC's records up till then, this was my first chance of seeing them in the flesh. This night launched "My Big Interest" that will continue 'til the band retires and probably well beyond.
Two schoolmates and myself wangled tickets for the front row of the balcony in Edinburgh Odeon - we wanted a great view of the lasers as well as the band- and we weren't to be disappointed! After cadging a lift on the local school bus (most high schools were taking busloads of kids due to BOC's popularity) we arrived very early to see a huge queue into the venue. Obviously a sell out show! The merchandise stand did a roaring trade that night - £3.00 for a T shirt, £1.00 for a poster. I bought one of everything!
Japan gave a fairly good performance as openers but were duly booed off stage by those who thought it was hip to do so.
A little later, and with the road crew providing the entertainment (have you ever seen a roadie climb a rope to such a precarious position, 30ft up, to slightly adjust a light?) The opening music started up. Something by Wagner I think, maybe Das Rheingold? Stirring stuff! BOC were prowling the stage in the dark and doing the last minute tuning etc. Buck in white suit and black shirt, Eric in mirror shades, black leathers and wearing a BOC 78 World Tour shirt. Can't recall the others.
Opening song was RUR2Rock (much better than the studio version) followed by great use of Eric's wrist laser in ETI. Both were given a rapturous response by the fans. Harvester and Cities on Flame followed - Albert always brought this song alive! Eric then told us that the show was being recorded for a Live album, which lifted the crowd's spirits even further.
Highlights for me were Golden Age (good sing along by the fans) and Astronomy (with mirrorball laser antics from Eric). Great versions! AND two surprises in We Gotta and Kick out the jams. Strangely, they didn't play Last Days on that last day of May. Great drum solo from Albert complete with Lizard Head and strobe lighting and synth drum. Joe's bass solo led into Summer of Love and the 5 guitars - incredible. Born to be Wild ended the show with the amazing vision of crossed guitars and smoke / lasers in overdrive. Yep, pretty wild.
Encore- well, despite calls for more, we only got the one. Reaper was riding high in the UK charts at the time and the crowd wouldn't have left without hearing it. They went down a storm! Eric and Buck said their goodnights and Buck added "we hope you win the world cup". Well, we Scots know what happened then... out in the first round.
This was the first Live Concert I'd been to by any band and it was a lucky start. This remains as my favourite rock show of all time as it was a great visual and sonic experience, one I'll remember forever. On the other hand, it has to be said that BOC are much better performers on a personal level now than they were then. Long Live BOC!
Addendum: To close with a minor controversial point. I don't believe that the Some Enchanted Evening version of We Gotta Get Out was recorded in Newcastle the next night as is claimed on the sleeve notes. After hearing a story about Murray Krugman mixing up the labelling of the different shows, I listened to live audience tapes of both shows and it seems the version used was the one from Edinburgh.
I note there is some controversy about the origin of "We Gotta Get Outa This Place" from "Some Enchanted Evening": Newcastle or Edinburgh?
My vinyl copy from 1978 claims Newcastle, and I'm pretty sure that at the end Eric says "Thank you Newcastle goodnight." However, 5 years ago I bought the CD and listened to it on a brand new, very good hifi system. As I was using the disc to test the speakers in the store, I listened very carefully. I realised that the CD version was slightly different to my old vinyl version. The guitar runout was just not the same. But the audience noise after, and the cry "thank you Newcastle gooodnight" was the same - like a different version had been dropped in to replace the other.
I later read (on the internet) that the CD contained a version from Edinburgh - perhaps later pressings of the vinyl did too. But my vinyl from 1979 is definitely a differnt version from my cd bought in the 90's.
Having said that, I have a vinyl of club ninja (very early release, Nov 1985) which is different to the CD I bought in the mid 90's. (Vinyl has different intro to wtwc) So old BOC vinyl clearly is open to change when it comes to laying down a cd. Probably when CBS replaced the Newcastle gig with the Edinburgh one, they couldn't feel justified in the expense of running up a new set of liner notes.
A year or two before this concert I started getting into music and going to concerts. By the time word of mouth spread about BOC tickets, there was some excitement if only because of the laser show (Tangerine Dream were the other band with lasers that came to Newcastle around this time - a very different show).
The City Hall, as the name suggests, is an old municipal hall, more suited for orchestral concerts, complete with a stepped stage for a choir and a magnificent old organ (which I've heard played a few times). It holds roughly 2500 people and used to be a regular venue on the UK tour circuit.
I wasn't able to get into an earlier show (30 April) but three of us managed to get tickets for the second show, a few weeks later. By then I had the Reaper single, which was issued to coincide with the tour, and had borrowed "On Your Feet" so that the music wasn't completely unfamiliar.
I think Japan were the support band and, although they went on to greater things, they weren't well matched to the City Hall audience. We were too young to get served in the bar so we probably hung around the merchandise stall out front until the support (and the heckling) had ended. We returned to our seats, two thirds of the way back and over to the far stage right, to wait for the lights to go down.
Darkness. Cheers. "Newcastle, are you ready to rock?" (or something similar - the memory isn't as sharp as it used to be), more cheers and off we go. Looking at the setlist from the web site, it looks like a pretty good show. Oh for a time machine to go back and see it again, or a box set of all the Some Enchanted Evening concerts from Sony/Columbia.
The highlights that I remember were R U Ready 2 Rock, just because good opening songs always got the City Hall crowd going, and the announcement that we were being recorded (which also used to happen a lot in Newcastle). And Eric and the Kronos guitar looked particularly cool.
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place was great, not least because of its existing association with Newcastle (the Animals were from Newcastle and did probably the best known version, though I'm sure you knew that already).
Godzilla was stunning, especially as the curtain of laser light descended into the crowd, and Albert's lizard mask (we came out of the hall thinking that record buyers would wonder why we were all cheering at odd points during the drum solo but, of course, it's edited out from Some Enchanted Evening).
Five Guitars. Well, we knew about it in advance but it was always a sight to see and a real rock and roll moment to boot. Brilliant. Then Born To Be Wild and the crossed guitars. Finish with Reaper for the encore and it's time to go home. I went in curious and came out a convert.
I was there, age 18, god it was great. I still swear my mate Keith can be heard shouting at the start of Reaper.
Keith sadly died very young and this e-mail is in his honour.
What a strange website ! Came across it by accident, YES, I was there, cant remember too much apart from Japan supporting, I think they wore dresses over their pants, at least David Sylvian did, they were a rock band then, they jumped onto the new romantic band wagon in the eighties. I went to the bar after 2 songs (or less).
BOC were good, I remember the light show (I also remember Tangerine dreams at Hammersmith Odeon same era).
I can remember all the band playing guitars for one of the last songs, but not much else
Note the originally-scheduled date of 26 April on these stubs and note also how it's crossed out on the first one and the true date of 2 June written in...
It was a long time ago... 30 years... when I went to my first BOC gig on the 2nd June 1978 at Leicester.
We went in a minibus from Nottingham, about 10 teenagers. We were there early and we got to the front of the stage. Japan were not yet quite a new romantic group but the audience didn't like them as they wore make up. I remember watching one of the band members hair smoulder from the cigarette end that had been thrown expertly into his mop. Blue Oyster Cult were everything I hoped they would be with laser show and drum solo. I was lucky enough to pick up Buck Dharma's plectrum off the stage during the gig and I've still got it, see picture. Born to be Wild and Godzilla drum solo were ace.
30 years on and I'm looking forward to seeing them again for a 6th time... sometime. I like to hear Last days of May and Shooting Shark again... and again... and again!
OK, first ever sighting of BOC in the flesh. What sticks in the mind? Japan were awful, no-one quite understood what they were on about! Eric's laser ring at the vital moment of an awesome version of Astronomy, it was working well that night I havent seen anything as good on any of the footage from that tour.
All in all BOC cemented their place in our hearts with a truly stunning set, I can only apologise for not being able to remember exactly what they played! And then to top it all my mates mini ran out of fuel on the way back to college in Weymouth!
I first got turned onto BOC when I was In the merchant navy and sailing to New York on a regular basis. My cabin mate brought a copy of Secret Treaties and we had it on heavy rotation. When I heard they were playing in Bournemouth I rode down on my motorbike from Southampton to see them.
I remember Japan getting a lot of stick from the audience. In fact the guy next to me shouted profanities at them their entire set. BOC were terrific with Godzilla. ME 262 and Kick out the Jams being highlights. Of course I had drunk quite a lot so my memory is probably a little hazy!
First album I bought was used Tyranny and Mutation probably 1976 - became my favourite band so I jumped at the chance to go to the Bournemouth concert.
I remember as a 21 year old watching the laser show - one effect was a thin horizontal sheet of light with dry ice creating the impression of clouds in the sky. The amount of equipment and cabling was incredible.
The music was superb and I still talk about this as the most exciting gig I've ever seen in nearly 40 years. Will now be searching the loft for any related memorabilia!
This was my first gig EVER so naturally expectations were high.
Japan as support band was not so strange as it sounds as they were in their "New York Dolls Hype Clone" (Geoff Barton;Sounds) phase, though what that actually means in english I've no idea, I think they played 'Heartbreaker' by the Stones, if they did good for them-it only became relevant that I'd seen them about 3 years later when my school friends became New Romantics & were jealous.
Oh yeah I was only 12 and wouldn't have gone at all if it wasn't for my older brother Paddy - Blue Oyster Cult were great.
The Laser Light Show is my main memory, that and the fact we smoked cigars throughout (!) which added to the ambience I'm sure.
Hardly anyone played Bournemouth ever before or since so everyone went, including this kitchen hand with an afro (white guy) so the overriding memory was like Bart seeing Otto in The Simpsons.
Oh my god I've just realised my Brother was doing the lights tonight at the Hammersmith Apollo for Texas, who bore me to death - funny old game, eh?
My memories are similar for this gig as they were for 4.5.78 at Hammersmith, so check that (above) for a more over-the-top review.
Since the first London gigs (all 5 of them !) DFTR had climbed the UK single charts (No#16 I think) & the band appeared for about 2 minutes on Top of the Pops - the definitive (only) UK chart music show. Unfortunately, this appearance was a grainy live video with poor sound of the song with Buck playing a light 'wooden' (I think) SG. In later years this was the Live '76 footage! Anyway, any appearance of my favourite band on TOTP was earth moving.
About 4 of us made our way to Hammersmith for the return. We all wore our tour badges with pride on the way & our new patches sown to our denims. Again we were in the circle, but this time near the front and to the right.
I can't recall seeing Japan as the support act, had they been replaced or did we just hang in the bar?
BOC came on to R U Ready to Rock & others played included DFTR, Godzilla, Cities, Harvester, Golden Age, ME262, Born To Be Wild and LDOM or Astronomy (with orgasmic use of lasers).
I'm sure that the man in the white lab coat was also there at the front of the stage.
As with the first gig, we were blown away & confirmed our conversion to the bands No#1 fans in Upminster. No classroom was left without the Kronos symbol or BÖC identity etched or written on desks or walls. I think we - sorry, they - were in competition with the 'Yes' fans for leaving advertising marks promoting their favourite band. For legal reasons, I did not partake in this particular activity personally & cannot recall the names of those that may be held responsible.
We all went out and bought the entire back catalogue, patches, badges, posters & whatever else had a BÖC stamp on it. We could not wait for the hopefully inevitable return.
This gig was never part of the original published UK Tour schedules and I'd heard rumours that it had taken place (Hi Pete!!) but it wasn't until I got sent this stub that I had to start finally believing that it actually took place!!
I'm gutted I didn't know about this show - as if I'd known, I would have popped along!!
I was there and it definitely took place! I've still got the "IS Ludwig USA" drum stick (log!) that Albert threw into the audience after his Godzilla-head drum solo and the autographed programme that I got signed after jumping onto the stage (left) to the side of the stack, and following the band backstage immediately after the gig had finished. (As I remember, Sounds had reviewed an earlier gig at De Montford, I think, and the set was exactly the same so I knew when the encore was over. As the final echoes of Reaper died away, my 3 mates and I moved from the middle/front across to my right and just jumped up on stage past a roadie...)
The memories of that night are still very, very powerful - Astronomy, the mirrored ball and those laser fx... the UK 12" Reaper single to commemorate the Tour (I've still got the advertising poster too). I even recall Eric wearing a silver necklace with the inverted "?" symbol on it...
BTW for me Japan were outstanding, although I remember half the audience loved their set and the other half just couldn't figure out this band of make-up touting new romantics (as we subsequently came to call them).
Nevertheless, go back and check out Adolescent Sex at volume - that set was the perfect warm up for the Cult. Don't rain on my parade!
The back of the above first T-shirt is interesting in that it gives a list of the shows scheduled for this tour - many with British Lions and UFO. Wisely, the shirt doesn't actually give any dates - just a list of towns.
The opening show of the tour would seem to have originally been "Asbury Park", a date which ended up being the 5th show on 20th July, so the shirt can't be taken as Gospel.
As the shirt seems to think the 3rd gig was at "Jones Beack", that seems reasonable advice.
Still, all in all, it's generally pretty accurate...
One show (1978) was the kickoff of one of their tours. I remember reading that in the paper, thinking Johnstown must be important if they started the tour there. British Lions opened the show and BOC closed. It was BL first American tour so the newspaper said. About 5,300 attended.
This was the first time I ever saw lasers. I was blown away by the light show. Back in those days, the mid 70's, a strobe light and a flashpod was considered a good stage show. I can't tell you which albums the band was promoting since I wasn't a fan. I went to any show that came to town which weren't really all that many.
No band ever topped the lasers that BOC had. The lasers debuted about 2 months after AOF came out and lasted until Feb 1979.
The Gov Regulatations on Lasers are based on BOC. In July 1978 the Gov came to Johnstown PA to watch BOC's Show. I was at this show, shortly thereafter their laser show was cut back.
PS: Interesting note. Nosferatu was played at this show. According to Bolle, Nosferatu was done only a few times in 1978 - I don't know which shows these were, but I can verify that Johnstown 1978 was one of them... green lasers were used during it...
I was at that show and still have the ticket stub, it cost $7.00 bucks. I was 14 years old.
I attended this arena show and was actually hired to stand in front of the stage behind the front row wooden barriers and keep people from jumping over the barriers. I was 17 at the time.
The bass cabinets were lined up under the stage and I can still remember looking down at my wide bottom jeans flapping to the bass drum when BOC played Cities on Flame. Fantastic laser show like I had never seen before.
At one point Eric had a laser attached to the underside of his wrist and pointed it at a mirror ball hanging from the ceiling creating a shower of lasers all over the arena.
According to the 10 Jun 1978 issue of the "Daily Press" [Newport News VA], this gig was originally scheduled for the Hampton Coliseum.
Billboard listed Norfolk, VA concert at The Scope attendance at 2,400 or 2,600. I remember the date being 1 day after the Johnstown show.
Your gig list has Norfolk, Landover, etc with the BL's supporting. The odd thing about this is that arenas' listed for that tour are large and Johnstown's War Memorial had a capacity of 7,800.
British Lions was the opening band and Cheap Trick followed. I do not recall the Cult's set list but I would say that your list for the July 14 1978 show at Landover Maryland is pretty representative. I do have the Columbia Legacy reissue of S.E.E. with the bonus dvd listed as being the 1978 Landover show.
Scope can hold around 10,000 people for a show but I recall the crowd being small. I was able to get near the front. I took a direct hit from a laser that briefly blinded me. I think it was the hand held lasers that ended up being banned. I enjoyed all the bands that night and the B.O.C. was at the top of their game during this time period.
OK, I had seen BOC many times and had brought more folks each time. I was a bit older and this concert was more about me driving my Brother's friends from Baltimore to the Capital Center. It was a great Concert as I recall.
British Lions were uninspired, but Cheap Trick was incredible. My God what a weird bunch of guys that could play their ass off! Rick Nielson was nuts with all of his crazy guitars and the drummer, an old throwback guy, was a scream. The mix however was great. I became a fan.
Now for the BOC men! You would have thought that Cheap Trick would be tough to follow. BOC always blew folks away and this concert was no exception. As I recall, the real highlight was the 2 covers of "We Gotta Get Outta This Place" and "Kick Out the Jams"; Pure Magic.
They toned down the Lasers because of the flack from Washington DC, but the Albert Drum solo was magic with the lasers. By the way, let's talk about Joe Bouchard's great Bass solos! This was no exception.
Born to Be Wild off of the 5 Guitar SOLO was the best Moment of the entire performance. We left the Concert converting more folks to the growing BOC fan base by the way!
Great memory on a HOT Summer Evening!
I remember this show well. Was a little disappointed that the powers that be in DC made them tame down the lasers.
Cheap Trick was great. Neilson was a nut throwing guitar picks into the audience every song, and the drummer had a giant handle bar mustache
And played one song using wooden baseball bats, plus he played the whole show with a cigarette hanging off his lip.
Rick neilson kept teasing the audience about BOC with "How many of you are here to see Blue Oyster Cult? (rolling the oy part) the place would go nuts, and Cheap Trick would play some more.
Even though they were good I kept thinking they were cutting into BOC's playing time and I kinda wanted them to be done.
BOC's Joe Bouchard is magnificent. How many Bass players can do a solo? My favorite song was Astronomy.
They started with Alan Lanier playing a grand piano and Eric sitting on top of it singing the start of the song.
It was the first time I ever had heard it and was just blown away. Went right out and bought the album and the 8 track.
They are a very tight band, high energy. Buck looked cool in his white suit. He would just glow when the lights hit him.
Albert was very good too.
I found your site today, and wanted to throw a correction your way. I saw the Cult at the Cape Cod Coliseum on July 17th, 1978. It was a good time all around, because in addition to BOC, Cheap Trick opened that show.
It stands out for me, because I had never heard them before, but as soon as I heard Surrender, which came out really shortly after, I KNEW that this band was going to be huge.
Regarding the "17 July 1978" date quoted by David - the stub above is dated 15th July so I've gone with that in the absence of evidence to the contrary...
Not only was this my very first rock concert, it was my first (and last) Blue Oyster Cult show.
Some background on the venue: The "CCC" was built in 1972 as a 5,000 seat (bench arena) arena to serve as home ice for the Cape Cod Cubs, part of the North American Hockey League.
There was nothing exceptional about the building, including the ventilation and bathroom facilities, but there wasn't a bad concert seat in the house as the Coliseum had a very respectible run of hosting headlining rock acts for almost a decade particulary during the Cape's summer months.
The Concert: Cheap Trick opened and I recall there wasn't much space for the band to perform with BOC's gear staged right behind them.
Blue Oyster Cult was loud, and although I was only 13 at the time, I remember the fireworks that occompanied various numbers, the lasers, Godzilla with the strobe light monster head drum solo, the bass solo, the five guitar finale and a DFTR encore.
Here's a preview of the show from the 16 July 1978 edition of "The New York Times":
The Blue Oyster Cult: No More Lasagna And Spanish Rice
STRUGGLING rock musicians on the Island should gather inspiration from Blue Oyster Cult's performance tonight at the Jones Beach Theater. Because it was not long ago that Blue Oyster Cult, now one of the top draws on the rock concert circuit, was playing to uninterested audiences in Long Island bars. And it was not long ago that the same band, whose show now features a $250,000 laser light system, was living communally on the North Shore, subsisting on lasagna and Spanish rice.
"The bar scene on Long Island hasn't changed that much in 10 years," Eric Bloom, the band's lead vocalist, reflected the other day. "I feel very sorry for any band that's playing here that wants to do original material."
Mr. Bloom is the only member of the quintet who still lives on the Island (his home is in Great Neck). His attitude about playing the bar scene here was molded by the band's early experiences when it went by such names as Soft White Underbelly and the Stalk-Forrest group.
"We'd get a Friday-Saturday booking," he said, "and after Friday night the manager would tell us not to come back. We'd ask why and he'd say we were doing too much original material. They wanted us to play covers of top-40 tunes, which we refused to do."
The nucleus of the current Blue Oyster Cult was formed in 1968 near the State University at Stony Brook by keyboardist Alan Lanier, guitarist Donald Roeser and drummer Albert Bouchard. Then, as now, the band was guided by its manager-producer, lyricist Sandy Pearlman, a former Stony Brook student president and one-time rock critic. Mr. Bouchard's brother Joe was added later as the bassist, and in 1969 Mr. Bloom replaced the original vocalist.
Recalling the early performances, he said that "we had showmanship but no show." He noted that many of the group's stage pyrotechnics, such as the triple drum solo, originated while it played now-defunct bars, such as Conry's in Bethpage.
The $450 a week the band received for three nights of work at Conry's was poured back into a $300-a-month communal house in Thomaston.
"But we rarely had any money left over," Mr. Bloom said. "We didn't have a telephone for a year. We'd spend $60 or $70 a week for food that had to be divided between the band members, assorted friends, girlfriends, dogs and cats. We used to eat lots and lots of lasagna and Spanish rice."
An audition was eventually arranged with CBS Records, which signed the band in 1972. Meanwhile, "Blue Oyster Cult," taken from a lyric written by Mr. Pearlman, became the new name.
Touring 40 weeks each year for the next four years, the band built a loyal following, but its widespread acceptance was hindered by an early image problem, which in some cases curtailed crucial radio play. Its black leather and paramilitary stage outfits, song titles such as "Dominance and Submission" and "Career of Evil," and the red-and-black band flag (the same colors as the Third Reich flag), suggested to some critics that Blue Oyster Cult endorsed Nazism.
But Mr. Bloom maintained that the image, which the band no longer possesses, was calculated as a way of getting attention.
"The whole thing was done tonguein-cheek as a satire on World War II movies. Unfortunately, too many people took it seriously and it was aided and abetted by the record company and by certain publicists," he said.
Commercial success, defined by radio play and gold albums, eluded the band until 1976, when "Agents of Fortune," its fifth album, was released. That record, a departure from its earlier "heavy metal" sound, contained the group's first hit single, "Don't Fear the Reaper," and achieved a commercial breakthrough.
Part of the profits from "Agents of Fortune" were invested in a professionally designed laser system. The Food and Drug Administration recently cited radiation from the lasers as being potentially hazardous, but Mr. Bloom said the beams had now been modified to meet Government regulations. The band employs two full-time laser specialists to operate the system, which is part of every concert.
"Touring is not much fun," Mr. Bloom said. "The best part is playing the show itself - the rest of the day is usually boring and, frequently, torture." Which explains his enthusiasm when the band plays the Island, as it will be doing tonight when "Annie Get Your Gun" takes the night off.
"I never really liked the idea of taking limousines to our shows," Mr. Bloom said. "When we play here, the best part is that I can drive my own car to the show."
Almost like the old days.
This was one show I didn't want to miss. I had seen the Cult previously on Long Island at Nassau Coliseum for the infamous Friday, January 13th ice storm show with Rush (barely made it out of there and remember saying we thought j.p.'s ponytail would freeze and snap off as he wandered the parking lot looking for our car).
I had made my own custom Cult t-shirt for this show by copying the picture of the band that had appeared in the ad in newsday, the Long Island newspaper. Got a lot of compliments on it at the pre-game tailgate party in the parking lot.
I remember eric bloom asking the audience if anyone arrived by way of the blue oyster cult expressway. The weather was awful. It was raining so hard that it seemed it would be impossible for them to play the outdoor show which was advertised as rain or shine.
The band was on a barge on the water with the atlantic ocean as a backdrop. The wind driven rain was blowing right through the stage and directly at the crowd. The sell-out crowd stayed despite the torrent for the entire show. eric commented, "you guys really have gutz."
The lazers were incredible in all the fog and rainwater. The most incredible cult lazer show ever as the rain and fog diffused the lazers creating a surreal electric ether like atmosphere. The wind was howling and it seemed like the canopy over the band would shred and blow apart like the sails on a tempest-tossed ghostship.
There was a barricade directly in front of the front row and moored to it were several barges that extended out about 15' to make a kind of no mans land between the front row and about 30' of water separating the audience from the floating stage. sometime during the encore people started climbing over the barricade onto the barges secured directly in front of the first row which I was in throughout.
During the final portion of the concert, we all found our way to the front of the barges to be as close to the floating stage as possible even though this area was supposed to be off-limits to the audience. So many people were crowded there right on the edge (there was no railing), it wasn't long before people were dropping into the water. if they weren't pushed forward by the crowd before dropping in, people actually started leaping in like lemmings and swimming to the stage.
I managed to stay on the barge to observe the final part of the show. The roadies had a hell of a time fishing people out of the water and pulling them onto the stage. despite the pandimonium, the cult played on. The musicians themselves appeared drenched. I know we were all soaked completely like drowned rats whether we took the plunge or not.
It was the best visual concert I had ever seen (although the kampuchea benefit (16 Feb 1979) at the Palladium in N.Y.C. with Cult, Utopia, Rick Derringer and Patti Smith was probably the best concert I ever attended. meat loaf was not billed for that show but was listed as 'special guest.' he appeared with his female singer as the final act and performed the bulk of bat out of hell with utopia backing him as musicians. I understand todd rundgron and utopia were the studio musicians who recorded that album with meat).
The cult played an extra long set in spite of the danger of electrocution in the downpour as a tribute to the hardy crowd of hometown fans. The rain didn't finally let up until after we were in our car and driving on the blue oyster cult parkway home to eastern long island.
Of course we listened to Classic Cult on the 8-track during the entire drive. fortunately I wasn't too buzzed to drive as it was impossible to get lit with that much wind and water drenching you during practically the whole show. my only regret was the stencil on my homemade t-shirt was almost washed out in the deluge.
It was truly some enchanted evening for all those who stuck it out. Kudos to the band and crew for an incredible performance despite abominable weather conditions. Thanks eric, buck, al, joe and albert. didn't see them again until the concerts at hammerhead's bar in west babylon and at my father's place in roslyn which were both billed as the soft white underbelly.
EDP, L.I., N.Y.C.
My older brother who blessed me with rock & roll (he's now 41, I'm 37) saw BOC in 1978 at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY (still a major amphitheater on Long Island) and recalls Albert Bouchard throwing his leather jacket in the moat that used to separate band from audience - and that my brother's friend dove in to the water to get the jacket.
I distinctly remember Astronomy and ME262 being played at this gig, because, we were very vocal on the "Heys", and afterwards on the long ride back to New Jersey, we were singing Astronomy the whole way !!
ME262 was my friend Tommy's favorite, and he kept talking about how great it was.
The whole day was a rainstorm, but I don't remember it being so bad during the show. The mist coming off the seawater in front of the stage/barge during the show was pretty incredible, though.
It was a treat to see the British Lions, who were the surviving members of the then defunct Mott The Hoople, Pete "Overend" Watts on bass, Dale "Buffin" Griffin on drums, and Morgan Fisher on keys. These guys were left hanging after Ian Hunter, who co-wrote "Goin' Through The Motions" with Eric and Richard Meltzer, left the band and these guys out to dry. I was a big Mott fan and it was a great treat to see them live.
I was a freshman in HIGH school and can say with authority that I was utterly and completely out of it at this show. It was my first BOC show and really turned me on to the band. See my stub above.
British Lions opened. Sorry I don't have a set list, but I think I have a concert program somewhere around here.
Finally! After 2 tries, 3rd time's the charm. Really good tickets, about 10th row, I took pics with my grandfather's 35MM with a really tiny lens. Great laser show, RU Ready to Rock, Goin Thru the Motions, tons more.
This venue was an echobox, but BOC would play much louder than most other acts and sounded fine. Highlights definitely included ME 262 with the logo guitar. One of the best stage shows at the time, tons of smoke, explosives, and of course the lasers.
I think the protests later on actually made the show better with the Godzilla and UFO effects they used months later at the Palladium, in Asbury it was still just fanning them overhead and catching them off the disco ball. Eric did have the finger laser too. Still one of the best concerts I have ever seen.
PS: The British Lions were actually Ex Mott The Hoople, Morgan, Overend and Buffin, with a new singer.
Check out Moyssi's concert programme for this gig.
A very good show. The Godzilla drum solo had Albert wearing the Godzilla head with a very strong strobe light giving a bizarre effect...
Gozilla playing the drums! On ETI, Eric had the hand laser raising the light slowly as he sang: "All hail....we found the..."
The British Lions were not well received by the the crowd.
The British Lions opened up (ex Mott the Hoople members) but they were a punk band, and were boo'd off the stage...
Wikipedia: The British Lions album did fairly well in the USA, charting almost immediately - but the band didn't tour there until August 1978, when they landed a two-month slot supporting Blue Oyster Cult. That tour unfortunately missed most of the major cities, however, and the band often found themselves playing in the middle of nowhere. After two months in the States, they returned to the UK to record their next album.
I think I was like in 11th grade...
I went to this show knowing a little bit of and liking Cult (Reaper and Godzilla of course, and perhaps one of their albums), but they were not my favorite band and I was unfamiliar with most of their stuff.
I had heard of their amazing light show and wanted to see them, but Rick Derringer was a major draw for me as well. Derringer cranked, and Alvin Lee impressed everybody with his blistering guitar licks.
But by the time Cult got done with Astronomy, I felt that I was watching the greatest rock band in the world. Nothing in the ensuing 35 years has ever changed my opinion.
Went to this show and remember the raceway stage was barely set and it was like they weren't expecting fans.
Hot beverages in cans, not warm, Hot! and no water available anywhere. They played "White Noise" over the sound system for easily 5 ear splitting/bleeding headache inducing minutes, like there weren't thousands of fans standing around in front of said system.
The British Lions (Mott the Hoople w/o Ian Hunter) had just the worst sound ever, no real amp or projection of sound from the system and the lead singer was pissed, they played maybe 30 minutes. Cannot for the life of me remember Nantucket and really don't think they played??
Rick Derringer was very good but they still had sound issues with his bands' keyboards and again the band did not seem pleased. Alvin Lee was really great, that man used his mike stand, a wood dowel, slides and lightning fast fingerwork to show amazing skill and great guitar tone, loved it.
BOC sounded great and the light show was just awesome in the full night sky compared to the indoor experience from an earlier show. We had gotten real close to the stage and recall Eric Bloom seemed to act kinda of rock starish at points in the show, like we should show him the upmost reverence or even bow too him, not just cheer, it was a weird vibe.
Had a great view during their set and the guitar attack near the end was my favorite part, the band was just having a great time enjoying themselves on stage then.
Really kind of "learned the ropes"/enjoyed my first "festival type" show at this one and also learned too plan better as an attendee at events in future.
It was called the Scarborough Fair. It was an all day affair at a horse track outside of Portland. It was a pretty good show considering that Mahogany Rush didn't play for some reason and BOC didn't have their laser show even though it was outside. But once Buck started to let it rip they could have had flashlights for a light show and it wouldn't have mattered.
Wow, I was at the Scarborough Downs "Gig" and actually had a financial stake in it with other investors from N.Y. We broke even - first time I saw "fuzzy bookkeeping" in action!
Regarding the show line-up - since I have never heard of Mahogany Rush I would say it is a safe bet to say they did not play.
Also, we almost got the "new group from Boston" called the Cars to play. That was my original interest in being involved in the first place. Anyway, they backed out for another gig after I signed on. And I think they became fairly famous....?
However, the super 8 videos we took backstage are with someone I cannot locate. Anyway, it was good to see it listed on your website since my kids thought I made it up.
I was actually on stage with Alvin Lee when he did "I'm coming home" and had the crowd going crazy. Then BOC came on that same night with the best laser light show of the decade (mother nature co-operated with a perfect sky!).
I have to admit of all the dozens of concerts I saw in the 60's-70's that was the most fun! Alvin Lee and BOC were awesome (not on stage together, though)...
Thanks Gene - and if you ever do locate the guy with the super 8 videos, please let me know!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was at this show, my first concert, it was an all day, all night, event at a football stadium. Don't remember much, the ticket price was cheap, the weather was phenomenal. Derringer tore it up with Rock and Roll Hootchicoo to get the crowd revved up.
There is an "unknown band" listed as playing on your site for this show, I remember Mott the Hoople was on the bill so that could be the "unknown", but by then, they could've been called British Lions.
Can't remember much about Cult, fabulous light show to me back then since it was my first concert, "Don't Fear the Reaper" seemed to go on forever. Hope this helps...
Justin Purington's Just a Buzz site has a British Lions gig page but he has the Lions down as "cancelled" for this show - he has them playing East Troy on this date - so it looks like they were originally scheduled for this but didn't actually play.
The clipping above says Rainbow were also on the bill but rainbowfanclan.com says that they also cancelled.
I don't remember actually seeing them play, just remember Mott the Hoople on the bill. I hadn't heard of them before, so a friend of mine filled me in on the band.
Whether they actually played that day or not, I have no clue, but the bands playing pretty much followed the line up, so it's possible another member of Mott the Hoople was touring under that name??
The 29 July 1978 Bridgeport Kennedy Stadium gig was definitely OUTSIDE.
I was at this show, I went with a group of my friends - I was 15 years old, so my older friend had to drive - he had driver's license at 16...
I grew up in Connecticut and was a big fan of BOC at the time. I remember there was a huge amount of biker's that arrived early in the afternoon, about 200 motorcycles all arrived at the same time.
I remember Rick Derringer banged his head on his amp on purpose and was bleeding down the front of his face as he jammed, the audience loved it.
Then J. Geils Band came on next and had a fantastic set. The crowd got really pumped from their set.
Then Blue Oyster Cult came on last and the place went nuts. It was an all day event, we got there around noon and BOC played until about midnight.
It was at the Univ. of Bridgeport's football stadium, and I am guessing there were at least 10,000 people there, it was a big event for the local area.
It was general admission outdoor show and I had slowly inched my way up to the front row by the Rick Derringer set, and it was so packed you could barley move.
The entire field was crowded all the way back to midfield, and the side stadium seats were also filled. Great light show from BOC too.
I attended about 15 BOC concerts from 1978-81, all in the NYC area. Mid-Huston Civic Center, Providence, Madison Square Garden were among the venues I can remember.
The MSG show was co-headline with Black Sabbath. Godzilla was a huge hit on the radio at the time.
Here's a preview of this gig from the Fri 28 Jul 1978 edition of the "The Westchester Weekend" showing that the British Lions and Rainbow were both still on the bill only one day prior to the event:
Rock Festival in Connecticut
The largest rock concert in the history of Connecticut is taking place this weekend at Kennedy Stadium in Bridgeport. Beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday and lasting until approximately 10 p.m., the J. Giels Band, Blue Oyster Cult, Derringer, the Simms Brothers, Rainbow and the British Lions are performing in what is billed as "The Great American Rock Show."
The gates will open at noon to permit the expected 40,000 people to picnic and settle in before the music begins. People are welcome to bring food, but liquid refreshments are not allowed in bottles or cans - thermoses or jugs are recommended. There will be refreshment stands.
Tickets are $12.50 in advance at all Ticketron outlets or $15 at the door.
Kennedy Stadium is located on Madison Avenue in Bridgeport and is accessible by the Merritt Parkway or the New England Thruway.
But here's a review of the show from the Sat 5 Aug 1978 edition of the "The Morning Record and Journal" [Meriden CT] which shows that the British Lions and Rainbow definitely didn't play:
Bands Uneven But Sun Heats Rock Fest Mob
BRIDGEPORT - V.F.W. Post 145's Great American Rock Show at J.F.K. Stadium last Saturday was quite an event despite the non-appearance of the British Lions, and guitar great Richie Blackmore and Rainbow.
The night before the show, bodies began to build up around the small stadium. Hundreds of temporary squatters camped out in an effort to grab prime positions for the next day's spectacle.
Although the gates were scheduled to open Saturday at noon, the crowd was so thick by 11 a.m. that V.F.W. staff began letting people in to prevent a heat exhaustion epidemic that the small medical tent wouldn't be able to handle. By 4 p.m., shortly before Derringer took the stage, well over 10,000 had filed into the stadium and filed both bleacher walls, and the football field.
With no protection from the sun, the masses were restless when the Michael Bolotin Band, a Connecticut club band making its first major appearance, opened the show an hour later than the announced 2 p.m. starting time.
Bolotin, beginning a very short set with "Rocky Mountain Way", seemed a fairly good guitarist and managed to keep the crowd quiet with his slide solo. However, they soon lost interest in his music and wandered off in the direction of the snack stands.
The Bolotin Band left the stage after playing for a half-hour, about 15 minutes less than the average club set. After the only quick equipment switch of the day, the Simms Bros. Band took over.
The Bros. extremely poor performance, with the exception of lead guitarist Mickey Leonard and keyboardist Robb Sabino who probably couldn't do wrong anywhere, drove even this reviewer, who loved them last week at Toad's Place, to the concession stand. But their limp showing at this festival didn't prove that they're a bad band. It just proved that it's a lot harder to communicate with an audience of 10,000 than 400 when you haven't got international stature or control of your own volume. However, the Bros. did play a major role in their early downfall. Let's face it, no matter how new you are (and this band has been together for over two years) you don't open your set with a Burton Cummings song when you're playing in front of Blue Oyster Cult, Derringer and Geils fans.
Derringer, featuring Rick Derringer, opened the first strong set of the night with "Teenage Love Affair". When Rick, barely taller than his guitar, came on stage a flood of people washed across the field from the concession stand to the front of the stage. There was a lot of pushing, shouting, cheering and screaming in the stadium and acts of violence began and lasted throughout the evening.
Rick played every song the audience wanted to hear, including his (Lordy Mama) famous version of "Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo". The band's last number was punctuated by a drum solo from Myron Grombaucher, who is a sub-cult figure with Derringer fans.
While taking a few pictures of the band, this reviewer narrowly missed falling victim to a minor act of violence by side-stepping a hot dog that came hurtling from the skies, or at least the bleachers, toward my head.
After an agonizing two-hour break, Geils came onstage. Without playing a note the band had the audience worshipping them. They have been one of New England's best loved bands for almost a decade, having a reputation fantastic live performances.
Magic Dick on harmonica and Peter Wolf's singing dominated and carried the performance. It's hard to find a better harp man than Magic Dick and Wolf's maniacal behavior on stage is enough to get any crowd hopping along with him. How J. Geils acquired a reputation as one of America's better guitarists is confusing. Using his Flying V, J's style rose from dull to boring until he climbed to mediocrity during the band's encore when he shared leads with Rick Derringer.
A long break ensued until Blue Oyster Cult bounded on stage at 9:30 p.m. to play an all-too-short hour and one-half set. The Cult's show was a spectacle with explosions, fireworks, special effects and tricky laser lighting far too impressive to describe in less than a tome. A 20-minute version of that stupid song "Godzilla", with a healthy dose of "Buck's Boogie" material thrown in, was the highlight of the performance, with all five Cultists on guitar. Even drummer Albert Bouchard plays sharp, clear leads without straining. Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser had the audience on their collective feet and knees during their "Reaper" encore. Remaining Cult members Joe Bouchard, Eric Bloom and Allen Lanier put in a typically expert performance.
When the show ended at 11 p.m. several thousand disappointed Rainbow fans began wailing for Blackmore, but to no avail. Rainbow, It was announced at p.m. [time missing!!] was to play before the Cult, but "just didn't show up", according to one of the show's promoters. An announcement that the British Lions wouldn't play ran on most of the state's rock stations during the day, so the crowd wasn't surprised when Bolotin opened the show.
The same promoter said, in regard to the numerous stabbings that occurred during the 12-hours the crowd was in the stadium, "That's a lot of" fecal matter. "It didn't happen."
However, a Bridgeport Ambulance EMT who was stationed at the concert said "there were a lot of of minor slashings and two people had to be hospitalized for knife wounds. One guy was stabbed in the abdominal region inside the stadium" and was still in the hospital Tuesday evening.
Most of the problems handled by medical personnel were minor, but ranged from sunburn and heat prostration, to glass in bare feet and drug and alcohol overdoses.
"For the number of people there, and the heat and the music that was played, they weren't that bad at all," said the attendent.
Hi there, I enjoyed your website very much.
One small bit of info: The Aug. 4, 1978, Blue Oyster Cult concert was switched from the Seattle Center Coliseum to Hec Edmundsson Pavilion on the University of Washington campus. The reason? The Seattle Seahawks of the NFL were playing a home exhibition game in the Kingdome and the annual Seafair Torchlight Parade was held on the city streets of Seattle. Thus the Seattle Police Department simply didn't have the manpower to also staff a major concert downtown, and that's why the concert was moved to the University, which has its own police force.
P.S. -- UFO also appeared as a preliminary along with British Lions.
The original lineup for this show was BOC/UFO/British Lions. I'm not sure where the Derringer and Alvin Lee information came from, but they most definitely did not play at this concert. [I originally had them down as support for this gig - now corrected. Cheers!].
Shortly before the concert began, an announcement came over the PA that UFO would not be playing that evening. The reason given was that one of their trucks broke down (enroute from Seattle presumably), and that the other two bands would therefore get to play a longer set.
BOC were excellent. I don't recall the exact setlist after all these years, but they blew my mind and it was the last chance I would get to see the band with their full laser spectacular.
Thanks to Alessandro Borri, I came across the following blog that gives stats on some of the major 70s Spokane gigs:
Here's the full list for 1978 so you can see the context:
Feb 21 America 3,000 Mar 13 Nazareth 8,500 Apr 20 Foghat 7,068 May 13 Ted Nugent 8,500 May 16 Tom Jones 4.087 May 18 Bill Gaither Trio 2,828 Jun 14 Boz Scaggs 6,270 Jul 27 Aerosmith 7,800 Aug 05 Blue Oyster Cult 7,800 Aug 12 Tribute to Elvis 1,675 Sep 10 Boston 7,800 Sep 28 Black Sabbath 4,529 Nov 08 Rush 4,200 Nov 17 Commodores 7,242 Nov 26 David Gates & Bread 3,697
Top grossing show, Ted Nugent with $63,750; then Aerosmith and Boston at $62,400 each; and Blue Oyster Cult with $59,219.
Source: Spokane Arena Office Binder: "Coliseum Concerts" typed, handwritten and word processor documents 1975 to 1994.
Regarding the 1978 San Diego gig. I was at this show about 12th row center.It was amazing to say the least as Blue Oyster Cult was one of my favorites. I remember UFO was good, I had seen them before and would later in 1979 w/ Blue Oyster Cult.
Schenker had guitar cable difficulties through the show and finally snapped at the end. Pete Way was in his usual drunken form, Andy turned in a short but nice solo. Not a bad show for UFO.
BOC also did 5 guitars, Hot Rails, DFTR, Godzilla, RU Ready To Rock, Astronomy and I believe ME 262. During Godzilla Albert stopped his solo and cursed the audience for throwing fireworks on stage.
He realized he should back track a little and turned his rant into a "do you wanna rock n roll or what"? audience participation moment rather than a riot.
He informed everyone that if they wanted to see fireworks there were so many fucking fireworks on stage that they were going to. And he wasn't lying! This was when Blue Oyster Cult were at the indoor arena laser/pyro peak and they pulled out all the stops.
Yes, British Lions did open and played the Pistols "Pretty Vacant."
I was at this show and you don't have Cheap Trick as listed, but they played this also as I recall.
I won't SWEAR on a stack of BOC Bibles that Cheap Trick were on this bill, but I am almost positive - say 98% sure.
I know that the show started early in the morning (10am-ish) and continued on until late into the night before BOC even came on.
I know there were other bands as well, though nobody major. There were probably 5 bands total and all the bands leading up to BOC were all really good and the music was great.
The San Diego Stadium was packed with people - the SD Stadium seats about 50,000 people, and it was about 3/4 full - but it was not an unruly crowd as far as my point of view. I was still a Junior in high school at the time.
There was a long gap before BOC came on, and as I said it was late into the night and I think a good number of concert goer's had begun to leave - burned out and unable to stay on for what I think was the mainline act. After arguing to stay with the friend who had drove us there, we stayed on and enjoyed to the end.
Now this was 30 years ago, so my memory is not perfect but I remember a lot of little issues throughout the day (technical sound stuff).
I later went on to meet the ex wife of one of the guys in Cheap Trick at a movie audition (I am a talent agent for a living) and I told her I'd seen them with BOC and she seemed to remember the show as well.
Cheap Trick did not play at this show. The second reviewer is getting this concert mixed up with the Aug 5, 1979 concert at Jack Murphy Stadium.
I attended both shows and distinctly remember British Lions (ex-Mott the Hoople members minus the singer), UFO (last tour with Michael Schenker for a while), and the mighty BOC (with their incredible laser show) as the only bands at the Aug 8, 1978 San Diego show.
I was at this concert and confirm as the third reviewer stated that Cheap Trick did NOT appear at this show. The lineup was British Lions, UFO and BOC.
The show was good and BOC rocked. The sound suffered the usual problems with shows at the indoor S.D. Sports Arena but that didn't keep us from enjoying the show at all.
Especially in the upper level where I was at and the smoke concentration was greatest ;>)
Did this gig take place? Please let me know if you know for sure one way or another...
Yes, indeed, this concert took place. It was an extremely hot evening in Fresno - 107F, and the arena was packed and stifling.
British Lions opened, followed by UFO. BOC opened with RU Ready 2 Rock, then Summer of Love, ETI was the 3rd song during which out came the lasers. Sound was perfect and they used their fantastic quad system.
They performed (in no particular order) Golden Age of Leather, 5 Guitars, Goin' Thru the Motions, Cities on Flame, Last Days of May, Astronomy (fantastic) and Don't Fear the Reaper plus a couple of others. Played for 1 hour and 45 minutes. They did 2 encores - 1st was Born to Be Wild but I can't remember the second.
I have a couple of reviews from local papers I'll try to get to you.
BOC Sizzled for Fresnans
Wednesday night in Fresno - it was hot. At Selland arena it was even hotter, as Blue Oyster Cult, UFO and British Lions "rocked" Fresno.
The British Lions is basically a mixture of "Mott the Hoople" - Ray Major, Buffin, Morgan Fisher, Overend Watt, with John Fiddler, formerly of "Medicine Head." What we heard was good hard rock.
After a half-hour intermission, during which our main concern was keeping as cool as possible, UFO came out and lived up to its reputation for high-energy, hard rockin' live performances. Despite the heat, and a few long gaps between songs, a good time was had by all, including the band.
The first two groups would have been considered a good "Rock Concert," in themselves. They were just the "warm-up" acts for the next group up and after three hours of almost unbearable heat, we were ready.
Blue Oyster Cult came on with "RU Ready 2 Rock" (the type of tune most groups would close a show with). The audience answer was a definite YES!
BOC played for about an hour and 45 minutes, performing great tunes; "Godzilla," "ETI" "Don't Fear the Reaper" (they did "Reaper" for the encore), "This Ain't the Summer of Love," and many others including a couple from an album to be released soon.
Blue Oyster Cult is known for its great "light shows". For those who have not seen BOC's light show, try to imagine strobe-lights, fog, laser lightbeams, spinning crystal globes, flashing many-colored spotlights, explosions, and fireworks, matched perfectly with fantastic music done in "Quad."
Blue Oyster Cults' members are Eric Bloom, Albert Bouchard, Joe Bouchard, Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser, and Allen Lanier. This group put on a show that was, at the very least, outstanding. There were no long gaps between songs, the lighting, the quad sound system, and the superb performance by the band, blended perfectly to form a "state of the art" beyond compare.
This review falls short of describing Blue Oyster Cult live. You have to experience it.
I saw them do "Nosferatu" on the Spectres tour in LA (can't remember the venue, but I was very close). It was great. I remember Joe ripping on that Alembic bass he had.
I always enjoyed the Joe songs. Liked his singing, loved his playing. He is one of my biggest bass influences, and here he is no longer a bass player! It's not right.
My twin brother went to this concert... he was 14 years old and was invited by a neighbor who was sharing a summer home with us. His dad took his son and my brother to the show.
My brother at the time was not aware of BOC, but his friend was a huge fan and needed my brother to come along for him to get permission from his Dad.
My brothers only observations are the following: The speedway was packed like sardines and that vendors were doing brisk business selling... get this 12 packs of beer... talk about raising your can of beer.
I remember this one, it was my 3rd BOC show, I was 20, my wife 19. Karl is right, the place was packed, this was by far the biggest of what few concerts they had in Carson City. And yes they were selling beer by the 12 pack, and that worked out pretty well for me and the wife. We just found an older friend to buy for us once and we were set.
The British Lions really sucked (I guess I was expecting Mott the Hoople) UFO and BOC were hot. I remember when they did Godzilla, Eric was talking about how Godzilla rose up out of LakeTahoe and was coming down the hill. It was said that people at Tahoe could actually See the lasers!
Also the Speedway was called T-Car (Tahoe-Carson) Thanks for the great website!
Robert Dunehew and I drove from Sacramento, CA over Echo Summit to T-Car Speedway. There was an hour delay near Twin Bridges for road construction. While waiting for traffic to move, all kinds of people were tossing frisbees and sitting around on the highway.
We arrived before the gates to the infield opened, but while waiting, a huge gust of wind toppled a stack of speakers. Another hour delay.
Sun was starting to set and the show started even later as it was announced the band Detective was a no show.
British Lions opened. They rocked for a relative unknown at the time.
By the time UFO took the stage it was dark. I made my way to within 50ft of stage. UFO were at the top of their game around this time, but it was clear that the lead guitarists drinking problem was affecting his ability to play. Sounded sloppy at times.
By the time BOC took the stage, I was up front center. The album Specters was recently released. The laser light show was in full specter.
Here is the set list for BOC that night.
R.U. Ready 2 Rock
E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)
We've Gotta Get Out of This Place
Then Came the Last Days of May
This Ain't the Summer of Love
Born to Be Wild
I recall both the British Lions and UFO playing and of course BOC.
We got pretty high and the Swing didn't have good ventilation - it got hot. Great place for concerts - saw more than one person passed out including me I know all three groups rocked that night. Had a great time - still after a long time is kind of a blur...
Here's a review of this gig from the 15 Aug 1978 edition of the "San Bernardino Sun":
Blue Oyster Cult Packs Them In - Again
by Mark Lundahl, Special to the Sun-Telegram
SAN BERNARDINO - A sold out Swing Auditorium crowd was dealt another numbing blow Sunday night from a lumbering giant of heavy rock Blue Oyster Cult.
Also featured in San Bernardino's first big time rock concert in two months were rising bands UFO and The British Lions.
At times familiarity breeds boredom, and I am afraid this is the case with Blue Oyster Cult. This is the third time the East Coast band has trekked through Swing Auditorium in the past two years. The last visit was only eight months ago. The old "Cult" has learned no new tricks, and its stage show remains the same.
Sunday's set started with an invigorating flourish supported by the best sound system the group has ever brought with them. Blue Oyster Cult sounded brighter and cleaner than at anytime before. The group's mature brand of hard rock was executed well, and the crowd voiced an enthusiastic approval.
Blue Oyster Cult has managed to get away from its original menacing stance of hard rock and leather, and is now well entrenched in a slicked down style that mixes softer textures with the usual heavy metal assault.
The band has been able to broaden its audience this way. But while a few of these newer numbers are very good (prime example is "Don't Fear the Reaper"), most are rather anonymous and listless, hampered by mediocre singing and indulgent soloing.
Sunday's set was revamped a bit to place a greater emphasis on the newer selections. As a result, a few of the old raucous concert favorites (eg. "Buck's Boogie" and "Cities on Flame") were dropped from the line-up.
The concert started out promising, but not even a $200,000 laser show which would give a sober man hallucinations, could keep the set from miring in mediocrity. The band plays very well, but does not have enough original musical ideas to sustain much interest.
More successful was the group billed as UFO. This British quintet has just begun to make some progress on the climb to rock stardom. It is very possible that the band will make it big someday soon. They are a sharp-looking outfit, and have a very appealing sound that is close in nature to bands like "Styx" and "Kansas".
Like Blue Oyster Cult, UFO has broadened its musical attack in its quest for a larger following. The band's first albums were almost purely hardcore rock. The last two records contain some ballads that are perfectly balanced in texture and tension.
Two of these numbers ("Love to Love" and Cherry") were the highlights of UFO's set. The songs are gentle and lyrical, but have strong, full power chords to punch their essence through. They are also beautiful vehicles for Phil Mogg's expressive lead vocals.
When the band decides to rock, it's at a galloping pace. "Light's Out" and "Doctor Doctor" hurdled new sound barriers, with the searing guitar work of German Michel Schenker leading the way.
UFO is an intelligent band. Its brand of progressive rock is loaded with tension, dynamics, clarity, and musicianship. It is, however, not a unique brand of music. Without continued inspiration, there is a distinct possibility that UFO might one day cure insomnia as Blue Oyster Cult does now. For now, though, the band has a fresh sound and a bright future.
Opening the show were The British Lions, a group made up of refugees from the much heralded band, Mott the Hoople, with the addition of John Fiddler (from "Medicine Head ").
The British Lions have retained the basic Mott the Hoople sound. It's a rowdy brand of barroom rock and roll that makes good use of power chords and Morgan Fisher's distinctive piano. But the band lacks a focal figure to hold their show together. Ian Hunter did that for Mott. The British Lions are still developing their aura.
The band rushed through a good selection of original tunes, and capped their set with a novel rock and roll medley that included the Byrd's "So You Want to be a Rock and Roll Star," the Stones' "It's Only Rock and Roll," and The Sex Pistols" "Pretty Vacant."
Mark Lundahl produced "reviews" of all the BOC gigs that passed through San Bernardino in the mid to late 70's, and he never missed the chance to slate them. He just didn't like BOC - he didn't like the songs, he didn't like Eric's vocals, basically, he objected to BOC's participation in general at any gig he attended.
And this is the plank that the "San Bernardino Sun" tasked with providing an objective review of three BOC headlining shows (1976, 1977 and this one)... good luck with that!
Here's the review from the Wed 16 Aug 1978 edition of the "Tucson Citizen":
9000 attend Center show - The Cult presents night of laser violence
By Chuck Graham
Citizen Entertainment Writer
British rock musicians are either a few years ahead or a few years behind we in the New World. Judging by the dominance of early teenagers in last night's audience for Blue Oyster Cult (American heavy metal music's counterpart to the Loyalists of 1776), UFO and British Lions (both heavy English), the islanders of Great Britain are now pleasing people still looking ahead to the best boogie of their lives.
It would seem the British are anticipating the evolution of punk rock into rock music similar to those acid-dripping blues contortions we had several years ago. Which sounds a bit like reaching the East by traveling West.
Contrary to what other performers from the past decade have done, the Blue Oyster Cult has not sought compatibility with the diluted tastes of current times. There has been no effort to lighten up its laser light and piercing synthesizer peons to the powers of urban destruction.
Eric Bloom's sinister vocals, instrumental piles of grating electronic sounds and sprays of laser mayhem were combined in the kind of grim joyfulness that precedes a good round of pillage and plunder.
The show struck a responsive note with the Community Center Arena crowd of some 9000, many of them standing for the duration of the occasion. Somehow, despite a steady pop music diet of AM radio programming as carefully contrived to be blandly inoffensive as a brand new shopping center, these fans could relate to violence.
The laser show for this year's BOC tour is much more animated than last year's. Bowing to the government decision that no laser beams could be aimed into crowds, Bloom and the others kept their brilliant green and red rods of light bouncing from the rafters and from their own revolving mirror balls.
Smoke screens, flying flash bombs, spewing sparks and constantly changing washes of stage lighting kept the eyes as agitated as the mind. The feel was gritty east coast violence, completely lacking in the comic book fantasies of a friendlier group like Kiss.
The Cult's performance also seemed a bit more spirited than last year. BOC has been doing this sort of act for so long there's little than can go wrong. Yet the potential for boredom when presenting such elemental music night after night is awesome. The quintet should get some kind of gold star just for avoiding that.
UFO played with more verve, however. What they lacked in electronics hardware was compensated by richly textured melodies that offered ample opportunity for elaboration. But this group still maintained the traditions of pointing their guitars like machine guns at each other, going into crouch stances and all that.
The piercing repetitive choruses on the encore "Too Hot To Handle" were strongly reminiscent of the old (new?) days of rock n' roll.
The British Lions are an admittedly sentimentalist group of two original members from Mott the Hoople, two others who played in that band for a time and lead vocalist John Fiddler. Their goal is to play in the Hoople manner but with such enthusiasm that British Lions will be fulfilled in fame the earlier group never quite achieve
What came out last night was an exceptionally loud quite simplistic brand of power rock that hewed a line between the new wave punk people and Blue Oyster Cult.
Was this a British Lions/BOC only show, or did UFO play as well?
Yes, UFO did play this show.
Like most people in attendance, I went to see B.O.C. and their laser show. I was not necessarily a big B.O.C. fan. I had the Agents Of Fortune LP and thought it was pretty good. But B.O.C. was one of the first groups to have a laser show so I wanted to see what that was all about.
I had never heard of British Lions or UFO.
I almost didn't go to the show. As I recall, it was a last minute decision to go.
I have no recollection of British Lions. I have vague recollections of B.O.C. I remember the lasers, in general, and I seem to recall the drummer wearing a big reptile head during Godzilla (with strobe lights flashing!).
To be honest, what I vividly recall about that show was UFO! They were incredible - particularly Michael Schenker. I was mesmerized by the image of this tall, thin guitarist in black, blond hair over his face, playing incredible runs on his flying V. Wow! What a memory. I've been a fan of Schenker's playing ever since.
My very first Laser day with the Cult.
My brother Thomas, who turned me on to the band, took me along as I was not of driving age yet.
Tarrant County Convention Center was your typical American flying saucer shaped ten thousand seater. Most big name bands of the era bypassed Dallas due to restrictions from the Fire Marshall on flash pods and such.
No problem in Fort Worth where you could blow the place to bits if that was your act. 78 was arguably the zenith of the bands success and to witness them at this pinnacle is something I have always felt grateful for.
These were the days of Eric's laser wrist device, Albert's horrible sounding Roto-Toms & Godzilla head, Black Leather and the extraordinary Buck Dharma in the white suit and tobacco burst Les Paul.
"Some Enchanted Evening" CD/DVD well represents the strength of the band at this time. They had to follow UFO who were also at their peak in the waning days of the Michael Shenker era. They were incredible and I became an instant UFO crazy. Their excellent "Strangers In the Night" live album was from this tour.
It was also the first time I had heard many of the older songs from the black and white album days. This was magic. They hooked me for life to the mysterioso Cult vibe.
I still hold a special place for the original Blue Oyster Cult. The 5 guitars during this time was incredible to behold.
My lasting memory of this performance was the extended coda to Golden Age of Leather in which Buck took flight on the frets in that haunting, melancholy minor scale way he solos. He was motionless, center stage inside a laser cone gazing at the rafters, just squeezing those gorgeous tones to us from somewhere deep inside.
On the drive home down I-30 back to Dallas we stopped for petrol. My brother and I were still in the deafening afterglow of what we had just experienced. 2 girls were stopped as well. We asked what they were up to. "Just out partying, having a good time" they replied.
"We just saw the amazing Blue Oyster Cult" and drove off into the Texas Summer night with "Spectres" blasting all the way.
I originally had this gig down as just BOC and British Lions but I read an article on UFO in the 7 Mar 1982 issue of "The Daily Oklahoman" which suggested they were also on this bill:
Way, a charter member of the 10-year-old heavy metal quintet UFO, remembered this hotel.
"We were here opening for Blue Oyster Cult about a year ago," he said, and nodded toward the empty dance floor across the room.
"Coupla guys from the Cult were dancing with this girl and these two cowboy types didn't seem to like it much. I remember thinking, uh-oh, there's trouble coming."
Way laughed at the recollection. "The next thing you know, there are hats flying and doors bursting open and, oh, it was amazing! Like a wild west show or something."
Way and Chapman - in Norman to open the recent Ozzy Osbourne concert at Lloyd Noble Center - are not unaccustomed to such wild times on the road, since constant touring and hotel room living tend to take a toll on the nerves.
I realise he said "about a year ago", and this would actually be nearer three and a half, but this gig is the only candidate for the gig in question.
Plus... I wonder who the "coupla guys from the Cult" were...? Lookout for black eyes and bruises at the next night's show in San Antonio... :-)
A stub appeared for this gig on eBay (December 2010) that stated that UFO was also on the bill (though it didn't mention British Lions).
However, according to the promoters' website - stonecityattractions.com - both British Lions and UFO opened the show...
The original BOC gig schedules had this gig taking place at the "Civic Center"...
I attended this concert. As evidenced by the attached ticket stub this concert actually took place at the Beaumont Fair Park Coliseum.
I think maybe it was originally supposed to be at the Civic Center but got moved for some reason. Fair Park was just a fancy name for what was basically a big covered outdoor barn that was used for the livestock show when the South Texas State Fair was in town.
I remember the laser show, Buck's white suit and the wrist laser. It was a great show. The Fair Park Coliseum has since been torn down.
The presence of UFO on this bill was confirmed by an attendee on FaceBook...
I initially found an oddly-worded listing for this gig in the Friday 28 July 1978 (p8) edition of the "Ohio State Lantern":
Pinch hitting for Foghat in game four of the World Series of Rock, to be held at Cleveland Municipal Stadium on August 26, is Blue Oyster Cult. Foghat cancelled their entire tour.
So, no info on who else was on the original bill, but it looks like BOC were initially drafted in to replace Foghat.
Then, in the 6 Aug 1978 edition of "The Plain Dealer", there was an ad for this "World Series of Rock Game IV" gig which had Bob Seger headlining, with special guests BOC and Todd Rundgren's Utopia, plus The Cars.
However, the Sunday 20 Aug 1978 edition of "The Times Recorder" [Zanesville OH] provided this information:
Tickets Available To Delayed Concert
Belkin Productions has rescheduled the "World Series of Rock" Game 3, starring Fleetwood Mac, for 4 p.m. Aug. 26, at Cleveland Lakefront Stadium.
Postponed from August 5th due to an illness of Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, the Aug. 26 bill also stars Todd Rundgren's Utopia, Bob Welch and The Cars.
This will be the final "World Series of Rock" for 1978 and a huge crowd is expected to usher out the summer.
Tickets for the August 5th show will be honored.
Looking at this chronology, it appears that when Game 3 (with Fleetwood Mac headlining) was postponed, the organisers amalgamated elements of Games 3 and 4 to create a new, revamped Game 3, with no Bob Seger... and no BOC, also, who had already booked a place in the SuperJam '78 gig at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on this date (see next entry).
The running order for the SuperJam '78 was as follows: Bob Welch / Eddy Money / Angel / BOC / Styx
The first concert I ever went to by myself (I actually drove some friends) was SuperJam '78 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
The line-up was Bob Welch (oooo Ebony Eyes!) Eddie Money, Angel (there's a time tester for ya), Styx (The Grand Illusion tour) and Blue Oyster Cult (when Don't Fear The Reaper was on AM radio).
It wasn't the first time I smoked pot, but probably the second. I had 10x50 field glasses and everyone was trading me a toke for a gander through the lenses. I was fucked up with a capital "ucked".
The Cult came on at night and had the first laser show I'd ever seen. The unification of reality and the dream world came when they played Godzilla... The drummer, Albert Bouchard, leaned back, and when he came up he was wearing a big Godzilla Head.
When you're 17, and grew up in a town of 4100 that claims (this is no bullshit) to be the Hog Capital of the World (Pittsfield, Illinois) being completely marijuanafied and seeing a guy suddenly wearing a Godzilla head was just about maximum freak-out on the surreality meter.
I kept looking at the guy, drumming with the Godzilla head on, and saying, "The drummer's wearing a fucking Godzilla head!" My oral control centered became jammed on that sentence, as it tends to do the second time you ever smoke pot, and everyone was laughing at me, and at Godzilla. I wouldn't want my daughters to read this, but there was a time when drugs were fun.
This is a case of "small world." Styx's sound company was owned by a Texan named Bill Stephens. I had done several gigs with Bill over the years and liked his system. He also manufactured one of the first small battery-operated "phase checkers." I ended up buying three of them (and mysteriously losing the first two to sticky-handed cohorts).
Anyway, Bill was the system engineer at this show and sadly had to inform me that Styx's soundman would not allow me to use certain outboard effects. No matter, my memory of this show was that most of the audience was there for Styx anyway. The Cult could have set themselves ablaze on stage and not made much of an impression.
Anyway, in 2002 I was a brand-new employee of the University of Texas and I was sitting at my desk when Bill Stephens walked into our shop. He seemingly hadn't aged a day and I don't know how he recognized me, since I'm a long way from those long-haired daze (but he did immediately remember me). He's one of the two electronics engineers in our section and we see each other daily!
I was there! Great show! Except Styx were dicks. They were headliners, BOC second on bill.
Styx wanted to be the only one with lights but things were running late and BOC were playing in near dark. Eric kept asking for some lights.
Finally near the end they got one red light. A very sarcastic Eric said "thanks, Styx."
My opinion of Styx went down and never went back up. It was before BOC had the full laser show.
1st to last: Bob Welch, Angel, Eddie Money, BOC, Styx.
Eddie Money was supposed to go on second but his Learjet was running late so Angel went on second, which Eddie thanked them for this...
Great show except for no lights for BOC...
This gig was re-scheduled for Tuesday 29th August seemingly after the tickets were printed but before the T-shirts were printed!! See 29 August below.
BOC instead played a festival on this date with the Beach Boys in Cincinnati - see next gig entry...
BOC also played a festival near Cincinnati in the summer of 1978 at Edgewater Dragway. I'll try to come up with a date for that one but I'm sure the line-up that day was:
I remember it was so hot and it started raining hard and people started cramping into the port-o-lets and when it stopped and the sun broke out The Beach Boys restarted the concert with Here Comes the Sun. It was awesome!
I know BOC played Godzilla...
I found a review of this gig in the 28 Aug 1978 edition of the "The Cincinnati Enquirer":
For Beach Boys Surf Was Down at Edgewater
by Cliff Radel
Enquirer Pop Music Critic
Before a note sounded, the concert had "Beware of Strange Happenings" written all over it. The Show's lineup - the Cars, Starcastle, the Dirt Band, Blue Oyster Cult, Jan and Dean, and the Beach Boys - should have been a clue. A big clue. With such diverse acts, a something-for-everyone concert, anything could happen... and almost everything did.
Take the weather, please. Before the Cars took the stage Sunday morning to open the Great Miami River Music Festival at Edgewater Park, peddlers wandered among the sprinkling of concertgoers lounging about the 25-acre concert site. The peddlers were hawking... sun visors... and the sun was nowhere to be seen.
By 11:49 a.m. as the Cars played their opener, "Good Times Roll," the sun was shining. The visors, which had been selling like bikini's in Iceland, were now a hot item.
Three hours later, Mother Nature canceled the sun. The replacement was dark storm clouds, followed by a torrential downpour.
The concert paused as the rains fell. After a 2 1/2-hour delay, the music resumed. The Beach Boys finished the show at the evening hour of 8.46, just as flashes of lightning illuminated the sky. The lightning, along with flashlights and matches held by the crowd, estimated at 7000 persons, was the concert's light system. There were no spotlights. There weren't supposed to be any. The Great Miami River Music Festival was slated to be a noon-to-dusk show. But no one consulted Mother Nature.
After the rain, things grew stranger. As the Beach Boys sang "Surfer Girl," a member of their audience sang along. That audience member was Albert Bouchard. What's so strange about that?
Bouchard is Blue Oyster Cult's drummer, BOC had just completed an abbreviated 44-minute set before the Beach Boys did their 92-minute show.
A Blue Oyster Cultist singing a Beach Boys song? Blue Oyster Cult, the five-man band that asked the musical question, "R. U. Ready 2 Rock"? And played such heart-splattering hymns as "Godzilla" and "Hot Rails to Hell"? Yep. The one and the same.
For anyone who overheard Bouchard backstage after BOC's performance, his singing along with the Beach Boys would not have appeared so unusual.
"It's nice playing with our idols, instead of our rivals," he remarked.
"Yeah," BOC lead guitarist Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser agreed. "Here, there's no Ted Nugent or Kiss. We can relax a little when we play.
Blue Oyster Cult should relax more often. The quintet's performance was exemplary. Especially noteworthy was Roeser's vocal and guitar work on his composition and BOC's encore, (Don't Fear) The Reaper."
This piece challenges Roeser's formidable skills as a guitarist. The themes and chord changes in "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" are extremely advanced when compared to the nonsense in "Godzilla," "Hot Rails to Hell" and "R.U. Ready 2 Rock." Roeser and BOC are wasting their time on such mannered numbers. "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and its predecessor in the set, "Born to Be Wild" gave Roeser the chance to cut against the grain of their chord progressions and forge new melodies with his ad-libs. In the case of the former tune, it gave Roeser the opportunity to display his soft melodic voice. On far too many numbers, the voice of BOC belongs to rhythm guitarist Eric Bloom.
Credible performances were also turned in by the Cars, Starcastle and the newly remodeled Dirt Band.
The Cars relied heavily on themes and vocalists, in particular rhythm guitarist Ric Ocasek, with the David Bowie sound. Nonetheless, the five-man band put on a pleasing show by employing early-rock figures, like the chord progression from Mickey & Sylvia's 1956 hit, "Love is Strange," on Ocasek's "My Best Friend's Girl."
Starcastle had its best moments when it stopped duplicating Yes' vocals and pursued an original sound.
In the past year, three musicians, reedman Al Garth, drummer Merel Bregante and bass guitarist Richard Hathaway, joined the Dirt Band. These performers and Dirt Band standbys Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden and John McEuen, gave the ensemble a fuller sound than when the group went by the name the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Despite this new pleasing sound, the band's best selection was a duet with McEuen on acoustic guitar and Garth on violin. Titled "Ryan's Arrival," this piece used classically inspired contrapuntal lines which were a far cry from the Dirt Band's chestnuts like "Rocky Top."
The Beach Boys' harmonies on the Edgewater stage were a far cry from the blend that brought the group fame in the 1960s. Sunday evening the Beach Boys sounded like the sons of Mrs. Miller. They struggled and failed to sing in tune on "California Girls," "Sloop John B" and 'In My Room."
Of the Beach Boys and their special guests, their "old surfing buddies" Jan and Dean, Mike Love and Brian Wilson had the most intonation troubles. Love's voice was as flat as a surfboard. The "room" Wilson must have been singing about on "In My Room" must have been a rubber one, because his pitch bounced all over the melody.
"Sons of Mrs. Miller"...? That's an obscure reference. That actually sounded amazing when Jan and Dean did their short medley. Extra voices helped.
We watched the show from the mixing board. I was impressed they had an early reverb unit - I think it was called the AKG BX10 or BX15. Sounded amazing on the vocals.
Some friends and I decided to turn up unannounced at a BOC gig in Nashville TN...
Upon arriving in Nashville I had a message to call home and my wife informed me that Rick Downey (He was the Road Manager and L.D. then) had called and wanted me to call him. She had kept my secret so imagine the look on his face when he opened the door of his hotel room and I was standing there saying that I had heard he wanted to talk to me! What he wanted to tell me was that the band really wanted me to come back out with them and could afford to back up the request...
After getting approval from Margot I found myself back on the road a few days later at the big Day On The Green concert in Oakland...
I saw BOC in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1978. Lasers and leather, and a Helluva good time had by all! Opening acts were Black Oak Arkansas and UFO. A lot of the specific memories have faded after 20 years: I couldn't for the life of me give you a set list, anything with that kind of detail. I do, however, have some photos somewhere, and Real Soon Now, I'll get around to scanning them and posting them somewhere.
I blush to admit, that was also the ONLY time I've seen the Oyster Boys live. Being in the Air Force has played hell with my ability to scoot around and see them, and as fate would have it (do I detect the machinations of Imaginos here?) they have on about two dozen occasions appeared in places I had just left, or a day or so before I got there. But hey: I'm sure they'll be here in Hawaii before I depart, and THEN...
Another '78 show missing is August 29th, at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee. UFO & British Lions opened.
According to Eric Bloom, after BOC had finished their set, this was their last show with the Lions & UFO for that tour.
So, they had a three-band jam on Maserati GT. In addition to all the members of BOC, Ray Major, Overend Watts & Dale Griffin (tambourine) from British Lions; and Michael Schenker, Pete Way & And Parker of UFO all performed on the song. Andy Parker actually played Albert's drums, while Albert picked up the guitar.
It was a very cool show!!
Regarding the date anomoly with the ticket stub for the 27th August, I can confirm this show was indeed switched to a Tuesday. I remember because I had just started jr. college and had to go home (N.E. Mississippi) from school to meet a friend who was riding up to Memphis with me. We barely made it in time for British Lions. So, yes the date of the show was the 29th, not the 27th.
This was the second time I had seen BOC in 1978. Earlier, in April, I had seen them in Little Rock, Arkansas as they had recorded the LR concert for their live album.
Me and three other buddies drove up to the Mid-South Coliseum from Jackson, MS, some 200 miles away.
British Lions opened, then Michael Shanker and UFO did their thing. We were really into UFO at that time as well.
Blue Oyster Cults laser show was tremendous that night. And for their encore, members of the British Lions and UFO all jammed onstage with Blue Oyster Cult.
Everyone was standing up on their seats with their Bic lighters in hand. I had a silent 8 mm movie camera and filmed several minutes of BOC performance, especially the jam sessions. It is such a hoot to watch today!
We bought BOC t-shirts at the concert and I still have a 1978 BOC shirt today that includes the Memphis date on the back of the shirt.
I remember after the concert we stopped at a rest area in North, MS. As we got out of the car, I found a BOC t-shirt on the ground that someone had dropped. Shortly after leaving the rest area, we encountered a car driving right at us on the wrong side of the Interstate. That was scary!!!!
The 2 Sept 1978 Day on the Green Oakland gig saw the return of Sam Judd to the BOC fold.
This was another of Bill Graham's "Day on the Green" shows. Order of performers: Cheap Trick, AC/DC, Journey, Blue Oyster Cult, Ted Nugent. This was a killer show, especially after Cheap Trick left the stage. It was also the first time I saw BOC live. Needless to say, I was hooked.
Nugent was awesome, and Ronnie Montrose came on stage to jam on his last encore. I remember thinking of the great guitarists I saw that day -- going in, my favorite was Nugent, but coming out it was Buck Dharma.
My first BOC gig was 9/2/1978 at a Day on the Green (DOG#5). BOC smoked (as usual). In particular ETI was awesome because of the special effects (some pedal Buck was using) where the sound came around from behind the crowd. What is that called anyway?
Oh yeah and Ted Nugent headlined. The audience is now deaf...
Query: Derringer is down on the poster - did he play?
You asked if Rick Derringer played on this day. I guarantee you he did not. This was my first BOC concert. I will dig up pictures for you. But, Rick Derringer definitely did not play...
Just seen a photo of Bill Graham standing next to a board with the running order and times for this show, under the heading "A Day in the Jungle":
|2.40-3.50:||Blue Oyster Cult|
I've got a bunch of slides of Zilla from that night... they're even scanned into my puter, just too damn slack to post 'em!!...
That night was the only time he ever breathed fire... after that it was just CO2...
I was mentioning to someone today that I sure wish I had those 6 Tycobrahe cabs with the built in DC300A's that we had to leave there to fit Zilla in the truck and take him back to NYC... we had been carrying those things to fly in the back as quads...
FM productions (who made Zilla) was supposed to ship them to NYC, but we never saw them again...
I was just researching the very 1st BOC show I ever saw and found this link for info. I was 10 years old and my big brother and his friends took me. I was a HUGE fan of AC/DC and BOC even as a 10 year old.
Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any pictures from that show. I would love to see them.
I can still picture Bon Scott chugging from a bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey and tossing the rest into the crowd...
It was such an epic show!!
I was going to technical school in Laramie, Wyoming. My buddies and I went down to Denver to meet up with some other friends for what turned out to be a totally drunken Labor Day weekend.
Red Rocks is cut into the mountain and is acoustically perfect. The warm up band was some group no one had heard of, AC/DC, never seen any group with so much energy, never seen like it since.
BOC was awsome, unbelievable show, we left the show and went south instead of north and didn't figure our screwup until we hit Coloradoo Springs. We turned around and the following day we arrived back to school broke and running below empty.
A weekend 30 years ago I will never forget. I still get a kick out of telling the youngsters that I saw AC/DC as a warm up band.
I was nearly killed by one of the lasers that tried to crush/knock me out of a truck that day hauling them up the last hill (you can't get a semi up the last couple hundred yards, so it all goes on a stake truck for the really steep part)...
There were also some major power supply failures that day too... water leaking between banks of transistors is ALWAYS bad... very colorful (but expensive) pryotechnics though...
Bruce Friedman and I spent several FRANTIC hours replacing DOZENS of TO-3 xistors to get lasers running for that show...
Can't remember if they were 3055 or 36892, but we shucked those things like ears of corn took em all apart, ate dinner, then filled em back up...
Had an assembly line matching and prepping devices with thermal compound and insulators, then sliding them down to where Bruce and I were sitting at the end of the table with one R2D2 unit (that's what we named the power supply racks) each, bolting and connecting rows and rows...
Then sliding them to someone else who was metering for shorts between cases and chassis... found a few too... we rebuilt 3 supplies in about 2 hrs once we got the parts and finished dinner...
Blew TWO of those three all over again one week later in Flint MI... and people wonder why they left those lasers at home.. ungodly expensive to keep 'em lit in those days...
Nevermind rolling a rental truck with a couple of lasers and 2 drivers up to run back to Control Laser (Astronaut Blvd, Orlando Fla) and back out to wherever they could catch up with us...
That was TENS of thousands every time THAT happened... and CBS did NOT pay for it...
But those lasers looked AMAZING going off the mirror balls we hung off the promontories at the back and streaking down into the valley!!...
There was even an article in the paper the next day about beams being visible MILES away... gee that almost sounds illegal... lololol
BOC played at Wings Stadium, Kalamazoo MI on 9-10-78 - British Lions opened, followed by UFO.
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.
I could only find the following listing for this gig in the 8 Sep 1978 edition of the "Battle Creek Enquirer", but it doesn't mention the British Lions:
The Blue Oyster Cult and UFO groups will give a concert at 8 p.m. Sunday at Wings Stadium, Kalamazoo.
If you could let me know what newspaper you saw them mentioned in, I can try and look into it a little further.
I attended the show at the old Flint IMA. Thin Lizzy was in fine form, and very loud. Probably more than the room could handle.
I was in the balcony, center stage. The change-over to BOC was longer than usual, and there was an announcement that they were delayed in arriving from the airport.
I thought the March performance at the Lansing Civic Arena was much better.
I have a single source for listing this gig - this listing from the 07 Sep 1978 edition of "The Journal Times"
Tuesday, Sept 12
Concert: Blue Oyster Cult. International Amphitheater, 43rd and Halsted, Chicago. Admission.
Well, I'm glad there was "Admission," otherwise the whole exercise would be pretty pointless...
Anyway, as usual, if anybody can help with more information on this one, I'd be grateful.
BTW: there's long been an internet rumour that UFO supported BOC at this venue and that's where the majority of "Strangers in the Night" was recorded... however, the problem with that idea is that it's bollocks - the relevant UFO gig was the following month on 13 Oct 1978, and BOC didn't play it anyway - more info here...
A release date of Wednesday 13 September 1978 is given on the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) website, and as that is a trusted source, I can have some degree of faith that it is accurate.
For more details on this record, please visit the Blue Oyster Cult Songatorium page for this recording...
About that 9-27-78 show at wallace civic center in Fitchburg, MA --- i remember it being a big deal, because the venue never hosted rock shows, and it was very well promoted --- i'd bet anything they didn't play there more than once, and i saw this show...
The reason i mention it, i'm certain the opener was savoy brown, not thin lizzy (!) --- i had seen lizzy open for queen a year or so before, savoy were completely out of their element and their new record (with a song actually called "rock'n'roll man") was awful, thay tanked.
OK - if Joe's right, Savoy Brown opened this show - anybody know for sure?
Incidentally, neither this gig nor the following gig, appears in Ken Welch's Hall Reports or Tour Itineries... the dates 14 Sept-28 Sept are described as "off"....
Savoy Brown did indeed open that show for BOC. In fact it was advertised as Kim Simmond's Savoy Brown. Like Joe Coughlin mentions, it was a heavily promoted show with full page ads in the Boston Phoenix. The Wallace Civic Center ranks as the worst and strangest venue I've seen BOC at during their prime years.
The place was part gymnasium and part auditorium. Overall it was a dump! The acoustics were terrible. Could be why Savoy Brown didn't sound so hot. Kim Simmonds did have a couple tasty licks that night though.They were a trio and the overall result was fair at best. Not the Savoy Brown of the past.
This is the only BOC show I've ever been at where Buck and Co. had what I would call an off night, though they pulled it off in the end. Buck appeared flustered at times and they sounded out of sync at least 3 or 4 times. Buck even lit up a cigarette on stage and was smoking, putting the cig in the fret board when playing. That is the only time I've ever seen Buck do that!
Aside from the toned down laser light show and a bit of fog machine, this was the least amount of pyrotechnics I had seen at a BOC show. There were no flash pots and sparkler jets most likely due to fire code issues. The stage had a low ceiling and the curtains were close to the bands equipment.
At JB's Theater in July of 1986, I was back stage talking with Buck and Eric. That must have been the only time they played Fitchburg, like Joe Coughlin mentions, because they had a hard time recalling the venue. But I'll never forget that show. It showed me that yes, my Rock and Roll Heroes are human. I've seen countless BOC shows since then and have not encountered anything less than amazing!
Did this gig occur? As mentioned above, this gig does not appear in Ken Welch's Hall Reports or Tour Itineries...
I ran across your website while looking for a set list for AC/DC on this date.
I can confirm that yes, it did occur. I was at the concert. The laser show was amazing. I will search my attic and see if I can find a ticket stub to scan and send you.
I was at that show.... surreal and amazing BOC performance
Never forget Angus Young coming up to the front row doing his head banging thing... only to see two long snot trails coming from his nostrils, bouncing up and down too
maybe he had a cold, or did some lines who knows... but it was disgusting, and the whole front row gave him the finger for the whole song...
I've seen AC/DC a few times, and you quickly learned to avoid sitting anywhere within reach of Angus Young's gyrating nasal cavity - "happy trails" they definitely weren't...
Just spare a thought for the poor sod whose job it was to get those blazers cleaned each night...
This was my first concert in Rochester NY. Just started college there and blew off all my classes that day to make sure I was first one in the building.
Got there around 11am and walked around back to watch the roadies unload the trucks. As me and my friend were standing there Eric Bloom rides up on his Harley! No shit. Got his autograph. Told us to enjoy show.
Around 6 pm they opened up the gates. My buddy and I sprinted to the floor and got right up front dead center.
ACDC came on first and blew the roof off the place. Angus and Bon in their prime.
Thin Lizzy was next, and Phil Lynott actually took a couple of hits off a joint we were smoking. He goes "Good Shit" to 15,000 people. Haha.
Lastly was BOC. By this time I was pretty fucked up so don't remember all the songs, but needless to say they rocked hard. Buck was standing over me most of the night and making great eye contact while he was blazing away.
Will never forget this concert. One of the best ever.
Here's a review of this gig by Lester Bangs which appeared in the 9 Oct 1978 edition of "The Village Voice":
One Enchanted Evening
By Lester Bangs
"Behind the stage or but the back." "Behind the stage or but the back? Yeah, "Behind the stage or but the back."
These telling words rang out from the first cut on Blue Oyster Cult's first album. They were meant to describe something about Altamont, but even though the album remains a classic these seven years later, I still don't think they evoke anything except certain unfortunate facets of the Blue Oyster Cult's career of heavy aluminum marketed with a heavier dose of some schlep's unutterably corny idea of evil: this band's menace has always been pure Spam, and combined with their self-conscious obsession with technology has seriously undercut the real strength and beauty of their music.
Never stopped 'em from being a great live act, though - at least that was what I thought up through the last time I saw them four years ago. Since then they've added lasers - which might as well cause retinal damage if they don't, for all the good they'll ever do rock 'n' roll - and released two abysmal live albums. If you want to hear a document of the carnarge the Cult are capable of live, search out a copy of the 12-inch promotional EP they did for Columbia in 1972 (available on bootleg and at collectors' conventions); if you want to hear one of the most putrid live albums ever by a great rock band, go ahead and buy their new Some Enchanted Evening: the mix and song selection are terrible, Eric Bloom asks Atlanta whether they're ready to rock 'n' roll (answer: maybe), "Kick Out the Jams" gets revived for quick merciless killing, cover art the stupidest yet.
That and their previous double live atrocity are particularly irritating since these guys, however silly some of the conceptual baggage on their albums might have been, have been one of the hardest-working live groups on the '70s road - I mean, you can empathize with the dues they've paid till you get hit in the face with the contemptuous dogshit they're actually purveying. Thus you can imagine with what expectations I marched Palladium-ward to catch the beams and Bloom last Friday night. By the time they came on the audience was equally sanguine, having been subjected to around three hours wait because of a brokedown equipment truck.
Me, I wish the fucking truck had totaled itself, because its no-show created a state of chaos out of which the Cult pulled with enough nervous moxie to remind us of the great band they've always been beneath the silver flake. No lasers, equipment borrowed from the Dictators and openers Thin Lizzy - I don't know how much they played off of sheer frustration and how much they felt the pressure of an audience yelling you suck over and over at their first NYC gig in some time, and I don't care: I just feel lucky to have heard the cascades of ideas tumbling out of Donald Roeser's guitar, he looking for all the world like an unctuous Greek waiter as he murmured embarrassed thank yous at the audience's adulatory roars; to see Allen Lanier having the time of his life; to Mark Farner routine, and realize it made no difference whatsoever. Because the Cult are not cool, and never have been - my date, no mean guitar-slinger herself, marveled at Roeser and asked: "How come I've never heard of this guy before?" "Because of the way he looks," I replied. This night, for at least once again, the midgets rode the stars.
To just bounce that light fantastic on the edge of my seat, thinking over and over again "No bullshit, no bullshit, no bullshit!" forgetting what techno-conceptual mung this band have mired themselves in, was so refreshing that I came away a reconfirmed believer not only in them but in the kind of rock'n'roll they perfected. But that was Friday. Saturday two friends went; I asked them to call me when they got out, and they did. They said the lasers were back in place, the music was awful, and they felt like shooting Sandy Pearlman and the band with him. Maybe the Cult need to work off of adversity to really cook; I'm simply glad to have caught them on one night when they weren't just goin' through the motions.
This show was the night the BOC equipment truck broke down in upstate New York. BOC wound up using Thin Lizzy's gear for the show.
Actually E-Saurus, that was our first inclination, but since Lizzy flatly refused to let us use any of their stuff (they were pissed cause we hadn't let them use their big ass backdrop sign... nowhere to put it unless we took ours down... not gonna happen... we let 'em use it that night though..)
So we ordered up everything we needed from SIR (Studio Instrument Rentals) NYC is a great place to come up missing your gear... you can pick up a phone and replace everything but the lasers and have it delivered... hell we could probably have gotten some rented lasers if there with a little more time...
just about the time we got the SIR gear in place, our truck showed up and after a brief round of fisticuffs between our production manager and the lame ass driver (he didn't breakdown... he had picked up a bimbo (nickname Qualuudicus) the night before in Rochester and stopped on the side of the road and "slept" (see above nickname) and then managed to sleep all day before waking up too far away from the city to make it on time...
So we actually ended up doing that gig on our own gear and I believe we even got lasers up and running... you'd remember whether you saw them or not... they were in the same truck with the band gear...
That's the way I remember that deal goin down... Just trying to download this hard drive I call a brain before the damn thing crashes for good...
Although Sam says that, in the end, BOC used their own gear for this gig, Joe has previously posted on FB his thanks to Phil Lynott "for loaning me your bass that one time our equipment truck was late. Love ya, dude." In light of that, it looks like some gear at least was loaned to BOC...
No lasers Friday night but everything was up and running Saturday night.
I remember Eric announcing to the crowd the story of how the equipment truck broke down, and Thin Lizzy was nice enough to loan BOC some gear. Ahh show business, don't always believe what the stars say, you get the real story from the crew. Thanks Sam!
BOC played for 3 nights at the Palladium. I saw them on the first night. Apparently their equipment trucks were lost in transit and they had to play with support act Thin Lizzy's gear and to my immense disappointment - no lasers! Because of the truck problem the gig was many many hours late getting started.
I had seen Lizzy many times before and I didn't pay too much attention to their set. Garry Moore had replaced Brian Robertson and I think they had a stand-in drummer who went down very badly with the crowd. In fact Lizzy went down so badly that Eric Bloom came out on stage during their last number to sing along with them and try to rev-up the crowd. Phil was coolness personified as always and came out with the usual "would any of the girls like some more Irish in them?" rap. I also remember him covering the whole stage and walking in front of the PA
I was not familiar with any of BOC albums when I went to this gig but I liked very much what I had read about them and of course wanted to see some LASERS, man!
Here's what I can remember of the show:
I remember Eric at one stage while introducing a song, thanked Lizzy for the use of their gear and said something like "I'm not sure I can play this song without my Stun Guitar but I'll do my best." You have to laugh in retrospect with what we all know now about Eric's guitar playing prowess.
I was really impressed at how totally tight and professional BOC's playing was. They were outstanding from that point of view.
I was a bit puzzled by some of Eric's kind of hammy and corny arm gestures while singing - my perception was that he was trying to do some Frank Sinatra moves or something.
I remember Eric and Buck (?) doing a kind of lockstep duckwalk across the stage together which was pretty cool.
I remember Buck being dressed in a sort of proto-Miami Vice style outfit with a jacket and extremely baggy pants - this seemed like a very exotic fashion statement to me at the time - LOL
Highlight of the show for me was that at the climatic moment of Astronomy (I was familiar with that song for some reason) they suddenly turned off all the lights except for a huge mirror ball and the room was full of stars.
Oh, yeah - ASTRONOMMYYYYYYYYYY - woohoo!
The other thing I remember is the guy sitting in front of us turning around and giving us his squeegee bottle thing with a joint in it. These were common in NYC in those days - I think they were called Blasters or something. We were already well blasted of course but it would have been rude to refuse...
My final memory is that because the show was running so late I left before it was over and went home because I had to get up for work the next day - WTF was I thinking of???
A few weeks later I bought "On your feet on your knees" and the rest is history. The next time I saw BOC was London 2004.
I went to all three of the Palladium shows with Thin Lizzy. The first night, the band had an accident en route and the show started late. The Saturday show I know for sure they did Astronomy, probably ME262 and I think Kick Out The Jams. Astronomy was great.
I saw Blue Oyster Cult, Thin Lizzy and The Dictators at The Palladium, Late 78/Early 79, I'm really not too sure, as part of a three night stand. The Dictators split a few weeks before the show, so Thin Lizzy picked up the slack and decided to give BOC a run for the money, which they did as anyone who has ever see Phil Lynott & Co. can attest.
All I can say is never count out the Cult at the Academy of Music/Palladium (I believe the space is now a dorm for New York University).
I was attending Fordham University in The Bronx as a freshman that year. I saw BOC at the Palladium Theatre in NYC in late December; they wore tuxes in honor of New Years Eve, so it had to be close to the end of the month.
Thin Lizzy opened the set, and then Eric came on stage and announced that the truck carrying BOC's equipment had an accident on Long Island, and that there was going to be a delay as the band was going to use the equipment of Thin Lizzy for the show. I remember Albert sitting on a stool as a team of roadies literally built a drum kit around him.
Without lasers, lights etc, the Band had to rely on their musical skills, and they did not disappoint. The one enduring image I have of the show is Buck, clad in a black tux, tightrope walking along the edge of the stage as he hammered away at a solo.
Fri/Sept 29/1978 The Palladium, NYC, NY... I was an Art student attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn at the time... it was the third time I saw BOC in the course of a year/year and half.
My memory is Thin Lizzy opened and it was a very disappointing set, it got announced that they had a replacement drummer... their original drummer was sick and they had a very short/disappointing set...
As far as BOC went they were great and I do remember some lasers... specifically during Godzilla I remember lasers on some sort of cheesecloth above the stage/lasers from Eric's wrists (this may be a memory from other shows) and I also remember the mirror ball during Astronomy...
My 2nd BOC show, and believe it or not, I was more psyched to see the Dictators, who had just broken up/fired Manitoba and Teeter. Bloodbrothers had just come out and was an amazing record.
They almost played these dates as the Rhythym Dukes, with Tish and Snooky and Mel Allen on drums. Of course, back in those days, you never found anything out until you were at the show!
Thin Lizzy went a long way to ease my pain. I also sacrificed my Godzilla model that night, which I had made a cutout logo guitar for, and put him onstage, where he sat until song's end! BOC had a great laser show, aiming thru cheesecloth and projecting related graphics, like Zilla stamping around and UFOs during ETI.
BOC had gotten a lot more polished in just a few short months, and the set had changed to include Kick Out The Jams and We Gotta Get Out Of This Place.
What happened in November? If you know, please let me ...
What happened in December? If you know, please let me ...
I think also that these date(s) were played in 1978 - if you have any info, please let me know:
I saw them back in 78 at Phoenix Symphony Hall. UFO opened up.
What a great show. Lasers and all.
Postscript: Looking at your lists, my "78" memory may have been 77 - It was at the Civic Hall in Phoenix - maybe the Exhibition Hall listed on your site (14 November 1977). I remember UFO opened. I remember seeing them at an earlier date at veterens memorial colisieum.
They closed with "Born to be Wild" and crossed the guitars in the finale. I remember that, because I went out shortly after that and bought a guitar!
Well, the November 77 gig was with Black Oak and Head East, so if UFO opened the gig you saw, then it wouldn't have been that one.
1978 still looks favourite for the "unknown" Phoenix show you saw - especially as BOC played a number of gigs with UFO during this year...