1979 is the year Blue Oyster Cult began to lose the plot when they released "Mirrors" - just my opinion, I hasten to add. I recall waiting with such anticipation for this record and then when I eventually got it on the day of release, even now I can still feel the bitter disappointment...
Anyway, that's hardly an objective assessment, and I should mention that within a year, they'd got back into the groove with "Cultosaurus Erectus" so all's well that ends well...
In May, BOC hit Japan for the first time - Gojira!!! - and Hawaii saw the last of the laser shows. Crippling running expenses and new Federal regulations made it all but impossible to continue with them.
Tours with Ian Hunter and Rainbow preceded another trip to the UK in support of "Mirrors" but - over here at least - attendances were generally down. :-(
This page, as with a great part of the rest of the site, would not have been possible without the help of ex-BOC roadie, Sam Judd, and it's his notes which inform many of the facts contained herein, as well as BOC pyrotechnician, Ken Welch, who has kindly sent along various gig itineries etc for this year...
Thanks also must go to Bolle Gregmar, for supplying a number of the setlists featured on this page...
Have you got anything to contribute to this page? Reviews, missing info, ticket stubs, posters etc etc - if so, let me .
What happened in January? If you know, please let me ...
I was at the 2/15 show, and they played over 2 hours. I remember they opened with Stairway to the Stars. I got 2 Spectres picks, a Buck pick and string, and the lyrics to Lonely Teardrops off the keyboards, which one of the roadies got signed for me. I wish I remembered more of the show. It was great to see BOC in a small dive. I was only 17 and snuck in:)
Alexander's 2/14-15/79 were the only shows I know of with "TNT" and "Shot in the Dark". I was there but have no tape, actually saw the BOC roadies bust a guy taping during the encores, so they might have it;)
They also played "Lonely Teardrops" that night. I used to get smiles and double takes from Buck and Joe by asking to hear Gun and TNT again for years! At Alexanders, Buck actually called TNT "Tough N' Tender", I don't know if that's the full title.
When the show happened, I remember being kind of bummed with all the new songs I didn't know. It was only later the I realized the historic significance of those shows. I still have my T shirt!
This was my 2nd BOC show. I was in the 2nd or 3rd row, and took pics but they didnt come out, since they wouldn't let you use a flash. Truly awesome night.
Funny about that song Gun, I remember talking to Helen about it years later, and she told me they were her lyrics.
I remember asking a roadie about the lasers, and he told me they could not use them in such a small place, and they needed a 6" water main to cool the lasers. I would say Alexander's held less than 500 people. I had tried to see them in another small joint, the Ocean Ice Palace in 1977, but they cancelled. My buddy went to the 2/14 show, I'll try to see if he remembers any more. I had 2 shirts, and sold the other for over $100 on Ebay. I never saw them in a club again until the June 1981 weekend, where I saw them and David Roter
BTW: a guy named Kenn Kweder opened the show. He was a guy from Philly with a punk band called the Secret Kids, but for some reason he was booked as solo acoustic. God did he suck.
Thankfully, the patient BOC fans rallied, and began tossing anything they could find, starting with ice and ciggy butts, until someone hit him in the head with a bottle, knocking off his sunglasses and ending the torture.
Benefit for Kampuchean refugees...
the kampuchea benefit at the paladium 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.
when meat was playing eric's cult logo sg on stage during the bat out of hell set, he was drinking heineken out of the bottle at the same time and spilling beer on the guitar. he also kept banging it against the mike stand. he was so caught up in the performance.
eventually, a cult roadie came out and removed the guitar from him. very happy to come across your site and really am pleased i would be able to contribute.
This great gig was actually two great gigs. There was an 8:00 show and a Midnight show. In 1979 it was pretty much anything goes at the Palladium on 14th and 3rd Ave., as long as you weren't hurting anyone.
The sets were identical and B.O.C. were great, even though the sets were a little short.
There were two shows for kampuchea - the stub above is for 9:00, my ticket was for 11:59...
There was different banter at the end of songs and some changes in Bucks solos, but both setlists were identical.
Comedian Bruce Baum opened the show, as I remember... my first BOC show.
Here's a preview for this gig from the 15 Mar 1979 edition of the "Bay Area Reporter", clearly showing that there was no intention of this being a "secret" gig for the 'hardcore' only:
SOFT WHITE UNDERBELLY: The "thinking man's heavy metal band," The Blue Oyster Cult, are readying their next LP and have scheduled a few club dates under their original monicker. The secret was never intended to be well kept it the ticket price is any indication.
A rare chance to see this hilarious team up close. (Old Waldorf March 17 8:30 & 11:00 $9.50 adv. $10.50 door)
Hilarious...? What'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis...?
There was a gig at The Starwood, LA in 1979 - it had to be in 1979 because my oldest boy was just a few months old :)
The ticket was a hand-written deal because I bought it before they were printed :) I'd never seen one before or since! They were printed in duplicate, no-carbon paper style (which was a newer technology in those days) with the venue name at the top and lines to fill out for the date, time, band and signature. I know there was one left over from the group of twenty or so folks that went, but I don't remember who ended up with it.
I remember everyone told me I was crazy, that BOC didn't do club gigs back then. But Sam confirmed it for me on the board:)
Well, BOC were in LA in March recording Mirrors and the Starwood and the Old Waldorf shows would seem to be shows where they could try out new material, much like they did at Alexanders in February.
As for me thinking the date is 19th March, well, I did see part of a sample sentence of an article from Wednesday 21 March 1979 issue of the LA Times entitled "At the Starwood: Underbelly by Any Other Name" which said: "Previous Blue Oyster Cult performances have been at venues like the Forum and Anaheim Stadium - quite a difference)." Another search brought up another sentence from the same issue: "The worst-kept secret of this past month on the local rock scene was that the Soft White Underbelly, Monday night's attraction at the Starwood, was actually... "
The Monday before the Wednesday 21st March was therefore the 19th March.
By the way - the reason I was only able to see parts of a sentence is that the sodding LA Times is "Pay-For-Effing-View"!! Four bastard dollars to see the rest of the article!! They can frig off!!
NB: I notice on the offical BOC site, they mention that Ray Manzarek joined BOC onstage at the Starwood for "Roadhouse Blues", but give the date as "1978", which is almost certainly incorrect.
There were two shows that night. I went to both. They played under the Soft White Underbelly name.
What I do remember: We got there early and realized there was two shows. My buddy Walt found a way for us to sneak in.
What I think I remember: I think Robby Krieger and/or Ray Manzarek played during an Encore, but I wouldn't swear to it.
Pretty sure Eric Bloom rode a Harley onto the stage for the encore...
Just saw this boc page... very cool. As far as the SWU show @ Starwood '79, Robby Krieger played with them on Roadhouse Blues/Love Me 2 Times and maybe more.
I went down to purchsse tix @ Starwood and purchased 12-14 tix for me & friends. The guy wanted to know if I was a scalper. No, just had a bunch of friends that were BOC fans. Awesome show!!.
1st BOC show I saw was @ Long Beach Arena '75 with Ted Nugent (opening) & Kansas (2nd band - Masque tour) Ted was in a tank! In the parking lot at Long Beach. Who's the guy In tank? Ted Nugent... this Is right when his 1st lp came out so didnt know him pre-show.
Ray Manzarek came out at another LA gig, prob LA Sports Arena
Click here to see a website listing the Bottom Line gigs for 1979 and which confirms this show as a Soft White Underbelly gig...
It also mentions Ted Nugent jammed with them. Anecdotally, I've heard that this was a two-set show but this site doesn't refer to 2 sets...
The NME once gave a quote from Ted Nugent that mentioned this gig:
"So I jammed all night and then the next night we went to New York, and I jammed with Soft White Underbelly, alias the Blue Oyster Cult, who were playing at The Bottom Line.
And there's Buck Dharma there bumping into my kneecaps he's so huge... I get on stage and start jamming, and there I am jamming away and my amp packs up - "is this a conspiracy?", I think
So I have this fucked-up amp and up comes little Buck, sees what's happening and fuck if he doesn't plug me into his amp. Chivalry is not dead!"
Hmmm... "little Buck" was "bumping into your kneecaps" was he, because "he's so huge" eh? You cheeky F*&$££@@KKKKER!!... Buck's got more ability in his little finger than you have in your entire bear-cloth covered frame, you obnoxious arse!! Yes, "Stranglehold" is a great song, but what good is that if you're such a colossal knob...?
They definitely played this date. The Bottom Line only held about 300-400, and they would clear out the room in between sets. This was a record industry hangout and most tickets were comped.
The April 23rd 1979 gig at My Father's Place was billed as a SWU show to premiere Mirrors - there was no opening act...
SWU played here in 1979.
I don't recall the exact date, but I can verify the year as it occurred while I was a student at SUNY-Stony Brook which ended in May of that year.
My name is Robert Riggs and I was privileged to see BOC in 1979 in Hawaii.
The first night sold out and we didnt get tickets. But we were able to hop the wall due to lax security.
They were only scheduled for one concert but because the venue was so small and sold out so fast they did an additional concert the next night.
And I did purchase tickets for that show.
May 13,1979 was the last BOC Laser show... the end of an era... a fantastic outdoor show in Hawaii...
It was the second night of an outdoor gig we did at the University of Hawaii (not Aloha Stadium) on the way back to the US from Japan...
The lasers drew patterns on the clouds over Wakiki beach... (after Moon Mullins & I spent part of a day with the FAA, explaining how they needed to issue an advisory to pilots climbing out of Honolulu airport to not look directly down the beams if they saw strange lights in the cockpit... (it would have "dazzled" their eyes and they wouldn't have been able to see their instruments for a bit as their eyes adjusted to the low light of the cockpit) )...
Needless to say the FAA weren't very thrilled to allow this (but they did)... as I watched those planes continuously flying thru those beams, I've wondered til this day just how cool did that look for those passengers who saw it...
This was an amazing night, foreigner was the opening band, boc had just released godzilla, and we were in a amphitheater, a small one. we sat in the grass in the front of the stage, a bunch of sailors fresh from the orient, the drag queen looking foreigner guys played a little too long and the guys from boc took exception. an ass kicking ensued. instruments were broken and blood was drawn.
The little guy from boc came out in a wife beater or sleeveless tee, blood dripping from his mouth, and said these words that i can see every time I tell this story. he said "we just came back from the orient, and we had a real good time, but it is verrry nice to be back in the states, we missed it a lot, but the thing we missed the most was those LARGE AMERICAN BREASTS", the place went wild (most of us had recently been over there so we knew)...
The laser show was most impressive, beach balls were flying everywhere, as well as Frisbees (glowers) drunken sailors were abundant. i was thinking when we went in that we were going to be crushed like the people at the who concert that were killed by the crowd entering the concert at the time, but all seemed to make it ok.
It was partly cloudy, and an overall super night. the band made three ovations after they had left the stage, and seemed to want to play all night, we never quit yelling to them to stop. god it was a great night.
NOPE... didn't happen... if there was any opener it was a local band and I don't think there was one at all!! Also, BOC hadn't just released Godzilla - that had been 2 albums and 2 years earlier...
Regarding the "breasts" remark onstage - one of the band members actually DID say that (I actually believe it was Bloom), cause I remember Lanier running over to tell me that he was fucking appalled... I believe Bloom even had said that at a couple of the Jap shows... he was mimicking the line that Steve Martin had made famous a year or 2 earlier on Sat Nite Live while doing one of his appearances as one of the foreign "Festrunk Brothers" (2 WILD & CRAZY GUYS [ SNL transcript link ]) with Danny Ackroyd he commented on American girls with their "Big American Breasts" and it became a buzz phrase for a while...
Incidentally, those frisbees were the bane of the roadies existence at outdoor shows... each and everyone that ever came on stage was cut in half by either Reyer or myself with our trust Buck Knives and tossed back into the crowd - those things can do an amazing amount of damage to stage gear, knocking guits off stands, taking knobs off synths... etc...
The promoter for this gig was JFL & Avalon, as per ticket stub I've sent (see above).
Andrew Amphitheatre is on the campus of the University of Hawaii and is an open-air venue that is very small with not a bad seat in the house.
I remember it being a fantastic rocking show under a gorgeous moonlit Hawaiian sky. It was a high energy show from beginning to end and I remember Godzilla was the song that really got the crowd pumped.
Regarding the presence of a support act - I can't say for certain but I don't think there was.
I saw BOC the year before in a much bigger venue in Oakland, California CA at the Day on the Green concert along with 4 other big name bands including AC/DC with Bon Scott.
I've been going to concerts since I was eight years old with my first concert being in February 1969 at the Bushnell Memorial in Hartford, CT to see 3 Dog Night but no stubbie for that one.
The oldest stub I have is from a 1974 Deep Purple/Aerosmith concert at Dillon Stadium in Hartford, CT. I've got two concerts coming up soon - Joe Walsh in Salem, OR later this month and Devo/Blondie in Ridgefield, WA in September.
The concert experience has changed a lot over the years and I wish they were more like they were in the 70's but I still enjoy going because I love music!
Hopefully BOC makes there way around here so I can see them again too!
I just learned that was their last laser show. WOW! It was misty with just a touch of rain and since it was an outside amphitheater, we were subjects to an incredible show.
The mist amplified the lasers and made them intensely visible as the lasers shot into the sky!
I have seen a few laser shows and nothing compared to the one I saw that night. Kudos to BOC!
Not only for the lasers but because they gave us an extra show that was not scheduled so the people who couldnt get tickets the first night were able to see them the second night.
They were not just about the band, they were about the fans!!!!
I was 16 and now I'm 56, 40 years ago and I have never forgotten that show or BOC for what they did for their fans.
I initially had no venue listed for this gig, but luckily, I came across a listing and box ad in the Friday, May 11, 1979 edition of the "The Sioux City Journal":
Blue Oyster Cult
Good Seats still available
Thursday, May 17, 8 p.m.
Sioux City Municipal Auditorium
Tickets: $7.00 advance - $8.00 day of show
I was on that tour (and 80 & 81) for the lighting company See Factor. This gig isn't likely because we loaded into Cedar Rapids a day early so the technical bugs of a major tour could be worked out and the band could have a night of rehearsal.
Cedar Rapids was the first gig that year with full touring production instead of local companies.
That roadie is wrong. The Friday May 18, 1979 gig did happen. The Riverside Arena in Austin is a small venue and that would fit into the aspect of getting the "bugs" out before engaging in the real world tour. The show was the usual show because I saw them again that fall in Minneapolis (Oct. 26, 1979) and the set list was almost identical, including the fact that they opened both shows with Dr. Music.
I do have a ticket stub from that May 18th show but I'd have to tear my place apart to find it. But take my word for it.... the show did exist as does my stub. If I ever run across it, I'd be more than happy to scan it and send it to you..
As for my memories, I was only 15 then and got extremely drunk during the course of the show. I remember that it was a general admission show. The other reason that I remember this gig being on Friday, May 18 was that I was supposed to go see The Charlie Daniels Band the following night (Saturday May 19) as the 19th of May was my 16th birthday. Due to getting wasted at the BOC show, my mother didn't let me go see the CDB the next night.
Very vivid memories on this one...
We flew straight from Japan to Sioux City... we were there for several days of rehearsal in fact... I met Jonathan Wyman and Ward Carlyle for the first time during those rehearsals... I have some very sharp memories of this period as my wife made one of her very rare appearances on the road when she flew out to meet me there in Sioux City, the time I spent in Japan was the longest time we had been apart since we were married!!... the airline luggage tag from Sioux City (SUX) is hanging over with all my stage passes as I type... have that one and Pensacola (PNS)...
When I picked her up at the airport (a VERY small affair MILES from the bustling metropolis of Sioux City), there was a guy wandering around out front with a See Factor shirt on, looking in vain for anything resembling a taxi... so I sussed him for a lampie and turned out he was George Guido, who I knew was the BOC rigger for See Factor, but I'd never actually met him before either... we did at least 2 days of full rehearsal at Sioux City... then the tour started for real... very epic time for me as this was actually the first time I had ever been on a Tour Bus for a tour... Margot even brought me out my own sheets, pillow and quilt from home as I'm very allergic to most fabrics...
And I can also verify that Austin was the first show after Sioux city... VERY vivid memories of the "division of labor" that was defined at the load out there... I had included in my deal with the band that I would not be working in trucks anymore... this had not been explained to the rest of the crew.. this was also Joe Lauro's first tour with the band as the dressing room/guitar prep guy (other than Japan - he had been an assistant to the laser tech on the last tour and the LOW man on the totem pole) and he apparently had the same deal... made for some very confrontational moments as there was a sort of an insurrection amongst the rest of the crew after that show in Austin... it was all later sussed on the bus and the pre-agreed deals stood... but before the tour was over, I was back working in trucks as was Joe.. just in the interests of getting it done that much faster... the BOC gear load out had gotten MUCH easier when those lasers went back to NYC from Hawaii!!... even with all the cack we still had, we were done working over an hour (or more depending on the rigging) before those poor lighting types... so it was dead easy for us...
I can also confirm that the next gig after Austin was Cedar Rapids... where I have a hilarious memory of stage Manager Dave Laing crashing a fork lift into one of the few support pillars anywhere in the building!!!
At one time I could have told you everyone on that tour, but damned if I can say just who all was on that tour for See Factor... but I KNOW that Jonathan, Ward Carlyle, my buddy Ford Bieser (his first See Factor tour) and George Guido... if there was somebody else I'm forgetting... they had a Green Bus (Downey was very skeered to ride on it, as green cars have always been seen as "Bad Luck" in racing circles, luckily he was riding our bus) named Diablo, with a driver that used to be a singer with the Thrasher Brothers...
Kenny Welch was the Pyro guy (and my room mate in hotels when Margot wasn't there)
Audio Analysts (from Toronto eh) was the PA company, we eventually burned that PA up on the side of the road 14 June on the way to Mobile from Dothan (replaced temporarily with Cameroun Sound from Miami)...
T-shirt guys were Danny O'Connor (still Rick Downey's best friend, married Robert Culp's daughter, he runs a graphic arts house in Detroit and she does clothes for R&R bands like Todd Rundgren... Rick met Danny on a Todd tour) and Mark (Buddah) Hannis (RIP), a friend of Danny's from Detroit...
This swing ended with the make-up date in Mobile on 21 June... we re-convened with TASCO sound on the job in Pokeepsie NY on 15 July for several days of full up rehearsals with the first show on 19 July...
Hey, Jonathan might have this deal mixed up with 1983 when we did in fact convene a few days early in Cedar Rapids Iowa for some rehearsing before starting tour there..
Sam has it right. I was forgetting that the rehearsal spot (I thought it was Cedar Rapids, how could I forget SUX) didn't include an actual gig, which we all thought was kind of a waste.
And JT MacDonald was the other See Factor employee on that tour, who would reappear in 1980 as LD for Sabbath on Black and Blue and then again in 1981 as the replacement LD for BOC when Rick Downey, became the replacement drummer.
Note the poster above is still advertising a laser show - despite the fact that they were now gone for good...
Here's a review of this show from the May 21, 1979, issue of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, which claimed that the equipment truck carrying BOC's lasers was involved in an accident during the week prior and that the lasers were in New York to be repaired - but, despite the lack of lasers, the band still gave a strong performance.
Blue Oyster Cult Delivered, But Equipment Truck Didn't
By Larry Lockhart
Gazette staff writer
Anyone arriving at the Five Seasons Center expecting to see a laser show Saturday night as part of the Blue Oyster Cult rock concert was disappointed. A truck carrying the group's lasers was involved in an accident last week, according to Five Seasons Center manager Mike Gebauer, and the laser equipment was sent to New York for repairs.
Blue Oyster Cult performed two concert dates prior to their appearance here without the lasers. The group was hopeful that new equipment would arrive in time for Saturday's performance, but Gebauer said his staff was notified the day of the concert that the lasers wouldn't be available.
The crowd - estimated at 7,500 - voiced some disapproval when told there would be no laser show, but Gebauer said only 49 persons took advantage of an offer for a refund. Few of those who remained seemed disappointed with the performance as Blue Oyster Cult came on strong with its heavy-metal sound.
To the sides of the arena the sound was cluttered, but from straight on it was loud and clear. Despite the absence of the lasers, the lighting effects were sometimes spectacular with good use of the stage lights, spotlights and, occasionally, strobes.
Alternate strobes were used to an eerie effect during an extended solo by drummer Albert Bouchard in a "Godzilla" medley. The best-received special effects were the smoke screen and sparkler-like fireworks saved for the finale, a hard-pounding rendition of Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild," the theme song from the movie "Easy Rider."
Eric Bloom, who took turns at lead vocals, guitar and keyboards, and Donald Roeser, who handles lead guitar, produced some unusual high pitches by rubbing the strings of their guitars together. Other members of the group are Joe Bouchard on bass and vocals and Allen Lanier on keyboards and guitar.
Several of the songs were from an album the Cult is about to release on the Columbia label. Like everything else they played, the new tunes were hard-driving, a chorus of screaming guitars. Not much variety, but a lot of the heavy-metal sound the audience seemed crazy about.
The preliminary act was Brownsville, a hard-rock group formerly known as Brownsville Station, which was on the top 40 charts a few years ago with the single "Smoking in the Boys Room." Like the Cult, Brownsville's sound never lets up from frantically-paced rock 'n' roll.
That's an interesting review - it illustrates the sort of excuses BOC's management were putting out at the time to promoters and venues as to why - despite being heavily promoted and advertised as such - there would be no lasers at the shows from that point onwards...
I have a BOC gig poster for a show that is not listed in the database on either of your sites. The poster is from Boise, Idaho and shows a date of May 24th, but no year.
I lived in Boise from early 1979 to early 1980, so I'm fairly certain that this poster is from 1979. If I understand correctly, the "Laser Tour", which is featured prominently on the poster, occurred in '79.
Also, I did not attend this show, so I don't know with 100% certainty that it actually occurred.
1979 seems pretty definite - same promoter and poster layout as the 19 May Cedar Rapids poster.
Obviously, the next thing to do is to find someone who actually went to the gig to show that it definitely took place.
Can anyone help?
Yes that show happened, i was a dj for kbsu that year, did midnight to 4.
The fairgrounds only held 4500 and it was packed, dont remember who opened, my ears rang for 4 days, it was the best, ive seen boc 35 times.
The other band on the bill was Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush. They were actually a 4 piece band for this gig with Franks brother playing rhythm guitar. I recall they did "I'm A King Bee” and Frank sang " you can eat your pork and beans, but I have ate some pussy like no mans ever seen” and the crowd went crazy. The bass player for the band had some groovy hippy boots on with lots of fur.
They opened with "A New Rock N' Roll” off the Child of the Novelty album.
BOC was great and did the disco ball light show during "The Great Sun Jester”.
I have the ticket stub, I'll scan it and send it at some point. Thanks for having this site.
It was in some sort of school gym kind of place. And it was definitely Mahogany Rush as the opener.
I was at school in Moscow (Idaho) during the school year then, and remembered being home in Coeur d alene when my friends and I heard on the radio the Cult were playing Missoula.
We drove over that very day. I had thought it was during summer vacation, but late May 79 could have been the date...
I found a review of this gig in the 30 May 1979 edition of the "The Hellgate Lance":
Blue Oyster Cult: Good show
By Karen Moulding, Editorials Editor
The crowd at the Blue Oyster Cult concert last Friday was larger and younger than the crowd had been at the Allman Brothers concert, yet smaller and older than the crowd at the Boston concert.
When Mahogony Rush, the band before Blue Oyster Cult, left the stage, the number of lit matches demanding an encore seemed equal to half the number of all fans at the Allman's concert. The only other mentionable detail about Mahogony Rush is that their lead guitarist and singer was chomping gum throughout the act. Although Blue Oyster Cult's music was not half as good as the Allman's, their stage show was the jazziest of all ASUM concerts this year.
Stage effects included green, red and blue lights pulSing with the music; showering fire-works and sparklers; and a great roaring voice which must have come from the underworld. The lights flashed off at one point, and a moment later a dinosaur was seen alone on stage where the drummer had been. Another interesting illusion was the audience itself: the arms of the crowd on the floor looked like the struggling legs of an upside-down centipede.
The music was professional, more varied than Boston's had been. Most of the songs were acidrock with a loud, hard beat. There was an occasional slow, almost "softie" thrown-in and even one tear-jerking ballad, "Then Came the Last Days of May. "They didn't jam quite as much or quite as spontaneously as the Allman's had. Blue Oyster, however, did not imitate their albums quite as much as Boston. Their drummer was good at suddenly banging into short solos. Most refreshing was the keyboard. A jazzy or almost tag sound would suddenly transcend the guitar's steady pounding.
Blue Oyster only had one encore but it was a good one. They played two songs and the second was "Don't Fear the Reaper" - their most renowned hit. Not as talented as the Allman's, better, but not as cheer-invoking as Boston, the best thing about Blue Oyster Cult was their stage show. The music was just okay.
The original BOC schedules had a gig scheduled here on this date (see below). However, I now know a Billings gig took place on this date.
Did Bismarck simply get cancelled or was it shunted along the timeline a few days - maybe around 29 May or so after the Minot and Rapid City gigs?
If you know, please let me know...
I originally had this date down as Bismarck ND (see above), but I now know that that one didn't happen - but whether or not Bismarck was cancelled or postponed, I don't know for sure.
I have a newspaper clipping ("The Billings Gazette", Friday, May 25, 1979) which will solve this 1979 date. The show date was May 26, 1979 in Billings MT.
I would love to get more info on this gig, because I was there, Mahogany Rush cancelled and my band Hollow Earth filled in.
I was just 16 years old. I have opened for many bands, and traveled extensively since, it was an incredible time in my past.
Any info on this would be great!
Yep, was there. Only remember Great music and a Great light show... must have been all the smoke in the air.:}
You're missing the next show after Minot: Monday, May 28, 1979, Rapid City, South Dakota, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Mahogany Rush opened. No lasers although they were advertised. I was at the show. I have a ticket stub and a newspaper advert.
I was there and helped Tasco sound with truss lights - I was a young 19 year old right out of High school - Local boy waiting to go in the army - Big fan of BOC - That's all we listened too - Now I have retired from 24 yrs, just back from afganistan - and listening to BOC made me sane, and got me home...
My kids are now hooked - cant wait for them to come here or Sturgis again...
Please come BOC!
I was there at all of 14 1/2 years of age, one of the very first concerts I ever attended.
Badfinger opened and were ok, they were touring to promote their comeback LP Airwaves at the time, I believe Tony Kaye (Yes) was playing keys, my recollection is that he seemed really manic and revved up, like he was on coke or meth.
Badfinger played a tight solid set, but did not play any of their hits like day after day, no matter what, come and get it or baby blue (despite the crowd loudly yelling for all of those songs).
Blue Oyster Cult was touring to promote their upcoming brand new release Mirrors at the time with a bleeding edge laser light show that reportedly cost over $ 1,000,000 at the time and was insured for the same amount.
Unfortunately, the neanderthalic Ector County Sheriffs department would not allow them to unload their laser lights and even went so far as to place a deputy wielding a shotgun on top of the semi with the laser gear to prevent their crew from unloading and setting up the laser light show. (This incident made the national news the next day, and provided BOC with a TON of publicity.)
The lack of lasers did not matter as BOC just flat tore it up regardless and blew the roof off the place, and the crowd really erupted when they launched into Godzilla and Don't fear the reaper. Definitely one of the best shows I recall ever having seen.
The only evidence I have for a gig on this date is the above stub off ebay, which described the ticket inscription: "Friends Productions presents Blue Oyster Cult in Concert Sat. June 2,1979 - 8PM at the El Paso County Coliseum ticket stub. Badfinger was the opening act."
Yep... that's a valid date... I remember doing a show there with Badfinger as I got 2 pals who were working for them at the time: Mike Hatchett who was from ATL and Steve "Brooksie" Brooks, who I met when he worked for UFO and he then went to Badfinger and on to Tasco...
I've looked at that a few times and thought "wasn't there an El Paso date in here somewhere??
Looks like that stub is the missing link...
This gig was maybe on 8th June (see Marquee photo above). A-1 show for sure.
I remember walking past the sound board and HEAD EAST was spelled out by the lights on the board. Thought that was neat.
I went with a friend of mine, Mike Gyde. Both of us were in the Army and stationed at Fort Polk, La.
Seen BOC as well when they opened for Sabbath. That was in early 74.
Maybe this gig was on the 11th...?
According to the Jun 08, 1979, issue of the local Alexandria newspaper, The Town Talk, the BOC concert was held that evening at the Rapides Parish Coliseum, with Head East opening:
I was there at the Cotton Bowl way back in 79 - in fact the concert ticket you have there looks exactly my ticket I posted on a Van Halen site years ago...
First, the band order was:
BOC didn't come on until long after Boston had quit playing and unfortunately most of the crowd had left. My friend and I ran down to field and joined in with the hundreds who were gathered in front of the stage, this in a place that held 70-80 thousand earlier in the day.
Chip Monck came out and said "OK now our 300th band of the day Blue Oyster Cult" - They were still wheeling out cabs and plugging in Bucks stuff while they were playing the first song.
BOC were troopers however and put on a show like it would be their last. I remember they had lasers on one song that scanned around the stadium, you could see pockets of people here and there but unfortunately the place was petty much empty.
Sorry I don't have any setlist details - I remember Transmaniacom MC early on and of course DFTR was still huge at the time.
Now for something completely different: http://hear-rock-city.blogspot.com/
This blog has some radio shows from BOC - one in the July 3-4-5, 1975 time frame and one in 2003.
The Texxas Jam (yes, dos equis) was an annual event in the Hot Dallas Summers and this was the second one.
It was packed, up to 100K full capacity, and the temps were boiling. It was 110 degrees on the field and the plastic tarp covering the turf was melting.
After each act, those of us against the barrier were sprayed with a fire hose. This was many fans first time to see Van Halen. Fights broke out everywhere, people passing out from the heat, drug overdoses and Hot Texas girls in bikinis galore.
BOC would have been slotted in the afternoon, but were pushed back after the "headliners" Boston and Heart so the highly publicized laser show would have it's awesome effect.
In fact, BOC didn't come on until 1:30 a.m. the following morning and there were no lasers; contrary to another post as they had been either dropped by this time or shipped elsewhere.
I know most in attendance left in disappointment and this had an adverse affect on the band's popularity in the area for some time hence.
Nevertheless, they were great. This was mere weeks before Mirrors was released. There are actually badly reproduced b&w photos of this show in the Cultosaurus Erectus tour book.
Only in my teenage years would I have subjected myself to being packed tight in the multitudes on the floor of a stadium in extreme conditions for 15 hours to see this band.
Here's a review of the event I found in the 13 June 1979 issue of "The University Daily":
Texxas "Cram" Worthwhile
by Clay Wright
UD Managing Editor
It was billed as the Texxas Jam 79', but a more accurate description would have been the Texxas Cram. More than 82,250 music fans literally crammed the Cotton Bowl with the largest crowd in the stadium's history.
The crowd seemed well-behaved and only a few scattered incifilents occurred. For the most part, the people were there for music, and music they got.
TKO opened the festival with a short set around 1:30 p.m. and was followed quickly by Sammy Hagar with another short set.
Hagar made full use of the stadium's echo effect by allowing a particular note to travel across the stadium before following with the rest of a song.
Nazareth appeared after an hour-long stage charger. The group began to gear up the crowd with "Hair of the Dog" and Z Z Top's "Touche," the two songs that drew the most reaction from the crowd.
Van Halen followed Nazareth and the group's stage antics made it quite clear the band was at the festival to have fun. As David Lee Roth approached the stage, he stopped and leaned on a fork lift as if to say to the cans facing the side of the stage not forget you."
He kept his promise and left nearly the entire Cotton Bowl crowd standing after "Runnin' from the Devil" and "Jamie's Crying."
At the end of the nearly one - and - a - half - hour set, the fans just would not let go and demanded an encore.
The crowd then roared and stood as David Lee Roth leaped back onto the stage wearing a large cowboy hat. The group played again and then told the audience they loved it and Texas too. The crowd was the craziest group of people the band had ever seen, members said.
Right after that comment, a fan climbed to the top of a nearby speaker pole and tied a large Texas flag to it. The fan's action caused the group to return with one last song that was heavily cheered by the fans in the Bowl.
After nearly a two-hour break, Boston gave a typical performance. The group made full use of the darkening Cotton Bowl with lighting effects that at times actually litup the entire stadium.
The highlight of the Boston set was an organ solo accompanied with cool blue lights and a fogged stage that set the atmosphere for a musical score with notes so low the stadium walls seemed to shake. Again the crowd wanted more and Boston returned with two encores.
Both encores were accompanied with fireworks. Near the end of the second encore a large fireworks sign over the stadium read "Thank You Texas From Boston."
Heart followed the Boston set with the most energized portion of the Jam. The group performed with technical accuracy that rivaled any of its albums. The highest point of the Heart set occurred when lead guitarist Nancy Wilson played a guitar solo leading into "Crazy on You" that produced a gigantic roar from the crowd. The entire set was accompanied by fireworks that seemed to explode on cue. Blue Oyster Cult had the misfortune to follow the Heart set, and found the competition difficult.
The Texxas Jam proved to be an experience well worth the long lines, the inavailability of gasoline in Dallas and the $15 ticket cost. Only, next year, the Jam should be held somewhere bigger, like the Grand Canyon.
But then it wouldn't be the Texxas Jam.
The above review suggests that Boston actually preceded Heart, thus creating some slight confusion over the exact running order that day...
Here is another review of this show from the June 17, 1979, issue of the Paris News out of Paris, Texas.
It says that Heart came on after Boston (not before), claims that BOC's lasers were either "misplaced on a plane going to New York" or "lost somewhere in New York" (the article says both) and that, like other people have already said, half the crowd had left by the time BOC came on:
Texxas Jam: A Hot, Thirsty Rock And Roll Time
By Mark Clark
News Staff Writer
If you're out for an afternoon of comfort and conveniences, stay at home with your air conditioning and stereo.
If you're out for sun, fun and good old rock and roll (and dont mind getting sweaty, thirsty, hungry and spending a lot of money) take in the Texas World Music Festival.
I had a great time at this year's festival which drew a crowd of more than 82,000 people to the Cotton Bowl June 9.
One reason for my good time was because after all the money I'd spent and all I'd gone through to attend the festival, I was determined to have a good time.
The major reason was the music. Musically the festival was a success with only one flaw.
The highly publicized laserlight show to be shown during the Blue Oyster Cult set had been misplaced on a plane going to New York.
TKO. A relatively new band on the rock scene had all the ingredients of a top-notched rock band. But I was hot and already tired of waiting for all the good bands. I wasn't interested.
Nazareth was on second and got some response from the crowd. But I wasnt interested.
By this time, I'd been sitting in near 100-degree heat for about hours. I was getting thirsty and irritable. I remembered the two water jugs packed with ice that I had to leave in the car due to misinformation.
It had been announced that no food, containers, beverages or ice chests would be allowed into the Cotton Bowl. Then, several days before the Jam, radio announcers said small thermos and plastic jugs would be permitted.
However, after lugging my blanket, camera, general necessities and my small (one gallon) plastic water jug all the way to the front gate, I was told by security that I couldn't take the container in.
Back to the car.
Sammy Haggar finally came on and played good festival music. Haggar has been on the rock scene for several years but only recently received any notable recognition.
It was finally 4 p.m. Let me explain. You see, for some obscure reason people were not allowed to leave the Cotton Bowl until 4 p.m. Those people with little money (the price of the ticket alone is enough to break you) had to wait as many as six hours with little or no refreshment. This was one day you needed refreshments.
Speaking of money, take a lot. I didn't. Cold drinks, cups of ice and most food items were over a dollar apiece. Over a 12 to 16 hour period you can go through a lot of cash.
I FINALLY made it back to my car and re-fueled. On the way to and from I stopped at a huge water fountain where people were soaking to stave off the heat. One guy obviously having a ball looked at me and said "Makes you wonder why you waited so long." Later that day people were arrested for playing in that same fountain.
I managed to sneak some food and ice past security at the gate and went to find my seat.
Van Halen was about to start. I was amazed. With only three instruments and one lead vocalist, wildman David Lee Roth, Van Halen made more music than the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Roth couldn't keep still for a minute, running around the stage with acrobatic leaps and bounds.
Boston came on next and knew what the crowd wanted to hear. Good music. Playing most of their hits with an excellent fireworks display in the background, Boston had my undivided attention.
If there were any apprehensions about the Jam up to this point, Heart took care of it. All but one song, soon to be released, was a classic Heart rocker.
Fireworks and a light rain shower added a lot to the atmosphere. The rain didnt stop Heart. They came back on for an encore with Led Zepplin's classic hit "Rock and Roll." The Wilson sisters and Company brought the house down.
Heart must have made the Jam for several in the audience because many left afterwards.
Blue Oyster Cult wound up the day with a set of hard driving rock and roll. I fell asleep. I was expecting this great laser-light show I'd heard so much about. Little did I know it was lost somewhere in New York.
Their encore, "Don't Fear the Reaper," got a great response but almost half of the people had left by this point. It was time to go. I'd had enough. At 5 a.m. Sunday morning, I came home.
About 20 persons suffered from heat stroke from the 100-200 degree temperatures on the floor of the Cotton Bowl.
Many were relieved from the heat when security forces soaked people down with a fire hose at the front of the stage.
Police said at least 32 arrests were made at the Jam, mostly for public intoxication and illegal drug possession.
Overall I enjoyed this year's Jam and hope to attend another. Hopefully, conditions will be more tolerable next time. Until then, my air conditioner and stereo will have to do.
Thanks Ian. Of course, we know now that the reason BOC's lasers were in New York was because they'd been shipped back and were no longer part of their stage act - the last ever laser show was 13 May 1979 - but this small detail still didn't stop the lasers being advertised as a major feature of BOC's show for the next year or more...
Regarding the running order, it seems pretty clear that Boston did play before Heart, so that's OK - but that Paris TX review above did raise one anomaly - it says Nazareth went on second, and then Sammy Hagar (or "Haggar", as they would have it), but the actual printed schedule (see the last pic in the row of images above) is clear - together with projected timings - that it was the other way around.
That schedule lists BOC as playing last - as that must have been printed fairly well in advance, the decision for them to do that - in order to show off their fancy laser show - must also have been taken well in advance.
BOC must have been aware of this order change - obviously - so it's interesting that they didn't disabuse the organisers of the notion that they'd be trundling up with lasers in tow, so they'd get to close the show...
The problem with that is that it was the early hours of the morning by which time the majority of the vast crowd had buggered off, and those that did remain to see the laser-show would have been disappointed.
I spotted a running order for this gig on a webpage to do with Concert Company shows - it was a faded jpeg and hard to read but I THINK it said this:
So it looks like BOC closed the show, but they obviously weren't headliners or anything like that - they only had an hour-long set which would put them on a par with Van Halen's billing - so really, they were only joint-third on the bill, in a way...
Here's a quote from Eric Bloom at the '79 Columbus GA gig:
"I'd like to ask all my friends to please refrain from throwing anything onto the stage cause it's a real pain in the ass. So if you see someone raising their hands as if to throw something, just go over and bash em' in the mouth. Thank you..."
Columbus, '79 show: I do remember Bloom's plea for the audience to quit throwing things, which was always a problem in that place. (Concerts at the Municipal Auditorium were very-1970s-styled, festival-seating, free-for-alls. It always seemed that anything could happen-the parents were definitely not in charge anymore.)
But mostly, I remember Albert Bouchard, very oddly, asking the audience if it liked disco. Of course, he was met with some boos & moans. But then, he just said, "Why not? It's pretty good to dance to." Without getting the easy "disco-sucks" applause line, the crowd was left completely confused. Awkward silence, then a weird murmur went through the crowd and, IIRC, they launched into "Godzilla," almost like a wink at us. Looking back, it was a pretty funny thing to say at that time, especially to that audience in that town. A bit of an Andy Kaufman moment.
Even more oddly for me, for the past 20 years, I've worked in the Long Island town where Bloom lives. I see him around (the bank, the deli, the LIRR station, etc.) & I've run into him at music-trade shows. Over the years, we've become somewhat acquainted. Super-nice guy & doesn't seem to mind recounting some of the old road stories to a genuine fan from back in the day. Cool as it gets, in my book.
The Mobile AL gig didn't happen on this date - the reason was that the truck with our entire PA system in it burned the fuck up trying to get to Mobile from Dothan... a brake hung up on the trailer, the tire caught fire and set the trailer ablaze and there she went... at least no one died...
In the first shot above that shows the long skid mark, I'm standing at the back of the trailer with my cutoff shorts on... Ken Welch is to my right and Rick Downey is in the foreground talking to authorities....
We had to hire another PA company (Cameroun Sound out of Miami) to finish that swing... I believe we did the makeup day in Mobile around the 21st... might also have been a show in Biloxi on this swing too... I seem to remember flying home from either there or Mobile... scary takeoff in big jet on SMALL runway... tend to remember those...
So you could put the truck burning in on the 14th instead of Mobile...
OK - those pics are pretty convincing evidence to indicate that the Mobile gig would have been cancelled on the 14th but I have a used ticket stub which shows that the Mobile gig did actually take place at some stage but - obviously - on what must have been a later date (Sam reckons it was about the 21st June)...
Do you know for sure what date this - rescheduled - gig took place on?
I remember waking up in my bunk, rolling into the aisle and seeing the sight you see in the pictures.
I went back to sleep. It wasn't MY truck.
According to The Pensacola News (Thursday, June 14, 1979) the original opening band for this cancelled gig was "The Golden Nuggets".
They didn't have a support act for this show and played a long set list - they opened the show with Stairway to the Stars!
18 June is my best guess as to the actual release date of "Mirrors" - if you read the first post below, you'll see that Gail reckons it was the following day, because EB announced that fact from the stage.
However, all indications are that Monday was the official record release day throughout the 70s, and that only changed to Tuesday around 1989. Nowadays, of course, it's become Friday...
The gig review below suggests that copies of the record would only make the "local stores" the following week...
For more details on this record, please visit the Blue Oyster Cult Songatorium page for this recording...
Mirrors was released on this day. I was at this show and Eric announced it from the stage.
Gig review from the Friday, June 22, 1979, issue of the Fort Lauderdale News:
by Kenny Schlager
The lights went out momentarily at the West Palm Beach Auditorium Tuesday night, smack in the middle of Blue Oyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard's Godzilla solo. Seconds later, the lights came back up and Bouchard was dressed in a marvellous "Godzilla" suit flailing away at the drums. Then the special effects boys flicked on a strobe light and you could've sworn you were watching some grade-B rock'n'roll horror film.
Now that's special effects!
But the entire BOC set was very special. Mark Bloom and Buck Dharma are as fine a pair of guitarists as you'll find working together and Joe Bouchard plays a bass guitar that shakes every seat in the house. Highlight of the show was the BOC version of Steppenwolf's classic Born to be Wild, which opens with Bloom riding a monstrous Harley onto the stage.
Included in the set was a series of tunes from the new album, Mirrors, due in the local stores next week. Missing because of technical problems was the famous laser light show but the skillful use of high-powered colored spot lighting more than made up for this lapse.
Expect the Cult - and the lasers - back in South Florida this fall.
The above review is interesting.
First of all, it shows that BOC were still not publicly acknowledging that the lasers were now gone - they seem to be going from gig to gig and just saying there were no lasers that night due to "technical problems"... the review ends with the promise that BOC would be back "with the lasers" later in the year...
On the morning of the gig, the same guy wrote a preview piece for this gig (in the same paper) entitled: "Blue Oyster Cult's Lasers to Flash in West Palm Beach Tonight"...
Don't hold your breath...
Second, it sort of backs up Gail's assertion above that Mirrors was just being released, and would be in the "local stores next week".
Actually, as this gig was on a Tuesday, I reckon that "Mirrors" was actually released the previous day - record release day was still Monday back then, so far as I know...
But thirdly, and possibly, most importantly, this gig marked Mark Bloom's first ever gig with BOC... it's just a shame Andy Lanier didn't get a mention in the review...
This is the date Sam Judd reckons was the rearranged Mobile date from the 14th June (see above)... I did read in Morning Final a mention of this show date being switched from 14 June to 21 June, so I think Sam is correct on this - as usual!!
The 14th June stub above gives no clue to any possible re-arranged date, only that it's been used - if not set fire to!! Maybe it was in the truck burn-out detailed under the 14th June?
If anyone has any concrete info on this gig, please let me know.
I attended this show. My ticket stub is the opposite portion of the one you have pictured. The color bands are not orange, but beige or tan. The month and day are missing, but the word "Thursday" is clearly legible.
One thing I am certain of is that the opening band was Sweet.
I also saw them the year before in Dothan, AL with Be Bop Deluxe, so I'm sure that this was the 1979 show.
I have no memory of ever seeing The Sweet...
It's possible that Sweet were scheduled on the original date (14th), but never made the make up on the 21st... or that they played it, and it's one of the 5 things or so that I've forgotten in life... LOL...
What's the other four? Or have you forgotten...? :-)
After checking The Sweet's 1979 tour dates, it appears that their show with BOC was for the make-up gig only.
June 19 had them opening for Kiss in Savannah, GA. Then it was on to Texas for a series of dates opening for Cheap Trick, beginning on June 22, in Odessa. Their travel itinerary would've taken them right through Mobile.
The gig with BOC was memorable because that's when we learned that their singer, Brian Connolly, was no longer with the band. I also remember hearing about the trouble with BOC's equipment truck.
Knowing of the tragedy that happened the previous year in Columbus, GA, I thought that people had the facts mixed-up. I now see the full story here. Thanks to Sam Judd for setting it straight.
I went to this gig - it was a pickup gig on the Mirrors tour, I dont have a date or stub. I remember it was sold out and my first show.
[PS] I just found my chewed ticket stub, it was 7/19/79 for the Mirrors, MHCC, Poughkeepsie gig. Roadmaster opened...
This was my almost first BOC show. My brother was taking me for my birthday, I just turned 13. My record collection was basically whatever he had. He had On your feet, Some Enchanted and Mirrors. BOC quickly became my favorite band.
Anyway, he had been to tons of concerts, he said, "Don't worry, we'll get tickets when we get there. we don't need to see the opening band." Well, we were waiting in line at the box office which was inside the building.
There was a guy about two people in front of us who got the last ticket. They shut the box office window. I'll never forget, he jumped up and down all pumped at getting the last ticket. He was thin, black hair shoulder length with blue jeans and a plain white t-shirt. His image is branded in my mind.
Anyway, my brother was trying to bribe the guy at the door to let us in, he offered him two twenties, $40, which was pretty good since the tix were probably only $8 a piece. The guy wouldn't let us in.
We were forced to leave as I heard the crowd going nuts as I believe BOC was coming on. When my brother dropped me off at home I'm pretty sure I went into my bedroom and cried.
PS Me and brother just saw them together for the first time in August 2009.
Here's a photo from this show:
Fantastic. They were promoting this concert with a handbill that publicized 400 kegs of beer being sold. Drinking age 18, bring ID.
They opened show with Stairway to the Stars.
OTHER ACT(S) ON THE BILL: Blue Oyster Cult headlined for Outlaws, Molly Hatchet, Eddie Money, Rockets, Roadmaster.
Info regarding BOC show in St. Louis, MO. Kiel Auditorium show on July 25th, 1979: Opening act was Breathless, followed by The Rockets.
I found a review of this gig in the 26 Jul 1979 edition of the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" which says that The Rockets were the sole openers on this gig (hence, that's what I'm going with):
Blue Oyster Cult Plays In Kiel Auditorium Show
By John S. Cullinane
Slightly ominous, heavily syncopated, slightly hypnotic, heavily rehearsed. That is the music of Blue Oyster Cult. That much isn't new, but the look and image that the band projected Wednesday night at Kiel Auditorium were. The musicians have gone clean-cut, and gone is the laser show. But, as the be-bop set used to say, the music is still gone, and that's what counts.
A lot of people missed this good show which, unfortunately, means that only a few (3,000) saw it. Inflation or the threat of another gas crunch seems to be hurting attendance at rock concerts these days.
Appearing with the Cult were the Rockets, a Detroit band beginning to make it after years of trying. The band played the kind of rock that can be incredibly boring, but it played it so well that it was good. Hmm. The set by the Cult was not exactly what lead singer Eric Bloom announced that it would be - no frills. He was referring to the lack of special effects. So instead of weird frills, there were musical thrills. Guitarist Donald Roeser provided most of them.
The band played plenty of new material from its album, "Mirrors," and showed that it has changed its product only a little. There were airy vocals on top and cutting guitar lines on the bottom. Roeser was ever-present, even when the spotlight was on somebody else.
Roeser made simple chords sound great, mostly through incredible timing and because he used single-noting. His piercing low notes were much more effective than ever a chord could hope to be. The effect that he created at the beginning of "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" was dreamy. One little guitar filled one big auditorium.
There were new songs, like "Dr. Music," and old favorites, like "Buck's Boogie". It may take a while for some of the new songs to take hold like the old ones.
The Rockets were simple and easy to like. The music was unadorned, a little like a hamburger without the ketchup, mustard or secret sauce. But it was meaty, too. At times, the instrumentals sounded like a Rod Stewart back-up band sound-alike, only better.
David Gilbert sang the no-frills rock and carried things off with a convincing swagger. He sang it like he meant it, whatever the 'it' was.
I saw a mention of Hammond Ind show... the only time I DEFFO remember being there was 26 July 79... which incidentally is NOT in the Giglo... vividly remember as I was struck ill leaving St Louis... sicker than I've EVER been on the road... convulsions and total dizziness/nausea/vertigo... just what you need to ride on a bus, yeah??...
I was almost unable to even walk in Hammond, but Rick Downey got a promoters rep (a cute girl named Wendy) to find me an appointment, get me a cab and ride over with me... Doc looked in my left ear and went ARRRGH!!... I said "Wot you mean ARRRRGH??... it's people like you what cause unrest"...
He informed me that I had a SEVERE middle ear infection and that my eardrum was just about to burst... he could not BELIEVE I wasn't writhing in pain, till I told him that my eardrums had burst so many times as a kid, that they were desensitized and he said yes, they do seem to be mostly scar tissue...
Anyway the infection had spread into my lymphatic system and was REALLY bad... he gave me shots and scripts, told me to get at least a week of bed rest and WHATEVER I did DON'T get on an airplane as my eardrum would surely burst...
I was useless the next day and managed to show Downey and a TASCO guy how to set up my shit and I was sent to a hotel there in Louisville... I had to stay there a couple of days till a doc there said it was OK to fly, then went home to ATL and MY doc who gave me even MORE stuff (steroids as he wanted to see me healed completely before I left town again)...
I did not rejoin the tour until Aug 5 in San Diego... I only recently threw away an old medicine bottle from that Hammond pharmacy, or I would have something with a date to scan for you, but as this was the only time I even remember being in Hammond, there's you a NEW gig for our ever growing list...
Check out this great site charting the history of the Civic Center (as well as other local venues):
The July 1979 show with Thin Lizzy (probably my two favorite bands at the time) was at Louisville Gardens. Thin Lizzy were really in their prime, though I believe Gary Moore was on 2nd guitar instead of Brian Robertson, who I really liked.
Mirrors Tour in East Troy, WI at Alpine Valley Music Theatre July 29, 1979 - I can confirm Roadmaster was the opener...
My first BOC gig: (or, "What the Hell was I doing that Summer?")
At the age of 15, I took off from Big Bear (in the mountains of San Bernardino) with 2 other buddies for a BOC/ Cheap Trick/ UFO/ Pat Travers shindig in San Diego. The plan was to take 2 or 3 buses down there, but it wasn't long before things went haywire. At our first stop, (the Greyhound station in Redlands, IIRC) we were hoodwinked out of most of our cash by a so-called 'brutha', while attempting to procure some sticky buds. With about 10-20 bucks and 3 hits of Red Dragon LSD left between us, we decided to forego the formalities and hitch-hike down to San Diego. (about 150 miles to you, Jack)
Looking back, I am truly amazed to be alive, after this and so many other bouts with utter teenage stupidity & outright adolescent abandon.
Well, we made it down there alright. We had arrived the afternoon before, so decided to clear out a space in the bushes outside the stadium & "camp out" for the night. Several hundred bug bites and one bag of shelled & salted sunflower seeds later, it was finally Showtime! (and I'm certain we looked like a trio of garden-variety homeless mutts by that time) I don't remember a whole lot of details about the show. We dropped our acid on the way in, and it was in The Hands of The Gods from that point on. I DO remember sitting in the stands, looking down at the concrete between my feet and witnessing the extremely RAPID wanderings of about 100,000 imaginary, nearly microscopic, ant-like creatures. (moving about in extremely intricate patterns)
Soon after that little 'moment', I also saw something that I would never forget as long as I live, and this time it was NOT imaginary. Down on the grass, there was a large clearing blocked off for all of the security guards to gather & plan out their daily rounds. Well my eye was suddenly drawn to one particular yellow-shirt, mostly because he looked like the Samoan version of Sasquatch. Yeah, he was at least 6'7" and probably close to 400 lbs. That was certainly already enough to amuse me for quite a while, but when he went down HARD and started to flop around on the ground, it was honestly almost too much to bear. (pun intended) I almost freaked, because reality was beginning to sink in anyway; this behemoth was having a Grand Mal seizure, and our overall situation was not a promising one.
In case you're wondering, YES the music was entirely KICK-ASS, and every band there tore it up in a big way; it was just rather difficult to 'take it all in' so to speak.
Ed Lee and Tom Remlin? If you're out there, feel free to hop right into this tale anytime!
Thanks for listening, it's been many years since I even thought about this... (sorry, but there's no way I could remember the setlist)
I saw BOC play in Aug. of '79 at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego to about 50,000 people. It was UFO-Cheap Trick and BOC headlined. Sam was there! who opened? Pat Travers? I can't remember now.
I think Albert once told me the biggest crowd he remembers was in Cleveland at the Municipal stadium.
I believe the afforementioned Jack Murphy stadium gig is usually quoted as the most people at a BOC headline show...
There were some pretty big shows on the Black & Blue tour, but that was co-headline and we usually played before Sabbath just so there wouldn't be any bullshit from the total & complete bunch of bastard tossers in that band... (Vinnie Appice was a nice guy)
At the San Diego show there was also an opening act that I had never heard of... I don't recall with absolute certainty, but it may well have been Shakin' Street - that name rings a bell. I don't have a setlist for this show.
Several friends and I were in San Diego during summer vacation. Imagine the excitement among this group of 16 year olds at the prospect not only of going to see BOC for the first time, but also to see the likes of Cheap Trick and UFO as openers. We were near the nosebleed section of Jack Murphy Stadium, but that did nothing to dim our enthusiasm.
Cheap Trick knocked our socks off, even more than we expected, but that was nothing compared to the headliners. To actually get to see our heroes live after nearly wearing out vinyl copies of Agents, Spectres and SEE (hey, I was NINE when the first album came out...) was sensory overload...
B.O.C kicked ass at least 55,000 + people were loud and rowdy - there was a riot during U.F.O. but they kept playing.
When B.O.C. played Godzilla they made the Roaring noice and the footsteps and the dude said "there he is above the stadium GODZILLA!!!!!!!!!!!" and I looked and I saw Godzilla i was Freaking out (the Asid helped) then a drum solo in the middle of the song with a green laser going from drum to this crystal ball on the stage and it shot the laser all over the Stadium I loved that Fucking show Hot Chicks everywhere I saw this girl I really dug there Her name was Tina Tano and we would hook up.
SET LIST: Not in this order Are you ready to rock, Fire Works, Hot Rails to hell, The Red and the Black, E.T.I., Cities on Flame, Astronomy, Dominance and Submission, Sinful love, Godlizlla, Don't fear the Reaper
OTHER ACT(S) ON THE BILL: U.F.O, Pat Travers, Cheap Trick, Shakin Street
Cheap Trick's management insisted using Electrosound as the sound supplier; I naturally wanted Tasco, our sound company to do the gig. This went back and forth for weeks until the exasperated promoter said he was contracting for Northwest Sound to do it, like it or lump it. Great decision, the system sounded wonderful, one of the best stadium shows I'd ever done!
This concert had 83k and it was British Lions, Pat Travers, Cheap Trick and Blue Oyster Cult.
BOC opened with Born To Be Wild and Eric came riding his Harley out. I was on the stadium floor 2 what was kind of rows, we just got right up in it.
Never smoked so much pot in my life. I was fifteen and there was joint after joint just passing around.
BOC was the last to play and it was late evening before they took the stage. By then people were fuked up and passed out and missed the show.
Not me - BOC came on and I was at my feet, people were throwing joints to the band. The speaker system was almost three stories including stage height of 8 ft. and all Marshalls.
I did not make it to school the next day, man I could just feel my body like it was charged with energy.
I watched the morning news in San Diego and they reported rioting some 130 arrested and the most fricken bazaar thing was there were some 50 or 60 noise complaints from people that lived as far as 5 miles from the stadium.
Hell yeah - BOC FOREVER.
I only know of this gig's existence thanks to James Sparks who sent me a link to a slide-show of photos from this gig:
The slide-show helpfully provides the venue and date as "Tucson Community Center" and "7 Aug 1979" respectively...
I was there! That's me holding up the Bic lighter (in the 4th pic)...
As it turns out, BOC played the Tucson Community Center Arena on Aug 06, rather than Aug 07, 1979, as confirmed in the Aug 06, 2009, issue of the Arizona Daily Star newspaper which reprinted the original review of the '79 Tucson show (blurb below) 30 years later.
ARIZONA DAILY STAR FROM TUCSON, ARIZONA
AUGUST 6, 2009
It was a mixed crowd of 7,000 at the Community Center on Aug. 6, 1979. Half were there to hear Cheap Trick and the other half Blue Oyster Cult. Cheap Trick went on first, following the opening group, Shakin Street. The Star's reviewer gave a mixed review. "There's not too many groups like Cheap Trick that play this good," he wrote. However, he continued, at least B0C can carry a tune.
Confirmation comes via the Aug 09, 1979, issue of the Arizona Daily Republic, which reviewed the Aug 07, 1979, Cheap Trick/Badfinger show at Compton Terrace in Phoenix.
So, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick and Shakin' Street played the Tucson Community Center Arena on Aug 06, 1979, and Cheap Trick and Badfinger played the Compton Terrace in Phoenix the next evening, on Aug 07, 1979.
Thanks for the clarification Bert!
I don't have any thing from this concert except my memories. I was able to catch this between a tour of duty in South Korea and Fort Bragg, NC. The lineup was:
Roadmaster was absolutely hideous. It remains in my mind as the worst opening band I've ever seen.
Pat Travers rocked the house. They had an amazing on-stage show and we all rocked with them.
Blue Oyster Cult was great as well. Godzilla was the highlight of the show with the drummer coming up after the lights went off with a Godzilla mask and doing a long drum solo (I've always said 5 minute solo, but who was looking at their watches?).
I was so impressed with BOC that they were the first group that I took my daughter to see when she was 5. They performed here at a county fair in 1996.
I enjoyed reading the review above. It brought back a lot of memories, although I don't recall Roadmaster as being that bad. Pat Travers Band was excellent though and made me a fan for life.
BOC were great once again, even though the "Mirrors" album was a bit of a let down for me at the time it was released.
On a side note, a friend and I were vacationing in Seattle right after this. We didn't get tickets for the BOC show there, but did head down to Seattle Center (where the show was taking place) that night and happened to run into Roadmaster while in the Space Needle (a tall observatory tower in Seattle) and chatted with them a bit. They had just finished their set and were doing a bit of sightseeing.
The word was that Travers' own headlining tour hadn't panned out so they joined ours. They had a great band and decidedly held their own every night. The combined bill did very well at the box office.
I saw a mention of this show in the 15 August 1979 edition of The Spokane Daily Chronicle which said: "Warren Butz, assistant director of Spokane Riverfront Park Center, told the board the Aug 9 Blue Oyster Cult rock concert was the largest single event draw in the history of the Coliseum. According to Butz, the city received a gross income of $19,602 from the concert, attended by a capacity audience of 8,500."
I believe you are missing a show from that year during the Mirrors tour. As I recall, that tour ran from Fall of 79 into the Winter of 1980.
They played a show that I saw at McAurthur Court in Eugene, Oregon in early 1980. This my very first BOC concert I saw. The opening acts were Roadmaster, and Pat Travers.
79-08-13 Medford, Oregon Setlist:
NO Encore!!!! Otherwise a most fantastic sounding Show and the most "Mirrors" of all shows!
Only time they ever did STORM in a big venue!
This Medford gig was somewhat of an anomaly, as far as your average BOC show goes.
Steve Schenck told me how it apparently went down as such that the audience left in droves when "I Am The Storm" was being performed, and so... the band never came back out for their encore, because the Hall was virtually empty....
Ironic, how they would play "I Am The Storm", and have everybody leave the venue...
Being me, I refused to believe the story as being the result of IATS being performed - could have been any number of reasons, but anyhoo... Apparently there was no Reaper! No Encore on that very night...
My guess is that it could most likely have been a curfew scenario...
Nobody seems to really remember this with Steve Schenck as the exception and historian on this particular show...
My first BOC show was in 1979 in Sacramento, California at the summer Cal-Expo State Fair. It was an afternoon concert and the opening band had a female lead singer, but I cannot remember the name of the band. Cheap Trick was the second band on the bill, and a lot of people were wondering why they were not the headliner (Cheap Trick at Budakon was out at that time).
The concert was held at the race track and I estimate at least 35,000 to 40,000 people. Cheap Trick was very good, but BOC was super - they had incredible stage presence, and they played quite a bit from the Mirriors album (very under-rated album).
BOC has always been very good to San Francisco, in fact when you walk the streets of the city, you always see the Boc logo in the concrete - in the poor neighborhoods to the rich neighborhoods.
My first BOC concert and I was aticipating it *very* much. I had only started to get into the band after hearing my brother's "Some Enchanted Evening" (8-track I think?) about 6 months before.
I was only 18 and just graduated HS at the time so I still hadn't been to too many concerts yet. I remember listeing to the Pat Travers Live tape on the way to Sacramento (the one with "Boom, Boom Out go the Lights") and was pleased to be getting 3 major acts on one bill.
I had never been to Cal Expo before and remember getting there in the morning around 10 or 11 and jumping in line. I remember this girl passing out in line and her two friends holding up from falling shouting for help (that was a bit disturbing as one minute, she's right behind us in line and then the next, passed out!) Some others came to the rescure but the line was moving and at last it was my time to see the Cult!
Turns out this venue is/was a horsed track! Beatiful summer day and don't even remember Shakin' Street at all (were they a Dead cover band?) I remember hanging back for Travers and then Cheap Trick but between the Cheap Trick/BOC setbreak, we moved in about 20 to 30 feet from center stage. Perfect! When BOC came on and started off with Dominance & submission, I was ready, and it was everything I hoped it could be! Of course, they were playing a lot of the Mirrors stuff but the Cities On Flame and Hot Rails to Hell were real treats for this first timer. I think at this point, Bloom and Buck were past the crossing guitars bit on Born To Be Wild and they were riding the Harley onstage (instead or had they been doing that for years?) I saw the Cult two more times in the next 12 months (NYE, San Fran, July 4 1980, Oakland).
I've done a little homework research on the BOC shows I've seen in the past, and have a better handle for them now, although there are still some that seem to have slipped through the cracks for some reason, like the Old Waldorf gig of 80-09-06 in San Francisco.
The night before they played under the name Soft White Underbelly in San Jose at a club near my house. It was cool that only those of us who knew were onto them for awhile, and it was a small club, so the impact was intense.
I lived in the Bay Area for about 11 years, and there were so many venues there to see bands, and as BOC came through the area they would gig at several of the smaller places. I saw them in Santa Cruz on 30 Dec, '79, but couldn't catch their New Years Eve show due to mundane commitments.(Wife's company had a big blowout)
Someone on the BB had a thread about who played with them from time to time, well I said one of the best shows was when Pat Travers, Cheap Trick and Blue Oyster Cult played an afternoon/evening gig at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Ca. It was my 18 month old daughter Jamaica's 1st concert, and everyone had a great day in the sun.
After the show I hooked up with a buddy that had a roommate that was a local DJ at the station that had sponsored the gig. We ended up going to the radio station, as BOC was doing an interview afterwards. We hung out " eventually got to meet the guys as they were partying at the station.
That was August 19, 1979 "I'll never forget it. The radio station was KOME 98.5 FM, and the DJ's air name was Dennis Erectus, kind of a grungy, but very popular radio guy that would go to any length to shock his listeners. I always wondered if he got his name from Cultosaurus Erectus, but never got the chance to ask him.
Anyway, it was a very cool night at the radio station, I got lucky enough to finally meet the band " through the years that concert has always been a favorite of mine. Pat Travers literally kicked ass, and Cheap Trick were heading for stardom with all the antics of Rick Nielson. But, BOC was just killer of course.
Just wanted to add my two cents worth about this BOC show.
San Jose Spartan Stadium was my first concert I ever went to at age 15.
Shaking Street opened, and they were decent. But, seemed like the entire place ignored them, Saw them several more times, and they always seemed to suffer a similar fate.
Shakin Street always seemed to be the eternal opener band in 79-80-81 that everyone wondered why they were on the bill. Most of us concluded that the only reason they were on the bill was that they knew all the cocaine dealers in the bay area.
Pat Travers was second, and he was great. The entire place was singing along with "Out Go The Lights", which was big hit on KOME radio at the time.
Cheap Trick was third, putting on a great show. 15 year old me was very impressed!
Blue Oyster Cult was the headliner, but the how lost interest for me when they played. Seemed like they were bored, or sick, or something, but the band never held my interest that day.
I was at this show. The opening bands were Shakin Street and Pat Travers Band.
Three clips from this filming are available on youtube - as Harley's uploads are currently blocked for viewing in the UK, here are some alternative links:
I originally had the 22 Aug 1979 Berkeley concert marked down as a gig specially arranged for filming of the above clips - but from what Sam says below, it would appear they were actually from a special filming day the day before - although "BarrySkyBag" confirmed on the BuckBoard that some filming was done the next night also during the actual gig itself to add to the mix.
Funny the tags are dated Oct 16... must have been when it was edited, cause they were filmed Aug 21... the night (and day) before the actual show we played in there
I don't really remember any filming even taking place the night of the actual show... kinda DARK ain't it...? that's the first clue as to why it never saw the light of day...
Bet they played that song 50 times trying to get it right... filming that day ran from about 10:30 AM till about 2 or 3 the next morning... to try and get 3 songs... none of which ever saw the light of day...
The bulk of the filming was done the day and night before... with what they call in the biz "Pick-Up Shots" being done on the night there was a small crowd of contest wieners allowed admittance... just the shots that would have shown a crowd... and I didn't see any of those in the finished product i don't think...
As a for instance, there is ONE shot of Allen playing the intro of Joan Crawford live on-stage in the beginning of the Joan Crawford video... that was one of the many "Pick-Up" shots filmed on 23 July 81 at Swing Aud in San Berdoo... I think it was the only one used out of all the pain in the ass filming done at that show...
The thinking was that live shots of the band onstage might be inter-cut into both the "Joan" and "Burnin" vids... didn't happen... massive trouble and expense for nothing
That Berkeley shoot probably cost every bit of 250,000 bucks (VERY high priced union stagehands, grips, carpenters, electricians, etc standing around doing fuck-all for 16 hours at astronomical hourly rates... it could have been shot in ATL for 50K) and probably another 100K for editing... and for what??
What a waste of time and money.... it's kewl that there is a record of it now at this late date, but there was zero return on the band's investment on it to them...
Absolutely - it's fantastic that stuff like this finally sees the light of day. Also, if it really cost the band a quarter mil as Sam says then it would be a terrible waste not to put some more of it up there as well!
The way that shite worked back in the days of the big record companies and Promo videos (remember, this was pre-MTV even) was that the record company paid for all this stuff, but they got that money back out of your royalties from sales before you got a DIME...
I have no idea where they thought this thing was gonna be used... Kirshner's "In Concert" or "Midnight Special" maybe????
That type biz arrangement is why the other members of BOC hate even the mention of that "Imaginos" piece of crap... when they agreed to finish Albert's little de-railed project and release it as a BOC album (as a favor to Sandy Pearlman), they didn't realize that at that point CBS began subtracting all the CBS advance expense money (almost 1/2 a mil) that Albert had squandered over the years of pretending to make his "solo epic" from the OTHER BOC members royalties that HAD BEEN coming in from their OTHER albums... cost them all about 200K apiece to release Imaginos... several years before they started seeing royalty checks again... kinda left a bad taste in their mouth dontcha know...
THEY ended up paying all the expenses that Albert had gone thru... and of course the thing never made a nickel as it was pretty much released straight into the cut-out racks...
The seamier side of the R&R BIZ...
As best as I can remember, they played Dr. Music, In Thee, Mirrors and Great Sun Jester. Perhaps the Vigil too, but I'm not positive about that one. We also got Hot Rails and Dominance & Submission. I'm pretty sure they also did ME262 and of course they played DFTR. Twice, in fact. A few of the songs were played twice to provide different camera angles.
A malfunctioning string of pyro sparklers caught fire and burned through the string itself, sending the flaming rope of sparklers crashing to the stage floor. Lots of fun. Eric joked about the acoustic guitar he played during In Thee.
We won tickets on the radio, and the silver BOC tour jacket that I donated to the raffle for Sam was one of the prizes. We also got a copy of Mirrors (LP Record) autographed by Eric Bloom. I have have never seen any of the actual footage that was shot that night until now.
It was pretty much a full gig, but due to the repeats it probably wasn't quite as long as the normal setlists of the day.
I'm not sure if the whole thing was filmed but it seemed like it was. At least a majority of the songs were filmed as far as I could tell.
The sad part of it all was that the auditorium was nowhere near full, and I knew lots of folks who would have given their eye teeth to attend the filming if they'd only been given the chance to do so.
I noticed on your gig calendar that there's a missing piece of information: August 23, 1979 (#054) at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, California, the warm-up was Pat Travers. (I was there.)
Pat Travers opened... "Boom Boom OUT GO THE LITES"...
About 6 of my friends and I went to the UCLA campus on a sizzling hot weekend afternoon to get in line for the festival-type seating at Pauley Pavillion. As I recall it was advertised as a "dance" seating arrangement for the floor, and reserved seating for the bleachers. I thought that was an odd word to use for a seating arrangement for a Blue Oyster Cult concert.
Anyway we arrived there awfully early...it was in the mid morning. We were in such a hurry to get in line we accidentally spilled our cooler filled with ice cold Miller Hi-Life bottles and broke almost every one. It wasn't really embarrassing because we were on the uncrowded side of the arena and there was no one around to see this happen. But it really put a mute on the rest of the day because none of wanted to leave to get more beer...this in fear of losing our choice parking spot.
So we had to ration our dope and what little beer was salvaged in order to last us 10 hours or so.
But once we got in the arena everything was OK! We had great seats. They were touring "Mirrors" and they opened with "Dr. Music." Buck Dharma wore all black. Other songs I recall were "Godzilla" (which featured Albert Bouchard wearing a huge Godzilla mask during the strobe-lit drum solo), ME262, Cities On Flame, Harvester, Mirrors (in which Joe Bouchard and who knows who else left with the duty of singing the backing vocals, which didn't sound very good.)
Of course they did "The Reaper" for their encore, but I vividly remember during "The Vigil" Buck having guitar jack problems on his black Gibson Explorer. I have one too...and I have replaced two jacks on it (poor design.) It happened through most of the song...his guitar silenced, then energized, then slienced...all within fractions of a second. He was very annoyed by it I could tell. I felt sorry for him.
Also during "In Thee" they should've had Buck play the acoustic guitar... not Eric. Then during the solo Buck could have taken it. I am suprised their music director couldn't catch on to that.
But it was still a great BÖC concert... my favorite of all time.
Pat Travers opened, by the way... the line-up was himself, Patrick Thrall (guitar), Peter Mars Cowling (bass frequency guitar), and Tommy Aldridge (Battery). They really kicked ass too.
The Billboard info above reckons Shakin Street opened these two shows - can anyone confirm this one way or the other?
I was into "Don't Fear The Reaper" and "Godzilla" and I didn't know anything from the Mirrors album but we went just on the strength of the songs we knew. I had heard some crazy stories about BOC using lasers at their concerts--that they would shoot them out of the ends of their guitars at frisbees and stuff--and ridiculous as they sound now, I bought into it.
They had a huge light show that was really cool... but no lasers. The guitarists had mirrors or some kind of reflective stuff on the backs of their guitars that they would use to reflect the lightshow. During one song they help up their guitars and ground the necks up against each other.
The opening act was Ian Hunter, formerly of Mott the Hoople. I believe he was touring his You're Never Alone With a Schizophrenic album but I didn't know his stuff. I remember him getting the crowd to chant an anti-Exxon slogan at one point. Maybe he was an environmentalist or something?
79-09-02 - Civic Centre, Lakeland FL Setlist:
79-09-04 - Boutwell Auditorium, Birmingham AL Setlist:
This gig date - together with the support act info - is confirmed on Don Thompson's excellent LookAtStubs site.
I was at the BOC show 9/9/79 in Columbia at The Township Auditorium, Ian Hunter did not open and did not play this show.
I have the ticket stub, I always wrote the name of the opening band on the back and this time it was Nantucket.
Ian and Mott were my favorites back then and don't ever remember them playing Columbia.
Here's an entry from The Gamecock, the USC college newspaper, which mentions Nantucket being on the bill:
79-09-05 - Township Auditorium, Columbia, South Carolina Setlist:
I was at this awesome show...
Memorial Auditorium, Greenville, South Carolina Setlist:
79-09-08 - Cumberland County Memorial Auditorium, Fayetteville NC Setlist:
This concert was cancelled the day of the show. There were about 7 or 8 of us that all had tickets. We all met to form a caravan to go to the concert when the cancellation was anounced.
I think I remember, the bands didn't like the acoustics of the venue... so they cancelled. We were disapointed and refunded the tickets.
FLY BY NIGHT was a local band, they had nothing to do with Rush. I think they might still be active?
I too recall this gig being "cancelled" but I don't recall that it was the day of the show although it could have been. I had heard on the radio that it was cancelled due to "technical difficulties." Barry says that the band did not like the acoustics and I too heard this from somewhere. Yes they may have gotten a refund which is weird because this gig was rescheduled for York's Memorial Hall down at the Fairgrounds in York Pa.
Now the unofficial word was the the show did not sell enough tickets and that BOC got bumped from the Farm Show and brought down to York's Memorial Hall which is a much smaller venue. I see the flyer above and that alone brings back the memories as one of the places to buy concert tickets back in the day was York's "budget Disco Tape" In fact they may have sold the tickets for the rescheduled York show. The concert promoters would surely have been Red Lion Productions\Makoul Productions which is also listed on the flyer.
Does anyone recall when the rescheduled gig was? I thought with almost 100% certainty that it happened on a Tuesday night. I do recall thinking that this is a weird night to see a concert in York (I was young then what can I say?).
If indeed they did cancel the day of the show then basically that leaves the 25th as the only available date to play that makes sense but to me that seems kinda late in September but I could be wrong.
Anyway I went to the York show and wrote a recent review of the show which will be placed in the review section of this site. I can even give you a correct or 99% accurate setlist because I have a binder in which I would write down the bands I saw and where they played and the set list that they did and I have that show! In fact that gig made me do that like the day after the show!
I also have a clear enough memory of seeing Buck Dharma walking in downtown York (this will be included in the review of the show) and I can pretty well guess which hotel they stayed at. This show made a huge impact on me even to this day because BOC is one of my favorite bands and it was my very first BOC show!
While Ian Hunter for whatever reason did not play the York gig, the local band Fly by night did and they may have had an album out back then called "Zoo Road." I had never heard of the band before and I am a local musician, and yes Barry is correct, from what I recall the only thing Rush about them was the name "Fly by night."
They and I am trying to recall this but they kind of sounded like a southern progressive band, a bit like the Allman Brothers band mixed with something. They got booed off the stage, not because they sucked, I mean they were ok but we had come to see BOC! And their songs started getting long and that is when the booing started from what I recall.
To Barry, from what I hear Fly by night stayed active for years, which is funny because after that gig I never heard of them again and I am from York! The one members son is supposed to be working on a website for the band which is now inactive. I will go search for this binder and get to work on sending that review, thanks!
Strangely - the following report describes a BOC gig at the Farm Show arena in 1979!!:
Weird... anyway, I now know that the rescheduled gig was on Tuesday 25 Sep 1979 at York Fairgrounds...
My first BOC show it was the mirrors tour 1979 i thought they were kick ass they played 5 songs in a row from the album starting with Dr Music.
I remember watching the guy 3 rows in front of me dancing on the railing at the Boston Garden - also a security carrying a young girl passed out.
They played a long time awesome strobe lite show Flaming Telepaths. I remember mirrors mounted on the back of there guitars which would reflect the spot lites back into the crowd.
Since then I've seem them 14 times and go every time they come around
79-09-14 - The Gardens, Boston MA Setlist:
79-09-15 - Northern Maine Fairgrounds, Presque Isle, Maine Setlist:
Confirmed by the Civic Center venue website and gives the attendance as 5,477 (out of a maximum "sell out" capacity of 9500): click here...
Here's a link to some photos from this gig:
One thing I can confirm about this gig was that Ian Hunter was indeed the support act, otherwise how else would they all have ended up together "Going Through The Motions":
That's the Late, Great, Mick Ronson with the blonde Les Paul guitar in between Buck and Eric...
I remember that night, but thought the song they jammed on was "Maserati GT"... the Sax says otherwise...
You might be right. I remember for sure they did do "Going Through The Motions"... you can see Ian still has the words in his hand...
They might have done a rocker like "Maserati GT" right after to end the show...
Now it's coming back... I think Ian came out alone to do "Going Through The Motions", then the rest of his band joined in to close with a rocker... could very well have been "Maserati GT"...
79-09-16 - Cumberland County Civic Center Setlist:
Were Rainbow the support for this gig?
Yes, Rainbow opened. I remember waiting for 6 hours in the cold to get 2nd row for the new haven show, on the mirrors tour.
Rockets were noise, BOC played about 90 min. I recall the best song of the night was the Vigil.
Within 4 years they were playing clubs again.
This was my second concert ever! Was 15 and my older brother took me in his brand new 79 Trans Am! ( first concert was earlier in June- Yes- in the round!- same venue)
I remember being slightly disappointed as I didn't know enough about Rainbow and was expecting Ronnie James Dio - didn't know that Graham Bonnet had joined but the were great supporting the Down to Earth album- BOC was what we came for and they did not disappoint - just saw them a year and a half ago at BB King's in NYC- Also saw BOC at Madison Square Garden in '81 and actually found a bootleg cd!
Wish I could recall some detail of the shows- one of my favorite bands.
79-09-18 - Coliseum, New Haven CT Setlist:
At the gig in Glen Falls NY on Sept 19th 1979 someone threw some firecrackers on stage and Eric stopped the show and told the crowd to beat the hell out of whoever was doing it.
Security was down on the floor fast and the offending person removed before anybody got to them.
Could this gig have taken place on the 27th September?
There used to be a site run by a guy called Nigel Young which featured known Rainbow dates and he had the following info:
"19.09.79 Glens Falls Civic Center New York, USA - seems to have been cancelled and rescheduled for the 27th September."
You have a question about the September 19, 1979 concert in Glens Falls NY.
I have the ticket stub confirming that date. I can't believe I only paid $8.50 to see them.
You questioned the actual date of this show - I can provide my stub plus I have an entry in my notebook both stating that the concert was held on 19 Sept and not 27.
I believe that if concert was actually held on 27 I would have written 27 in my notes. I was very meticulous with my record keeping at that time even going so far as to keep entries of every album that I would buy, when and where I bought them and the price paid!
This was a hometown gig for me as I lived about a mile from the venue. Managed to score 2nd row seats at this new Civic Center that had only opened earlier that year.
79-09-20 - Community War Memorial, Rochester NY Setlist:
I found a preview for this gig in the 21 Sept 1979 edition of the "Detroit Free Press":
Blue Oyster May Have Forgotten Its Cult
THE WORD "CULT" usually refers to a group of people with similar esoteric interests who don't have a mainstream view of life. But in the record business, it seems, cult bands like the six-member Blue Oyster Cult can have rather commercial, middle-of-the-road ideas.
In other words, you won't hear the kind of offbeat music on Blue Oyster's new album, "Mirrors," that the band has come to be known for. And therefore, you're not likely to hear that music when the group appears at Cobo Arena at 8 p.m. Saturday.
On "Mirrors," a few cuts, like "The Vigil," retain some of the early 70s cosmic lyrics and sound techniques the New York group made famous. But for (the most part, the Cult has opted for a more popular appeal with songs like "You're Not the One," "In Thee" and the title track.
Blue Oyster Cult apparently has headed in a new direction. Spacey, metal music certainly can get boring, so a fresh approach seemed in order. But Foreigner-type commercialism can also be a drudgery.
In a recent telephone interview, Eric Bloom, a vocalist/songwriter/guitarist for the group, explained that Blue Oyster's new producer, Tom Werman (of Ted Nugent/Cheap Trick fame), had a lot to do with the latest album.
"We all write songs by ourselves mostly. We came up with 17 songs of which nine appeared on the album. We gave the choice of material to Werman, based on his track record. He found the conception out of the variety of material and put together the ones he wanted to do most. I don't know if we're 100 percent satisfied, but it was sort of an experiment with us," said the 30-year-old Bloom.
Although album sales aren't breaking any records, "Mirrors" is doing fairly well on Billboard's record chart.
And, Blue Oyster Cult does do some nice things on the album. The production is better than on previous albums, and backup vocals by Ellen Foley and Genya Raven are a delight. A much-needed gutsy, edge is added by the group's lead guitarist, Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser.
Still, the overall lack of inspiration in the music makes one wonder about the cult aspect. It's sounding like a rather homogenized product.
But Bloom still views the group as primarily a cult band. "I still think of us as being the world's biggest underground band. We've never really sold a lot of records, ever," said Bloom.
"But as far as touring goes, we're one of the top touring groups in the country. Mostly, our reputation lies in our being a hard-playing live group who gets to places like Austin, Minn., and Lincoln, Neb. Previously, we have gotten a lot of criticism about not being able to put it "down on vinyl."
79-09-21 - Cobo Arena, Detroit MI Setlist:
One thing I can add - I was looking for the Marquette, MI show at Lakeview Arena in 1979. I see it was on September 23rd. Rainbow did not play that night - BOC played an extended set.
I remember it well since I was with some folks who were really bummed about Rainbow. I wanted to see Blackmore play as well, but I was very happy to get the extra BOC.
That was the one time I got to see the BOC five guitar solo.
79-09-23 - Lakeview Arena, Marquette MI Setlist:
Thanks to the following mention in the 21 September 1979 edition of Allentown's "The Morning Call", I now know that this was the make-up date for the cancelled Harrisburg on 13 Sep 1979:
Blue Oyster Cult and Fly-by-Night will perform Tuesday at the York Fairgrounds. Showtime is 8 p.m.. This concert is the one that was originally scheduled Sept. 13 at the Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg. Tickets for the Sept. 13 show will be honored and additional tickets still are available through Ticketron.
But they don't actually give any sort of official reason for the cancellation...
This was my very first concert. Skipped the last class of school that day, Popped a hit of something, Hopped in a friends car and away we went.
Got to Binghamton at our peek. By the end of the night, I thought to myself "I want to be a GROUPY when I grow up"... ha ha ha.... (Which I never did)...
I was the chick that smelt like BONG water, spilled the bong on me hours before the concert... UCK!!
79-09-26 - Broome County Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Binghampton NY Setlist:
Gig review from the September 27, 1979, issue of the Binghamton Evening Press:
I just found your site doing a Google search on BOC and found it to be very entertaining and informative !!
I can offer one update for the 1979 gig list. The opening act for the show at Erie, Pennsylvania at the Erie County Field House on Sept, 27 was Rainbow.
I was at that show. It was a great bill by both bands. Blackmore blew the crowd, and most of our ear drums away !!
And BOC put on their usual great show topped by Eric riding his motorcycle on stage for Born to be Wild.
At the Rainbow and Blue Oyster Cult concert at the Erie County Fieldhouse in 1979 I seem to recall that Sammy Hagar was also one of the opening acts, but can't confirm that.
Thanks to the Erie County Fieldhouse Concerts Facebook page, I can report that Sammy Hagar was actually on the bill of the 7 August 1980 gig at the Fieldhouse, not this show. Click the link below to see a ticket stub from this gig:
My second concert EVER!
I noticed a strange smell in the air that night. A smell I had never smelled before. Sweet smelling... yet definitely smoky. My first exposure to the 'wacky tobacky'. Didn't partake, but definitely found it interesting. And strangely enough, I was really hungry after the show... hmmm.
Oh, Rainbow and BOC were excellent too! ;-)
79-09-28 - Memorial Auditorium, Utica NY Setlist:
This was my second time seeing Blue Oyster Cult. I was all ready to be blown away again as I had seen them on the Spectres Tour in Buffalo in March of 1978. Unfortunately, for me, this show turned out to be somewhat of a letdown. I'll explain. Rainbow was the opening act.
I had never seen Deep Purple or Ritchie Blackmore live before, and I've gotta tell you, they really stole the show. Ritchie was absolutely ON FIRE this night. Poor Buck didn't stand a chance and he was pretty much blown off stage by Ritchie. And this is coming from a guy who worships Buck's guitar playing. This was the Rainbow with Graham Bonnet on vocals and the late, great Cozy Powell on drums. I remember the song "Stargazer" very well. Awesome tune. Like I said, Ritchie was red hot. I think he was out for blood that night.
After being stunned by Blackmore, BOC hit the stage. They opened with "Dominance & Submission" and I noticed almost immediately that the energy just wasn't there. It was even more noticeable when they did the songs from the Mirrors album. It was rather strange to see them playing "In Thee" and "The Great Sun Jester" with acoustic guitars. They're decent enough songs on record, but live???
They did manage to pick things up a bit with "ETI", "Astronomy" and "Hot Rails To Hell" but I still wasn't getting blown away. Another letdown for me was the absence of lasers. I would have to get used to that in years to come. Toward the end of the set they started to wake up a bit and "Godzilla" and "The Reaper" sounded great as it should have. I don't know what happened at this show. Maybe it was me. Maybe I wasn't stoned enough (HA HA)!!
I guess it was Rainbow's fault. They were just too hot and BOC were just lukewarm. It must have been an off night for them. The Cult Boys were to redeem themseves a year later, however, during the Cultosaurus Tour. A much better tour and much better album than Mirrors.
Can't win 'em all, right?
79-09-29 - The Spectrum, Philadelphia PA Setlist:
30 sept 1979 baltimore civic center; opening act was rainbow with graham bonnet on vocals; BOC used fog and lights and rode a Harley onstage during born to be wild - great show!
As I recall at the September 30th gig at the Baltimore Civic Center, Eric appeared on stage riding his Harley, and BOC launched into "Born to be wild"
79-09-30 - Civic Centre, Baltimore MD Setlist:
Eric had a sore Throat, thus the odd set list...
Oct-2-79 - Veterans Memorial Auditorium (Stub says "Hall" but "Auditorium" is correct) -- Columbus Ohio Rainbow opening act
I remember being disappointed that there were no lasers, but still a great show I also remember being happy they played Dominance and submission.
Someone threw an apple at the stage, which prompted Eric to stop the show during Dom and Submission to ask that people stop throwing things (an unfortunate pastime during 70s shows -- I never understood it -- sometimes people threw firecrackers)
I was at this show (just turned 15) and I still remember when someone threw something on the stage (to this day I didn't know what it was, but thanks for clarifying it was an apple). I believe it was during the song "Dr. Music" and if memory serves, Mr. Bloom asked the people around the guy who threw it to kick his ass. Rock 'n' Roll...
This was the first concert that I ever went to. I was 16 and BOC was my favorite band. Rainbow (w/ Graham Bonnett) opened the show and were fantastic. A great way to start the night.
BOC had a little technical trouble with Buck's Guitar during the first song (Dr. Music) but quickly got it going and rocked the place.
I remember something being thrown on stage and hitting Eric who stopped the show and said they would walk if it happened again. He also said to kick the guy's ass who threw the stuff on stage. I thought it was a frisbee... time and rock and roll have worn on my memory so I could be wrong.
I've since seen BOC over 36 times and they have never failed to put on a kick ass show.
ps any one have a recording of this show I would love to add to my collection
Here's a show review from the October 12, 1979, issue of the Spectrum newspaper of Buffalo University:
Blue Oyster Cult, Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, October 4, 1979
Blue Oyster Cult, led by lead singer Eric Bloom, performed in Buffalo on this rainy night as part of their U.S, tour to promote the newly-released Mirrors LP.
The Cult began the performance with an inspiring version of "Dominance and Submission", making their supreme power known in hopes that the approximate 9,000 spectators would wilt into passivity. By the end of the second song, "Dr. Music", which brings to mind the teenybopper appeal that the group "Kiss" uses so effectively, I was ready to find the exit.
It was clear that the Cult has fallen into the trap faced by most major rock 'n roll bands of the early seventies. They have drained their minds of effective material Cult live performances have not changed within the last two years, in fact the show has declined remarkably. The Cult is still relying on past hit singles with songs like "Cities on Flame," "Godizilla" and "Don't Fear The Reaper" which remain the favorites of the mostly unattentive audience. Sure these are Cult classics, but isn't it time for a change?
Even the lighting has found its eternal resting place in the anals of rock history. The laser light show is the talk of the past, having been replaced by an array of whizzing flares and added explosions. One such explosion (unexpected) sent firemen running, hoses in hand, to extinguish possible flames. Poor planning.
Acoustically the sound was loud enough to make aspirin the only sellout of the night. Lyrics were distorted and unrecognizable. Can this be blamed on the equipment, or an egotistical Cult trait to crank up the volume beyond recognition?
The Cult is a band of the past. A one-time heavyweight group that lost their title due to growing old. Maybe it's time for the individual talent to split apart and regroup with other musicians.
Lead guitarist Donald Roeser displayed remarkable talent as he took the audience on journey through his many solos. In the song "Astronomy," Roeser grabbed the crowd and sent them wildly applauding till the end, at which he politely offered thanks.
The versatility of keyboardist Allen Lanier and drummer Albert Bouchard to excel in their respective instruments, and then fill in on rhythm guitar when needed, provides further evidence of strong individual talent.
It is time for the Cult to retreat back to the group effort in writing their compositions, otherwise quick-buck albums like Mirrors will continue to rip off die hard fans.
If you have seen Blue Oyster Cult in concert, don't waste your time or money to try seconds. You've seen it And tor those that are contemplating their first live Cult sighting, think about that new album you want or the dime of grass that your lungs desire.
79-10-05 - Civic Arena, Pittsburgh PA Setlist:
Went to this show, and also the one in Erie in late September 1979.
BOC kicked ass as usual, but the thing I remember was that Rainbow was awful. They must've had an off night because the crowd disliked them immensely, and Blackmore resorted to playing behind the stage.
We sat stage left, and saw him playing back stage while the band kept playing on stage. Needless to say, it was very unprofessional and their set was appropriately truncated.
According to the Rainbow Fanclan Legacy site: "this show was abandoned due to crowd trouble in reality Blackmore and Airey had a fight on stage"...
Well, it clearly wasn't abandoned as far as BOC were concerned, and I've heard nothing about any fan trouble. It sounds as if all was not happy in the Blackmore camp....?
Ritchie Blackmore broke a string 1st song, and played the rest of the set BEHIND his stacks...
When it came time for Cozy's solo, Don Airey walked over to Richie and asked him why he was standing back there... and right in front of my face, RB knocked him flat on his arse and jumped on him and went to wailing...
Once his roadie Fergie went to break it up, we (Ricky Reyer, Fergie and I) joined in and yanked Blackmore off Don... but at this point Cozy finished the solo... BAM!!... flashpots went off and Cozy jumped off the riser and went to kicking the shit out of Don, who was still down, being attended to by Rick Downey...
At this point Downey nodded with his head that we should probably fall back to neutral ground and we left the stage... they played "Long Live R&R" and came off short about 10 min... end of the night...
Fast forward 6 hrs to 3 AM at Richfield Coliseum (45 miles from Cleveland and the nearest CAB much less TRUCK and, as our buses pulled away from the gig in the middle of the prairie, there sat poor Don Airey at the top of the ramp... with his Hammond B-3, 2 Leslies, Yamaha CP-80 piano and 4 synths... all alone... in the cold rain... enough gear to FILL a good sized "Transit Van" as you lot say...
No idea what he did that night... I'd love to ask him sometime...
Sad image for sure...
The first time I saw B.O.C. was Oct. 7, 1979 in Cleveland with Rainbow opening. I was there to see Ritchie Blackmore, as I was a big fan of Deep Purple, and had seen Rainbow previously with Ronnie Dio singing.
The way I remember it is somewhat different from what you have. Rainbow played about a half hour, only doing 4 songs, all of which were from their then-current Down To Earth album. Setlist: "All Night Long" / "Eyes Of The World" (highlight of the set) / "Since You've Been Gone" / and "Lost in Hollywood" - which included a long instrumental section taken from "A Light In The Black".
It was during the last song that Ritchie walked off stage. We thought he had just left, we did not see him behind the amps. Everyone was pissed because A) Graham Bonnet sounded like crap, and B) they did not play "Man On The Silver Mountain", or any of the other older songs, just new material only.
Now at that time I was working nights, and got off of work at 8:00 am that morning. Then I stayed awake to watch the Cleveland Browns football game that day. I got about one hour sleep, and then it was off to the show.
A friend of mine mixed up some Jack Daniels, Sprite, and cherry Kool-Aid in a large bottle, and we were drinking that and smoking weed, so by the time B.O.C. came on, I was done for. After a couple of songs I fell asleep! I missed about 4 or 5 songs, but woke up just in time for the arrival of "Godzilla".
At this time I did not know much about B.O.C., it was not until later that I became a fan. But despite my exhaustion, I very much enjoyed what I saw. I still have the ticket stub from this show.
Madison, Wisconsin show. You have the date but no set list:
Two days later I saw them in Chicago, but did not write set list, but see that you have one.
I do not have OD'd on my Madison list which looks like the only differance. They always liked Chicago better! HA HA HA!
By the way: Rainbow played the Madison show. I have the pictures to prove it. Rainbow also played with them 3 night's later in Chicago. I have the ticket stub for both shows.
Rainbow was to play in Green Bay for that tour but they didn't show.... a band from Milwaukee called Sweetbottom open instead and BOC played an extra hour of music because of it... good show...
I saw Sweetbottom a couple times... Daryl Stuermer from Milwaukee, played a double neck Ibanez... they sucked horribly... lol... I remember it very well...
My next show was Starship and Rory Gallagher in Milwaukee... I went to see Rory and he didnt show and Sweetbottom played that one too... I was developing a huge dislike for Sweetbottom... lol...
Blue Oyster Cult 10/12/79 International Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL - the support was Rainbow.
Celebration Productions was the promoter for the October 12, 1979 and October 1, 1980 shows.
Celebration Productions did 90% of the concerts at the International Amphitheater in Chicago, Illinois.
Rainbow played this show.
Omaha Oct 13th - I went to this show - Rainbow canceled and BOC played extra...
At the 14 Oct 1979 show in Springfield Missouri at the Hammons Center there was a mini-programme handed out at the show from either Maxell or TDK or some other cassette manufacturer. When opened, it was a full photo of the band wearing the satin baseball jackets that were offered for sale via mail inside the program. Very shrewd marketing.
Rainbow was scheduled to open, but cancelled due to someone being ill. Eric made a comment along the lines of "the British don't travel that well in the US...." during the show.
It was a long show. A friend of ours was sitting in the lower level to the left of the stage with a good 35mm camera and took a very good shot during Buck's Boogie. Allen Lanier was wearing his dark shades and appeared to be looking straight into the camera.
My brother Mike had the picture blown up and framed. It hung on the wall wherever he lived for a very long time.
Rainbow was supposed to open... Eric Bloom said: 'Those Englishmen, they have to much tea in their teabags'... he also rode a Harley on stage with the PA cranked... it was cool...
With Rainbow cancelling the previous gig in Springfield and the next night after this gig in Indianapolis, you have to wonder if they cancelled this gig also.
So - does anyone know if Rainbow played this gig or not?
This was the first concert I went to - you asked "did Rainbow play?"
No, they did not. I distinctly remember them announcing at the start that Richie Blackmore's Rainbow was not going to be playing, but that "the Cult was ready to rock extra hard to make up for it!"
Now, I don't know if they played any extra songs, but take it from a paying customer, Rainbow did NOT play on that gig.
Thanks for the site!
Blue Oyster Cult - October 18th, 1979 - Indianapolis, Indiana @ Market Square Arena
Band Performance Order:
The Blue Oyster Cult set for this concert was extraordinarily long because a roadie stepped up to the microphone and announced that Rainbow would not be playing that evening. The crowd almost started rioting until the roadie angrily shouted into the microphone that one of the Rainbow band members was injured in a car accident. The crowd settled down quickly and waited for Blue Oyster Cult to take the stage.
They did about a 3 hour show. It was really, REALLY long. I never did any research to see if the car accident was true or just a way to keep the crowd from rioting.
One of my favorite memories of seeing BOC was actually my first time. I saw them at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. I believe it was in 1979 on the "Mirrors" tour.
The friend who had gotten me into BOC and I went and I had told him that "Dominance and Submission" and "The Vigil" were probably my two favorite songs of theirs. He had seen them many times before and had not seen either of those songs in concert before... well, you guessed it... they opened the show with "Dominance" and fulfilled my wildest hopes by performing "The Vigil" about 1/2 way through their set!!!!
The opening act was the HOUNDS not the dogs.
NO WAY did they play 3 hours. Perhaps to some of the pot addled teens it seemed like 3 hours But I can tell you with all sincerity that the set was only padded by 3-4 songs.
The official BOC site has this show down as the 19th October.
I've been in contact with the guy who does the main Rainbow site and he confirms that this the BOC/Rainbow gig at the Freedom Hall Civic Center took place on the 19th Oct 1979.
If anybody knows for sure, please let me know.
Oct. 20, 1979. Blue Oyster Cult, Johnson City, Tennessee. My ticket stub states the 20th and I don't remember it being postponed from the 19th. So, I'd say it's the 20th. As I recall, we made a last minute decision to attend and got there as the opening band was finishing up.
As I recall, the opening band was, oddly, Robert Palmer! I got to hear part of his last song but didn't make it inside to actually see him. I'm pretty sure it was Robert Palmer. I'm positive I never went to any show that Rainbow appeared at. Perhaps a search of Robert Palmer concert lists might prove helpful?
I just got off the phone with a friend who's long been a big BOC fan. He could remember seeing Robert Palmer but couldn't remember who with. So, that's possibly some collaboration for my memory. If I find my notebook, it'll definitely have it written down.
There's a useful blog that charts the story of all the acts who played the Freedom Hall here:
They list the show as the 20th October, but list Rainbow as the support... That leaves the mystery of a possible Robert Palmer support slot still hanging...
Anybody with any concrete info on this show - either the support or a confirmation of the date - please get in touch!!
Pretty sure the date on the stub is the date of the show, because on a couple of stubs I have marked out a date and written in the correct date, or act, in some cases...
I'm very sure that Robert Palmer opened, because again folks were not very into RP, as his music was very different from BOC, and this area is up in the hillbilly country - Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top etc...
RP was in a suit, and kinda shuffle music. I kinda liked it, but I was way into stuff like King Crimson, Genesis, Supertramp, and not so much the southern stuff...
But BOC were fantastic this time with full out lazers, mirrors, smoke and lots of guitar. Loved In Thee, I guess my favorite - well, in the top 5 - BOC tunes...
Looking back, this was the last time the REAL BOC toured, before the 'hits' and all. So I think this may have to be the second best BOC show on my list...
And the after show party at the Ramada - hung out with some famous groupies!
Thanks a lot for that info. Incidentally, check out Rick's anotated stub collection on FaceBook:
Did Rainbow play this gig... or not?
The Michael Stanley Band opened for the Oct 21 1979 BOC show in Huntington WV.
Rainbow did not play this gig.
Wow! I am very impressed by your website! The setlist is amazing, but I would like to give you a slight change of information - on your entry for Oct. 24, 1979 in Springfield, IL the actual venue was The Armory, not the Illinois State Fair.
The Armory was a popular venue for concerts in the 70's and 80's. This was also the first time I'd seen BOC in concert - I had been waiting forever for them to play in town again, and was highly impressed (I still have the t-shirt from the show!)
At the Oct 24th Springfield ill. show, Rainbow cancelled and the Pat Travers band opened. Was my first concert, 17 yrs old...
I saw BOC in 1978 at Springfield Armory with Pat Travers opening. Me and my friends were front row, against the stage. It could of been '79.
It was a great show. I even taped it with a small tape recorder in my jacket. It sounded terrible though. Bucks solo on Dominance was fantastic.
Memories fade for me on this one as it was a rough night. My good friends Terry (he had the van), Dano (yo-yo) and Toto (another Dan) headed to the Twin Cities from La Crosse. I was still in High school and my folks were not happy with the fact that my 1st real concert would be with this band on an overnight trip. Well, as you can see I lived to tell about it.
Rocket and Black Oak opened... Black Oak was cool... Rocket... eh.. I remember the 1st hit of weed I took (yes my 1st) coughed for what seemed for ever, but we snuck in a bunch of 8 oz bottles of Blatz light Cream ale and a jug of wine... you could have almost dressed a quarter barrel up as a friend and wheeled it in.
All I really remember about BOC is that I was totally gobsmacked to be there. We were in the back part of the arena, Bloom/Lanier side 1st level off the floor bout 1/2 way up. The energy, sound, vibe, realization that I am at a BOC show numbed me. The entire show was intrancing...
Then came Zilla, Hot Rails, 5 guitars and an explosion of pyro that tossed me back almost 2 rows as Born to be Wild (took me by surprise) ended the show... Sweet Mother of Pearl!!!!!!!!!!!!! then the encore of Reaper... The smile was not gone for a week!
About the Mirrors tour date in Minneapolis on October 26, 1979...
I was at this show too and to my recollection Rainbow was supposed to be the opening act but they did not play.
BOC came out and did a double set and blew everyone away! I had actually wanted to see Rainbow but I forgot all about Ritchie and his tantrums once BOC hit the stage.
Wow! I very clearly remember Buck bouncing the lasers off the mirrored back of one of his guitars.
Only thing that confuses me is you have evidence from others that Rocket and Black Oak Arkansas played this instead of Rainbow... I dunno... I'm pretty sure about this one.
I'm thinking Redcap's thoughts about Rocket and Black Oak opening this gig may well have been a product of his aforementioned first hit of weed.
It must have been good stuff, because the Rainbow Fanclan Legacy site reckons "Rainbow didn't play instead the Machine Head album was played through the PA in its entirety, before BOC came on...
Actually, i t now looks as if all the Rainbow slots from the 13th October right up to this final gig of the "tour" were cancelled for reasons given as ranging from band members being ill through to band members being injured in car accidents...
Maybe some sort of Blackmore-inspired strop was going on, instead...?
It's interesting to note that their upcoming November European tour was also cancelled - something was going on behind the scenes, that's for sure...
There were absolutely no opening acts at this show. Zero. The other commenter above, Redcap, might be thinking of another show.
This next one was a bit of a puzzle:
I saw BOC at the Saint Paul Civic Center where Rainbow was supposed to open but cancelled. I remember BOC saying that they would just have to play longer and play some old ones.
It looks like this would have been in early October of '79.
Neither I nor the Rainbow Fanclan site had ever seen any mention before of a St Paul Civic gig on this tour, and thinking about it, how likely is it that there'd be a Minneapolis and a St Paul gig on the same swing?
Therefore, my working conclusion is that John above has misremembered the venue and was actually referring to the Minneapolis show on 26 Oct 1979.
Whoops! Someone boobed.
The Brighton Conference Centre is a vast seaside meeting place, frequented by political parties, the TUC and grey-suited men. Sometimes they feature rock and roll bands, but the place is entirely unsuited to the spirit of the beast.
Maybe it's the absence of lasers or the commercial failure of "Mirrors", but there was no danger of Blue Öyster Cult packing out this 6000 capacity hall. If this opening night was indicative of BÖC's current drawing power in these shores, then someone is going to be doing a lot of hard thinking in two weeks time when the accounts have to be settled.
The band stuck it out through a combination of a new found enthusiasm and sheer bloody mindedness. They've been playing in clubs back home and there is a straighter cutting edge to their performance as a result.
Hell, they even open up with "Dominance and Submission".
The difference between this show and the last time BÖC toured here is that "Spectres" material is replaced by "Mirrors" tunes and no-one is too sure whether they approve.
If Meltzer's absurd "Dr. Music" is gutsier on a stage than on plastic, then the band certainly didn't do justice to either of their potential production numbers - "The Great Sun Jester" and "The Vigil". Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma couldn't be faulted for their vocals, but the momentum of these dual tales of star-fallen icons and star-gazing humanoids simply flew into the rafters and refused to come down.
All credit to the Cult though for refusing to be down-hearted by the open spaces. Roeser's lead work on "Mirrors" captured the subtlety of the song and Albert Bouchard's delivery of "Cities on Flame" was nothing short of gonzo magic; serious heat.
Now the Cult have said goodbye to their lasers there are no visual distractions in the middle of the set. They've also said goodbye to the people who only come to check out the beams. Good riddance is the conclusion if this "Astronomy" was an indication of how they fare without 'em.
Dharma flips in and out of Bloom's pure vocal and Allen Lanier's prophet keyboard with the dexterity of a mini-Hendrix, for sheer melody this is ounce for ounce classic Cult.
"ETI" was similarly inspired but "Me262" drags on like an old relationship. It's dull as ditchwater and they should kiss it off for good.
In any case, "Godzilla" is a superior example of their warped dynamics, leading to the high point of the evening, the third world war definition of heavy metal that segues Joe Bouchard's admirable "Hot Rails to Hell" into "Born to be Wild" and the inevitable "Reaper". I'd go for the closing chords of the single hit, a fine song but definite millstone.
The final 20 minutes suggested that BÖC should have their jet lag and initial looseness ironed out by the time this show hits the provinces. Maybe they'll let Bloom ride his Harley Chopper onstage at Newcastle; it would certainly be funnier than watching the pod explosions fail to go bang!
Overall, this Brighton rock was average Cult. If they leant more heavily on their repertoire and allowed a greater degree of flexibility into the set then Britain would see the band operate at the same intensity they generated in the clubs.
They're old and practiced sea dogs these days, the elements of surprise are inherent in their make-up. BÖC can still burn your eyes and melt your ears.
I went to this gig having seen BOC in Liverpool on the OYFOOYK tour when they were marvellous!, and at Birmingham on the Spectres tour when they were good (lasers etc)
This show was not at all memorable mainly due the venue which was an agricultural show ground with parking spaces for cows pigs etc... lovely place!
I remember very well indeed this gig - superb, I must say, from what I can remember of it. Soon be 60 next month !!
They played Reaper as the encore I believe. The sound system was very loud but solid, no feed back or distortion at all.
On 3rd Nov we went to Santa Pod drag strip for the Bonfire night displays - my ears were still buzzin and numb.
Great band and great show I must say... But a long friggin time ago !!
Luv to see em again.
By the way - the lad I used to go to concerts with in his Vauxhall Viva, Dave Brady, tragically passed away about 8 years ago with a brain tumor.
When I look back at this gig, all my memories are of stuff not to do with BOC!!
I remember queuing outside for ages in long switchback lines and meeting old friends. I remember flashes of Magnum, the support band and then BOC in the distance. They only did three songs off "Mirrors" and I remember being happy at that - I'd been expecting more as they were touring in support of that record.
Don't get me wrong - the songs they did off that were fine - it's just that I didn't appreciate that record at the time - maybe not even now... apart from "The Vigil" and "I am the Storm", of course...
After the gig, I got a lift into the centre of Leeds and popped into the hotel where BOC were staying and met them in the bar. For some reason, I pretended I was with a national music paper and interviewed Buck - I used to write reviews for one and still had my pass... (I admit, I'm a bit ashamed of such behaviour - although, I did have "previous"!! When I interviewed Joe Bouchard in 1978 in London, I think they somehow got the idea I was with a national newspaper then, also... oh dear...
After my deception, I wandered down to the Leeds train station and spent the night being thrown out of the all-night café there. I went to a lot of gigs in Leeds (more usually at the University) and that all-night café was great when you were waiting for the first morning train... the first gig I did that for was the Runaways and the last was probably Iggy Pop...
Those were the days...
I have just come across your website after listening to Don't fear the Reaper on youtube, which then lead me to think "When did an ex girlfriend take me to see the BOC for my 18th birthday".
And bingo after a internet search I found your site and there it is a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon for Wednesday the 7th of Nov 1979.
I can't add much to the record other than to say that we were in the circle when they played Don't fear and two of them reversed their guitars which were polished on the back and reflected back into the audience the spot lights.
I remember that more than if I also got a birthday treat after the concert.
Keep up the good work.
I noticed you had no info on the 3rd 7-11-79 London show.
I saw the 4 shows and can confirm it was a 'standard set, with Last Days Of May in the middle but the 1st encore was Cream's I Feel Free! Remember this SO vividly.
I've seen BOC dozens of times since 78 on, and in particular the Club Ninja 85 UK tour that I saw most of. I know there is a souncheck circulating as Ipswich (along with my rather good audience recording) but it's from the Folkestone show with Perfect Water included.
One of my fave shows was Paris Le Bourget 84.
79-11-07 - Hammersmith Odeon Setlist:
I was 18. It was definitely November 9th not the 10th because I know we had classes that day and a quick look at an online calendar for 1979 tells me this was a Friday and I also know that on no other day of the week would I have been as drunk as I remember being that early in the evening during my first term as a student. Friday's last class, for me and one of my show-going companions, finished at 1.45pm, cue the official start of the weekend and a general stampede to the student union bar.
5 of us went from Portsmouth to Southampton in a Ford Fiesta. Me, Michelle, George, Neil and Michelle's boyfriend, Bimbo (don't ask, I don't know). 2 of us - Michelle, who owned the car, and myself - were very drunk. George and Neil, who finished classes an hour or so after us, were well on the way to being very drunk. Bimbo had preferred to swallow, smoke, inhale and/or mainline industrial quantities of illicit substances rather than drink therefore we judged it perfectly safe for him to drive.
I was the only one in the car who had even heard of Blue Oyster Cult before and I was the one who had bullied, begged and badgered my companions into coming with me. I was also the one who provided the in-car entertainment, it was OYFOOYK on a home-recorded cassette tape since in those days they hadn't yet come up with a satisfactory way to play vinyl in a car... still haven't come to think of it.
I remember the Gaumont Theatre very well, I saw many gigs there when I was a student in Portsmouth and I know we were on the balcony that night. I have a vivid recollection of leaning over the balcony and immediately wishing I hadn't because it made me feel seasick to see all the heads bobbing around below me so I passed the rest of the show some way back. The Gaumont wasn't a huge theatre but the band members seemed very small (ok ok I know that now) and far away.
It was packed, hot and very loud and the floor seemed to be shaking from the vibrations of the music but that sensation may also have been caused by the onset of delirium tremens as my blood alcohol levels subsided slightly.
I know they played Astronomy, I'd been hoping they would, and that did register, even in my fuzzy drunken state it was amazing and I know they played several songs from Mirrors (I hadn't yet got my hands on a copy) I didn't know them but I think I hummed tunelessly along to them anyway. I know they did the 5 guitars.
I seem to recall Born to be Wild but that may be a 'subliminal' memory planted by my reading of the other setlists from that tour. The thing is, although I have never heard that song live at any other show, I do have a very strong conviction I have seen it performed live so Southampton '79 would have to be the one.
I also know they finished with Reaper because just as it finished my very drunk friend Michelle came round from the coma she had spent the rest of the show in and exclaimed loudly, 'Ooh I like this one!' (apparently the only one that had registered with her when I had force-fed her my BOC albums some days prior to the show) before passing out again as the house lights came up and the doormen started moving in to eject us.
That's it, that's all I know.
The set list for Manchester Apollo on 11th November 1979 was:
I went to the Leicester gig 12th November 1979, the venue was changed at the last minute, I seem to think I found out on the day, to Granby Hall in Leicester.
The reason given was that the US tour equipment wouldn't fit in De Montfort Hall. I recall Magnum were the support band, after every song Bob Catley kept plugging their new album Magnum II.
Cracking gig by BOC, I have a program and plectrum, not sure about the T-shirt and sweatshirt (sadly both were a bit naff design wise!)
What you said about the equipment being unable to fit inside sounded strange. BOC played the De Montfort the year before with a full laser rig and it was OK then - 1979 was cut down kit.
I wonder if it had anything to do with poor potential ticket sales - hence a move to a smaller venue? Mind you, is the "Granby Halls" a smaller venue?
I went to this gig. It was at De Montfort Hall despite the ticket stub. I have visited the venue many dozens of times.
I recall it well as my father collected my group afterwards having "saved" an druggie in the park opposite by calling paramedics and then saying "I saved a junkie from hell, and then stepped into hell" (i.e. saw the end of the gig from the back!)
Here's a photo from this show:
Well, I bought OYFOOYK when it had just been released. I was 14 and a glass collector in a hotel, after school. A much older and wiser 16 year old colleague persuaded me to give him some cash so he could buy me the album. (I guess he taped it before handing it over). Actually, he had recently lent me his Rainbow On Stage album and introduced me to Richie Blackmore and loud rock - I think he thought I was to be his disciple!!
But, well, when I heard BOC- it was just amazing, especially having no real knowledge of music other than top of the chart stuff - oh dear... I'm remembering that little Jimmy Osmond single I bought.
So, I spent the next couple of years wearing out the record, and spreading the message. I bought Spectres next, then I got my Nan to buy me Some Enchanted Evening for my birthday - she was surprised as she remembered "that lovely record".
I live near Cardiff in Wales when out of the blue, a UK BOC Tour brought them to Sofia Gardens in Cardiff in November 1979. This was the Mirrors Tour. So, we missed school about a dozen of us to get our tickets.
I remember it was a wet night because, after the concert, I was able to slide a black BOC poster off a billboard. This was on my bedroom wall for many years.
I remember being at the front of the queue on concert night. We could see BOC eating a pre-concert meal in the canteen. Once in, we had to run to the front of stage when the doors opened, as it was pretty badly controlled. I think it was Magnum in support.
I remember being blown away by Buck's playing, just like on the album, but with loudness, and reality in a white suit!! Eric was dynamic. In fact, just superb. They had mirrors on the back of the guitars which they turned over when hit by a spotlight to pan around the audience. All the band did the five guitar scene. I can feel the heat now of all the bodies behind me, and fireworks and lighting really close in front. We got showered by the fireworks. Someone from school got a drumstick and someone else a plectrum. My ears buzzed for days.
Roll forward now to 2002. Middle aged bloke going on Amazon to find a CD version of OYFOOYK, which someone had borrowed and not returned. Found a link to BOC website, still going. Yet, a music magazine had told us they had split in 1982.
The link said they were in Swansea, Wales UK, so one middle aged bloke on his own goes to see... maybe a BOC cover band. Nope, it was the real deal. So, this year, girlfriend in tow, we are doing London and Swansea. A Tale of Two Cities on Flame... with Rock 'N Roll!!!!!
April Wine opened this show (same as in New Orleans the following night).
79-12-05 - Lloyd Noble Center, Norman OK Setlist:
A stub appeared for this gig on eBay (December 2010) that stated that Triumph was also on the bill...
Anybody know for sure?
I stumbled upon your website chronicling BOC's tour history. I attended the concert in San Antonio, Texas, December 6, 1979.
Two bands opened the show. Triumph may have been the first (although if they were they made no impression because I can't recall).
But the second band was Head East and they were very good. I don't remember BOC's set list other than they opened with a killer version of Dominance and Submission.
I also remember one of the pyrotechnics malfunctioning and Eric Bloom giving one of the roadies a nasty look.
It was a great show... my ears were still ringing the next day!
According to the promoters' website - stonecityattractions.com - the band line-up and running order was Mistress, then Head East and then BOC...
Yes, it was Mistress... I remember, now that you mentioned it. It was a great show!
According to the promoters' website - stonecityattractions.com - the band line-up and running order was Mistress, then Head East and then BOC...
This show was my first glimpse of Buck primarily playing the Balestra Vulcan created by New York luthier Juliano Balestra.
I'm now able to put a date on this show thanks to Sam Judd (see Houston - 10th December).
I'm just wondering if Mistress & Head East were also the support on this gig...?
This is a slightly strange one. I was contacted about a decade ago by a Rick Garcia who dated this show as 10th December 1979, so that's how I listed it.
Then in 2012, I saw a stub (see above) dated 11 December. This naturally took precedence to Rick's anecdotal information of the 10th, so I redated the show as "11 December 1979".
Then I received this email:
They must have played 2 concerts in Houston. My stub says I was there Dec. 10th:) My notes on the back of the stub say the backup bands were Mistress & Head East.
Carol kindly sent a jpeg of her stub along which clearly said "10 December 1979". So, as she suggested, this threw up the possibility of there being two gigs here, on the 10th and the 11th, which seemed a tad strange.
Thankfully, Sam Judd was on hand to set the matter straight:
McAllen was the 9th, Houston was on the 10th...
December 11th & 12th were days off... (all day sub duty getting to Nashville on the 11th... got to the S.I.R. hotel in Nashville about 9pm - it was for musicians only... small place in an old mansion right in music row... )
So there you have it - the Houston gig was either originally scheduled for the 11th and subsequently moved to the 10th (for reasons as yet unknown) or else there was major cock-up over the printing of the tickets...
Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston TX Setlist:
I was at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium show on 13 December 1979.
I remember it being a great show. April Wine was great as well, and BOC was incredible. By the way -- the promoter was "Sound 70 Productions".
79-12-13 - Municipal Auditorium, Nashville TN Setlist:
I found a date and news of this cancellation in the 5 December 1979 edition of the "Daily Kent Stater":
Tragedy spurs concert delays CINCINNATI (AP) - Two rock concerts scheduled for Riverfront Coliseum this month were postponed yesterday the day after 11 people were trampled and smothered to death in a rush by fans for admission to a performance by "The Who."
A Coliseum spokesman confirmed an announcement by Belkin Productions of Cleveland, which promotes rock concerts, that the Dec. 14 appearance here by Blue Oyster Cult had been called off.
Coliseum spokesman John Tafaro said the appearance was "not cancelled, but postponed," and that the fate of the Dec. 21 Aerosmith concert likely was tied to the action taken by the promoters of Blue Oyster Cult.
79-12-15 - Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis TN Setlist:
Gamma opened this one. I see you already have an accurate setlist so I won't send one.
Having seen the band in San Diego almost 5 months earlier, I couldn't wait to see them again in my own town. 1979 was a pretty exciting time for a high schooler as far as concerts rolling through town: J. Geils Band/Head East in April, Van Halen in early October, REO Speedwagon/Molly Hatchet a week later, and this was the days of $10 shows. And guess who's coming right after Christmas...?
I still remember the radio commercials promoting the 27 December BOC show, playing bits of Mirrors. Didn't have that album yet, but I knew it just had to be stellar...
Most concerts at the coliseum in those days were general admission. Naturally we arrived early enough to acquire positions on the floor, perhaps 10 metres from the stage. With Mom's Kodak Instamatic I was able to get a bunch of great photos of Ronnie Montrose (while I was not very familiar with him at age 16, I knew he was *somebody*) during Gamma's set. Later I got some excellent shots of Eric Bloom playing a logo-shaped guitar. I'm sure I got more that don't currently come to mind, but it pains me to say that I misplaced all these photos some years or decades ago...
Lasers, a Harley-Davidson onstage, five guitars: this was classic Blue Oyster Cult at their peak. I thank my lucky stars that I was able to witness it. I'm also grateful every time I get to see them now, most recently at Arizona Bike Week 2006.
BOC was the headliner. Ronnie Montrose's newly-formed Gamma, followed by The Pat Travers Band were the opening acts. What a fantastic night of Rock N Roll it was.
Gamma opened up to a scant crowd due to the typically stoned and late SoCal concert crowds of the time. Those who were too stoned or late missed out on Ronnie, tearing it up with a solid cast of characters backing him up through a spendid array of Montrose classics and a sprinkling of their new material.
Pat Travers was riding a wave of newfound success created by his hit, "Boom Boom, Out Go The Lights". Boom Boom was definitely a crowd-pleaser, but the highlight of the night in my opinion was the drumming of Tommy Aldridge. His bare-handed solo (a la John Bonham) was one of the most magnificent displays of percussion I have ever witnessed and normally I find drum solos somewhat tedious.
BOC was the headliner for a reason. They just flat-out rocked the roof off of the place. The playing was tight through all of the standards, as well as the newer material.
The accompanying lightshow and pyrotechnics were beyond belief and didn't miss a hitch. The highlight of the show for me was Godzilla. Seeing BOC jam on what is my favorite tune of theirs, with a huge inflated Godzilla floating above them blew my 16 year old mind.
I am a huge boc fan, in fact just saw them here in the San Francisco area for the 16th time [20 July 2009].
I wanted to contribute a little note for a specific date they played in Santa Cruz CA Sunday DEC 30 1979, I went to the second show at 10:30pm and midway into the 2 song Buck completely passed out on stage!!!!, roadies came out, picked him up, and took him off, and about 10 minutes later they canceled the concert!
Now Santa Cruz CA is very far from the San Francisco bay area so it was a total drag to leave at 11pm driving home half stoned for a hour and a half to get home... well that's my little story, love your site man
This was the debut of the big Godzilla set piece. I remember this show pretty well. It was the first time I met Dave Pier of MPA. New Years Eve was the Cow Palace.
I busted my ass all day making up lots of crazy extra pyro. The show itself kicked ass.
The next day I took one of my most awesome pictures ever... a shot from the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge looking south at a low hanging cloud bank totally covering up the city of San Fran. I think Hatchet was with me on this trip.
We also went to the wharf and ate. It was a very good day. I was in a red-letter mood for sure. This marked the end of my first full tour.
Perhaps one of the most memorable BOC shows of my youth, this performance showcased the band at the peak of their late 70's arena rock phase.
A stellar set by Gamma, the new band Ronnie Montrose formed after the demise of his self titled band got the show off to an electrifying start. Playing a fire engine red Stratocaster, Montrose wowed the crowd with his considerable array of guitar pyrotechnics.
The real spectacle was still to come however, as BÖC was bringing their legendary laser show to the Bay Area for the second, and final time before it was ultimately banned by the government. They had previously unveiled the lasers at a prior Winterland performance; but since that was a relatively small venue in comparison, not very many people had borne witness to the lasers. The 12,000 seat Cow Palace was sold out for this much anticipated show, and the crowd was ready to rock.
So it was only appropriate that the band opened with RU Ready to Rock, and catapulted into a set which amongst the usual concert staples included Golden Age of Leather, and the 5 guitars during Hot Rails to Hell for a nice change of pace.
An extended bass solo by Joe Bouchard still stands out in my mind as the single most impressive feat of bass playing I've ever witnessed. He brought the whole thing back to earth with a brief segue way into the unmistakable bass line from Pink Floyd's "Money." One of my friends turned to me and said, "I've never heard a bass guitar do anything like that before." Indeed, he was right.
Astronomy marked the point in the set where Eric set off the lasers with his wrist bracelet, flashing a beam of brilliant green light off the array of 4 huge mirror balls suspended over the crowd. The laser show had progressed since the last time I had seen them play, now the lasers mounted behind the drum kit could now be synchronized to form simple designs on the back walls of the arena. A laser generated Kronos symbol and Godzilla figure were animated, and the crowd went wild.
Albert Bouchard also performed a drum solo during Godzilla complete with his trademark Godzilla mask, laser mounted drumsticks and strobe lights that left the crowd completely dazed. And being that it was the 31st of December, Dominance & Submission marked the climactic point in the set where New Years Eve was indeed the final barrier. The capacity crowd went home stunned and amazed at the audio and visual spectacle of the Blue Öyster Cult in full sonic fury.
New Years eve of 1979 I saw them at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, opening acts were Gamma, and a band called STV. Now the songs played that night were - Mirrors, The Vigil, the Great Sun Jester, Dr. Music in support of Mirrors - I remember going with high schood friends and really enjoying it - one thing that stands out during the Vigil, is all the members were on stage with guitars and they turn the guitars around and mirrors were on the back and they were reflecting a beam of light off of them into the audience - very cool.
The first time we used it (the Big Zilla) was NYE 79 at The Cow Palace in SFO... that was the only time he was used with his full length body, and the only time he breathed both FIRE and CO2..
Initially, he was high enough to be ABOVE the lighting truss... after that he blew CO2 from 2 fire extinguishers only, and was only 1/2 as tall in order to fit into the area between stage and truss, although he was NOT on stage, but lifted to clear it and then moved forward so he was suspended just over the stage...
We modified him to fit the forks of a fork lift and they'd raise him up & move him forward at the right time..
FYI, there was a HUMAN inside the head (what a view!), switching on the lights behind the eyes (aircraft landing lights) lol)...
He was initially roadied/manned/operated by Tommy Higgins, then when Higgins moved up to drum roadie, we got Dave Thorpe to do it... he eventually became known far and wide as "Zilla Dave"... he ended up with is own truck with Zilla, Bloom's Motorcycle, all the giant ass fog machines, pyro gear, etc, etc... all kinds of shite that didn't MAKE music... just made it look better... just a truck full of "Kack"... known for it's driver "Jackelope Jack" as "Jack's Kack Truck"...
Zilla took a bad beating on the road being basically paper mache and styrofoam, eventually was DESTROYED by US Customs, looking in vain for contraband when we returned from a Euro tour in Feb of 84...
Eric Bloom once commented on this gig here:
"It was New Year's Eve, 1979, at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. The show was promoted by the late Bill Graham, a legendary rock entrepreneur. I got to know him well over the years.
He was a wonderful man. Bill knew how to promote a show better than anyone before or since. Instead of providing a stark cement dressing room in a hockey rink-type arena, he would have his crew come in and decorate the entire area with carpets and artwork.
There would be pinball machines, and the catering was always first-class. He went out of his way to make the backstage homey. The guy knew how to throw a party.
"We got to soundcheck and our tour manager said, 'Check this out.' Bill had ordered his considerable local workshop to build a giant, life-sized Godzilla for us to use during the song of the same name.
I don't remember if it was made out of paper mache or fiberglass, but it was really cool. It had a head that turned, eyes that lit up and a mouth that opened and closed. It fit on a piped rigging that could be rolled to the stage with a forklift truck down a ramp from the backstage area.
"We had to rehearse with it because it had these little pods that were like Godzilla eggs - it was part of the tableau, if you will. Our tour manager's wife put on a baby Godzilla outfit, and then she and a few other people got inside these eggs as part of a pre-story- the little Godzilla babies would roll out.
Then the big Godzilla came out. Smoke came out of its mouth and its eyes moved from side to side. It was amazing.
"Using it during the show was great - it was a big hit. It could have been a Spinal Tap moment if it didn't go right, but luckily nothing like that occurred.
I imagine Rob Reiner and some of the other people connected to that film might have seen Blue Oyster Cult, because there were some similarities between us, Uriah Heep and some other bands. Maybe they were thinking of our Godzilla for the 'pod people' scene - who knows?
"After the show we acquired Godzilla, but we had to cut him down a bit so he could fit on one of our trucks. We carried that thing around with us for years after that. Rest in peace, Bill Graham."
The 1979 Mirrors Shows began with the "Godzilla" soundtrack intro music, and the evenings ended with the long studio version of "I Love The Night" on tape playing in the PA as the people left the show!
1979 - By far their most creative tour of all in terms of variations in the setlist, and also quite the dedication to "Mirrors"!
Great Tours! Possibly my Fave! Just wish I had some July Shows when they did "You're Not The One" 3-5 times... Nothing to be found anywhere so far...
I think also that these date(s) were played in 1979 - if you have any info, please let me know:
I first became a BOC fan back in 1975 with the Tyranny and Mutation album or in this case an 8-track. I would go over to this guy's (named Randy) house and we would jam in his bedroom. I remember he turned me onto Get your wings by Aerosmith, Volume 4 by Zeppelin and Tyranny by one BOC.
I recall thinking it was an odd but quite good album, I had never heard anything like it at the time. For Christmas I was rewarded by my parents with all 3 8-tracks! That led me to Secret Treaties and OYFOOYK and I bought the first album and Agents on the same night!
My Dad even had a novel way to get those 8-tracks for me as he told me that they were exchanging gifts at work and this young guy asked for those same three 8-tracks and Dad figured I would know where to find them and yes we went to the local store called "Budget Disco Tape" and picked them up! Right in front of me!
I had a next door neighbor who was very instrumental in what turned me on to music and as he had already turned me on to bands like KISS, Mountain, Atomic Rooster, Deep Purple, ect. Anyway he kept mentioning that I needed to hear BOC and something about Dominance and Submission and a Transmaniacon MC. I clearly became infatuated over the title TMC and would spend the next summer torturing local DJ's with my mispronunciation of that song!
I am a musician and have been one for over 45 yrs. Yes that dates me! I played drums and percussion back then and later switched to bass and guitar and everyone in BOC is a big influence on me, especially Joe and Buck. I learned a lot of those tunes inside out and could tell you when Joe would change his live bass lines from the studio recordings! I also liked the fact that BOC would not always do a song 100% like it was done in the studio, Dominance is a prime example of this, both live and studio versions are great!
Now we jump to September 1979, I seem to recall that it was a Tuesday night. A recent Harrisburg BOC show had been cancelled and the show moved to Memorial Hall in York, PA.
That show was to be on September 13th, 1979, I seem to recall that the York show happened a week after that, maybe two.
It was cancelled they say due to technical difficulties but the word on the street was that BOC did not move enough tickets to sell out the Farm Show in Harrisburg which holds about 15,000, so the show was brought to York, with the same opening band which was the local act Fly by night (they may have had an album out called Zoo Road).
Apparently to what I just read on the net, Ian Hunter was also scheduled to appear at the Farm Show with BOC and Fly by night. Upon learning that BOC were finally coming to York, Pa I went out and bought a ticket, which I may and I said may, still have the stub. I did write the set list down not long after the show but that is mostly not in order.
The day of the show I was riding a bus downtown and the bus turned onto what is the first block of West Market St. and walking to the right of the bus as it was now going East on Market was one Buck Dharma!
I am 90% sure it was him. I never saw a full front view, just a side view. He had the build, the hair, and just looked like Buck Dharma. He was wearing jeans and had one of those chains that you attach to wallets, I recall that clearly. Anyway, one reason why I never got a full front view of Buck was I recall that like me, he is a very fast walker! And he was also looking straight ahead and glancing at the stores and shops to the right of him, I don't recall him looking to the left just maybe glancing that way and it was never for long, just long enough for me to say holy shit!
And I do recall thinking, "that's Buck!" My Buck sighting was in the afternoon between noon and 4pm.
He was also walking East and the only thing that I can figure is that the band may have stayed at the Yorktowne Hotel which back then may well have been the best hotel in York.
That hotel is 9-11 stories high and was only a block away from where Buck was walking and he was in fact headed in that direction because the hotel sits on the corner of East Market St. and North Duke St.
The band would only need to leave the Hotel on Duke, go West on Phila. Out to Carlisle Ave. and turn right and 2 blocks or so and you are at the Fair Grounds. Now on to the show.
I got to the show a little early to get a seat. The show turned out to be a General admission show so there was no seats just concrete flooring. The hall holds about several thousand people. Once inside I began to look around for anyone that I knew. There were copious amounts of booze and pot. Some people had brought blankets and were sitting on these blankets drinking and smoking. I just kind of putzed around looking for someone that I knew. I seem to recall having a concern that there was going to be violence at the show as some of the people looked and acted rough.
The booze and the pot was not totally hidden from what I recall and I remember being surprised by that.
I finally spotted a guy I knew from a local church. His name was Lonnie and he was older than me by a year or two. Lonnie looked a lot like Eric Bloom and I used to tell him this sometimes. I started hanging out with Lonnie and his brother Bubba (Chris), Bubba was huge, 6'2" and thin, he had long unkept hair and looked like something out of the swamp or a southern rocker. Word was out that you never messed with Bubba in those days. Lonnie basically looked a lot like Eric did in 1979.
Suddenly it seemed like there were more and more standing and at one point there was a general rush towards the stage. We were about half way back and damn it but I wanted to be close to the stage. Lonnie said not to worry as we had something that most people didn't, we had Bubba!
And at one point we started to make our move through the crowd, when people turned to see who was barging through, they got a good look at Bubba who just grinned and the people parted like the Red Sea. Eventually we wound up about 10 ft from the firewall or barrier in front of Eric's mic stand.
Fly by night comes on and they weren't too bad but as time went on we all started getting restless and started to boo them! Chants of "BOC we want BOC!" arose from the crowd that was pretty much either stoned or drunk or both. I was high just from the smell that permeated the air inside. I recall Fly by nights songs seemed to get longer and just drag on which may have been the main reason why they got booed.
So Fly by night's set is done and they are switching over to the Cults set. I clearly recall this; standing in front of Eric's stage mic, go to your left and you had Allen's organ, then the piano beside that. On top of one or both of those keyboards was a portable synth (these were fairly new back then) then there were other keyboards scattered around Allan's area. There may have been the tri keyboard that they use at times; it is 3 keyboards that sit on a stand.
The drum riser was unique; I have seen KISS and others so I know that this was unique. It looked to be constructed out of plastic ice cubes. Stacked together kind of like a pyramid. I noticed that during the show sometimes the riser would light up all one solid color, green and orange stands out in my mind. But once in a while, there would be a chaser pattern happen with that riser, that is where all of the cubes have different colors assigned to them and they change constantly. This was done a few times during the show. I also recall that sometimes the riser lights were just off and then the cubes had a white\creme color appearance when they were not lit.
Everything else looked normal, I do not know if they flew the logo flag or not, like every other major Oyster fan I am psyched by that logo! Anyway to me it seemed that the Cult took a long time to come on stage, I'd say 20-30 minutes or longer and the crowd was starting to get restless.
There was no Godzilla behind them so I just figured that it would not fit inside the hall, but that is weird because at their 1983 show in the same hall I recall them using it!
There may have been a mirror ball suspended on the ceiling over the audience but I want to make it clear that there was no laser show whatsoever. That had been stopped earlier in the year if I memory is correct.
Minutes after the show started, I apologized to the guy standing right in front of me as I was literally standing on his back or felt like it! He was cool; he knew that we were being pressed together like sardines! I do not think this show was sold out and there may have been only 500 at the show. Bodies were being squashed and I felt that this was a safety issue that should have been addressed. It was hot inside. I cannot emphasize this enough; it was like being a Sardine in a can!
I must also emphasize the loudness! This show was loud and I have a vivid memory of that dammed bass hitting me in the chest! In fact everybody commented on this, I thought I was going to have coronary when I first felt it.
The lights went down, and I will never forget this, I could see Eric back by the amps holding a mic, it was dark but not pitch black. I could see Buck take his place in the middle and he had his one foot atop the monitor. Allen came out I think, I know Albert did. And then without them looking at each other or cueing each other in, they were on. That amazes me to this day.
To this day I cannot tell you if they were even introduced.
I have been a lifelong musician, played drums from the 60's up until 1980 when I switched to bass and guitar. I am currently semi professional. So I know about going on and opening up. And BOC they just started it without looking at each other! Keep in mind this song just starts, Albert has a slight lead in but it is damned slight.
Eric's look after the first number or two was leather pants, black shoes; a tee shirt and I think an open shirt. I clearly remember that he wore 2 necklaces around his neck, the Secret Treaties plane and possibly the Cult logo. The open shirt if I am correct was funny as I recall thinking; hey my Dad has that same shirt!
Albert may have been a nana second ahead, with the slice of a cymbal and it was not even a full beat! The band was on! The place was pandemonium like it was 10,000! And not 500! It took me 30 seconds maybe to figure out what they were playing.
I always like to play let's pretend I am writing the set list tonight. What do I want to hear and then I will approach it from the bands view point, what do they want to do or feel obligated to play. You'd be surprised how accurate I can be even with rare songs on occasion.
I realized that they were doing one of my favorite tunes by them and I had picked this as my personal wish for them to open the show.
I truthfully expected maybe Doctor Music or R U Ready but I was well rewarded with DOMINANCE AND SUBMISSION! I was trying not to shit myself! It was like all of those years spent of my imagining what BOC would be like on stage and there it was right in front of me!
Yes I do recall saying that they would open with Dominance and being rebuffed by Lonnie and his friends as this was a maybe but not a positive.
Eric was in leather, at least pants and yes he wore the long leather coat and I believe he had the whip! Joe was animated and ended up running over to Eric's side of the stage and jumping up and down like a Mexican jumping bean. At one point Joe broke a string and he and Eric were almost side by side, they looked at each other and Eric began to pull the string off the bass (either D or G if I am correct) but that didn't work so next Eric pulled one way and Joe pulled the other and after two attempts it came off! I think Eric threw it out to the crowd I don't recall.
I don't recall the exact running order of the set but I do know all of the songs they did that night. They opened with Dominance, Cities on flames, Eti, Hot Rails, ME 262, Doctor Music, The great sun jester, In Thee, Mirrors, The Vigil, Godzilla, The Reaper, Born to be wild and they may have done "You're not the one" but I am not sure about that. Here is what is notable and I wrote this set list down when I got home.
Dominance: Joe being animated, Eric in the leather coat with the whip, Buck I believe had on a BOC first album tee shirt and for this song he played a Gibson I want to say sunburst or gold top guitar. I am 95% sure that it was a Les Paul! I have seen him with this guitar before and since that show. I also have a similar Les Paul to the one that he played.
I recall thinking that I had never seen anybody with a band wear one of their own tee shirts and I thought it was kind of cool.
Eti: I seem to recall Eric, Buck & Allen, all three playing guitar, I don't recall if Eric played keyboards but going by the 2nd live lp. He probably did.
ME 262: This was the shorter 4-5 minute version; the Cult Classic version (many years later) always struck me as being reminiscent of this night's version. I was disappointed as it seemed to tag in at the 4-5 minute mark and there was no 5 man guitar jam! Damn!
Hot Rails to hell: A favorite of mine, Joe took a bass solo which I yelled out "fuckin ay! Joey!" Who simply nodded his head up and down a few times in acknowledgement. I remember being thrilled that he at least acknowledged that. Part of the bass solo reminds me of what would show up as the bass line in the verses of After Dark several years later.
Except during the solo, that part started and kept getting faster and faster.
Hot rails to hell Pt. 2: This is where they did the infamous 5 guitar jam at the front of the stage. Albert came out about two minutes into this and I actually thought he was Patti Smith at first! As he came out and was on my left (on stage far right) and it was a little dark over there and he wore a hat, a funny hat, possibly black I recall that hat and thinking "it's Patti Smith!" But of course it wasn't.
I do know that he wore a hat when he came out front. I don't think he had those awful shorts on! Yes Hot rails ran around 10 minutes that night due to the bass solo and the 5 guitar jam and yes I was rather shocked that, that is the spot where they chose to do that. Over on Jack and Alma's board when I gave out this gig info years ago, a lot of folks were taken aback but several people said that it did happen a few times, rare but it was used in Hot rails a few times.
I recall the attention to Mirrors from the band. They did 5-6 songs from that which surprised me. I was a little disappointed in that one of those was not "I am the storm"-now there's a way to open the show! They have did like 3 maybe 4 in a row from Mirrors, I seem to recall that from the Doctor to Mirrors.
Godzilla: This is notable for Albert's drum solo and he wore the Godzilla mask! That I will never forget! The lights went out and when they came back on, there was Albert with the Godzilla mask! What a hoot that was! Damn good solo as well!
The Reaper: This is a personal notable, I made sure to catch Buck's fingering as he started the beginning of the interlude. BTW he has since changed where he plays those same notes at today. I believe this is a 21st century addition.
Born to be wild: No bike, but they did do the Texas chain guitar Massacre that we all love so much and they may have had the mirrors or mylar paper on the back of their guitars.
I seem to recall the Eric possibly played an acoustic for the Great sun jester and In thee. I remember thinking at first that it was weird to see any of them with an acoustic on stage, but hey, they use em in the studio!
The show was over and we all left, I am not even sure how I got home but I did. I was babbling from all of the pot that I had inhaled 2nd hand wise and it was noticed.
In my opinion they were fired up enough and put on a damned good show!
I do recall hanging out for a bit after the show to wait for the band. I recall that several times (this was the first) that a woman, the same woman had come to the local BOC show and did her damnedest to get to the backstage area. I recall this show, that she may have driven a VW Bug and she had dark long hair and I always assumed that she was a groupy.
This show was almost a religious experience for me because this was my first BOC show period and I had been a fan of the band since 1975, Tyranny was my first BOC lp. That I ever heard. My top 3 bands were, BOC, Rush, and KISS (yes them). To this day BOC and Rush remain two of my favorite bands.
Luckily for my sanity one Joe Bouchard remembers this gig well enough and also recalls my "Fuckin ay! Joey" comment. I emailed him back in 1997 and he did say that, plus I still have that email reply from him if need be.
Please somebody else remember this gig! I was not the only one to attend, so someone must also recall this. I would ask Lonnie but I have not seen him in years but I do know where I can find him.
I will also search for my blue binder because that show is still in there!