1984: As usual, 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...

Have you got anything to contribute to this page? Reviews, missing info, ticket stubs, posters etc etc - if so, let me .



Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Help!!

I initially heard that there was a missing Juneau 1984 gig when I got sent the following note...

Dave Gregovich

BOC's 1984 show in Juneau was in Centennial Hall...


But what was the date?... I could see there was an Anchorage gig on 2nd Jan and a Honolulu gig on the 4th so logic might suggest it was either the 1st Jan or maybe the 3rd...?

Then I got sent this:


Not sure if you are still collecting info on this show, but I was in attendance at age 15. There were maybe 600 people.

They had a warm-up band that did only a few songs, and their name was Chrome Forest. I knew one the guys younger brothers.

I think it did occur on new years day, as I remember downtown was all closed, and there had been a couple feet of snowfall that you'd expect in Jan, so Juneau was a ghost town that day otherwise.

The date fits perfectly between the Tacoma (31 Dec) and Anchorage shows.

One of my friends from high school claimed BOC were there because of his mom, who was a supposed friend of the band. He did have a pile of signed merch, so everyone believed him. I assume it was not part of the official tour, being such a small venue.

I have seen wrong info, that it happened on May 23rd on concertarchives.org, and they claim it was in Century Hall which wasn't a real place.


Thanks for that info - OK, so I'll go with the 1st of Jan for now, but if anyone can add further confirmation - or even a denial! - please let me know...

William Volker

Aldo Nova opened this show.

I remember that Eric drove a Harley on stage for Born to be Wild.

No other details come to mind, though I do recall that i was somewhat wasted and regretted it the next day, as the show details were a bit fuzzy. It was the only time I ever got to see my fav band.


Looking at reports in "The Honolulu Advertiser" (31 Dec 1983), it looks like there was only one gig in Honolulu at The Neil Blaisdell Center (NBC) Arena...

Also, Billboard only gives figures for one gig, so that's a further indication... Looking at those Billboard attendance figures, they only really half-filled it, so two nights there would maybe have been a bit strange...

Mark Costa

I was at this concert. There was only one gig at the NBC and it was half filled. But it had the best audience of any concert I ever went too. Everyone was absolutely into it.

Looking at the set-lists for the other concerts on this tour that looks about right for what was played, except I know after Roadhouse Blues they played an encore of Born to be Wild.

Hope that gives a little info one what I can remember from 35 years ago. Luckily I was a clean guy, even as a teenager, so I do have a very clear memory of the concert.

Lol. Aloha!


The original BOC schedules listed two gigs at this venue, on the 4th and 5th January 1984. However, none of the adverts or reports supports the idea of a second gig on the 5th, just the one on Wednesday 4th January.

Furthermore, Mark Costa (see above) has now confirmed that this 2nd show definitely didn't happen, so therefore I'm relegating this gig entry to the "Phantom" class.

Joe Georganna

At the Spectrum in 84 there were 2 warmup bands. The first one alludes me but the second was Dokken. I actually have some pictures from that one and it was the first General admission concert at the Spectrum since someone got killed years before.

Also saw BOC warm up for Rush at the Spectrum during The Club Ninja Tour.

Phil Degler

I attended this show in Philly at the ripe old age of 18. I don't remember the performance by Dokken so much, but I remember that my friends and I were all looking forward to the Zebra performance (in addition to that of BOC).

We were not disappointed as the haze of marijuana was heavy in the air. I remember that Joe played a little of Pink Floyd's "Money" during his bass solo and the crowd went crazy.

During the performance of "Let Go", a lighting rig shaped like the BOC symbol was lowered and displayed.

In retrospect, I wish they would have performed more of "Fire of Unknown Origin" as that album is vastly superior to "Revolution By Night".

After the show, my ears were numb for at least the next day in its entirety.

Ian Cassetty

Here's a gig review from the January 12, 1984, issue of the Ohio State Lantern:

'Cult' rocks Ohio Center crowd with gimmicks
By Tom Ryan
Lantern arts reporter

An oil and water combination of gimmicks and music was the bait Tuesday night as Blue Oyster Cult lured a willing Ohio Center crowd into its heavy metal shredder.

"Nobody is as obtuse as we are," explained band member Eric Bloom. "Nobody does what we do."

The band opened with established tunes like "Hot Rails to Hell" and "Cities on Flame," a number coupled with blinding floodlights that illuminated a fistshaking crowd.

Once the group warmed the audience, it introduced new material that included "Take Me Away" and "Shooting Shark," the first single from the "Revolution by Night" album.

Anything visual stimulated the crowd. A simple floodlight focused on a revolving mirrored ball prompted unbelievable audience reaction.

Midway through the show, prehistoric roars bellowed throughout the arena. As the band began its hit "Godzilla," a replica of the head of the Tyrannosaurus from Tokyo was forklifted from backstage. It spewed fire extinguisher emissions from its flapping jaw as the head moved from side to side. It was cute, but corny.

A bass guitar solo followed, which was laced with melodies such as the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" and Pink Floyd's "Money."

For the most part, the band performed well as a musical unit.

The set ended with Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild" as Bloom rode a black, 1380cc Harley Davidson motorcycle onto the stage.

During this number, the gimmicks wore thin as Bloom and Donald Roeser reflected spotlights into the crowd from mirror-backed guitars. They then rubbed the guitar necks together like matchsticks and produced - well, noise.

An encore featured a new tune entitled "Let's Go," and renditions of The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" and "Love Me Two Times."

Considering the last song and the encore were borrowed tunes, it's hard to see where "nobody does what we do" fits in.

Aldo Caporuscio, alias Aldo Nova, opened for Blue Oyster Cult and provided a fresh and heavy dose of what he calls "high-tech" rock.

Nova opened with his latest hit "Monkey On Your Back" and also did "Fantasy."

"I like what I do and work hard at what I do," Nova said. "I always go for different sounds."

Nova said his next album will feature guitars in place of synthesizers.

Dokken, a band from Los Angeles, opened the show with a brand of music that deserves to go no further than the opening act of a three-band show.

Marty Ayers

I was at the 1/11/84 show in Saginaw, MI at the civic center.

First on was Dokken, followed by Aldo Nova, then BOC. I have the ticket stub and may have a flyer somewhere. As soon as I can dig them out I will scan them and send them to you.

I also recorded the show but it's not great since I was right at the wall with a hand held recorder with built in mic. I know it's stupid know but what did we know at age 17 right?!?


I remember seeing reel to reel tapes being made at the soundboard, and George told me that the gigs were being taped. Where are they???

Robert F Saunders

I was at either the Jan 13 or 14 show. I have the stub somewhere.

As a Long Islander, I know BOC was always big as a Long Island band, but at the time Zebra was very popular locally, so everyone was looking forward to seeing Zebra open for BOC.

Significantly, I remember sound trouble with Zebra's opening set. You couldn't hear the vocals at all on the first song. Maybe even into the second. There was a lot of talk about it afterwards from Zebra fans.

Sam Judd

Genuine big-time rock and roll working in there... hallowed ground in the entertainment industry... they don't call it "America's Concert Hall" for nuttin...got a great tour from one of the union guys... amazing "Captain Nemo" technology in that place from the late 20's early 30's...

The elevator system for the stages were so advanced that the Navy adapted them for use in their aircraft carriers and guards were posted on them during WWII so spies couldn't steal the design!!... it's huge too.. 6,000 if you use the orch pit for temp seating...

Just looking at the Wiki on it and I didn't realize that in 1979 it was meant to be TURNED INTO OFFICE SPACE!!... what a bonehead idea THAT was!!... luckily preservationists intervened and it was refurbished and re-opened in 80... I had no idea...

I remember all kinds of folks being there backstage... all those NYC types... from Brent Mussberger (Joe Bouchard's neighbor), to Jim Carrol and all the rest of the local gang... my old pal Eric Weinstein even stopped by to see me one afternoon... he roadied for BOC/Dictators/Shakin Street (in addition to Alice Cooper, Black Oak Arkansas, etc)...

I'm still in regular "e-touch" with him, but that was the last time I actually had any face time with him... he stays pretty busy nowadays as he's an associate producer for the HBO show Entourage and is personal assistant to Mr.Mark Wahlberg...

Not sure, but I believe these shows were one of the 1st, if not THE first time we employed our "Revolution By Night" stage set that was designed by Rick Downey...

It was pretty basic with a few ramps and risers and some nice backdrops of the album art.. but believe me, a NYC venue, with NYC unions is NOT where you want to deploy a new set for the 1st time...

In a strict union setting like that, BOC crew can't TOUCH any gear till the union gets it all up and ready... everything gets unloaded and taken to the stage by teamsters... then staging has to be moved/set up by carpenters, stagehands from the IATSE set up the band gear and electricians from the IBEW have to run all power cabling and plug it all in...

Then we get to do everything that involves adjusting the gear and dealing with the actual instruments... but want something moved 6"??.. better call a shop steward and have him delegate that...

I remember the band played really well as they always seemed to do at the big moments (Castle Donnington not withstanding)... I seem to remember even trotting out a mic for Richie Canata to blow a sax on some song... probably Road House Blues or Shooting Shark...

We actually put the union guys to work since there are fully equipped shops there and we were paying them anyway... so we fed them a steady diet of plywood, casters, latch and hinge hardware and nuts, bolts and rivets to repair ALL of our cases and make dollys for/attach casters to those new set pieces.. we were headed for a European WINTER tour in only a week and we wanted EVERYTHING as easy to use as possible!!... worked out pretty well actually...

That's about it for my memory... this show was the 1st night of 2 nights in there... and it was OMG COLD outside!!

Richard Carroll

13/01/1984: Radio City Music Hall, N.Y.C.

Support: Zebra


  1. Me262
  2. ETI
  3. Hot Rails To Hell
  4. Born 2 Rock
  5. Cities On Flame
  6. Burnin' For You
  7. Take Me Away
  8. Joan Crawford
  9. Shooting Shark
  10. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
  11. Godzilla
  12. Born to be Wild
  13. Encores: Let Go
  14. Gotta get outta this Place
  15. Roadhouse Blues
Rose Lupinacci

I remember the sax player that played on "Shooting Shark" guested on that tune this night. I would've remembered "WGGOOTP" so I must've gone this night.

Richard Carroll

14/01/1984: Radio City Music Hall, N.Y.C.

Support: Zebra


  1. Me262
  2. ETI
  3. Hot Rails To Hell
  4. Born 2 Rock
  5. Cities On Flame
  6. Burnin' For You
  7. Take Me Away
  8. Joan Crawford
  9. Shooting Shark
  10. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
  11. Godzilla
  12. Born to be Wild
  13. Encores: Let Go
  14. Roadhouse Blues
Ian Cassetty

I ran across an ad for a BOC/Aldo Nova/Dokken concert at the Cincinnati Gardens on January 17, 1984 on a Facebook post - check out the comments:


Thanks, Ian. I had a look through the papers and found this listing in the 20 Dec 1983 edition of the "The Cincinnati Enquirer":

Blue Oyster Cult has been booked for a Jan. 17 show at Cincinnati Gardens. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with Dokken and Aldo Nova also on the bill. Ticketron puts the tickets on sale for this triple-header on Thursday.

There was also a big box ad for the gig in the 8th Jan 1984 edition. However, as Ian pointed out, the commenters in the above FB post suggest they thought this gig might not have occurred. They appear to be locals and were surprised they'd never heard of this show.

So, despite the ads, there has to remain a suspicion that this show might not have occurred. I would have expected to see more ads closer to the gig date, then perhaps a final listing on the day itself, but I couldn't find anything.

As usual, if you have any information one way or the other on this, please get in touch.

Nicolas Favez

Hi, just found your great site. The opening band for BOC this night was Aldo Nova - I was there. Unfortunately no ticket stub left :-(

This is the only time I saw BOC live, so I can't compare with other BOC gigs, but I remember that was a great show. The band was playin' tight and with a lot of energy. I was really pleased to hear "Born to Rock", as at the time I thought that Buck Dharma's solo album was better than the last two BOC's LP's.

I have two distincts memories: first, there was people from a religious organization at the gate of the venue, giving flyers to warn people that BOC is a satanic band, or a sect, or something like that - and that we should go away and not enter the venue. This is the only time I've seen that in Switzerland - not even for Black Sabbath or Ozzy Osbourne, and I've been to a lot of gigs...

Second, during Godzilla, the drummer threw his sticks on the big Godzilla "robot" (I don't know how to call it), and one of the stick got stuck into the robot's neck or head, like an arrow - the guys of the band seemed surprised and that was fun to see.

I'm sorry I don't have more memories - that was 23 years ago, and this is the first time I think about this show since then...

Ralf Gimbel

In 1984 23rd january the songlist is the same as in 22nd in Biel and 28th in Sindelfingen. I know that because I have a tape of Augsburg.


Sindelfingen was 27th, but thanks for the info. These BOC Euro-sets seem to be identical!!


Aldo Nova opened the concert. The local promoter was Enterprise/Chapeau Claque...

Ralf Gimbel

The songlist on 24th january is the same as in 23rd in Augsburg - I was in Nuremberg (exactly it is Neunkirchen, which is 20 kilometers off Nuremberg).

Tim Cornell

Saw them on a brutally cold nite in Germany 84. Tickets and posters said Nuremberg, but it was a 50DM taxi ride to the middle of nowhere in a freezing hall.

Remember EB surveying the crowd from a catwalk stage left. Aldo played well and our boys gave all, as always. Included in Roadhouse Blues was the Love Me 2x's snippet.

Hall emptied fast after the show and we found ourselves pretty much alone with no way back to the train station. Fortunately a taxi appeared out of nowhere in the snow to save our asses. It was the same driver who dropped us off knowing we might need a ride back. My man!

Wolfgang Muller

The supporting act at Offenbach was Aldo Nova.

Steve Switzer

I only went to one BOC gig in central Germany - I think Essen. I was in BAOR (British Army on the Rhine) and that's the nearest show to where I was based...

They were pushing "Shooting Shark" at the time. I enjoyed it a lot. The most memorable thing was that Eric Bloom's guitar string broke and somehow drew blood from his face - very eerie...

Alessandro Borri

I have seen on rockzirkus.de, a nice German website (not clear if this website is still active or not anyway) a concert ticket stub of BOC in Osnabruck 29th January 1984.

This ticket clearly shows that Aldo Nova was the support act.

Christoph Gilles

The gig was at the Hall Polyvalent at Schifflange (Lux) and the special guest was Aldo Nova (who also played on BOC album)...

Gérard Guéro

Hoooo, a long time ago.

Imagine the Espace Balard, a vast tent in a middle of a pool of mud with rocks ready to be picked and thrown.

Imagine a security dispatch with big dogs fed with yogurt for the last 4 days before the show.

Imagine the accoustic of a big tent.

Imagine that the guys just in front of us got their tickets mugged while going to the concert (and sorry, but I was in no shape to defend them and between them and the show, I chose the show).

And imagine it was my first BOC concert... Well, thrilled I was, happy I was, but I was a little... disappointed... well, after Aldo Nova, our ears were bleeding so the BOC music was a little buried under the blood.

I remember it was cold outside, hot inside, and that the attendees weren't so thrilled by the show, except for Godzilla.

Cool thing is that destroyed the Espace Balard sometime after the show.

But the best thing is that the concert poster was drawn by these two young artists who worked for Enfer Magazine. A few years later, they were famous comics artists here in France and I was a comics writer and they gave me the original art of the poster as a present when they learned I was quite the ultimate french BOC fan... Gentlemen, they are!

Oh, I think they played "let go" during the encore.

Pascal Pozzobon

They started with ME262 at the speed of light ! Eric, Buck and Joe were standing on the drums podium during the intro and then they went down slowly without jumping, just as three cold blood killers ready to give us a real great rock and roll show.

I confirm what Gérard said: they played "Let Go" at the end. This is not a great song but it's alright to close a gig with the chorus "BOC" sang by the crowd.

David Andre

The Espace balard was a kind of circus in a poor and devasted area, with a lot of freaky guys all around. I just waited other people to go to the show, not to be alone...

Aldo Nova played first and I remember he came back for the encore. The sound was very very loud, my ears were out of order for two days after the show !

I found Rick Downey really very good, and with a great solo. Joe's bass solo was impressive (Pink Floyd's Money and other classic songs on bass !).

Yves Nauleau

I was here and I wrote the setlist during the concert with a friend of mine.

They played 2 encores (not only one): Let go and Roadhouse Blues...


This date isn't mentioned on the dates included on the French Tour posters, but the existance of the above ticket - plus an audience recording of the show!! - suggests it did indeed take place.

Quick Gig Facts
Denis Neuhart

Great Show. I remember the great version of Born to be Wild.

Jean-Marc Sturmel

They played in the same town but another hall... it was "Rhenus" instead of "Tivoli".

As the halls are also for sports events, I guess it was due to such event the same evening...

Christopher Knowlson

Here I am, sat in my attic looking at two colour photographs of said show hanging proudly either side of my chaos symbol that welcomes you my Altar of remembrance to BOC. They were right in the middle of shooting shark, to be later heralded at an awesome performance at the Opera House 2 years ago.

Nothing really compares to these guys in full flight, I know I've seen them all, but as I recall this show was absolutely packed and as I recall one of the best BOC gigs that I've been to.

Aldo Nova was good and showcased songs from his concept album "SUBJECT" which I have on vinyl, and here lies the connection Drumming for Aldo was none other than Chuck Burgi who would later join the cult in the 90's.

This was my 4th BOC outing and after the fucking shambles that was Donnington it was a relief to see The BOC back to form. I knew that it would be good after reading a review from the Radio City Music Hall in sounds a week earlier.

I had played the vinyl off the new album and loved all the first side. I would love to hear Veins Live. Have they ever played it? Someone please let me know.

[ Yes - three times (that I know about) in June/July 1983. Ralph ]

Anyway they gave us a great set of old new and the usual We Gotta Get out of this Place,we were in Newcastle after all. Everyone in the band was on top blob, Buck ripping out on his white strat, Joe slipping Pink Floyds "Money" riff in his bass solo, and I do remember everyone going ape shit to Let Go. This was a band in their prime, loving what they do.

Anyway all I know is that there will always be a piece of me that is BOC Long may they live Except Allen he is dead but won't lie still. When ever they visit England I'll be there too.

Thanks for listening.


My name is Andrew and I come from Northern England. I'm a long time (since 1976) BÖC fan - when I heard OYFOOYK and AOF in the mid seventies it was like a door to the future being opened. BÖC's imagery and weird titles and lyrics were something totally fresh, and not since equalled.

BÖC have visited the UK many times (all praise!) but I didn't see them till the Revolution by Night tour - where I picked them up at Newcastle City Hall (ref some enchanted evening) and at Birmingham Odeon (February 1984.) Both gigs were sellouts, excellent sound and first-class performances.

The numbers were punchy, tight and given a slick delivery. They played (in this order) ME262, ETI, hrth, born to rock (from flatout) COFWRR , bfy, tma, jc, shooting shark, reaper, godzilla, a bloody great bass solo from Joe, born to be wild, let go and roadhouseblues.

I was impressed by the coverage across the years and the set structure - letgo had the crowd going crackers and then rhb sent us into one of those great rock and roll moments - when a well-honed group play a classic extremely well. Excellent.

A word about the support - Aldo Nova. He was very good - one of the roadies told me that "take me away" was largely written by him, except called "psycho ward " and had the hook "they're gonna put me awayyyyy!" But apparently the record company thought it might do better elsewhere.

Gary Benzie

Newcastle city hall is a great venue for a concert and to us was hallowed ground as they had recorded some of Some Enchanted Evening there. A group of us made the long journey down by train (couldn't risk the bus).

One of the topics of conversation was what song they would open with. No one suggested ME262 and when they launched into this the venue went ballistic.

The concert itself flew by but my biggest memories were how cool the band seemed and also at one point I was bursting for the toilet but didn't want to go as I was enjoying the show so much I didn't want to miss anything. (maybe too much info).

Andrew Clarkson

I went round the back of the Apollo in 1984 to get autographs. Buck, Joe, Allen, and Rick were all happy to sign my ETL album cover, and have a laugh when they arrived at different times.

However Eric had rushed in earlier carrying a guitar case saying 'Yeah, Yeah, I'll be out later.' When we asked the other guys about him coming out Buck just laughed and said 'Oh he's a lying man.'

Rob Munro

Manchester was more of the same as I saw in my first gig (Glasgow 1978)... minus the lasers!

I think this tour was to promote the 'Fire Of Unknown Origin', so the set was somewhat different, although I seem to recall they did play some early tracks like '7 Screaming Dizbusters' and 'The Red and Black'. Highlights were 'Astronomy' and 'Joan Crawford'.

David Thomas

I remember going to see B.O.C. in February 1984 at the Manchester Apollo (still have the ticket stub). I was up in the balcony, right hand side, looking down onto the stage.

The thing I remember most was how loud it was, my ears were ringing for two days afterwards.

I don't remember much about Aldo Nova, except I think he was dressed in some sort of 'studded' leather garment, a bit like Rob Halford of Judas Priest, obviously not as good a vocalist.

BOC played a song from Buck's solo album, Flat Out, the song, Born 2 Rock, was something I hadn't heard before, and to be honest, was pretty underwhelmed by it.

Part way through the concert, somebody in the audience handed Eric a whip (presumably a reference to the live album OYFOOYN, where Eric thanks a member of the audience for giving him a whip as a gift) although from where I stood, it looked more like a bit of wood with a piece of string on it, Eric threw it away in disgust

I also remember when Joe had his bass solo, he started playing the intro riff from 'She's as Beautiful as a Foot', there was a ripple of applause from those who recognised it, but not much from the rest of the crowd, he did glance up at the balcony when I clapped loudly, as I was convinced they were going to play the song at that point.

During one song, Buck turned over his guitar.he had a mirror attached to the back, he shone out a beam of reflected light into the crowd, directed at anyone who waved at him, including me.

This was the first and only time I saw BOC live, I was never aware that they played around this area after that gig.

Still bought their albums, recently got their box set, and was sad to hear of Allen Lanier's passing.

David Reilly

This was my first BOC Concert and I decided to go to this gig because I was also a big Aldo Nova fan and his album subject. I went with my girlfriend from Nottingham 50 miles away so It was easy to get there.

I remember taking my prized possession to the gig a 35mm camera, the love of my life at the time along with my LP collection. I had recently bought the Revolution By Night LP and really loved it especially Take Me Away.

I digress, the gig... Birmingham Odeon Is a small Venue which is ideal because it makes the gig more intense, and it was fantastic, Aldo Nova was amazing Spacey Metal and BOC all In one night...

AMAZING NIGHT. I didn't manage to get any photographs, my camera was confiscated until after the gig which is how things where back then.

Ziggy Rokita

It seemed like an eternity since BÖC had accepted the challenge of breaking through to the UK rock mainstream by appearing to a 60,000 plus audience at the mighty Castle Donington Monsters of Rock festival. Their brief, below-par performance did little to win new fans or convince the cynics what the fuss was all about -for aficionados it was a sad fall from grace. For the very first time I questioned my love of the band.

The news that BÖC were going to be playing at Hammersmith did not deter me from wanting to see them again-not just once, but twice and little did she know it-but my girlfriend's Valentine's Day treat was to see my all time favourite band-how good was I? For that matter-how good were they?

I made sure that we were early as Cult collaborator and ace guitarist Aldo Nova was the support act. Unlike so many support bands that just don't come from the same genre as the headliner and are unlikely to appeal to the audience this was not to be the case-Aldo turned out to be quite a crowd-pleaser. No amazing songs but a great player playing to an appreciative audience.

I recall that by the time that BÖC hit the boards and throughout the first few numbers the audience were making one hell of a noise. They came on so powerfully: Me262, ETI and Hot Rails were rocking and the audience loved them for it. By the time Eric introduced Buck's solo track Born To Rock you could see that the band were bigger and better and were in great form, but Burnin' For You, Take Me Away (despite a funny intro from Eric) and Shooting Shark felt a little too slick for my liking.

Even the look of the band was slick: Eric's Ninja headband and Kung Fu moves, smart dressed Joe Bouchard and even Buck's blow dried "big" hair seemed a little contrived. The show looked so well choreographed and rehearsed that I sensed that the band were out to prove themselves-especially in light of their last UK show. It was only Allen Lanier in his Red and Black striped top that seemed to be at ease with himself and not trying too hard.

The inclusion of Let Go - a throwaway pop song co-written with another of my favourite artists Ian Hunter (now collaborating with Joe Bouchard on the Bouchard, Dunaway and Smith album) left me wondering where they were going. No matter, they were on form and I was going to see them again the following night.

Michael Fitzgerald

I was close to the front of the stage and when the pyrotechnics were detonated during the start of the second half, you could feel the heat and a blast wave from them.

The gig was really loud, a masterpiece of showmanship and brilliant music making. 30 years on it remains a vivid memory of great time to be following the band that were "on tour forever"...

Ziggy Rokita

So there I was, same place, same time as the previous night, just a couple of rows closer to the stage. Same as the night before, Hammersmith was sold out to capacity, although I wonder how many of the audience, like me, had gone to both shows.

On this occasion I took my sister Tess. She too had come away from the Donington show wondering what had gone wrong (you might remember that it took an eternity to find out that Albert had been sacked the night before and that his replacement Rick Downey hadn't had a chance to rehearse) and being short in height did not help - everyone seemed to have stepped on her. So an indoor appearance was much more welcome.

As with the evening before Aldo Nova was the support act. Once again he turned out a sterling crowd pleasing performance but with no truly hummable/memorable numbers we opted for the bar and some overpriced warm lager. A few years later Aldo ended up collaborating with Jon Bon Jovi - the tunes were more memorable, but once again major success avoided him. I wonder what he's up to now?

Once again the audience were going mad during the intro tape as BÖC made their way to the stage in the dark and once again they started with Me262, ETI and Hot Rails performed so consummately that they had us all eating out of their hands. But that was it - the show was identical to the night before.

With the exception of the final song everything, from songs, moves, and song intros were pretty much identical. Without doubt they were playing fantastically and everyone came away from the gig that night feeling that they had seen a great gig. For me, some of that magic was missing. I didn't really want to see Buck tease the audience during Cities in exactly the same way that he had the night before or Eric introducing songs in exactly the same way.

That said, you can never get enough of Godzilla, Born To Be Wild or Reaper and despite my criticism that the band were too tight I loved the show. Once again it was Allen Lanier (again in a Red and Black striped top) that seemed to be at ease with himself and performed so brilliantly on guitar and particularly on keyboards during Joan Crawford that I felt he stole the show.

Right at the end Eric mentioned that that night's show was the last of the tour and that they were going to play a number that they had not played in a long time and with that they played We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, something that I hadn't seen them play since the SPECTRES tour. I wondered what they were trying to say, whether their trip to the UK was that bad that they just wanted to get out. I guessed that at the end of their notoriously long tours they become so slick and rehearsed that they inevitably grow more polished. Still, Tess hadn't seen the night before and had no complaints and we both went home pleased that BÖC hadn't fallen and were still on form.

As far as I know Joe Bouchard has not played in the UK since that night, so I for one want to see him when he comes to the UK next month.

John F Kouten

Cap theatre was a great venue in NJ in its time. It has closed since.

Girlschool was loud and adequate. 1984 was a strong year for BOC. This show was one of my favorite of that year. Probably because i was in the front row and they let us take pix.


Capitol Theater was a great venue, but security were dicks, I barely managed to sneak in my tape recorder and was paranoid all night. Also, the bathrooms were party central, which was weird smokin' with cops a few feet away!!

Girlschool were already on the downward spiral. A more fun show than Radio City, just felt looser.

Kirk Kristlibas

So, I was at this show and my memories of it are totally surreal. I was thirteen years old at the time. My parents were nice enough to drive me and friend in from the 'burbs and drop us off -it was the first concert I had ever been to, and I'd been a B…C fan since I was eight.

Girlschool: I had their record and really liked it. They seriously rocked and the crowd pretty much dug them from what I recall. Which brings me to the crowd (now, this gets a bit weird, but it's how I remember it). They were everything I would have imagined a Blue …yster Cult crowd might be like in my weird, adolescent brain: dangerous looking teenagers with red slits for eyes, loads of leather-clad bikers and, to my fascination, these beautiful, sort of sinister looking women dressed in what I can only describe as long, black "witch's gowns" with symbols and stuff all over them. I felt like I was crashing some saturnian coven party or something.

During intermission I was standing outside the bathrooms and one of these robed women comes up to me and flourishes a joint between her long, pointy fingernails, with a wide, wicked smile on her face. That eerie smile is burned in my memory forever... Don't remember seeing any cops around.

The show is a blur (all I know is they played almost everything I hoped they would), except for the encore, "Born to be Wild," which had Eric straddling a black chopper motorcycle wheeled out to the front of the stage, and ending with an explosion of towering flames.

They kept playing even after that, but it was time for my parents to pick us up. Dutifully, though reluctantly, my friend and I made our way out to the empty lobby as the show continued on. Now, the Capitol Theatre used to be a movie theater (I believe), and the lobby still had a counter for popcorn and snacks.

Anyway, sprawled out on the floor of the lobby was this guy laying in a massive pool of blood - I think he was already dead - and the young girl working the popcorn counter was knelt beside his body, dabbing his wound with dozens of tiny paper napkins! It was such a totally bizarre and shocking image, my friend and I couldn't believe our eyes!

Then came all the flashing lights, as dozens of police began storming through the front doors. When we got into the car, my parents asked us what was going on. Let's just say it was a while before they let me go to a concert after that.

Richard Carroll

22/02/1984: Capitol Theatre, Passaic,N.J.

Support: Girlschool


  1. Me262
  2. ETI
  3. Hot Rails To Hell
  4. Born 2 Rock
  5. Cities On Flame
  6. Burnin' For You
  7. Take Me Away
  8. Joan Crawford
  9. Shooting Shark
  10. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
  11. Godzilla
  12. Born to be Wild
  13. Encores: Let Go
  14. Roadhouse Blues
Bob McFadyen

The February 23, 1984 gig is listed at a Landmark theatre but an unknown town or state. That would be Syracuse, New York.

Joe Georganna

I loved the Landmark Theatre show. Great old theatre in Syracuse. Had front row seats in the balcony. Have some great photos from that show. Girlschool warmed up for them.

Made a banner, that I still have, That said "Ithaca College is with you Joe" because I was going to IC at the time. Joe didn't look up the entire time, even though we were cheering like maniacs. We were blinded by Buck and Eric during dualing guitars but Joe still didn't look up. Finally when they were leaving after the encore Joe looked directly at us and smiled and gave a big wave!

Steve Jakubiec

I went to the 25 February '84 Buffalo, NY show. I remember Girschool being booed off the stage! And Eric making a point to thank everyone for coming out on a Wednesday night since it was a very busy week concert-wise in Western New York.

I saw the Police the previous weekend, BOC, and Loverboy the following weekend. The boys had their great flying saucer prop for "Take Me Away"!

Gregg Prince

Shea's 25/2/84 - Revolution by Night tour. Rick Downey, great drummer, I thought. Girlschool was great!

Shea's is known for having one one of those old poverhang balconies that you can feel move if the crowd is rocking or the band is loud -- right on both counts!!


Gross $ 12,350
1,100 attendance (3,500 capacity)
$ 11,75 ticket price
DiCesare-Engler Productions
Source: Billboard


Even though I have a stub for this gig dated 1st March, it now seems certain that this gig was re-scheduled for the 27th March (see below).


I now have information that this show was postponed and rescheduled for the 28th March. The above stub, dated 2nd March, is obviously ripped, and has clearly been used, so it's evident that the 2nd March stubs were honoured for the re-scheduled show.

The same thing had happened with the previous night's Portland show - so it'd beinteresting to find out what caused these two postponements...


Midweek show touring behind RBN. Local Rock Station WROQ had "Take Me Away" showing up as the number 1 requested song daily for about the 2 weeks prior, so the crowd was decent and into it.

Aldo Nova did a solid opening set. Bloom snuck up behind the keyboardist and goosed him mid-song.


The original BOC schedules had this down simply as "Hampton", venue unknown. Then I got told it was actually an SWU gig at Bessies Boathouse, so that's how I listed it for a while.

However, after examining the local newspapers, it's become very evident that this was actually as BOC show at the Coliseum.

Here's the listing for this gig in 25 Feb 1984 edition of the "Daily Press" [Newport News VA]:

Blue Oyster Cult, with guest Aldo Nova, will perform March 10 at Hampton Coliseum. Tickets are $10.50 in advance, $11.50 the day of the show; they are available at the box office and at Mother's Record and Tape Co. in Coliseum Mall.

I found a review of this gig in the 13 Mar 1984 edition of the "Daily Press" [Newport News VA]:

Blue Oyster Cult Still Has Following
By Jay Taylor
Staff Writer

Hampton - When Blue Oyster Cult toured the nation's small halls in the early 1970s plugging its first album, it stopped at Randolph-Macon Women's College in Lynchburg - to the general disappointment of most.

Saturday night the band played to thousands at the two-thirds full Hampton Coliseum - to the obvious delight of the crowd. The popular heavy metal quintet Aldo Nova played a competent warm-up set.

In the early '70s, the group's cold visions weighted with leather-jacket posturing and symbols of sorcery, proved too preposterous for the schizophrenic Woodstock/Altamont generation living in central Virginia.

Praised by the press for its debut album, the band sounded terrible in concert and came on like would-be punks. The Lynchburg hall was nearly empty at encore time.

Throughout the '70s, the Cult remained on the fringes of fame, its influence aborted by heavy metal's decline. Yet an underground following always remained true, one that gradually legitimized the band's alchemistry.

The Cult was not to stay submerged. With the help of 1976's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," the band began shredding its self-imposed shell of satanic mystique, and by the 1980s had mined a commercial lode so large as to earn themselves a front row pew for heavy metal's second coming.

After many albums, it now walks between the new extremes of the 1980s - the techno-wimp whinings of Michael Jackson and the vapid rantings of dove-killer Ozzy Osbourne.

They take refuge in mega-band touring apparatus, a generation of fresh young fans and regular FM hits. Today the Cult is establishment rock, and its show proves that. It has found refuge from satanic oratory with such inoffensive hit love songs as "Burnin' for You."

The Cult, it seems, knows it cannot outdo today's metalluric death squads, though it pads new releases with the old stock-in-trade themes packaged in "Heavy Metal: The Black and Silver," "Shooting Shark" and "Veteran of the Psychic Wars."

On Saturday, after slogging through some unexciting openers, the band delivered a well-received version of "Burnin' for You." It couldn't have been done better by a copy band.

"Cities on Flame with Rock 'n' Roll" from the 1972 album, was played close to the original but ended with aimless anarchy calculated to allow time for cymbal smashing and the sorcerer's touch - two giant torches.

In another move away from hellish themes, guitarist-singer Eric Bloom encountered the pulsating white light of a descending spaceship and innocently beckoned it to "Take Me Away."

Then back to black, with a crowd pleaser, a powerful, unretouched version of "(Don't Fear) The Reaper."

The crowd called for and got "Godzilla," replete with a long, crackling drum solo

A long bass solo birthed Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild," the finale. Guitarists Bloom and Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser held forth their guitars/sceptres, crossed the instruments' necks and drew tortured howls from the strings.

All in a day's work for heavy metallurgists - and competent miners at that.

Now an institution that draws both from its legendary mystique and from today's innocuous mainstream, the Cult is a curious lesson in the stuff that makes longevity.


This gig was confirmed in the Sunday 11 March 1984 edition of the "News-Press" [Fort Myers FL]:


Rock Concert - Fantasma Productions and the Lee Civic Center will present a rock concert featuring Aldo Nova and Blue Oyster Cult. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $11.50 general admission, and are available at the usual ticket outlets. For more information, call the civic center box office at 997-1718.

Steve Bailey

I can confirm this show took place on this date.

Steven Piparskeggr Robinson

Saw BOC in Tallahassee at their Civic Center on the Revolution by Night tour with Aldo Nova.

For a college town, they were a really dead audience.

Steve Bailey

I can confirm this show took place on this date.


I was at this gig I can confirm that it was Aldo Nova opening - I still have my T shirt...


I got a date for this gig as a result of a ticket for it appearing on eBay [Feb 2020].

However, I had previously heard of the existence of an Aldo/BOC gig at Podnuh's as a result of the following post:

Richard William

I've seen BOC three times, '70s, '80s, and last year. Rich Stadium in WNY, Podnuh's nightclub in Louisiana, and Payomet tent on Cape Cod.

The Louisiana show was in a huge metal building under the guise of a bar/club. They must have used their arena sound system in there, it was so loud!! Aldo Nova opened.

The club was in St. Martinville, LA and 1982 I think. Aldo Nova had his hit "Fantasy" out. I'm pretty sure the place was called Podnuh's, the only time I went. It's now a juvenile detention center! Main area was 16,000 sqft...

I know it was something I heard about at the last minute and it was BOC, not their alter-ego.

Steve Bailey

I can confirm this show took place on this date.

Bryan Costello

I was at this show. The support acts were Aldo Nova and Accept. Accept came on first and played for 30 minutes...

Mike Brown

I had the glory of seeing Blue Oyster Cult in 1984 here in Nashville with Aldo Nova opening for them. They were very happy because it was the last date on the tour.

Accept, from "Balls to the wall" fame, was billed before Aldo Nova, so there was all 3 artists that night.

Matt Aliberti

There was no support at the RNB tour gig at the Poughkeepsie Mid Hudson Civic Center. Sadly, Aldo Nova was a no show.

And we were into Novas debut album. And this was our 3rd rock concert ever. BOC played for like 2 1/2 hours +. Now, as an adult I would love all the deep cuts, but as a 13 year old, we actually were getting bored.

All we knew was what was Godzilla, Reaper the other stuff on TRBN, SEE and Fire. And the place was too small to fit Godzilla, so we didn't get to see that either.

It didn't help that we saw Judas Priest and Rough Cutt 2 days before. And that Priest stage show was insane!

Most of my friends gave up on BOC because that show wasn't a spectacle like Priest or Maiden (our previous 2 shows), but I kept on and probably have seen them as many times as any other band.

Update: After consulting with a friend we now think there was a local band that opened and played for about 30 minutes...

Jim Montague

I was at this show. My parents went away for the week, left me and my older sister home alone. I already had tickets for Van Halen at MSG at the end of the week, so normally two concerts during one school week would not have been allowed. Since they were away, they didn't know.

I went to BOC on Monday night. We didn't wear jackets since you just had to deal with them inside, it was a pain. I already had a small cold and when we got out of the show it was snowing out.

My friend's dad was late picking us up, so we stood in the snow waiting. I ended up getting bad bronchitis and missing the VH show at the end of week. I guess parents do know best !!!!

Mike Tallman

Your site is totally awesome, I can honestly say I have NOT seen a more complete compilation of info for any band like this.

Just wanted to pass along that I was at the 26 Mar 84 show in Poughkeepsie NY.

Great show, wish I could have seen more of them back in those days, but the fact of the matter is that I actually got to see them so am happy to be able to share in that experience.

Gary Piccone

I just visited your website on Hot Rails and just had to email you some info. I'm from New York and was only 16 years old and had the priviledge of seeing BOC as my first concert on March 26th 1984.

My mom was terrified but I didn't care and good thing I didn't!

I had front row seats sitting in front of Joe Bouchard and was just amazed the entire night and I caught 2 of his guitar picks that night.

One day I'll meet Joe and have him sign my ticket stub. So nice to go back and revist the good ol days!

Mike Campiglio

I was at this gig (stub included). The Cumberland County Civic Center was pretty empty, considering it holds 9000 +/- a 1000.

It was also the last arena show I saw the band play at.


Mike's stub clearly says 1st March 1984. Yet the venue website says it took place on March 27 and gives the attendance as a pretty sad 2602...

This figure sort of tells its own story - the context is that the maximum "sell out" figure seems to be 9500, and people like Aerosmith etc sold out each time around - even bands like Loverboy sold out that year yet BOC couldn't even quarter-fill it!!

Does anyone know if this gig was 1st March or the 27th?

Bob Maguire

The concert was supposed to be March 1 but got postponed until the end of the month.

The funny thing is that we drove there thinking the show was still on. Boy, were our faces red!

Anyways, that was the last time I saw BOC and it was kind of sad to see the place empty when only a couple years earlier there was wall to wall people at all the biggest places.


Thanks for that very helpful bit of info. It seems clear now that this gig was in fact re-scheduled from the 1st March (as shown on the above stub) and actually took place on the 27th March, as stated on the venue's website.


Here's a link to some photos from this gig:


It is now certain that this gig was rescheduled from the 2nd to the 28th of March. See above tickets for illustrations of both dates...

John Stout

Centrum Worcester, MA. - the date was 3/28/84...

It was cool to see BOC, but no real stage theatrics, and no-one seated in any of the upper arena seats, sparce attendance... Can't remember the opening act...

Neil E Graham

I was at this gig. L88 opened - they were a local band that was called last minute because for one reason or another Girlschool was off the bill.

As a young musician, I remember being very envious of them. even though the sparse crowd really didn't like them much, they were opening for my favorite band!

Thankfully, 15 years later I got my wish to do shows with them, albeit less attended ones...

John Stout

Yes. I remember that I recorded both bands. But at the Centrum back then it was easiest to sneak in a super small tape recorder since the security was so tight. So I recorded them on micro cassette !!

Luckily got to see them a few months later at Rocky Point...

But that Centrum show had all empty seats upstairs. And I had just seen them sold out in 82. Shows how quick times and audience appeal turns over...

Jim Peacock

I remember it was rescheduled. Think that's prob why they broke out Dizbusters, Joan Crawford and ya I forgot they did Born to Rock too.

Haven't seen them play any of those 3 since and I've seen em about 25-30 times since...


I originally had this gig pegged for 6 June 1984 as a result of the following email...

Michael Jones

Hey there... greatly enjoying the BOC gig history pages!

June 6, 1984 they played at the Agora Ballroom in Hartford, CT with, by the way, a very similar set list, if not identical, to the show in Warwick, RI 2 nights later...

I do know that it was June 1984. I went back through my concert database and at least there I entered it as June 6. It was a week and half or so before my high school graduation...

The set list was similar to the other set lists that I've seen from around that period... pretty much their standard 100+ minutes. They were definitely on their Revolution By Night Tour and I am almost certain that it was not billed as a SWU show, rather a BOC show... in fact having seen them for the first time back in January (1/13/84 I believe) at Radio City Music Hall I was surprised to see them playing the Agora.


Then I came across the following review on page 29 of the Sunday 1 April 1984 issue of the "Hartford Courant":

Blue Oyster Cult Draws Musical Fine Line, Then Deftly Walks It
By Frank Rizzo
Courant Rock Critic

Blue Oyster Cult is a band of great tight-rope walkers.

Watch this five-member band as it manages to tread on high while delicately balancing heavy metal bravado, pop occultism, rock parody and master-craftsman guitar playing - and do it with hardly an oops.

It's an admirable feat and one the band has pulled off year after year since 1971.

The last time the band performed in the area, again at the West Hartford Agora, was nearly two years ago when it played a surprise club appearance under the fake name of Soft White Underbelly (an early monicker for the group).

On Friday night at the Agora to a crowd of more than 2,500, the band members performed their workmanlike balancing act once again. They pleased their heavy metal fans while showing that their music can be more than aural lobotomies, that music can have a sense of humor, and that, yes, hard rock music can offer intriguing lyrics, melodic lines, and instrumental finesse.

So they didn't have the charismatic showmanship of Van Halen's David Lee Roth or the youthful rowdiness of a Def Leppard. So at times the band seemed a bit unfocused and perhaps too democratic. So the band showed more perspiration than inspiration.

It was still a pleasing show, one that featured mostly Cult favourites in its 15-song line-up. Songs such as "Cities in Flames," "Burnin' For You" and "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" were dazzling play-alongs for air-guitarists. And "Godzilla" and "Joan Crawford" showed that the band can be funny and smart at the same time.

In its ninth, and latest studio LP, "The Revolution By Night," the band returned to the classic head-banging ecstasies of heavy metal, perhaps taking advantage of the genre's high popularity this year.

Unfortunately, the new songs were sparse in performance. "Take Me Away," however, demonstrated the Cult's uncanny way of accomdating guitar pyrotechnics in a tuneful, pop song format.

Hot licks were shown by all: Eric Bloom, Joe Bouchard, even keyboardist Allen Lanier, all took time out to show their stuff on the frets. But it was Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser who best combined guitar amps and angst. Rick Downey presided on drums.

By the end of the 100-minute evening this band of veteran tightrope walkers once again proved that it can still headline an act at the rock and roll circus. You've seen the act before but it's still pretty amazing.

Setlist for Blue Oyster Cult: Dominance & Submission, ETI, Hot Rails To Hell, Born 2 Rock, Cities On Flame, Burnin' For You, Take Me Away, Joan Crawford, 7 Screaming Diz-Busters (Don't Fear) The Reaper, Godzilla, Born to be Wild, (Encore) Let Go, Road House Blues.

So - that's pretty much conclusive that this gig was in fact on Friday 30 March 1984.

Update: Further confirmation about this gig date appeared in the form of a copy of the contract for this gig that appeared on eBay in December 2018.

That contract confirmed it was for "a single performance at the Agora Hartford Conn on March 30th 1984 at 10pm" (gross capacity 3,500), that the support band was called "Cryer", that BOC were paid a "$10,000 flat guarantee plus expenses", and that the bookers were "Jimmy Koplik/Cross Country Concerts".

What happened in May? If you know, please let me ...

John Stout

No opening act... The PA sounded good. It was packed up front. But general admission party!

Neil E Graham

As I recall, the ferris wheel got adorned with tons of logos...



I found a less-than-enthusiastic review of this gig in the 19 Jun 1984 edition of the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch":

An Oyster That Shows Signs Of Age
By Louise King

One of heavy metal's oldest acts and one of its newest proponents teamed up for some high-decibel entertainment Sunday at Kiel Opera House. The crowd had no trouble shifting gears in midstream to enjoy both ends of the show, which featured rock dinosaur Blue Oyster Cult and, for the concert opener, Ratt.

B.O.C. has come a long way since its modest beginnings in 1967. In the mid-'70s it became a regular headline act on the strength of its precedent-setting live shows and one or two commercial hits.

Unfortunately, its theatrical productions, which featured extensive use of lasers, have become less than economical for a group that seems to have passed its apex, both in concert attendance and originality of performance.

A small but loyal following still surrounds the band, and those in attendance Sunday stood on their seats with raised fists to chant along with the familiar tunes. As expected, B.O.C.'s more critically accepted songs such as the 1976 breakthrough hit, "(Don't Fear) the Reaper," "Burnin' For You" and "Take Me Away" were the mainstay of the set.

Set highlights still include Eric Bloom's vocals (when they are able to be deciphered over the volume), Joe Bouchard's lead guitar-like guitar-like guitar-like bass solo and Allen Lanier's dramatic touches of electric piano. Even Rick Downey's drum solo, so ordinary, yet so obviously appreciated by the crowd, couldn't recreate the enthusiasm generated by the band in the past.

Although the group's image has been sharply linked to the use of dark and otherworldly symbolism, its reliance on such imagery has lost some of its appeal in the '80s. Flash pots still explode, and lead guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser is still prominently featured in the perfunctory solos, but the magic seems to be fading.

Brian Watkins

BOC played at Kellogg Arena, Battle Creek MI on 6-18-84 - Pat Travers opened, then Ratt.

I got this info at the Battle Creek Library. It came from an actual review for the show the following day. Interesting side note IMO The arena holds about 6000-7000 people, but for this show there was only about 1500 people.

Joerg Planer

I recently found a ticket stub for this gig on ebay which had Whitesnake down as the support. Was this a fake or were there indeed plans for Whitesnake supporting BOC on this short tour?


All the early adverts for that show up to 31 May 1984 featured Whitesnake as the support act:

At 8 p.m. Monday, June 18, the rock group Blue Oyster Cult will perform in concert in the Center with guest artist Whitesnake. Tickets will go on sale May 29. Advance tickets for reserved and general-admission seating are $10 each. The day of the concert, tickets will cost $12.

However, by 3rd June the bill had mysteriously become Pat Travers, Ratt and BOC...

The following review from the 27 June 1984 edition of the Bellevue MI Gazette shows that was indeed the line-up that played the gig:

Triple Bill Rocks Sparse Kellogg Center Crowd
By Daniel L. Harrison

Blue Oyster Cult; a veteran heavy metal band with over 12 years of rock and roll experience under their belts. Pat Travers: a veteran heavy metal guitarist, tops in his class. Ratt: a new heavy metal band whose debut album "Out Of The Cellar" has earned them a large number of supporters and whose on-stage performances, including their recent appearance at the "Great American Rock Festival" in Kalamazoo, have established them as one of the premier new acts on the music scene today. Separately, all of these acts have headlined their own concerts. Put them together in one show and it is a heavy metalist's dream come true.

That dream came true June 18 at the Kellogg Center in Battle Creek as the three acts showed the cereal city what real rock and roll is all about. Disappointingly though, only about 1500 area rock fans attended the event.

Attendance has been a problem with many recent Kellogg Center shows, which is hard to understand with the relatively low ticket prices there. Ticket prices for this show were only $10.00 in advance, while most shows in Wings Stadium cost about $13.00 and Pine Knob is now asking around $15.00 per show; not including the cost of gas to get there. The Kellogg Centers shows are definitely a bargain.

It is a rarity to witness a bad Blue Oyster Cult performance and Monday night was no exception. As headliners, the Cult scorched through a 13-song set consisting of their best known songs. Included were "Cities on Flame" from their 1972 debut album, "Take Me Away," and "Let Go" from their most recent effort "Revolution By Night," and an array of hits from their ten other Columbia Records albums.

Guitarist and group leader Eric Bloom handled lead vocals on a majority of the songs including "E.T.I." "Joan Crawford," a song about the late actress' rise from the grave, and "Born To Be Wild" the Steppenwolf hit which Bloom began by riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle onto the stage accompanied by flashpots.

Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser, lead guitarist, offered numerous sizzling guitar solos as well as providing lead vocals on the group's 1981 hit "Burnin' For You" and "Born To Rock" from his own recent solo album.

Bassist Joe Bouchard, besides handling lead vocals on "Hot Rails To Hell," conjured up a nearly ten minute-long bass solo which proved to be a show highlight. Included in the solo were instrumental version's of the Who's "Boris The Spider" and Pink Floyd's "Money". The solo convinced many Battle Creek fans that Bouchard is one of the best bassists around.

All three vocalists were featured on the hit "Don't Fear The Reaper," a song containing clean layered vocals. It was followed by the song which most of the young audience had been waiting for, "Godzilla." The song featured drummer Rick Downey on a lightning-fast solo which, at times, sounded more like a group of drummers instead of just one.

The band finished their second encore with their remake of the Doors' classic "Roadhouse Blues" which included a bit of the Doors' "Love Me Two Times" midway through.

The 5-man band Ratt performed a disappointingly short, 5-song set which received as much, if not more, crowd response than BOC, The songs included were "In Your Direction," "Wanted Man", "The Morning After," and their debut hit single "Round And Round." Also included was "Back For More," the song which lead vocalist Stephen Pearcy says will be featured in their next video due to begin shooting soon in Los Angeles. Their first video, "Round And Round," featured a cameo appearance by Milton Berle. Pearcy, perhaps realizing the crowd's displeasure at the group's short set due to time problems, promised them that Ratt would be back to B.C. soon.

Pat Travers, also the victim of a shortened set, offered a show containing mostly selections from his new album "Hot Shot." The primo guitarist concluded his 6-song set with the vintage John Lee Hooker boogie-woogie tune "Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)" on which Travers announced that the audience could sing along and get involved in the show and maybe get their money's worth. Travers was probably referring to his and Ratt's shortened sets and how it was cheating the audience.

Except for the time problems, the entire show offered Battle Creek a night of top rock entertainment; something which could be in jeopardy if more support is not obtained by local musk fans. If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns for the Kellogg Center, please feel free to call them.

Upcoming concerts at the Kellogg Center include .38 Special on July 5, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on July 16.

As Whitesnake were advertised as the main support fairly close up to the gig, and indeed were even on the tickets people used to get access to the gig, it's a bit strange they weren't even mentioned in the review...

Oh, in case you're wondering where I got the setlist from for this gig: these setlists seem to have been identical each night on this tour - all that differed was the length of the encores - one song or two? Helpfully, the above review says it was a 13-strong set and that the last encore was "Roadhouse" (the "Love Me Two Times" version). Voila!

Gardner Trimble

I attended a BOC show at Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, Maryland (outdoor summer shed venue --- still there but since re-named for a corporate sponsor, I'm sure) in the summer of '84 ("Revolution By Night" tour). Probably June or July. This was actually a re-scheduled date from March '84 when they were supposed to have played the Warner Theater in Washington DC (with Girlschool opening) but were snowed in Hampton, Virginia. Eric Bloom apologized on-stage at the Merriwether Post gig.

The opening band at Merriwether was supposed to be someone up and coming on a major label (I forget who) but canceled and were replaced by local talents DC Star, who closed their set with a live version of a Miller Beer jingle that they recorded for local radio. No joke.

Set-list (not in perfect order, sorry)

Dr. Music
Hot Rails To Hell
Take Me Away
Dominance and Submission
Fallen Angel
Born To Rock (from "Flat Out")
Cities On Flame
Burning For You

Let Go
Roadhouse Blues


Well,the Hampton gig was 10 March - so that'd make the cancelled Merriweather gig the 11th March...

But I have to ask: "Fallen Angel"...? Are you sure...? It doesn't feature on any other 1984 setlists...

David McCausland

I also attended the gig at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Eric said that they would play longer to make up for having to cancel the gig at the Warner Theater in March.

Also the opening band was supposed to be RATT.


My confirmation for this gig date comes courtesy of Bert Gangl who sent me a partial scan of a review of this show from the 23 June 1984 edition of the Washington.

It mentioned the snowed-out gig from March (it named the venue of that show to be the Constitution Hall) and indicated that this re-scheduled gig was fairly poorly-attended...

Timmy (TXPK7)

Your site was missing this gig at Toronto's Kingswood Music Theater (an outdoor ampitheater in Canadas Wonderland Theme Park) June 23 1984. No opener recalled, though...

Vince Jones

Hi,what a great site you have, definetley the most comprehensive I have found in my ventures trying to track down info on a concert I attended over 20 years ago...

Let me fill you in a little, my name is Vince and I'm from Toronto Canada... I have seen many concerts in my day and collect live recordings (bootlegs)

For many years I have traded with fans around the world to aquire shows I've attended... as of the last 10 years the internet has made that a lot easier as well meeting and getting to know the 2 or 3 filmers here in Toronto helped greatly, anyhow I'm down to my last gig... obviously its BOC... This show has eluded me for years as well till today I wasn't even sure of the date as my ticket stub has long since dissapeared and info on concert dates is vague... the date isn't even posted on the Official site nor does the venue list it in their history...

Thanks to your site I now know the date is June 23/84 Maple Ontario 'Kingswood Music Theatre' at the 'Canadas Wonderland' a theme park about 10 minutes outside of Toronto Canada...

For your site information, I recall the band was backed up by a band called 'One horse Blue' although I have know way of confirming that... I had never heard of them before or since and have no idea why all these years later I remember thy're name but I do... lol... I guess it was just a great night out and a beautiful sunny summer day that I'll never forget...

If you can help at all in tracking down this recording 'if' it exists I would be so grateful...

Miles MacMillan

I was at this gig and One Horse Blue did not open the show... it was Santers.

I recall the setlist being the same as the other ones on the tour (same as rocky point park eg.), opening with Dominance & Submission, ETI, Hotrails To Hell, Born 2 Rock, etc...

I remember all of those songs being played as well as the rest... it was my first time seeing BOC so i recall well and i am pretty anal about remembering setlists etc... Let Go and Roadhouse Blues were the encores.

What happened in July? If you know, please let me ...

David Andre

The event was in Le Bourget, close suburbs of Paris, about 14 kilometers (8.7 miles), but obviously not in the exact Paris area...

It was the first open air festival in Paris, and was called Breaking Sound Festival, with Dio, Ozzy, Metallica and many other bands. The Festival was a great mess, an incredible mix that only french people can do and bear ! Many bands didn't play (Accept, Whitesnake, Venom...), a lot of security problems...

BOC was not on the first list - they shouldn't have played there - but they did play the second day (30th Aug), just before RJ Dio.

However I was working this day (the show was during the week, not a week-end !) and just arrived for the last two bands, BOC and Dio. Eric arrived on the Harley, and the bike was on stage during all the show.

Rick Downey was on drums. I remember Godzilla with two red spotlights for the monster's eyes...


Here's a thing: I once read that Eric Bloom said the following in an interview from 1998:

When Blue Oyster Cult was in Paris, headlining a show during the early '80's a new act called Metallica was slated as the opening band on the bill.

"They came backstage and were very friendly with us," Bloom said. "Then they went on-stage and in-between the songs in their set, they started playing "Godzilla" and "Don't Fear The Reaper", and several of our other songs. That was a really nice compliment."

I was confused over this - I had no French gigs listed with BOC and Metallica on the same bill... however, it was suggested to me that maybe EB was referring to this Breaking Sound Festival gig...?

The only problem I had with that was that Metallica were on the day before BOC - plus I'd never seen any mention of them playing any mini-BOC medleys in between their songs...

Maybe if BOC setup the day before, for some reason, then possibly the band could have been around to meet Metallica backstage on that first day...?

Sam Judd

Ah yes.. the Breaking Wind festival.. and I can report that I was certainly there the day before we played, sussing rental gear that we were to use...

And I seem to remember band members being there too, doing press and schmoozing with other bands, so this IS likely when this exchange occured...

Don't remember seeing or hearing Tallica that day, but there was a LOT of noise coming off that stage ALL DAY... I was dealing with band gear and trying to load BOC programming into a couple of synths...

I had done this the night BEFORE, but those keys were used by other bands in the meantime, who loaded THEIR stuff in them, sending mine to hell...

But once I got them loaded, I LEFT there with them and kept them in my hotel room till the next day when we played... do not taunt the Culo... and do NOT erase his programming once he's loaded it...

But I was also HEAVILY in the throes of Airplane Lust as I spent a BIG part of the day at Le musée de l'Air et de l'Espace which is the French version of our Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and just the other side of the airfield (the one Lindberg LANDED on) from the stage... LOTS of one of a kind planes and many other types (lots of RUSSIAN stuff!) not to be seen anywhere else... very nice...

It was hot that day... I drank so many Cokes trying to keep cool that it almost made me ill...

Then later that evening I got stuck (along with several other people including SS) in the hotel elevator when we were leaving to go to dinner... almost 2 hrs later we were rescued by the fine Paris Fire Dept!... heavy vibe in the vator... the general topic of discussion was "we were just fine till these 2 fat Amerikans got in"... fine... good luck to you and your funky vator, pal...


OK, thanks for that - I'll consider that a "case closed" on this particular conundrum... although, in that case, I do have to point out that EB's memories of this event are way off... BOC didn't headline, Metallica didn't open for them, and Metallica didn't play any BOC tunes as a homage (I've seen the Kerrang review of the gig)...

But apart from those points, he was spot on... :-)

Patrick Ragaud

I was at the August 30th 1984 concert at "Le Bourget". It was a two-days open air festival, "Breaking Sound festival", not in "la Rotonde" concert Hall. Gary Moore and Ozzy Osbourne headlined the first night, B.O.C. and Dio the second night.

On the bill also were Jack Starr with Rhett Forester and The Rods rhythm section (not Virgin Steele), Metallica, Tokyo Blade, Heavy Pettin and numerous french bands (High Power and Sortilège amongst others.

Accept, Mercyful Fate and Motley Crue were scheduled but did not come.


Patrick sent me a revised list of the acts who performed at Le Bourget, and this, together with a helpful article published in Kerrang issue #77 (who reviewed the event), has allowed me to formulate the following schedule for both days of the event:

Day 1 (29 Aug 1984):

  1. High Power
  2. Sortilège
  3. Bullet
  4. Heavy Pettin
  5. Metallica
  6. Gary Moore
  7. Ozzy Osbourne
Day 2 (30 Aug 1984):
  1. Daytona
  2. Tanker
  3. Tokyo Blade
  4. Virgin Steele (new look version)
  5. Jack Starr (solo spot)
  6. Blue Oyster Cult
  7. Dio

The Kerrang review also provided this info:

With Accept cancelling on the morning of the show, there was a rather disturbing gap in the running order. Hence one of the promoters accosted Venom (engaged in some serious ligging) and asked them to make a personal appearance on stage.

Dutifully obliging, the trio received a triumphant reception; indeed, the promoter informed the crowd that they wanted to perform, but BOC wouldn't let them. Cue a hail of missiles and a situation of near riotous proportions. It looked more than ugly for a while. Even the self-appointed Hell's Angels security staff started acting with extra thuggish intensity, smacking kids left, right and centre.

Fortunately, the incident died a natural death and the Cult took to the stage in a magnificent burst of energy, winning a reception that quite honestly amazed me. The last time I'd seen them in concert they looked on their last legs, but tonight it was like watching a new band...


Well I really don't know about this one.

Clearly the above pass off eBay is all wrong - a 1981 pass stamped with a 1984 date seems a bit strange... not an impossibility, of course - I've seen something similar in the past - but strange, nevertheless...

Also - this supposed gig date falls within the band's "off-road" period, so it sticks out somewhat... Of course, they also played a gig at Le Bourget the previous month, but that was a one-off...

If anyone has any info about this - as usual - please let me know...

What happened in October? If you know, please let me ...

What happened in November? If you know, please let me ...

Quick Gig Facts

The official site has this gig down as the 4th December but I reckon it was on the 2nd... can anyone confirm?

Howard Willman

The Saddlerack, San Jose, CA. As for your note asking if this was actually on Dec 02, all I can say/add is an unhelpful "it's very possible" (I don't have anything written in my collection).

BTW, this was the one bad show I referred to in the review I sent you; sound was absolutely horrible. I went to one of the two Kabuki shows in San Francisco later in the week (no note on which one) and it was back to great BOC sound.

Rob Miller

02 December 1984 at The Saddlerack. I was at that show sitting in the front row. They also did an unreleased song at that show called: "Ask That Girl" - it is somewhere in that songlist.

Is there a live recording of this show? I would like to get me a copy...

David Hughes

I attended this show. They were playing under the name "Soft White Underbelly". I thought this happened in 1983 but I guess I was wrong.

I do have a ticket stub somewhere. I remember catching a pick from Allen Lanier as well (still have it).

Update: I found my ticket stub for the Dec 2nd, Sunday, BOC show at The Saddle Rack. Ticket was $12, showtime was 8:00pm. Local KSJO promoted the show.


OK, I've finally found confirmation that this gig was on Sunday (02 Dec 1984) in the Fri 30 Nov 1984 edition of "The San Francisco Examiner":

Soft White Underbelly is at the Saddlerack in San Jose Sunday...

Plus - I've since seen dated stubs for this show also.

Now the only mystery remains is: WT Flying F was Rob Miller referring to when he said they did a song called "Ask That Girl"...? Doesn't sound like a BOC title, that's for sure...

Quick Gig Facts

There was a short preview for this show in the Mon 03 Dec 1984 edition of "The Fresno Bee":

Soft White Underbelly at Star Palace Tonight
Soft White Underbelly, a veteran hard-rock band will perform tonight at 9 p.m. at the Star Palace.

Blue Oyster Cult is using that name whilst playing small clubs. The group is known for its hits "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "Godzilla" and has garnered a cult following among heavy metal fans. The band began as Soft White Underbelly in the early 1970s before changing its name.

Tickets, priced at $15, are available at the Star Palace box office and usual outlets. Details: 264-2848.

Quick Gig Facts
Melanie Richardson

My friend, Scott Welch was the local agent that this small club SWU show was booked through. The rider required additional help for the minimal road crew. I asked Scott to be added to the crew.

Getting to meet and work with Sam and the few others was the connection that got me backstage at the infamous Feb. '85 Redding show where I met Albert, and got to hang out with him afterwards, as I've already shared on that gig's listing.

My main job was to do whatever I was instructed to do... helping with Rick's drum kit setup (bringing pieces to the stage and polishing cymbals).

I actually got to handle everybody's guitars... beyond the actual thrill, the thing that struck me was how small the necks were on them. It was also the first time I was ever able to stand next to all of them, and realized how short they actually were. They'll always be huge in my head.

Chatted briefly with Buck... remember mentioning that I was glad they had OD'd on Life Itself on the list, cuz I hadn't ever heard it live before. Lame!

Wished I'd kept a set list, now...

One cool note was that during their sound check, they covered "My Little Red Book" by Love, a song I'd always loved... Eric's voice fit it to a Tee...

Another great show in a small club at Point Blank range. Wished I had a better recall of specifics.

BTW: There was no opening act here, or at the Redding show.

FYI... Scott Welch is currently a major talent agent in Nashville...


There was a review for this show in the Thu 06 Dec 1984 edition of "The Sacramento Bee":

Blue Oyster Cult puts on years-old show to full house in Sacramento
By David Barton
Special to the Bee

The Soft White Underbelly, known to the general rock public as the Blue Oyster Cult, gave longtime fans reason to enjoy them as they are, but even more remember how very good they were and no longer are, during their sold-out show Tuesday night at Sacramento's Oasis Ballroom.

The Soft White Underbelly was formed in 1967, and soon metamorphosed into the Cult, which has enjoyed a decade as a sure-fire hard-rock band both idolized by fans and lionized by critics, scoring occasional hits such as "(Don't Fear) the Reaper" and "Burnin' for You." But the Cult never forgot the Underbelly, retaining the name for very occasional club dates in their home base, New York, and their home-away-from-home, San Francisco, when they would pull out the old cover tunes and freshman originals they did as the Underbelly.

Unfortunately, those who have seen the Cult at all in the last five to 10 years have seen the show the Underbelly did Tuesday night. In fact, the Underbelly pretence was dropped as soon as the announcer shouted out "the Blue Oyster Cult!"

Although the group did go back to their first few albums for a few recently neglected songs, including "Stairway to the Stars" and "Astronomy," most of those songs have been regular components of every set they've done for years, including "Cities on Flame with Rock And Roll," "Hot Rails to Hell," "ME 262" and guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser's perennial showcase, "Buck's Boogie."

Widely known in their heyday as the most intelligent hard-rock band in America, the group has toured itself into quite a rut. Their recent albums have sold poorly, and judging by newer songs such as "Joan Crawford" ("has risen from the dead") and a cut from their upcoming 13th album, the sophomoric "Rock Not War," those slow sales are no accident.

It was the old stuff most folks came to hear and the group cranked it out yet another time, laying on the cosmic boogie heavier than ever, drawing out solos and closing refrains to ridiculous lengths. Along with drummer Rick Downey, the only non-charter member, the mild-mannered group was filled out by bassist/singer Joe Bouchard and keyboard/guitarist Allen Lanier, all of whom appeared to sleepwalk through their set of 90 minutes plus encores.

They weren't bad. At their peak, they were virtually unequaled by any other American hard-rock band, and they still play well. Guitarist/singer Roeser is a hard-rock original, bringing a jazz flavor and swing to his guitar work, and a plain but clear tone to his lead vocals, which are featured on most of the group's hits. Bloom, who sings the majority of the songs, retains his clear tone, sure sense of melody and wry sense of humor, though he stumbled a few times on the occasionally demanding harmonies.

As always, the three guitars were solidly welded (sic) and the songs are well-constructed. But these guys have been playing those same songs for so long that they sound bored and wind up boring others, even missing a fine opportunity to stretch out under the Soft White Underbelly rubric.

He makes a good point - it's always a good idea to have your guitars "solidly welded"...

BTW: tickets for the gig said that the Special Guest was "5150" - I know Melanie above said that there were no opening acts for this gig but she might have missed the first band if she was backstage, so can anyone confirm/deny the presence of 5150...?

Quick Gig Facts

Here's a listing for this show from the Fri 30 Nov 1984 edition of "The San Francisco Examiner":

Frankie Goes to Hollywood is at the Kabuki Nightclub tonight and tomorrow; Soft White Underbelly and Dr. Gonzo, Wednesday and Thursday...

The Sun 04 Nov edition was a little more forthright:

Soft White Underbelly, who sometimes appear as Blue Oyster Cult, will be trying out some new tunes December 5-6 at the Kabuki Nightclub.

Chip Usas

This was a pretty cool night. Brother Joe Bouchard hooked me up with tix to the show and backstage access.

I saw them in Fresno two nights night before, Dec 3rd at the Star Palace, a hole in the wall, my friends Bday, we had front row table, center stage.

I made a plaque for them since I worked as an engraver salesman, I made it at work the day before the show. I was super hung over just getting back from Japan on vacation so I was making it in a brain fog.

The night of the show when I gave it to Buck, while he was onstage, he joked about using it for the next album cover. To my horror as he was holding it up showing to the crowd I saw the kronos were upside down.

I had given the art to a co-worker to digitize for me and he had done it upside down. I had arced about twenty across the top of the plaque all upside down.

The next day I drove home to SF, reworked the art, re-made the plaque, and wanted to give them the fixed one at the Kabuki show.

I didn't have a ticket and thought, "I know where they stay, the Miyako Hotel in Jtown" so I made a call and asked for Joe Bouchards room.

To my surprise Joe answers the phone with bubbly girls cooing and laughing in the background. I proceeded to tell Joe the story about upside down Kronos on the plaque and he chuckled "Alan really liked it, he took possession of it." Then he took down my name and said I'll see what I can do, no promises.

So that night I head over to the Kabuki and again to my surprise there is a ticket and backstage pass.

Right on! I head in and enjoy a great show, during one of the last songs I'm standing right in front of the stage 3-people deep and Buck flicks a pick at me and I friggin' caught it.

Got backstage after the show, gave em the plaque and talked with EB for a bit. When I asked who he was listening to lately, he informed me Prince, again to my surprise.


BTW: Quick note about the setlist quoted on the right, and the spot of confusion which surrounds it...

The original BOC site schedules had this for the start of December:

84-12-04	California	San Jose	The Saddlerack
84-12-05	California	San Francisco	Kabuki Theatre
84-12-06	California	San Francisco	Kabuki Theatre

Problem is, San Jose was on 2 Dec, although the two SF dates were correct. However, when you clicked on the 4 Dec San Jose link, it took you to a 4 Dec San Francisco setlist!!

Yikes. Neither of those could be correct, so which gig/date did the setlist belong to?

Well, I can't say for sure, but as the setlist was labelled "San Francisco Kabuki Theatre," I've gone with that, and as there were two Kabuki shows, I went with the nearest one to 4 Dec, datewise.

If anyone knows for sure, please let me know.

Quick Gig Facts
Quick Gig Facts
Richard Carroll

07/12/1984: Country Club, Reseda, California

Support: Joey (comedian)


  1. RUReady 2 Rock
  2. OD'd On Life Itself
  3. Buck's Boogie
  4. Me262
  5. Last Days Of May
  6. Take Me Away
  7. Golden Age of Leather
  8. Make Rock Not War
  9. Astronomy
  10. Joan Crawford
  11. Burnin' For You
  12. Godzilla
  13. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
  14. Encores: Let Go
  15. Cities On Flame
  16. Hot Rails To Hell
Quick Gig Facts
Brian Trudell

I attended the BOC gig of 08 Dec 1984 at the Country Club. Unfortunately I don't remember the set list but I am certain that it and the 07 Dec 84 gig were promoted as Soft White Underbelly shows but I can't confirm whether or not there was an opening band. There's none listed on the ticket (see attached ticket stub).

I had to work late that night and arrived only five minutes before BOC took the stage. I pushed my way to the front and stood a few feet from Lanier. Fantastic show.

After the set, as the band was leaving the stage, I stuck up my hand and got a "low 5" from Joe Bouchard.

Quick Gig Facts
Danny Danziger

This was actually billed as a Soft White Underbelly show. I knew it was BOC, but my buddy wasn't convinced until we were standing in line in the parking lot and he saw another bunch of friends that we knew.

Great show! Loud as can be. My ears rang until part of the next day.


Here's something odd - I found the following on the San Diego Reader site (dated 14 Mar 2008(:

Eric Bloom of Blue Oyster Cult recalled a show nearly 25 years ago, when the band tried to sneak into San Diego under a "top-secret" pseudonym.

"We were coming straight off of [playing] stadiums and we agreed to this little club date, the Bacchanal [December 9, 1984], but all the publicity listed the band as 'Soft White Underbelly' [BOC's original pre-LP name]."

"The idea was that only real hardcore fans would even be aware of our history with that name, and even then they'd probably think it was some other band, not Blue Oyster Cult."

"One of your local radio stations blew it the day before the show, I forget which one, whichever one wasn't promoting the show [KGB with Fahn & Silva produced] but there were tons of people showing up and a lot of angry cops, I remember that much. Kind of a failed experiment."

"Tell San Diego we're sorry we tried to fool them."

14 Mar 2008, San Diego Reader

Dunno what all that was about because all the newspaper ads for this tour - and San Diego is a good example - were featuring articles telling all and sundry just who this "Soft White Underbelly" band really was, just in case they didn't know.

Here's what "The Los Angeles Times" printed the day before (Saturday 8 Dec 1984) this Bacchanal gig:

Blue Oyster Cult Shows S.D. Its Old 'Underbelly'
By Thomas K. Arnold

San Diego - When it was first announced that Soft White Underbelly had been booked into the Bacchanal nightclub Sunday night, most local rock fans probably scratched their heads and wondered why they hadn't heard of that band before.

But die-hard followers of Blue Oyster Cult instantly recognized the name as one their heroes had used before the release of their first record, in 1972. Once or twice a year for the last decade, America's pioneer heavy-metal band has taken a break from the arenas and stadiums it regularly plays and, on a lark, returned to the nightclub stage - never before, though, in San Diego.

"This town has always been good to us as Blue Oyster Cult," lead singer Eric Bloom said Thursday from San Francisco, "and since this is the first time we've ever done an extended tour - 20 dates - as the Underbelly, we decided to do the whole West Coast."

Blue Oyster Cult is in the midst of working on its 13th album for Columbia Records, Bloom added, and will use the Underbelly dates - 12 on the West Coast, eight on the East - to try out new songs as well as dig up some older material "just for fun."

"We don't generally get the chance to play a lot of our older material because every time we tour, we're out promoting a new album," Bloom said. "And I think our hard-core fans like the chance to be able to see us play in a club instead of in an arena or stadium."

Another reason for the club tour Bloom admits, is that the band's popularity has suffered in recent years. Blue Oyster Cult's latest album barely cracked the national Top 50, he said, and concert attendance has slipped from the days when the group could fill arenas all over the country.

"With the current state of the American tour business, we're doing just as well not touring here," Bloom said. "Touring here is different nowadays - there are the megagroups like Michael Jackson and Prince, who soak up all the purchasing power, and everybody else suffers as a result.

"So we haven't been touring for more than a year, and this is our way of letting people know we're still around. I mean, I talk to people all the time who think we've broken up. But just because we're not in your town every six months like we used to be, that doesn't mean we're no longer active.

"We've been touring Europe once or twice a year, and also made trips to the Far East and New Zealand, all places where we're still very big. And the kind of U.S. tour we're on now is actually quite a bit of fun - no special effects, no lasers, no strobe lights, no bombs. You just go out and play, and it's actually a good throwback to the early days.

The early days for Blue Oyster Cult were the summer of 1967 when Long Islanders Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser on guitar, drummer Albert Bouchard and keyboardist Allen Lanier banded together with a couple of other musicians as the Stalk Forrest Group and then the Soft White Underbelly.

Within a year, the original lead vocalist had been replaced by Eric Bloom, and the Soft White Underbelly headed for Elektra Records and recorded one album in 1968 and another in 1969.

Neither album was released, however, and the group was subsequently dropped from the label. By 1971, they had regrouped with Joe Bouchard, Albert's brother, as Blue Oyster Cult, and were soon picked up by Columbia records, which released the first album the following year. Blue Oyster Cult quickly became a leader of the first wave of heavy metal rock, and became a staple of album-oriented rock radio.

As the 1970s progressed, Bloom said, Blue Oyster Cult grew in tandem with the album-oriented rock format, and in 1976 scored its first Top 40 hit with "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" off "Agents of Fortune", its fifth album. Soon, the group was filling 20,000-seat arenas with ease.

Here in San Diego, they sold out the Sports Arena once or twice every year, and in 1979 sold out all 50,000 seats in San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, a record until the Rolling Stones played there - with additional temporary seating - twenty years later.

But when Top 40 made its radio comeback at the expense of album-oriented rock, Blue Oyster Cult's fortunes fell accordingly, Bloom maintains.

"I don't know what it's like in the West, but in the East there's no such thing anymore (as album-oriented rock)," Bloom said. "And since we're an album-rock band, we're not on the radio as much as we used to. And that's one of the main reasons for our lack of continued gigantic success.

"But I intend to stay with this a while longer."

So I think that puts the whole rival radio station letting the cat out of the bag nonsense to bed...

And what's all this about "trips to the Far East and New Zealand, all places where we're still very big" - Japan, granted, but "New Zealand"??? Am I missing some antipodean gigs which I've never heard of?

One interesting thing in this article was the breakdown of the SWU tour - it says there were 20 dates in total: 12 on West coast and 8 on the East. I don't know how much faith I can put in this declaration, but here's my current picture of the tour anyway:

West Coast: 9 gigs
02 Dec 1984: The Saddlerack, San Jose CA
03 Dec 1984: Star Palace, Fresno CA
04 Dec 1984: Oasis Ballroom, Sacramento CA
05 Dec 1984: Kabuki Nightclub, San Francisco CA
06 Dec 1984: Kabuki Nightclub, San Francisco CA
07 Dec 1984: Chuck Landis Country Club, Reseda CA
08 Dec 1984: Chuck Landis Country Club, Reseda CA
09 Dec 1984: The Bacchanal, San Diego CA
10 Dec 1984: De Anza Theatre, Riverside CA

East Coast: 8 gigs
13 Dec 1984: Ulster Performing Arts Center, Kingston NY
14 Dec 1984: L'amour, Brooklyn NY
15 Dec 1984: The Boathouse, Norfolk, VA
16 Dec 1984: Cellar Door, Richmond VA
17 Dec 1984: The Bayou, Washington DC
19 Dec 1984: The Skyway, Scotia NY
20 Dec 1984: Key Largo, West Islip NY
21 Dec 1984: Agora, West Hartford CT

If the above is correct, then I'm missing 3 West coast gigs...

However, unless there were gigs prior to San Jose, there aren't many available slots in which to fit them. Conceivably they could have played a last CA gig on 11 Dec, but you'd have to allow at least one travel day to get to the other coast, I'd have thought...

Then, on the eastern leg, it looks like they were continuing to really cram the shows in at the rate of one per day, and clearly there's a gap on 18 Dec - so was this a rest-day or am I missing a show?

If anyone has any info, please let me know...

Quick Gig Facts
Scott Soren

I was at the Dec 10 show at the De Anza Theatre in Riverside. My favorite band growing up played as Soft White Underbelly and I still have the ticket stub.

The theater is is now a Nutritional Grocery and Supplement Store where I currently work. How is that for symmetry?

The only other information I can offer you is unconfirmed. The owner of the building said that this was the last concert at the De Anza Theater and that the band destroyed the place.

Rhiannon Rosano

They played as Soft White Underbelly, my very first concert, as a junior in high school!

The band Autograph was supposed to open but they didn't show up, which was fine - I only knew one of their songs I was really only there to see BOC - so the venue played that JP album, Defenders of the Faith, on repeat until BOC took the stage.

Quick Gig Facts
Tom Moretti

Opener White Lion, was a wild show, since this was secret and it was BOC's first small hall show in the area, a quaint 900 seat theater.

No pyro/fx. I met the band after the show and they were very nice.

Quick Gig Facts

Great club show in NY, L'Amour had an awesome PA and the band was great, whipping out Last Days as a surprise!

Quick Gig Facts
Carl Kuhn

I have checked everywhere I can think of and can't find anything on this concert event, but I have attached a scan of my ticket.

As you can see it shows that Soft White Underbelly performed at the Boat House/Bessie's Place in Norfolk, 9:00 PM Saturday, Dec 15.

I didn't see this date on the BOC Tour Dates of Yore, but I did notice that they did perform as Soft White Underbelly in Brooklyn, NY the day before and Richmond, VA the day after. I hope this helps fill in the calendar.

I also managed to buy a Soft White Underbelly t-shirt. I feel privileged to have seen BOC performing as SWU - the ticket and shirt are very special additions of my collection.

Jeff Grosser

They played at the Boathouse in Hampton as Soft White Underbelly. A local parody band, Mooreglade, was the opening act.

There were maybe 2 or 3 hundred people there. No tickets were sold (pay at the door) for this event.

Phill Ash

A couple of items of note - The Boathouse (officially 'The Boathouse at Bessies Place') was in Norfolk, VA, not Hampton. The boys played several gigs there, including this one as SWU.

Mooreglade was the back-up band for local DJs 'Jimmy and The Bull'.


Jeff says there were no tickets on sale for this gig, yet Carl sent me a copy of his one. Could Jeff's support act info be about a different Boathouse gig?

Quick Gig Facts

The only clue I have that a show took place in Richmond on this date is a mention on the Songkick site from someone who says they went and says the ticket price was $10.50 - I can't find any way to post a query on that site to ask for more info nor a way to contact the original poster:

I originally thought "Cellar Door" must refer to the venue name, but when I saw the ticket for the previous night in Norfolk (kindly sent to me by Carl Kuhn), it occurred to me that maybe "Cellar Door" was actually the name of the promoters.

The link above gives an address for the "Cellar Door" venue but when I looked further into it, that was the address of a Peruvian-style restaurant (now closed) and didn't seem to be a music-hosting venue.

Can anyone throw any more light on this? If so, please click the link on the right and let me know...

James Hogge

I can confirm that White Lion opened this show.

The name of the venue was Cellar Door; it was formerly called Much More until earlier in 1984. It was located on Broad Street in Richmond.


I found a preview for this gig in the 1 Dec 1984 edition of "Throttle Magazine":

One last note, the Soft White Underbelly show scheduled for Dec. 16 at the Cellar Door is one that all Blue Oyster Cult fans will love.

You see, BOC wanted to tour nothing but small clubs while swinging through their East Coast dates, so they decided to book themselves under an unassuming name - Soft White Underbelly.

For all those in the know (like these correspondents - ed.), this was BOC's original name back in the early '70s before fame struck.

Quick Gig Facts
Cliff Tichenor

Good show! The Bayou will be missed! Now Torn down, progress you know...

Steve Archer

I was there - know it was the Bayou in 83 or 84 (I bought the Revolution at Night T-Shirt at the show) and the show was advertised as Soft White Underbelly.

I was sitting in the upstairs loft area when the openers, White Lion began to play. I was virtually alone, and about five guys walked in from a side entrance with valises and stood near me - I recognized Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom.

They stood there watching While Lion for a little while, and commented amongst themselves, and moved on to somewhere. White Lion was a proto hair band in those days, definitely emulating Eddie Van Halen/David Lee Roth dynamic.

I always wondered what BOC thought about what they were seeing.

Fantastic show and venue; first and only BOC show for me. Beautiful "Last Days of May." Crowd went nuts during Dominance and Submission and Golden Age of Leather. I got the sense there were a lot of true believers there that night.

Also saw the Ramones at the Bayou about that time. Great place to see a rock show.

Quick Gig Facts
Rich Eisler

No support act. Froze my ass off waiting for the place to open!

Quick Gig Facts

Saw this show too, Got there way early to get my front row spot, taped it while worrying Buck was gonna say something and bust me:) Got the pick from him when he cracks his knuckles in Cities!! Only bad thing, they had a noise rule, and played really low, the quietest BOC show I ever saw.

Richard Carroll

20/12/1984: Key Largo, W.Islip, N.Y.

Support: White Lion


  1. RUReady 2 Rock
  2. Stairway to the Stars
  3. Buck's Boogie
  4. Dominance & Submission
  5. Last Days Of May
  6. Take Me Away
  7. Golden Age of Leather
  8. Make Rock Not War
  9. Unknown Tongue
  10. Astronomy
  11. Burnin' For You
  12. Godzilla
  13. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
  14. bass solo
  15. Born To Be Wild
  16. Encores: Let Go
  17. Roadhouse Blues

The initial setlist I had for this gig (taken from DFFD Mike's tape) only went as far as DFTR - however, my current assumption, therefore, after seeing the above setlist, is that that tape must have been incomplete and that the above is the full setlist listing for this show...

Quick Gig Facts
Kenneth Pollock

You list a date on December 21, 1984 at the Agora in New Haven, CT.

I KNOW I saw BOC play a date at the Agora Ballroom in HARTFORD, CT around that time. For a period of time, there were 2 Agora's in CT and the Hartford location was the only club setting for me seeing BOC.

For the life of me, I cant remember if anyone else played with them and I have no clue about a set list. I definitely remember Godzilla because thay still had an aminated head behind the drum riser even though the club stage wasn't all that big. I also THINK they may have played Shooting Shark but I'm not totally sure.

Buddy Henderson

Blue Oyster Cult did play the Agora Ballroom in Hartford in the early 80's, under the name "Soft White Underbelly", I was the talent buyer for the Agora. They only wanted their fans at the show and hard core Cult fans knew who it was.

We advertised Soft White Underbelly with BOC music in background. It was a Saturday night with no advanced tickets and we sold out 6400 seats (even we could never advertise that it was actually BOC) at 10 dollars each which was a lot in those days. They played for 2 and one half hours and the fans were happy. They were great. So the person who thinks she saw them at Agora Hartford is correct...

Buddy Henderson
Talent Buyer Hartford and New Haven CT, Agoras


I actually do have a Soft White Underbelly gig listed for a Saturday at the West Hartford Agora, but that was back in 1982.

Regarding this 1984 West Hartford gig - I did originally had this gig mistakenly listed as New Haven (with a possibility that the gig was actually on the 22nd Dec). However, the appearance of the above stub on ebay [Sept 2012] and the following news item helped pin West Hartford down to Friday 21 Dec 1984:

Hartford Courant [Thursday 20 December 1984]

Two years ago, when Soft White Underbelly was scheduled to play the West Hartford Agora, Blue Oyster Cult showed up instead. Fans of the Cult are hoping that it happens again on Friday. Soft White Underbelly was an early name for the Cult.


I originally listed this as a definite gig, albeit with a tentative date of 22 (?) Dec as a result of the following post:

Sam Judd

Looking at the giglopedia it is missing a few shows at the end of that NE swing... I wish I could give exact dates, but I remember this swing pretty well as I was daily recieving updates on my gravely ill Father and agonized over leaving the tour (he passed away Jan 6/85)...

I can tell you that the LAST show of this tour was the Agora theatre in New Haven Conn... we played the small room that night and it was Rick Downey's LAST drumming gig (although we had no way of knowing at the time) so I guess you could list it without a date, as it was within a few days of Key Largo, and we deffo went home for Xmas and New Year that year...


The original problem I had with this show is that the Hartford Courant newspaper (previous entry) makes no mention of it - New Haven is sufficiently close to Hartford to warrant New Haven gigs being included in it's 'upcoming shows to look out' for column.

For example, in that short report above, the very next items listed were upcoming Triumph/Molly Hatchet shows in New Haven - if SWU/BOC were due to play there the next night after West Hartford, then I'd have thought they'd have given it a mention... you know, to get people to actually turn up... and would BOC play two shows so close together on consecutive nights...?

Matt Oravetz

You posed the question if it makes sense that BOC would end the year with 2 shows in Connecticut, 1 hour apart in Hartford and New Haven.

I have spent the majority of my life in Connecticut, and BOC plays here frequently. IMO they would NOT have played both cities the same week. But let's let the data be our guide: you have 90 total Connecticut shows in the database. They have played 2 or 3 shows in CT in the same year several times, but the dates are normally 3-6 months apart. There is only 1 instance where they played shows the same week (consecutive nights in 1994). So, the data suggests long odds that the New Haven show occurred.

As the New Haven date is purely based on Sam Judd's recollection, I suspect that most likely that Sam said "New Haven" when he meant "Hartford" (Connecticut, same thing to a NYer LOL). That would not at all be surprising, and I further doubt BOC would have played both cities the same week.

This would, of course, make Rick Downey's last show Hartford, which is of some historic import.


As much as it goes against the grain for me to relegate one of Sam's posts to the status of "phantom", all the evidence - or rather, lack of it - would tend to support Matt's conclusion above that this gig didn't actually occur.

However, if you know different, please let me know...

I think also that these date(s) were played in 1984 - if you have any info, please let me know: