1988: 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!!
John A. Swartz

I saw BOC at the Channel in Boston in 1985 and 1988. Here's the 1988 setlist:

The Channel
Boston, Massachusetts
January 1, 1988

  1. R. U. Ready 2 Rock
  2. Dominance and Submission
  3. E.T.I.
  4. Take Me Away
  5. Buck's Boogie
  6. Veteran of the Psychic Wars
  7. Flaming Telepaths
  8. Joan Crawford
  9. ME-262
  10. Burnin' For You
  11. Harvester of Eyes
  12. Godzilla
  13. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
  14. Roadhouse Blues
Jim Warner

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the BOC Channel Show 1 month earlier but was super psyched to see another BOC listing so soon after the 12/1/87 show! I snapped up some tickets and the boys were loose on the town of Boston that Friday evening.

There really didn't seem to be a lot of people there that evening, which was totally fine by me! With it being New Years Day, maybe a lot of people partied it up too much the night before?

The Channel was one of those classic dive clubs that had a lot of great shows over the years back in the 80's and early 90's. It sat at the edge of the Fort Pont Channel, which separates South Boston from the Financial District. The area definitely looked like it was in a rough part of Boston. I do remember feeling this way for every show I drove in to see there.

I will confirm that the set list found on the back of my ticket stub is the same as the one printed on John A. Swartz's review. The show was another great experience. We staked out our territory right in front of Buck and waited patiently. I was literally 5 feet away from Buck and his guitar for the entire evening!. When you are that close, you really get to see the band interaction with each other as musicians.

Tonight was a great example of that as Eric, Buck, and Allen seemed to be really playing off each other all night . Other notes from the set: ETI was great, as usual, and the Veterans was another jaw dropping experience! Also got a great Harvester of Eyes, which was one the songs I was hoping to hear that evening!

One final note... we came into the Channel about an hour and half before BOC came on, so we got the chance to experience the "WORST" opening band I have ever had the pleasure (misery) to listen to. It wasn't printed on the ticket stub but I will forever remember this band. The band's name was Knightmare (or as my friends and I called them... "Nightmare...with a K!").

I have seen over 400 concerts and I can't think of another opening band that has even came close to being that bad. They finally finished their set and instead of leaving like they should have... they came back for an encore! Just amazing! Just glad that we got the bad music out of the way before we got to the excellent music!

After the show, I remember it being extremely cold walking to the car in the parking lot across the street and that I was really glad I went out that night! Great way to bring in the new year of 1988!

Ralph

I found a listing for this gig in the Thursday, 7 Jan 1988 edition of the "Muncie Evening Press" - there was no info on any other bands on the bill, unfortunately:

Blue Oyster Cult remembered for the 1976 rock classic "Don't Fear The Reaper," will perform in concert Jan. 23 at the Vogue Theater, 6259 College, Indianapolis.

Tickets are $14.25 and are available at TicketMaster outlets, including Freddie's Records, 413 Tillotson.

Later ads gave tickets prices of "$12.50 advance, $13.50 day of show"...

If you know who else was on this bill, please let me know...

Ralph

Here's a preview for this gig that appeared in the 21 Jan 1988 edition of the "Lansing State Journal":

Blue Oyster Cult should have a pearl of an act
by David Winkelstern

Blue Oyster Gult might sound like a strange special at a seafood eatery. Or, it could suggest a weird religious sect known for off-color antics.

But Blue Oyster Cult is a name of a band a band that's coming to the Silver Dollar Saloon Monday. Advance tickets are available for $12 at the Lansing club.

Already, Blue tickets have been red-hot items. If there are any left, they will be $15 at the door.

The band wasn't always called Blue Oyster Cult, but its earlier names were just as bizarre. When the New York musicians got together in the late 1960s, they called themselves Soft White Underbelly. And after that, they were called Stalk Forrest Group.

Since adopting the odd Blue Oyster Cult label in 1970, the five-piece band has recorded songs with odd titles. "She's As Beautiful As A Foot," "In The," "Burnin' For You" and "Shooting Shark" are all Cult classics. Their most familiar tune was probably "Don't Fear The Reaper," released in 76.

In more recent years, Blue Oyster Cult has been about as familiar as pirate booty in a single shoe store. Since the fade, the band has started to play a national club circuit. Their Dollar appearance is one of their first bar gigs ever for the former only-major-venue act.

Blue last blew into town in October of 1980. That was with the local Blue Money band at the Lansing Civic Center. A highlight of the Blue times two show was when the drummer put on a Godzilla mask. It was cleverly timed for when Blue Oyster Cult played "Godzilla."

In September of '79, they followed Richie Blackmore and Rainbow at the Civic Center (Did that make it a Blackmore and Blue show?). And a year earlier, in March, Blue Oyster Cult was in the same hall headlining a heavily lighted concert with Angel.

You can bet a dollar that four of the fellows who played those shows will show up at Monday's show. Only the drummer of the current Cult isn't an original member.

That means guitarist and vocalist Donald Roeser will be included in the lineup. But, of course, the 41-year-old singer wont take credit for such an unusual name. Roeser is better known as Buck Dharma.

The name of the band warming up the show is in this area. It's a group of local fellows who prove that you don't have to be from the Big Apple to have a fruity name. Of course, I'm talking talking about Frog and the Beeftones.

David Winkelstern is the Lansing State Journal's rock critic.

Mike Huggler

I'll never forget this one. Small venue, we were in arm's length of the band. Eric Bloom grabbed a beer right out of my friend's hand. Fantastic show. Loved it.

Here's the tunes, but not exactly sure about the order. (It was a long time ago)

  1. RU Ready to Rock?
  2. Harvester of Eyes
  3. ETI
  4. Hot Rails
  5. Last Days
  6. Flaming telepaths
  7. Take me Away
  8. Joan Crawford
  9. Dominance & Submission
  10. Cities on Flame
  11. Burnin for You
  12. Godzilla
  13. Reaper
  14. Roadhouse Blues
Ralph

Highly unlikely they did "Hot Rails" in 1988 - they stopped doing that one after Joe left in 1986.

Ralph

I found a listing for this gig in the Thursday 21 January 1988 edition (p14) of the "Ohio State Lantern":

Blue Oyster Cult; the veteran hard rock band returns; 8 p.m. Wednesday; The Newport, 1722 N. High St.; 291-8829.

Ralph

I found a listing for this gig in the 29 Jan 1988 edition of the "Detroit Free Press" - there was no info on any other bands on the bill, unfortunately:

BLUE OYSTER CULT, 10 p.m. Sat., Harpo's, Harper at Chalmers. 823-6400.

If you know who else was on the bill, please let me know...

Dan Helmbrecht

Also have opening band for 2/1/88 concert at the Iron Horse in Crystal, MN. It was Touched (have ad if you want copy).

It was in Crystal MN which is a small town (we call them suburbs in the states here) right next to Minneapolis.

Ralph

I found a review of this gig in the 03 Feb 1988 edition of the "Wisconsin State Journal":

BOC still has mettle for metal
by Michael St. John
Music writer

More trendy and stylish metal rock bands may have passed by Blue Oyster Cult to capture the predominantly male headbanging audience, but at Headliners Tuesday night, BOC showed the newcomers haven't done it by playing better.

Changing its name from Soft White Underbelly (although the group has used that moniker in recent years in its natural habitat of New York) to Blue Oyster Cult in the early days of the 70s also marked the band's emergence as the earliest of the heavy hitters.

Since the high-charting "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" signaled what would be the quintet's downslide in 1976, the Cult wisely performed only its older material for this show. This declaration met with loud approval from the crowd of about 600.

Spokesman Eric Bloom did announce, however, that the group would release its 14th album this spring.

Of the original line-up, lead singer-guitarist Bloom, keyboards-guitarist Allen Lanier and lead guitarist-singer Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser are still carrying the blowtorch at high flame.

BOC came out rocking hard, but not quite as leaden as in the past. Looking considerably more clean-cut, the five also belied their former sinister image.

Every work featured plenty of Roeser. Familiar themes, like visits from extraterrestrials, were delivered with marrow-mashing power.

"Let's Boogie," a lengthy instrumental from the first live LP, "On Your Feet Or On Your Knees," drew cheers repeatedly.

Bloom's voice was as strong as ever and harmonies were equally good. Unfortunately, the music constantly out-punched the vocals.

As a unit Blue Oyster Cult played with power and precision from start to finish. The only respite from the all-out assault was Lanier's eerie piano intro and ending in "Joan Crawford Has Risen From The Grave."

"Veterans Of The Psychic Wars" was another highlight in a 13-song set that ended with "(Don't Fear) The Reaper." That epic earned the group a well-deserved encore.

There's still plenty of fire in this band that has gone from big arenas to big clubs.

It must be for the lack of hot tunes.

It's certainly not for the lack of hot players.

A Madison group that's also still carrying the torch for the 70s, Power Play, provided the opener and got things off to a power-popping start with "Still Alive And Well."

That introduction was more than a little ironic since the last few months have seen the reunion of incendiary singer-guitarists John Masino and Gil Jevne. This pair was half the punch in Punch, one of Madison's best-ever rock bands.

Even with a cramped stage, P.P. managed to whip up a potent mix of originals and dated covers, including such classics as the Rick Derringer/Johnny Winter smash, "Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo" (practically a Punch/Jevene trademark), Led Zep's "Whole Lotta Love" and Deep Purple's memorable "Smoke On The Water."

A full night of Power Play is probably an aerobic exercise. The next chance to find out is Feb. 12 at the Shuffle Inn.

Ralph

I found a preview for this gig in the 04 Feb 1988 edition of the "Green Bay Press-Gazette":

Old pearls likely at Oyster show

Hard rock music's Blue Oyster Cult is headlining a show today at the City Centre Theater. Opening the show at 8 p.m. will be the Steve Grimm Band. Grimm is formerly of the group Bad Boy.

The five-man Blue Oyster Cult formed in 1970. Its breakthrough album was 1974's Secret Treaties. The following double set, On Your Feet or On Your Knees displayed the group's stage presence of screaming vocals and savage guitar riffs.

The group has had one hit single (Don't Fear) The Reaper, from 1976. Since then, mysticism has marked its lyrics, cover designs and image.

It has released at least 13 albums.

Tickets are $12.

Ralph

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

Sport

The Brat Stop in Kenosha WI, my home town at the time, venue 7 miles from my house. Could not believe they were playing there. The place was packed.

The cool thing about this show was we knew the guy running the sound. He had told me that he could get me back stage to meet and greet, so I put together a photo album of all my choice pics that I was going to present to the band, which I ended up doing. We were happy to see Alan back.

  1. R U Ready
  2. Dominance
  3. ETI
  4. Bux Boogie
  5. Take Me Away
  6. LDOM
  7. Harvester
  8. ME262
  9. Joan
  10. Flaming
  11. Burnin
  12. Godzilla
  13. Reaper
  14. Encores: Cities
  15. Roadhouse

This was the first time I had Buck sign for me. He was walking thru the crowd before show, noo one recongized him at first. He walked right past me and I stopped him and had him sign a piece of paper from my wallet. I had brought a pen in antcipation of meeting them afterward.

So the show gets over and the sound guy leads me down a flight of stairs to the dressing room and I present these photos to the band. I was the only fan down there. I had them all to my self. What a nervous thrill.

There was a table there and Buck and Eric were sitting there with Allen and I looking over their shoulders looking at the pics and them commentig on them. It was so cooooool. I have excellant pics from this show as we were very close it being a club. I still didn't intoduce myself properly figuring they would never remember me anyway next time which wasn't until '89 around the Imaginos album.

Ralph

I was originally told that the support act for this gig was David Surkamp, of Pavlov's Dog fame. However, I recently came across the following review of the gig in the Monday, 8 Feb 1988 edition of the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" (and check out the author!):

'Oyster Cult' Performs at Westport
By David Surkamp

The rock group Blue Oyster Cult performed at the Westport Playhouse on Saturday evening to an audience of head-banging fans. The New York City-based quintet performed most of its classic songs in a bare-knuckled onslaught of guitar-driven abandon.

Out of all the acts that dominated the radio airwaves of the '70s, Blue Oyster Cult remains the title-holder for the most bruising heavy rock sound of the era. The current line-up carries on the hard-rock tradition and crunching melodic formula in songs such as "Dominance and Submission" and "Take Me Away" with a no-holds barred attitude.

The band's original members, including singer-guitarist Eric Bloom, lead guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser and keyboardist Allen Lanier hold the key to the band's vitality. With a firm grasp of the quintet's history and arrangements, the group roused the crowd with uncompromising power.

Although Bloom remains the band's focal point, the group's secret weapon remains in Roeser's fleet fingered guitar excursions. Taking over the lead vocals on hits such as "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "Last Days of May," the guitarist balanced his vocal prowess with his rapier-sharp fretboard mania.

Highlights of the performance included the band's 1981 hit "Burning for You" and the hair-raising guitar bravado of "Buck's Boogie".

The concert got off to a fine start with a tight set of polished funk-rock sounds from the local act Splash. Although the band has made a name around town for its varied catalog of cover material, the band pulled a few surprises with some exciting original music including "I'm Not the Enemy" and made a number of new fans in the process.

So there you have it - David Surkamp was there alright, but as a reviewer - the actual openers were a local funk-rock band called Splash.

Rich Hoffman

Recently there was a torrent of an audience recorded 1st gen VHS of this gig on dimeadozen... I recently watched it, and have a correction to your setlist info. There's a track missing. Flaming Telepaths was performed between Joan Crawford and Burnin' For You.

This was an interesting show to see, as they performed in the round. Slight "glitch" which was pretty funny - the intro tape for Born To Be Wild was mistakenly played at the beginning of Godzilla ("Sounds like something coming this way now... A dinosaur on a motorcycle!")

Ralph

Thanks for the correction - the error has now been rectified...

Ralph

I had made a mental assumption that "Mama's Boys" were the support act on all of the dates on this European tour, but I didn't actually know for sure - until Alessandro Borri got in touch:

Alessandro Borri

According to US Music Magazine "MUSIC & MEDIA" [30th Jan 1988]:

Blue Oyster Cult/Mama's Boys
CBS/JIVE

February:
Berlin (23);
Hamburg (24);
Bonn (25)
Munster (26);
Munnerstadt (27);
Mainz (28).

March:
Stuttgart (1);
Kaiserslautern (2);
Babenhausen (3);
Kaufbeuren (4);
Zurich (5);
Nuremberg (6);
Vienna (7);
Munich (8)

Ralph

Thanks to the above clipping, I have now been able to fill in "Mama's Boys" as the main support on the whole tour.

Christoph Gilles

Hi, the special guest was "Mama's Boys"...

Wolfgang Muller

The supporting act at Babenhausen was Mama's Boys.

Stefan Weiss

The 1988-03-07 show in vienna was opened by burning vision (again an austrian band - nowadays nearly unknown) and mama's boys...

Michael Ott

Mama's Boy opened the show.

It was promroted by Mama Concerts.

Ralph

I found a preview for both the Coach House gigs in the 24 Mar 1988 edition of the "The Los Angeles Times":

Rock Bands Kiss and Blue Oyster Cult to Pump Up Decibel Level
Mike Boehm

KISS and ANTHRAX
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Pacific Amphitheatre, Orange County Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa.
$18.50, $14.
Information: (714) 634-1300.

BLUE OYSTER CULT
Tonight and Friday, 8 and 10:30 p.m.
Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano.
$18.50.
Information: (714) 496-8930.

Kiss and Blue Oyster Cult are the loudest New Yorkers of them all. Where heavy-rock bands are concerned, concerned, they are also among the longest-lived.

The two groups will be putting out most of the musical decibels in Orange County over the next few days: Blue Oyster Cult tonight and Friday at the Coach House, and Kiss on Saturday at the Pacific Amphitheatre.

As Gene Simmons, the co-founder and resident fire-breathing hedonist of Kiss, told the story this week from a tour stop in Denver, the two bands go way back together back to Kiss' first evening of notoriety.

It was New Year's Eve, 1973, Simmons said. Blue Oyster Cult was headlining the show at Manhattan's Academy of Music, and Kiss, with its Kabuki-style makeup and super-hero stage outfits, had bottom billing in a lineup that also included Iggy Pop.

The show won Kiss its first substantial press notices, Simmons said, and soon afterward the band went off on its first national tour, opening theater dates in the Midwest for Blue Oyster Cult.

"We weren't allowed to play encores. Usually our plugs were pulled," Simmons said. But one night in Detroit, Kiss was able to go back on stage and answer the crowd's cries for more a demand that the new band, having already exhausted its meager song list, satisfied by repeating three numbers it already had played. As it turned out, Simmons said, the Kiss road crew had prevented Blue Oyster Cult's road manager from pulling the plug by locking him in an equipment trunk. Kiss was booted off the tour on the spot.

It was the first of many times in the early days that headlining bands would refuse to share the bill with Kiss and its spectacle of makeup, props and pyrotechnics, Simmons said. But before long, Kiss was established as a headlining draw in its own right, launching a career that, according to the band's own figures, has topped the 50-million mark in worldwide record sales. Most of those sales have been racked up with music built on a single-minded heavy thump, and a single-minded thumping is what Kiss has received from most rock critics.

Unlike many rockers who regularly get panned in the press, Simmons doesn't downplay what he reads about his band, nor does he pretend to ignore it.

"It matters, and anyone who says it doesn't is fooling himself. It matters more what fans think, but ultimately you want to be liked by the press," he said. That desire led seven years ago to the band's one great departure from its blunt, bump-and-grind music and its coarse lyrical appeal to adolescent libido and rebellion against adult authority. The album, "The Elder," had a symbolic yarn to tell, strings and chorales to embellish the music, and Lou Reed, one of the pre-eminent rock poets, to help with some of the songwriting. In short, it had little to offer Kiss' legion of head-banging fans.

"It was a terrible disaster," Simmons said. "Not critically, ironically enough. We succeeded with what we wanted to do. But the fans hated it."

Kiss made a quick about-face about-face about-face including removing the greasepaint from its collective collective face in 1982 and has merrily continued continued on, racking up gold and platinum sales with heavy-rock heavy-rock heavy-rock albums that are long on guitar solos and sing-along sing-along sing-along choruses and short on lyrical maturity.

Simmons believes that the best rock 'n' roll should serve the pleasure principle and ignore the intellect.

"It doesn't mean I ignore the other realities of life. But I don't want to hear music that brings me down. I think people are fooling themselves when they ask for adult themes from rock. It's sex with a back beat, modern strip music."

Simmons, 36, didn't dispute the suggestion that most fans who bought Kiss albums 10 or 12 years ago when they were teen-agers have outgrown the music.

But, he said, "I don't think that's what rock'n'roll is about. It's ear candy. It doesn't matter to me at all if people remember it 10 years from now. It just matters that it lifts people up when they hear it."

Blue Oyster Cult may lack the unflagging commercial clout that Kiss has, but it does have at least one song that figures to remain an artistically enduring and enduringly popular rock landmark the 1976 hit, "(Don't Fear) the Reaper." Rooted in myths as old as myth-making itself and as darkly romantic as Shelley or Keats, the song personifies Death as a gentle, beckoning lover seducing his quarry out of the world and into eternity. It was the high-water mark for a band that made some dense, satisfyingly crunching blues-inflected albums in the '70s, but has lost its focus in the '80s.

After producing the 1981 hit "Burnin' for You" in a musical vein similar to "Reaper," BOC turned to undistinguished, high-gloss power pop in "The Revolution by Night." The 1983 album bore the production stamp of Bruce Fairbairn, whose credits include "Loverboy," Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet" and the latest Aerosmith album. "Club Ninja," a 1986 album, was mostly bland heavy metal. In a phone interview from his New York home, singer Eric Bloom said Tuesday that Blue Oyster Cult performed little in 1987.

"We're not as intense as when we were rowdy teenagers. We hardly worked at all in '87. 1 don't think we played more than three weeks the whole year. Buck (lead guitarist Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser) and I decided to semi-retire from Blue Oyster Cult and pursue other interests. But offers for bookings continued to come in, Bloom said, and the band re-grouped for a July tour of Europe and some club dates late in the year around New York.

An invitation to visit Greece with Blue Oyster Cult brought a third original member, keyboard player Allen Lanier, back into the band after a two-year absence, and he decided to re-enlist full time. The three longtime members have been joined by a new rhythm section.

An album called "Imaginos" is due out in June, Bloom said, although it is made up of material written and recorded some time ago.

"It's more of a throwback to the 70s, a much more scaled down, back-to-rock'n'roll type of thing," Bloom said. "If by some wild stretch of the imagination it has a hit, I don't know what will happen. It's not pop material. There's nothing Bon Jovi-esque about it."

The implication is that BOC were the only band the bill - if you know different, please let me know...

Richard Carroll

25/03/1988: Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, California

Support: None

Early show setlist:

  1. RU Ready 2 Rock
  2. Dominance And Submission
  3. ETI
  4. Buck's Boogie
  5. Flaming Telepaths
  6. Take Me Away
  7. Then Came The Last Days Of May
  8. ME262
  9. Joan Crawford
  10. Harvester Of Eyes
  11. Burnin' For You
  12. Godzilla
  13. Don't Fear The Reaper
  14. Encores: Cities On Flame
  15. Roadhouse Blues

Late show setlist:

  1. RU Ready 2 Rock
  2. Dominance And Submission
  3. ETI
  4. Buck's Boogie
  5. Flaming Telepaths
  6. Take Me Away
  7. Veteran Of The Psychic Wars
  8. ME262
  9. Joan Crawford
  10. Golden Age Of Leather
  11. Burnin' For You
  12. Godzilla
  13. Don't Fear The Reaper
  14. Encores: This Ain't The Summer Of Love
  15. Roadhouse Blues
Quick Gig Facts
Rob

I went to see my favorite band once again with my great friend Russ Jones. This was a great show for me. I was really becoming a so called "expert" on THE Blue Oyster Cult! This was really a great venue. So different than the usual arena or concert hall. more like a cocktail lounge or club. Very cozy!

Lots of band merchandise at this concert. More than any other concert I had been to. Of course I had to have everything, bumper stickers, key chains, buttons and t-shirts too. A great table right up front and whiskey and cokes all night long. the sound and lighting was as good as any other time, great atmosphere.

It was great to hear ETI, one of my favorites. Of course at this point, i knew every song inside and out. and felt like I was an old expert, learning and knowing the history and members of the crew and band. Jon Rogers and Ron Riddle fit in nicely although it was very strange not seeing Joe.

Eric and Buck were awesome as usual. We went to the first set and then rushed home to record the second set which was being broadcast on a local San Jose radio station. Still have those cassettes to this day!

Once again, a great show, but I have not been to a bad show yet! Miss you Rusty, my brother. You are surely on tour forever.

Steve Meyers

I probably hold some sort of record for being the longest-time fan before seeing BOC in concert. I have been a huge fan since 1974, when I was an 18 year-old soldier in the U.S. Army. We used to sit around getting stoned on Oaxacan spears and Jack Daniels in the barracks, with our stereos cranked up with everything from Aerosmith to Zeppelin, but there were only two bands that really did it for us. A certain group called kiss, and another by the name of Blue Oyster Cult. We wore out our copies of the first album, T&M, Secret Treaties, and when it came out, OYFOOYK. I just loved this band from the first time my buddy Brian turned me on to them.

Well, for one reason or other, though I attended many concerts over the years, I had never seen BOC until March of 1988 at a bar in San Diego known as The "Rockin'" Bacchanal, where many past-their-prime rock bands made their tour stops.

The band was in town for two shows, one on March 30, and one the following night. I could only go to the first night, and I am so glad that this was the one I went to, as it was the better of the two.

For the occasion, I drew a large Kronos sign in permanent black ink on my left bicep. Then my friends and I got liquored up a bit, toked a few, then made our way to the venue.

The Bacchanal was a great place to see a concert. It held a couple hundred folks, so it was intimate, plus the added convenience of several built in bars, with waitresses bringing drink orders before the band came on. Unfortunately, the Bacchanal is no longer in existence, as it went out of business (I don't know why).

Anyway, it's time for the show to start. My friends and I are right up front, about 5 feet from the stage, which is only a platform about a foot off the floor to begin with, so we're right in their faces. No back-up band, just Blue Oyster Cult. Yippee!

It was really awesome is all I can say. It was great to see Eric, Buck, and Allen finally! Jon Rogers and Ron Riddle were also excellent as well (I missed seeing Albert and Joe, but what can ya do?).

As per usual, the started the set with R U Ready to Rock, Dominance & Submission, ETI, Buck's Boogie, and Flaming Telepaths. Very hot indeed.

We were all expecting Astronomy to follow Flaming Telepaths, as it has such a natural intro, but when we all started calling for it, Eric told us that the band was not performing this song in their set until the new version was released on the upcoming Imaginos album. Kind of disappointing, but they more than made up for it with the remainder of the program.

They went on to play 17 songs altogether, including 4 encores. This is how the rest of the songs came at us:

Take Me Away
Then Came the Last Days of May
Me 262
Joan Crawford
Harvester of Eyes
Burnin' For You
Godzilla
(Don't Fear) The Reaper
Encores:
Golden Age of Leather
Summer of Love
Cities on Flame
Roadhouse Blues

Wow, what a show!

After the show, we got to hang out with the band out behind the club, and got to talk to Buck and Eric. How cool is that? I was to say the least, really stoked!

I saw them again at the Bacchanal on May 5th, when they came back into San Diego. That night they rocked with a 16 song lineup, including 3 encores: Summer of Love, The Red & The Black, and Cities on Flame.

I am 51 now, and still remember those Army days partying to BOC just like it were yesterday. Where is that time machine when you really need it?

Richard Carroll

30/03/1988: Bacchanal, San Diego, California

Support: Little Caesar

Setlist:

  1. RUReady 2 Rock
  2. Dominance & Submission
  3. ETI
  4. Buck's Boogie
  5. Flaming Telepaths
  6. Take Me Away
  7. Last Days Of May
  8. Me262
  9. Joan Crawford
  10. Harvester Of Eyes
  11. Burnin' For You
  12. Godzilla
  13. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
  14. Encores: Golden Age of Leather
  15. Summer of Love
  16. Cities On Flame
  17. Roadhouse Blues
Richard Carroll

31/03/1988: Bacchanal, San Diego, California

Support: Teaser

Setlist:

  1. RUReady 2 Rock
  2. Dominance & Submission
  3. ETI
  4. Buck's Boogie
  5. Flaming Telepaths
  6. Take Me Away
  7. Last Days Of May
  8. Me262
  9. Joan Crawford
  10. Golden Age of Leather
  11. Burnin' For You
  12. Godzilla
  13. Born to be Wild
  14. Cities On Flame
  15. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
Ralph

I found a listing for this gig in the Sunday, 20 March 1988 edition of the "Arizona Republic":

Blue Oyster Cult - With King's X, April 4, Studio West.

Alan Hutchins

King's X definitely opened for BOC on April 6, 1988 at the Denver, Colorado - the gig actually took place in a northern suburb called Northglen - show.

I was there and distinctly recall being impressed by them. Of course, I was really there to see BOC and although I didn't note the setlist, I do recall loving every minute of the show.

Ralph

That's odd - the ticket stub above says the support act was "The Fluid"...

Gary

Don't remember who the opening act was. The Rock Exchange bar/club was in Thornton as the ticket states correctly located on E 88th Avenue (not in Northglenn). It was torn down and is no more.

Ralph

Were Kings X the support?

Andrew M

The date for the Fort Worth show was 8th april 88. It was at a place called Tommy's.

Not a great deal of info from the show but here some points.

Benn Allen

B.O.C.'s April 08, 1988 show at Tommy's was not in Ft. Worth. It was in the Deep Ellum section of downtown Dallas.

I'm not sure, I'd have to dig out my ticket stub, but I think the club at the time was known as Tommy's Deep Ellum. It had so many different names through the years.

And, yes, King's X did open for the Cult. It was the first time I'd heard of King's X.

Ralph

I found an advert for this gig in the 09 Apr 1988 edition of the "Austin American-Statesman":

BACK ROOM
TONITE: IN CONCERT
BLUE OYSTER CULT
with special Guests
King's X
2015 E. Riverside 444-ROCK

Ralph

The 24 March edition of the Houston Chronicle said this in a piece on King's X:

"The band has signed to open 10 Blue Oyster Cult dates across the South, but will not appear with the Cult at the Houston show at Xcess in April..."

The only gigs I know about for sure with the band are the 2 Apr - Reseda, 4 April - Phoenix, 6 April - Denver 8 April - Dallas and 10 Apr - San Antonio gigs - perhaps all the shows (except this 11 April Houston gig) between the two sets of CA dates featured King's X?

If there was indeed 10 shows, then some would appear to be missing...

Richard Carroll

05/05/1988: Bacchanal, San Diego, California

Support: Archer

Setlist:

  1. RUReady 2 Rock
  2. Dominance & Submission
  3. ETI
  4. Buck's Boogie
  5. Flaming Telepaths
  6. Take Me Away
  7. Last Days Of May
  8. Me262
  9. Joan Crawford
  10. Harvester Of Eyes
  11. Burnin' For You
  12. Godzilla
  13. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
  14. Encores: Summer of Love
  15. The Red & The Black
  16. Cities On Flame
Ernie Wilson

Outstanding show, they were having a great time that night. Sounded fantastic, as usual.

Very small bar, maybe 100 capacity, mostly standing, some (maybe 10) tables along two walls and a bar with maybe 14 stools.

I've seen them many many times since their 1974 concert at Winterland in San Francisco. They were in top form this night in 1988.

Set list:

  1. R.U. Ready To Rock
  2. White Flags
  3. I Am the One You Warned Me Of (new)
  4. E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)
  5. The Great Sun Jester
  6. Astronomy (new version)
  7. Spy In the House of the Night
  8. Take Me Away
  9. In the Presence of Another World (new)
  10. Black Blade
  11. Shooting Shark
  12. Shadow Warrior
  13. Magna of Illusion (new)
  14. Cities Aflame With Rock and Roll
  15. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
  16. Encore: ME262
  17. Golden Age of Leather
Ralph

Blimey!! Scratching my head over some of the songs listed above - I've asked around and here are the areas of difficulty:

Ralph

There's a review of this show here:

In the review, Steve indicates that 20 songs were played - however only these were mentioned in the text:

  1. R.U. Ready 2 Rock
  2. Dominance and Submission
  3. E.T.I.
  4. Buck's Boogie
  5. Joan Crawford
  6. Golden Age of Leather
  7. Burnin' for You
  8. Godzilla - drum solo
  9. Birthday (Beatles)
  10. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
  11. The Red and the Black
  12. This Ain't the Summer of Love
  13. Cities on Flame with Rock 'n' Roll
  14. Roadhouse Blues (with Love Me Two Times)

The "Birthday" inclusion was interesting - I know Meltzer's birthday is 11 May (the date of the show), but I can't think how that might be relevant to a 1988 gig in Vancouver...?

If anyone knows why they did it, please let me know...

Ralph

The official site has this down as the "Viking Tavern" but in the 6 May 1988 edition of "The Spokesman Review", it said the venue was going to be "The Convention Center".

Then in the 12 May edition, on the day of the gig, it said the show was being switched to "Gatsby's", "due to lack of ticket sales"...

Ralph

According to the original BOC schedules, the venue for this gig was "Montana's" - but Pollstar says it was "99 Club".

Can anyone shed any light on this conflict?

Do you know of any BOC gigs for June 1988 that I'm missing?

If you do, please let me ...

Vaughan Burton

I don't remember the complete setlist at this show, but I do know they played 4 Imaginos songs: In the Presence, I Am the One, Astronomy (Imaginos version), and one I didn't immediately see in your setlists of that era, the song Imaginos.

I wanted to let you know that they, in fact, have played the title track live (you probably knew that already, but just in case).

I'm not completely sure, but I don't think they had an opening act then either.

Ralph

if that's so, that would be a pretty unusual addition to the setlist - it's not been known to have been played in any other gigs.

Does anybody else know different?

Bryan Irby

I was just going through some old setlist notes and comparing against hotrails, and I don't recall them playing 'Imaginos' or 'In The Presence' on 1988 07/15.

I did start keeping setlists not long after that show, and it looks like I went back and wrote down what I remembered them playing, which is below.

It may not be 100% accurate, but I'm pretty certain that the only songs they played from Imaginos were "I Am The One" and "Astronomy [1988]".

I do specifically recall that Eric announced that that night was "the first show of the Imaginos tour".

  1. R.U. Ready 2 Rock
  2. Dominance & Submission
  3. E.T.I.
  4. I Am The One You Warned Me Of
  5. Buck's Boogie
  6. Take Me Away
  7. Astronomy [Imaginos Version]
  8. Cities On Flame With Rock & Roll
  9. Last Days Of May
  10. Joan Crawford
  11. Burnin' For You
  12. Godzilla
  13. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
  14. Golden Age Of Leather
  15. The Red & The Black
  16. Roadhouse Blues / Love Me Two Times
Ralph

OK - according to Pollstar this gig occurred on 11 July, instead of exactly a week later on the 18th, as I have it here.

I wasn't quite sure which date to list it under, but in the end, I decided to stay with the 18th, which was the date taken from the original BOC schedules as it seems to fit in better, logistically-speaking...

However, if you have any information to the contrary, please let me know...

Ralph

I found a listing for this gig in the Sunday, 10 Jul 1988 edition of the "The Orlando Sentinel" - (unfortunately, there was no info on any other bands on the bill):

Blue Oyster Cult will be at Brassy's Take II in Cocoa Beach July 21.

Tickets are $10 in advance and will be $12 at the door.

If you know who else was on this bill, please let me know...

Ralph

I found a listing for this gig in the Friday 15 July 1988 edition of the "The Palm Beach Post":

Blue Oyster Cult - July 22, 9 p.m. at Summers on The Beach, 219 S. Atlantic Blvd., Fort Lauderdale.

Tickets: $10 in advance at BASS outlets or $12 at the door.

If you know who else was on this bill, please let me know...

Andy V

Another great outdoors show in downtown St Pete. General admission, so i got pretty close.

I think this was the first time I had seen BOC at this venue. It seems that many more shows were to come here.

I believe with Foghat? I can't remember who opened for this show.

Ralph

I found a couple of listings for this gig - neither provide any info on the support act, unfortunately. Here's the one from the Saturday, 23 July 1988 edition of the "Tampa Bay Times":

Today's Calendar
Music: Blue Oyster Cult - 8 p.m. Jannus Landing, Second Street between Central and First Avenue N, St. Petersburg. Tickets $12 advance, $15 day of show. Call 896-1244 or 896-0155.

The other listing mentioned this at the end: "b. Club Detroit". So far as I can tell, Club Detroit seems to be the venue next to which the outdoor Jannus Landing shows used to take place...

Anyway, if Foghat would have been scheduled to appear, I think they'd have mentioned it in the listings, but if you happen to know who else was on this bill, please let me know by clicking the link on the right...

Ralph

I only know of the existence of this gig because Pollstar have published figures for it...

Ralph

This gig is confirmed on the venue website:

However, they refer to BOC as "Euro Rockers", so obviously you can't take anything on that page as Gospel...

George Merrill

Cool Toys opened up this show...

Sam Judd

You're missing a gig - I went over to Birmingham AL to see BOC in 1988 - it was on July 30 1988 - I was able to peg the date by the fact that I also remembered it was the day before the Diehard 500 at Talladega...

My mate Ed Brimer and I went over to Bham in his brand new car to visit with my sis for dinner, then go see BOC... returning to ATL at dawn the next day (July 31), we hit the massive traffic for the Talladega race (seating for 250K), but we knew back roads to get around it...

The venue was in fact a TINY little 2 room club that Hydra had played back in 73 when it was called Diamond Jim's Warehouse (on 1st Ave N), but I'm not sure what it was called when BOC played there...

Quick Gig Facts
Ralph

The handbill above doesn't really indicate whether or not BOC played on Day 1 (Saturday 30 July) or Day 2 (Sunday 31 July) of this festival... but thanks to Sam's help above, I now know that they must have played on the second day...

The full 12 band-list over the two days was (presumably in reverse order):

I currently have no idea which of these bands actually played before BOC on the Sunday, however...

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

MarkÖ

There is actually a 1988 date in Phoenix that very few people know about. BOC "OPENED" a special outfoor concert for a very popular local radio station DJ's band.

Dave Pratt of 98.7FM-KUPD had a band called "Dave Pratt and the Sex Machine Band". My brother was the bass player for his band at that time. I have asked my brother to check with Dave Pratt (they still work together, my brother is his Morning Show Producer at the radio station they work at now) and see if they can get the date of that show.

It's weird, but the venue really isn't anything particular. It was outside for a Carnival like event that was going on during the week somewhere in the desert in Tempe, AZ... I think. Pratt's band was doing it's Anniversary show that night. BOC opened and played about 45 minutes, they did do a couple Imaginos album songs and I recall Eric mentioning they had the "new" album.

Russ

I was there! For now you can tentatively put that it was at Tempe Diablo Stadium. I'm not sure about that, but it was definitely held at a baseball stadium that doesn't normally host concerts. We'll see what Mark's brother comes up with.

I vaguely recall it being Spring - I don't remember it being hot enough to be summer, and the show was before sundown.

Incidentally, as I recall the show at Big Surf (1989?) was also a Dave Pratt/97.9FM bash. Man-made beach scene, show was after dark, and whoever was drumming that night (I'm terrible...) donned the full-head Godzilla mask...

Ralph

I have now been able to date this show - as well as adding a venue, thanks to the Sep 15 edition of "The Arizona Republic" which listed the show:

Blue Oyster Cult - 8 p.m. Friday, SouthBank Business Park, University and Interstate 10. 838-0400.

On the 16th, the paper featured a large ad which revealed that this gig was part of a 4-day "Oktoberfest '88" event (Sept 15-18) to benefit the "Multiple Sclerosis Society".

Spirit and the Dave Mason Band headlined on the Sunday, but the Friday line-up was given as:

- Friday -
Dave Pratt
& the Sex Machine Band
and very special Guest
Blue Oyster Cult
Also
Michael Anderson

Rich Pawelczyk

Personally, I attended a BOC show not mentioned on your site: September 17, 1988 at West Warwick Civic Center in West Warwick, Rhode Island headlining with Robin Trower and Foghat in support.

Quick Gig Facts
Jim McDonald

September 18, 1988 - Kingston Fairgrounds, New Hampshire

BOC was the headliner of the "Indian Summer Jam".

The full bill and running order were as follows:

  1. Z Toys
  2. Humble Pie
  3. Foghat
  4. Robin Trower
  5. BOC

Remember, Jerry Shirley (drummer) was the only member of Humble Pie at that time (no Peter Frampton) and Foghat had a similar situation, with only original member Roger Earl (drums) being with them.

That left Robin Trower and BOC at the top. They each played 6 - 8 tunes (mostly hits).

Sorry, no setlist - I was hoping to get it from you.

Ralph

This is an odd one - the only reference I've seen that this gig might have occurred was the following mention in the 14 Oct 1988 edition of the "The Central New Jersey Home News":

Sunday: Bob Dylan is at Radio City Music Hall. Blue Oyster Cult and Robin Trower are at the Beacon Theatre in New York. Wynton Marsalis is at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank.

One thing to note is that BOC did play twice with Robin Trower the previous month in West Warwick and Kingston.

If you know anything about whether this gig happened or not, one way or the other, please let me know...

Sam Judd

24 Oct 88 was my return to stage right after leaving off 21 Sept 86...

Masi was deffo on the 29 Oct (Bulletboys in the Wiltern as well, bugger me if I can remember who played first) 30 Oct and 6 Nov shows... maybe more...

John Oxford

This was my first ever B.O.C. show. It was the Imaginos tour. I was a senior in High school.

I was right up in front of Eric and I was just blown away. They had 2 opening bands, first on the bill was early Seattle great "Mother Love Bone" (Just a short time after, we heard that lead singer, Andy Wood, died of a heroine overdose on the eve of the release of their album "Apple". Of course, later, when the Seattle scene broke open, members of this band would form "Temple Of The Dog" and "Pearl Jam").

The second band was called "Masi" and the only thing I really remember of them was that they had a really good guitarist (I think the band was named after him), but the mix was awful and all you could hear was him.

Then came B.O.C. Here is the songlist:

  1. R.U. Ready To Rock
  2. Dominance And Submission
  3. E.T.I.
  4. I Am The One You Warned Me Of
  5. Buck's Boogie
  6. Astronomy (Imagnos version w/Buck vocal)
  7. Take Me Away
  8. In The Prescence Of Another World
  9. Flaming Telepaths
  10. Then Came The Last Days Of May
  11. Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll
  12. Joan Crawford
  13. Burnin For You
  14. Godzilla
  15. Dont Fear The Reaper then as an encore they blew us away with Screaming Diz-Busters.

I remember during Cities On Flame, Eric held up his beer just above my head and asked if someone wanted it. Before i came to the realisation of the situation, I was jumped on by someone behind me who got it. When I looked back up, Eric kinda shrugged as if to say "Tough break kid".

This was the last show I saw at this venue while it was named the "Starry Night" as it soon changed its name to the Roseland Theater.

Today I heard the sad news that Allen Lanier has passed. This night was a great memory for me and he was most definately a big part of it. I will miss him.

Ralph

Dizbusters? In 1988? Are you sure about that one?

BTW: what's your source for the setlist you provided? - you didn't say, and I always like to know how confident I can be in the accuracy of given setlists.

Also - I originally had Masi and Impellitteri down on this bill - seeing how Mother Love Bone were on the next night's bill, from what you say it looks as if Impellitteri might have cancelled and MLB took up the slack...

John Oxford

The song list was written down on a sheet of paper the next day by a friend that came with and I recently re-discovered it in my copy of Imaginos on vinyl.

I also have a bootleg from Sacramento that has that songlist - the only difference was the encores were This Aint The Summer Of Love and Golden Age Of Leather, which I know they didnt play at our show. I guess I might be wrong (it's hell to get old).

There is no doubt at all in my mind that we saw Mother Love Bone and Masi that night. I absolutely know that. I've never seen Impellitteri.

Ralph

Thanks for the clarification. The setlist I originally had for this show was only partial and your one seems to be fuller and more accurate.

As I say, the only problem was the presence of Dizbusters, whereas my previous info had a double encore of The Red and The Black and Roadhouse Blues, which seems to be more "in keeping" with setlists from that period.

So what I've done is to use your setlist up to the encore, and then to add the two songs I originally had, and finally to add a note that it might possibly be inaccurate.

Mooncrazy

I finally found some notes that I had jotted down in a scrapbook I have that mentions most of the songs that were played at the Bremerton Washington show on October 25, 1988. I was mistaken about Baron being played. I was trying to remember why I thought Baron was played. I remember the refrain with Buck, Eric and Jon Rogers singing "Your Master... Your Master" and realized after putting on the Imaginos CD last night that it was 'In The Presence of Another World" that I was confusing it with.

Anyhow, here is what I have written down that was played. Unfortunately it is not the complete setlist (but close) and is not in the order played.

ME262
Astronomy (Imaginos version)
In The Presence of Another World
Cities On Flame
Flaming Telepaths
Take Me Away
I Am the One you Warned Me Of
ETI
DFTR
Dominance and Submission
Red and The Black
Godzilla

The 'support act' was quite interesting indeed! The band was 'Mother Love Bone'. Andy Wood was the self destructive singer that later died of I think a drug overdose just a few months after that show.

Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament as well as 1 other member of Mother Love Bone went on to become Pearl Jam less than a year after that show, picking up Eddy Vedder as the lead vocal.

I remember how well they played prior to BOC coming on and thinking, 'hey, these guys just might make it someday'. They certainly did.

I also seem to remember that Eric Bloom was sporting a Budweiser Logo Guitar that night for a couple of numbers. I think Budweiser was sponsoring the gig.

Rich Hoffman

Here's the setlist:

  1. Intro -> R.U. Ready 2 Rock
  2. Dominance And Submission
  3. E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)
  4. I Am The One You Warned Me Of
  5. Buck's Boogie
  6. Astronomy
  7. Take Me Away
  8. In The Presence Of Another World
  9. Flaming Telepaths
  10. Then Came The Last Days Of May
  11. Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll
  12. Joan Crawford
  13. Burnin' For You
  14. Godzilla
  15. (Don't Fear) The Reaper
  16. Golden Age Of Leather
  17. The Red & The Black
  18. Roadhouse Blues
Ralph

Impellitteri are down on the posters, but did they play? They seem to have had visa problems with Graham Bonnet (see later posts) so that would suggest they didn't play any of the dates that were advertised with BOC...?

Quick Gig Facts
Ralph

I found a listing for this gig in the 29 Oct 1988 edition of the "The Los Angeles Times":

BLUE OYSTER CULT (Wiltern Theatre, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., (213) 380-5005). These veteran specialists of grim-reaper imagery wedded to hard rock have a new album out called "Imaginos." Also: Impellitteri. 8 p.m. Also Sunday at the Ventura Theatre, 26 S. Chestnut St., Ventura, (805) 648-1936, 8 p.m.

So Impellitteri were listed for the show but from the comments below, as well as the Pollstar info above, it seems clear they didn't play.

Scott Bensyl

I was at this show; rode a Greyhound from Bakersfield to L.A. (I was a poor high school lad with no wheels). The Bulletboys were pretty impressive (remember "Smooth Up In Ya"?), but the other two openers I don't recall anything about.

Stone me if you must, but I've preferred the Imaginos version of Astronomy ever since that record dropped... it's just... more energetic, I guess... and they played it here, along with In The Presence of Another World -- and an awesome Golden Age.

This show was very loud (not as loud as the Coach House shows in San Juan Capistrano---I was deaf for DAYS after those, literally).

Larry Anderson

I just found your site today and have been a BOC fan since the early 80's. Anyway the first concert I went to in my life was on Oct 29th 1988 at the Wiltern theatre. The opening band was JETBOY not the Bullettboys. I remember the singer coming out with a mohawk and thinking 'oh boy' Great show by the way!

Ralph

So that's one vote for the Bulletboys and one for Jetboy... anyone else got any input about this show?

Gene Sobczak

I am absolutely certain it was Jetboy and none other. This was my first BOC gig in Los Angeles and I took notes.

Also - the Wiltern is a proper concert hall and they rarely - if ever - booked more than two bands in an evening since Union halls in Los Angeles strongly stipulated an 11:00 p.m. finish or else the bands would be required to pay overtime for the stagehands.

Ralph

I found an ad for this gig in the 30 Oct 1988 edition of the "The Los Angeles Times":

Today
Blue Oyster Cult, Impellitteri, Masi
(Ventura Theatre. 26 S. Chestnut Ave., Ventura, (805) 648-1936, 8 p.m.).

As I've said on previous gigs - I don't think Impellitteri played. If you can confirm/deny that, please get in touch...

Matthew Giuli

The 1988 concert at the University Of Nevada Reno was a unique experience. It was held in our student union, a very small venue. I was assisting with security for the event.

The Student Body Association did a horrible job of promoting the event. Halloween night with BOC and maybe 150 people showed up. Even in the small venue, the place looked empty.

BOC were highly upset at the lack of attendance. I grabbed a buss tub full of beer and brought it to the band and those who were responsible for the dismal ticket sales while they discussed what happened. I got to crack a beer with all of them.

The band were very professional and stated they would show why everyone should have attended. BOC were awesome! Literally the entire crowd fit at the edge of the stage.

For such a big band, we had a unique and intimate concert that I will never forget. The sound was great and the bands energy was fantastic.

Jay Buckwheat

I was at this gig with 3 of my friends that night. Of course we showed up early so we could get tuned up before we went in, but there was hardly anyone around so we were wondering if we got the time wrong or something stupid had happened.

The only stupid thing that happened was the lack of promotion by whoever put on the show (I really hope the band had a guaranteed payout that wasn't tied to ticket sales).

As time came for the show to start, there was maybe 50 people, tops, probably more like 40, but the numbers did not matter (back then in Reno, lots of shows got cancelled for lack of ticket sales, ozzy did it twice, asshole).

When the lights finally went down, most of those people gathered up to the stage, and BOC came out and played a fuckin great show. I could see them look around to see how few people were there, but they didn't let that keep them from playing like there was 50,000.

I can't tell you what songs they played, but they played at least 90 minutes of full tilt BOC. We were so happy to have so few people show up for that gig, it was like having BOC playing a private party or something. This is without a doubt one of my favourite BOC shows ever.

I can't say enough about those guys playing so hard for such a small crowd. That sold me on them forever. So many other bands would have cut their show short, played unenthusiastically or not even played, but not BOC, they just came out and tore it up. Integrity, that's what that is called. Doing it for your fans, no matter how many of them there are. Fuck Yeah!

Long Live Blue Oyster Cult!!!

Quick Gig Facts
Ralph

The listings for this gig mentioned that Impellitteri were the support - for example, here's the one from the 30 Oct 1988 edition of the "The Los Angeles Times":

Blue Oyster Cult, Impellitteri (Celebrity Theatre, 7:30 p.m.).

However, it seems clear they didn't play. I found the following review of the gig in the 05 Nov 1988 edition of the "The Los Angeles Times", but that didn't offer any help regarding the bands who played that night:

Pop Music Review
Blue Oyster Cult Shells Out More of the Same Hard Rock
By Mike Boehm, Times Staff Writer

When old, exhausted arena rockers like Aerosmith and Cheap Trick crept into their crypts for the big sleep early in this decade, somebody apparently neglected to drive stakes through their hearts to make sure they would never wake up again.

Now along comes Blue Oyster Cult, another '70s rock monster that has fallen on hard times through most of the '80s. BOC's new album, "Imaginos," is a fairly good facsimile of the band's mid-'70s approach ominous-but-catchy heavy rock full of gothic flourishes and mystical themes. But considering how quickly "Imaginos" has fallen from the charts, Blue Oyster Cult's prospects for renewed dominance appear to be imaginary.

At the Celebrity Theatre in Anaheim on Thursday, BOC treated a small but extremely loyal crowd to a solid, if not incendiary, assortment of songs drawn almost exclusively from the band's flush period. Aside from two new numbers from "Imaginos," the songs hearkened back to the 10-year hot streak that ended after BOC's 1981 album, "Fire of Unknown Origin."

The 100-minute show gave some indication why Blue Oyster Cult is not a likely candidate to follow the lead of Aerosmith and Cheap Trick (Kansas is trying too, God help us) and regain the mass appeal it had in the 70s.

Eric Bloom and Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser, the band's two lead singers, have serviceable but not particularly powerful voices, and neither is a commanding presence. The third original member, Allen Lanier, played mostly a supporting role as keyboardist and guitarist. The two younger members, drummer Ron Riddle and bassist Jon Rogers, were strong players who added some visual exuberance.

BOC slanted the show a bit too heavily toward the hard-pounding numbers, although most of them were melodic enough to avoid monotony. The best, most dynamically varied songs were a couple of atmospheric oldies: "Astronomy" (which the band has re-recorded on its new album) and "Then Came the Last Days of May."

BOC's show followed a conventional structure, starting with an obvious opening rabble rouser, "R. U. Ready 2 Rock," and ending with adequately rendered greatest hits: "Burnin' for You," "Godzilla" and "(Don't Fear) the Reaper."

In all, Blue Oyster Cult offered a much more durable and enjoyable array of hard-rock songs than such current chart-dominators as Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue will be able to fall back on after their own salad days have wilted. With bloodless '80s rockers like these, it's no wonder that '70s vampires don't stay dead.

Hmmm... the reviewer lost me after "Pop Music Review"...

Scott Bensyl

I was at this show, also. No Greyhound this time (See Oct 29); caught a ride with a buddy in his fastback Mustang... we "felt the thunder" on an Imaginos CD case all the way from Bakersfield to Anaheim, said drive taking what seemed like about fifteen minutes...

Certain there was an opening act here, but cannot remember anything about it.

Similar setlist to the Wiltern Theater show a few days before, but they added a couple, including I Am the One You Warned Me Of, which is probably my #2 fave Imaginos cut... #1 is (don't laugh, or I'll cut ya with muh knife) "Del Rio's Song"... which I am almost positive I *have* heard live SOMEWHERE, but can't recall where.

Maybe it was here?

Ralph

Regarding opening acts - the guy who posted the above ticket from this gig on eBay said: "As I recall they had some unknown bands opening for them, one was called Rysk."

Can anyone confirm or deny this?

Mike Starzec

I was checking the tour dates at the BOC Site - for I was part of an opening act for BOC at the Celebrity Theatre in Anaheim California, Nov.3rd 1988... the name of the band was "Unleashed". The names of the 4 players in that band were:

I personally attended at least 6 "Soft White Underbelly" shows back in the day and it was a huge rush to play on that stage that night.

I was at The BOC/Rainbow show in Long Beach Nov. 30 1983.

Always good to reminisce... even if it's with someone I don't actually know.

Ralph

I found a listing for this gig in the 30 Oct 1988 edition of the "The Los Angeles Times":

Saturday:
Blue Oyster Cult, Impellitteri
(California Theatre, 1122 4th Ave., San Diego. (619) 233-1781, 8 p.m.).

But I don't think Impellitteri played. Does anyone know for sure?

Quick Gig Facts
Gardner Trimble

I was at the November 6, 1988 show at the San Jose Civic Auditorium - though Impelliteri was orginally scheduled to be there, they did not appear. The buzz in the crowd was that singer Graham Bonnett had a visa-problem and they were unable to get in the U.S. No idea if that is true. I was disappointed to miss them.

Masi did play, though.

Can't help with the set-list, though I do remember that they played Imaginos material - specifically "I Am The One You Warned Me Of", "In The Presence Of Another World" and "Astronomy (Imaginos version)".

Mark Dubin

My band Kidd Blue opened this show because one of the bands on this tour had a problem with the singer?

We got a call that week from the tour manager asking if we wanted the gig.

Ralph

I found listings for this gig in "The Monitor" [McAllen TX]. In the first one, dated 9 Nov 1988, it said this:

Blue Oyster Cult at Villa Real Nov. 10
A Blue Oyster Cult concert with special guest Foghat and Rock City Angels will be held at the Villareal Convention Center in McAllen on Thursday, Nov 10, with doors opening from 6:30-7 p.m. and the show starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at all usual Valley ticket outlets.

Then, on the 10th, it gave this info:

Rock City Angels debut artists will perform with Blue Oyster Cult tonight at McAllen's Villa Real Convention Center.

The fact that Foghat isn't mentioned in the above listing doesn't indicate that they were no longer on the bill - the listing was under a large pic of the Rock City Angels, so it was really about them - BOC were lucky to get a name-check, I reckon...

John Prior

I was at this show. The opening act was a band called National Velvet, a Canadian Goth Rock band.

Don't have a set list for this show, and while the venue was quite dark, BOC put on a good show.

Ralph

This date was included on the original boc schedules and I used to list it as such. I even had the following corroboration:

Ken Kaylor

Dec 7 1988, Club Dimensions; support was Sgt. Roxx (Very popular local band)...

Ralph

However, Sam Judd was never very happy with this listing and was positive that they played at a club in Columbus Indiana that night.

And, as usual, he was proved right... see the next entry.

By the way - just to tie up the loose end posed by Ken Kaylor's post above - almost exactly a year later (5 Dec 1989), BOC did in fact play "Club Dimensions" with Sgt. Roxx as support - so it seems pretty clear that Ken is thinking of that gig...

Ralph

As I mentioned above, this gig was originally down as "Club Dimensions", in Highland IN. Then Sam Judd got in touch.

NB: an important piece of info to bear in mind is that Roy orbison died on 6 December 1988...

Sam Judd

On Dec 7 1989 we played at a club in Columbus Indiana (not in Mich) we had never played before... it was a hellhole and when we showed up the stage was only 6x12 ft and about 3" high (I think they'd play that today)... looked like a blowoff, but about 5PM this damn guy came up with a team of carpenters and a truckload of wood and built a damn stage and we had to do the stinking gig... I remember it vividly as it was the morning I found out that Roy Orbison had died the night before...

It was the scene of my famous quote (among certain BOC folk anyway) as we were sitting around during the endless hours of waiting to find out if we were even gonna work that day:

"Roy Orbison's dead, I'm out of cigarettes, and we're playing THIS shithole... fine..."

It was definitely a night that we finished the evening by playing Martin Mull's: "I've played some shitholes in my time, but this place takes the CAKE" thru the PA... (we always kept that tape handy for "special" evenings...

Ralph

Are you sure it was Columbus?

Sam Judd

We were deffo in Columbus Ind... Shenck and I got to meet some of the local constabulary after the show... we went to a White Castle and the girl behind the counter had on a most xcellent White Castle satin jacket...

We struck up a conversation with her, offering to buy it off her on the spot (she was big enough that it would have fit either one of us as well)... Shenck even pulled a C-note out of his pocket and offered it to her... all standard chit chat kind of stuff...

After we got our food and were eating, 2 cops came in and talked to the manager... they then came over to us, wanting to know who we were and why we were "causing trouble in here"... they demanded to see picture ID and ran our D/L #'s for possible warrants, finally leaving after they were sure we had seen the error of our ways and seemed to be no further threat...

We were glad that our motel was at least in a different county and considered this a perfect capper to a memorably shitty day, where we had once more won out over the Road Gods and could count our money on the plane...

I looked at the 1988 giglists and thought damn, did we play the same place exactly one year apart??...

Maybe we were supposed to play Club Dimensions in 88, but, for some reason, the promoter had to do it at another venue?? That would explain the scramble-fuck about the stage as well...??

I don't think we went back to that place in Columbus either...

Ralph

Well, since then, I've managed to come across a mention of this gig in the 4 Dec 1988 edition of the "The Republic" [Columbus IN]:

Blue Oyster Cult
One Night Only - Wed. Dec 7th
Tickets - $10.00 advance $12.00 at the door

Disc Jockey Dave Stone every night

Neon Nites
2241 State Street
379-2619

So the gig was announced at least three days prior to the gig itself - plenty of time to have built the stage in advance!!

Anyway, it's clear that Sam has once again been proven to be right. Just such a crying shame that he's not around anymore so that I can tell him so... :-(

Paul Ebenreck

The opening band was Circus of Power.

Ralph

I found an advert for this gig in the Sunday, 4 Dec 1988 edition of the "Casper Star-Tribune":

Rock'n'Roll Returns For One Final Concert in 1988!

Blue Oyster Cult
Plus Special Guest Circus of Power

Monday, December 12, 7:30 P.M.

Tickets Now On Sale!
$10.50 Advance/$12.50 The Day of Show

Gary

Another solid BOC show - wonderful venue, 1930 historic landmark theatre that had a fire that interrupted a George Thorogood show in February 1981. No damage and theatre is still open.

Ralph

Circus of Power were confirmed as the support act on this list of Circus of Power gigs.

Chuck Brawner

Saw this BOC site today. The 12/26/88 gig was in Pasadena, MD, which is a few miles out of Baltimore.

The opening act was Circus of Power. Besides the obvious, I do recall that they played "The Golden Age of Leather." I shook Buck's hand!

Ralph

I found a listing for this gig in the Friday, 9 Dec 1988 edition of the "The Baltimore Sun", which confirmed the support act:

Blue Oyster Cult, with special guests Circus Power (sic), will appear at the Network Nightclub, 8501 Fort Smallwood Road in Pasadena, Dec. 26. Call 255-2132.

Ralph

I found a listing for this gig in the Friday, 23 Dec 1988 edition of the "The Baltimore Sun", which confirmed the support act:

D.C Clubs
Bayou, 3136 K St. N.W. (202) 333-2897.

Dec 23: Big Bang Theory, Radioblue, Frontier Theory
Dec 24: Mis-Fit, Cheap Thrills, Fuzzy Lipstick
Dec 25: The Johnny Artis Christmas Party.
Dec 26: Child's Play, Escape.
Dec 27: Blue Oyster Cult, Circus of Power
Dec 28: The Good Humor Band reunion.

John Moore

I was at this gig - good-sized crowd, pretty standard set list, and the opening band were Circus Of Power, who were excellent also. There may have been local bands too, The Chance would usually stick some on, but the ID of those is lost to me in the mists of time...

John Jackson

I really enjoyed this show as it was at a Bar in Delaware, close to Philadelphia, Pa. Compared to the big arena shows this was certainly more cozy as you were as close to them as you could get. I do remember two sets that included Astronomy.

Ralph

The opening band - Slang Girl - is confirmed at this url:

I think also that these date(s) were played in 1988 - if you have any info, please let me know:

Buddy Christian

By the way, when I was living in Southern California in the late 80's, I was able to see BOC a number of times in small settings and theatres.

In '88, they did a lot of shows in Southern California. My girlfriend and I saw them once at a club in Santa Barbara. That show is not on your list; but I do not have a stub for that show.

So, I do not know the exact date. BOC's site doesn't have it, either. It could have been 03/22/88, before the Pismo Beach show - no way of telling for sure.

But I was at the back bar before the show and Buck walked up to me and commented on my silver BOC jacket, which I still have.

I mentioned about how many times I had seen them. He laughed and thanked me. I would loved to have bought him a beer.