Known as the missing link between Black Sabbath and Rush, the classic rock band Blue Öyster Cult has paved itself one heck of a musical trajectory and their making a tour stop at Cape Coral’s Coconut Fest on November 14.
BÖC formed in the early 1970s. The band is comprised of guitarist-vocalist Eric Bloom, lead guitarist-vocalist Buck Dharma, guitarist-keyboardist Richie Castellano, drummer Jules Radino and bass guitarist Kasim Sulton. The group peaked between 1976 – 1981 on the strength of Reaper, the 1981 hit Burnin’ for You, 1977’s live staple Godzilla and Veteran of the Psychic Wars, included on the 1981 science fiction/fantasy/horror anthology Heavy Metal.
Setting themselves apart from other rock acts of the day by frequently using science-fiction and fantasy themes, BÖC would rock out with unconventional songs played with expert musicianship.
BÖC’s guitarist-vocalist Eric Bloom told Gainesville’s The Scene, “Before cable, there were about seven channels and I used to watch “Flash Gordon.” I also grew up reading Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine so that seeped into the music. Then, we collaborated with Michael Moorcock who started sending me lyrics, and that’s how I wrote three songs with him: Black Blade, The Great Sun Jester and Veteran of the Psychic Wars.”
“Looking back, I can say that we have a body of work that stands nicely in a nice little place over all these years and we’re pretty satisfied with it,” Bloom said to The Californian. “We like to rock and want people to join us in the party; we’re all for it. We want everybody to have a good time together.”
“We realized we’re a ‘classic rock’ band — that’s what we are, that’s what we do best, that’s what we know,” says co-founder Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser, adding that his band takes pride in creating songs for “disenfranchised music lovers who don’t like the homogenized, prefabricated pop or sound— alike, formulaic rap— metal.”
The bands heyday lasted pretty much into the early to mid ‘80s. And although the group has continued to perform live, it has not recorded an album of new material since 2001.
No worries though. The Blue Öyster Cult has a prodigious catalogue of work including a boxed-set of 16 CD’s (a combination of studio and live albums to 1988) that was released by Columbia Records in 2012. Testament that BÖC’s music remains popular and viable.
Currently, the group continues touring and has gone through phases in the 40 plus years they’ve been on the road Bloom said.
“Our earliest touring in 1971 or ‘72 shall we say was in a van and we used to put all our stuff in a van and we had a rent a car,” said Bloom, who was brought in as the band’s vocalist in 1969. “Our first gigs were playing clubs in Pennsylvania and Upstate New York and all of the Northeast…I had a ‘68 Chevy and we put all our stuff in it and because I gave the band my van I had to get myself a car, a ‘65 Malibu…and a few guys from the band would ride in my car, and two guys would ride in the van, and that’s how we got to all our gigs.”
He goes on to say that Blue Öyster Cult learned a lot about touring and stage craft from one of their early tours, opening for another rock legend: Alice Cooper.
“We were lucky enough to get on a tour with Alice Cooper and that’s when we really started learning how the rock business worked,” Bloom said. “We learned a lot working with him…we sort of learned at his feet how to do a rock show. He was kind of our mentor. We really owe him a lot.”
And that performance magic has continued well into today with fans from their heyday and their children— a whole new generation of people who like guitar driven music. But how does BÖC stay relevant for 40-plus years in this ever-changing business:
“We just keep doing what we love and people keep hiring us. We’re very glad to still be employed and do what we do. The gig is the icing on the cake,” added Bloom.
– Blue Öyster Cult will perform at the Cape Coral Coconut Fest on November 14. Coconut Fest is held at Sun Splash Family Waterpark, located at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd. in Cape Coral, FL. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.cocofest.com!
On December 5, former The Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson will bring his Craig Ferguson: The New Deal Tour to Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee.
Craig Ferguson entered the world of late night comedy following a diverse and eclectic career that encompasses film, television and the stage. Since taking the helm of CBS’s The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in 2005, the show has set all-time viewer records in the nine years that it has been on the air. Ferguson stepped down as host of The Late Late Show in December 2014.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Ferguson got his start in the entertainment industry as a drummer for some of the worst punk bands in the U.K., a profession he held for several years. Following his musical stint, he began bartending in a local pub in Glasgow where he was introduced to Michael Boyd, the artistic director of The Tron Theatre in Glasgow, who persuaded Ferguson to give acting a go. After several low paying acting gigs, Ferguson discovered he had a knack for comedy and was soon the star of his own BBC television show, The Ferguson Theory.
Ferguson has also become a huge success on the North American comedy circuit. He has performed to sold-out theaters all over the country and sold out Carnegie Hall in Oct. 2010. In Oct. 2012 Craig performed his highly praised stand-up at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall to a sold out audience. Additionally, Craig has three widely acclaimed stand-up comedy specials, A Wee Bit O’ Revolution, which premiered on Comedy Central and was released on Home Video in 2009, and Does This Need To Be Said, which premiered on Epix in 2011, aired on Comedy Central and was released on Home Video.
– Ferguson will perform December 5 at 7 and 9:30 pm at the Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee. Tickets are available for $50 and $75. Tickets can be purchased at the casino or charged by phone at 800-218-0007.