Blue Oyster Cult Keeps It Fresh With Different Setlist Each Show
If the pantheon of ’70s, classic-rock bands were defined in cinematic terms, no shortage would fall into the mainstream categories of dramas and comedies, romantic or otherwise. But very few enjoyed success with songs that, cinematically speaking, would put them squarely in the realms of fantasy, science-fiction or horror other than [lastfm]Blue Oyster Cult[/lastfm].
The New York-formed band took such approaches from the start in the early ’70s, and as led by singer/guitarist/keyboaridst Eric Bloom and lead guitarist/singer Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser, will play many of them – including “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” “Godzilla” and “Burnin’ For You” – on Saturday at Silver Springs.
“It was a natural thing, just sort of a chemistry of the personalities of the bandmembers who were into sci-fi, fantasy, science fiction and horror novels,” Bloom says about the band’s songwriting approaches from his home in Long Island, N.Y. “Buck is more interested in the horror and I’m more interested in fantasy and science fiction.”
In some ways, the stories behind some of the band’s best-known songs including “Burnin’ For You” tell the story of the band itself.
“That lyric was written by Richard Meltzer, who studied at Stony Brook University with Sandy Pearlman and David Roter, who wrote [the song] ‘Joan Crawford,'” Bloom says. “The band started around the Stony Brook University campus even though no one in the band went to Stony Brook.
“And Meltzer and Pearlman were sort of the original duo that wrote a lot of our original lyrics and Sandy was the band’s manager,” Bloom says. “Sandy wrote the lyrics to ‘Cities on Flame’ and <0x000A>’E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence).’ And Meltzer wrote ‘Burnin’ for You,’ ‘Harvester of Eyes’ and several other songs.”
Those and many other songs turned such B.O.C. studio albums as “Agents of Fortunes” (1976) and “Spectres” (1977) into major sellers of the decade while the group’s second live album, “Some Enchanted Evening” (1978), remains the group’s biggest-selling album.
While original bassist and drummer Joe and Albert Bouchard respectively left the band in the 1980s, and keyboardist Allen Lanier retired a few years back, the group typically plays between 80 to 100 dates a year and now features Jules Radino on drums, Richie Castellano on keyboards/guitars and Rudy Sarzo (from Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne’s original solo band) on bass.
The songs remain the same, however – though different songs will turn up on any given night along with some of the band’s best-known hits because the group uses a different set list every night, Bloom says.
“There’s sort of a framework that I work from because when you have a set that works very well, it’s hard to ignore it,” Bloom says. “But I’ll change the setlist up as we go if I get the feeling from the audience of what kind of song we should be playing next.”
[Source: The Gainsville Sun]