1967 in Long Island, New York
Original Name(s):Soft White Underbelly, Oaxaca, Stalk-Forrest Group, Santos Sisters
Origin of the Name:Blue Oyster Cult came from a poem written by Sandy Pearlman, the band's original manager.
Influenced By:Black Sabbath, Moody Blues, Deep Purple, Byrds
Incluence On:Spinal Tap, The Dictators, Radio Birdman
Original BOC Members:
Eric Bloom - vocals, guitar, keyboards
Buck Dharma (Donald Roeser) - lead guitar, vocals
Allen Lanier - rhythm guitar, keyboards
Joe Bouchard - bass
Al Bouchard - drums
Other Members:Les Braunstein - vocals - Soft White Underbelly
Chuck Burgi - drums
Richie Castellano - bass
Rick Downey - drums
John Miceli - drums
Danny Miranda - bass
John O'Reilly - drums
Al Pitrelli - guitar
Thommy Price - drums
Jules Radino - drums
Ron Riddle - drums
Bobby Rondinelli - drums
Jon Rogers - bass
Greg Smith - bass
Kasim Sultan - keyboards
Andrew Winters - bass - Soft White Underbelly
Tommy Zvonchek - keyboards
Eric Bloom, Buck Dharma, Allen Lanier, Richie Castellano, Jules Radino
First Album:Blue Oyster Cult - 1972
Most Recent Album:A Long Day's Night - 2002
Signature Songs"(Don't Fear) The Reaper"
"Burnin' For You"
Essential CD:Agents of Fortune
BOC's fourth studio album -- and its first gold album -- released in 1976, contains several of the songs for which they are best known, and which are still featured in their live performances. In the tour promoting this album, the band became one of the first to introduce laser light effects into their stage shows.
Beginnings of Blue Oyster Cult:
Sandy Pearlman was a music critic at Crawdaddy! magazine when he persuaded a group of students at his alma mater, State University of New York at Stony Brook to form a band, and became its manager. He christened them Soft White Underbelly (a phrase he liked from a Winston Churchill speech,) got them live dates and record contracts, and even contributed to some of their lyrics.
After one of the band's live shows got a bad review in 1969, Pearlman promptly changed their name to Oaxaca, then to Stalk-Forest Group, then Santos Sisters. In 1970 the band settled on the name Blue Oyster Cult.
BOC Succeeds the Old Fashioned Way:
The band's success was hard earned. Eric Bloom had been BOC's soundman before becoming its lead singer, and the group continually honed its studio production techniques.
They toured relentlessly, at a rate of more than 200 live shows a year during the 70s. They were among the first bands to introduce laser light shows into their live performances, but they were also one of the first to give them up because of the trouble and expense of hauling the necessary equipment.
Blue Oyster Cult's Ups and Downs:
During the 80s and 90s they had considerable personnel turnover, particularly drummers and bassists. Pearlman left to become Black Sabbath's manager.
"By the late '70s," Bloom tells About.com Classic Rock, "we wanted to be known for who we were instead of being the American Black Sabbath that Sandy wanted. Who knows? Maybe if we had gone that way, we would have become an A-band rather than a B-band. By A-band I mean groups like Led Zeppelin and the Stones. But we rebelled against it."
BOC in the 21st Century:
Band members parted ways briefly during the '80s, but otherwise have worked pretty much constantly. Original members Bloom, Dharma and Lanier form the core of today's BOC, who continue to perform 80 to 100 live shows each year. BOC fans have documented more than 4,000 performances in the band's career.
Currently without a record label, BOC continues to concentrate on touring. Their former label, Columbia has been gradually releasing expanded, remastered editions of the band's 17 studio and live albums.