Blue Oyster Cult History - page 9

Blue Öyster Cult 1986-present

After the German leg of the tour behind Club Ninja, Joe Bouchard decided to leave the band. BÖC now only had two original members: Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma. Jon Rogers was hastily hired to replace the departed Joe, and this band finished out the 1986-87 tour.

Shortly afterward, the band, for all practical purposes broke up. This split was very short-lived, however, as they received an offer they couldn’t refuse to play in Greece. This was the impetus for Allen Lanier’s rejoining the band. He’d been planning a trip to Greece, and had also been “rather bored” during his time away from BÖC. With those gigs, he returned to the BÖC fold, and the band was officially un-broke up.

In the meantime, Albert had gotten a long way with his “Imaginos” project, but to his disdain found that the record company wasn’t behind it. However, they would be willing to release it if it was under the Blue Öyster Cult moniker. The decision was made to turn the tapes over to Pearlman and Blue Öyster Cult. New lead vocals and overdubs were added at Pearlman’s San Francisco studio, and in 1988 “Imaginos” was released. The album was barely promoted, and both critics and fans polarized over it. The album is a brilliant piece, but sadly even with currently respected musicians like Metallica singing the album’s praises, “Imaginos,” for all practical purposes, tanked. And shortly thereafter, Columbia records terminated its almost 20 year relationship with the Blue Öyster Cult.

Thus began a long period in which BÖC was “On Tour Forever” but had no record deal. Aside from a couple songs that appeared on the “Bad Channels” soundtrack, the band went 10 years before releasing another album. However, Columbia released, and continues to release, a steady stream of BÖC repackages and greatest hits discs.

During these years, BÖC took to the clubs, hiring Ron Riddle for the drum position, and retaining Jon Rogers on bass. In 1991 Riddle quit the band, and over the years the drum position has been held by Chuck Bürgi (Meatloaf), John Miceli (Rainbow), John O’Reilly (Ritchie Blackmore), and since 1997, Bobby Rondinelli (Black Sabbath). In 1995 Jon Rogers quit the band, and was briefly replaced by Greg Smith (Alice Cooper). Long Island bassman Danny Miranda was hired in 1995, and has been with the band ever since.

In the late ’90s, BÖC secured a contract with CMC records, and in 1998 released “Heaven Forbid,” their first record in 10 years. “Heaven Forbid” was well received by both critics and fans, and brought the band back into the music aficionado’s conciousness. A good portion of the lyrics for the album were provided by sci-fi writer and (BÖC fan) John Shirley.

For the last 30 plus years, Blue Öyster Cult has been following their own unique path, and as of this writing are in the studio again to record their (-teenth) studio album. Their motto “On Tour Forever” still holds, as the band plays over 100 dates per year. Most fans feel the band sounds better than ever--that the musical maturity and skill combined with over three decades of playing together has made BÖC a prime example of rock and roll at its best.