Where were you in '82? Rockin' with Blue Öyster Cult and Aldo Nova too?

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      Exactly 30 years ago this minute I was at the Pacific Coliseum watching my hard-rock heroes from the States, Blue Öyster Cult, kick butt on a bill with Canadian one-hit-wonder Aldo Nova.

      How do I remember the precise date of that ancient gig, you ask? Well, it's not like I still have the ticket stub lying around--although I wish I did. It would look pretty cool encased behind the back-cover plastic of my Workshop of the Telescopes greatest-hits CD.

      No, the only reason I can recall the exact date is because I kept a copy of the interview I did a couple weeks before the show with singer Eric Bloom. At the time I'd only been writing for the Straight for three months, and was totally psyched by the fact that I was getting TWO FREE TICKETS TO SEE A FUCKING BLUE ÖYSTER CULT CONCERT!--not to mention a bit of cash to scribble about it. I also kept a copy of my concert review, which was published the following week. Maybe I sensed that at some point I'd want to transfer those heavy-metal memories to another, non-newsprint realm. Call me visionary if you must.

      Anyway, since one whole person has suggested it would be cool to revisit that gig for the benefit of hardcore BÖC fans, here's my '82 review. Keep in mind that my rock writing back then was 30 years lamer than it is now.

      What do a motorcycle, a monster, and a massive mirrored saucer have in common? Who cares, you say? They're all props used last Sunday night by New York City's Blue Oyster Cult, who played the Pacific Coliseum with opening act Aldo Nova.

      Touring to promote their latest album, Extraterrestrial Live, the group came on strong with a triple-guitar attack that drove home the main idea behind songs like the opener "Dominance and Submission" and Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild". On the latter tune, singer Eric Bloom pulled a Judas Priest trick by driving a big, black Harley (or was it a Yamaha?) onstage. During "Godzilla", a curtain behind drummer Rick Downey was parted to reveal the lizard king itself--with massive green head and laser red eyes. Spewing fountains of dry ice from its jaws, the creature was pelted with drumsticks by Downey.

      The real highlight of the show had to be lead guitarist Don (Buck Dharma) Roeser's solo work, which he executed with dizzying speed on songs such as "Cities on Flame" from the group's first album, and their biggest hit to date "(Don't Fear) the Reaper". He lived up to his reputation as one of the top rock guitarists in America, especially on the extended jam that took place during the encore performance of the Doors classic, "Roadhouse Blues".

      Toronto glam-rocker Aldo Nova did his best to get the mostly teen crowd warmed up for BOC, playing selections from his enormously successful debut album. Dressed in a black leather jumpsuit, Nova posed and pranced through Top 40 tracks like "Fantasy", playing the guitar-hero role to the hilt and keeping the rest of his band in the background.

      Ha. So there you have it. Sounds like I wasn't all that impressed with Mr. Nova. But can you blame me? Blue Öyster Cult had to put out four adventurous, mindblowing studio albums before it could score a hit with the gorgeous "Reaper", and this guy comes along with his black leather jumpsuit and his radio-friendly sound and makes it big on his first try. It just didn't seem fittin' is all.

      On a happier note, hopefully my exhumation of this wee review will help dispel those crazy rumours on the Hot Rails to Hull website that it was actually Streetheart--and not Aldo Nova--who opened the show. That woulda been cool though.

      You can follow Steve Newton on Twitter at twitter.com/earofnewt.




      Aug 23, 2012 at 3:59am

      Cheers for posting that that.

      > hopefully my exhumation of this wee review will help dispel those crazy rumours on the Hot Rails to Hull website

      Duly noted - the info is now amended:


      BTW: I've re-posted your review at the end of above link as proof that Aldo played this gig - naturally, if that's any sort of a problem, let me know and I'll remove it...

      Shameless plug: if anyone out there has ANY memories of ANY BOC gigs (not just Vancouver), then please send them along to the Hot Rails site for inclusion (that's why it exists)...


      Aug 23, 2012 at 10:19am

      Thanks for the flashback, Steve. I missed the show at the Coliseum, but I'm (almost) certain I saw BOC perform at a Summer Sunday concert in the early 80s, and they closed their set with Roadhouse Blues. My memory is a bit sketchy, though. If anyone else remembers that show, tell me if I'm out to lunch.

      how soon is now

      Aug 24, 2012 at 12:13am

      To answer your question on behalf of most of the people currently reading the Straight's music coverage: "Not born yet."


      Aug 24, 2012 at 4:05pm

      On friday july 18th 1980 - for only $9.00 , Blue oyster cult / Molly hatchet / Riot played the Pacific Coliseum. This was one awesome and heavy rockin' concert. All three bands were great and B.o.c. was phenominal. They were ontop of the game at the time with very memorable songs like Godzilla etc. etc. The only other time i saw B.o.c. was on friday Nov 05 1993 - at the Commodore ballroom for the Nazareth / Blue oyster cult / Uriah heep / Wishbone ash Concert - Holy shit what a great quadruple bill and only for $28.75.Yes . . Vancouver truly does ROCK !!

      Robert Spanell

      Sep 2, 2013 at 7:51pm

      Saw the same show at the Edmonton Colliseum on that tour. Totally forgot that Aldo Nova opened. It was only my third concert after Pat Benatar and the Boomtown Rats, but definitely the most memorable. I became a lifelong fan after that show. I still have the concert shirt in rather excellent shape, considering I still wear it sometimes. In fact, I wore it to their show here in Kamloops last year.
      Best performance I've seen out of Buck, though, was at the Rage in Vancouver. Can't remember the exact year, sometime around 2000, give or take. He looked like her was having the most fun he had ever had.

      Pete T.

      Apr 3, 2014 at 6:46am

      My first ever concert. Saw that same show at the Spokane Coliseum. BOC had hit it big with "Fire of Unknown Origin". "Burnin' for You" was killing it on the radio.