That Time I Saw Blue Öyster Cult and It was Surprisingly Decent

blueoystercultLet me set the stage for you, Rocknuts Reader: The year was 2003. The place was the Montgomery County Rib Festival, held at the Wright State University Nutter Center in Fairborn, Ohio. Admission was three American dollars, and I was hanging out with “The Johns.” This is two of my friends, who are both named “John.” Sorry if that’s confusing. They are distinct people who both are called “John.” Sorry if you can’t get past this, but it is essential that you do.

The Johns and myself were expecting, at best, some mild fun. What we got was some actual fun! When Blue Öyster Cult took the stage, I was delighted to see that the group contained what appeared to be original members (read: old guys). Most notably, Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser was in fine form. Come to think of it, the entire group was operating at a level that was surprisingly high-level for ribfest purposes. They just sounded…good. I felt bad for making fun of them prior to attending and made sure to be the totally unironic fan from that point forward. I learned something about expectations that day. A great concert experience can come from any angle. It’s important to keep an open mind and allow yourself to authentically enjoy an experience. Despite my layers of teenage irony, I was able to get the most out of this Blue Öyster Cult show. You never know when the rock is going to overtake you. It just might happen with a plate full of ribs in front of a “who’s who of Dayton elites.” Here are some other things I learned that day.

  1. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” does not have a separate guy playing cowbell, despite what Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken would have you think. That job is actually handled, boringly, by drummer Jules Radino.
  2. My friends and I can eat a lot of ribs and not throw up. Here is another song by BOC:
  3. Also “Burning for You.”

  4. Perhaps most importantly, Buck Dharma celebrates his 69th birthday on November 12th, and I thought it was time to talk about the time I saw BOC and they were surprisingly good. Maybe it’s not necessarily an epic story, but it’s not like you’re offering anything better.
  5. Thanks to the Johns for appearing in this story.

Photo credit: By Eric Meola, Columbia Records (eBay item photo back photo front) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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