After 41 years, frontman Eric Bloom and guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser are the only founding members remaining in Blue Öyster Cult. And Bloom considers it “a loaded question” when asked if he misses any of the others who started out with him as Soft White Underbelly at SUNY-Stony Brook.
“I’m gonna be politically correct,” Bloom, 63, says, “and say the current Blue Öyster Cult is the best it’s ever been and we’re very happy with the current personnel and doing great. We’re playing somewhere between 80 to 100 shows a year — and still smiling, which is great.”
Like many veteran bands, in fact, BOC has gotten a boost from video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, which have given new life to BOC’s ’70s hits such as “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” and “Godzilla.” So even though BOC hasn’t released any new music in seven years, Bloom says the group is certainly seeing evidence of a new audience.
“We do have a rabid core; there’s no doubt about that,” he explains. “Then there’s a lot of young people who I meet at shows, on the way out of the building, who are waiting for autographs. They’re teenagers who really never had a chance to see bands like us. They have Guitar Hero or they heard about us or maybe saw a video on VH1 Classic or something that got them interested
“I’m meeting more and more of those kids these days, young people who are saying ‘This is my first show, seeing you guys.’ I really like that.”
Blue Öyster Cult performs at the 2008 Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert series at 8 p.m. Friday (Aug. 15) on the RiverWalk behind the GM Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. Admission is free. Call (313) 567-3126 or visit www.gmrencen.com.