This is Fine cut 6
Music, Words, voice: Michael W. Dean
Thoughts on this, decades later: It wasn’t cool of me to do this, and it could have gotten us kicked out of the studio. We were recording on “spec” time donated by an assistant at the studio. It was studio time that wasn’t booked by someone paying, that we got on short notice when it wasn’t available or someone cancelled. Was “bumpable time.” But if BOC had called the studio owner, we would have gotten kicked out that night, and banned, most likely. Ah the fun and foolishness of youth!
Phil: What was that you were saying to her about Blue Oyster Cult?
MWD: I’m gonna try to do this without coughing….
One of the more scathing reviews of my old band Bomb said, for our Warner Brothers album, Hate Fed Love, “The guitars on this album sound, at best, like Tyranny and Mutation-era Blue Öyster Cult….And at worst, like Saturday morning at Guitar Center.”
Squeaking of Blue Öyster Cult,
When my band Bomb made our first record, at a real studio, Hyde Street Studio, where people like the Grateful Dead and Dead Kennedys recorded….
(my girlfriend was worked as assistant engineer and also manned the front desk for recording time, Like Superhans….and gave it to me..to make the record happen.)
….Blue Oyster Cult were also there, upstairs, recording their worst record, Imaginos.
They were doing vocals with the door open, I could hear the vocal takes.
Phil: Ha! That’s crazy…
MWD: I went upstairs to check it out, and saw a very twitchy and sniffy Eric Bloom sitting on a couch in the hall, staring into space from behind mirrored sunglasses indoors. It was about 4 AM.
I shook his hand an said:
“Hi. I’m Michael Dean, I’m recording downstairs with my band Bomb. We’ve been here 3 nights, and we’ve recorded a full album, it’s great, and we’re doing the final mix tonight.
“I used to be a huge fan of you guys, since I was a kid. But in the 3 nights we’ve been here, I’ve listened to you record about 4 lines of lyrics in one song probably hundreds of times.
And this new music isn’t good.”
Phil: Aw, man! Then what happened?
MWD: He looked really crestfallen, paused, and said “I’m sorry you feel that way, but this is our creative trajectory and…blah blah.”
I heard my guys come in downstairs from dinner, and said “I gotta run, we’re back from break.”
That record of ours, To Elvis in Hell, sold 1000 copies. Probably not much less than their album, Imaginos, did.
Jesus, that BOC album:
“The album took nearly eight years to complete and was originally intended to be the first in a trilogy of solo albums by Blue Öyster Cult drummer and songwriter Albert Bouchard…”
That all screams “arena rock excess.”
I know that album lost a bunch of money too, probably from making them twitchy and sniffy.
About 10 years later, I was making amends, and send Eric Bloom an email and apologized. Never heard back. but that could mean anything. Sent it through their website, maybe it got lost in the cracks .
Years later after that, I heard a writer I enjoy, Jerry Stahl, do a book reading in Los Angeles.
After the reading, he took questions.
Some eager young guy’s hand shot up, and he asked the inevitable, “How do I become a good writer?”
Jerry paused for a few seconds and deadpanned,
“Hurt people, then apologize in print.”
So, here we are….
Jerry’s friend, Hubert Selby Jr, who I made a movie of, a documentary about…
Jerry’s in it. Selby’s in it…
Jerry said that Selby told him something,
When Jerry asked him for writing advice early on, was that
Doesn’t matter how messed up your charters are,
but people have to care what happens to the main character.
And I think that’s what’s missing,
in most TV that’s bad,
in most movies that are bad.
In most Blue Oyster Cult records that are bad.
I still like those guys…they’ve been going for 51 years.
Gotta give ’em that. And they made about 6 amazing records.
So yeah, man,
Sorry Eric Bloom.
I won’t do it again. and
I loved Tyranny and Mutation.
Phil: Well, you did the right thing.
Post script: It wasn’t cool of me to do this, and it could have gotten us kicked out of the studio. We were recording on “spec” time, time that wasn’t booked, that we got on short notice when it wasn’t available or someone cancelled. Was “bumpable time.” But if BOC had called the studio owner, we would have gotten kicked out that night, and banned, most likely. Ah the fun and foolishness of youth!