Tag Archives: Blue Oyster Cult

Story Behind The Album Cover: Joe Bouchard’s American Rocker by Alan Ayers

American Rocker is Joe Bouchard’s new album, and it tells a number of stories relating to Joe’s past with Blue Oyster Cult, in particular – ‘the golden age’ of the ’70s rock era (see video in links). The album’s cover features stands out with a ’70s-period portrait of Joe, created by American artist Alan Ayers, who is better known for book covers (see the link to his website below). The album’s typeface was created by artist Wallace McBride (aka Unlovely Frankenstein). who also designed those classic looking book covers that appear in the videos for American Rocker. JB: “I did the videos, but I edited a lot of his art into the videos. He also did the typeface for the album cover. He’s very creative. I love his nostalgic approach.” The latest video is for the song “Deadly Kisses”, one of my favorite tracks on the album. Check it out, and check out the links below!

Below, Alan Ayers tells us about his work on the cover for American Rocker, as well as his favorite BOC tunes, and what else he has been involved in.

How you got involved with American Rocker

I was thrilled when Joe contacted me and asked if I would do the cover art for American Rocker. I met Joe through Joan Levy Hepburn, who has been a dear friend for 30+ years. 

As an experienced illustrator, and being of the same generation as Joe, he and Joan felt I would be able to recreate the wonderful energy of ‘70s art. 

Your background, and artwork you’re also known for

I’ve been illustrating professionally since 1979. My early career was as an advertising illustrator, but I transitioned to publishing in 1987. My work now is primarily novel covers. Occasionally I will work on a non-fiction title. I recently completed the cover for Bill O’Reilly’s latest book, Killing the Legends. I’m still managing multiple deadlines and have no plans on retiring. 

​Familiar with Joe’s and BOC’s music, favorite songs

I have very fond memories of early Rock and have been a fan of BOC for many years. There are so many BOC classics, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Don’t Fear The Reaper and Burning For You are two of my absolute favorites. I am nuts for all the tracks on American Rocker, but if I had to pick a fav it would be Deadly Kisses.

How you created the American Rocker cover art

Although I was trained traditionally and created images in acrylic and oil for many years, I’ve been working digitally since 1995. I am very comfortable working with a tablet, and often forget I’m not “pushing paint around”. The American Rocker cover was “painted” digitally, combining reference photos provided by Joe. The trip back to the 1970s style was great fun! My main visual influences were the great Daniel Maffia, with a touch of Warhol’s playful style.  

You were involved in a Rolling Stones’ cover

Yes, I did work on the Stones Bridges To Babylon insert — mostly on the interior desert scene with Gerard Howland. I did do the final adjustments on Kevin Murphy’s wonderful lion painting for the cover. 

My more recent work is on Instagram — traditional illustrations, far different from the wonderful, crazy art of the 70s!

Links:

https://www.instagram.com/alanayersstudio/

https://www.alanayersstudio.com/

Wallace McBride (Unlovely Frankenstein): https://unlovelyfrankenstein.com/collections/rock-and-roll

https://www.dekoentertainment.com/joebouchard

ALBERT BOUCHARD’S Imaginos II out on vinyl

Albert Bouchard’s Imaginos II : Bombs Over Germany, which came out last October is now available on vinyl. Check out the link below. Imaginos 2 features guest appearances from former Blue Oyster Cult bandmates Eric Bloom, Joe Bouchard, Buck Dharma, as well as Richie Castellano [of BOC], as well a number of guitar players. The album’s art was [again] created by Richard Zoll. Among the 14 tracks are classy re-workings of such BOC favorites as “OD’d On Life Itself”, “Cities On Flame (With Rock And Roll)”, “Dominance And Submission”, “The Red And The Black”, and “Shadow Of California” (feat Ross ‘The Boss’ Freidman on classical guitar).

Albert will be playing 3 shows with BOC in September, celebrating the band’s 50th anniversary, and performing the band’s first 3 albums in entirety (a separate one each night). He also has summer tour dates with Joe (The Bouchard Brothers in UK) and Blue Coupe (US & Canada)!

For the press release and ordering info check out the link below – https://www.dekoentertainment.com/post/albert-bouchard-releases-vinyl-edition-of-imaginos-2-bombs-over-germany

https://www.facebook.com/altbouch

https://albertbouchard.net/

https://bluecoupeband.com/

http://www.blueoystercult.com/

JOE BOUCHARD to release American Rocker

Joe Bouchard’s new album will be ready June 3.

From http://www.joebouchard.com : This is the strongest album yet, you won’t be disappointed! Coming soon on RockHeart Records dist. by Deko Entertainment.  The first single will be the hard rockin’ MY WAY IS THE HIGHWAY that will be out on April 29, 2022.

https://www.dekoentertainment.com/product-page/joe-bouchard-american-rocker-cd

Blue Coupe – (Joe & Albert Bouchard and Dennis Dunaway) have announced shows in July, including one at Toronto’s legendary El Mocambo July 21. Check out the band’s facebook page for announcements – https://www.facebook.com/blue.coupe.rocks

03/’22

Story Behind The Album Cover: Albert Bouchard’s Re Imaginos

Blue Oyster Cult fan & artist Richard Zoll is fairly new to creating album covers, but in the past few years he’s created superb covers for albums by Blue Coupe [the trio featuring Albert & Joe Bouchard, along with Dennis Dunaway], and last year he created the artwork for the highly anticipated album from Albert Bouchard – Re Imaginos.

Here Richard Zoll gives the background and the details on the artwork that he created for Albert Bouchard’s ‘must have’ album for any BOC fan. Richard’s artwork covers a beautiful gatefold package with the 2 LPs, and lyrics on the inside. *Check out the links at the end of this article.

Connection to Albert Bouchard… Back in the advent of the internet getting into full swing I think the first time I really met Albert was at Brain Surgeons shows. I would bring home made stickers of my own design and hand them out to people at shows. After gigs they would ask Albert and the band to sign them. I guess that is when he first took notice. I was on the BÖC related boards in the early internet days as “Astro” and that was it. Albert is one of the few that still occasionally call me that lol. I followed every iteration Albert and Joe got involved in and tried to see live stuff whenever miles and time permitted.

Then I got into making unofficial posters, stickers and went on my own private promo campaigns online for artists I followed and enjoyed. The Bouchard brothers, I felt, were constantly forging onward and creating new songs and it was an easy way to feel involved while letting off my creative steam. Once they teamed up with Dennis of the original Cooper group to for Blue Coupe, it seemed like a combination of two of my favorite bands ever and gave me an endless idea well to draw from. They needed artwork for a CD called ‘Eleven Even’ and asked me to come up with something, so I did. They used it.

Suggestions, ideas, art concept… I was given pretty much free reign so in that respect the concept was mine. I was asked by Albert for artwork on the Re-Imaginos Vol. 1 and immediately wanted to do it. I was provided unfinished rough drafts of the play list for inspiration. that is the way to do it unless you are going to use art that already exists for a cover (just my opinion). The design was accepted by Albert as is. Chosen is more like it. Out of several I submitted to him. It may be more accurate to say the artwork was mine, but the concept was Pearlman / Bouchard to be fair.

Creating the cover… The back is a 3D model I made of an ice plane with small eroded mountains. The sky was a photo I took of a storm rolling into the Oswego Harbor in NY. I superimposed a shot of the Super moon I took, and topped it off with a lighthouse on the horizon getting its beacon light from the “Phecda” star of Ursa Major in the sky.

  • The front is also a composite. I wanted something spacey but underwater. I made a telescope in 3D and buried it in the sand, and only used that part as if to be windowed under the tide. I saw other works with the cut away effect and thought it would work perfectly for this. There is a silhouette of a sailing ship with sea birds numbering 7 times 4 on the horizon. Those were actually 4 flocks of 7 in other unused versions and I think appear in that flocked form in some posters. Again with the sky and a moon emitting more as a light source than a reflection of the sun light. Also another instance of Ursa Major to the moon’s right, and last but not least, a ghostly, semi-transparent vulture, soaring out of a photo I took and into the realm of Re Imaginos. Buzzardo if you will, the shape shifter

Photos / Images … With the possible exception of the silhouette of the ship, a photoshop paint brush I made of the birds, and Possibly the clouds part of the front sky, I created the 3D models, took the photos, and made the effects myself. I thought the sea foam green was right, and the turquoise.

The lettering… Yes, the lettering was a warped and modified version of a font I bought that couldn’t have been more perfect for this album cover. Interesting question because I spent a lot of time trying to form the correct ebb and flow by use of each letter being lower case or capital, each sized and placed, converted to shapes and then warped.

richardzoll.com

albertbouchard.net

Albert Bouchard Re Imaginos Full Album Review – YouTube

KJJ, 06 / ’21

BLUE OYSTER CULT : Classics – without the cowbell!

‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’ was Blue Oyster Cult’s first and biggest hit in 1976, after 3 albums. The song became etched in American pop culture in 2000 when a skit was made of it on Saturday Night Live with Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken; having fun with the recording of the cowbell [which in turn inspired the song “More Cowbell” by Blue Coupe!]. BOC fans know the band was one of the best from the US in the ‘70s, originally signed by Columbia in hopes to be a response to the heavy bands on Warner Bros at the time – mainly Black Sabbath, but BOC were never simply a heavy ‘metal’ band, loads of variety, rockers, ballads, with 5 guys that all wrote and could sing lead. They had their own themes and stories in the songs and albums [see my interview with Albert Bouchard], a cool symbol [an idea taken on by other bands], noted for their lazer show in the ‘70s, but to us fans – a string of classic albums from ’72 to 81!  The band’s output [and quality of] declined when [drummer] Albert Bouchard left, and then [bassist] Joe Bouchard a few years later. Main singer [and guitarist] Eric Bloom and lead guitarist [and often lead singer] Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser still tour with BOC today. The Bouchards have an excellent little band [and a few cool band and solo albums] called ‘Blue Coupe’ [along with Dennis Dunaway of the original Alice Cooper group]. There was no one else like the original Blue Oyster Cult. So, here’s my recommended list of BOC classics, more so for those thinking they were just the band with the cowbell song!

RIP Allen Lanier, Sandy Pearlman, Sam Judd.

http://www.travellersintime.com/UniversalWheels/bouchardinterview.html

http://www.travellersintime.com/UniversalWheels/Bouchard2012.html

http://www.travellersintime.com/UniversalWheels/Bouchard2013.html

 

boc6251

Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll                              

From the first album in 1972. The band’s first great rocker, an anthem and permanent live favorite, penned by Donald Roeser and Al Bouchard. Those first 3 albums were in a class of their own.

Wings Wetted Down

Not exactly sure what this eerie tale is about, vampires[!?] , but always loved this from Tyranny & Mutation, penned by Albert and Joe Bouchard. A dark heavy riff, playing around piano / acoustic verses, cool lengthy solo, and heavy chorus.

Hot Rails To Hell

From the second album, one of Joe Bouchard’s biggest contributed tracks in BOC. A classic early rocker; Joe drives this song with the bass, and it’s a killer. Fast paced, heavy on the guitars…BOC was not so smooth sounding early on, made to be played loud.

Career Of Evil

The opening cut to Secret Treaties, penned by Al Bouchard with Patti Smith. such an energetic track. Based mainly on Allen Lanier’s organ sound. creepy, gothic stuff about doing anything imaginable wrong to somebody. – “I choose to steal what you choose to show, And you know I will not apologize.”

Astronomy

Epic from the Secret Treaties in 1974; written by Albert & Joe Bouchard with Sandy Pearlman. Originally composed on piano and keys, so eerie and cool. Not exactly sure what this all about [some interesting discussion at > www.songfacts.com] . I like the various versions [the Some Enchanted Evening live version and the 1988 Imaginos re-do],but the original is my fave BOC track. – “it’s the nexus of the crisis, and the origins of storms”.

Al Bouchard – “Pearlman was always reading every kind of esoteric book imaginable so that had a lot to do with our subject matter.”

Flaming Telepaths

I think I grew to love this dark rocker because it leads in to “Astronomy” on the album, and since there no break between the songs, I always play[ed] them together! Cool and rare synth & piano solo, followed by a classic Buck Dharma solo. Co penned by Donald Roeser, Albert Bouchard, Sandy Pearlman, and Eric Bloom. …”and the jokes on you” …. I really gotta figure out these stories in the songs…

This Ain’t The Summer of Love

The lead off track from Agents of Fortune – such a strong album [see ETI, Morning Final, Debbie Denise..]. Great guitar chugging intro and then band crashing in; a short, powerful rocker! Co-written by Al Bouchard, Murray Krugman and Don Waller, but given a fitting vocal from Eric Bloom. Lizzy Borden did a decent cover of this.

Sinful Love

A classic rocker from Agents of Fortune, penned by Al Bouchard [who also sang it] along with Helen Wheels. Love the chorus and harmonies, great lyrics – “I love you like sin – but I won’t be your pigeon”.

Searchin’ For Celine

A classic Allen Lanier penned track. kicking off with piano, a bit of funk and lots of changes, melody, and a great vocal from Eric Bloom. Love this one; very different!

R.U. Ready to Rock

One thing BOC almost always managed to do was have kick ass rockers open each album side. This song was written with the live show in mind; great riff and intro, short and to the point! Written by Al Bouchard and Sandy Pearlman.

I Love The Night

BOC did so many different tunes, and some classic ballads, such as this haunting one from Spectres.Also penned and written by Buck Dharma. Great melody and harmonies. – “the day is ok and the sun can be fun…”

The Vigil

From 1979’s Mirrors. This had some great songs, but the production was a bit too tidy, attempting to perhaps pull some radio friendly tunes!? But “The Vigil” [co-written by Donald and Sandra Roeser] stands out as a late in the game BOC epic; lots of changes, lots of guitars, harmonies, and big production. One of Buck’s best!

Divine Wind

Written by Donald Roeser for Cultosaurus Erectus, as a reaction to the Iran hostage situation. Great vocal from Eric Bloom, a slower paced, guitar heavy, dark classic. Produced by legendary heavy producer Martin Birch [Sabbath, Deep Purple, Maiden..] to bring the band back from the aor approach of Mirrors. – “If he really thinks we’re the devil, then let’s send em to Hell.”

Joan Crawford

From Fire Of Unknown Origin, the last to feature the original line up. Love the classical piano intro and then the band stepping in. great lyrics, with humor, very theatrical. The band even shot a video for this song in ’81.

Al Bouchard – That song was inspired by the book “Mommy Dearest” and also the behavior of my ex-wife one day while David Roter, Jack Rigg and I were trying to record a demo. Joe wrote the intro but Allen played it.

Burnin For You

The band’s other top 40 hit, and probably 2nd best known song, from Fire Of Unknown Origin. Penned by Richard Meltzer with Buck Dharma, who sang it. A more mainstream rocker about the rock n roll life. – “Burn out the day, burn out the night.”

*Drop me a note and let me know what ya think! BOC fans – feel free to add in omissions and insight. [thanks]

Here’s a few more BOC links for you…

http://www.hotrails.co.uk

http://joebouchard.com

http://blueoystercult.com

www.albertbouchard.net

http://www.buckdharma.com

http://www.ericbloom.net

www.martinpopoff.com/html/Boc.html

KJJ- 09/16