Mention the band Blue Öyster Cult to most people and they will either say “who?” or “more cowbell.” Some may recognize their songs “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper,” “Burnin’ For You,” or “Godzilla.” For those who know or want to know why Blue Öyster Cult has sold over 24 million albums, on Saturday, April 26, 2014, at 8:00 p.m., Danny Zelisko Presents Blue Öyster Cult as the first classic rock act to play at the newly renovated Pressroom in downtown Phoenix.
Blue Öyster Cult may not have invented the hard rock/heavy metal genre, but they certainly were part of the first wave of bands to play such music. With tracks such as “Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll,” found on BÖC’s initial 1972 self-titled release, “Blue Öyster Cult,” the New York band would not be confused with the soft rock/country rock coming out of California by such artists as James Taylor, The Eagles or Jackson Browne.
Although radio airplay was infrequent for Blue Öyster Cult, they became a legendary live band. It was little surprise that their fourth album, 1975’s double live album, “On Your Feet Or On Your Knees,” earned Blue Öyster Cult their first gold record.
Mainstream success for Blue Öyster Cult occurred in 1976 with the release of the single, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” Rolling Stone magazine named “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper,” its song of the year in 1976 and the single went as high as number 12 on Billboard Magazine’s Top 100.
Although the band has never quite recaptured the magic from 1976, they have continued to tour, now into their sixth decade. Only two members that comprised Blue Öyster Cult at the peak of their popularity are currently on tour with the group, founder/key songwriter/singer/guitar legend, Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser and lead vocalist/songwriter/rhythm guitarist/keyboardist, Eric Bloom. They are joined by guitarist/keyboardist Richie Castellano, drummer Jules Radino and former Utopia, Joan Jett and Meat Loaf bass player, Kasim Sulton.
The Pressroom, so named because it once housed Phoenix’s most modern printing press of the time, is located in the heart of the downtown Phoenix Warehouse District at 441 W. Madison Street. Built in the 1920's, the 14,000 square foot, red brick building, in recent years, has hosted weddings, private parties, corporate meetings and performing and visual arts presentations.
However, thanks to The Pressroom’s owners, Jason Charles and Narender Raju, teaming up with long time concert promoter, Danny Zelisko, of Danny Zelisko Presents, The Pressroom has been improved to create a mid-sized concert venue for downtown Phoenix. With a 1,000 person capacity, it is hoped that the facility will be an important fixture in the local music scene.
Opening for Blue Öyster Cult will be Michael Nitro. The highly energetic performer has opened for such acts as Peter Frampton, Bon Jovi and REO Speedwagon. The Michael Nitro Band was asked by Alice Cooper to back him up for his Alice Cooperstown grand opening performance.
Tickets for Blue Öyster Cult’s April 26th show at The Pressroom are available through Danny Zelisko Presents and ticketfly.com and are priced at $39 in advance or $45 the day of the show. A service fee may also apply. All tickets are general admission.