On Your Feet Or On Your Knees – The Amazing Blue Öyster Cult in Concert

On Your Feet Or On Your Knees is the name of a Blue Öyster Cult live album from the Seventies. While not provided as an option, I spent most of my time at the show on my ass, occasionally getting up to boogie. 

I did a post a while back on Blue Öyster Cult’s first album. BOC is pretty much my favorite heavy metal band. Maybe not as heavy as, say, Metallica but pretty fucking heavy.

The one and only time  I saw them was, well, quite a few years ago. (With Slade. I was Slade’s only fan in America, near as I can tell.) As I mentioned in that previous post, original guitarists Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom are still very much with the band and are a great duo. I have missed one opportunity after the other to see the band and when I heard they were coming I was determined to catch up with them.

They played at the Tupelo Music Hall up in New Hampshire which – with its combination of rock, blues, and jazz – has become one of my go-to places for good music. They can rearrange the front of the auditorium to either be tables or chairs. In this case, it was a bunch of very squeezed together chairs so we were all very, very cozy.

The current iteration of the band consists of Dharma (real name Donald Roeser), Bloom, Danny Miranda (bass), Richie Castellano (keyboards), Jules Radino (drums.) And I’m happy to report that these guys came out smokin’.

The thing you should know about BOC is that even though they play hard rock and heavy metal, they are not some fucking hair band, there’s no pyro, no posing, no attitude, no “Thank you Cleveland,” no “Do you wanna rock?” no bullshit. (And yet a certain amount of cowbell.) These boys came to play. I recorded a few tunes; one is a studio riff I’ll get to.

First up – “Buck’s Boogie,” a hot instrumental I hadn’t heard in years and years:

BOC had a nice hit in the early ’80s with “Burnin’ For You.” For some reason, I find it very satisfying to know that Elvis’ daughter covered this song. I like this tune and had it going around and around in my head for days after. Enjoy the dude behind me singing. He sure did:

I couldn’t get a good live version of this song “ME 262.” But I’m featuring it because it’s a great, rockin’ Chuck Berryish tune. I like to think it’s their tribute to Music Enthusiast (ME) and either his age or his IQ depending on how charitable you’re feeling towards him at any point in time.

“Must they live that I might die?”

One more from the highly expensive, intricate and semi-accurate camera phone of Your Humble Correspondent. My favorite BOC song, “Before the Kiss, A Redcap,” a story about a bar and, well, you can read a little bit about it in that other post:


The Red & the Black
Before the Kiss, a Redcap
Dancin’ in the Ruins
Burnin’ for You
ME 262
Shooting Shark
The Vigil
E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)
Buck’s Boogie
Then Came the Last Days of May
Flaming Telepaths
Guitar Solo
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper
Golden Age of Leather
Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll

9 thoughts on “On Your Feet Or On Your Knees – The Amazing Blue Öyster Cult in Concert

  1. Sounds like you had a ball, Jim! Except for “Don’t Fear The Reaper,” which I instantly liked when I heard it first ca. 1980, Blue Öyster Cult were a bit of an acquired taste. But over time, I’ve really come to like them.

    In fact, I also caught them once, in Dec 2016, when they played a midsize theater right in my neck of the woods. It was a very spontaneous and last-minute decision, which I didn’t regret – they sounded great!

    While their music can definitely get heavy, they got some great riffs that are pretty catchy. I also dig their harmony lead guitar lines in some of their tunes. “Burning For You” is a cool example of that.

    One of my favorite tunes in addition to “Burning For You” and “Don’t Fear The Reaper” is “Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll.”

    You got me into BOC mood, and I’ve already put on my playlist!🎸😎


    1. “Cities” was the encore. That kicked some ass. I came home and learned that opening lick. For whatever reason, Buck has a video on YouTube where he teaches you how to play it! AND “Reaper.” Don’t forget “Joan Crawford (has risen from the grave.)” 😂

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        1. “Joan Crawford” you mean? Yeah, it is. It was a favorite on FM radio back in the day. I assume you’re familiar with ‘Mommie Dearest,’ This is their warped response to that. Funny in a morbid kinda way. 😁


    1. One of my pet peeves in concert-going is when the singer shuts up for a while and lets the audience sing. This works well with a band like U2 and a song like “One.” But generally speaking I find it to be a drag. That said, I actually don’t mind when I hear a guy singing along like that. He’s super into it. Plus it excuses and allows my own singing of “Rosalita” whenever I see Bruce.

      I get a kick out of how people react. We went to see Sting a few years ago and when he was doing “Wrapped Around My Finger,” my wife pointed out that the gal in front of us was miming wrapping something around her finger. It was kinda cute and charming in a way. I’m not even sure if she knew she was doing it. Music hits people hard, you know?

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      1. My Gal and I were having lunch in a diner last week and the music that was piped in was kind of not moving me in a good way. Our waitress was digging it and singing along and boppin. She gave great service and made the meal a pleasant experience. CB could even put up with her taste in tunes and enjoy himself.


        1. I did some work in Texas for a while and used to eat at a rib place called Dickey’s. In those circumstances, even the most maudlin country song sounded good. I wonder if there’s a situation where “Having My Baby” would sound good.

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