Ahh - the eighties.
"So who is your favorite musician?" she asked.
"Oh - that's easy," I smiled. "BÖC."
"Oh, I like Bach too," she nodded. "And other classics like Mozart and Beethoven"
I chuckled. "While Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and the Brandenburg Concerto Number Three are just spiffy, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about Blue Öyster Cult."
She looked at me blankly.
"You know - Blue Öyster Cult. Heavy Metal? Burning For You?"
"Don't Fear the Reaper? No?"
"Veteran of the Psychic Wars? Dominance and Submission?"
"She's as Beautiful as a Foot? Hot Rail to Hell?"
Her nose had been crinkling up like she smelled something bad and she excused herself from my presence. She didn't come back.
Okay, there was a valid - and probably scientific - reason that I stayed a virgin until 19 - and the conversation above probably exemplifies that reason very well. But boy did I love me some Blue Öyster Cult.
Blue Öyster Cult had a lot more going for it than just 'more cowbell.' They were arguably the first band to gratuitously use the heavy metal umlaut. And they had Michael Moorcock - the Michael frikkin Moorcock - writing lyrics for three of their songs. One of those songs, "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" was featured in the movie - the movie - Heavy Metal.
I was poking around on Spotify a few days ago and found what appears to be Blue Öyster Cult complete discography. I was excited and nervous - nervously mainly because I figured my memories of BÖC would probably be shattered by listening to them again after all these decades - and I'd walk away depressed that I had liked such a lame band as a teenager.
Hooboy - I was in for a pleasant surprise. Blue Öyster Cult still rocks! And after listening to them all over again, my favorite album of theirs is still Fire of Unknown Origin.
- "Fire of Unknown Origin" - with lyrics by punk rocker Patti Smith
- "Burnin' For You" - a song other people have actually heard of!
- "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" - lyrics by Elric of Melniboné dad! used in the Heavy Metal movie
- "Sole Survivor" - completely awesome Post-Apocalyptic Gamma World song
- "Heavy Metal: the Black and Silver" - probably intended for the Heavy Metal movie, but never made it
- "Vengeance (The Pact)" - definitely intended for Heavy Metal, and tells the entire story of Taarna - which is probably why it didn't make it
- "After Dark" - undead vampire kind of thing
- "Joan Crawford" - Joan Crawford has risen from the grave!
- "Don't Turn Your Back" - did someone order a dose of paranoia with vermouth and an olive?
I was also surprised about how much my early years of role playing were influenced by the band. Tolkien was kind of the ideal - the 'theory' of what Dungeons and Dragons should be, but Moorcock and his Eternal Champions - Corum, Hawkmoon, Jerry Cornelius, and Elric - were what my campaigns would subconsciously evolve into - all to the soundtrack of Blue Öyster Cult.
Just thinking about the band and the songs puts and smile of my face, reminds me of how I used to run games, and makes me itch to run games influence by Blue Öyster Cult again.
So go dust off those old albums, or take a stroll through Spotify, and listen to some music you haven't listen to in ages - music that inspired your games back in the day - music that inspired you to write crappy stories and poems in your youth about the things you loved. Go forth and stick monsters in your ears.
In closing, I'll point you to some more Blue Öyster Cult you should give a listen to:
"Tattoo Vampire," Agents of Fortune
"Black Blade," Cultosaurus Erectus
"The Great Sun Jester," Mirrors
"Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll," Blue Öyster Cult
"(Don't Fear) The Reaper," Agents of Fortune - significantly less cowbell than you remember!
"The Red and The Black," Extraterrestrial Live