ALICE COOPER & BLUE OYSTER CULT fans in Ontario unite! BLUE COUPE returns!

While HELLBOUND is primarily a metal publication concentrating on the most recent releases and current bands, we have no problem giving credit where credit is due and celebrating the rich history of influential hard rock and metal bands that paved the way for the current scene.

Two of the most important American bands of the early seventies were ALICE COOPER and BLUE OYSTER CULT. Both bands had a string of successful studio albums, sell-out tours and even hit singles on the radio. Some of the key members of the original versions of both these bands have joined force in a new live band called BLUE COUPE, who are playing some shows in Southern Ontario this week:

Sat 08/22 Hamilton ON @ This Ain’t Hollywood
Sun 08/23 Ottawa ON @ Elmdale Tavern
Tues 08/25 Toronto ON @ Cadillac Lounge

BC played in Hamilton back in April and I interviewed BOC founding members Albert and Joe Bouchard about the new band for Hamilton’s VIEW Magazine and have reprinted that interview below. Before you get to that though, I just wanted to give this band my personal endorsement of being an entertaining band worth checking out. They do 2+ hours of classic BOC and A COOPER material and, for these Canadian shows, have TEENAGE HEAD’s Gord Lewis sitting in on second guitar (and have apparently learned 6 TH songs too). Check them out this weekend if you’re in Southern Ontario and here is my promised interview

BOC’S BOUCHARD BROTHERS REBORN IN BLUE COUPE
By Sean Palmerston

Following up on the success of his Hamilton debut last April with his all– Canadian backing band the Outrageous Canadians, former Blue Oyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard is returning to Hamilton this Saturday playing with not one but two bands on the same night. The show will mark his return Hamilton performance with the OCs and he will also be playing a full show with the band Blue Coupe, which also features his brother Joe Bouchard (also ex–BOC) on guitar and original Alice Cooper band member Dennis Dunaway on bass.

Much like the Outrageous Canadians, Blue Coupe is a band that was formed by chance. “The money was too good to pass up,” laughs Albert Bouchard over the phone from New York. “Joe and Dennis had already been playing together for a long time in his band, the Dennis Dunaway Project, but he later asked me to play some shows with him when another drummer couldn’t make it. Joe, being my brother, came down to the gig and got up on stage with us and we had a blast.”

“A promoter was out in the crowd and asked us if we’d consider doing a show for him in this incarnation. We weren’t sure about it but Joe said ask him for a lot of money and if he goes for it we’ll do it. He went for it, we did the show and it went great so we decided to see if there was interest to do anymore. There was and we have been doing Blue Coupe shows ever since.”

There is a lot of seminal ‘70s rock and roll history in the bones of these three musicians, all of whom have known each other for decades. The Bouchards are of course brothers and grew up in upstate New York around the 1000 Islands region, learning how to play musical instruments while listening to Canadian rock and roll stations from Kingston and Ottawa. Shortly after Joe joined brother Albert’s Long Island, NY based band the Soft White Underbelly in 1970, the band signed to Columbia Records, changed their name to Blue Oyster Cult and forged a path through the early ‘70s to become one of the most popular U.S. hard rock bands of that decade. Dunaway was the original bassist in the Alice Cooper Band. He performed on every album up until 1974’s Muscle Of Love and co–wrote many of the band’s biggest hits, including “School’s Out,” “I’m Eighteen” and “Is It My Body.”

“We’ve known Dennis for a long time,” says Albert Bouchard. “First we used to go see Alice Cooper live, then we did a two show audition for them in Massachusetts that got Blue Oyster Cult the gig as their opening band. We did a couple of really big North American tours with them in the early ‘70s at their peak, which was just fantastic.”

“We met Dennis in the ‘70s, but I realized in the early ‘80s that we both lived in Connecticut,” adds Joe Bouchard. “Coming from the same place musically, in the ‘80s we started jamming together and having fun. We played in a band together before this [BDS with former Alice Cooper drummer Neale Smith] and we’re having a lot of fun doing this now too.”

“We don’t really need to rehearse. We all know where each other is coming from musically and Albert and Dennis react so well on stage together that it is just a blast playing with them both doing these songs. The set is pretty much half BOC, half Alice Cooper but we do spice it up with some covers and I play a few songs off my new album too.”

The new album that Joe Bouchard speaks of is his new solo album, Jukebox In My Head. Out now on CD – he’s hoping the vinyl version arrives before they leave for Canada – it is his first solo outing and features Bouchard on guitar, his original instrument (he switched to bass to join BOC) and it is well worth investigating. Outside of the album and Blue Coupe, Bouchard has also been playing in a trio with Simon Kirke of Bad Company and Tommy Shannon of Double Trouble. “He’s a gig junkie,” says Albert Bouchard lovingly of his brother. “He lives for playing live and does it as much as he possibly can.”

This trip to Canada sees Blue Coupe doing three shows, with the finale happening here in Hamilton. The show should prove to be a quite interesting one, as they have an additional guitarist sitting in with them who is well known in Hamilton music circles. Gord Lewis formed Teenage Head during his school days at Westdale High School in the early ‘70s and was a big Alice Cooper fan. This Saturday Lewis will sit in with Blue Coupe during their set and will get to add his own style into songs off Love It To Death and Secret Treaties that he’s been a fan since his own early years learning how to play. And, of course, the Outrageous Canadians will also be playing loads of great BOC songs, a good chunk of which come from the Imaginos project which, if the rumours are true, the Canadian and Bouchard may record in its entirety sometime later on – possibly with original BOC producer Sandy Pearlman somehow involved. V
[SEAN PALMERSTON]

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.