Blue Oyster Cult Summer 2014

The Summer of 2014 has proven to be a crazy one. We kicked everything off with our debut at the Chicago guitar show in May and it seems that we hardly had a chance to slow down. One of the great things that happened over this summer was a chance I had to meet with the guys in Blue Oyster Cult.

On a particularly beautiful day in June, I was out flying a kite with my daughter at the park and I got an email from Eric Bloom, the lead singer and guitarist for Blue Oyster Cult. He had seen some of my guitars on my website and had contacted me through my Linked In account. He was interested in some new guitars and wanted to talk about some custom specs. Eric has been a Gibson SG player since the 70’s but wanted a new design that was under 7 pounds because after 40 years of touring his shoulder just couldn’t bear the weight of a heavy guitar. I knew that we could get the weight of his guitar down to under 7 pounds because we had just recently created some Pasquale Classic 22 guitars that weighed in at about 5 ½ pounds.

We discussed the finer points of guitar design via email for the next few hours and he invited me to bring some guitars down to their show at the Glover Pavilion in Warsaw Indiana and hang out with the band.  Needless to say, the truck was loaded and we were off to the races.

As I got to the show the scene was pandemonium but I managed to find my way to the green room and I waited for the band to arrive. (It’s amazing how much access you can get at a show when you are carrying 2 guitar cases and you tell security that they are for the band.)

Shortly after this, Eric and Buck Dharma arrived with rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Richie Castellano and they started warming up for the show. We exchanged a few pleasantries and got down to the business of talking guitars. I had brought 4 guitars to the show and had set them up so they could be demoed and played with. Buck spent some time with an Orange Burst Modern 24 guitar while Richie took a Bloodburst Classic 22 for a test drive.

Eric ate a small sandwich from the catering tray as he looked over my selection of guitars. As he stood there contemplating, I mentioned the fact I had a Blue Classic 22 made out of Basswood that clocked in at just around  5 lbs. He finished his sandwich and then took the guitar out of the case and strummed it twice. “I love the neck” he said. “It’s so thin and smooth” I told him that I hand carved all of our necks and then sealed them with a hand rubbed finish that was exclusive to my shop. Then he asked me if he could play it onstage tonight. “Sure” I said “Do you know what song you would like to play it on”? “How about Godzilla” he replied.

At this point my inner guitar nerd kicked in and I was beyond psyched. I have been a fan of this band for literally decades and now one of the icons of classic rock wants to play one of my guitars on one of the most iconic rock songs of all time…Yep, things were looking up.
We talked guitars for another 30 minutes and Eric expressed his love for his classic SG and how he had to retire it because the neck had come unglued and after having it repaired he retired it from the road.

Soon show time had arrived and the band got ready to be escorted across the street to the venue.

As I packed the guitar in the case and handed it to Eric I asked him if I should meet them back at the green room after the show. He said “C’mon, come with us” and invited me to accompany them to the stage and he told the security team to grant me full access to all areas. A very classy move as far as I was concerned. I took the guitar with us and gave it to their sound tech and got it set up and it was officially time to rock.
The band took the stage for nearly an hour and absolutely killed it. After 40 years of being together and being on the road, they still love playing and they still love their music and their fans. It was a great Kick Ass Rock N Roll Show that highlighted their classic material. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t perform some of my favorite stuff like “Hot Rails to Hell” or “Astronomy” but I understood that most of the fans that were there wanted to hear the classics that they hear on the radio.

Finally, the time came and Eric switched guitars for the only time of the night and strapped on our Pasquale Classic 22 guitar to play “Godzilla”. The kick drum opened up the song and Eric launched into the opening riff and the place exploded. The crowd roared and it was a huge rush for me to watch that happen.  They absolutely killed it on that song and then finished the set with the classic “Don’t Fear The Reaper”. As the fans went wild, the band made its way back to the green room and I had a chance to sit and talk briefly with Eric about some guitar ideas.
Our conversation didn’t last too long because the New York Rangers were playing the LA Kings in the final round of the NHL playoffs and all attention was soon on the TV and not on guitars.
Eric loved the guitar. The sound, feel, balance and weight all met his specs. He is notorious for playing a Gibson SG and he was not known for being a “Fender” style player so we began talks to modify an SG style guitar that was custom for him.  The plan is to expand on the “Batwing” concept and make a truly ominous custom design. 

As the evening wound down I said my round of goodbyes and told Eric and Buck that is was a true honor to meet them and that I would be in touch with some design ideas.  Then I packed up the truck for the 3 ½ hour ride home. All in all it was a great night.
Keep Rockin’


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