Joe Bouchard Comes Full Circle

Classic Rock Revisited recently spoke with Joe Bouchard about his new solo album, Tales from the Island, and during the chat we learn that things have come full circle for the former Blue Oyster Cult bassist.

CRR: Your first tour, with the Byrds, was a learning experience and then you went out and opened with Alice Cooper and it changed everything. Now, you're in a band with Dennis Dunaway, who was the original bass player in the Alice Cooper Group when you were opening for them.

Joe: I talk to Dennis a lot about those days. Alice Cooper had such a wild reputation but Dennis has told me that they just worked their butts off to get their show to be the tightest it could be. We first met them when they were touring Killers. I didn't expect that it was going to be that good, but it was really amazing. It was totally different and I had never seen anything like it before. It was encouraging to us. Playing with the Byrds was a disaster because we were not the right kind of band to play with the Byrds. When we played with Alice Cooper, back in 1972, it all turned around for us.

CRR: When you worked on songs that ended up on the first album, like "Cities on Flame" and "Last Days of May," did you have the music and then put lyrics to them, or was it the other way around?

Joe: Donald came up with "Last Days of May" and both the music and lyrics are his. He tends to write them both at the same time. He shapes the music, and then finds the right words, and then shapes the music some more. I think that is the way he did that one.

"Cities on Flame" was totally done differently. It started out as a song called "Siren Singalong." I said to Albert, "I like that song, you should start working on it." He decided to take it in a different direction and that is where the music for "Cities on Flame" came from. Albert had some of Sandy's lyrics and I really think he just grabbed a few lines from the poem. "My heart is black and my lips are cold" was not originally the opening line, it was in the middle. That song was a real collaboration between Sandy, Albert and Donald. There is a lot more, read the full interview here.

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