Blue Oyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard talked about the tension between them and Black Sabbath as well as how Sabbath sabotaged them during a recent appearance on Full in Bloom.
In the conversation, Albert recalled the time when they were touring with Black Sabbath back in 1980. Even though they were the co-headliners, and in some regions Blue Oyster Cult was more popular, Black Sabbath would come on stage late and play longer than they were scheduled. Therefore, they would have to cut their own set.
Despite the fact that Albert offered their manager Sandy to let Black Sabbath be the headliners in every show, he was told by his manager that the promoters didn’t agree with such an idea.
According to Albert, Black Sabbath was trying to sabotage their show by coming on late and playing long although they were the opening band for the event. However, this wasn’t the only tension between the band members.
As Albert said, they had some problems with Ronnie James Dio after someone made a joke about his height, and they had to fire their roadie because of that. Furthermore, Albert revealed that he also had an argument with Tony Iommi.
Albert Bouchard said:
“I loved Black Sabbath, I idolized Ronnie Dio, but there was a lot of tension, maybe because Sandy had talked them into a co-headlining thing where one day Blue Oyster Cult would headline, depending on the market.
And one day, for instance, we played Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. Now, as big as Black Sabbath were on Long Island, Blue Oyster Cult at that time was a bigger band on Long Island. It was justified.
But when we played in the city, Madison Square Garden, they were the headliners. Now, what was happening every time was that when we were the headliners, they would come on late and play long – every time.”
“We would have to cut our set. I was like, by halfway through the tour, I said to Sandy, ‘Why don’t we just open every show? Just open the show, and they might be more friendly if we let them do that…’
He said, ‘No, that’s what the promoters want.’ So, that was the source of tension with those guys, and I think that they tried to sabotage us when they would open by going out late and playing long, but there was also an issue with Ronnie Dio, one of our roadies had made some remark that he took offense to.
And I’m told it was some ‘short’ remark, which is kind of odd because Ronnie Dio is the same size as me – we’re all short, so I don’t know why he would be offended or even why the roadie would say something.
It seemed a little stupid, so we had to ‘fire’ the roadie – we didn’t really fire him, we just took him off that tour. And I got into some hassle with Tony too. I was playing my guitar in my hotel room, and he was next door, he was mad, it’s like he’s got a hot date, and I guess I was breaking the mood. I was playing Steely Dan songs, he couldn’t handle it.”
You can listen to the interview below.