ALBERT BOUCHARD (ex-BLUE ÖYSTER CULT): “For ‘Astronomy’ What We Wanted To Hear Was A Group Of Nuns From The Convent Standing On The Beach Singing In Harmony And Clapping”

ALBERT BOUCHARD (Ex-Blue Öyster Cult)

The Imaginos tale had its origins back in the late ’60s and a few of the songs, including “Astronomy”, made their way onto Blue Öyster Cult albums over the years. Originally conceived as drummer, Albert Bouchard’s solo album on leaving Blue Öyster Cult in 1981, it was fully written and recorded but ultimately shelved until reworked and released in edited form by Blue Öyster Cult in 1988. Never satisfied with the final outcome, Bouchard has decided, 32 years on, to revisit the Imaginos concept and finally deliver it in the form as originally intended. Mick Burgess called Albert Bouchard to talk about the story behind Imaginos and why he has finally decided to release Re Imaginos, the first of a three-part trilogy, in 2020.

2020 has been a strange year like no other. How has Covid 19 affected you?

It has affected me as a musician as last November Blue Coupe released their third record, Eleven Even and we were planning on touring in May. We were doing an anchor gig where they were paying us a lot of money to play the Silja Rock cruise between Stockholm and Helsinki. We thought that it was enough money to pay for a whole tour and it would enable us to play more gigs in smaller places. We’d actually reached out to Peter Barton who had arranged our UK tour a few years ago and then everything was cancelled. It would have been a great tour as it’d have been only the second time we took Tish and Snooky away with us. They did play at the Rock and Blues Festival in Skegness and that was the only show they could make on that tour as they are so busy.

Have the restrictions opened opportunities that might not otherwise have presented themselves under normal circumstances?

If it wasn’t for the lockdown I’d probably still be working on Re Imaginos now but I was able to finish it by the middle of May.

Your latest album Re Imaginos is out on 6th November. Are you excited ahead of its release?

Yes, I am. I didn’t do the album because I wanted to make any money, I didn’t care about that. I promised Sandy Pearlman in the hospital before he died that I would make sure that the real record that we planned to make was going to get out there. When he died it was hard to feel happy about doing it until some time had passed. I started doing these live streams and would play one or two songs from the Blue Öyster Cult Imaginos record and even some of the songs that were left off like “The Girl Who Loved Me Blind” and the fans absolutely loved it. We played it with electric guitars but it actually came out better when we did it on acoustic guitars so I decided to do the whole Imaginos album that way, not a wall of sound like the BOC version but acoustically, more like the way Sandy wanted it in the first place.

Why have you decided to look at Imaginos again at this point in time?

When I started this, I asked myself why do I need to do this now. It’s been 32 years since Blue Öyster Cult released their version. I was in a different place then. One of my main goals when I originally left Blue Öyster Cult in 1981 was to have a springboard for my solo career rather than just getting Sandy’s music out to the public in the form of this great concept album. At that point I hadn’t really done much outside of Blue Öyster Cult. It didn’t work out like that but I did get my own solo career without the help of Imaginos. I’ve done a lot of different things since then and over the last few years I’ve made multiple albums with different groups. One of the singers I’ve been working with, Christine Ohlman, from the Saturday Night Live band, she sent me an email saying that Patti Smith has been saying some nice things about me in her book, Year Of The Monkey and was talking about Sandy and quoting parts of Imaginos throughout her book so everything seemed to be just right to do this now.

Imaginos has a long, long history going back to when you were in Blue Öyster Cult. When did the idea of Imaginos idea first appear?

I believe that Sandy was working on this when he was a graduate student. The first time I heard about it was in 1967. We had just got a band house, as before that we’d jam in different houses that students rented off campus in Stonybrook. One of the students in the band named John Wiesenthal got us a band house. We started doing gigs and could pay the rent. Sandy came over one night and he started telling this story about this Imaginos character and all these amazing things he could do and the whole thing about the mirror and how the mirror was going to change history. At that point I don’t believe there were any lyrics. It was just a story that he thought he might publish. There’s rumours that he might have written it all down but I’ve never seen it. It was all in his mind what he was going to say. At the time Allen Lanier and I were writing the lyrics and most of the music for that band. Sandy came along and changed one of the lyrics in one of my songs that was called “You”, it was about trying to get out of the draft and running away to Canada. I was very worried at that time about going to Vietnam. My best friend, Billy Brabber had been killed over there so I thought there was no way I was going to go over there and hide in a foxhole. I was worried what I was going to do and I had a dream and the music came to me in that dream. That song was “You” and then Sandy worked on it and it became “I’m On The Lamb But I Ain’t No Sheep”, which is probably of all my songs, the one that’s been most recorded by other groups.

When did you start work on your new version and how did you adapt those songs to the more acoustic format?

That was in February. I thought that some of the songs were sounding really good but “Siege and Investiture” didn’t really lend itself to acoustic treatment so I had to do something different to that song. I changed “Astronomy” from E to D so that I could sing it more comfortably. I especially needed that for the first part of the song as it’s supposed to be delicate and gentle and I can’t be straining my voice with that. When I heard Metallica’s version I thought wow, James sounds so good on this and he’d lowered it just half a step to E flat so I knew that lowering it would not hurt it. We made a great demo of that and thought we’d do it just as an acoustic version. “I Am The One You Warned Me Of” was pretty easy to do as the basic track was good to start out with. When we got to “Imaginos” it was impossible to play and sing at the same time. I made a list of the things I didn’t like about my version and Blue Öyster Cult’s version as they are really the same. Musically it’s the same track, everything that the musicians play is the same. Everything is the same except the vocals. The BOC version had Jon Rogers doing what I’d say was a terrible version of the lyrics. Having said that I’m not a whole lot better on my version, just marginally better. It’s not worthy to be the title song of the record. I thought, how am I going to do this to make it sound better. I thought it was too fast, I think we must have been under the influence of some drugs that made you play faster or something. It felt right at the time, but not now. The vocal was too monotone and needed more melody. I also found out that on Sandy’s tombstone in Long Island are the words “Singing songs nobody knew and stories left undone”. That’s a line from “Imaginos.” I thought that it should really sound like Sandy when I did it. Sandy could sing and had a really fragile, sort of nervous voice. He wasn’t a belter like Ronnie James Dio. He tried out as the singer before we got Eric Bloom. With that I tried to channel Sandy’s voice into that song and make it more melodic, more like a fairy tale.

What about the rest of the songs?

I then looked at what else we needed to do and thought that I’d do “Siege and Investiture” as a Tango. I thought “Girl That Loved Me Blind” was a fantastic song and that’s one that me and Sandy worked together on both the words and the music face to face in my apartment in around 1973 or 1974 when I was living in the East Village. I felt when we recorded it, it was quite long and quite slow and got repetitious after a while and needed more variety in the layout of the song. So, I tried to make it a little faster but it didn’t sound quite right. David Hirschberg, who worked with me on the record, suggested changing the time signature in the middle of the song so I made different parts have different tempos which I thought was really good. I then went back to “Astronomy” and thought that I’d do it the way Sandy originally wanted it. He didn’t really care for the galloping thing. He liked it when it got to the “Hey, hey hey” part but he thought the beginning was all wrong. I remember challenging Sandy in the studio, asking him what would be his ideal version be. What he wanted to hear was a group of nuns from the convent standing on the beach singing in harmony and clapping. So, I remembered what he wanted but as it was during the quarantine I couldn’t actually go to a convent and ask a group of nuns to come and sing but I have a harmony machine vocaliser that can make my voice sound like a girls so I was able to do the harmonies. I had David Hirschberg and my son Ace doing a few tracks of clapping. I put the ocean sounds in there too and hopefully managed to get what Sandy wanted in the end.

Why did you decide to rearrange the songs in more of a semi-acoustic way?

The original idea was to record them in a way that I could actually go out and play them live even if it was just me without a band or me and David Hirschberg. Re Imaginos is the way that I’d originally envisaged Imaginos to sound. Sandy was always telling me when I was working on it originally that it needed to be sparser. He said I should be able to play these songs acoustically in somebody’s living room. That’s how it should sound. I was like, no, I want a wall of sound.

Were you able to add in any new parts that weren’t there originally?

I thought as the arrangements were so different that I could go a little farther for instance having Joe playing trumpet on a couple of songs. He plays on “Imaginos” as I wanted that to be more flowing and gentle but also, I wanted it to sound a little bit like a Spaghetti Western with a twangy guitar, lots of percussion and a trumpet.

Do you play most of the instruments on the album?

I played all of the rhythm guitar and on most of them I played a Taylor 8-string baritone guitar which was tuned down to a low sound. The two strings in the middle were tuned in octaves. It sounds a bit like a 12-string guitar but way easier to play. David Hirschberg played all of the bass parts on fretless basses and he played “Del Rio’s Song” on a Gold Tone U-bass and we miked it acoustically and it sounded like an upright bass. I spent hours tuning it up as the neck is so short. He also sang the harmonies on almost every song. Mookie Thomas played keyboards on “Del Rio Song” and sang on four of the twelve songs. She couldn’t play keyboards on any more songs as she got bronchitis and she’s an essential worker too so couldn’t take more time off to do it. On guitar is RJ Ronquillo and he’s a You Tube sensation and I’ve been watching his channel for 7 or so years. He’s a fantastic guitar player and I thought that he plays exactly like I would play if I could. He can shred, he plays Jazz, he pays everything. He’s played with Ricky Martin, Carlos Santana and with Judith Hill. He retired and decided to just be a studio guitar player in Nashville. I asked if I could hire him to play on my album so he plays lead on four songs. I got Ross The Boss from The Dictators and Manowar to play on one song. Jack Rigg from the original Imaginos played on one song. I also had a fan, Vaughn Burton, who had been asking me for a while if he could record his own version of “The Girl Who Loved Me Blind”. It was funny as when I heard from him, I was actually working on that song so I asked him if he’d be interested in playing on it. He could sing and was a pretty good guitar player and he had a set up in his house where he could record, which he did. In addition to my brother, Joe, on trumpet, I also had Greg Holt play fiddle on 2 songs. So, there were 10 musicians who played on the album

What about the recording, where did you do that?

I have a home studio which has the best gear that money can buy. I played all the acoustic guitars and I played lead on four of the songs. I also played that little melodic riff in “Astronomy” the way that I originally wrote it. Nobody ever plays it right. It’s supposed to have a more ringy sound to it. The BOC version and even the Metallica version it’s chopped so I get to do it the way I want now.

How long did the recording process take?

It took me three months from the beginning to the final mix. We started in the middle of February and finished it in the middle of May and it will be out on November 6th.

Can you summarise the Imaginos story in a couple of sentences?

It’s about a character sometimes called Imaginos, sometimes called Desdanova. I’m not exactly sure whether Imaginos is a human or a space alien. What I do know is that Imaginos can change shape whether that’s a bird, a fish or a bug or anything really. At the end of the album Imaginos is in England for the occasion of his grand daughter’s birthday. Maybe he was born in England or maybe his parents travelled from America and moved to England or maybe he just appeared out of thin air. He is a sailor and in “Del Rio’s Song” he is sailing up the Mississippi River to find fortune. Eventually he goes through Europe, “The Girl Who Loved Me Blind” and “Frankenstein’s Castle at Weisseria” happened in Germany. He comes back to the United States and travels West from New Orleans to Texas and at that point he starts communicating with the aliens defining himself as “The One That You Warned Me Of” and then he redefines himself in the song “Imaginos” where you get the clear image that he’s a shape shifter. Then he goes to Mexico and while he’s in “Gil Blanco County” there’s a plague and he leaves to go and search for this mirror. The people on the ship put him ashore as he got sick while he was in the town and they think he’s going to die so he may as well die on dry land. He wakes up on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico and at that point the Blue Öyster Cult, who are clearly aliens, come to rescue him. They not only rescue him but give him the power and a mission. With that information, he goes back to Mexico and finds the mirror, brings it back to England and presents it to his granddaughter. The mirror is going to play a big part in the next part of this story. I actually put “Les Invisibles” at the end as I wanted to have a lead into the next volume.

So there’s more to come from Imaginos?

Our original idea was for three, double albums. The first was going to be called Imaginos, the second one was going to be called Bombs Over Germany and the third record was going to be called The Mutant Reformation. As soon as people got word that I was doing Re Imaginos they were asking if I was going to be doing Bombs Over Germany or would I be doing all three. I’ll be totally honest, I’ve put out three solo records none of them sold many copies but the Blue Coupe albums sold a lot more, I don’t know why that is. For Re Imaginos, it’s going out on Deko Records and I have a publicist, Chipster PR who is great, and yesterday I got an email from the record company telling me that all of the albums have sold out and asked me if they should do another print. There seems to be so much interest in this that I’ll definitely be doing another record. Now I know what I’ll be doing for the next couple of years.

A few of the songs including “Astronomy”, “Blue Öyster Cult” and “Black Telescope” had already appeared on BOC albums, albeit a couple with different song titles and “Gil Blanco County” was recorded in the pre-BOC, Stalk Forrest Group days. Were these songs already intended to be part of the Imaginos concept back then?

All but “Gil Blanco County”. Sandy wasn’t too sure but I wanted to get it into the story. This explains why his good friends left him to die. It showed that on the surface everything looked nice with birds frolicking in a fountain but underneath there’s a bad undercurrent in the form of that disease. “Gil Blanco” had to be in there as it kind of explains “Blue Öyster Cult”. I liked the idea that people could listen to it and form their own ideas about what it’s about and that it sparks people’s imagination. That’s the great thing about music. Even if you’re very clear about what you’re about, people still have their own interpretation.

The album features arguably the greatest song title of all time, “The Siege and Investiture of Baron von Frankenstein’s Castle at Weisseria”. Where did that title come from and how does it fit into the overall story?

I’m not quite sure how we ended up in Germany. During “In The Presence Of Another World”, Imaginos is gaining information and honing his skills as a mystic an all-powerful being. It’s possible that he went to Germany to study with Frankenstein to see how you could sustain life without a time machine.

“Astronomy” is such an important song to BOC overall recognised as one of your big classics. Why did you rearrange the song into an almost Funky like version for Imaginos?

I think that was partially because the record company wanted a single so if we made “Astronomy” a dance song then the obtuse lyrics wouldn’t turn anyone off who was listening to the radio. That was the idea. We tried to make it sparser in the beginning but maybe it wasn’t sparse enough. One thing I wanted to do was make it different to the Blue Öyster Cult version. The slower, Secret Treaties version came first then the faster Imaginos version came afterwards.

What did you think of Metallica’s cover of “Astronomy” on their Garage Days Inc album?

I love it but at first, I was disappointed because I thought they didn’t make it Metallica enough. I thought they were too respectful and I love Metallica for being Metallica but after a while I thought James stuck a whole bunch of his distinctive things in there and Kirk and Lars did too.

Sandy Pearlman was heavily involved in the whole Imaginos story. How important was Sandy Pearlman to the music, creativity and development of BOC as a band?

Sandy was critical. I often wonder if it hadn’t been for Sandy, would I have been a success. I think I may have had some success but not as a musician as I was a very good student and got good grades. I’ve always been handy and good at construction but I really wanted to be a musician so I made the decision to come to New York to be part of the music scene but I think without Sandy there’d be no “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” and certainly no Imaginos. Sandy took what we did and brought it to another level, that’s the best way I can describe it. Without Sandy there would be no Blue Öyster Cult.

BOC put their own version of Imaginos out in 1988. When did you know they were doing that?

That was something that was arranged with me. I found that talking to those guys that they’d already recorded their parts before they asked me if it was OK. That was a bit of an issue. I asked Don if he played guitar on it as he’d played on the original version of “Gil Blanco County” but they left that one off. He said that he played on every song but they didn’t use a bit of it. They used the original versions and did overdubs after he was involved using Joe Satriani, Mark Biederman and a bunch of other people. Robby Krieger and Aldo Nova were the only two guest guitarists that I had used when I handed the project over to Sandy and he was going to complete it.

So, a lot of the music on the final album was what you had recorded originally for your version?

Almost everything except for the vocals, in which many cases they did a better version than I did, were from my original version and also some of those guitar overdubs were different to my version. Almost the entire music on the BOC version is my original recording, which tends to get called the Imaginos Demos. I actually call them that too although they are not the demos, they are the finished album. I had a copy of the rough mixes with the scratch vocals and after BOC’s Imaginos came out I gave them to Bolle Gregmar, who promised not to let anyone hear them but I said it’s OK, I didn’t care. I’d just say that if Columbia came after me, I wasn’t responsible but they ended up on the internet for anyone that wanted to hear them. Maybe if Columbia knew that was the finished album, they wouldn’t have been too happy, maybe that’s why they called it the Demos but that’s all OK. That also explains when they went out on tour without me, they couldn’t play the songs. They didn’t even know what they were. There was a wall of sound that was very hard to pick apart and I knew every note on that. I haven’t gone into Re Imaginos blind. I was very studious listening to exactly what they did to see if it was better than what I did and if it was, I was going to do that.

Did you work in the studio with BOC while they were recording their version?

I actually had Joe, Allen and Buck playing on the original tracks, for example Allen is playing the synthesiser part to “Blue Öyster Cult”. Joe plays piano on “In The Presence Of Another World” and he also sings background vocals on that and “Siege and Investiture”.

The final version saw two songs removed from your original version. Were you disappointed with the end result?

Yes, I was. I was disappointed that it wasn’t a double record. It should have been 61 minutes long and that will not fit on a vinyl record so they crammed 48 minutes onto the record. They had 24 minutes per side and the last cuts were filled with distortion. Not only did they not put all of the songs on it but they killed two songs that run into the inner grooves, so those last songs on each side sounded terrible. Of course, they sound much better on the CD version.

Was it always the idea to have guest singers on the album?

No, that wasn’t the idea. I was going to sing all of the songs, that’s why I wasn’t playing drums. I got in Tommy Price because I thought I needed a really great drummer as I just wanted to play guitar and sing and get up there and be the frontman. When I’d finished the vocals, I sent it to the people at Columbia and I got feedback that they didn’t like my vocals so I’d redo it. I did numerous versions with my vocals and kept changing things. I didn’t change it that much, the tempo and the key stayed the same but I tried different approaches and changed the melody and all of these different things but they never liked it. So, I got this guy who was the singer in a band called Silver Condor with a friend of mine, Earl Slick and he was the best singer I knew. He was called Joe Cerisano and he was better than Lou Gramm but maybe not better than Ronnie James Dio but he a close second. He sang all but two songs. I sent those mixes and they said that they still didn’t like the vocals. I thought, OK, we’re not really talking about the vocals here. They were still on about it must have a single and they couldn’t hear it. I called up Sandy and said we should write a song that was just going to be a single, stripped down and easy to understand and catchy. I had a friend who had written 60 Top 40 hits and he’d help us to do it. Sandy said he had another idea, then he said he got a call and would call me back. He didn’t call me for 20 years. Anyway, they got rid of my vocals and got rid of Joey Cerisano’s vocals on all but “Frankenstein”. I believe they tried to change it but they couldn’t top Joey’s vocals on that one. So there’s a whole different version of Imaginos pretty much with every song performed by Joe. His version of “Gil Blanco County” is amazing. I’d really like him to sing on the next volume.

When are you planning on releasing the next volume in the Imaginos story, Bombs Over Germany?

I don’t know but it’ll be out when it’s ready. I wrote a list of all of the guitar players that I want to play with at some point in my life before I die. The top guy is Jeff Beck. Number 2 was RJ Ronquillo and I got him. I guess I can get my manager to reach out to Jeff beck when I start the record, you never know what might happen. I also want Buck Dharma to play on it and Eric Bloom to sing on it. Maybe I can get all of the BOC guys to do something for it. Hopefully I can get them all on one song together and maybe Richie will play a lead and Don will play a lead. The next one won’t be so stripped down but it won’t be a wall of sound. It’ll have songs like “OD’d On Life”, “ME262” that were supposed to be on the follow up to Imaginos and I’m now thinking of how I’ll be doing them acoustically, whether like a nursery rhyme or a Folk song, but I will do it. “Shadow Of California” will be on there too and originally “Black Telescopes” was too but I moved it to Imaginos as it’s a sea faring song and fits in with the sea mood. After that there aren’t many songs about sea travel, it’s more bout technology so there’s “Quicklime Girl” and a song that nobody’s heard called “Half Life Time” which I wrote with Sandy. “When The War Comes” that was on Club Ninja will also be on there. I never had my chance to do my thing on those songs and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you hear them.

You have made a guest appearance on the new BOC album, The Symbol Remains and have appeared with them live a few times one. When did you reconnect with Buck and Eric?

It’s been happening for a while. I’ve been going to their shows and would see them afterwards. I said to Don, that I go to the shows and while you are playing people bring their album covers over to be signed and you must see it. It might be nice if you gave a shout out to your old drummer, Albert and say Hi. He said he wasn’t ready to do that yet, so I thought OK. It wasn’t for me that I was asking about this, it was for the fans. It might be better for them to see that Mummy and Daddy aren’t fighting any more. Eventually when they did the 40th anniversary show in 2012 in Times Square they asked me to play with them. I already had a gig that night but I’d only be playing 4 or 5 songs with them so I worked out with my gig that I could take a break and come over and play with them. It was only a block and a half away so it wouldn’t take me long to get there.

How did the show go?

Hurricane Sandy hit and the show was postponed for a week. My brother, Joe, who had been on a cruise with Lynyrd Skynyrd, was back in town so he was able to come now. Allen was there too so the original band played together again and it was great.

How did it feel playing with the original band again after so many years?

It was fantastic. As we were playing Joe was laughing and he said to me that it sounded exactly like we used to sound. It was like we hadn’t taken a day off. That was the one and only time we all played together as it wasn’t that long afterwards that Allen sadly died but I’m so glad we got to play together one last time.

Did you play with them again after that?

Yes, the next time they played I spoke to them backstage before the show and they asked how I wanted to do this. So I said, why don’t you point me out from the stage and say “Hey there’s Albert our old drummer, come on up here” and I’d come out of the audience and climb up onto the stage and play with the band, totally impromptu. So that’s what we did. It was a great little gig. It was fun hanging out with them and that was back in 2013. They said they’d do a tribute show for Allen and since then it’s all been great with them. In 2016 I went on tour with them and did a big gig with them in LA that was recorded for a live album and DVD and that was fantastic. They’ve since played on the Spirits Burning records so I’ve actually made two records with Blue Öyster Cult this year.

What do you make of the new Blue Öyster Cult album, The Symbol Remains?

I haven’t heard the whole album yet but what I have heard I really like. Some more that others, that “Stand and Fight” song I’m not crazy about. I heard them play that live and think that coloured my judgement. I thought it sounded like a “Beat ‘Em Up” kind of song from Club Ninja. I told Eric he was making a mistake with that one. He’s not a tough guy, he’s a sinister guy and prefer it when he sings in that sinister way. I LOVE “The Alchemist”, that’s the best thing they’ve done since I haven’t been in the group. Richie has done such a great job on the album, he’s so talented.

Once Covid has cleared off do you plan on heading out on the road for some Imaginos shows?

Yes definitely. In England and all over the world, my agent is doing a great job, setting the stage to get me to bring Imaginos to the rest of the world. A lot is up in the air with the live shows. As soon as it’s safe to do so, I’ll be out there and doing it.

If money was no object back when you started Imaginos did you have ambitions of a large-scale stage production to go with the story?

It would be awesome. I haven’t really thought about being in that part of the entertainment business. I love going to Broadway shows but never saw myself doing that. I’m more of a song guy and musician and just like to play. If somebody else wanted to do that on Broadway, it’d be mind blowing.

Are you involved in any other musical projects at the moment?

I’m doing a trilogy of records with Michael Moorcock and Don Falcone’s collective called Spirits Burning. We’re doing Dances At The End Of Time story which is made up of three books. The idea was the we’d take a chapter from the book and write a song about it. Don asked me to do four chapters from the first book and I ended up writing 12 songs. That has Harvey Bainbridge and Bridget Wishard from Hawkwind, we had someone from Tangerine Dream and Campervan Beethoven. I think he’s had almost 50 different musicians playing on his records. We did that one in 2018 on Gonzo records and it sold out in 6 weeks. It took them 8 months to reissue it. By the time that happened Don Falcone got Cleopatra Records involved. The next one is called The Hollow Lands; this is the second book. This had 19 chapters so I said that I’d write short songs under 3 minutes long. Don wanted it to be mostly instrumental but I said how can you have a Michael Moorcock record without any words. He’s a fantastic wordsmith and he rivals Sandy Pearlman in the fantastical nature of what he writes. So, I said that he had to have words and said that I’d get the singers. I ended up singing 4 songs. I got Richie Castellano, Buck Dharma and my brother Joe, Andy Shernoff from The Dictators and just a ton of people singing and it came out very good. For the next record I got all of Blue Öyster Cult, I’ve got Jules Radino on drums, Danny Miranda on bass, Richie Castellano singing and playing, Buck Dharma singing and playing guitar and Eric Bloom singing. It was a great thing to be able to do. I’m always happy to help people out so it was nice to be able to ask my group of musicians to help me.

Outside of Re Imaginos, what are your plans for the coming months and into 2021?

I retired from teaching two years ago so that I could concentrate on music. For the next few months, I’ll be doing interviews. I definitely want to do my best to represent the genius that is Sandy Pearlman. There is the possibility of some new Blue Coupe action as we’ve just signed a new record deal. They are going to relaunch the record in December so we’ll see what happens with that but for right now until January I’ll be promoting Re Imaginos.

Re Imaginos is released on November 2020 on RockHeart Records Deko Entertainment.

Interview By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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