By Steve Newton
Thirty years ago this Friday–on December 27, 1983–Blue Oyster Cult and Aldo Nova played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. (That gig is not to be confused with the one they played at the same venue in August of ’82)
I was pretty psyched about seeing B.O.C.
Nova not so much.
I must admit that I didn’t mind his 1982 song “Fantasy”, though. I also liked the fact that he cowrote Blue Oyster Cult’s “Take Me Away”, the lead track off B.O.C.’s then-new album, The Revolution By Night, produced by Van’s own Bruce Fairbairn.
I wound up interviewing Nova on the phone from Shreveport, Louisiana before the tour hit town, and looking back at that story now it’s pretty obvious that the Montreal rocker with the leopard jumpsuit had a bit of an ego thing going on.
If not, hey–it’s Christmas Eve. Go open a present or something.
On the difference between his self-titled debut album of ’81 and his new album, Subject…Aldo Nova: “My voice is a hundred times better than it was last year. It’s not as wimpy as it was. And there seems to be a certain intensity on the album that wasn’t there on the last one. I mean, my blood and guts are in the grooves.”
On my wrongful impression that “Take Me Away” was about suicide. “No, ‘Take Me Away’ is a song about extraterrestrials. Originally that song was an outtake from my first album. They copied it note for note from my demo. I gave it to Eric [Blue Oyster Cult vocalist Eric Bloom] when they were looking for songs for the new album ’cause I thought it fit them really well. It sounded like a Blue Oyster Cult song. And he came up with the lyric ‘take me away’. It’s more of a Close Encounters of the Third Kind type of thing, ’cause me and Eric–if they ever come down with the saucers–we’re the first ones in line [laughs]. We’re gone.”
On what Eric Bloom and the other Blue Oyster Cult members are like to hang around with: “They’re not as wild as you’d think. I went out with the guys in Cheap Trick, and we used to get gassed every night. These guys are pretty quiet in comparison.”
On the recent quote in British rock mag Sounds where he says that Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore is “a bad guitar player.” “No. I think Blackmore’s a good guitar player, I just did 25 dates with him with Rainbow. I don’t really like his new album, but he’s a really nice guy. All those horror stories that you hear about Blackmore, there’s not one of them that’s true. I was misquoted, because I never criticize anybody else–that’s one thing I don’t do is criticize other groups or other players.”
On the other recent quote where he claims “I don’t like heavy metal.“ “That’s another misquote. I’m constantly misquoted by the press. I don’t like heavy metal as in Iron Maiden–that brainless, unmelodic stuff. I like melodic heavy metal. The stuff I play is a cross between heavy metal and pop music.”
On whether his band members ever feel neglected with him taking the spotlight all the time: “Well no, because they’re a touring band. And they each get to shine on stage. As far as playing on the record, each one of them played on one track: the guitar player played a solo on ‘Armageddon’, the drummer plays on almost all the tracks, and the bass player plays on ‘Hey Operator’. So we’re really happy; we get along really well. The guitar player went to audition for KISS today, for some reason–I don’t know why. God knows why he’d want to go audition for KISS. I don’t think they could sell a record to save their lives.”