Blue Oyster Cult frontman Eric Bloom said he won’t have the band’s signature song “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” played at his funeral, noting that his decision may surprise people.
The 1976 track, written and sung by Buck Dharma, remains Blue Oyster Cult’s highest-charting single, reaching No.12, and it regularly appears in critics’ lists of essential listening. It’s also famous for being the centerpiece of the acclaimed “More Cowbell” sketch performed on Saturday Night Live in 2000.
But in a recent retrospective Q&A session with Classic Rock, when asked what would be heard during his funeral, Bloom replied: “You’d think it would be ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,’ wouldn’t you? But I don’t intend to have music at all. Just close family and a private graveside service.”
He chose the Who’s 1971 classic “Baba O’Riley” as his personal anthem, noting, “Even after all these years, those chords get me every time.” He also said John Lennon was his favorite singer, even though he “wasn’t the purest of vocalists.”
Asked about his favorite Blue Oyster Cult album, Bloom chose 1974’s Secret Treaties. “That was our third studio record, and each did better than the one before,” he explained. “I know through talking to the fans that it’s their favorite, and we have played most of its songs live. It seems to be the fruition of our songwriting during that particular era.”
He said 1979’s Mirrors was at the other end of his personal spectrum, blaming a personal clash between himself and producer Tom Werman. “He had had a lot of success with Cheap Trick, and [we] thought we were taking on a hitmaker,” Bloom said. “But for one reason or another, Werman did not care for my vocals and kept me out of the studio. I don’t recall how many tracks I got to sing” – it was three out of nine – “[but] he just didn’t want me around.”