You really have to hand it to Blue Öyster Cult. They’ve definitely beaten the odds. In one form or another, they’ve been around for more than 50 years. They made some of the greatest rock albums of the ’70s. They introduced the umlaut to metal. Their guitarist goes by the name of Buck Dharma. Their immortal single (Don’t Fear) The Reaper is a pop-culture touchstone that’s probably earned enough money to ensure that their great-grandchildren don’t have to work. Their hook-and-cross logo is awesome. Their lyrics have been used in Stephen King‘s fiction. They’ve even been parodied on Saturday Night Live. And through it all, they’ve never sold out, screwed up or stopped being cool. Not bad for being a band that: 1) Never won a Grammy; 2) Never got into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame; 3) Got saddled with one of the goofiest handles in rock; 4) Have always seemed a bunch of outsiders and weirdos, especially when it came to lyrics and artwork. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen them live. In the ’70s, I caught them with Todd Rundgren’s Utopia as the opening act. And in the ’80s, I saw them on the Black and Blue Tour with the Ronnie James Dio-fronted Black Sabbath. Coincidentally, the show I saw was drummer Bill Ward’s Sabbath swan song. Some of the songs on their 1982 double album Extraterrestrial Live were apparently recorded on that tour, though not at the show I attended. In any case, this poster for the album is a fine example of their enigmatic approach. It’s the complete front-and-back-cover artwork for the album, and seems designed to tie into their whole bizarre and mysterious mythology (supposedly, their manager Sandy Pearlman came up with the band name, which refers to a group of aliens secretly guiding Earth’s history. Um, OK.). All I know is that between the alien dobermans, the flying ball and the whole Close Encounters vibe, it’s just plain strange. It’s also gigantic: About two feet high and four feet wide (click on the photo to see a larger version). But the size actually makes sense: BÖC always seemed to prefer doing things in a big way. If you’re interested in owning this poster, email me.