BOC: Vocals (EB, BD, AB), Imaginos, et al

Stephen Swann swann at MINDVOX.COM
Wed Dec 4 11:42:39 EST 1996

Al, cover your eyes.  We're talking about you again.

John A Swartz writes:
> I also think that it is somewhat improper for us fans, who don't (and
> shouldn't) know all of the details, to "take sides" on this issue.  Like
> many great debates and disputes, there are often no winners.  In the case
> of *Imaginos*, everybody lost - Al had his music taken from him, BOC lost
> the opportunity to perhaps reconcile differences with him (and possibly
> at the time even get him back in the band), and we fans got, aside from
> alot of confusion over the album (which somewhat continues to this day
> when compilations like WOTT praise *Imaginos* in the liner notes and
> then don't include any of it's tracks), we got a sort of partial version
> of what the whole Imaginos project/concept was.

I think that Sandy Pearlman (in the Goldmain article) had the last
word on this issue: if he had been able to convince the band to do
Imaginos at the height of their careers in the late 70's/early 80's,
it would almost certainly have been the greatest album of their
careers.  Imagine the early BOC darkness and aggression with 10 more
years of songwriting and playing experience...  <excuse me while I
whine>.  The fact that they didn't -- because that was precisely when
they were trying to get *away* from his influence -- is probably *the*
great tragedy in the history of the band.

By the way: anybody who hasn't read the Goldmine article... it's a
wealth of information, presented in what I consider to be a remarkably
unbiased manner.  Maybe it doesn't contain the whole story, but
probably nothing less than a Michener novel could do that.  ;-) If you
know anybody who will sell you a copy (or if Goldmain sells
back-issues), you really should try to get hold of it.

> BTW, some have speculated which individuals in the current lineup have
> been the major factors in Al leaving the band or in what happened with
> Imaginos.  I think that this thinking is somewhat dangerous - Al has
> made his feelings known to the extent which he sees fit (I think I have
> a detailed post he made about a year ago to BOC-L -- if it is his wish,
> I will repost it), and we may be doing him a dis-service to speculate
> otherwise.  What I mean is, if Al has said that he and Bloom didn't get
> along, it is unfair for us to say for example that Bloom is the reason
> that Al is no longer in BOC.  Things are much more complex than that.

Well, Al once told me in person (yes, because I was rude enough to
ask) the story behind his leaving BOC.

I won't repeat it here, because if he wanted everybody in the world to
know his thoughts on the subject, then he would undoubtedly post them.
But since this is a topic of frequent speculation, I'll say the following
to at least head off the worst excesses of people's imaginations...

It's not something simple and stupid like "Eric threw him out", or "he
walked out because he'd had enough of Eric".  It was a whole chain of
events, and frankly it was almost absurd in what a roundabout way it
ended up leading to his "departure".  It was nothing at all like a big
climactic argument leading to his storming out, or Eric secretly
turning all the other band member against him, or any of those
scenarios that people typically conjecture.  It was a bunch of almost
unrelated events, combined with personality conflicts between both
band members and management, a lack of communication between both band
members and management, and all kinds of mostly trivial stuff like
that, which finally cascaded to become an irreparable breach, in the
same way that a bunch of pebbles start an avalanche.  There's no single
event that can be described as "the cause" of the Great Breakup.

Although I know that's not enough to satisy anybody, I hope it's at
least enough to keep people's imaginations from running too far
amok, as I've seen on occasion.  ;-)

swann at

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