John A Swartz jswartz at MBUNIX.MITRE.ORG
Fri Feb 7 08:55:34 EST 1997

Well, here's what I've got in the upcomin version of the FAQ on this

In the August 16, 1991 issue of Entertainment Weekly, on page 62,
there's a story on band names that have umlauts in them.  (Umlauts, we
learn, are the two little dots over a letter, in particular over the "O"
in Blue Oyster Cult.)  The story credits Richard Meltzer with the "fad"
of using umlauts in names, and recounts the story of how BOC was named.
>From the article:

     "Sometimes genius strikes at the least-expected moment.  In 1971,
musician and songwriter Sandy Pearlman was trying to devise a new name
for his band.  Standing on a New York street corner with rock writer
Richard Meltzer (who had been in an earlier incarnation of the group),
Pearlman glanced into the window of a nearby restaurant and noticed that
the menu included Blue Point oysters.  "I said, 'Why don't we call it
Blue Oyster Cult?'" he recalls.  "And Richard said, 'And we'll add an
umlaut over the o!'  And I said, 'Great!'"

     There's another quote from Pearlman later in the story:  "It was
meant to bring all sorts of ambiguous implications to the name."

     Apparently when BOC auditioned for Columbia in 1971, they did not
have a name. They had to come up with one to finalize the deal, and
entrusted Pearlman to come up with it.  This is presumably when Pearlman
and Meltzer decided on the name "Blue Oyster Cult".  It is believed that
the name was already part of Pearlman's Imaginos poems, which were
conceived around 1967.  When Pearlman returned to the band and announced
the name, the band was less than enthusiastic about it.  In fact, some
band members said that they hated the name.  Never the less, the name

     There is an interesting story as to how Pearlman and Meltzer came
up with the term "Blue Oyster Cult".  It has been reported in several
BOC articles in the past, but is believed to be untrue.  The story goes
that Pearlman went off with Meltzer, got stoned, and noticed a bottle of
"Cully Stout Beer".  Using this name, the two tried to come up with a
number of anagrams using the name, one of which was "Blue Oyster Cult",
and that this was how they came up with the name.  What is more likely
however, is that Pearman and Meltzer tried to come up with anagrams for
"Blue Oyster Cult" and came up with "Cully Stout Beer".  As Bolle
Gregmar notes, beer drinkers realize that a "stout" is not a "beer", so
the term "stout beer" is not a likely label for a beer.  However,
according to Bolle, someone once made a fake label for this "beer" using
the BOC symbol, and the label appeared in some rock magazine (possibly

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