Watertown daily times cult devotion at tics as bouchard brothers inducted into arts hall of fame (video) 76 gas credit card login


CLAYTON — As the Bouchard brothers — Albert T. and Joseph J. — returned Tuesday to the school district they graduated from and sat down for an interview at Thousand Islands Central High School, they were only a few miles from their old homestead and family barn on Route 12E. There, the pair first realized their music had the power to move people.

Later that night, it was as if the harmonious echoes from that old barn could still be heard as a calling card by their local fans, who filled the auditorium of Thousand Islands Central School when Albert and Joseph were inducted into the Thousand Islands Performing Arts Hall of Fame.

The brothers have traveled the world, living rock star lives as members of the rock and roll band Blue Oyster Cult. Albert, who co-founded the band, played drums and Joseph played guitar for it. Both men are still involved in music but also found careers in education.

Albert, 70, graduated from Thousand islands Central in 1965 and Joseph, 69, graduated from the school in 1966. They are the sons of the late Robert A. and Frances T. (Ryan) Bouchard, who moved to Watertown’s Winslow Street after the brothers graduated from high school.

The brothers found some time a few hours before the induction ceremony to talk. Seated on stage, they reminisced about their high school days, recalled what drove them to succeed, cited people whom they credit for helping them to find success and recalled their days as Blue Oyster Cult members. They easily joked back and forth, often interrupting each other with laughter or to make a point. passion trumps talent

That Long Island-based band, which became the roots of Blue Oyster Cult, had various names such as Oaxaca, Stalk-Forrest Group and Soft White Underbelly. Joseph joined Soft White Underbelly in 1970 shortly after graduating from Ithaca College with a music education major.

“I drove on Labor Day weekend in the worst traffic I’d ever seen in my life to get there to do the tour,” Joseph said. “I got there, and Al said it wasn’t happening! It canceled the week before. In those days, you didn’t have cell phones, but I was there.”

The band’s eponymous debut album was released in 1972. The band’s full lineup was Eric Bloom on lead vocals, guitar and keyboards; Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser on lead guitar and vocals; Allen Lanier on rhythm guitar and keyboards, Joseph on bass guitar and vocals and Albert on drums and vocals.

The band’s first gold-certified album, “Secret Treaties,” was released in 1974, and by that time the band was being called by critics a thinking man’s heavy-metal group. The band’s multi-layered sound, heavy on guitars, also gained it accolades.

But the album, “Agents of Fortune,” released in 1976, brought the band its most success. It contained the single, “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” a song about love and the inevitability of death. Rolling Stone magazine named it best rock single of 1976 and it landed at the 405 spot on the magazine’s top 500 songs of all time.

Albert returned to college and got a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in English literacy. For more than 25 years, he has been working as an administrator and teaching music at Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School in New York City. He plans to retire from the job in June.

“It’s called a transfer school,” Albert said. “Essentially, it’s for kids who don’t (usually) come to school. We go above and beyond to make them feel comfortable to get them to learn how to act in school and how to study — all of the things people around here probably take for granted.” white house visit

In 2013, 21st Century Fox, in collaboration with the Give a Note Foundation, founded in partnership with the National Association for Music Education, presented West Side High School a $3,000 grant for its music program. Albert funds much of the program. The grant caught the attention of the White House. In May of 2014, Albert and other educators from around the nation were honored as “Great Educators” in a White House ceremony attended by President Barack Obama that took place on National Teacher Appreciation Day.

Joseph recently retired after working as a teacher at preparatory schools in Connecticut. In addition to performing and composing music, he’s an author of several instruction books. His latest book, “Teach Yourself to Play Rock Keyboards,” was released in 2015. In 2010, he performed for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait with the classic-rock all-star band Rock and Pop Masters. welcomed home

On Tuesday night during their induction ceremony in a packed auditorium, the brothers performed “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and “Burnin’ for You” — the latter a hit for Blue Oyster Cult in 1981. “Burnin’” is largely a song about finding home. The brothers, before the concert, recalled the days when their home in Clayton was the go-to place for music.

Before the “British Invasion” of the early 1960s, Albert and Joe were forming bands with their friends, playing the music of Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles and The Ventures, among others. As youngsters, they often went to O’Briens Restaurant and Bar in Clayton during live band nights.

The brothers formed the band the Regal Tones, playing for dances in the family barn in the town of Clayton. At the end of a day of high school classes, Albert would visit each classroom to write a “Barn Dance” announcement on each blackboard.

The pair recalled a highlight for the Regal Tones was appearing on the WWNY-TV7 afternoon show “Kiddies Karnival Klub,” hosted by Danny Burgess. Another highlight was when The Regal Tones won the Battle of the Bands at the Olympic Theater in Watertown.