Flaming Telepaths

Album: Secret Treaties (1974)

Songfacts®:

  • One of the first heavy metal bands, Blue Öyster Cult played with skill and precision, but with a wink, as they understood the absurdity of the genre. This song is a send-up of sorts, with over-the-top lines like "Poison's in my bloodstream, poison's in my pride" and "Yes I know the secrets of the circuitry mind. It's a flaming wonder telepath."

    This one tips its hand with the lines:

    Is it any wonder that the joke's an iron
    And the jokes on you


    Drummer Albert Bouchard explained in a 1976 interview with NME: "We tend to be too monolithic: the humor is lost. The joke's-on-you point in 'Flaming Telepaths' is often missed, so we have to ham it up."
  • The lyric was written by the band's manager/producer, Sandy Pearlman, with the music written by lead singer Eric Bloom, guitarist Buck Dharma and drummer Albert Bouchard. In our interview with Bloom, he said: "'Flaming Telepaths' was written I believe in either Eatons Neck or Dix Hills, en masse, in a collaborative fashion with all the band members in a room. I can't remember who came up with the germ of the idea, but when it came to creating the melody, I said, 'I think it should go this way,' and somebody said, 'It should go that way.' That's how all the credits came out. Sandy Pearlman wrote the lyric - it's one of those sci-fi impenetrable lyrics. He had a lot of influence from Lovecraft and a variety of sci-fi and fantasy influences."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"They're Playing My Song

Armed with a childhood spent devouring books, Mike Scott's heart was stolen by the punk rock scene of 1977. Not surprisingly, he would go on to become the most literate of rockers.

Victoria WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

Despite appearances on Carson, Leno and a Pennebaker film, Williams remains a hidden treasure.

Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)Songwriter Interviews

The former Metallica bassist talks about his first time writing a song with James Hetfield, and how a hand-me-down iPad has changed his songwriting.

AC/DCFact or Fiction

Does Angus really drink himself silly? Did their name come from a sewing machine? See if you can spot the real stories about AC/DC.

Grateful Dead CharactersMusic Quiz

Many unusual folks appear in Grateful Dead songs. Can you identify them?

Which Restaurants Are Most Mentioned In Song Lyrics?Song Writing

Katy Perry mentions McDonald's, Beyoncé calls out Red Lobster, and Supertramp shouts out Taco Bell - we found the 10 restaurants most often mentioned in songs.