Terminal Café

Blue Öyster Cult

In mid 1977, Moorcock was contacted by Elric Bloom, of Blue Öyster Cult, who is a big fan of Moorcock's work. There have been several appearances of these songs, other than on the albums upon which they originate. Veteran of a Thousand Psychic Wars also appeared in the Film Heavy Metal, and also on the soundtrack of the same name. Black Blade and Veteran of a Thousand Psychic Wars appear on the live album Extraterrestrial Live.


The Great Sun Jester
(from Mirrors, in 1979)

While some have suggested this song was written about the Fireclown, it was actually written about Michael's friend Bill Butler, who had recently died. According to Michael:-

I wrote The Great Sun Jester for Bill Butler (of Unicorn Books) who died of a ridiculous overdose (not really an overdose) after finishing his Hero book. He'd done too much coke and speed to finish it, then took a downer (largactyl probably) and a can of lager. When he woke up he was dead. Only the people he was with didn't realise it..

They have killed the great Sun-Jester,
Who danced between the stars,
They have stripped him of his manhood,
Signs of Venus and of Mars,
The cynics left him weeping,
And the Jackals left him torn,
And the jester reaches out blind hands,
He can touch the stars no more.

And he danced for us,
And he laughed for us,
And he gave us all he had,
He was Jesus, he was Jonas,
He was good and he was bad.

He took the stars in his hands,
And as he scattered them he'd shout,
"I'm the Joker of the Universe,
I'm what it's all about!"
Now he's dying in his dream,
And the hard me dragged him down,
They have killed the Great Sun Jester,
They have killed the Fireclown.

Now his blind eyes seek the starlight,
And his fingers seek controls,
To take him into space again,
Where he was both young and old.
The Dancer's stiff with pain,
They've made him kneel too long,
And the madness they have driven out,
They've left him cold and sane.

And he'll never sing his songs again,
He'll never dance between the stars again,
He'll never laugh again,
No, He'll never, ever laugh again.

Cultosaurus Erectus

Black Blade
(from Cultosaurus Erectus, in 1980)

I have this feeling that my luck is none too good.
There are ruins in my past - ruins in my destiny,
And this sword here at my side don't act the way it should.
Keeps Calling me it's master,
But I feel like it's slave.
Hauling me faster and faster
To an early, early grave.
- And it howls! Oh, it howls like hell...

Well, I'm told it's my duty to fight against the law,
That there's freedom is my blade - that wizardry's my trade,
And that I was born to wade through gore.
I just want to be a lover,
Not a red-eyed screaming ghoul.
I wish it would pick another
To be it's killing tool.
- And it's cosmic song - it goes on too damn long.

Black Blade!
Black Blade!
Forged a million years ago.
Black Blade!
Black Blade!
Killing, so it's power can grow and grow.
Black Blade!
Black Blade!
Bringing Chaos to the world we know.

And it's using me to kill my friends,
Getting stronger and stronger so the world will end,
Forcing my mind to bend and bend and bend!
It's the evilest weapon that ever was made!

Black Blade!
Black Blade!
Singing for eternity.
Black Blade!
Black Blade!
Carving out my destiny.
Black Blade!
Black Blade!
And it's using - oh, it's using me...

Bringing in the lords of Chaos.
Bringing in the beasts of Hades.
Sucking out the souls of heroes.
Laying waste to lords and ladies.

Black Blade!
Black Blade!

There is death from the beginning to the end of time.
Death in the flames, the earth, the sky, the sea
And I am the cosmic champion. I hold the mystic sign
And the whole world's dying
And the burden's mine
And the Black Sword keeps on killing,
Doesn't care if I am willing
And it's howling - howling - howling like hell...

Black Blade!
Black Blade!

Fire of Unknown Origin

Veteran of a Thousand Psychic Wars
(from Fire of unknown Origin, in 1981)

You see me now, a veteran
Of a thousand psychic wars
I've been living on the edge so long
Where the winds of limbo roar
And I'm young enough to look at
And far to old to see
All the scars are on the inside
And I'm not sure if there's anything left of me

Don't let these shakes go on
It's time we had a break from it
It's time we had some leave
We've been living in the flames
We've been eating up our brains
Oh please don't let these shakes go on.

You ask me why I'm weary
Why I can't speak to you
You blame me for my silence
Say it's time I changed and grew
But the war's still going on, dear.
And there's no end that I know
And I can't say if we're ever
Ever gonna be free.

You see me now, a veteran
Of a thousand psychic wars
My energy is spent at last
And my armour is destroyed
I have used up all my weapons
And I'm helpless and bereaved
Wounds are all I'm made of
And did I hear you say this is victory

Don't let these shakes go on
It's time we had a break from it
Send me to the rear
Where the tides of madness swell
And been sliding into hell
Oh please don't let these shakes go on.