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From the Beginning…
Spanning three decades, Blue Öyster Cult has a long and storied history. The band got its start in the late ’60s on Long Island, New York, as the Soft White Underbelly, but each member had been involved in bands previously in high school and college, before ending up in the “right place at the right time” to create the beginnings of Blue Öyster Cult.
The threads that eventually wove together to create Blue Öyster Cult got their start in upstate New York.
Long Island native Donald Roeser and Albert Bouchard (of Watertown, New York) met at Clarkson College, in Potsdam, NY. The two were introduced by a mutual friend, Bruce Abbott (who later co-authored “Golden Age of Leather” with Donald). With Abbott and two other friends, they formed “The Disciples” and played college parties and local beer halls. The next year, the band reformed and played the same circuits as “Travesty” (named after the Blues Project album). Through all this, their studies fell by the wayside, and both Albert and Donald decided to quit college to concentrate on playing music full-time.
Eventually “Travesty” broke up, Donald and Albert took seperate paths for a while. Donald went back to Long Island, and Albert took a musical opportunity in Chicago. After moving there, though, the band fizzled, and Albert returned to NY and joined Donald. In the meantime, Donald had been jamming with local musicians, and had met a person that would become very influential in their future: Sandy Pearlman.
Sandy Pearlman became interested in rock music around the time of the British Invasion, and was a pioneering voice of rock criticism, opening a new field for creative writers like Lester Bangs. Both Pearlman and his friend Richard Meltzer were contributors for seminal magazine “Crawdaddy!,” the first magazine that dedicated itself to analysis of rock music and its culture.
Allen Lanier came into the fold by way of guitarist John Wiesenthal. Allen had accepted employment at a film company at which Wiesenthal was also an employee. After becoming acquainted, Wiesenthal invited Allen out to Long Island to meet and jam with the loose group of musicians he played with, and Allen began to regularly jam with them.
An old house near Stony Brook College became ground zero for the formative band, and casual jams with whomever happened to be hanging around began to turn into rehearsals with a core band, which included Wiesenthal, Donald, Albert, Allen and Andrew Winters, a school friend of Donald. It was 1967.
Pearlman (along with Meltzer and Wiesenthal) had been a student at Stony Brook, and was becoming increasingly involved in the music scene. When he heard the formative combo, he instantly recognized the talent at work. He had an idea for a band, and thought that this group of musicians had the chops to put that idea into play. The musicians saw that Pearlman’s contacts and stature in the local (and increasingly national) scene could help them spawn a career as well, and an alliance was formed.
Lead Vocalist Eric Bloom’s distinctive vocals are the personality and power that drives Blue Öyster Cult’s harder-hitting songs.
On stage, Eric is a busy man... not only is he lead vocalist, he also handles both rhythm guitar and keyboards as needed.
Eric’s songwriting efforts comprise some of Blue Öyster Cult’s best songs. His collaborations with Science Fiction Writer Michael Moorcock brought to light three excellent songs, "The Great Sun Jester," "Black Blade" and "Veteran of the Psychic Wars." and more recently, on the Club Ninja album, Eric recruited novelist Eric Van Lustbader for the song "Shadow Warrior."
Buck Dharma’s guitar playing is the signature sound of Blue Öyster Cult. One of the greatest guitarists of our time, Buck is the driving sonic force of Blue Öyster Cult, and continues to push his playing in new uncharted directions. A master from the beginning, he plays with an ease and grace that puts most players to shame. An extremely expressive player, Buck doesn’t let any note go to waste. Each has something to say, if you’re willing to listen.
Buck’s talents don’t stop at the humbucking pickups, either. Buck is a gifted songwriter and excellent singer. His smooth vocal style has graced the Dharma-penned hits "Don’t Fear the Reaper" and "Burnin’ For You". His voice contrasts and complements the sharper-edged style of lead vocalist Eric Bloom.
Buck’s songwriting juxtaposes alluring chord progressions, melodic textures and fascinating lyrical ideas with the best parts of pop music, to create songs that are definitively "Buck.
One early phone call on a Sunday morning in October of 2004 would forever change the life of this young man from Staten Island, NY. The voice on the line asked, "Do you want to play bass?" The voice on other end of the line was Eric Bloom, and thus Richie Castellano entered the fold. Since the retirement of Allen Lanier, multi-instrumentalist Richie has switched from bass over to the guitars/keyboards, both of which he’s quite the master!
On stage, Richie is always on the move. His high energy performances start from the first note of every show, and never let up until the house lights come on.
Richie Castellano has been associated with Blue Oyster Cult since 2000, as a substitute Front of House engineer. He has a Masters Degree in Music from the Purchase College Conservatory of Music. Richie’s discography includes a dozen production credits from various artists, as well as a few solo projects. Richie has been the recipient of the first place award for the 1998 Songwriter’s Hall of Fame songwriting competition and the 1996 Berklee College of Music soloist award.
Jules Radino has been the drummer for BOC since 2004.
Prior to BOC he toured nationally and internationally with blues guitarist Popa Chubby.
In between BOC, Jules can be seen playing a wide variety of gigs. He keeps an active schedule performing and recording with diverse NYC artists.
As a clinician, he has performed many clinics nationwide and has a teaching practice on Long Island.
His talents are recognized with endorsements from Dixon drums, Paiste cymbals, Regal Tip drumsticks, Attack drumheads, Hansenfutz practice pedals and The Brite Stuff cymbal polish.
Danny Miranda hails from Long Island, New York. His initial tenure with the band was in 1995-2004. Since then, he has often returned to "sub" for the band when the current bassist had other commitments. Danny left in September 2004 for an opportunity to play in the band for Las Vegas musical "We Will Rock You," featuring the music of Queen. There, his talents grabbed the attention of Queen guitarist Brian May, and led to his being hired for the 2005-2006 Paul Rogers and Queen tour. He worked with Queen for several years, and most recently has been touring with Meatloaf (reuniting with former BÖC drummer John Miceli). Early in 2017, he returned to BÖC, bringing back his signature in-your-face melodic approach that lifts the bass role from support to front and center.
Danny’s songwriting was featured on "Good to Feel Hungry," from BÖC’s album, "Curse of the Hidden Mirror", and builds a tantalizing web of music from its mesmerizing bass figure.