Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser was born in Long Island, New York on November 12, 1947. He has been a member of the Blue Oyster Cult since the group formed in the late 60’s.
A twist of fate, or more accurately, a twist of the wrist, turned Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser into a guitar player. Surrounded by music growing up, Roeser spent his formative years listening to his father, an accomplished jazz saxophonist, and naturally gravitated toward the melodic arts as the years progressed. As a child, Roeser briefly toyed with the accordion, but when the British Invasion made a loud landing on US shores, he finally discovered his true calling: Rock & Roll. Buck’s first love wasn’t the guitar however. He began his journey to rock legend as a drummer.
But as it happened, fate intervened early, when the young Roeser fractured his left wrist on the basketball court. Unable to quell his musical energies, he began fiddling around with the guitar during his recovery. Slowly, the realization dawned that he enjoyed plucking a guitar just as much as banging skins, and the rest is rock history.
Following a course familiar to most young musicians, Roeser played in a series of cover bands during his high school years. Imitating licks from his favorite records at first, it didn’t take long for him to meld the influences of his guitar heroes into a sound and style all his own.
It wasn’t until after he arrived at Clarkson College in New York that the foundations of his storied rock career began to fall into place. He joined a band that included original BÖC drummer Albert Bouchard. The two hit it off, and continued playing together on and off while attending school. Eventually, both were lured away from academic pursuits – Roeser from a potential degree in chemical engineering – by the enticing possibility of making music full time. Forsaking academia for the wilds of Long Island, they landed in a rented “band house” near Stony Brook University with several other musicians, and the Soft White Underbelly was born.