Blue Oyster Cult's Buck Dharma chats ahead of Norwich show
PUBLISHED: 15:47 18 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:48 18 February 2019
Blue Oyster Cult start their UK tour in Norwich on Thursday [February 21], more than half a century after the band first got together.
The show comes amid an uptick in activity by the classic New York outfit, who are best known for (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, the mid-1970s song that remains a staple of rock radio and “best of” compilation albums.
The tour will see a fusion of the generations, with The Temperance Movement joining them on the bill, and founding BOC member Buck Dharma is excited about it.
“I’m looking forward to playing what used to be called Hammersmith Odeon in London again. We had great shows there in the heyday of Blue Oyster Cult and I look forward to returning,” he says.
“Otherwise, I like to get out into the countryside and visit the other cities and towns in the country.
“I have enjoyed the UK since first coming in 1975. I like the difference in culture and customs compared with the US, and revisiting friends and fans I’ve gotten to know over the years.”
Those fans will see the band focusing more on the music than during previous eras.
“We are currently touring with fewer special effects and props, focusing primarily on the music and the musical performance,” the 71-year-old Dharma says.
“It’s essentially what it’s all about, and I enjoy concentrating on that aspect of our musical catalogue.”
A large chunk of the audience won’t have been born when (Don’t Fear) The Reaper – which was named song of the year by Rolling Stone magazine in 1976 – first hit the airwaves, but it is likely to be the highlight of the night for many.
Lead guitarist Dharma, who sung on the song as well as writing it, could never have predicted its popularity or longevity.
“It’s great that Reaper has held up so well over time,” he says. “Its endurance continues to surprise and gratify me and, yes, I had no idea when we recorded it that it would have had the impact it has.”
Fans of the band’s wider catalogue will be pleased that it looks like another BOC album is on the way – nearly two decades since the last one came out. It’s due for release later this year – the latest chapter in a long-running story.
“I never anticipated I’d be still doing what I did in my 20s [some] 50 years later,” says Dharma.
“I enjoy playing and singing as much today as I ever did. I don’t have to work, but I do it because it’s rewarding personally. I could live if I couldn’t do it anymore, but I truly enjoy it, and will do it for another couple years at least.
“I have no regrets. It might be nice to have known more about the business side of the music industry, but I’m not complaining about the way it’s gone. I’m lucky to have worked at a job I like all my life.”
• Tickets to the show on February 21 at The LCR in Norwich are available for £29.50 advance from the UEA Ticket Booking’s website