Although they've become one of the most popular and durable hard rock bands around, in their early days, most people didn't give Blue Oyster Cult much of a chance. "We were struggling for a long time," says guitarist and lead vocalist Eric Bloom. "We lived in a band house out in Great Neck, Long Island, and when I say 'lived,' it was more like 'just barely.' Nobody knew where we were going or we could afford to eat. Club dates sort of kept us alive."
The five-piece band (then comprised of guitarist and singer Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, guitarist-keyboardist Allen Lanier, bassist Joe Bouchard and brother Albert Bouchard on drums, along with Bloom) were first known on the Long Island circuit as Soft White Underbelly. For a brief time, they went by the name Stalk-Forrest Group (given to them by manager and producer Sandy Pearlman) before ultimately deciding on the Blue Oyster Cult moniker.