Stuermer was born on November 27, 1952 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is a 1970 graduate of St. Francis High School. Discovered playing with his Milwaukee band Sweetbottom, Stuermer auditioned for and won a spot backing up jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty in 1975, with whom he recorded four albums. In late 1977, Stuermer, on insistence of friend Alphonso Johnson, was recommended as a replacement for Steve Hackett to support Genesis for live performances. He retained the role of lead guitarist and bass player with the band until 1992: he also rejoined them for the 2007 Turn It On Again Tour. In 1979 he toured the USA and Canada with Gino Vannelli in support of the "Brother to Brother" album.
In 1982, Stuermer followed Genesis front man Phil Collins as lead guitarist for Collins' solo career, being mentioned by name in the music video for "Don't Lose My Number". In doing so, he transitioned from what Collins called a "permanent-temporary-part-time member" of Genesis to a "permanent-touring-recording member" of Collins' new group. The collaboration has been a successful one for both musicians, and Stuermer has earned co-writer credits on several of Collins' songs.
On stage with Genesis, 1980
Stuermer has recorded eight solo albums, Steppin' Out, Live and Learn, Another Side of Genesis, Waiting in the Wings, Retrofit, The Nylon String Sampler, Rewired: the Electric Collection and Go!. Released in 2002 was a Sweetbottom live reunion album, recorded at Shank Hall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
He is a graduate of St. Francis High School in St. Francis, Wisconsin, and returned to his hometown in the summer of 2002 to play a free concert.
His album Go! was released in early 2007. It contains many older tracks from Stuermer's Sweetbottom days, and includes appearances from Alphonso Johnson, Kostia, John Calarco, and Eric Hervey. His current project is called Daryl Stuermer - Symphony Concert, which involves band members Kostia, Alan Arber and Eric Hervey and singer Forrest "Woody" Mankowski, recreating classic Genesis material mixed with instrumentals from his solo career.