Blue Cheer bassist had
carried the torch for uncompromising skronk, biker metal and “ultra blues”
since the ‘60s…
By Blurt Staff
We got back from a road trip to learn the sad news that
Dickie Peterson of Blue Cheer had passed away on Monday. The band had recently
issued a live concert DVD, Blue Cheer
Rocks Europe and was additionally planning a tour to support it when the
bassist was diagnosed with cancer.
BLURT’s Rev. Keith paid tribute to Peterson at his About.com
Blues blog (follow the link, as he has also posted video
clips of the band), and we are reprinting it below. Peterson will be missed….
By Rev. Keith A. Gordon
Blue Cheer bassist and vocalist Dickie Peterson passed away on Monday, October
12, 2009 in Germany.
Although no cause of death has been released, Peterson had been fighting a long
battle with prostrate and liver cancer. He was thought to be 61 years old at
the time of his death, although the artist’s MySpace page lists his age as 63.
formed Blue Cheer in San Francisco
in 1966 with guitarist Leigh Stephens and drummer Paul Whaley. Taking amplified
blues-rock to its logical extremes, the band was one of rock’s original
“power trios,” and they played louder and heavier than any of their
contemporaries. Blue Cheer scored a hit with a cover of Eddie Cochran’s
“Summertime Blues” from its 1968 debut album, Vincebus Eruptum.
Subsequent Blue Cheer albums, which combined psychedelic rock with a healthy
dose of electric blues, would help write the blueprint for heavy metal during
the 1970s and grunge during the ’90s.
Cheer broke up during the early-1970s, although Peterson would put together new
versions of the band in 1979 and again in 1985. In 2007, Peterson reunited with
drummer Whaley in a revived Blue Cheer, recording the band’s final album, What
Doesn’t Kill You with guitarist Duck McDonald. During the years in between,
Peterson recorded two solo albums, including the 1999 blues-rock barn-burner Tramp,
which was only released in Japan.
In a 2005 interview with
StonerRock.com, Peterson is quoted saying, “people keep trying to say that
we’re heavy metal or grunge or punk, or we’re this or that. The reality is
we’re just a power trio and we play ultra-blues, and it’s rock ‘n’ roll. It’s
really simple what we do.”