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Blue Cheer

From Academic Kids

sv:Blue Cheer Blue Cheer was a San Francisco based rock music group of the late 1960s. Original personnel were singer/bass guitarist Dick Peterson, guitarist Leigh Stevens and drummer Paul Whaley; this incarnation has been cited as a prototypical power trio. The band was named after a variety of LSD promoted by underground chemist and Grateful Dead backer Owsley Stanley; this variety of LSD took its name from a popular laundry detergent.

Their first hit was a cover version of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" from their debut album Vincebus Eruptum (1968). (The single peaked at #14 on the Billboard pop charts, and the album peaked at #11.)

The group's sound was hard to categorize, but was definitely blues-based, psychedelic, and very loud. The band has been subsequently acclaimed as an influence on garage rock, punk music, heavy metal, and grunge. Julian Cope has written, "In 1968, nothing but nothing in America and Britain sounded as brutal as Blue Cheer except for the Velvet Underground." [1] (http://www.juliancope.com/unsung/features/index.php?id=4)

The group underwent several personnel changes after the 1968 release of Outsideinside, and then through yet more changes during and after 1969's New! Improved! Blue Cheer (different guitarists on side 1 and 2), followed by Blue Cheer. 1970 saw the release of Human Being and then 1971's Oh! Pleasant Hope. After Leigh Stevens was replaced by Randy Holden, formerly of Los Angeles garage rock band The Other Half, in 1969, Blue Cheer's style changed to a more commercial hard rock sound a la Steppenwolf or Iron Butterfly.

Blue Cheer are active as of 2005. Their last release was Live in Japan, 1999, and their last tour was a club tour of England in 2004. In the early 1990s, original members Dickie Peterson and Paul Whaley re-located to Germany, where they still live. Guitar work has been handled by Andrew "Duck" MacDonald since that time.

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