Blue Cheer was a late 60's band that had its biggest affect on the charts with a revival of a rock-and-roll hit from the 50's.
The group was formed in 1967 and played in San Francisco. The original lineup featured group leader Richard "Dickie" Peterson on bass and vocals, Leigh Stephens on guitar and vocals, and Paul Whaley on drums. The band put three LP's in the top 100: Vincebus Eruptum, Outside Inside, and New! Improved!
The group's only top forty single was their version of Summertime Blues. Written by Jerry Capehart and Eddie Cochran, it had been a huge hit for Cochran in 1958. Blue Cheer was an unusually loud band, pumping up the volume whenever and wherever they played. Their rough, boisterous recording of Summertime Blues was played often on AM radio stations in the Spring of 1968.
Like most bands, the personnel changed over time. Stephens left after the second album and had some success on his own. He was replaced by Randy Holden. Keyboard player Burns Kellog joined for some later albums in 1969 and 1970. For a while Blue Cheer's manager was a former member of Hell's Angels known as "Gut."
Blue Cheer acquired a tag as a "heavy metal" band, but maintains that such a description is inaccurate. The group left a lasting impact with Summertime Blues.
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