Blue Cheer

Blue Cheer is an American blues rock group of the late 1960s and early 1970s, who helped to pioneer heavy metal music. Based in San Francisco, original personnel were singer/bassist Dickie Peterson, guitarist Leigh Stephens, and drummer Paul Whaley. A 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. ...show more

Blue Cheer is an American blues rock group of the late 1960s and early 1970s, who helped to pioneer heavy metal music. Based in San Francisco, original personnel were singer/bassist Dickie Peterson, guitarist Leigh Stephens, and drummer Paul Whaley. A 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 Hot 100 chart, their only such hit, and the album peaked at #11 on the Billboard 200 chart. 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 rock, 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." 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). After Leigh Stephens was replaced by Randy Holden, formerly of Los Angeles garage rock band The Other Half, in 1968, Blue Cheer's style changed to a more commercial hard rock sound à la Steppenwolf or Iron Butterfly. For the fourth album Blue Cheer, Holden, who had left during the third album, was subsequently replaced by Bruce Stephens. Stephens later quit and was replaced by Gary Lee Yoder, who helped complete the album. ...show less