Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blue Cheer Leader Dead At 61

Dickie Peterson has died at the age of 61 from liver cancer. Peterson was the founder of Blue Cheer, the late 60's pioneering band of loud and heavy music that sharply contrasted with the flower power sound of softer groups of the era. Blue Cheer's biggest hit was their earsplitting loud version of "Summertime Blues". The song actually reached #11 on the charts. The band actually once made the Guinness World Book Of Records for being the "world's loudest band" as well. The group was often referred to as a proto-metal band because they were the godfathers of loud music.

Because the name Blue Cheer also meant a strong strain of acid, Blue Cheer were also considered to be one of the first "stoner rock acts" as well. Their music was much closer to modern age alternate rock bands such as Alice In Chains and other acts than to most other acts of their era. Jim Morrison of The Doors was deeply impressed with the band.

The band actually broke up in 1972. However, Peterson relocated to Germany and brought back the band for another run in the 1980's and recorded a new album, THE BEAST IS BACK in 1984. In 1990 the band released HIGHLIGHTS AND LOWLIVES. In 1991, DINING WITH THE SHARKS was released. In N 2007, the band released their final studio album, WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU... . In 2009, a live album was released entitled, ROCKS EUROPE. The band continued to have a following in Europe, but seemed to be largely forgotten stateside. In 2009, the health of Peterson worsened, and he died in Germany on Oct 12.

The band managed to influence music far beyond what their own ambitions were. So much of the loud music of the 1980's and the alternative music scene seemed to be so deeply influenced by Blue Cheer in some way. Gone but certainly not forgotten.


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