Blue Cheer

Blue CheerFrom: San Francisco, CA, USA

Blue Cheer were an acid rock band that are best known for there work in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The band was in and out of action until 2009. Forming in 1967, Blue Cheer began when Eric Albronda and Jerry Russell wanted to get involved in the San Francisco music scene. The two moved to San Francisco from the city of Davis, along with Dickie Peterson. The original members were Peterson (vocals, bass), Leigh Stephens (guitar), and Albronda (drums). Albronda would be replaced by Paul Whaley, and they added Peterson’s brother Jerre (guitar), Vale Hamanaka (keyboards), and Jerry Whiting (vocals, harmonica). Albronda would stay on in a management role with the band, as well as produce/co-produce five of their albums.

It was decided that the band’s lineup needed to be trimmed down, adopting the power trio configuration. It was the Monterey Pop Festival performance by the Jimi Hendrix Experience that inspired Blue Cheer to adopt this format. Hamanaka and Whiting were asked to leave the band, and Jerre Peterson didn’t want to stay around without the other two. Dickie, Leigh, and Paul became the trio that was envisioned. Their first hit came with their version of the Eddie Cochran song, “Summertime Blues”. The song also appeared on their debut album, Vincebus Eruptum, released in 1968. “Summertime Blues” made it to #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, the only song of theirs to get that high. The album peaked at #11 on the Billboard 200 chart.

After the release of Blue Cheer’s second album Outsideinside, Stephens left the band. Former member of the Other Half, Randy Holden, would come in as replacement. The 1969 album New! Improved! Blue Cheer featured different guitarists on side 1 and side 2. Holden played on the songs that were on the first side of the album, but suddenly left the band resulting in Bruce Stephens being brought in to finish the guitar parts.

Blue Cheer are considered as one of the innovators of heavy metal, experimental rock, and grunge. Jim Morrison of the Doors called the group the most powerful band that he ever saw. The name Blue Cheer is said to be after a street brand of LSD promoted by renowned chemist and former Grateful Dead member, Owsley Stanley. ~ Wikipedia

Several changes to the lineup would continue through the band’s entire career. Over the years there have been several reincarnations of Blue Cheer, working off and on up until 2009.

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

Original LPs/EPs…

Vincebus Eruptum – 1968
Vincebus Eruptem

  • Summertime Blues
  • Out Of Focus

Outsideinside – 1968

  • Feathers From Your Tree

New! Improved! Blue Cheer – 1969
New! Improved! Blue Cheer

  • Peace Of Mind

The Original Human Being – 1970
Original Human Being, The

  • Good Times Are So Hard To Find
  • Babaji (Twilight Raga)

Oh! Pleasant Hope – 1971
Oh! Plesant Hope

  • I’m The Light