Front man and bassist Dickie Peterson of pioneering metallers Blue Cheer was found dead Monday morning in Germany. He was 61 years old and had reportedly been battling cancer for the past year.
Blue Cheer's lasting influence on modern heavy rock is insurmountable. With their devastating low ends and Peterson's grungy howl which even predated that of even Robert Plant, BC was a critical chain in the evolution of what would become heavy metal and stoner rock as we know it today. The band last performed in Texas during SXSW 2008 where they played with bands like High On Fire, the Supersuckers and the Meatmen. Those groups and countless others can look to BC as the catalyst for all things heavy past, present, and future.
Peterson and Blue Cheer will forever be known for their 1968 debut LP Vincebus Eruptum
, which includes a massive and jarring cover of Eddie Cochran's rockabilly single "Summertime Blues." It was also covered by The Who later on, but BC's version is the definitive one. The blues-metal of "Parchman Farm" also cannot be discounted, and the band tore our collective ears a new one in 2006 when they played it live while at a tour stop at Walter's On Washington. That night also saw Houston's own late lamented God's Temple Of Family Deliverance and Austin's Black Angels opening for the legendary band.
Throughout his five decades with the band, Peterson remained humble when it came to his band's legacy. He was once quoted as saying, "People keep trying to say that we're heavy metal or grunge or punk, or we're this or that. The reality is, we're just a power trio, and we play ultra blues, and it's rock and roll. It's really simple what we do."