Friday, May 7, 2021
GREATEST SCREAMER OF ALL TIME
Dickie Peterson, bassist and lead singer for the proto heavy metal band BLUE CHEER, ascended to the giant E CHORD in the sky in October of 2009, which is another w ay of saying that he's dead, still dead to this day. But lately I've thought of him as I've done my research into outre electric guitar solos. His bandsaw -on-steel vocals, joined with guitarist Leigh Stephens' PULVERIZING ATONAL GUITAR SOLOS and drummer Paul Whaley's trash can demolition, Peterson and crew lay the ground work for a generation of metal and punk bands to come: MC5, STOOGES, MOUNTAIN, LED ZEP, RAMONES, MOTORHEAD, DEAD BOYS. Even the Velvet Underground, with their feedback skronk , couldn't match Blue Cheer's steel-belted forays into electricfied abandon; the Velvets merely taunted the strings of their guitar, Blue Cheer sounded like they punched holes in oil tankers. And Peterson's vocalizations where the perfect match, screech, rasp and banshee wail all rolled into one bag of verbal outrage, maintaining a punk's slouch . He was the white blues belter who deserved the praise. Sorry Janis.It's appropriate to remember that their early manager, a fellow named Abe "Voco" Kesh , bragged that Blue Cheer played so loud that they killed a dog at an outdoor concert. It is true that they played so loud that they recorded parts of their second album on piers in San Francisco, amps and speakers faced toward the bay, because they kept blowing out the studio soundboard.