Cult metal band Blue Cheer returns, brings The Beast is Back to the Town Pump


By Steve Newton

Way back in May of 1968, three heavy power trios occupied the number nine, 10, and 11 spots on the Billboard album chart.

The frontrunner of those was Cream’s Disraeli Gears, followed by the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Are You Experienced?

And hot on Hendrix’ heels was Vincebus Eruptum, the debut released by a San Francisco band, Blue Cheer.

Now anyone with even a limited knowledge of rock history must be aware of the influence that Cream and the J.H.E. had on today’s music. But has anybody out there even heard of Blue Cheer?

If you have, then count yourself as one of the few, because even though Blue Cheer had a big hit in ’68 with Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues”, they weren’t long on the charts. After a few years of relentless touring and squabbling they vanished as quickly as they appeared.

But in 1985 Blue Cheer resurfaced with the LP The Beast is Back. A renewed interest in America’s first cult metal band has culminated in reruns of Blue Cheer’s early videos on MTV, and the use of “Summertime Blues” in the low-budget horror flick Trolls.

With original bassist/vocalist Dickie Peterson up front, the 1987 version of Blue Cheer appears at the Town Pump this Saturday (January 10). Local hard rock fans who’ve experienced blasts from the past at recent club dates by the likes of Pat Travers and Uriah Heep will be going back even further for this one.

At this rate, it won’t be long before Iron Butterfly turns up at your neighbourhood pub.


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