Dickie Peterson, the bassist and lead singer for Blue Cheer, the San Francisco power trio best known for its high-volume 1968 hit rendition of the rock ‘n’ roll classic “Summertime Blues,” has died. He was 63.
Peterson, who had prostate cancer that spread to other parts of his body, died Monday in Erkelenz, Germany, where he lived, the band’s manager said.
Taking its name from a potent strain of LSD — as well as giving a nod to their love of the blues — Blue Cheer began as a six-piece band in 1966 and downsized a year later to a trio consisting of Peterson on bass and vocals, Leigh Stephens on guitar and Paul Whaley on drums.
The group’s 1968 debut album, “Vincebus Eruptum,” which included their signature powerhouse version of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues,” peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard chart.
“The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock &Roll” says the album “remains something of a heavy-metal landmark.”
“Primarily, we were a loud, straight-into-you rock ‘n’ roll band, man,” Peterson told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2007. “Our whole goal was to make music a physical experience as well as an audio experience.”