Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Sign up for newsletter
Album Reviews
Rock Stars
10 Questions with...
Rising Stars
Backstage Heroes
Celebrity interviews
Submit your website

Interview: Dickie Peterson (Blue Cheer)

Rock Stars...

Bass/vocalist Dickie Peterson is a founding member of Blue Cheer, who made a big impact on the music scene with their debut album, `Vincebus Eruptum' (recently re-released with `Outside Inside' by Track Records). A real rock 'n' roll survivor! (Thanks to Dave Clarke for setting-up the interview)

Dickie Peterson of Blue Cheer Dickie Peterson of Blue Cheer

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

Well I am currently working on songs. We're going out on tour I believe in October to England, Scotland and Ireland. Right now Track Records are coming out with a double CD of the first tow albums we recorded, in '67 and '68. There is a CD Rom on it as well. The tour will feature all the classic Blue Cheer songs. There will also be a live in Tokyo coming out as well on Track, which was recorded in 2000 and it represents the band well.

Who is in the band now, beside yourself of course?

Paul Wayliss and Duck McDonald on guitar whose been our guitar player for seventeen years.

How did you come-up with the unique sound of Blue Cheer?

We were very young men and wanted to explore music, we added more and more amps. A lotta people loved us, a lotta people didn't. Our music, you either like us or you don't. We're a rock `n' roll band.

Why do you think the critics had a go at the band, whereas the fans were really into the band?

When I first got the bad reviews it did rattle me up. We were young and you're lacking in self-confidence. We were used to people saying `Hey, you're great' and then you see bad reviews plastered all over newspapers, it was really shattering at first. After awhile you started getting callous to it and knew that these critics slammed all the music that I liked. I knew that if that critic didn't like it I probably would.

I think critics nowadays play to their own market. Critics can wield a lot of power and if I took to much notice I would have quit music a long time ago.

Do you hear your sound in newer bands?

No bands copy us, Nebular sound a bit like Blue Cheer at times. A lot of bands sight us an influence, which is really flattering. It's something special to be considered that. One of my main influences is Otis Redding but there is now way we sound like Otis Redding, but he influenced me. Flea from Red Hot Chilli Peppers said I influenced him, but I can't hear it as this guy is a genius bass player. This is personally a feather in my cap.

I asked Muddy Waters for advice and he asked what I played and I said bass. He told me don't play more than you have too. Give it space in the music.

Which bands have you most enjoyed appearing with?

One of my fondest was with Traffic - Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker. They were really great guys do show with.

Which Blue Cheer tracks do you still enjoying playing live most?

`Summertime Blues'. After 30 years man, I've had love/hate relationship with this song but in the last 10/15 years I've really gotten to appreciate this song. Now you'd think after all these years I could do this song without blinking. This is the one song and I walk up to the mike and I can't remember a single word. Not one single word. It takes Duck walking over to me and say `Well' and then I am off.

We do some new stuff as well which I like.

How did you choose `Summertime Blues' as a cover? It's so far removed from the original.

We kept changing it around and adding/taking bits away. It also has to do with large doses of LSD. (Laughs)

Did the whole drugs culture of the late 60's/early 70's help the music along in anyway?

I think the drugs culture did some good but it became bad. I abused the Hell out of drugs, don't get me wrong I am against drugs and don't condone the use at all. I don't think it's a good idea but at that time it opened channels in my head that prior to that time were not open. It did change my life. I don't know anyone who killed themselves with LSD but I know plenty who did with heroin and alcohol.

When you took LSD the music took on a whole new perspective and the whole sound changed, that's part of the reason why it became so big as it did.

Highlight of your career to date?

I've been really lucky in that so many good things have happened. On a personal level I've been over to East Germany before the wall was down and as far as Poland. It was very decimated and people didn't know how to rock `n' roll at all. I came back right after the wall came down and there were people were dancing. I went back a third time and people were carrying on like they were doing it all their life. I feel really privileged to have seen this. I don't know if that is a highlight or not.

Two shows with Jimi Hendrix was a highlight, Janis Joplin was a highlight. I guess our first album.

Any lowpoints?

We haven't been paid! We don't get royalities. Ian (Grant at Track Records) is helping us out. I just want a straight answer to who did it and why.

Any unreleased tracks to see the light of day?

There are a couple of unreleased tracks but I have to fight to get them I am interested in this tour with Second Wave productions. Next in my heart is a new studio album. That takes a bit of money. To spend more than a month in the studio I'd consider a waste of time. I believe in good, honest, strong rock `n' roll.

How did you first get into music?

I think I've known since I was eight years old I wanted to be a musician. My mother played piano, my father played trombone and guitar, my brother the flute. There was always music in my house. First wanted to play drums. My mother got me a tinys et of tin drums. Didn't settle on bass until I was 13 years old.

Any new bands or music you've been listening to at all?

Not really, I don't pay much attention. I don't come home and put on music. If I do it's classical or blues.

What do you do in your spare time?

Motorcycles. There is a lot of girl watching to do here in Germany. The German men aren't doing enough and I feel obligated to do more. (Laughs)

Your first UK tour for years?

Yeah bar a Leeds date where no-one came bar a local bike chapter the Street Rats. A real dead gig. But this time I am really looking forward to it with a full stage and light show.

Message for your fans?

I hope everybody hangs in there, we're coming. Keep on rockin!

Interview © June 2003 Jason Ritchie

Related>> Vincebus Eruptum/Outside Inside CD review

Related>> Live In Japan CD review


Print this page in printer friendly format

Print this page in printer-friendly format

Tell a friend about this page

Tell a friend about this page

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Do you want to appear here?

get ready to rock is a division of hotdigitsnewmedia group