Blue Cheer

Blue Cheer was an American hard-rock band that released six albums between 1968 and 1971 on Philips.

They first recorded as a power-trio with guitarist Leigh Stephens, who plays on the 1968 albums Vincebus Eruptum and Outsideinside. The former contains an amplified cover of “Summertime Blues,” often cited as the world’s first heavy metal recording. His replacement, Randy Holden (ex-Other Half), plays on the 1969 release New! Improved! Blue Cheer. Further lineup changes marked the ensuing albums Blue Cheer (their first as a quartet), The Original Human Being, and Oh! Pleasant Hope. Their only constant member was bassist–singer Dickie Peterson.

Stephens cut subsequent albums with Silver Metre and Pilot. Holden launched a solo career.

Members: Dickie Peterson (bass, vocals), Leigh Stephens (guitar, vocals, 1966-69), Eric Albronda (drums, 1966), Paul Whaley (drums, 1967-69, 1984-85), Jerre Peterson (guitar, vocals, 1966), Vale Hamanaka (keyboards, 1966-67), Jerre Whiting (vocals, harmonica, 1966-67), Randy Holden (guitar, vocals, 1968-69), Mitch Mitchell (drums, 1969), Tom Weisser (guitar, 1969), Bruce Stephens (guitar, vocals, 1969-70), Ralph Burns Kellogg [aka Ethan James] (keyboards, bass, 1969-72), Norman Mayell (drums, guitar, 1969-72), Gary Lee Yoder (guitar, vocals, 1970-72), Troy Spence, Jr. (guitar, 1972-74), James L. Curry (drums, 1972-74), Terry Rae (drums, 1974-75), Ruben De Fuentes (guitar, 1974-75), Nick St. Nicholas (bass, vocals, 1975), Mike Fleck (drums, 1978-79), Tony Rainier (guitar, 1978-79, 1984-87)

Blue Cheer formed in 1966 in San Francisco when Peterson, formerly of Andrew Staples & The Oxford Circle, teamed with drummer Eric Albronda and teenage guitarist Leigh Stephens. Albronda, who entered production, soon cleared for Peterson’s Oxford Circle bandmate Paul Whaley.

They initially gigged the Bay Area as a six-piece with (future Far Cry) harpist Jere Whiting, Japanese–American keyboardist (and future punk zine publisher) Vale Hamanaka, and Dickie’s guitarist brother Jerre Peterson, but these members left the band by 1968 when their manager, erstwhile Hells Angel Allen “Gut” Terk, secured Blue Cheer a deal with Philips.


  • Vincebus Eruptum (1968)
  • Outsideinside (1968)
  • New! Improved! Blue Cheer (1969)
  • Blue Cheer (1969)
  • The Original Human Being (1970)
  • Oh! Pleasant Hope (1971)
  • The Beast Is … Back (1984)


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