Dicki Peterson was best when he was onstage with a bass in his hands, a natural, a rock star.
Dickie almost had his wish to die with his bass on and playing. In the mid 1970’s, Dickie needed a much deserved vacation from music and life and so he took a couple of years and reinvented himself. I had met Dickie in the third grade at Gratten Elementary School in San Francisco
and was reacquainted with him again in 1965 in Davis, California. That was after he had returned from the Midwest, where he had been sent after both of his parents passed away. His father was the barber on Haight Street in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s.
Blue Cheer was Dickies’ life, not that he did not have any other interests, he was quite the history buff and especially liked Egyptian history. Sometimes he even took off by himself during tours and go to the museums, especially later in his life. None of the other musicians ever seemed to want to go with him though.
In 1978 Dickie started practicing with Tony Rainier (guitarist) from Davis and younger brother of Larry Rainier. Larry was high school friends with Jim Keylor, Gary Yoder, and Paul Whaley. He was fighting in Vietnam when Blue Cheer had their hit with Summertime Blues in 1968. Larry was a huge fan of Blue Cheer and later worked as a sound man and bodyguard in various reincarnations of Blue Cheer. Meanwhile Tony was younger and practicing away and learning his chops back in Davis. Tony learned well and developed a unique style of playing that was very suited to complementing Dickie's style of playing. Tony, being young and energetic, could play the guitar in the very Heavy manner that Blue Cheer required. Michael Fleck came to us by way of auditions held at the legendary Fab Mab where Jack May and Jim Keylor were working as sound staff. He was again much younger than Dickie and full of energy. He also had a very simple style of playing that was just what Dickie needed for this version of Blue Cheer.
Mercury - Phillips Records, which had paid the way for Blue Cheer through the first 6 Albums (and made a few million off them) decided after the 6th album that they were through with Blue Cheer, and so did not opt to finance the 7th album. At that time, if you sold 50 - 80,000 records, they thought it made sound business sense to do another one, as was the case with Blue Cheer. However, the real reason was that the company was just tired of all the rock and roll crazies that went along with Blue Cheer since the beginning.
But nothing stopped Dickie – nothing - and I was always there as his mouthpiece and brains, if you will, to prop him up and talk to the "suits" and produce his music (which was not easy because he was all over the place as far as ability at any given moment) -- quite the challenge!
Jim Keylor had recently built Army Street Studios and the time to record Dickie, Tony, and Michael was upon us. The concept was just to continue on with Blue Cheer in the raw form and perhaps move back to the original Heavy energy that made them famous in the first place. We wanted to perhaps go the less produced and more studio spontaneous route. Most of the side people on the album had known and worked with Blue Cheer at one time or another and knew Dickie before Blue Cheer even came about. This album is very much the creation of long time friends and the extended family that just kept on going from the early days of the Oxford Circle, Group B, Andrew Staples, all bands that Dickie, Paul Whaley, and Jim Keylor played in from Davis, before Blue Cheer.
The album Blue Cheer 7 represents a rare look at the world’s first truly Heavy Metal Blues Band in an incarnation that was closest to the original great success of Vincebus Eruptum, their million selling first album.
Eric Albronda, Producer and Co Founder, Blue Cheer