Tom and John originally took photos of Blue Cheer on 3-30-68 when the members were Dickie Peterson, Leigh Stephens, and Paul Whaley. They performed that night with the Animals. Tom remembers people saying that Leigh Stephens was the loudest guitar player in the world. Tom and John got to be backstage with them and Tom even saw them later at the airport. A Closer Look magazine reported that a crowd of 5000 teens attended the show. That show was the biggest dance that had ever been staged at the Exhibition building. It was called Happening #1. It was the first of a series of coming events that came to Phoenix under the sponsorship of James Pagni. Pictures from this show ended up in the very first “A Closer Look magazine”.
When the band came back on 10-5-68 Leigh Stephens had left due to musical differences and Randy Holden had been brought in. Tom and John were backstage for this concert and also got the opportunity to interview the band at their hotel room the next day. The band discussed the new direction the band had taken thanks to Randy’s influence on the other two. I’m including the interview at the bottom of the page if you are interested in reading it.
Tom remembers Blue Cheer as one of the friendliest bands he had the pleasure to interact with.
We have even more pictures than what we are currently putting up. We may add more later. Pictures on this website are internet quality. For full quality please come see one of our shows. If you would like to see a picture bigger simply click on it. All pictures are taken by either Tom or John Franklin.
“A Closer Look At: Blue Cheer
by Alice Diaz
Many people attended the Iron Butterfly/Blue Cheer concert expecting to see the same Blue Cheer who had come to Phoenix last March. But instead it was in bass guitarist Dickie Peterson’s words, “a whole new band”.
In an exclusive interview with A Closer Look, the Blue Cheer explained the impact Randy Holden has had on the group since replacing former lead guitar player Leigh Stephens. Drummer Paul Whaley noted that the group is a lot different as a result of Randy’s influence upon the other two members of the band.
Dickie and Paul both told of how the entire group’s performance is a direct result of the thinking and actions of individual members. Randy’s presence in the Blue Cheer has resulted in a completely new sound that can only be described as “creative energy”.
Randy had only been with the Blue Cheer 10 days before their appearance at the Coliseum. Previously, he had played with a number of bands, including the Sons of Adams and the Other Half. Another result of Randy’s influence are songs that he and Dickie have composed together. Among these are “Out of Focus” and “Feathers” which is scheduled to be released as a single soon.
Discussing the Beatles’ taped appearance on the Smother’s Brothers Comedy Hour, they had nothing but praise and good words for the Beatles who in their opinion are “really beautiful”.
Their belief towards the mass media of the tube is that “tv is garbage”. They said that tv seems to reflect all the bad and hatred in the world. For this reason Dickie never watches the news, but instead turns off the set and finds something else to do. The group seems to feel that with so much dissatisfaction in the world, “something heavy’s going to happen”.
However, they all think the Smothers Brothers show is “really heavy” and one of the few shows worth watching.
The Blue Cheer started out with six people in a group called the Blue Cheer and Family. Dickie explained that it was a sort of “family-type thing” and everyone lived in the same huge house along with added friends. Paul, Dickie, and Leigh left to form the Blue Cheer, and the result was the current group made up of Paul, Dickie, and Randy.
The Blue Cheer has recently completed a successful european tour and currently are touring the U.S., working back to their home in San Francisco. They hope to return to Phoenix on this tour. Future plans include the recording of a third record album and possibly record a song which Randy wrote entitled “Easy”, They hope to release this single shortly after “Feathers”.
The Blue Cheer is very confident about the success of the new group. As Dickie put it, “We’re going to be a stone.””
To learn more about Blue Cheer check out their Wikipedia page. Click here.