By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
In 1968, fathers hid their daughters—about a million little hippie chicks into free love, laughs Peterson. Now fathers bring their (grown) sons to Blue Cheer: the first generation B.C., who even have a website—stonerrock.com—that accords Blue Cheer the godhead cult status ex-Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis might get on stonerbaseball.com. This has both helped them and hurt them: they didn't become frat bait like AC/DC, but since 1988, they hadn't been able to tour their own country. ("Nobody wanted us," Peterson told Sutcliffe.)
If Blue Cheer was ripping off Hendrix, they missed the real lesson: die well. Instead, there was a prolonged lack of grace in the way this extraterrestrially heavy trio settled into a Byrds-style country-rock foursome (which at some points had no original members besides Peterson) after Vincebus and twin follow-up Outsideinside and then finally ashed out in the palm of Kim Fowley, who recorded a last set of unrecognizable demos in 1974. An unheralded '80s reunion took them everywhere but here, and then in rehearsal in Germany two years ago, Peterson says he turned to current guitarist/manager Duck MacDonald and said, "You know what? We want to go home."
And strangely, America was ready—ideally, it is because they are bored of Led Zeppelin. One fan said it's like they've awakened from an immortal sleep—he meant Blue Cheer, but it's just as correct for everyone else.
"Some of it still mystifies," says Peterson. "I have theories. Something like this, maybe things go full cycle. Or maybe young people are just tired of getting crap shoved down their throat. My personal opinion is that young people wanted to hear real honest rock & roll and not so much acrobats and samplers—and Blue Cheer, what you see is what you get. I had kids say to me the other night, 'You know what? Your music is old enough to be brand new.'"
BLUE CHEER PERFORM WITH GOBLIN COCK, THE RELATIVE STRANGERS AND P.S.I. AT THE GALAXY, 3503 S. HARBOR BLVD., SANTA ANA, (714) 957-0600; WWW.GALAXYTHEATER.COM. SUN., 7:30 P.M. $18. CALL FOR AGE RESTRICTION.