Dickie Peterson (Blue Cheer) 2007 May 1, 2011 12:43:01 GMT -6
Post by classic rock revival on May 1, 2011 12:43:01 GMT -6
CLASSIC ROCK REVIVAL INTERVIEW
This is an interview I did with Dickie Peterson in 2007.
Jim: You guys have been around for 40 years. At one time Blue Cheer was considered the loudest band in the world. Are you still the loudest band in the world?
Dickie: Well, I think these days there are a lot of very loud bands around. We lost the Guinness title to the Who, who later lost it to Sabbath or Purple. There is a lot more to playing loud than simply turning your amp up. It has a lot to do with tones and how the instruments interact with one another. No matter how loud you turn a bass up as long as its high end you will never get the full rich engulfing sound you get from high power low end. I do use more low end than most rockers use. So does Duck and you need animal on drums.
Jim: It's been said, Blue Cheer invented both acid rock and heavy metal. What's the difference in the two?
Dickie: Thats a tough one because anyone that has been into acid will tell you its all acid music it dosen't matter what your listening to. If you want to pigeon hole it then I would say we always wanted to rock your body as well as your head and if that covers both concepts than yes they are a part of our music as well as other styles and sounds scattered through out our music.
Jim: Your new album, "What Doesn't Kill You...", is getting rave reviews. I think it's the best Blue Cheer album I ever heard. How are the fans responding to the new songs in your live shows?
Dickie: There has been real good response from all over the world and I must say this is a real special thing for us because we have always had a good thing going with the BC freaks and 1%ers. It's great for any band to know they are not alone. Otherwise whats the point.
Jim: How many of the new songs are you featuring in your live shows?
Dickie: We have not fully decided on that yet. Reason being we must also play BC classics whenever we perform. But, not to worry we will play a lot of them.
Jim: You and Duck MacDonald cowrote 7 of the songs on this new album. How do you and Duck work together in writing songs? Can you describe the collaboration process?
Dickie: We usually meet a couple of weeks before studio time . I bring my ideas and Duck brings his. We check each others stuff out and play around with it. We get to a point where we can bring somewhat of an arrangment to rehearsal. We start pulling in the drums, morphing what Duck and I have come up with, what Paul comes up with. Its really very democratic what we do and every player has a vested interest in the song because he's playing pretty much what is natural and comfortable to him.
Jim: Hit singles are pretty much a thing of the past for rock bands today which is a shame, because "Rollin' Dem Bones," and "Gypsy Rider," would certainly qualify. Can you tell us a bit about those songs, how they came about?
Dickie: "Gypsy Rider", was a song that most of the music morphed out of Ducks ideas, most of the text and vocals came from me. "Rollin Dem Bones", was a real joint effort as are most things we do. I always call joints bones . The song is about all the places I've smoked pot although there wasn't really enough room on the cd to mention them all.
Jim: Another song I have to ask you about is one you wrote, "Young Lions In Paradise." When I first heard it I thought, this doesn't sound like a Blue Cheer song, but it's a killer ballad, a beautiful song. What inspired you to write this song?
Dickie: This song I never thought would make to the recording studio. It came about while I was lost in thought about friends of mine that are now dead and how it's a wonder I'm alive. I mean I was with them doing the same drugs taking the same death defying chances they took. I'm here and their gone and I miss them. They are not rock stars or people you would even know although we all know people like them.
Jim: You guys also do a killer version of Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign." Are you an Albert King fan?
Dickie: Ahh, very much so. I have been trying for the 22 years Duck has been in the band to get him to sing. I knew he was a singer once because he told me. At the beginning of every recording project I would ask him, are you going to sing on this one Duck? And he would say no. I got use to it so on this session when I asked he said yes, I almost fell over. It's a song I've always wanted to do but could never get my bass and vocals on the same page. So I was overjoyed at him doing this song and he dose it so good.
Jim: Dickie, lets go back a few years. How did Hell's Angels come to be Blue Cheer's management in the early days of the band? How did it work out? Did the Angels do a good job in managing the band?
Dickie: In the early days we were managed by Clean Gut. He had been an active angel but was let go for whatever reason I dont know. He was in good standing because the angels were always coming around and hung at our pad. We did have chicks, good smoke, and acid in common.
Jim: "Summertime Blues," is without a doubt Blue Cheer's signature song. What made you guys decide to remake the Eddie Cochran classic?
Dickie: Actually, that song was picked by our producer Abe Kesh for us as a set filler. We wanted "Doc Please", or "Second Time Around", which Abe knew the record company would never release because of the controversy it would cause. He made a great decision that I will always be greatful for..
Jim: I know Eddie's nephew, Bobby Cochran, he's a veteran in the music business. Bobby has had a very successful career as a band member of the Don Preston Band, Steppenwolf, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Bobby & The Midnites (w/Bob Weir). A few years ago Bobby co-authored a biography on Eddie titled, "Eddie Cochran - 3 Steps To Heaven." Do you know Bobby? Have you read the book?
Dickie: No to both questions, but I would love to meet him and read the book.
Jim: In the late 90's you released 2 solo albums, "Child Of The Darkness," and "Tramp." They seem to be hard to find today. Are they still in print?
Dickie: I don't think so, but I was talking to Duck about this stuff earlier today, we'll see what happens.
Jim: Are you performing any songs from your solo albums with Blue Cheer today in your live shows?
Dickie: No. I will do that whenever I get around to doing a solo band.
Jim: Looking back on your long career, if you could go back in time and change anything, would you?
Dickie: Hell man, I guess anyone in this biz gets that old, you - always - got - regrets. Wish I would have paid a little more attention to the business end of this biz. But, I think I have been a pretty lucky guy doing the thing I love all my life. No, I never got rich because someone else got the publishing for most of my old songs. But, I have survived this game so far and my love for rock and roll has never wavered for a second and I'm sure it never will. I've survived , I'll go on.
Jim: Dickie, thanks for all the great music you've shared with us over the last 40 years. Thanks also for taking the time to do this interview.
Dickie: Thank you Jim and I hope to see you soon.
© classic rock revival. all rights reserved.