Blue Cheer. The early San Francisco bands progressed at a tangent to the influence of British power rock bands like Cream and the Jeff Beck Group, but many of their second and third generation outfits were completely overawed by the Britons.
Accordingly, when Blue Cheer — Paul Whaley, drums (from Sacramento's Oxford Circle), Dick Peterson, bass, lead vocals; and Randy Holden, lead guitar — erupted on the scene with shatteringly loud performances and an excessively overburdened version of 'Summertime Blues' (Philips), a hit in summer 1968, there seemed little to dis-tinguish them from British trios apart from extra volume.
By their second album, Outside inside, Holden had been replaced by Leigh Stevens. It is their most interesting album, noteworthy for Paul Whaley's excellent heavy rock drum technique. Like the Grateful Dead, they abounded in mystique and local legend but failed to project their aura of excitement on to any of their four albums.
Too inward-looking, they nevertheless possessed a musical identity which in a later group, Grand Funk Railroad, proved to be a vehicle for enormous success.