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Blue Cheer's Dickie Peterson gets an earful from doctor

October 16, 2009 | 10:55 am


Dickie Dickie Peterson, the bassist and lead singer for Blue Cheer, the San Francisco power trio that came to fame in 1968 with its hit version of "Summertime Blues," survived the psychedelic era's drug culture, including overcoming an addiction to heroin.

He also managed to survive years of playing in his notoriously loud band with his hearing largely intact.

"Actually, my ears are pretty good," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2007, recalling once going to a doctor for a physical.

 "He looked at my ears and said, 'My God, what have you done?' I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'You have calluses on your ear drums.' I said, 'I've been standing in front of stacks of bass amplifiers for 35 years.' He said, 'Guitar players rip their ears, and bass players, if they're lucky, develop calluses.' I guess my eardrums resemble my fingertips."

Dickie Peterson died Oct. 12 at 63. A full obituary will appear at later today.

-- Dennis McLellan

Photo: Dickie Peterson of Blue Cheer.