Blue Cheer Drummer. Pioneered heavy metal.

It’s Only (Heavy Metal)  Rock and Roll. Legacy of the San Francisco Music Scene

San Francisco Chronicle 1.31.2019

Paul Whaley, whose thrashing drum sounds lifted the San Francisco blues rock trio Blue Cheer out of the psychedelic rock haze and into the realm of proto-heavy-metal, died Monday, Jan. 28, at his home in Regensburg, Germany. He was 72.

The cause was heart failure, said Eric Albronda, the band’s co-founder and former manager.

Whaley was part of the core power trio of Blue Cheer, the loudest band to come out of the Summer of Love era. He completed a lineup that featured singer and bass player Dickie Peterson and guitarist Leigh Stephens in 1967, coming into the fold a year after the group formed in the city’s Haight-Ashbury district.


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