A Terrible Blogger is Born!

June 21, 2009

A Song for Sunday #18

Filed under: A Song for Sunday,Music — rmangum @ 5:02 pm
Tags: ,

BlueCheerVincebusEruptumWell, it’s Summer Solstice (and Father’s Day- call your Dad), and so I am pleased to present Blue Cheer’s cover of the Eddie Cochran classic, Summertime Blues. Blue Cheer were a San Francisco rock band, early acolytes of Hendrix’s Electric Church who named themselves after a type of acid. However, unlike Hendrix and cohorts Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, they were no virtuosos. Just a bunch of flipped-out freaks whose amps went to 11 and had a hankering to make the guitar go EEE-WOO-EEEE-WOOO-OWWW!!! Or, as the ever-astute listener Lester Bangs put it, “sub-sub-sub-sub-Hendrix guitar overdubs stumbled around each other so ineptly they verged on a truly bracing atonality.” These qualities often get Blue Cheer tagged as the first metal or punk band among those who care about such designations, and perhaps their eschewing of traditional musical chops in favor of sheer sonic force makes them one of the handful of hard rock bands its okay for a hipster to like (they merit inclusion in The Rock Snob’s Dictionary and are heard blaring from a cab stereo in Jim Jarmusch’s movie Night on Earth).  All I know is, only in the year 1968 could such a piece of volcanic slop as “Summertime Blues” (from their wonderfully-titled debut album Vincebus Eruptum) beome a #11 Billboard hit.


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