A Bit Like You And Me Radio

November 01, 2012

Blue Cheer - Summertime Blues (1968)

The origin of this band is rather messy. Three friends from Davis, California, who desired to be a part of the 1960s music scene, moved to San Francisco where it was "all happening." Once there, they got together with other artists and intended to create a blues rock band. However, after seeing Jimi Hendrix perform at the Monterey Pop Festival in the summer of 1967, there was a desire to become a power trio. What eventually resulted was Dickie Peterson, Leigh Stephens, and Paul Whaley naming themselves after a street brand of LSD created by Owsley Stanley, called Blue Cheer. (You can hear a song about Stanley by the Grateful Dead here).

The group’s first album, Vincebus Eruptum, featured a hard psychedelic rock fused with blues, which would later be noted as one of the first-ever heavy metal albums. Although personnel in the band began to shift as early as 1969, the band didn’t officially break up until 1971, only to regroup in multiple incarnations since. Now, the band is historically remembered as being pioneers of the heavy metal genre as well as influencing the grunge genre of the early ‘90s.

Co-written and originally recorded by rock and roll pioneer Eddie Cochran in 1958, this song has been notably covered by The Who, Alan Jackson, The Beach Boys, and others. The version by this band, recorded in 1967 and released in January 1968, has been argued as the very first heavy metal song, beating Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” and Steppenwolf’s "Born to Be Wild" by six months. It’s also remembered as being the first heavy metal song to ever make the pop charts, reaching number fourteen in the US, three in Canada, and two in the Netherlands. It appeared on the band's first album, Vincebus Eruptum and omitted the "response" lyrics found in the original for solos.

album art

Blue Cheer - Summertime Blues (1968)

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Lyrics:

Well, Lord, I got to raise a fuss, Lord, I got to raise a holler
About a'workin' on Sunday just to try to earn a dollar
Well, Lord, I try to call my baby 'bout tryin' to get a date

Sometimes I wonder what I'm a'gonna do
Lord, there ain't no cure for the summertime blues

Well, my mom my poppa told me, "Son, you gotta make some money"
Well, "If you wanna use the car to go ridin' next Sunday"
Well, Lord I didn't go to work, I told the boss I was sick
He said

Sometimes I wonder what I'm a'gonna do
Lord, there ain't no cure for the summertime blues

I've got to take three weeks, I've got to have a fine vacation
I've got to take my problem to the United Nation
I done told my Congressmen and he said, quote
Dig this, boy

Sometimes I wonder what I'm a'gonna do
Lord, there ain't no cure for the summertime blues

I've got to take three weeks, I've got to have a fine vacation
I've got to take my problem to the United Nation
I done told my Congressmen and he said, quote
Dig this, boy

Sometimes I wonder what I'm a'gonna do
Lord, there ain't no cure for the summertime blues

Woah! Ain't no cure

3 comments:

  1. You know ... I'm so glad I listened to this version of the song, because I very nearly didn't. The reason I very nearly didn't was because it's a song that I've always hated - there wasn't anything that I liked about it. But to my amazement, I really dug this version, which I'd never heard before (as you've probably already worked out).

    Thanks Z!

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    Replies
    1. You're very welcome! I don't consider the song absolutely amazing, as it isn't my usual genre preference. But, I do think it's pretty good and historically important enough to be posted.

      I'm glad you took the chance to hear it and even more glad you enjoyed it!

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  2. Blue Cheer was so ahead of the times that they were in a category all of their own.They played Blues with the Rock'n'Roll drive of a invading army.The power was felt more than heard.They didn't assault your ears,they assaulted every sense you had!I remember standing in front of Blue Cheer at The Fillmore and this very young pretty girl,who I saw at all the shows,said to me,"this isn't music,this is Sex"!I have to admit,she was right!

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