San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that 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, January 28th, 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 with Albronda as its original drummer.
With Whaley on board, Blue Cheer — named after the band members’ favorite strain of LSD - quickly set itself apart from the peace and love affectations of groups like the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane with its sheer volume.
Read more at San Francisco Chronicle.