Home News Classic Rock News Blue Cheer drummer Paul Whaley dead at 72

Blue Cheer drummer Paul Whaley dead at 72

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Paul Whaley in 2007 (Sandy Caspers/ Redferns)Paul Whaley, the drummer in the classic lineup of the San Francisco hard-rock band Blue Cheer, died on January 28 at his home in Regensburg, Germany, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. He was 72.

Whaley’s cause of death was heart failure, Blue Cheer’s founding drummer and former manager Eric Albronda confirmed to the newspaper.

With its heavy blues-rock sound, Blue Cheer is considered to be one of the pioneers of heavy metal and stoner rock. The band is best known for its hit 1968 cover of Eddie Cochran‘s “Summertime Blues,” which reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Whaley took over drums for Albronda shortly after Blues Cheer’s formation in 1967 and was part of the band’s classic power trio lineup, which also featured singer/bassist Dickie Peterson and guitarist Leigh Stevens. He played on the group’s first three studio albums, including its memorable debut, Vincebus Eruptum, which featured “Summertime Blues” and reached #11 on the Billboard 200.

Paul rejoined Blue Cheer for reunions in 1984 and 1985, and again in 1990, and played with the band on and off from 1990 until 2009, when the group disbanded following Peterson’s death.

Blue Cheer’s final album, titled What Doesn’t Kill You…, was released in 2007.

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