This site honors one of the godfathers of heavy guitar, a man whose work has been cited as a direct influence by
riff-heavy guitarists of many genres. In an era that was barely controlled chaos and powerful change, Leigh's
frenetic, feedback-drenched soundscapes tore the lining out of the more fluffy and tie-dyed of the time.
Was it crude? Did it lack finesse? Who the hell are you, Emily Post? This is raw power. This is the birthing
sludge of all riffbashing to come, directly seeding stoner rock, grunge, and a whole lot of metal that followed.
You want polite? Go find an It's A Beautiful Day CD. Hey, there's nothing wrong with liking Melanie...
...but this is most definitely not that. Put on Blue Cheer's Vincebus Eruptum album through big speakers.
Lay down on the floor with your head between them. If you don't feel like you've ingested something by the
end of "Second Time Around", I don't know what to tell you. You're immune to everything that makes it great.
Like much on the fringes of civility, if I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand.
This site has been up for 13 years and is in dire need of a makeover... and so it begins. I owe a big part
of my musical awakening, a crucial moment of crossing over from paying attention to feeling compelled,
to the first time I heard Blue Cheer, with the playing of original guitarist & co-founder Leigh Stephens.
Music became my life and my life became music, and here I am having my own 15 minutes of relative
fame with Birdsong Guitars. A few things seeded this path, but in hindsight the big bang was hearing that
solo in "Summertime Blues"... I had to make sound like that, and I've never been the same. All else followed.
The whole story, revised Leigh Stephens info, links, photos and a new interview will make its way
onto the "remastered" pages of this site over the coming months. As always, a big thanks to Leigh for
letting a big fan totally violate his peaceful semi-obscurity with a website back in the late 1990s.
...and thank YOU for checking in! Come back again soon.
~ Scott Beckwith, fan and webmaster.