Rest In Peace Richard Allen Peterson (Born:
Sept. 12 1946 D: Oct. 12 2009)
I am truly fortunate to have gotten to know
such a great musician and man. And even
more so that he truly was a friend and made
an effort to show his appreciation. "Dickie"
Peterson passed away in October of 2009.
We had met at a show here in Hoboken, NJ
in 2006. I had some Blue Cheer items and
a P Bass pickguard to get signed. Dickie
inquired as to where I got the guitar part,
and our conversation led to me telling him
I worked on guitars for a living. We instantly
hit it off and having no tech on the road,
he asked if I could look at his bass it
needed adjustments. Locating some tools
I got to work and made it right and a friendship
was born. I left that night with his phone
number and we started having some great
conversations and it eventually led to me
offering to build him whatever he could
think up between a P Bass or a Jazz bass,
his instruments of choice. We created the
Bass" and I flew to California
in September of 2007 to present it to him.
It was a memorable weekend and then he took
it out on tour so we could test it and tweak
it. When he felt it didn't have enough low
end, it was sent back to me and I started
putting together a new "test"
body trying a different pickup configuration.
He got photo updates as it progressed. Unfortunately
at the same time he recieved a devistaing
diagnosis, cancer. He called me to inform
me of his news and not many people knew.
I even had the phone number for his hospital
room, which he would return to for supposed
treatment, but it seemed like he wasn't
being attended to very well. His health
got worse and I spoke to him just weeks
before he died. I called to tell him a birthday
gift was on the way and we spoke about his
upcoming book that he was so excited about,
the bass progress, and this very site. He
gave me permission to own his domain name.
He still had hope for getting better. The
night before he passed, he asked his friend
over in Germany to call me to say goodbye
for him. He was too sick to be on the phone.
It was all happening so fast. He was sorry
we couldn't talk but wanted me to know he
loved me and thanked me.....the news broke
big when Dickie passed away. He left me
with a thank you on the last BC album, on
the dvd release as well as talking about
our bass creations in the commentary on
the dvd, he mentions me in his book, which
was his dream but the release had some unfortunate
complications, sadly....and the very last
time we spoke, he mentioned these things
and wanted me to know he appreciated what
I had done for him. That is truly a friend.
His friendship was truly a gift, I could
never have imagined that one day I would
call the man singing and playing on one
of my favorite albums ever a friend. Fortunately,
I recorded a lot of our phone conversations
and one day will review them. There may
be a story in there and I can put my own
book together. I want to put together a
short film with all of my video footage
to tell the story of knowing this man and
giving him something that made him so happy.
About a month after he passed away and the
smoke cleared, I posted this on my "Blue
Cheer Fan" website, it still reflects
my feelings back then and I keep it here
for that reason. I had lost 2 family members
at that time. This was from November 2009.
It was hard to write...
really miss him and our phone calls. Since
he was in Germany, I'd have to call in the
morning because his time was 6 hours later.
We'd talk for an hour or so sometimes. And
within the last 6 or 7 months, I've been
working on a new bass design for him. The
new "Powerbass". The original
#1" was a little too bright for
him compared to the "gray" one.
So, after he toured with it for a year and
tried it out, it was returned to me early
this year. Dickie wanted me to shave down
the back of the neck to make it thinner
and to change out the abalone side dots
to pearl, so he could see them better on
a dark stage. I bought a used P bass style
body, and decided I would fit the old neck
on the new body, with a new pickup configuration.
I would then take the original body, and
put on a bass neck that I had, and that
would become my bass. I had taken the neck
with me out to Dickie's, and had him autograph
the front. He wrote lines from "Doctor
Please" on the back, the line I told
him we should design a t-shirt around. The
line is kind of ironic, and at the end of
his life, I'm sure he said "Doctor,
Please" at least once.
So on Sunday, Nov. 1, I finished his new
bass. It's mine now. He told me "If
I don't live, you don't give those basses
to anyone. You created them for me and no
one but us should have them. Maybe one day
you will finish what we started." I
did play his bass on my own. I did tell
him I would play it. I convinced some friends
to learn "Parchment Farm" and
I have it on video. The very first and so
far only time I've gotten to do it. As for
the bass, My friend Anders K from the band
VOLBEAT got the bass I believe Dickie would
have ended up with. The night Anders came
out on stage with his new "TUNIS"
bass and I was in the pit to take pictures,
I swear Dickie was right there with me hearing
the low end and big sound of his "Power
Bass" and a chill ran down my spine
and I will never forget the feeling. Thank
you Dickie my brother.....
I truly miss him. I will miss Blue Cheer
performing, and seeing the regulars I've
met. Going to dinner with Dickie before
the shows. The chance to go to Germany and
see him. The chance to re-record "Cowboy
Blues" better than our first time.
The chance to record my "Country Summertime
Blues" Johnny Cash sounding version
with him. I wanted him to touch and play
his new bass, and not just see pictures
of it through e-mails. I'll keep my promise
to him though. I'll play the bass and start
jamming. it won't just be stuck in my closet.
It's me now. Thanks to Dickie, he's still
teaching me and there's a different future.
I take his thanks and his compliments on
my guitar work into the future of my craft.
I'll keep his memory alive. I'll never forget
him. Our beloved cat Grynell passed away
the very next day that Dickie did. It was
a loss so great, I can only be at ease knowing
that Dickie has one of his "Grandkitties"
on his lap now.
We miss you, we love you Dickie, from Bill
Baker and your family, friends, fans, and