Monday, February 18, 2008

NHOR : After the release of 'Oh! Pleasant Hope' in 1971, that was pretty much it for the band until the release of 'The Beast Is Back' in 1984. What were the reasons behind you dropping out of the music business for so long during that time, and what inspired you to come back at that time?

DP : Well, #1, we were tired. We were really tired. We didn't stop playing. Each one of us went and played other places and did other things. Then Paul and I got back together in '84. We just wanted to play together again

NHOR : That album was definitely more of a heavy metal album. How do you feel that album holds up today?

DP : I think it's too quick, too fast, and it was a case of someone trying to turn us into a heavy metal band. But I think it's a good album.

NHOR : Your cover of "Summertime Blues" went to #11 on the Billboard Singles Chart in 1968, and during that time the band appeared on both 'The Steve Allen Show' and 'American Bandstand'. What was it like for you playing those shows?

DP : Both of them were very strange, because we were counterculture. 'American Bandstand'... Dick Clark didn't like us, but we didn't like him either. 'The Steve Allen Show', we only saw him for just a minute. You do a tv show, and normally you just set up, it's business. How did we like it though? Doing tv is strange, so I don't even know if "like" even applies. It's just a strange trip doing tv. We were glad when it was over.

NHOR : It has been 40 years now, and many of your contemporaries, such as Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, etc. have long since passed, what do you attribute being around to still while many have gone to that great gig in the sky?

DP : Luck. I don't know why. That's what I was talking about in the song "Young Lions". I don't know why we survived, but I'm glad we did.

NHOR : Speaking of Janis, I've read where she pissed you off, and you didn't get along too well. Was that the case?

DP : We got along. She was a lover of Paul's, and I used to get angry at her for taking up Paul's time, but we got along. She used to encourage me to sing and all kinds of stuff. We used to argue too. But we as a band have been together forty years. I argue with my wife, my band mates. I argue with my friends sometimes. Yeah, we argued, but we were friends.

NHOR : What was she like as a person?

DP : Well, I didn't get that close to her. What she was like as a person was quite demanding. And pretty wild. I didn't really hang out with her many other places besides a show.

NHOR : Blue Cheer also has an association with The Doors, is that right?

DP : The first time I went to go hear The Doors at The Avalon ballroom, they were just a band from L.A. that I was going to check out. And they came onstage, started their first song, and they had no bass player. I just turned around and walked out. I'm a bass player, and to me, at 19 years old, that was the most insulting thing in the world. Later on Jim Morrison called us his favorite band, and used to come to our gigs in L.A. There was a bit of socializing going on too, none of it positive. (Laughs) Ultimately it wasn't too positive for Jim though I guess. And the rest of us lost a really great poet.

NHOR : As you have been doing this for 40 years now...what keeps you going?

DP : Well, there's my love for rock & roll, which is undying. And, the simple fact that it's the only thing that I know how to do. I don't foresee ever not doing this. If I die at the microphone with my Hamer in my hands, I'll be happy.

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