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Randy Holden


1969-1970 Blue Cheer - guitars  

Personal information

Born on: 02.07.1945
Official website

Randy Holden (born July 2, 1945) was born in Pennsylvania and grew up on the move. He played in a number of bands including The Iridescents (blues rock), The Fender IV (surf rock) and The Sons of Adam (surf rock/psychedelic rock). While playing in The Sons of Adam Holden opened for the Rolling Stones at their first show at the Long Beach Sports Arena. Holden was heavily influenced by Keith Richard's guitar and amp set up which helped change his own attitude towards equipment and tone. The Sons of Adam (specifically Holden) began experimenting with distortion and feedback which pushed into psychedelic rock. Holden left the band frustrated with the lack of original material.

Holden joined up with The Other Half, a psychedelic garage band from Los Angeles. They recorded one album together before Holden parted ways. He then replaced Leigh Stephens in Blue Cheer and appeared on one side of the album New! Improved! Blue Cheer (1969). Holden toured with Blue Cheer for an entire year before once again parting ways.

Frustrated with lack of control over the bands, Randy formed his next new band with drummer Chris Lockheed. Lockheed, also a keyboard player, uniquely played both drums and keyboard simultaneously in live performances. During this time Holden obtained a sponsorship deal with Sunn amplifiers. Through this he received his legendary sixteen 200 Watt amplifiers. His new band was dubbed "Randy Holden - Population II" which was a reference to the fact there were only two members in the band as well as being an astronomical term "Population II" that defines a special kind of Star Group cluster type, having Heavy Metal in its composition. An appropriate description for the original style of the music attributed to Holden's new band. The band recorded its only album, Population II (1969). Trouble with the release of the album led to Holden going bankrupt, losing all his equipment and his departure from music for over two decades. Population II was eventually released multiple times in bootleg forms over the years, with no official release until a limited issue in LP in 2005 and finally a remastered CD in 2008. The album has been a much sought after collectors item over the years. After more than two decades he returned to his guitar, and began creating music again, reportedly by the continual urgings of a loyal fan. He recorded Guitar God in 1994 and released Guitar God 2001 in 2001, followed in 2008 with the release of "Raptor".

(Source: Wikipedia)