Posts Tagged ‘Cheap Trick’

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On the drums – Mr Bun E Carlos (not Dax)….

If you have ever seen Cheap Trick over the years and not caught a Rick Nielson guitar pick, you can probably count yourself as pretty unlucky. He must have thrown thousands of the things out to the crowd over the years, probably more so than any other guitar player ever, and it was a marketing idea that he no doubt picked up from KI$$. Kids in an audience love having a souvenir from the gig – with the most common item thrown from the stage being the guitar pick. Yet there’s also been raw meat (Blackie), bibles (the yellow and black attack variety), and the broken guitar (if you were lucky). Drumsticks have also been thrown out in their thousands, and I’m sure some kid must have lost an eye over the years from this projectile being hurled into the crowd from the stage. Here you go. Ive googled it. Only a couple of months ago, A ‘5 Seconds Of Summer’ fan was injured by a flying drumstick at the band’s concert in New Zealand, and almost lost her eye sight. ‘5 Seconds of Summer. Dork band alert! These retards have be the most contrived bunch of teen dorks Ive seen in a long time, and the fan deserves all shes gets for attending such a lame concert. Learn your lesson. I remember back in 1985 a friend of ours caught A.J Pero’s drumstick at Twisted Sister’s Sydney show. I was pretty impressed by that. Which brings me back to the topic. Cheap Trick. I saw Cheap Trick a few times in 1988. I believe I caught this Bun E Carlos drumstick from a gig at Selina’s, Coogee Bay in December 1988. The irony is that Mr Rockbrat scored the other one! Here it is.

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220px-Cheap_Trick_1985_Single_Cover_Tonight_It's_YouI had this on a vinyl single back in the day. I think it is as close to power pop perfection as you can get….and let’s face it, Cheap Trick have made a career of crafting fine pop/rock. This band have always had everything you need – satisfaction guaranteed. Cheap Trick have to be one of the most under-appreciated rock bands in history. Sure they had immense 70’s success – and more spotlight shone down on their ‘Lap of Luxury/Busted’ era, but nowadays, they are hardly mentioned. What a travesty – cos they always remain in cool-city round these parts. These past couple of weeks I have been listening to ‘Tonight It’s You’ a lot and it really is one of the most infectious tunes ever put to wax. If you’ve heard this and were not humming the chorus afterwards, then you my friend are a rock n roll mute. Robin Zander’s voice is amazing and I cannot compliment him enough. Wide range, pitch-perfect – he is waaaaay underrated. Released back in 1985 and taken off their Standing On The Edge record, this pop classic stalled at #44 on the US charts. It lives on – as does the music of Rockford’s finest sons, and is waiting to be discovered. ‘Tonight It’s You’ – an astounding track – just one of many, from one of the most consummate rock n roll bands of all time.

I was recently contacted by a Rockbrat reader regarding the poster for this gig, Cheap Trick at Jindabyne Hotel in the NSW Snowy Mountains back in August, 1990. So I fished out out the bootleg cassette I made of the show, I honestly havent listend to this tape since that time in Winter 1990..I blew off the dust and was again reminded how consumate a band Cheap Trick really are. This was only their second night in Australia – and they were playing the Jindabyne Hotel. They played several cuts off of their then just released 1990 album ‘Busted’. Many high points in the set, including Tom Peterson doing his killer version of ‘I Know What I Want’. Is their anyone cooler than Tom Peterson ? Or Zander ? Anyway, for your listening enjoyment, here is the band’s second last song of the evening and it’s a good one, “they persecute me right here in JINDABYNE!” That’s right, an MP3 of Dream Police from the Jindabyne Hotel, 18/8/1990.  Never heard anywhere else, so for the first time, a 21 year old gift to you from Cowboy Col. Enjoy. Download it here  

To escape the continuning aftershocks and radiation worries, Mr Rockbrat was recently gazing over some nice axes recently in a recycle store here in Japan. From a distance, the guitar which first caught my eye was an orange hamer. ‘Looks similar to one which Cheap Trick’s legendary Rick Nielsen uses’ I thought and lo and behold, on closer inspection, it was an actual Nielsen signature model. Damn nice. I ogled it in appreciation as did the lanky teenage boy beside me. If my language was better, I would’ve told the youngster of the times I saw Cheap Trick and that Mr Rick Nielsen is one of the best there is. Or the time when Mr Rockbrat and the Cowboy got our mugs on film many times during that ‘live in Australia 1988’ DVD. Great days. If one of the Cheap Trick zanies or a Hamer guitar antfarmer reads this post, how’s about letting us know how many of these were issued and if that price is a good deal.

I was watching some old video tapes of Cheap Trick the other day, in particular a Hard Rock Cafe session they did in Vegas in 1997. As well as tired sounding standards like ‘Surrender’ they played a bunch of tunes off their then current album, 1997’s self titled CD ’Cheap Trick’. It reminded me just how great an album this is, and stuff like ‘The Doctor’ aside, I would say that this album is the most underrated of all Cheap Trick’s albums. Named after their original 1977 debut album, the album features a similar black-and-white scheme on the cover and a similar stripped-down sound to what they had used 20 years earlier. The band’s gear appears on the cover instead of the band members themselves. Some have suggested that the band chose this approach, treating their debut with Red Ant as an opportunity to re-introduce themselves as a band to a new era. Is there a cooler rock band than Cheap Trick? I mean – really? Robin Zander is way cool, an amazing vocalist and front man. Why has there been no movie about Cheap Trick ? We get movies about Lemmy and Motley, but why not Rockford’s finest? And how about a decent, thorough autobiography on the band whilst I’m at it – the demand is there. Anyway, where was I.  Yes, the band’s 1997 album.  Released on Red Ant Records and distributed into Australia by Shock Records. That’s right – no Epic/CBS big budget here, just the basics. Red Ant went belly up only a few weeks after  this album’s release, so the album basically stiffed. The fact that the band always draw well live carried them through – which means that if you missed this album in 97, go re discover it. It’s an album of superbly crafted pop. So many cool tunes on this album, – top to bottom. ‘Anytime’, ‘Hard To Tell’,  ‘Baby No More’ – all great tunes. My Australian version of the album also includes the cover of  The Moves ‘Brontosaurus’, which was also released as a 7” on Sub Pop. I used to own this 7″ but can’t find it.  My favorite tune off the album though is ‘Carnival Game’. What a song. Not sure if this was a left over from the ‘Woke Up With A Monster’ sessions or not, but if I had to introduce someone to Cheap Trick in 2011, I’d play them this song. Memorable pop, big hooks, though provoking lyrics and a chorus that will be stuck in your head for days. Watch a video of the song, ‘Carnival Game’ from the 1997 Hard Rock Cafe gig here –and tell me that I’m wrong.

Now this brings back memories. Saturday 18 August, 1990, the Jindabyne Hotel in the heart of NSW ski fields – the middle of winter, still, the opportunity to see Rockford’s finest in a small pub was too good to pass up. A two hour drive to the venue, but it was well worth it. The place was sardined with skiiing jocks but who cared, this is Cheap Trick and it was their ‘Busted’ tour and album. I bootlegged this gig on my trusty old tape recorder and it was a pretty good gig. Mr. Rockbrat pulled the poster from the wall and here it is. Gonna raise hell.

I picked this item up in a record store in the Czech Republic back in the early 90s. I was a massive Cheap Trick fan and this was indeed a find. A promotional only, record company issue comic book about Rockford’s finest! Intended as a promo gimic for the band’s 1990 ‘Busted’ album, I’ve had it stored away for years and only recently found it in a folder. It’s a pretty cool item for a band who were very much comic books heroes back in the late 70s.