Cheap Trick

Arguably the most successful of all the second generation of power pop bands,  for the better part of 40 years the American fab-four from Rockford, Illinois, have remained on top of the world with 40 Gold and Platinum certifications, songs featured in over 20 films, and sales in excess of 20 million from 16 studio albums, multiple compilations and  live albums – including the triple-platinum Cheap Trick At Budokan, which propelled them to super-star status. The 5-neck guitar slinger, principal composer and eternal schoolboy, Rick Nielsen said, “ I never tried to be a rock star — it was hard enough being me.”  Drummer, Bun E. Carlos, has always looked like he was moonlighting from a white-collar day job to lay down a solid groove.  Tom Petersson invented the 12-string bass for the ultimate big bottom.  Lead singer, rhythm guitarist and golden locks playboy, Robin Zander, has proved time and time again that he is one of the greatest and most influential frontmen of rock n’ roll.

In my youth, Cheap Trick were on the covers of almost every music magazine, including the teen mags too.  While my sister had Leif Garrett plastered on her bedroom wall, I had the centerfold of Cheap Trick on mine in all their black and white checkerboard glory.  They wrote songs that became the anthems of my generation.  Nearly every song was a boy’s education on relationships, while Zander never stopped the girls from wanting him.  Surrender reassured us that it was all alright to like Kiss and think our parents seemed a little weird.  It was my third Cheap Trick concert when I realized there was a custom Rick Nielsen guitar pick waiting for me on the cleared arena floor after the house was rockin’.  Over 5000 live shows and relentless touring  brought their instantly catchy hooks one on one with adoring fans.  April Fool’s Day is Cheap Trick Day in Illinois.  Come on, come on and celebrate this year with Cheap Trick’s latest masterpiece that sums up their career in its title, Bang Zoom Crazy…Hello and a summertime tour from power pop’s most enduring bands.

Howard Byrne

Host of Power Pop Stew radio show at and
Music Director at