Cheap Trick

From Academic Kids

Cheap Trick is an American rock and roll band from Rockford, Illinois that gained popularity in the late 1970s. The band members are Rick Nielsen (guitarist and main songwriter), Bun E. Carlos (born Brad Carlson) (drums), Robin Zander (vocals and guitars), and Tom Petersson (bass guitar). Nielsen and Petersson formed the band after their former band called Fuse broke up shortly after they had released their debut album Fuse in 1969.

The band was signed to Epic Records and released Cheap Trick in 1976. Cheap Trick's most famous album is At Budokan, which was recorded at Tokyo's famous Nippon Budokan Hall. The album went triple platinum.

While they never quite gained the same commercial success as the monster of a live album At Budokan achieved, Cheap Trick gained a substantial following with their brilliant hard-edged yet blissful pop sound. While most power-pop contemporaries like The Knack, The Shoes, and The Raspberries stuck to writing songs in the vein of The Beatles and The Who, Cheap Trick's songs were every bit as catchy as their pop predecessors, had the hard edge of many of the heavy metal bands at the time (note "ELO Kiddies" and "Clock Strikes Ten"), as well as the speed and energy of the emerging punk rock scene ("He's a Whore"). Their music had a big impact on American culture; Steve Albini and Kurt Cobain have both cited Cheap Trick as an influence on their work (Albini covered "He's a Whore" with his band Big Black).

In 1977 they opened for KISS in CA where KISS was to record their "KISS Alive II" album. Bun E. Carlos said that before the show started KISS' drummer Peter Criss was so wasted that he almost had to put on makeup and take his place.

Cheap Trick wrote and performed songs for the animated 1983 movie Rock & Rule.

They released Cheap Trick, another eponymous album, in 1997.

More recently, the band recorded the theme song, a cover of Big Star's "In the Street" (Cheap Trick dubbed the cover "That 70's Song"), for the FOX television series That '70s Show. The band has also been referenced several times on Fox's hit show The Simpsons, in one episode Apu was interrupted while singing along to "Dream Police".

Bassist Tom Petersson is credited for having the idea for a 12-string bass. The instrument was actually first built by Hamer Guitars. According to Bun E. Carlos, Robin Zander also plays the Hamer 12-string in addition to a Gibson Firebird, Chandler "Telecaster" and Rickenbacker 325. Rick Nielsen frequently plays a 5-necked guitar (!).

Cheap Trick is currently managed by Silent Partner Management.


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