Cheap Trick Biography
Cheap Trick is an American rock band from Rockford, Illinois, formed in 1973. As of 2016, the band currently consists of Robin Zander (vocals), Rick Nielsen (guitar), Tom Petersson (bass) and Daxx Nielsen (drums).Their biggest hits include “Surrender”, “I Want You to Want Me”, “Dream Police” and “The Flame”.
They have often been referred to in the Japanese press as the “American Beatles”. In October 2007, the Illinois Senate passed a resolution designating April 1 as Cheap Trick Day in the state.The band was also ranked No. 25 in VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. In April 2016, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Randy “Xeno” Hogan was the original lead singer for Cheap Trick. He left the band shortly after its formation and was replaced by Robin Zander. The name was inspired by the band’s attendance of a Slade concert, where Petersson commented that the band used “every cheap trick in the book” as part of their act. The band recorded (with Hogan), an official demo, “Hot Tomato”, around mid 1974, parts of which would form “I’ll Be with You Tonight”, which was first called “Tonight, Tonight” (and a slightly different structure), and “Takin’ Me Back”.
Cheap Trick is known for their four decades of almost continuous touring. They have performed more than 5,000 times and are known worldwide as a premier live act, as the band proved early on with the massive success of Live at Budokan. Cheap Trick is also known for its use — and large collection — of unusual and vintage guitars and basses.
Cheap Trick is respected by its peers and influenced a number of later artists. The band was one of Joey Ramone’s all-time favorites and has received acknowledgment from such peers as Gene Simmons (Rick Nielsen appeared on Simmons’ 1978 solo album), Joe Perry, and Angus Young. In 1979, Robin Zander was informally approached to join British glam rockers Sweet after the departure of singer Brian Connolly.
In the 1980s, Cheap Trick garnered support from the hard rock community when bands like Mötley Crüe, Ratt and Guns N’ Roses cited their influence. The band also influenced musicians in the alternative rock scene: Kurt Cobain mentioned the band as an influence, while Smashing Pumpkins arranged for Cheap Trick open shows for them. Rick Nielsen recorded on local Chicago band Material Issue’s 1993 release Freak City Soundtrack. Even earlier, industrial post-punk band Big Black released a version of Cheap Trick’s “He’s A Whore” as a single in 1986.
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