CHEAP TRICK’S ROBIN ZANDER SAYS HE WOULD BE THE GUEST SINGER FOR AC/DC ON THEIR REMAINING TOUR DATES AND 15 OTHER FACTS ABOUT THE BAND
Andy Greene of Rolling Stone reports on the “16 Things [They] Learned Hanging Out With Cheap Trick”:
1. Zander attributes the group’s signature sound to the fact that all four members came from distinct musical backgrounds.
“When I came into the band, Rick was more of a Yardbirds guy,” he says. “I was more of a Beatles guy. Tom was more of a Rolling Stones guy, and Bun E. [Carlos] was a Keith Moon guy. We all brought different things and merged them together.”
2. They felt a kinship with the punk bands of the 1970s.
3. In the 1970s, they opened for Kiss, the Kinks, Queen, Thin Lizzy and many other legends, but only one band truly threatened them.
“When we toured with AC/DC, we always had to bring our A game,” says Nielsen. “They really felt like our equals.” Adds Zander: “At the time we were almost equally unsuccessful, playing dumps all over the world. Playing with those guys is some of the fondest memories that I have.”
4. Even though Live at Budokan made their careers, Petersson doesn’t really like live albums.
“I just think that studio albums are better because that’s where all the thought went,” he says. “I don’t think Budokan is anywhere near our best album. If I was asked to play one album that represented our career, I would not pick a live album.”
5. They regret getting into a legal tussle with their label right after Budokan turned them into superstars.
6. In the mid-1980s they found themselves opening up for bands like REO Speedwagon, but they never thought about packing it in.
7. Most of the early-Nineties grunge bands loved them, but that didn’t help their career very much.
“People would say to us, ‘This is going to be the greatest thing for you guys!'” says Petersson. “‘Now you’ll get this underground audience!’ Well, it didn’t do shit for us.”
8. The group grew intensely frustrated in the Nineties when Carlos insisted they play short sets that didn’t vary much from night to night.
“The one person who is not here made it next to impossible to change things,” says Nielsen. “He just didn’t like the idea [of doing long, varied] shows and didn’t want to do it that way. We suffered and our audience suffered.”
9. They not only make good money playing corporate gigs; they have a lot of fun doing it.
10. Robin was not happy that Bun. E Carlos brought up his young daughter when explaining to Rolling Stone why he left the band.
“I don’t even care to acknowledge what he said there,” says Zander. “It just proves why he isn’t with us anymore. But he’s still a member of the band and still gets paid, but he’s not on the road and there are reasons for that, real reasons, not bulls–t. Look, the guy hated the last record we made, The Latest. He wanted us to get rid of Julian Raymond, our producer. Bands always use the term ‘musical differences.’ Well, we had some musical differences that were pretty extraordinary.” Adds Peterson, “He’d be critical without offering an alternative. ‘OK, this sucks.’ ‘What’s the alternative?’ ‘I don’t have one. Just do something good.'”
11. Zander says that Carlos was right when he told us he didn’t want to do an additional 100 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band gigs in Las Vegas.
“If you were in a rock band as great as Cheap Trick, would you want to end your career being a Beatles cover band?” says Zander. “There you go. Not me.”
12. Rick’s son Daxx has been their drummer since 2010, but he’s still a little unclear on his exact role in the band.
13. Daxx wants to be very clear that he didn’t take anyone’s job.
I did not take Bun E.’s job,” he says. “The spot was vacant and they hired me. They didn’t leave him for me. If he wants to come by at the Hall of Fame and say hi to me, I’ll have no hard feelings. And until he did that interview with you guys, he never did anything wrong to me.”
14. Zander would be willing to be a guest singer for AC/DC on their upcoming tour.
“I’d love to do that,” he says. “But I’d want the blessing of Brian [Johnson]. I wouldn’t go there as a slap in the face to him. But if he said, ‘Go ahead,’ I would do it. And I’d donate the money to somebody. They’re AC/DC. People want to hear those songs. Sure, they want to hear them with Brian. But if Brian isn’t there, they can get someone else. I don’t know what else to say, but I know I’d be heartbroken if something happened to me and I couldn’t sing in Cheap Trick.”
15. They might play more complete-album shows.
16. Retirement is the last thing on their minds.
Read more at Rolling Stone