Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

The First Thing I Did When I Got To Japan…

There are generally reasons why great bands remain obscure: drugs, or monstrous behavior, or bad luck – not Cheap Trick. They had a pretty blond lead singer, and a guitar hero, and a muscle car of a rhythm section, and hit songs, and a fierce Midwestern work ethic. Their records–mostly the first three that I’ve raved about before–were huge sounding affairs without any filler, and they had cool covers with a distinctive and memorable checkerboard logo.

This is some vintage Trick from the Cap in 1980, and if you don’t have the interest or patience, go to 20:51 and watch Oh, Candy for the perfect encapsulation of what I love about this American band: force-of-nature drumming from the iconically shlubby Bun E. Carlos; Robin Zander’s full-throated and powerful pubescent howl of a surprising pretty melody; Tom Peterson’s instantly-recognizable twelve-string bass hurricane; and Rick Nielsen just generally being himself.

Watch it; don’t watch it; life goes on.


  1. Luther Von Baconson

    December 17, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Cheek Trip

  2. Mike & Gloria Gonna Be My Name

    December 18, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Y’know, I like em too, but any honest appraisal of Cheap Trick has to account for their later output as well- including their enormously popular contribution to late ’80s Power Ballads. It’s a harsh and ugly reality, but there’s only so much “didn’t happen” to go around.

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