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Cheap Trick original members Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson sit down with Dan Rather for an all-new episode of The Big Interview—airing Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8pE/5pP. During the conversation, the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees talk about their early success, signature hits and why after 45 years together, they’re still touring and making new music.
In this exclusive first look, Zander, Nielsen and Petersson discuss their surprising early popularity in Japan, before breaking out in the United States.
“We started getting fan mail from Japan,” said Nielsen, “because of the Japanese press talking about us at a Queen show…. Normally they wouldn’t mention the opening act.”
“In Japan, they have these comic books,” Zander continued, “and they’re thick ones and Queen and KISS were always in there. And all of a sudden, we were in there as like their young brothers. So that helped promote us in Japan before ‘[Cheap Trick at] Budokan’ even came out.”
“They kind of like that quirky cartoon character thing going on,” said Petersson, “which Queen has, which KISS certainly has. We were like cartoon characters. None of the other audiences, our record company in the states and stuff, they thought ‘boy this is too weird.’ But the Japanese, they got a kick out of it. That’s how they learned English. They listened to records over and over and learned how to pronounce English words. It’s kind of demented nursery rhymes.”
“Not everyone in rock during that time was in these comic books,” said Zander, “It had a lot to do with the caricatures of ourselves, but the music had to be there too.”
The Big Interview airs every Wednesday at 8pE/5pP, only on AXS TV, as host Dan Rather joins a roster of iconic entertainers for candid conversations, providing a unique glimpse into their personal lives, defining moments and incredible careers.
As a continuation of the re-envisioning the chaos, Beauty in Chaos (the brainchild of Michael Ciravolo) gets a brilliant and original remix with a little help from Robin Zander (Cheap Trick) and Michael Anthony (Van Halen, Chickenfoot, Sammy Hagar, The Circle). When you listen to this track in its new-found glory, you hear nothing from the pasts of any of the aforementioned artists. As much as I love the body of work these artists have, I find that extremely refreshing in that this is audible proof that true artists are continuingly growing and expanding. Instead, what you hear is a new and original piece of sonic bliss that captivates as it plays....
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After a successful run on Broadway, Rocktopia is taking it on the road! A show where musical genres collide mashing up classical masters such as Beethoven, Puccini and Strauss with rock anthems such as Aerosmith’s “Dream On”, Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” or Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
During the Broadway run, there were guest appearances by such rock stars as Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and Pat Monahan of Train. Tampa was represented by local resident rocker Robin Zander of Cheap Trick fame, who did a week of Rocktopia and spoke to The Sarasota Post exclusively about his experience with the show.
"I thought they were kidding when I was asked to do a week on Broadway for Rocktopia. I was feeling a bit like a fish out of water but that was short-lived once I got there. Everyone was so kind and giving and always had my back. I have so much admiration for the production staff and players for their discipline and dedication. This marriage of Bach, Beethoven, opera and rock music was magically pieced together by some of the best musicians I’ve had the pleasure to work with. Chloe and all the other individual singers were outstandingly diverse with a choir and orchestra that were so exceptional that the standing audience roared back their appreciation. All you had to do was witness the show to know there was nothing like this on Broadway - or anywhere for that matter! To say the least, fun was had by all!” Robin Zander
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Real Gone Music’s First Volume of the Band’s Rare Epic Recordings Was Hailed by Their Fans, So Now Comes Volume 2, Covering the Prime Years of 1980-1983
- 16 Tracks Including a Bunch of LP Debuts
- Begins with Three Tracks from the 1980 EP Found All the Parts
- Includes Singles “Oh Boy,” “World’s Greatest Lover,” “Everything Works If You Let It,” and the b-side “Get Ready”
- Rare Live Performances of “The House Is Rockin’ (with Domestic Problems)” and “Way of the World”
- Demos of “Loser” and “If You Want My Love”
- Alternate Mixes/Versions of “Saturday at Midnight” and “Dancing the Night Away”
- Soundtrack Songs Including “Reach Out” and “I Must Be Dreamin’” from Heavy Metal and the title song from Spring Break
- Rare Photos by Long-Time Band Photographer Robert Alford
- Mastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios in New York
The Cheap Trick touring organization is a small family, and it is with profound sadness that we must announce the sudden passing of one of our tour family members,
Larry Melero. Larry was Rick’s guitar tech for a number of years, but we used to say he was everyone’s tech as he was always repairing some piece of gear for someone – whether it was assisting a crew member of one of the bands we happened to be touring with, or just fixing backline rental that showed up at the venue and didn’t work properly.
For those unsuspecting people meeting him for the first time, he looked like a guy you wouldn’t want to tangle with (and it was always amusing watching people cautiously approach him!), but in reality, he was someone who would help you out without thinking twice (and crack many a joke or two in the process). Larry was very loved and respected throughout the touring industry, as evidenced from the volume of calls and texts that we have been receiving over the course of the past few days.
Our prayers and thoughts go out to the Melero family, and to all of the many people across the globe that Larry’s irreplaceable light, humor and friendship touched over the years.
For those wishing to send condolences to Larry’s family, you can do so by mailing cards to our address and we will forward them:
c/o Trick International
3280 Sunrise Highway, #154
Wantagh NY 11793 USA
I always knew Larry would have me covered with tuning, teching, a unique knowledge in tone, he was a great one, always with sarcasm and humor, much like, so I'm told, me.....
He built 3 guitars for me, just cuz he could and wanted to surprise me and he fixed all my vintage amp collection that I'd neglected for years without me even asking.
Larry would spend time with our guests explaining the virtues of, the why and the reasoning behind the Checkerboard 5 neck, and photo requests usually with his huge smile or with a Larry trademark favorite, the middle “finger.”
- Rick Nielsen
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