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Guitar god Rick Nielsen talks about Cheap Trick’s earliest hits

The artist: Perennial rock band Cheap Trick has now entered its fourth full decade of performing for appreciative fans and releasing record after record. Rockford, Illinois natives Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Tom Petersson, and Bun E. Carlos got discovered in a Wisconsin bowling alley in the mid-1970s, due to their superior musicianship turning out catchy, pop-edged rock songs. Their surprise breakthrough hit album, 1979’s Live At Budokan, featured live versions of songs now more famous than the originals (“Surrender,” “I Want You To Want Me”), and is a contender for the greatest live album ever made. Ever since, give or take a few lineup changes, Cheap Trick has continually toured and kept releasing albums, influencing and playing with loads of other bands along the way (outfits like the Foo Fighters and The Smashing Pumpkins cite the Trick as a necessary influence). After years of protest by impassioned fans, Cheap Trick is finally about to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next month, at a performance that will reunite Nielsen, Zander, and Petersson with drummer Carlos. The band has a new record (their 17th: Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello) ready to drop as well. Five-necked guitar god and songwriter Rick Nielsen took some time to talk to The A.V. Club about Cheap Trick’s earliest hits, why “Surrender” still resonates, and why the band members look kind of surprised in those Live At Budokan videos.


Read more at The AV Club