Cheap Trick is responsible for many of your favorite karaoke staples: “Flame.” “Ghost Town.” “Dream Police.” “I want you to like me.”
But when asked about the group’s longevity, the band’s co-founder, guitarist and lead songwriter, Rick Nelson, is almost insignificant.
“I just like what I do. We’re not the biggest but we’re not bad,” Nelson told the United States today. “We’re not superstars. We’re the fifth favorite band of a lot of people. They say, ‘I have Lead Zeppelin, Ozzy Osborne, the Beatles.’ But I don’t mind being fifth. “
The Illinois-based rockers won the title in 1977. On Friday, they released their 20th album, titled 13 Tracks in Another World. The album also features drummer Robin Zander and bassist Tom Peterson, as well as Nelson’s son Dexix. It includes a cover for John Lennon’s 1971 protest song “Game Some Truth,” which Nelson believes is as relevant now as it was then.
“Between the epidemic of the last five years and the politics of the past, this has not been a particularly impressive time, which is one of the reasons we have added ‘Game Some Truth’.” And Blame because we are not a political party. “
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The United States today spoke with 72-year-old Nelson about new music, his memories of Lennon and Jane Simmons, and his thoughts on former cheap truck drummer Ben E. Carlos.
Question: What kind of ideas or themes are you developing “in the same world”?
Rick Nelson: We released “Summer You Feel Good” as a single a few years ago before working on the album. Of course, “Summer is coming here,” (suggests) that something good and positive is coming. The metaphor of summer change, a new idea, something new, can wait. So some of those words were in our minds and somehow flowed out (as we wrote the new music). We try to be a little dark but then we develop at the same time. Growing is better than torment and sadness.
Q: You and Ben E. Carlos originally played John Lennon’s “I’m Losing” and “I’m Moving” in 1980. Your son, Dex, was born when you were in the studio, right?
Nelson: My wife knew John Lennon was my favorite, so I got to the hall. If it were Paul McCartney, I would be back in the hospital. (Laughter.) And by then, it was her third child, so she knew what was going on. I’m probably not at all comfortable.
Q: Have you ever offered John any ideas about other collaborations?
Nelson: When we were doing “I’m losing you”, he said, “Dude, I wish we could get Rick on ‘Cold Turkey.’ (Eric) Clapton froze.” I didn’t hear it directly from him. , But I heard it from Jack (Douglas, Lenin’s producer). And in fact after that, we talked about being a band for the cheap truck John Lennon. We were big fans of Plastic Ono Band and all the other Spin Off Bands around it, and we thought we’d be good at it. We’re not session boys, but we knew those things. It was different for us. The Beatles (later) did not have large-scale arrangements, but the Kieran club mentality (since it was started) because we have played a lot of shows in clubs.
Robin and I were going to harmonize the record, which turned out to be “double-minded.” But by the time we got back from Japan and moved to New York, they had broken that record and we didn’t get to do that.
Q: Cheap Trick was opened for whom on the occasion of the tour in 1977. Have you ever attended a party with them?
Nelson: I was hanging out with Jane (Siemens) for a while. He was a very unique man. Paul (Stanley) lived differently all the time. Jane was the most superficial during the total eccentricity, which didn’t bother me. So we got much better.
Q: How eccentric?
Nelson: What I found most interesting was the time we stayed at a hotel. Instead of bothering people, we had nicknames (we would check them out). First I was Les Paul, then I was Neil Richards. Jane always went under Jane Simmons because she wanted women to go up and see her. “Does Jane Simmons exist?” “Yes, we will fix it.” “Wow!”
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Q: You also released ‘I Want You’ in ’77? How does it feel to watch this song come alive after all these years?
Nelson: I always joke that I wish I was more stupid, writing something that enrolls my children through school. I probably wrote it in about five minutes and now it’s age. Everyone knows this and it makes people happy, even the tough guys with leather and spikes. They all have moments with their loved ones. For three minutes, they come together.
Q: Do you have a favorite cover?
Nelson: Both Nico Flynn and Holmes Brothers make great versions of it. And this band propaganda, a punk band, did it really fast. Taylor Swift also really. It worked He played it live in Chicago, like “Hey guys, there’s a song I like about some guys who live very close by.” And so there are 18,000 (mothers) in the audience and their children singing “I want you to want me.”
Q: Do you enjoy Taylor’s music?
Nelson: Oh, he’s very capable, yes.
Q: What does the inclusion of Affordable Truck 2016 in Rock Hall mean to you?
Nelson: It only allowed us to be in one band because when we started, there was no rock and roll hall of fame. We were eligible a long time ago, but I felt all the shows we did were (true) rock and roll hall of fame. Nothing happened. We kept playing. We have succeeded, we have failed and it is good that it was not all success because then our ego will be much bigger than them.
Q: How did it feel to meet Ben again at the ceremony? (Carlos went out with the band and was replaced by Dax Nelson as a drummer.)
Nelson: We are professionals so do what we have to do. He’s a great player and it’s bad that, at this point in our careers, we weren’t all the same guys, but things don’t work out that way. He had a different mindset and he thought we would never be able to make another record. We’ll never change the set list because it was like, “You can’t play this, you can’t play that.” And we didn’t argue, we just agreed. He never rested for more than the required hours and 55 minutes. So it was time.
Q: Have you been in touch with him since then?
Nelson: Yes, of course, through litigation. But when we were together, we never really chatted or hanged.
This article originally appeared in the US today: Cheap Truck Guitarist Negotiations ‘Crazy’ Jane Samson, Ben E Carlos