News Segment


June 21, 2004

CLEVELAND (Billboard) – Cheap Trick’s career has been inextricably linked to Japan since the release of the iconic 1979 concert album “Live in Budokan.”

Nearly 25 years later, the group was approached by director Jim Yukich to document a Japanese tour in support of its 2003 album “Special One” (Big 3). The resulting DVD, “From Tokyo to You: Live in Japan,” chronicles more that just the band on stage.

“The documentary turned into them asking us questions,” guitarist Rick Nielsen told “And we did them all separate with no script, so it was just kind of interesting. Because usually, if you put all four of us in a room, (drummer) Bun E. Carlos is kind of quiet, (bassist) Tom Petersson doesn’t say much and I’m the big mouth.”

“And when you see (vocalist) Robin (Zander) and I at Budokan, it’s like ‘Hey, we made this joint famous but this place made us famous too,’ Yeah, we know it. We don’t think we are supermen. We are musicians who are lucky to be playing.”

Currently on the road opening for Aerosmith, Cheap Trick plans to head to Europe in July, play more stateside dates in August and then return to the studio. Nearly 14 songs have been completed for Cheap Trick’s next album, which should surface next year.

Tentative titles include “Gazoonheit,” “Give It Away,” “Two Pickets to Tittsburgh” and “Arabesque.” The guitarist said that in one form or another, the latter track has been with the band since its beginnings three decade ago.

While Cheap Trick has many projects on the horizon, fans are especially looking forward to the eventual release of a rerecorded version of the 1977 album “In Color” with engineer Steve Albini. The oft-bootlegged disc is about 90% complete, but no street date is in sight.

“From the day it came out, I liked the songs but when we recorded, it sounded one way and then the mix sounded too wimpy to me,” says Nielsen. “So, we did it over a couple of years ago. We just never released it. We did it because we wanted to. And the project took money, it took time, it took effort and it took a want of us to do it. Now, are we going to put it out? Well, maybe.”

John Benson courtesy of Billboard