Top Five Must-See Phoenix Shows This Week
Cheap Trick - Memorial Coliseum - Wednesday, October 16
Rick Nielsen's singular focus has always been on playing good rock and roll music to as many people as possible, even from the band's earliest days. "I always thought internationally," he says. "Even if we were playing a little place outside of Rockford (Illinois, where the band formed), or in Iowa, or wherever, I always thought I could play in England or L.A. [Like] this was just a pit-stop I had to make to be able to play all those places."
That attitude paid off when Nielsen and crew did go international, garnering plenty of acclaim from their peers, fans, and the occasional critic. Songs like "Dream Police," "Surrender," "The Flame," and "I Want You To Want Me" helped the band sell out arenas and sell millions of records. Of course there were lean moments, too, when Cheap Trick's sound was funneled into experimental forays in faux-metal, electronica, and pure pop, even though it was the band's garage-rock core that landed them on the charts in the first place. Those diversions were often dictated by the outside suggestion of others.
"Usually the stuff people didn't like was the stuff where managers, producers, and record company people got involved," he says. "The less we had of that going on, the more we were true to ourselves. That's why we keep making records, one by one. A record may have been universally panned, but we don't work with the producer anymore, we don't have that manager anymore, we're not on that label anymore--but we're still working. ... We haven't progressed very far, but there you go." -- Glenn BurnSilver