An in­ter­view with Cheap Trick

The Southern Berks News - - FRONT PAGE - By Rodeo Marie Han­son Colum­nist Rodeo Marie Han­son, 11,

The first time I heard Cheap Trick’s mu­sic was when I was in a car and “Dream Po­lice” played on the ra­dio. I loved how it sounded and won­dered who the band was that wrote it, and what the song was about.

I re­searched the band on­line and lis­tened to more of their mu­sic. I be­came fa­mil­iar with more of their songs and the band mem­bers Robin Zan­der, lead singer; Rick Nielsen, lead gui­tar; Tom Peters­son, bass gui­tar, and Bun E. Car­los, drums. Soon af­ter find­ing out more about the band on­line, they had an­other al­bum out with new mu­sic “Bang, Zoom, Crazy... Hello” which I wanted to lis­ten to. Af­ter I heard it, I was in­trigued to meet the band and ask them ques­tions about their songs.

My un­cle heard they were com­ing to a venue close to where I live. In or­der to get an in­ter­view, I needed per­mis­sion from the band’s pub­li­cist in New York. Luck­ily, my in­ter­view was granted. Ken We­in­stein, the band’s pub­li­cist at Big Has­sle Me­dia, was nice enough to email me a bio on the band so that I could have some ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about them be­fore the in­ter­view. Since I am a kid and don’t have a driver’s li­cense yet, adults had to drive me to Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe, the venue where the band would be per­form­ing, and where the in­ter­view would take place.

When I ar­rived at Penn’s Peak, I had to go to the will call at the box of­fice to get my back­stage passes. I was given an en­ve­lope and opened it to find the passes, and tick­ets for the con­cert that night!

Carla Dragotti, their tour man­ager, took me back­stage.

This was my chance to meet the band Cheap Trick and to ask my ques­tions!

I first met lead singer Robin Zan­der and Tom Peters­son, the bass gui­tar player. They liked my spe­cial Cheap Trick t-shirt that I wore for them. Next Daxx Nielsen, the cur­rent drum­mer, in­tro­duced him­self. Then, Rick Nielsen, the lead gui­tarist, walked up be­hind me, sur­pris­ing me.

I had writ­ten some ques­tions a few days ear­lier, so that I was pre­pared for the in­ter­view.

Did you ever think mil­lions of peo­ple would lis­ten to your mu­sic?

Tom Peters­son, the bass player, told me, “No, we didn’t think that. We re­ally just did it for our own en­joy­ment.”

Robin Zan­der, the lead singer, added, “Yeah, we’re from a lit­tle town. We grew up in Rock­ford, Illi­nois and as long as we were pleas­ing our neigh­bors it seemed like a good thing.”

Why did you name this band Cheap Trick?

Tom said, “It was the only name that was left. All the good ones were all taken.”

What’s it like to be fa­mous and have peo­ple rec­og­nize you?

Robin said, “Scary. It’s scary.”

I asked Daxx Nielsen, the cur­rent drum­mer, whose fa­ther is Rick Nielsen, the lead gui­tarist, for the band, what’s it like hav­ing a rock star for a dad?

He said, “It’s cool. You meet lots of great peo­ple like you.”

I like movies and video games and asked if the band ever had any mu­sic in a movie or video game.

Rick Nielsen, said, “We’ve been in a bunch of that stuff like Gui­tar Hero”.

I also asked what do you like to do for fun?

Rick said, ”In­ter­view by Rodeo.”

Af­ter the in­ter­view, the band au­to­graphed my vinyl record copy of the al­bum “Dream Po­lice”, and posed with me for pic­tures. Then I gob­bled down a burger at the restau­rant, and stood with lots of other peo­ple in front of the stage for the show.

It was loud, noisy, but most of all it was fun! I won­dered about what songs they would sing. They played a lot of their hits in­clud­ing “Sur­ren­der,” “I Want You To Want Me” and yes, my fa­vorite, “Dream Po­lice”!

I clapped and put my fist in the air. Next time I’ll catch a gui­tar pick.

To see my full “One On One” video­taped in­ter­view with Cheap Trick, and find out how they came up with the idea for the song “Dream Po­lice,” and what it’s like to be in­ducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, go to

For more in­for­ma­tion on Cheap Trick go to: www. cheap­


Cheap Trick mem­bers Rick Nielsen, Robin Zan­der, Tom Peters­son and Daxx Nielsen with Rodeo Marie Han­son, 11, of Fleet­wood, be­fore a con­cert at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe.

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