Do you take a chiropractor on the road
with you like Aerosmith does?
No, but I should!
How did you ever come up with the
concept of a five-neck guitar?
I originally wanted a six-neck that spun
around, but Billy Gibbons did that spinning guitar thing first. I really like Billy’s
playing, but I didn’t want to look like Billy,
and I’m sure he didn’t want to look like
me, so I said, “Let’s do a five-neck.”
I love “Singing The Blues On Reds,” and
all that Patto stuff.
Your upcoming tour with Def Leppard and
Poison runs all summer. How do you get
prepared physically and emotionally for a
tour of that length, and is it still fun for you?
Lots of Darvon (laughs)! I love to play. I don’t
care about all the shenanigans that go on
offstage. What we like most is playing music.
I think it’s a good, fun package. It’s not like
we’re on tour every day of the year. I guess
you could say I’m too dumb to quit.
How long do you see Cheap Trick continuing?
What am I going to retire from? I don’t play
bridge. I don’t tan. We’re doing what we love
to do, and the live work and recording is still
there, so why should we stop? I like playing
live and I like recording studios, so that’s
Cheap Trick combined English power
pop with hard rock and sense of
humor, and created a style that has
paid off handsomely for the band for
over thirty years. Whose music influenced Cheap Trick?
We loved The Yardbirds, The Move, Patto,
Jeff Beck, The Beatles, The Who, and so
many others. I used to get Melody Maker,
the English music newspaper, airmailed to
my house. It cost me a fortune—something
like $85 a year—but I read about all the
English bands. Chris Welch was one of
the journalists, and his descriptions of the
bands and their music was very good.
I went to England in 1969. My wife and I
had just gotten married, and we saw Yes
with their original guitarist, Peter Banks;
Jethro Tull, right after they’d changed their
name from The Navy Blues; Love Sculpture
with Dave Edmunds, who later became
a friend, and others. We still love The
Yardbirds and the Move.
Hardly anybody in this country except you,
me, and some hard core fans know about
The Move, because they never made it
over here. They never toured. Was their
songwriter/guitarist Roy Wood an influence on Cheap Trick?
Oh yeah. We backed him up live. He’s an
eccentric, crazy, tormented genius, a total
character who never got the credit he
deserved. He named his daughter Holly-Holly Wood. His wife once took an axe to
his recording studio, but he survived that.
“You Know You Like It” Hamer Sunburst model 1979. Underneath the strat is the original Hamer Standard, serial 0000.
And you guys like the band Patto too?
Photo: John T Comerford 111 / Frank White Photo Agency