Sep 132010

I know most of you aren’t as mean-spirited as I am, and it’s great that most of you aren’t as tenacious and unforgiving about artists that bug you, but as you may know by now I’m no fan of Cheap Trick. Sure, they’ve got maybe 4 or 5 songs that I like, but for being a band with seemingly good intentions and a style of music that’s not too far removed from my wheelhouse they manage to bug me on a number of levels. A friend just passed along this clip by Fuse, a band Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson formed in the late-1906s, eventually recruiting remaining members of The Nazz and playing under either name, depending on which band was better known in a given region.

It figures. Yeah, yeah, it was “the times” and all that. Plenty of worthy artists went through their grandiose Deep Purple phase in 1968 and came out unscathed. But I’ve got multiple beefs with Cheap Trick, so I’m holding this part of their history against them.

This Fuse/Nazz alliance, however, does explain why some of those Cheap Trick guys landed in Philadelphia in the early 1970s. An old friend and music scene sage who still refuses to fly his freak flag in the Halls of Rock has told me about their stint tending bar at Artemis, a legendary Philly club from the early ’70s, where some of the founding members of Philadelphia’s late-’70s punk scene coallesced. So at least this exercise in continuing to collect dirt (ie, Fuse) on Cheap Trick has not been without merit. This is the life of a rock nerd.


  13 Responses to “It Figures…”

  1. pudman13

    I actually like the Fuse album. It’s a decent US variation on then-current British hard rock. And you posted what I think is the best song on the album. the problem with them is that their lead guitarist was really unimaginative and boring. Too bad Neilsen didn’t play the leads…when you listen to the record it’s obvious that every good thing on it is due to him.

    I’m not saying it’s a great recrod, but in the context of what it is–late 60s/early 70s hard rock, it’s better than most.

  2. Just a comment to thank you for the link to a d amorosi’s CityPaper article on the old Philly Club scene. I ran into that years ago while looking into some old Philly bands and venues where I used to hang out. On the sidebar is a piece by Frank Moriarty, which is a lot closer to my interests at the time.

    I knew about Cheap Trick’s Philly connection but never heard this before. Apt description; very Deep Purple.

  3. My taste for Cheap Trick appears to hew fairly closely to Mr. Mod’s, so I’ve taken care to preserve my tenuous interest in the band by avoiding this album and anything by “Patto.”

  4. trigmogigmo

    Cheap Trick is definitely one of my favorite bands. They’ve had their disappointing records, but oh so much good stuff in their first half, and enough smaller gems strewn around their second half to keep me paying attention. “Sick Man of Europe” on their latest rocks, I mean, wow; and it is short and sweet and over too soon. To me, somehow Cheap Trick and The Smithereens, each in a completely different way, make me think “Beatles, but with Marshall stacks”. (There’s a fun question, what other bands are “Beatles, but…”? XTC, but I’m not sure what.)

    I stumbled across this long and interesting interview with Rick Nielsen from about a year ago (link below). He mentions Fuse, which I’ve never heard until you posted this, Mr. Mod. (I certainly cannot defend it.) At the very end he seems to reveal a preference for John vs. Paul with an interesting remark!

  5. Mr. Moderator

    I’ll have to check out this interview later today, trigmo. Maybe it will help me learn to like these guys a little more! It’s funny that you mention the “…with Marshall stacks” characteristic of the band. That’s an apt description for both them and The Smithereens and, as my weird tastes would have it, it’s one of the things that keep me at arm’s length from those bands. I’ve never been a big fan of the Marshall stacks sound. It’s also what made me not like Teenage Fanclub when I first heard them. What was their breakthrough album, Bandwagonesque? All I heard were the Marshall stacks, which led to me dismissing the band for a few years. Later, when I heard their first album and Grand Prix I started to dig them. I haven’t heard that breakthrough album in 25 years, or however long it’s been.

    We might have to develop that “Beatles, but…” concept into its own thread, or we can play it out here. Much food for thought!

  6. Mr. Moderator

    A distinct thread has been posted to The Main Stage thanks to trigmogigmo’s idea. Thanks!

  7. Mr. Moderator

    Hey, I just checked out that Rick Nielsen interview, and he comes off as a very cool guy. I may have to rethink the stupid hat, goofy expressions, and multi-necked guitar schtick and finally cut these guys a break. Thanks for jamming that wedge into my brain, trigmo.

  8. jeangray

    I alsn enoyed that interview. Thanx trigmogigmo. Nice slam on McCartney at the end. Neilsen sounds like a cool dude! I had no idea he had played with the Yardbirds. Very nice…

  9. pudman13

    re: the McCartney dis…DOUBLE FANTASY is wimpier than anything Paul ever did. Too bad the Trick recordings weren’t the final ones.

  10. I’ve been all about the 1980’s “All Shook Up” (produced by George Martin) which I just picked up since I just assumed that the post 1979 stuff was weak (and many of the 1980’s records were kinda rough outside of the singles)

    I have to say this may be the record that could be Mod’s gateway to CT

  11. hrrundivbakshi

    Ugh! That song BLOWS!

    1. Lay off the f*ckin’ crash cymbal already!
    2. Singer sounds like the illegitimate love child of Cher and David Clayton-Thomas
    3. There are no songs worth listening to that say “Loooooove me baby” over and over again.



  12. Mr. Moderator

    The thought of that love child is going to put a damper on my day, HVB.

    The other day my 9-year-old boy said, “Daddy, you know what I don’t like? Songs that say ‘baby’ too much.”

  13. trigmogigmo

    Just remembered to check back on this thread. Glad you liked that interview.

    I understand how the shtick could be off-putting. Watching live footage I sometimes think, “Rick, forget the pick-chucking for a minute, please put both hands on the guitar so you can play the riffs properly!”

    Two related youtube finds:
    The Nielsen/Carlos/Levin-backed version of Lennon’s “Losing You”. Clearly the video was shot 15+ years after the music sessions.
    A version of the mentioned “Cold Turkey”.

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