Silver Laughter’s close encounter with Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick

Close encounter with Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick.

Close encounter with Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick. (The guy with the funny hat!)

In our travels, we ended up playing a night club in Pekin, Illinois. I am not exactly sure what year it was, but I am thinking it was in the spring of 1978 before Cheap Trick’s first album was released (I have been corrected. It probably took place in early 1977). The bar was all stone, and laid out where it was directly across from the band stand. Of course, we were constantly getting, “Can you guys turn it down?”

Anyway, we were probably either arriving in or  leaving town since our trailer was packed up. The band was hungry and decided on Chinese food. We found a restaurant and stopped in. Before we ordered, a crazy looking guy came up to us and asked if we were a band. We proudly told him we were, and then Jon, always the promoter, took him out to the trailer where I was told this guy guessed what guitars were in which cases.

He left us with a few 8×10 photos of his band called Cheap Trick. If memory serves, I think Robin Zander was pictured on a chair with a pork pie hat tipped down over his eyes. I thought the promo made them look like they were a lounge act. Boy, was I wrong.

Several months later, their first album was released, and “Surrender” was a huge hit. We ended up covering a bunch of Cheap Trick songs not long afterward.

Categories: History

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