Cheap Trick Visits the Stern Show

Frontman Robin Zander tells Howard tales from the road

June 26, 2006
Photo: The Howard Stern Show

Robin Zander, the band’s lead singer, told Howard the group was recently in England, where they ran into a number of people who are fans of his show. Robin went on to say Cheap Trick was hired to record the theme song for the show, “Joey,” but the song they did was rejected by the program’s producers. After Robin said he was glad their song was turned down because of how bad “Joey” was, he added the group did come up with the theme songs for “The Colbert Report” and “That ’70s Show.”

Howard said hello to the band’s other members, Bun E. Carlos, the drummer, and bassist, Tom Petersson, before having them play “I Want You to Want Me.”

Following the performance, Howard pointed out that songwriter and lead guitarist Rick Nielsen was flinging his guitar picks throughout the song.

Rick explained he throws his guitar picks to the crowd when he plays because he wears them out so quickly, adding that doing so gives him energy as well.

Howard then assured the band their song sounded good. The next song Cheap Trick played, “Surrender,” caused Howard to point out the band played “so effortlessly that it looked like they were joking.”

Rick went on to note that, although he writes most of the lyrics for the group, all four of its members are equals, even if he is considered to be “the leader.”

After playing “Perfect Stranger” from the band’s newest CD, “Rockford,” Howard wondered how Cheap Trick came up with their name.

Tom responded by recalling he and his bandmates were at a Slade concert years ago when he commented the group was “doing every cheap trick in the book onstage,” which he said led to the name.

Howard then noted that if Tom wanted to spice up his story in the future, he should claim that he and his bandmates were all “banging the same hooker” when they noticed the words “Cheap Trick” tattooed on her leg, and that was how they got their name.