Saturday, November 03, 2007

Cheap Trick Kicks Ass

A post-it found near Shamus' computer“What happened here?”

Vera Valmore was at the computer yesterday and saw I had left this here scribbled-on post-it note next to the keyboard.

“Bad session, huh?” she asked. I laughed.

The other night I’d caught part of something called “Cheap Trick or Treat Halloween Ball” on the box -- a concert from last year featuring the Rockford, Illinois quartet. I still have Cheap Trick’s first five albums (on now-hopelessly scratchy vinyl, natch). Always liked everything up through Dream Police or so, then kind of lost track of ’em.

The Halloween show rocked. Didn’t pay much attention to the other acts, but Cheap Trick seemed in pretty good form, particularly considering we’re coming up on three decades removed from when they were in their prime.

Somewhere in there they did a song called “If You Want My Love” (which I see is from the 1982 album One on One).

“I like that one,” Vera had said. I only vaguely recalled it, confusing the song in my mind with that late-era Roy Orbison number with a similar chorus. As I say, anything after 1980 from them is a bit fuzzy for me.

I had decided to go online and see if there were any other downloadable gems in the Cheap Trick catalogue from the later albums. That’s where the post-it came from. I’d jotted down a couple of titles, intending to seek ’em out later. These two -- “Stop This Game” and “I Can’t Take It” -- are not bad. I hadn’t written down “She’s Tight” or “Everything Works if You Let It,” both of which are a notch above these two. Listing those might have further added to the poker-themed suggestion of the note.

Cheap Trick, 'Cheap Trick' (1977)All fun stuff, although for pure power pop, none of these later tracks quite compete with In Color or Heaven Tonight, as far as I’m concerned. Or the band’s first, self-titled album (from 1977), which friggin’ rocks without a misstep from beginning to end.

Poking around online, I also learned about the band’s August 2007 shows at the Hollywood Bowl where they performed all of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band along with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and some other guests. (Have documented my affection for the Beatles here before.)

The show was in two acts. The first part featured the band performing a slate of non-Pepper Beatles’ tunes, including “Magical Mystery Tour,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “I Want You/She’s So Heavy,” and the “Golden Slumbers” suite from side two of Abbey Road. After the intermission, they came back and played all of Sgt. Pepper’s, then did “All You Need Is Love” for an encore.

How cool must that have been? Dunno if any audio copies of the show are floating around, but damn I’d love to hear it. (Anyone have any leads?)

Glad to see these guys are still all all right.

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