Rockford’s longtime No. 1 band is set to be enshrined among the greats.
Cheap Trick was announced Thursday as a 2016 inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Joining the pop rock icons will be Deep Purple, Steve Miller, Chicago and N.W.A.
The group formed in Rockford in 1973. Consisting of guitarist and frontman Rick Nielsen; lead singer and rhythm guitarist Robin Zander; bassist Tom Petersson; and drummer Bun E. Carlos, the band released their first LP Cheap Trick in 1977.
But it wasn’t until a tour of Japan and the subsequent live album Cheap Trick at Budokan that the band saw widespread success.
Meant for release in Japan only, the import market exploded prompting Epic Records to the release the album stateside in early 1979. The live version of “I Want You to Want Me,” first released on 1978’s In Color, shot to No. 7 on the charts and brought the band international acclaim.
Fans of the band had circulated petitions in support of the act in an effort to see them enshrined in Cleveland. Cheap Trick garnered just 1.45 percent of the fan vote in an online poll, good for seventh.
The top-5 finishers in the fan vote were tallied as a single ballot in this year’s voting. N.W.A. picked up only 0.45 percent of the fan ballot, lowest among this year’s inductees.
Among those overlooked for the 2016 class, prog rock band Yes came in second in fan balloting with 16.2 percent, with Boston-based new wave band The Cars just behind.
The induction ceremony will be held April 8 in New York.
We’ll be talking with Rick Nielsen and other local musicians about Cheap Trick’s induction and their place in Rockford’s music history. Keep up with the website and check out next week’s issue for more.