This Band Has No Past - How Cheap Trick became Cheap Trick
by Brian J. Kramp
Cheap Trick: I have seen them live, listen to Budokan, Dream Police and Lap of Luxury fairly regularly, and I am slowly delving into the earlier albums which have a wit and edge that marks them out from other US bands of the era. The bottom line is that Cheap Trick are a band with a massively dedicated fanbase, although not so much in the UK, where despite being massively influenced by English bands, they were never as popular as in the states.
Even as a casual fan I am aware of the mystique around their early years, the mythology of the band and the difficulty that arises in establishing what is true and what is embellished in such a long history. This book's illuminating chronological discussion is backed up by a raft of interviews (at least 80) with every conceivable influential inhabitant of the timeline. With the proviso that there could be more recent interviews included, the discussions included cover every false start and foundational moment of the band up to the 1979 release of Dream Police.
Stories behind the songs, the logo and typeface design, the 12 string bass which Tom Petersson invented and pioneered, the history of (most band members') hometown Rockford, the gossip, the feuds, all the ephemeral information a rock band accrues around itself is dissected forensically in Kramp's text. For anyone not into Cheap Trick, it's debatable how gripping this will be, although as a general insight into the rock scene of the late sixties and seventies, it's highly illuminating. For Cheap Trick fans, a vital purchase.