Photo by Tour Bus Live
Today we celebrate the birthday of Cheap Trick’s leader Rick Nielsen. The now-73-year-old guitarist is known for his many talents such as writing Cheap Trick’s biggest hits and for his eccentric stage outfits (even outlandish for rock ‘n’ roll). It isn’t uncommon to catch Nielsen dawning a sweater and bowtie while shredding through his roaring guitar solos. Nielsen is also famous for his unconventional collection of wild signature Hamer instruments, especially his custom 5-neck guitar.
Nielsen’s musical career dates back to the mid ’60s when he formed his high school band The Phaetons (which later became The Grim Reapers) along with future Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson. For a short time, he even replaced Todd Rundgren in the rock band Nazz. But it was 1973 when the stars aligned and Nielsen linked back up with Petersson and added drummer Bun E. Carlos with guitarist Robin Zander to form renowned rock ‘n’ roll band Cheap Trick.
Celebrate Nielsen’s birthday by watching Cheap Trick perform their hit Surrender live from Budokan here: