Happy Birthday to Tom Petersson who was born on this date in 1950.
This is one I did a little while back – “Dream Police” by Cheap Trick is the title track off of the album which came out in 1979 and featured Tom Petersson on bass. It wasn’t until I saw them live that I realized how “proggy” the section before the last chorus is.
While I was never a big Cheap Trick fan, I gained a much greater appreciation for the band after seeing them open for Cake back in 2003 at The Roseland Ballroom. They came out swinging. They were tight. They sounded great (their soundman NEVER stopped working the mixing board)! I was really impressed by Robin Zander’s diminutive, yet larger than life, stage presence. It was not at all what I’d expected. I remember he was wearing a rattan cowboy-style hat that was tilted down, covering his eyes and the upper part of his face. He controlled the stage from the microphone which he rarely stepped away from. When each song would end, he’d take a few steps backwards into the darkness where he stood silently and let Rick Neilson take over the banter. He certainly did not play the traditional “frontman” role. We’ve seen them a number of times since then and they’ve never disappointed. It was really an enjoyable set which, I assumed, was going to set the tone for the rest of the evening. That was not to be. A “garage-rock” band called The Detroit Cobras came out next and I really don’t remember anything about them. They were followed by The Hackensaw Boys. While they are not classified as a “bluegrass” band, that’s how I’d categorize them. Not my cup of tea at all… and, no offense, I don’t think I’ve ever heard an upright bass sound good in a live setting. Then… (I should remind you that floor of The Roseland had no seats) The Hackensaw Boys brought out their “special guest” Charlie Louvin to finish their, what seemed to be, never ending set. Finally Cake came out, essentially dragging out amps, setting up and sound checking right on stage in from of the crowd, and proceeded to sound like shit. Lynn and I were standing right by the sound booth, as much because it’s an old concert goers trick as because we needed something to lean on after standing for, what seemed like, an extremely long period of time. Cake’s soundman, a sloppy, heavyset fellow who looked like he drew the short straw down at the union hall, twiddled a few knobs during the first song before taking an uncomfortable seat in a plastic folding chair at the rear of the light/sound corral. There were few, if any, adjustments made to the sound for the duration of the show. He didn’t even bring up the guitar level during solos. It was just horrible. I spent as much time glaring at him as I did watching the stage. I loved Cake, and still do, but it was just crushing to see them this way. Then, Cake lead singer, John McRea proceeded to lecture the crowd about the use of “flash photography” after nearly every song. Well, every other song, because he’d alternate, scolding the security personnel for not enforcing the “no flash photography” rule. His complaining began to become a real distraction. The funny thing was, the big mirror-ball light they used created the same effect of a thousand flash bulbs. I don’t know.
Stay safe. Stay smart. And stay healthy!
I’m playing the Ol’ Guild B-301 that’s been fitted with a Zero-Mod Thumb-rest and a Babicz 3 Point replacement bridge.