Nardwuar vs Cheap Trick's Tom Petersson

Nardwuar vs. Cheap Trick in Real Audio!
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NARDWUAR: Who are you?
TOM: Who am I?

Yeah, who are you? You are Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick! On the Nardwuar The Human Serviette Radio Show here today, there is me, Nardwuar, the host, but we also have Mark Kleiner here. Say something, Mark.
Mark, was that you?
That's me.

So, Tom, Tom Petersson. You really are Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, aren't you?
I can be anybody. I was hired by Tom Petersson to act as him, to speak on his behalf.

Well, Tom of Cheap Trick, a friend of mine wrote you a letter a few years ago when she was fourteen years old, and she was pledged her undying love for you. It's been twenty years and no reply! And what she wrote, and what she asked you, "What gives, oh strong-jawed one with the perfect aquiline nose and long curly ringlets? (sigh)" What's going on, Tom? Why so long and no reply?
She never wrote me that letter!

She did! Twenty years and no reply!
Well, I must have forgotten. The one time I don't answer a fan letter, I'm busted for it!

She loves your long curly ringlets. I must say, the other night you were really lookin' good! You still have the best hair in rock 'n' roll!
Is that right?

Who do you think is the heir to the best hair in rock 'n' roll, not that you're finished or anything? But who else has good hair these days? Amazing locks of hair? Who else is up there in the hair look? I think the best hair in show business was Sid Vicious.

Oh, nowadays? Oh, shit. Probably Dennis Rodman.

Where are you phoning from, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick?
That's a good question. I'm in Moncton, New Brunswick, I think.

Calgary, Alberta, I think, to be exact.
Oh, yeah, that's right. See? You just wanted me to say it, right? Okay, I'm in Calgary.

Thank you very much. We're at the Stampede.
When is the Stampede?

It's in July.
Oh, no wonder we got the room so cheap!

Cheap Trick! And you are Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick! And Tom, can we open the phone line and take a few callers? Will that be okay?
Heck yes! I want to get that girl on here, the one that I didn't respond to.

It's really Tom Petersson live here on the Nardwuar the Human Serviette radio show!
I must warn you I may not honestly answer these questions.

That's okay. Just having your voice there is important.
All right.

One thing I was curious though, in twenty-one years as a band, I've heard you guys have taken on non-music jobs. Like there was that rumour that Bun E. was a roofer in the 1980s.
Ha ha ha! (laughs) Naw, no. Totally false.

There's been no side-jobs that Cheap Trick has been doing on the side. No roofing, nothing else?
What, are you kidding? Didn't you hear that promo record you played at the beginning of the show, "internationals superstars" as roofers?! Forget it!

Do you think if Bun E. can quit smoking that Rick will ever take off the hat? Will the hat ever come off, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick?
Uh, no, it won't.

Is "Southern Girls" about southern Canadian girls?

It really is?
You can't get much further south than Calgary.

Oh yes. And actually we have a caller for you, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick. Caller, are you there?
Caller: Yes, I am.

You have a question for Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick!
Caller: Yeah. Hi, Nardwuar. It's James phoning.

Hello. Go ahead, James.
Caller: Hey yeah. I was wondering, are you guys still making any money touring nowadays, or what?
Are we still making money?

James was phoning from a dump truck and all he gets is that answer, Tom?
James, are we still making any money? What, are you kidding?

They played the other night at Studebaker's Cabaret, where Dee Snider and Warrant are playing!
What do you expect!? Good lord. Well, we don't book the place but...

Okay, James. Thanks for phoning in. And, doot doola doot doot...
Doot doot!

Okay. We're speaking here live on the phone here with Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, and it's me, Nardwuar the Human Serviette on the Nardwuar the Human Serviette radio show. We also have Mark Kleiner, EX of the Sister Lovers here. And if you want to speak to Tom Petersson- Or Mark. I was curious, Tom. What do you think the Posies did wrong? They've broken up! The Posies! Your friends! That sucks.
What a great group. We know them real them real well. We're good friends with Ken and John especially and they.... I don't know. I don't know why they broke up. I guess they weren't- unlike us- they weren't making any money. That doesn't help.

What do you think they did wrong, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick?
They didn't do anything wrong. It's just a matter of- there's so much luck involved. It's just like gambling, you know. Some people win; some people don't. There's really no explaining it.

It's kind of sad almost because Enuff Z'Nuff- Speaking of bad luck, but a band that stays together and has now been thrown off the Cheap Trick tribute album after they did "Everything Works If You Let It."
Who? How did you hear about that?

It's on the web page!
Those guys were never on there. I think they wanted to record it, or did on their own, and then, well, you know. Nobody wanted them on there.

Isn't it kind of sad though, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick? Enuff Z'nuff were keeping the Chicago spirit alive. Enuff Z'Nuff are amazing!
I thought it was Smashing Pumpkins that were keeping it alive. Enuff Z'Nuff are trying to kill it!

What!? You're not a big Enuff Znuff-
Chip Z'nuff plays a twelve-string Hamer bass. These guys love you guys!
Oh, that may be. But Jeffrey Dahmer loved us too, so I can't go by that.
Aargh. Oh.

And we have Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick here. Now, Tom, Robin and Rick cowrote a song for Motley Crue on their new record, didn't they?
Uh, no.

Isn't there a new Motley Crue album coming with contributions from Rick and Robin?
Uh, that's not correct.

Well, what do you think about-
Where did you hear that? How do you keep coming up with this stuff?

What do you think about this glam obsession that Rick and Robin seem to have? They have a glam obsession and I see you are rebelling because you are playing a '60s Vox bass for an '80s power ballad. That was amazing! You were playing a '60s Vox bass on "Ghost Town," the ballad. That was great!
Oh, what was the '80s power ballad?

"Ghost Town!"
Oh. That's a power ballad?

We don't mean that in a bad way because I love power ballads.
Were you rebelling against Rick and Robin there by playing that '60s Vox bass instead of an '80s updated bass?
Well, I guess I should say yes!

On this tour here, Tom Petersson of the rock 'n' roll band Cheap Trick, you've been playing-
Except that wasn't a Vox. That was a '90s Phantom bass so-

Oh, it wasn't?
So it wasn't exactly "rebelling."

The last time you played here in Vancouver, you played the Commodore Ballroom. Did you feel embarassed when Gary Busey jumped on stage? He was apparently totally ripped on cocaine for your encore. Do you remember that in Vancouver? Gary Busey?
Uh, no. No.

Mark, do you want to go ahead with this?
Gary came on for "Dream Police" and "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace" and he was playing on Bun E.'s drums and-
How was he?
Manic, but it was, you know...

It looked like he might have been into hallucinogenics a bit.
Well maybe we were because I don't remember that.

Speaking of the 1990s, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, would you ever consider having the Muffs as an opening band again?
The Muffs!? I didn't know we ever did have them as an opening act.

Yeah, they were going to go tour with you but something happened. They opened for you at one time.
I don't know. No. I don't know anything about that.

Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick! This is really Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick!
It must be me because I don't know anything.
It's got to be him! That proves it!

You are Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick. Now, were you in Cheap Trick when Cheap Trick played all the USO troop type things? Did you ever play on an aircraft carrier?
Uh, no. I missed out on that.

Well, how do you feel-

Was it John Brant who was in the band?

How do you feel about having your head pasted over by John Brant's image on the cover of Standing on the Edge?
Well, it's a lot better than being John Brant, I will say that.


What is John Brant doing these days?
He's a roofer. He is a roofer.

Oh that's very good. And you're Tom Petersson of the rock 'n' roll band Cheap Trick. I was actually in the library the other day and I came across a book called One American Must Die by Kurt Carlson who is Bun E.'s brother. It was an incredible book called One American Must Die, and the hostage who must die- it was about this flight that got taken hostage in Beirut- was the brother of the guy in Cheap Trick!
How do you know that?

It's in the book. It's Kurt Carlson-
It says it in the book?

The name of the book is One American Must Die.
There is a photo of Bun E. playing- Drums.
Where? In the book?

The name of the book is One American Must Die. What do you know about this? This was Bun E.'s brother who was taken hostage in Beirut. You weren't in the band at the time, but it seems that Bun E. was trying to concoct a bizarre plan to rescue his brother.

Yes! It says in the book. Quoting from the book here, "Bun E. Carlos, Carlson's brother and drummer for the rock group Cheap Trick, was involved in a mysterious plan to rescue his brother." And apparently in the book, these guys- because you guys in Cheap Trick had played on an aircraft carrier, and you had met some marines and these marines said, "Hey, we'll bust out your brother if you make this Lebanese guy a rock star!" Basically they said they will rescue him for rockstardom. It turned out that Reagan got the hostages released somehow, but before that there was going to be this bargain for releasing the brother of the guy in Cheap Trick that would make the guy a rock star!

Do you know anything about this at all, Tom?
This is bullshit, right?
It is sitting right in front of me, Tom.

Please! Please! I know you haven't-
Okay, I'll have to take your word for it, I guess. Is it April Fool's Day?

No, it's not April Fool's. It's no joke. People can actually check this out. One American Must Die: A Hostage's Personal Account of the Hijacking of Flight 847 by Kurt Carlson.
Well I know that that part is true. I don't know about the book, that's all.

But do you remember anything? You do know that he was taken hostage, don't you?
Well certainly. Everyone knew that.

Okay, well, verification! But you didn't hear about the mysterious plan to rescue his brother?
Now that part I haven't heard. It was top secret apparently and I wasn't-

You were being pasted over at that time.
I wasn't given clearance.

Apparently Red Ant scrapped the video for "Say Goodbye" because they wanted you to reshoot it in California. Is that true, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick?
No. We shot the first one in California and it didn't quite come out the way we wanted to so we just did another one. We did the other one in a town we grew up in-

Rockford, Illinois!

So it wasn't the label telling you to redo it then.
Telling us? God! If anything, normally what would have happened is a label would have said, "Look, we spent all this money on this video and even if we don't like it, too bad, let's release it anyway." This label said, "Fuck it" or "Screw it"- I mean, whatever they said- and I quote, "Fuck it."

You really love Canadian radio, don't you! You love Canadian radio, don't you, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick?
I love all radio.

Canadian radio is great, isn't it?
I love Canadian - well, you know, yeah. I love Canadian radio. I love Canadian TV. I like Much Music and all that. It seems to be more interesting than most of the radio in the US. They play different things that you don't normally hear.

Tom, being an unbiased observer-
Uh huh.

-who do you think made Yoko Ono so angry that both Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos' parts, their contributions to John Lennon's Double Fantasy record were nixed. Who do you think made Yoko so angry, Rick or Bun E.? Who do you think?
I don't know that either of them did. I don't know what the real reasons were. What I heard was that the song just sounded too heavy compared to the rest of the album so they kind of had to make it a little bit lighter weight and redo it so it fit in with the rest of the LP. That's what I heard.

But who's the troublemaker? Who do you think would make Yoko angry, Rick or Bun E.?
Nobody's stupid enough to make her angry. Jesus.

This is Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick! The bassist of Cheap Trick!
Now I'm getting excited about it! This is great!

I was curious, Tom, you had a solo album out.

Has that been reissued? What's the bucks on that? I've got a copy of your solo album. Is that worth anything nowadays?
Oh, probably not much.

Why is that?
Well, I don't know. I don't know why it would be worth anything much. It's pretty rare. They didn't make many copies and it wasn't out there very long.

Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, what was it like opening for the Doobie Brothers? Wasn't that kind of a career low-light, opening for the Doobies?
Uh, it would seem that, wouldn't it? It depends on when it was. I mean, recently we opened for the Doobies?

No, this was in the olden days opening for the Doobies, didn't you?
Oh, I don't know. No, compared to some of the groups, no, that wasn't a low.

What are some of the groups that it was a low to open for?
Well, the Doobie Brothers were very nice, so we kind of go by that. Um, Bebop Deluxe were probably the biggest assholes we ever met. Do you remember them? Bill Nelson?

What did they do wrong?
Also Ray Davies wasn't too nice either but there you go.

Why wouldn't Ray Davies be nice?
Because he's always used to fighting with his brother..

So he needed somebody else?
Ray Davies? Well, yeah, I guess so.

Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, you're a real gearhound, aren't you? You're a real gearhound.
Yeah, like cars?

Like those Rickenbacker amps you had on stage! Those were amazing!
Yeah, those were cool.

Where did you get those ones from?
A friend of mine bought them. Led Zeppelin got rid of them on their first tour. They toured the States and got the Rickenbacher amps and when they went to England, they just left them behind. So he bought Jimmy Page's amps and I got them.

Jimmy Page's amps? And they had them in storage ever since?
Yes sir. I mean, I didn't buy them then. I bought them five years ago.

A friend of mine by the name Greg Garlick-

What do you mean, "Yiiick?"

I know, he's been teased for years about his name, but Greg really wants to get rid of his Hamer twelve-string bass, nineteen-
It's junk.

Pure excrement. Those Hamer basses stink.

But he's got a Hamer twelve-string bass. 1980 double cut away, sunburst finish, flawless pristine condition. Never played at all. He wants to get rid of it and he wants you to buy it!
It's junk. No, no thank you.

Didn't Hamer make the first twelve-string bass for you?
Yeah they did.

So you guys aren't affiliated with them anymore?
I'm not. No. I just don't like the quality of the instruments. They're not very good. I get my guitars made by a company in San Francisco called Chandler Guitars. They're great.

So what do you think Greg can get for that bass if he's trying to sell it? People are going to be paying big bucks for it because it is an unused 1980 Hamer twelve-string-
It's junk. I wouldn't pay four hundred dollars for it.

You don't have Todd Howorth with you, do you?
No, we never needed him. It was our ex-manager's idea to have a keyboard player, and it never.... The only kind of keyboards I like are piano or organ or mellotron or something. To have strings and pads- I hate that.

But that was an added draw, the guy from Frehley's Comet, I mean he went on to... right in between there with Ace and John and-
Uh, what?

He was in Frehley's Comet. Do you remember them?
Well only because that's what he always talks about. I've never heard them, no.

Who do you think does the best Cheap Trick cover version that you've heard lately? Are you happy with the Cheap Trick cover album? I guess Enuff Z'Nuff's not on it so you're happy with that.
We're happy about that, yeah.

I mean, is the Posies' version of "Surrender" any good? Can they really do justice to that song? Can anyone really do it justice?
Nobody can. Not even us. It's such a good song that nobody can do it. A good version that I remember is Everclear did "Southern Girls."

Do you ever look at those guys and go, "Come on. Contrived."

Everclear. Like let's pretend we're all famous drug-addled people. I'm just curious. I mean, you being a rocker, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, you've been around the business. Do you ever look at these bands and say, "Okay, we see the ones that are true and the ones that are real." And look at something like Everclear and go, "What the hell are you trying to prove here?" Don't you just look at this stuff coming out now like these lame copying bands and go, "Come on, what's going on here?"
Well, yeah, not Everclear in particular because I guess I don't know enough about them. But most of the artists that I ever hear or see suck. They make me sick, and probably most people. You like rock music but you don't like all the songs- you don't like most of them. You have selected things you like.

I've got a question from the internet. The drum bit from "Gonna Raise Hell" was too hard for Bun E. to handle so you guys got Jeff Porcaro, session veteran and drummer for Toto who died in a gardening accident, to do that.
Ah ha ha! Jeff Porcaro, no, that's totally false. There's no way would we work with him.

He died in a gardening accident?
I think it was a cocaine overdose while gardening. That's like saying Otis Redding died in a boating accident.

Thanks for talking to me on the Nardwuar the Human Serviette radio show. We're going to end the interview with "Up the Creek." What do you remember about the song "Up the Creek?" You weren't in the band at that time, were you, Tom Petersson?
No, I wasn't in the band and I don't remember anything about it except no one liked it. That's all I remember.

It's a great movie! Up the Creek!
That's a good movie?

It's amazing! It's one of the classic 1980 movies that are out there, along with Shakes the Clown-
Shake the Clown isn't an '80s movie.

Well, it's kind of the same genre. You know, Up the Creek, Shakes the Clown- they're just classic. Firewalker.... So thanks very much for being on the show today, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick. We really appreciate you taking the time with the callers. That was very nice of you.
Okay. Well, I hope I was helpful about my fantastically candid answers here- and totally truthful.

Why should people care about Cheap Trick in the 1990s, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick?
That's what I'd like to know.

Okay, well keep on rockin' in the free world.

And doot doola doot doo...
What's that?

Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, doot doola doot doo...
Yeah? Well you see, I'm not Canadian so I don't know the in's and out's of.... Is that Ebonics?

Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, doot doola doot doo....

...Doot doola doot doo...
Let me get this straight. Am I supposed to-

Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, doot doola doot doo...
Is this a question?

Well, ahh, we don't want to give you any hints. Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, doot doola doot doo.... Doot doola doot doo...
It's been a great interview, you guys.

Okay, follow this-
Oh my God.

I'm in a band. I'm playing the keyboards with you, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick. I'm helping you along with this. Doot doola doot doo...

Close! Okay, the syllables are right, there!
How about that?

The syllables! That's pretty good. Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, doot doola doot doo...
Is Margaret still around or what?

Actually, she is still.... Did you ever run into her at all, Tom?
Oh yeah, are you kidding? She was the biggest groupie we had ever seen!

No way, she never came to one of your gigs, did she?
Oh, yeah!

We met her through Mick. Mick was going out with her, and he said, "You've got to meet Margaret Trudeau." Man, she's a wild woman.

What did you do with her?
What did I do with her?

Well not you per se because you were happily married, but the other members, say, Rick.
I'm happily married?

Well, you were at that time.
Uh, no. I never was happily married, even my honeymoon.

Okay, you know what we're going to do? Just hold on for one second! We're going to get a caller to do it for you!
All right.
We need closure.

We need a caller to show Tom Petersson how to end the interview because, I guess, Tom, you're from Rockford, Illinois. We have a caller! Caller, are you there?
Caller: I'm here.

Okay, caller. Doot doola doot doo...
Caller: Doot doot.

Thank you, caller. Okay, Tom, did you get that?
Oh, no. I'm reading something here. I'm in the Calgary Herald-

Tom, please.
You're reading One American Must Die, aren't you?
One American Must Die. I can think of two Canadians that must die, I know that.

Please, Tom, we're ending up here. Doot doola doot doo...
Now, wait a minute. Start over. I wasn't paying attention.

Okay, we need the caller to phone back. What we're going to do is-
Can't you get a woman to call for a change? Geez, what is this? Man oh man.

Can we please have a female caller for Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick so they can explain to Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick how to end this interview? Okay. Caller, are you there?
Caller: I am here.

Okay, now caller, can you- Where are you from? What's your name?
Caller: Kim from Burnaby.
Hey, Kim.
Caller: Yes?
Have you ever heard this show before?
Caller: Never.
Me neither. What the hell is going on? These guys are nuts. This has got to be a crank call. I was sleeping and these guys called me.

No, we're still alive! We're still alive! Please, let's get through this, Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick. Kim, help me... Doot doola doot doo...
Caller: Doot doo.

Doot doola doot doo...
Caller: Doot doo.

Doot doola doot doo... (pause) Kim, what happened?
Caller: It was your turn!

It's your turn, Tom!
It's never my turn. Well now I can't do it.

Doot doola doot doo... Kim, help me, please.
Come on, Tom. You're letting the girls of Burnaby down!

Hey, Kim, how old are you?
Caller: I'm not telling you!
Have you ever been in prison?

Doot doola doot doo...
You're not telling me...

Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, doot doola doot doo...
Caller: Doot doo....
Okay, let's go. Let's go.

Okay, Kim will start it and Tom will end it. Okay, this is together: Cheap Trick and Kim.
Caller: Okay, one, two, three. Doot doola...
Caller: Oh, God. He's... pathetic.

Wait a second! This is Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick! Don't call him pathetic!
Hey, pathetic?

One more time, Kim, take him through this.
Caller: Okay. Doot doola doot doo...
Now, wait a minute. Just explain to me what you want me to do.
Caller: Doot doo.
Doot doo?
That's your part!

Okay! There we go! Thank you! Thank you, Kim! Well, thank you, Tom, are you there? You were really good, Tom Petersson.
I was great.

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