Why Isn't Cheap Trick in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? is a band hellbent on finding the answer to the following question: Why isn't Cheap Trick in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame? As such, the band will be performing a free show of all Cheap Trick covers at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland on Thursday, April 18.
The date is significant because the actual induction ceremonies for the Rock Hall are taking place, in Los Angeles, that same night, and once again, Cheap Trick is not among the inductees. And as for the location, well, duh, Cleveland is where the Rock Hall is located. Why Isn't Cheap Trick in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? will also be performing a free show the next night at KOBO in Columbus just for the hell of it.
Why Isn't Cheap Trick in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? is the brainchild of Colin Gawel, co-founder of the band Watershed. Gawel and Joe Oestreich decided to form a band after attending a Cheap Trick concert when they were in middle school. The two were so determined to follow their heroes' path, Watershed eventually ended up getting signed — and dropped — by Epic Records, Cheap Trick's recording label for many years. Oestreich tells the tale in the 2012 memoir Hitless Wonder: A Life in Minor League Rock n Roll. The book was featured on National Public Radio and reached No. 1 on Amazon music biography list.
While Gawel doesn't have the discipline to write a book, he did once rank EVERY SINGLE Cheap Trick song, complete with links, essays and personal stories. (Better call off work because it takes about five hours to read properly.)
Gawel said he decided to form Why Isn't Cheap Trick in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? after getting sick of watching the band get snubbed year after year. "If Cheap Trick were from New York City instead of Rockford, Ill., they would have been in the Rock Hall years ago*," he said. "Show me someone who doesn't appreciate what Cheap Trick has meant to rock and roll and I will show you a dipshit."
Gawel added: "To draw attention to this injustice, we plan on performing every year on the night of the induction ceremony until Cheap Trick gets the call. For everybody's sake, let's hope this is our first and last show. I mean, Cheap Trick makes it look easy; surely we will prove otherwise."
Gawel said he is a big fan of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "My son and I go every summer and always have a great time," he said. "This event isn't for the haters bitching about how their favorite band has been snubbed, too. Start your own band If you want to. This show is about taking a place I already enjoy and improving it with the addition of Cheap Trick."
Gawel will be joined on stage by his backing band The Lonely Bones, featuring Four String brewmaster Dan Cochran on bass, Rick Kinsinger on guitar and former Watershed member Herb Schupp on the drums.
A limited number of Why Isn't Cheap Trick in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame? T-shirts are available to spread the word and help cover the cost of van rental, gas, and beer for the band. Click here to purchase. Shirts will NOT be available at the show. Any extra proceeds will be plowed back into free stickers and/or buttons, which will be available.
Colin Gawel sings and plays guitar with Watershed along with his solo band The Lonely Bones. Once a year he performs with his side band, Why Isn't Cheap Trick in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame? in Cleveland. He owns a small coffee shop in Columbus, Ohio, where he manages the website Pencilstorm. He is married and has a 9-year-old son who has seen Cheap Trick three times and met Rick once. www.colingawel.com
* It occurred to me one evening while watching the Silver concert DVD that if a band from New York tried a show like that in Central Park, it would be covered live on all media outlets and probably have its own pullout section in USA Today.
Try to imagine a band from New York that had sold 20 million records over 30 years; been produced by George Martin, Todd Rundgren, Jack Douglas, Roy Thomas Baker and Steve Albini (OK, were recorded by Steve Abini); were John Lennon's favorite American band; had persevered through tough times and continued playing gigs all over the world because that's what rock n roll bands do; rallied to put out an amazing CD in 2009, The Latest; were beloved by Conan O' Brien, The Onion, David Letterman, The Simpsons, Steve Colbert and other pop-cultural icons; were the featured band at 2010 SXSW; performed on Austin City Limits and World Café; were invited by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to recreate Sgt. Pepper's at the Hollywood Bowl; influenced bands such as Green Day (Billie Joe left a note on Rick's door the first time Green Day played Chicago that said "We are going to be a good as your band one day") and Nirvana ("I think of Nirvana as being like Cheap Trick," Kurt Cobain once said). If a band from New York City accomplished even half of this, they would have been inducted into the Rock Hall on the first ballot. — Colin