Cheap Trick

Written by J.T. Leroy on . Posted in Posts.


Live at LiveatBudokan

Yeah, he likes me to shove potatoes up his ass.”
“Robin Zander the Cheap Trick singer?”
“No, a dude that works with them, I told you, who do you think gets us in every time?”
“Too bad it’s not Robin Zander, though actually I think I’d like him more as like a father than a trick.”
“I use a fork.”
“On Robin Zander?”
“Fuck off man, I never tricked with Robin fuckin’ Zander!”
“What about the dude with all the guitars?”
“He’s more of a trick. Robin, I really wish he was my dad. He’d be a cool-ass dad.”
“I would never trick with Rick.”
“Sure you would. You’d be clockin’ the dollahs.”
“He’s married, got kids, he’s not like that.”
“That never stopped you or anyone.”
“This is Cheap Trick you’re talking about!”
“Yeah, it’s all we’ve been listening to the last, what, year? I don’t know anyone else who worships the new record.”
“Fuckin’ great. You gotta listen with headphones. The production rips.”
“You’ve played it so fuckin’ much, I know every song from their new album better than like their real stuff.”
“That’s cause your mom wasn’t into Cheap Trick. My mom was way into Budokan.”
“My mom was a real punk, she didn’t dig that skinny-tie new-wave crap, but I bet she woulda tricked with Robin Zander…shoved a potato up his ass…he was a babe.”
“Still is. Not fat and bald like Johnny Rotten.”
“But wouldn’t you rather have him as a dad?”
“I guess.”
“How do you get the potato out?”
“Ask him to get Robin’s autograph…”
“I did already.”
“On the potato?”

“You suck.”

We saw them play the Hard Rock (this is in San Francisco, where we live) for New Year’s. Weaseled our way up front. After the show everyone else was way too fucked up to bother picking up the guitar picks Rick tosses at the audience’s heads off the beer-soaked floor. So we scored. I won with 12.


Okay, so our latest was a private party. Astor’s old trick hooks us up. We thought we would have to get there early to like score the good seats at the Fillmore. They’re upstairs and right over the stage and most desirable. We were pissed because the babysitter was late, so we–Speedy (Thor’s mom), Astor and myself–got there way after the doors opened. We knew something was screwy because the choice seats were sitting there, like unoccupied seats do, plus everyone’s wearing wire-rim glasses, not shades, but like thick congealed toilet water kinds. Then they announce welcome to the Real party… It’s the folks who do Real Audio for the Internet, their private computer party. We’ve done some porn for the Internet using Real Audio so we feel part of the family.


Okay, so there’s all this food and it’s free. We knew there was gonna be, so we came prepared. Speedy brought her shoplifting bag filled with Tupperware. So we went in shifts. Larry Bud Melman got on and did lame-ass jokes, something about not having a Cheap Trick since his ex-wife. Everyone had stopped eating and was laughing their glasses off, so I shoved a whole slap of fancy-ass cheese in the bag.


So C.T. are touring behind Cheap Trick at Budokan: The Complete Concert (Sony), which is like a really big deal, everyone is all excited, especially Astor. I see the bass player in the lobby. It’s not like I am all that familiar with what they look like, it’s just this guy stood out like a skinhead on Martin Luther King Blvd. He had the spiked hair, long red velvet jacket and skinny-ass chicks hanging around him. Everyone else looked like a Jehovah’s Witness. Except us. We looked cool. Okay, so when C.T. get onstage you can almost see them pause and think… “How much we gettin’ paid for this shit?” Robin looked hot in this purple shiny suit thing and shades. He smokes through a lot of the set and he never takes a swallow of anything and his voice is goddamned smokin’. I mean he sounds like the record! I saw the Who’s Quadrophenia tour and Daltrey’s voice is getting a lot like an old whore’s asshole… But Zander, man…


So they’re doing the Budokan thing. The Witnesses are mostly into it. A lot of them are hanging in the back talking, eating, drinking Buds, even though there is free stout and microbrews. We finally figured out that the bartender expected to get tipped because after our third visit for more stout he asked us real sarcastic, “Anything else I can get for you young men?”


Okay, so a little about the intelligence of this crowd. Like I said, this is my third time seeing them. First time the crowd was everyone in the San Francisco scene, very cool, mostly young. The next time was, like I said, New Year’s at the Hard Rock, which was supposed to be a free show, but the truth is if you weren’t on a guest list your ass was out freezing in a line that never moved. So everyone was an “industry” someone, or friends of… Lotta severely loaded yuppies.


So this show, the private party, place is packed with engineers. Only show where the audience couldn’t figure out that taking the heavy yoyo type glow-in-the-dark souvenirs they gave out at the door and throwing them at the band might not be a good idea. After dodging a few, Robin was looking ready to talk some serious shit. Rick started throwing his picks instead of tossing them. Luckily, a few more Buds were had and the computer experts stopped trying to brain the band.


Our favorite song was “Auf Wiedersehen.” Astor thinks they stole some of the lyrics from that Sound of Music song. Along with Cheap Trick’s new album, we do a lot of Sound of Music. Speedy’s mom was way into that.


So it’s getting to be near the end of the show. “This is history, man!” Astor keeps saying. Cheap Trick is playing “I Want You to Want Me” and I look out over the floor and everyone is going nuts, and all I can think about is what’s missing. Fucking dessert. I keep watching the tables to see if they snuck some cake or something out, but nothing. I mean the food was on the healthy side, lotta roasted veggies, salads, all good, fine. But I know for a fact that computer guys are way into sugar. I’ve tricked with a lot of them and they all do major sugar. Mostly 3 Musketeers bars. So I really can’t believe they’re gonna get away with no fucking dessert. Plus I can’t decide if I’d rather be a really hot chick Robin would fuck, or his son. I know he’d
be such a cool dad to have. Like he wouldn’t tell you not to smoke. He’d be the type to give you one of his and tell you, “Son, smoking is a dirty,
nasty habit, even though I look cool as fuck doing it, it’s bad. But if you’re gonna smoke, ya don’t gotta sneak. Here kid, I’ll light ya up…” But he also makes these pained faces when he sings and you just know that’s how he looks when he shoots his wad and that’s pretty hot. So it’s basically a tossup for me.


Okay, so the show is over. Two encores, just like on the album, but a bunch of engineers lamely cheering isn’t exactly a stadium of crazed Japanese babes tearing their panties off. So, C.T. leave the stage not exactly in a blaze of glory. Astor is all fuckin’ overwhelmed. I can’t believe they didn’t even put out Jell-O or a fruit salad or some fucking sugar.


Okay, so then the best thing happens. We’re leaving and I see folks kinda hanging in this side room upstairs, and I say, “Hey, let’s just check this out.” And sure a-fucking-nuff, it’s dessert! I mean fucking dessert! All these high-quality truffles, and tiny tarts, and mini-cakes and this hot apple
crisp with homemade vanilla ice cream. All the folks downstairs had no idea, so only a few folks are chowing.


Well, eventually, Astor and Speedy had to take my arm and tell me no. I only stopped after Speedy promised me she had loaded the shoplifting bag. We left and sang “Surrender” on the bus so loud the bus driver turned to us and said, “Would you kids please stop? I really hate Cheap Trick.”