Cheap Trick Talk Rock Hall, Holding Bowie’s Hand and Covering the Beatles for Michael Jackson
During their visit, portions of which can be streamed at Stern's official site, guitarist Rick Nielsen and bassist Tom Petersson shared the tale of the night they met David Bowie — an introduction spurred when singer Robin Zander dared Petersson to walk up and hold Bowie's hand.
"I had a bet going with Robin," explained Petersson. "[Bowie] was over there talking to Annie Lennox. I said, 'I think I can get David to talk to me.' He goes, 'He's not going to talk to you' ... So I just went over and held his hand. He didn't really see me, so he kept talking to her. For like five minutes, I'm standing there, and then he finally turns around, he looks at me and goes, 'Oh ... you must have the wrong person.'"
"We probably wouldn't have even done that song if Michael Jackson hadn't paid for it," said Petersson. "[Jackson] was gonna do this movie, cause he bought that Beatles catalogue, so he was going to do this whole big production, this movie, and he gave us $50,000 to go in the studio and record that song. Then we did it, and then he was going to sue us if we put it out."
After the movie project died in development, Nielsen said the band members decided, "screw it" and released the recording anyway — albeit several years after they'd cut it, tucking it away as a bonus track on their 1991 Greatest Hits LP.
With this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony right around the corner, the subject of the band's induction was another natural subject, and Zander spoke for the group when he deemed it "an honor" and promised "We're not bitching about it one bit like everybody else does." Stern wondered whether drummer Bun E. Carlos, making a temporary return to the live lineup after a lengthy exile, would be able to step right in for the show.
"I'm sure he still remembers the songs," shrugged Nielsen, insisting that even though they hadn't rehearsed with Carlos for the show, they didn't need to. "We don't even rehearse with each other, let alone him."
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