First Hamer Five-neck (orange) 1981. Photo: Frank White

And you guys like the band Patto too?

I love “Singing The Blues On Reds,” and all that Patto stuff.

Your upcoming tour with Def Leppard and Poison runs all summer. How do you get prepared physically and emotionally for a tour of that length, and is it still fun for you?

Lots of Darvon (laughs)! I love to play. I don’t care about all the shenanigans that go on offstage. What we like most is playing music. I think it’s a good, fun package. It’s not like we’re on tour every day of the year. I guess you could say I’m too dumb to quit.

How long do you see Cheap Trick continuing?

What am I going to retire for? I don’t play bridge. I don’t tan. We’re doing what we love to do, and the live work and recording is still there, so why should we stop? I like playing live and I like recording studios, so that’s what we’ll continue to do for as long as we can. We’re a cool band, we have good songs. People still want to hear what we do.

Any thoughts on the state of the recording/ music industry?

I think the idea of major record labels isn’t broken, but how it’s done sure is. Thank God for satellite radio playing Cheap Trick’s music.

Any final words of wisdom?

Final words? That sounds so final… this is the first interview I’ve ever done with two deaf people that ever made any sense! (Author’s Note: both this writer and Rick Nielsen are hearing-impaired rock ‘n’ roll lifers.)

Rick's Gearbox
Approximately fifty guitars, including
Gibsons, Gretsches, Fenders and
custom Hamers.

Fuchs 50 watt Train model, with two Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.
Custom Fender with Fender two 12"
ISO cabinets.
Dunlop Cry Baby wah.

Dean Markley .011-.048.

Custom R.N. model,
V-Resin .073 mm.