Cheap Trick (Epic)
Alex Kane Loves Cheap Trick: Alex Kane has played with everyone from Enuff Z’Nuff, Shark Island, Marky Ramone, Richie Ramone, and his own AntiProduct (and we’re only scratching the surface). He spoke to us about one of his favorite subjects — Cheap Trick.
Music is my life so anything that moves me, that that teenage rock n roll heart that never dies unless you kill it yourself feels, is my favorite album. Whats in that league? New bands like Palaye Royale, Starcrawler set me alight and let me know rock n rolls new generation gets it and it is in really good, strong, driven, smart ambitious hands, but thats not the question.
I can tell you, though, the band and album that changed the entire direction of my existence and other than the statute of limitations running out, these dudes made me ruin my life so I should have sued em. haha. The first Cheap Trick record, hands down.
It was/is my voice. In it I found a kindred spirit rebels with squirty flowers. Nothing sounded like that album before it. It was the best of The Who, The Beatles, the Sex Pistols, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Zepp, you name it, all rolled into one. They sang pop songs bout serial killers and were as heavy and twisted as anyone before them but in a less literal and knuckle draggy way. You knew from the very intro of “Hot Love,” this band didn’t give one single fuck and was gonna do it their way, you could join em or get the fuck outta they way. And the more I learn about music after being pro for almost 40 years now, the more I’m blown away by it.
The arrangements literally have not (not probs ever will be) surpassed. The chord voices that made 6 guitar strings and (mostly) 4 to 8 bass strings sound like every piano being dropped down an echoey stairwell in its gigantic and monstrous way is true, tried and tested, sweat it out in the clubs for years playing to 5 people on a Tuesday in some shit hole in the wall garbage venue genius. I remember seeing the ads in Circus magazine, the four characters in the band being spread out and described over four pages, seeing Rick for the first time, in the black and white ad, and thinking, THIS guy is now my all time rock n roll hero and I just know theres something pivotal for my entire generation in this bands collective brain. All my stage moves were learned playing air guitar to this thing hours on end in my early teens in my bedroom.
Once I started playing for real, I just needed to learn the actual real world chords and add them to the moves. As serendipity would decree, I was doing a jam in Hollywood on the night Cheap Trick found out they were being inducted into the RnR HoF. I was playing some songs with Robin Zander (the greatest American rock n roll singer who’s not in Aerosmith). In my Chicago born and bred mind and need to bond (or at least be tolerated by him) I said to Zander “If you guys don’t get inducted, that place is neither rock n roll nor a hall of fame.” He liked that. I say to you, dear reader, if you don’t have this record and all but memorize it, you don’t know rock & roll it at all or how it keeps your teenage rock n roll heart beating.
Alex Kane Loves Cheap Trick: Shark Island’s Bloodline 2.020 album is out now.