Some of Nielsen's previous bands include: the Boyz, the Grim Reapers, and the Phaetons. Nielsen and Petersson were in Fuse together and the two of them joined Carlos in Sick Man of Europe. The singer of that group was Robert "Stewkey" Antoni, formerly of Nazz (Todd Rundgren's early group). Rundgren would later produce for them.
Nielsen wrote most of their early songs, and in many cases they were done from the perspective of various quirky characters he created. The band adopted an unusual visual look to match this theme, with Nielsen sporting an outlandish outfit that looked like something a TGI Fridays waiter might wear on Halloween.
Some of the bands Cheap Trick opened for: The Kinks, Kiss, Boston, and Santana.
Their first three albums did significantly better in Japan than in the US (their home country). After they recorded Live At Budokan, they broke through at home.
They made several music videos in the '70s, which was unusual for an American act. When MTV went on the air in 1981, they played a lot of Cheap Trick, since they were desperate for American rock.
During Petersson's departure, he played minor league baseball in Florida, in addition to forming a band with his wife as vocalist.
Nielsen has an extensive collection of guitars. He even released a book featuring some of the wackier models, some valued upwards of 100 thousand dollars. He tours with more then 25, but really uses only four or five.
Nielsen had Hamer build him a guitar with five necks. It is very heavy, but Nielsen says the guitar will get "more applause than I ever will." (thanks, Jeff - Seaville, NJ)
They created the theme song for That 70's Show, and then made the full version. It's called "Hangin' Out." (thanks, Jeff - Glendale, AZ)
The TV series That '70s Show
got Cheap Trick to do a version of their theme song ("In the Street," originally recorded by Big Star in 1972) before the show's second season. A notable addition was the "we're all alright" chant borrowed from their song "Surrender
." (thanks, Mike - San Francisco, CA)
Cheap Trick wrote and performed the theme song, "Baby Mumbles" for Comedy Central's The Colbert Report
. It is largely the melody of "I Want You To Want Me
Their manager, Ken Adamany, had played with Steve Miller in high school.
Nielsen, Zander, and Carlos all played on John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 1980 album Double Fantasy. They are not credited and it is unsure whether the songs they played on have been released.