Members of Cheap Trick have responded to their fellow class of 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Steve Miller, whose controversial statements about the Rock Hall angered other artists like the Black Keys. Cheap Trick said they wished Miller had “waited” before airing his opinions.
“He was perfectly nice to us,” guitarist Rick Nielsen said on the red carpet for the National Concert Day event in New York City. “We’ve known Steve Miller a long time,” singer and guitarist Robin Zander added.
Nielsen described Miller as “irritated” before explaining why he wished the artist had waited before making comments about his Rock Hall experience. “We went backstage to do press and there was no press because they all left,” he recalled.
Miller’s comments stemmed from the limited number of guests he could bring to the event without paying a hefty price. He began to scorch the Rock Hall immediately after being inducted by the Black Keys while speaking in the press room. Later, he described the industry to Rolling Stone as “a private boys’ club” filled with “fucking gangsters and crooks.”
Cheap Trick had a much nicer time at the event, speaking highly of Kid Rock’s irreverent induction speech where the rocker noted the band’s hefty tour schedule. “We were a little nervous,” Nielsen admitted. “We had no idea what he was going to say.”
Around the time of their induction’s announcement earlier this year, the band revealed that they would join Heart and Joan Jett on the road for the Rock Hall Three for All tour in July. Jett’s Runaways had opened for Cheap Trick early in their career. Nielsen remembers Jett as one of the first famous people to wear a Cheap Trick shirt in public. “You could see it in many of the rock magazines back then, like Creem and Circus,” Jett told RS.
More recently, another group of famous Cheap Trick fans, Pearl Jam, paid tribute to the band the night of their Rock Hall induction ceremony in April by covering “Surrender.” On Monday, Cheap Trick and Sting joined the grunge group at their New York City show to help them out with their take on “Surrender.”
“They finally got it right last night,” Nielsen said. “‘Cause we were on stage with them.”
Bassist Tom Petersson admitted to “blowing” the end of the song, saying he was “daydreaming” on the stage while explaining the story to Zander who was not present. “These guys’ mistakes are better than anything those guys could ever think of,” Zander said of his bandmates, with Nielsen concurring to the statement.
The band’s other favorite versions of their songs include renditions by Taylor Swift, Nico Flynn and Anthrax, though they’d like to hear Adele and Beyoncé offer their own takes.