Cheap Trick Won National Honor Via Rick Nielsen Family Friend
Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen revealed that a friend of his parents put the wheels in motion to have the band's classic live album Cheap Trick at Budokan added to the U.S. Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. The honor is reserved for 25 recorded works each year that are regarded as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
Budokan, released in 1979, was added to the registry in April 2020. At the time, the band thanked “our favorite Rockford school librarian” for starting the process. In a recent interview with Forbes, Nielsen said the person in question was a friend of his parents.
“She petitioned and went to Washington – we didn't solicit it at all – and she just put in two cents for us," he explained. “I looked at the list: 'Holy cow, there's some important people in there, the World Series, “I Have a Dream.”’ I'm kind of a history nut. Sometimes I'm shocked I'm still doing this. I do it because I like it. It's not because of fame and fortune.”
Cheap Trick just released their 20th studio album, In Another World, and Nielsen noted there's an accidental tip of the hat to Jeff Beck in the song “Light Up the Fire.” “When I got to the first solo, it was like, 'Oh, this reminds me of “Happenings Ten Years Ago” by the Yardbirds,’" he said. “That was the first single that Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck were on. If you listen, it's my interpretation of Jeff Beck's solo in ‘Happenings Ten Years Ago.’ It wasn't written like that, but it reminded me of that.”
He also explained why they decided to include a cover of John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth,” featuring Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. “The truth could haunt and hurt you,” Nielsen said. “We're not a protest band or a political band, although we care about all that stuff and we talk among ourselves. We don't want to tell people what to do, so we try to tell the truth. We try to be honest in our music.”