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Cheap Trick

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Artist / Musician
Artist / Performer

Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick is an Illinois rock band from Rockford.  The band has performed live more than 5,000 times and has sold more than 20,000,000 records.

In 1967 Rick Nielson and Tom Peterson formed Fuse with Bun E. Carlos and Randy Hogan.  Hogan was soon replaced by Robin Zander and the band adopted their new name Cheap Trick after Peterson noted during a Slade concert that the band was using “every cheap trick in the book.”

The band originally played in warehouses, bowling alleys, and various other venues around the Midwest until their 1975 demo caught the attention of Epic Records.  Although their first two albums didn’t sell well, their 1978 tour of Japan was received with a frenzy reminiscent of Beatlemania.  Ten tracks from two live shows were compiled and released as a live album entitled Live at Budokan.  Originally intended to be exclusive to Japan, the demand for the album became so great that Epic released it to the U.S.  The album went triple-platinum and launched the band into international stardom in 1979.

The band’s third studio album Heaven Tonight contained the group’s first charting single “Surrender” which peaked at #62.  “I Want You to Want Me” from Live at Budokan reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “Ain’t That a Shame” peaked at #35.

Dream Police was released in 1979 and by 1980 Cheap Trick was headlining arenas.  1980’s All Shook Up produced by former Beatles producer George Martin reached #24 and was certified gold.  1988’s Lap of Luxury contained their first #1 hit “The Flame” and “Don’t Be Cruel” reached #4.  Along with charting singles “Ghost Town,” “Never Had a Lot to Lose,” and “Let Go,” the album went platinum.

Cheap Trick had additional charting successes with “Can’t Stop Falling in Love,” “Wherever Would I Be,” and “Back ‘n Blue.”  1985’s release Standing on the Edge produced the #8 hit “Tonight It’s You.”  In 1986 the band recorded “Mighty Wings,” the end-title cut for the film Top Gun.

The band’s current lineup includes Rick Nielson (guitar), Tom Peterson (bass), Robin Zander (vocals), Daxx Nielson (drums), and Robin Taylor Zander (bass, guitar, and backing vocals).

Cheap Trick was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 16, 2016 and the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66 Hall of Fame on August 31, 2021.  The band has charted 14 singles—four of which were top ten hits.

The museum suffered damage as the result of a microburst in downtown Joliet. The building did sustain some damage however we are extremely grateful that no one was injured during this tragedy. 


We are fortunate that Gigantar, our exhibit artifacts and the gift shop merchandise all escaped any damage. 


We are temporarily closed to the public as we work with our contractors through the cleanup process. 
Please stay tuned as we get back in the groove.