The messy legal divorce between Bun E. Carlos and his former or current bandmates in Cheap Trick escalated this week. On Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that Richard Nielsen, Thomas Peterson, and Robin “I’ve Never Used a Nickname” Zander have sued Bun E. Carlos (Brad Carlson), claiming that their long time drummer was “validly removed from the board of Cheap Trick Unlimited Inc and two other band-related corporations.”
For those of you that haven’t kept your Budokan imported dance card updated, here’s the history:
– On March 19th, 2010, the band released the following statement: “Bun E. Carlos is not currently the touring drummer for Cheap Trick. Bun E. remains a band member. Everyone is healthy and Cheap Trick will continue to tour as planned.”
– On July 17th, 2011, Cheap Trick performed at the Ottawa Bluesfest and the stage collapsed during their set. According to reports, then band manager Dave Frey loaned the band approximately $350,000 to replace damaged equipment. Cheap Trick eventually sued the Bluesfest for a million dollars in damages and earlier this year a deposed Mr. Frey sued the band for $70,000 in unpaid compensation.
– Frey’s lawsuit was filed with one by Bun E. Carlos, claiming that he was still a full member of the band and had not received the compensation he was due per the band’s agreement.
– In July of this year, the Rockford Rock River Times reported on the legal issues and noted, “Several sources alleged conflict between Zander and Carlos.” Anyone that has followed the band closely would not be shocked by that statement.
While keeping the attorneys busy, Cheap Trick is still touring heavily, like they’ve always done. A recent show in the Dallas/Fort Worth area included a gag inducing, pocket filling “Meet and Greet.” For a mere 200 bucks (not included in the ticket price), well heeled fans received a photo op and a “collectible tour poster.” On rare weekends when Cheap Trick isn’t touring, Robin Zander is performing gigs with the modestly named Robin Zander Band. The group performs a mixture of rock covers (such as “Mind Games,” “My Generation,”) along with several Trick tunes. It’s hard to believe that Zander hasn’t performed “I Want You to Want Me” enough times at his day job.
Instead of looking for a high profile new slot, Bun E. Carlos is quietly playing gigs in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois. You might find him with his Monday Night Band at the Adriatic Live Music Bar on West Jefferson. Great sight lines, plenty of tables, cold drinks, hot food available.
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