Cheap Trick

And now for something a little different; will be a one off though.


Cheap Trick first entered my world one day in April of 1978 while I was eating lunch at my grandparent’s house. The radio was on and “Southern Girls” came on and it was one of those moments that magically lift themselves over all the other millions of moments that we have since long  forgotten. What was most remarkable was that the radio was allowed to be on in the first place and that I had somehow coaxed my grandmother into letting me pick the station and play rock music – for at my grandparent’s apartment noise audible to the neighbors was the biggest no-no of them all. … Not much happened immediately after that, I started reading about the band here and there and bought Heaven Tonight later in the year based on a review that said the band was trying too hard this time [I doubt they would say that now in retrospect] “but if you only buy one album per month, this one should be it.” – that sold me.

Early 1979, these posters started appearing in my hometown:


[Berlin wasn’t my hometown back then but this one’s available from the net with an insane seller asking 3,500 Euros for this on Amazon – I had one of these in perfect condition but sold it in 2000 for little money. “Kant” is not a bad language but comes from the Philosopher Immanuel Kant 1724-1804]

I did go and buy a ticket from my meager pocket money:

CT Mannheim 79

Ticket for the show the day before I saw them at the Wartburg in Wiesbaden. What was so special about this small venue, which later saw shows by The Clash and The Police (and other “cutting edge acts” read: Good for up to 1,500 tickets sold),  there was only one way in apparently – up the main stairs where the fans who had arrived early where waiting and so the band had to squeeze by us amid a lot of shoulder slapping and ‘hello’s’. Coming early had another benefit, there was a flight case parked next to the stage and I got to sit on it. I remember very little about the actual show, which was only my third ever concert but I was impressed enough that I bought At The Budokan the very next day and it became one of the defining albums of my adolescence. Someone states on his concert memories website that this same show was the loudest concert he has ever been to.  I guess since this was my first real rock concert, I thought they were all this loud. No wonder I have high frequencies whistling inside my head basically 24/7.

I was thrilled that I found a contemporary band that could measure up to what my class mates were listening to: Van Halen, Thin Lizzy, Queen, AC/DC, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and Rainbow, as my other favorite band, the Beatles was obviously not going to cut it in the hard & heavy department (and which other 70s US band had a closer Beatles connection than Cheap Trick?). Also, they had a sense of humor about them, something painfully absent from say Judas Priest. But CT gave me more than just music. We all remember that covers 2 to 4, In Color through Budokan reserved the front for the handsome ones and the back for the weird ones (although you knew it was all an act and one of the ‘weird ones’ actually wrote the songs). Wel,l I definitely felt more ‘Rick Nielsen’ than ‘Robin Zander’ growing up: I was a bootleg collecting geek (still am, of course) with too much of an interest in a single topic that wasn’t football – always suspicious to the ‘normal ones’. CT showed me that you didn’t have to look or appear cool to be a rock star. So, I went all the way, CT badge on my jacket, even got the checkerboard pants and “Rick” became my nick name in high school; I was OK with that.

CT Mannheim 79 i

Robin & Tom onstage – Mannheim, 4 March ’79

w TG

Me wearing a CT badge – the guy who’s autograph I got here started out as a rock dj. Went on to become rich & famous as a TV game show host until a young guy broke his neck and became paralyzed in his show live on Saturday night prime time TV.


Hard to see but it’s a CT logo cap – December ’79

As summer approached, another poster appeared around town:

CT WHO Nürnberg 79 II

Now, September 1st fell on a Saturday that year and we had – the agony! – school on Saturdays – but did that stop me? Of course, not. And good thing it didn’t because these memories lasted a lifetime but the same can’t be said for the many Saturday mornings I had to spend in school. As a side effect, CT were making me watch the last show The mighty Who gave in Europe for the year and decade. Now this is one festival, I would love to go back in time and document it better (I took some photos of CT but they didn’t come out well due to my laughable camera). I got pretty close to the stage for AC/DC and CT though, which was quite hazardous as there was really no place to walk among all the people preferring to lie down when many wanted to stand, the blankets, other belongings, food and other stuff. Another danger was losing track of where your own bag was amid that sea of bags, if you decided to wander away. I still remember how good the PA sound was. You could pick out the bass drum easily in the mix, for example. … Little did I know that I wouldn’t see CT for another 19 years.

CT Nürnberg 79

on stage at Nuremberg’s Zeppelin field and backstage with Pete

Rick & Pete 79

Unfortunately, I had to leave just after the laser show in “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and before the encores to catch the train back for the long ride home and had to miss Pete smashing his guitar after the last number, “The Real Me”.

My CT collection grew and grew with the help of the Pied Piper catalog and “Oldie Markt” magazine where I would bid on bootlegs – results were in next month’s issue. I had all four CT vinyl boots and cataloged each live cassette I could find meticulously using our manual type writer:

CT SD tl

I later taped the famous U2 broadcast from 1989 over it.

CT LA tape

Last surviving items from my collection: Tape cover I created and no name brand cassette ordered from Pied Piper. I wish I had held on to every single CT item I ever got, in hindsight – but I didn’t have much money in those days, so I can forgive myself.Thankfully, a taped copy of the CT Wizardo/Death Records release from the Santa Monica Civic in 1977 survived as well.

I got out the tape in 2012 and transferred it, it came out surprisingly well:

The rest can be summarized quickly: Tom left the band in 1980, they first postponed then cancelled their fall German tour dates (but still came and played in other countries), performed as the main act on “Rockpalast” in 1983 and the band’s decline in popularity matched the rate in which I lost interest.

However, old loves die hard and in the late 90s when I lived just up the road from the Great American Music Hall (a former brothel on the edge of one of the most desolate and crime and drug infested inner city areas in North America, San Francisco’s Tenderloin district) I couldn’t resist when the “First Three Albums Tour” came around and I’m glad I went and that’s how I want to remember them with Bun E. on drums playing the albums I first learned to love – just even better sounding. Got to meet the band after the last night but was not able to see them again since then, now another 15 years have gone by. Good to see the band still going strong performing and getting some of their due.

Thanks for the memories, guys!

CT signed

ACR 16

Cheap Trick 78 CM

Also available with blank white labels but mostly found with a white and a yellow label with side markings. A large number must have been pressed as the bootleg is very easy to find up to this day, even sealed copies.

Cheap Trick CM

Cheap Trick 78 CM b

Sides 1 – 3: WBCN broadcast of an edited performance from the Paradise in Boston on 10 June 1978; side 4: KBFH broadcast of an excerpt from the Palladium in New York on 22 September 1978 – mislabeled as coming from the Bottom Line in NY

Side 1:  Hello There – Come On, Come On (4:00)  / Stiff Competition  (4:21) / On Top Of The World (5:50)  / Guitar Solo  (2:29)  / Big Eyes  (3:04) / High Roller  (4:54)                                                         Side 2:    Clock Strikes Ten  (4:48) / Need Your Love  (8:13) /  Southern Girls  (3:49)                       Side 3:    Surrender  (5:59)  /  California Man  (4:02)  /  Goodnight Now  – Bun E. Carlos drum solo (3:23) / Auf Wiedersehen  (4:45) 

Quality: Muddy sounding FM broadcast, perhaps 3rd generation or higher, perhaps not well recorded in the first place. The only alternative source I have ever found was torrented on dime in August of 2007.

Side 4:  Hello There (1:44) / Southern Girls  (3:33)  / Need Your Love  (10:13)  / California Man  (4:13)  / Goodnight Now  (2:12)    

Quality: Excellent stereo recording, mix favors drums and Robin Zander’s rhythm guitar and is somewhat heavy on the treble and bass deficient. Nice overall room ambiance and audience mix Overall, I like this almost better than the Budokan mix. Love the drum sound and certain details like the ‘pick hitting strings sound’ at the start of “California Man”. For decades I had hopes that we would get a complete recording but it seems that will never happen as the master was not kept after the edit was assembled.

CT Paradise Boston '78 released the tape source with two additional songs (“Big Eyes” & “Clock Strikes Ten”) but labeled it at first as being from 1977. The following shows how the correct date and venue was found:

  • simonc | Sunday, November 01, 2009 | 6:47 am

must be just about the only ct concert edit that doesn’t have either surrender or iwytwm. still great though.

  • spinalcrackerbox | Sunday, November 01, 2009 | 11:00 am

simonc, this is because these are only excerpts and not the whole show. This first appeared on side 4 of the vinyl boot ‘California Man ’78’ and I loved it back then and wished we’d get the whole show one day. 30 years later, we got 2 more songs :-). At this rate I have to live a really long life, lol. Funnily, this is the only band on this website where we are always promised a new recording – this is the second time now, and we are always given the one we’ve already had. At least it’s a great one. The Bottom Line had 400 seats. For those who doubt this was recorded there, all shows that were recorded there have a similar ambiance. Check them out. Compare this, for example, to the two Peter Gabriel shows recorded a few months later on October 4th and you will agree that this is indeed the same venue.

  • spinalcrackerbox | Sunday, November 01, 2009 | 1:38 pm

And since I’m feeling like a detail freak tonight, I found the setlist for the NY, Palladium, 11/12/77 show – in case the Vault finds it after all: 1. HELLO THERE 2.COME ON, COME ON 3. ELO KIDDIES 4. SPEAK NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE 5. BIG EYES 6. SOUTHERN GIRLS 7. DOWNED 8. MRS. HENRY 9. GOONIGHT NOW 10. CLOCK STRIKES TEN

  • spinalcrackerbox | Tuesday, November 03, 2009 | 11:46 am

Dear Wolfgangsvault, the correct venue is: The Bottom Line, New York & the correct date is still June 12, 1978

  • Dopeburger | Wednesday, November 04, 2009 | 11:26 am

Hey spinalcrackerbox, thanks for the input. We originally listed this show under the date/venue you suggest but, based on the audio, we decided this show could not have been recorded at the Bottom Line…the crowd noise, announcer, and Zander’s mic all indicate otherwise. Also, I believe we found out why this set was often mislabeled as the BL — it was broadcast with a BL Rockpile show and was so mistakenly assumed to have also been recorded there. Because they thank NYC, we narrowed it down to the Palladium in 77 or 78 and, thanks to recent help pinpointing this set as taking place in ’78, we’ve updated the date from ’77. It’s been a long, strange trip, but we’re pretty confident we’ve gotten to the bottom of this. thanks, pete

  • spinalcrackerbox | Sunday, November 22, 2009 | 2:59 am

Hi Pete, thanks for the message. I had always assumed that the original venue and date was correct and really hear a similar room feel compared to other BL recordings but I stand corrected. Have you ever found the rest of this show as obviously we have only selection of the full set here with many songs missing in between?
This is perhaps my favourite ever live recording, despite a lack of bass.

  • spinalcrackerbox | Sunday, November 22, 2009 | 4:05 am

Just to round out things, here’s the setlist for their Passaic, NJ show recorded in early December of ’78 (mostly listed as the 8th, also as the 5th – we only know for sure that CT played Calderone Hall in Hempstead, NY on the 9th as there is a ticket stub for this): 01 Hello There
02. Come On Come On
03. Stiff Competition
04. On Top Of The World
05. Guitar Solo
06. Big Eyes
07. Ain’t That A Shame
08. Southern Girls
09. Need Your Love
10. I Want You To Want Me
11. California Man
12. Surrender
13. Goodnight Now
14. Heaven Tonight.
15. Auf Wiedersehen
16. Clock Strikes Ten

  • Anonymous | Monday, November 23, 2009 | 11:01 am


Is it possible CT only played seven songs that night since thye were opening for The Cars? The Cars have a full show from the Palladium that same night. Seven songs still seems like a paltry set, but I just thought I’d throw that out there.

  • spinalcrackerbox | Sunday, December 13, 2009 | 5:51 am

Regarding CT only playing 7 songs and The Cars actually headlining: a.) I hear cuts between some songs: between 1. and 2. and 2. into 3. at least. b.) the ticket stub says:
Cheap Trick with The Cars – The Palladium (New York, NY) – September 22, 1978
So either it was a double bill or The Cars opened for CT but not the other way around.

  • spinalcrackerbox | Sunday, December 13, 2009 | 7:05 am

One more point to support my claim that this is not the complete show. CT’s setlist didn’t change much and in those early years “Come On, Come On” ALWAYS followed “Hello There”. They were more like a medley than two separate songs.

Footage from the after show party at the Palladium.


78 California Man was produced at the same time in 1979 as the Springsteen title Bruce Springsteen ’78 ACR 61. Copies of the CT title went out that contained one disc from the Springsteen set. I know, as I was one of the unlucky recipients of just such a set, ordered via the Pied Piper Catalog from Chapel Hill, NC. They did recall and exchange the sets though. Their next catalog talked about how they had left the running of the business to someone else, who hadn’t done such a good job, but now the real Pied Piper was back. Hmm, were they assembling albums as well? …  Funny that I still remember that but have forgotten infinitely more important details of my past life.


ACR 25

Bowie Live in Stockholm

DAVID BOWIE not in Stockholm and not in 1979: Gothenburg, Sweden 4 June, 1978

Unfortunately incomplete but with excellent audio quality, another great Bowie bootleg from Vickie Vinyl. “Warszawa” mislabeled as “Secret Life of Arabia” and “Sense of Doubt” present but not listed and neither listed nor present are the encores of the last three songs.

Complete concert set:

01. Warszawa
02. Heroes
03. What In The World
04. Be My Wife
05. The Jean Genie
06. Blackout
07. Sense Of Doubt
08. Speed Of Life
09. Breaking Glass
10. Fame
11. Beauty And The Beast
12. Five Years
13. Soul Love
14. Star
15. Hang On To Yourself
16. Ziggy Stardust
17. Suffragette City
18. Art Decade
19. Alabama Song
20. Station To Station
21. Stay
22. TVC 15
23. Rebel Rebel


Bowie Stockholm 79 b

Overstock copies of disc 1 supposedly exist with an insert called Live In Gothenburg but I did not find another image for this other than the small thumb nail on Bassmann’s Bowie bootlegs page.

In 1983, the 1980’s GLC label reissued this title with a corrected date:

Bowie Stockholm 78


ACR 52

Cars 78Cars 78 b

I do believe that the same venue mis-identification issue applies here that we saw on 78 CALIFORNIA MAN : The Bottom line tracks are actually from the New York Palladium, 22 September 1978 (this recording is also available at wolfgangsvault and with even more tracks than the CT recording (12)). The bad news is that the sound is not good on either side of this album. The worst part of 1970’s bootlegging was the general lack of care applied to the mastering part, to release mediocre and azimuth misaligned material when that was not really necessary.

Side 1 (NY Palladium):

The Good Times Roll / My Best Friends Girl  / Since I Held You  / Just What I Needed  / You’re All I’ve Got Tonight   

Compare here:

If you were interested in this show, you had made a much better choice picking up 59 STUDE’ (THE BACKSEAT ) on Excitable Recordworks, which had more songs and sounded much better too.

Side 2: (Boston Paradise Theater, 01 July 1978 – Suicide & The Cars, broadcast on WBCN):

Bye Bye Love  / The Nights Fast  / I’m In Touch with Your World  / Moving In Stereo  / All Mixed Up

Original set list:

01 intro 2:00
02 Let the Good Times Roll 3:48
03 Bye Bye Love 4:30
04 Night Spots 4:27 (announced as a “new one”)
05 My Best Friend’s Girl 4:00
06 Moving In Stereo 5:04
07 In Touch With Your World 4:00
08 Take What You Want 4:32
09 They Won’t See You [?] 4:26
10 You’re All I’ve Got Tonight 4:16
11 Just What I Needed 3:46
encore break 1:14
12 Doncha Stop 3:26
13 encore break 0:49
14 Hotel Queenie 3:16

total time: 53:42

This bootleg has it’s own in depth review page here:


ACR 61

Springsteen 78 xSpringsteen 78 b

Live broadcast from the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ – 19 September 1978. Misidentified city on the back cover – was this done intentionally to create an apparently different product from the Piece De Resistance box?

This is a new master, not just two of the Piece De Resistance discs sold in a new sleeve. I wonder which of the two came out first? Unfortunately there are no dates given on the site.

Side 1: Badlands / Streets Of Fire / Independence Day / Promised Land
Side 2: Racing In The Streets / Thunder Road / Meeting Across The River / Because The Night
Side 3: Kitty’s Back / Not Fade Away – She’s The One
Side 4: Backstreets / Rosalita

Springsteen 78 lbls

More individualized Ruthless Rhymes labels but who is Bruce “Sprinsteen”?


Two different pressings may be spotted looking at the matrix on the records:
Some have ACR 16 CHEAP-A // ACR 16-B // ARC 61-C Bruce // ACR 61-D
Others have ACR 61-A // ACR 61-B BRUCE // ARC 61-C BRUCE // ACR 61-D

Springsteen 78

CT P Female B cover

This must have been Death Records’ best seller as it met with the band’s rocket-like rise after the Budokan album leaked as an import. Also on clear vinyl (looks like a re-pressing). This LP was plentiful around 1979/80, try finding one now that isn’t an arm and a leg.


Side 1: Oh Candy / Southern Girls / Cry Cry – rated “Fair mono” in Hot Wacks. I actually think it is better than that. Never did they sound heavier than on this recording as the recording emphasizes the bottom end. Recording is from my collection.

CT P F B label

Side 2: Big Eyes / Taxman, Mr. Thief / He’s A Whore / Goodnight Now

CT J Jett Santa Monica 77

Cheap Trick Trick or Treat

Cheap Trick ToT b

I don’t know who did the following bootleg, I don’t think it was Ken, containing the almost identical recording (“You’re A Loser” is only on Trick Or Treat while “He’s A Whore” can only be found on Samurai Rock Band.)  As the title suggests, SRB appeared after their initially import only Live At The Budokan had crossed over.

I believe the date given as October 31st by IMP is wrong and was picked to go with the album title. It is known that CT played at the Rockford Guard Armory on October 8th ’77 with Ram Jam and Jay Ferguson.

CT Samurai Rock Band

Cheap Tric SRB b

The complete recording:

FULL SHOW FROM WXYE MADISON WI [I believe the call sign is incorrect] ANALOG MASTER TO DAT CLONE 1




They were back soon: