Saturday, 10 November 2018

Roy Wood: The Cheap Trick Connection

#1,464: Being as both Roy Wood and Cheap Trick will be touring the UK this December, Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) reckoned that it's an opportune time to look and the connections between Woody and the legendary rockers with a nod, of course, to ELO.

As far as this writer is aware, Cheap Trick have covered four Roy Wood penned songs to date. The Move's "California Man" in 1978, "Rock 'n' Roll Tonight" in 1990 (a version of "We're Gonna Rock 'n' Roll Tonight" from "Introducing Eddy and the Falcons" found on the album "Busted"), "Brontosaurus" in 1997 (the flip side to their "Baby Talk" single) and their 2017 cover of Wizzard's "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (as found on their "Christmas Christmas" album - see elobf review below). Roy also sang on "Money Is the Route Of All Fun", a demo found on the fourth disc of the 1996 box set "Sex, America, Cheap Trick" but recorded in sessions for "The Doctor" (1986).

Guest Review: Christmas Christmas (Cheap Trick)

And those links between Cheap Trick and ELO? The obvious one is Rick Nielsen's tongue-in-cheek "ELO Kiddies", the 'B' side of the 1978 single "Ain't That A Shame". The not-so-obvious mutuality is that the aforementioned album "The Doctor" also included a cover of the Billy Steinberg/Tom Kelly song "Kiss Me Red", which was also to be found on the debut Electric Light Orchestra Part Two album in 1991. In terms of performing together, Cheap Trick and Roy Wood have gigged together on a number of occasions, the first being at Barbarella's in Birmingham on Friday 16th February 1979 with another occurring during a 1995 charity concert in New York. They were also pictured together backstage at Holmdel, NJ in September 2016. Their respect is mutual with Roy often lauded as a major musical hero and inspiration for the band.

Tickets are still available to see the Roy Wood Rock 'n' Roll Band and/or Cheap Trick supporting Def Leppard via these links thus:

Roy Wood: On The Road Again in 2018

Left: Cheap Trick press release portrait
Above right: Cheap Trick at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1979 (Source: ~It's_me! @ Flickr)
Bottom right: Cheap Trick with Roy at Holmdel, NJ (Source: Cheap Trick @ Facebook)
Find out more about Cheap Trick via these official links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommend Cheap Trick to those enlightened folks who love ELO/Jeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 10-Nov-2018


  1. Cheap Trick also covered The Move's "Blackberry Way" as a bonus track on their 2017 album, "We're All Alright!"

    1. George ... Many thanx for letting me know that there is a fifth cover out there. Much appreciated ... KJS@elobf

  2. I was at Barbarella's in Birmingham on Friday 16th February 1979, and this was the first time I had ever I had seen Roy live. Too young to see Wizzard 😥 From memory what happened was Cheap Trick were interviewed on local radio And Rick said "we are in your City Roy, so if your free come and join us" which he did. This was promoting their album live at the Budokan which is a must if you have not got it. Certainly one of my top 20 albums of all time.

  3. Sex, America, Cheap Trick also has a live version of Down On The Bay

  4. I first saw Cheap Trick in concert at Birmingham Odeon on 4th November 1980 and on came Roy Wood to sing on a few songs. Then fast forward a mere 38 years to last Monday night in Birmingham at the Def Leppard concert. Cheap Trick supporting and on came Roy again. So I feel quite privileged to have experienced the Cheap Trick / Roy Wood combination on more than one occasion. Thoroughly enjoyed both!