Rick Nielsen is With me Forever
About a month before The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony, I asked Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick a favor.
What started for me as being a "fan boy" like everyone else has turned into a fun friendship.
When I was in the 9th grade I had my first chance to see Cheap Trick in concert. I grew up on KISS, and other big rock bands so getting to see Cheap Trick live was a big deal.
My friend Mike Chaplin and I waited outside in the freezing cold for eight hours in front of Quality House Furniture in Freeport. The furniture store was a Metro Centre ticket outlet, so we wanted to be first in line. We left with 2nd row dead center tickets, and from that moment things changed.
Over the years I've developed a pretty cool relationship with Rick Nielsen and family. So I was thinking one day that I wanted a unique Cheap Trick related tattoo. I made mention that I was thinking about doing this and was invited over to discuss.
When I showed up at the Nielsen home, he was sitting at the dining room table with a Sharpie, a piece of paper and his computer. Rick showed be a bunch of pictures of other Cheap Trick tattoos that fans have sent him. Trust me, some of these are simply insane.
So Rick was telling me he had to draw his "logo" (which is a cartoon drawing of himself that uses as part of his autograph) and send it to his guitar company, because they were going to put it on his new custom guitar model. So Rick put pen to paper, scanned and sent to guitar designers and then handed me the paper. "What do you think of this Captain"? Done.
The original drawings are framed and on my office wall. Just to have that, how luck am I?
Over the weekend I went to see my guy, Mike Vega at Sacred Art. Forty minutes later, what Rick Nielsen drew on a piece of paper at his dining room table was on my arm. I love it.
It's unique, it's one of a kind, and it means the world to me. One thing that I sucked at the last 15 years of my radio career, was the ability to take a step back and soak it in. Enjoy the fact that I get to do some pretty cool, interesting and unique things. This is something I have thought about all weekend. Thank you Rick.