Artist Details

Robin Zander

Cheap Trick's Robin Zander holds the distinction of being perhaps the only singer in rock history whose influence can be detected in such polar opposite musical styles as '80s glam metal (Mötley Crüe's Vince Neil, Enuff Z'nuff's Donnie Vie), and '90s alternative (Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland, etc.). Born on January 23, 1953 in Beloit, Wisconsin (but raised in Loves Park, Illinois), Zander discovered his fondness for music via his father's jazz band, as well as his older sister's record collection. But as with countless other subsequent musicians, it was the Beatles' infamous appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show that inspired Zander to pick up the guitar, and play in various high-school bands. By the dawn of the '70s, Zander turned his back on rock for a spell, as he played in a folk band with a piano player (Zander and Kent), which held down a residency for three summers at the Wisconsin Dells Picadilly Pub. Between breaks however, Zander would play in groups that featured drummer Bun E. Carlos. But it wasn't until a stint during the early '70s where Zander hitchhiked across Europe that he was approached by Carlos and his bandmates to join their group full-time (who just happened to be in France on a night that Zander was playing a solo show at a pub). Zander was still under contract with Wisconsin Dells however, and had to decline the offer. By September of 1974, Zander had moved back to the U.S., and his contract with the Dells had finally expired -- resulting in a second invite to join Carlos' band, Cheap Trick (which also included guitarist Rick Nielsen and bassist Tom Petersson). This time, Zander accepted.

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