My role: Engineer, Basic Tracks
Cheap Trick was the first real rock concert I ever went to: September 15, 1979, at the Dane County Coliseum. Eddie Money opened. I only know this in such detail because someone has created a website that exhaustively documents every Cheap Trick concert ever to have taken place, although they missed the show at Madison West High School the year before I was a freshman. Needless to say, growing up in Madison, a hotbed of Cheap-Trickery, the band was a major component of the soundtrack to my teenage years. In 2002 I got a call saying that they were going to be coming through Madison in a few days and wanted to re-record Surrender - could I engineer?
We just recorded basic tracks - Bun E Carlos and Tom Peterson. They were amazing - incredibly tight. It was as if they were reading each other’s minds as they played. I’ve tried to explain to a lot of young bands the difference between playing at the same time and playing together. Cheap Trick plays together. I’m sure if you loaded them into Pro Tools and put them on a grid, it wouldn’t be perfect, but to chop it up and align it all it would be ruinous. What they have - what any great rhythm section has - is unique and human. You can capture it, but I don’t think you can synthesize it with digital trickery.
The finished song is on the soundtrack to Daddy Day Care - a true milestone in the annals of cinematic art.