Cheap Trick Biography Getting Reissued
There’s no shortage of things to celebrate this year if you’re a Cheap Trick fan. The band recently released a new album and it's being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week. This summer, they’ll hit the road with fellow inductees Heart and Joan Jett for an extensive set of tour dates titled Rock Hall Three for All.
Adding to that pile of Cheap Trick news is word that fans will soon be able to get their hands on a limited reprint of Reputation Is a Fragile Thing: The Story of Cheap Trick, the long-out-of-print biography on the Rockford, Ill., band that was published in 1998 by authors Mike Hayes and Ken Sharp. You can pre-order the book now.
Drawing on interviews that the authors conducted with the band over the years, as well as additional material from secondary sources, the book also features more than 175 rare photographs, many of them previously unseen, plus a foreword written by Roy Wood of the Move, forming a comprehensive chronicle of the band’s work from 1973 through 1997.
“The initial idea for the book started to coalesce in the mid-'80s. At first it was purely for my own interest,” Hayes tells Ultimate Classic Rock. “I compiled random notes from a variety of sources as I tried to make sense of the band's history and origins. I drew on a lot of previously published material, as acknowledged in the final text, but over subsequent years also conducted several face-to-face and telephone interviews with various members of the band and its earlier incarnations and associates, past and present.
“By the end of the decade, the first manuscript was more or less complete, at which point Cheap Trick founding member and drummer Bun E. Carlos generously agreed to pore through the entire document, correcting errors and adding his own original comments and anecdotes," he continues. "The version with his hand-written notes is still a prized possession of mine.”
Hayes notes that the project stalled at the start of the ’90s, until he came across a self-published book by Sharp called Power Pop: Conversations With the Power Pop Elite, which in turn helped kick into gear the publication of Reputation Is a Fragile Thing. Sharp agreed to review the existing draft for the book and added his own extensive input, and also helped to source many of the photographs contained in the book.
New generations of fans have continued to discover the band since the book came out, and as Hayes points out, they’ve been forced to resort to places like eBay, where available copies have sold for high dollar amounts in the nearly 20 year span of time that the book has been unavailable officially.
With only a thousand copies printed on the initial run, the new pressing will finally give interested fans a chance to acquire a copy at a fair price. The reprinted edition will present the entire book as it was originally issued -- there haven’t been any updates to bring it up to date
“I did work on updates of the original text in more recent years, adding some fascinating new material from such people as former bass players Pete Comita and Stew Eriksson, but a full update has never come to fruition,” Hayes says. “Instead, there has been a steady demand for the original book, which culminated last year in plans to gauge the level of interest in a limited edition reprint.
“The book was written before the advent of the internet and social media. Given access to such a wide array of additional [sources] - and the years which have elapsed in the interim - if I was to revisit the project in future I'm confident there would be sufficient [material] to interest even those who already have the book in its current form,” he explains. “Whether that will ever happen, time will tell, and I would only consider it with the band's blessing. For now, it's great to see the original 1998 version of the book available once more.”
Delivery on pre-orders is expected by mid- to late-April. Once the pre-order for the pressing closes, there won't be any additional copies printed.
Cheap Trick Albums Ranked Worst to Best