jon nielsen

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Videoranch attended the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco this weekend. The past week, every time the festival came up, Nez mentioned how excited he was to see Cheap Trick and how he hoped they’d play Ain’t That A Shame – “one of the great rock bands playing one of the great rock songs.”

We were lucky enough to get backstage passes for the festival, and while waiting behind the Towers of Gold Stage for Cheap Trick to come on, a man walked up to Nez and said, “Hi, I’m Rick!” After a beat, Nez connected that it was Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick! Soon the whole band was around him, asking for photos and handing him guitar picks. Tom Petersson brought up his 12-string blonde Gretsch bass guitar to show Nez.

Nez got to ask the band himself if they could play Ain’t That A Shame and they responded, “That’s an easy one! I think we can pull that together!” When Cheap Trick played his request, the exuberance of a teen at his first rock show lit up Nez’s face. Through dinner and the drive home, he kept returning to the gratification he felt from Cheap Trick’s welcoming.

Here is Nez with Robin Zander, Jon Langford, Rick Nielsen, Pete Finney, and Tom Petersson backstage just before Cheap Trick went onstage. And with Tom and his 12-string bass!