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Cheap Trick’s Nielsen reveals AC/DC dream

Guitarist Rick says he could have made it with Aussie giants if he’d emigrated

Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen says he would be a cornerstone of AC/DC or The Angels if red tape hadn’t scuppered his attempts to emigrate to Australia more than 40 years ago.

His planned move Down Under hit problems in 1971 because of a quarantine issue and he insists he would have made an impact in the country – although Cheap Trick would never have formed.

He tells the Newcastle Herald: “In 1971, we tried to emigrate to Australia before we had any kids, so our dog was our kid. They wouldn't let us in the country. We had to be in quarantine. 

“I’d be in AC/DC or The Angels right now if that had have happened.”

But Nielsen and Cheap Trick will get a chance to revisit Australia when they’ll hook up with The Angels for a co-headlining show at A Day On The Green in February 2015. It will be their first visit to the country since their 2008 run with Def Leppard.

Nielsen appears on upcoming Foo Fighters album Sonic Highways, which launches on November 10 and also appears in the HBO special about the making of the record. And the collaboration came about because frontman Dave Grohl quizzed him about his knowledge of Chicago.

He continues: “The Foo Fighters were recording in different cities and Chicago was one of them. Dave called me and asked what I knew about Chicago. One thing led to another and they asked me if I would play on the record. I went in and they said, ‘We like what you’re doing. Come back in here tomorrow and do the video with us.’ So, now I’m in the video.”

Along with Grohl, Nielsen says he’s good friends with Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor. “When they're not being rock stars, they play Cheap Trick stuff,” he says.

Cheap Trick head out on a North American tour later this year, starting December 3 in Charleston.

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