Rockford, IL (PRWEB) June 27, 2012
He’s got the look. It’s a look that fans have surrendered to for nearly 40 years. Cheap Trick guitarist, Rick Nielsen is known for his songwriting prowess, skillful playing, singular stage presence - and his signature personal style. So, his soon-to-be-debuted exhibit, Rick’s Picks: A Lifelong Affair With Guitars & Music, will reveal more than just his affinity for guitars and music. It will reveal details about his love for wearing black and white checkerboard accented by splashes of color.
Longtime Cheap Trick photographer and personal Nielsen confidant Michael Graham explains, “It all began when Rick was a child--he never liked dressing like the other kids. There’s a photo of him at age 9, feverishly working on his soapbox derby car: in a bow tie. He used to stay up late and wait for the TV stations to go off air--he loved the intricate patterns the static would make. If you think about it, that was a sort of animated checkerboard. It’s all part of Rick’s fairly simple approach to life: black/white; yes/no; yin/yang. Stop/Go. Well, mostly go, actually.”
When Rick’s music career began to take off, Rick could only be Rick--there wasn’t even a choice when it came to clothing. But back in the 70s, off-center attire simply wasn’t on the store shelves, so Rick enlisted the help of Sally Walton, an English sweater maker, to create dozens of custom wool sweaters, complete with music lyrics, album titles, and inside jokes - all designed largely by Rick himself.
But, it wasn’t until Rick and Hamer Guitars created the first Checkerboard Standard in 1978 that the checkerboard motif became a major character in Nielsen’s musical passion play. Amps, travel cases, suit cases, all forms of clothing, cars, trucks, a John Deere riding mower, even iPhone and iPad cases have been bedecked in black and white squares. The guitar with a style all its own is the envy of players worldwide - and a character in its own right in Cheap Trick’s stage performances.
These and many other items, like Rick’s iconic bow ties, hats, sunglasses, custom made wrestling and running shoes, sneakers, (many co-designed with Nike, Mizuno, Asics, Reebok, etc) worn on stages around the world and some later displayed in Hard Rock Cafes from Chicago to Tokyo and in almost every other Hard Rock location in between. Even the Henry Ford museum has showcased Rick’s famous John Deere riding mower. And soon, they’ll all appear together at Rick’s favorite hometown museum, the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Illinois.
Of course, Rick’s Picks content will consist of much more than Rick’s many fashion statements. Exhibit attendees will see guitars belonging to Nielsen and his friends, listen to rare demo tapes, marvel at original handwritten lyrics, review road logs and much more.
The exhibit opens in Nielsen’s hometown of Rockford, Illinois with preview tours for sponsors, special guests and the media on August 10th, 2012, and to the general public on Saturday, August 11th, 2012 at Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 North Main Street Rockford, IL 61103. A celebratory concert, Rick Nielsen & Friends is being planned for January, 2013. Find more information on Facebook. Or follow emerging news on Twitter.
Post-Rockford, officials intend to send the exhibit on an worldwide tour. Corporations and Organizations interested in national and international sponsorship of the exhibit are invited to visit the Rick’s Picks Sponsorship page, or to contact Rick’s Picks Director of National Sponsorship, Jennie Walker at jwalker(at)rickspickslive(dot)com for more information. Many levels of collaboration are available.
About Rick’s Picks
It’s Guitars. It’s Rick. It’s Music History. It's a Fundraiser. From Rockford, Illinois’ skating rinks to Tokyo’s Budokan, Rick’s Picks tells the 40-year story of one of the hardest-working stars in Rock & Roll. As one would expect, Rick has more stories than his five neck has strings. Rick's Picks also is a fundraiser for Rick Nielsen's favorite hometown museum, the Burpee Museum of Natural History. For more information, visit http://www.rickspickslive.com or contact Anne Boccignone, 815-742-0110, aboccignone(at)grahamspencer(dot)com.
About Burpee Museum of Natural History
Since 1942, Burpee Museum of Natural History has inspired people to engage in a lifetime of learning about the natural world. Burpee Museum of Natural History is home to 66-million year old juvenile T.rex, Jane, as well as a number of other interactive and educational exhibits. For more information, or to see a schedule of events, please visit http://www.burpee.org.
About Rick Nielsen & Cheap Trick
When Cheap Trick burst onto the national music scene in the 1970s, it broke new ground with a punkish, hard-edged brand of literate garage rock that was the perfect antidote to what ailed weary FM radio listeners worldwide. The band’s uniquely midwestern sensibilities have been deftly recorded in 28 albums and laid bare in thousands upon thousands of performances worldwide. With walls of gold and platinum records to prove their enduring success, Cheap Trick and its pick-flinging, checkerboard-bedecked dynamo Rick Nielsen have never stopped touring, much to the delight of one of rock history’s most loyal fan bases. Rick Nielsen, and bandmates Robin Zander and Tom Petersson can be seen touring with Aerosmith in major cities across North America this summer. The band and the tour were named among “the summer’s hottest” by Rolling Stone magazine.