It always sounded as though Cheap Trick frontman Robin Zander was taking a little vocal shortcut on the band’s bubblegum classic “I Want You to Want Me.” For some reason, the phrase “didn’t I” wouldn’t roll off the tongue the way he wanted, so he seemed to be singing, “Oh-oh, deedle-I, deedle-I, deedle-I see you cryin’?”
As this clip from the band’s upcoming Guitar Center Sessions performance seems to confirm, “deedle” it is. The quirky band’s quirky song still packs a giddy wallop nearly 35 years after the release of their career-making live album At Budokan (which was originally supposed to be released in Japan alone). They’ve been celebrating with a deluxe anniversary edition of the album, and they’ll perform on the last episode of the Guitar Center Sessions‘ seventh season, which airs at 9 p.m. EST/10 p.m. PST on Friday on DirecTV’s Audience Network.
Though the musicians were already in their mid-twenties and a bit beyond at the time, At Budokan established Cheap Trick as the teen-pop act of their moment. They’re a lot older now, but they still get energized by rock & roll. “Often times with legacy acts, you can tell they’re calling it in,” Sessions host Nic Harcourt tells Rolling Stone. “Not these guys – they still mean it and sure as shit deliver live.” At the end of the song, guitarist Rick Nielsen repeatedly kisses the neck of the Les Paul he’s just finished wrangling. It’s a fitting gesture, given the setting.