Cheap Trick Brood Pursues Family Business In Rockford

Members of Cheap Trick were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last week, but the legacy of the 1970s-era band from Rockford doesn’t stop there.

Several of the band members’ children also have taken on careers in music, the Rockford Register Star reported. Some of the band’s brood can usually be found performing weekly on stages in Rockford.

Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Bun E. Carlos, Tom Petersson, Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen at the 31st annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Holland Zander – daughter of lead singer Robin Zander – is the vocalist for local cover band The Sensations.

Her brother, Ian, played bass or guitar in several recent projects, including Captain Wails and the Harpoons, Pink Beam and Hilly Jones. He continues to pursue music and works at the Octane InterLounge in Rockford to fund his career.

Miles Nielsen — son of guitarist Rick Nielsen – is the frontman of his own band, Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts, which will soon release an album and hit the road for club shows and festival stages. He also helps young people in the area with their musical aspirations.

“I tell them the whole process, from ‘Hey, this is a great job. You can ride around the country with your best buddies and somehow get away with it,’ (to) being observant, being creative,” Nielsen said.

His brother, Daxx, toured internationally as a drummer with different groups. He now tours as a drummer with Cheap Trick.

But the Nielsens never felt any pressure from their parents to become musicians. Daxx Nielsen said he and his brother, Miles, “were just bit with” the desire to play music.

Ian Zander also said growing up in a music household inspired him to pursue music. He compared his experience to a child who enjoys running with his parents and goes on to be a runner later in life.

“Even if I wasn’t making any money, I’d have to go home and play something. It’s an addiction, just like anything you are programmed to enjoy,” he said.

Cheap Trick was inducted into the rock hall Friday.