Firstly, I want you to consider this article from the Age. Specifically, the following:
Ever since seeing a 50-ish Mick Jagger strutting all over the Wembley stage in the early '90s, Atkinson has been single-mindedly obsessed with achieving his own glittering rock stardom.
From dropping out of university to pursue a musical career, to knocking on record company doors with his acoustic guitar in hand, to posing nude in magazine spreads, Atkinson has done whatever it takes to make it. And it seems like his perseverance, and his adaptability, is beginning to pay off...
Atkinson must have known the line-up of his next band could have some very serious career ramifications, but he denies there was anything calculating in the way he went about recruiting new members.
Luke Potashnik was an old high-school mate Atkinson remembered for his reputation as a guitar wizard, while drummer David Neale was a friend of Luke's and bassist Ben Smyth was recruited through an ad in the paper.
The fact that they were all young and photogenic had absolutely nothing to do with it. Honestly.
"You'll see when we come over (to Australia)," he promises. "Luke is a shit-hot guitarist, and you'll understand the reason I decided to call him up in the first place. As far as the other guys, the number-one criterion was how good a musician they were. That's the reason I went and got all these guys, because they're shit-hot at what they do."
Now, I have no resentment whatsoever of manufactured bands. Some of my favourite music is wholly manufactured rubbish, and looking like you've just been grabbed off the street is no guarantee of authenticity or good music.
Nevertheless, the reason I like Cheap Trick - not love, just warmly like - is not their quintessential all-American soundtrackgenicity (come on, tell me "I Want You To Want Me" doesn't belong in an 80's teen romance flick starring Judge Reinhold) or the fact that Rick Neilsen was slagged by Axl Rose (although that is indeed truly awesome), or the fact that they were in Rock'n'Rule, a fucking totally cool animated movie also featuring the voices of Debbie Harry, Lou Reed & Iggy Pop as a bunch of mice fighting an evil plan to summon a demon to enable rockstar Mok to take over the world. It's this dude.
Ladies and gennelmen, Bun. E. Carlos. He has always looked like that. Actually, I take it back - since this pic was taken, his sartorial instincts have clearly improved.
But how rock is this? The band has at least two conventionally hot looking dudes (at least by some people's standards), they have the quintessential* rock madman Rick "The Dick" Neilsen (again, how cool is it to be slagged off by Axl Rose - it almost guarantees you a long and successful career), and yet in the face of worldwide stardom they have a bespectacled drummer whose pants are pulled up to his chest. Cheap Trick, I salute you.
*Yes, I've used the word "quintessential" twice in one post, but I stand by it.