Bun E. Carlos

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Bun E. Carlos
Birth name Brad Carlson
Born (1950-06-12) June 12, 1950 (age 66) Rockford, Illinois[1]
Origin Rockford, Illinois
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Musician, archivist
Instruments Drums, guitar
Associated acts Cheap Trick, Tinted Windows, The Bun E Carlos Experience, The Monday Night Band
Notable instruments
Zildjian cymbals, Ludwig drums

Brad M. Carlson (born June 12, 1950),[2] better known by the stage name Bun E. Carlos, is the primary drummer for American rock band Cheap Trick. He is the band's chief setlister and archivist, and maintained recordings of all the band's shows, some of which have been released under the title 'Bun E's Bootlegs'. Carlos has two side bands with former Cheap Trick bassist Jon Brant: The Bun E Carlos Experience, and the Monday Night Band.

Carlos is left-handed, but has alternated between left and right-handed playing throughout his career. He has several writing credits, the most notable of which is the drum solo track "Who D'King", from the album All Shook Up, and Bun E. in a Box (2004), a drum sample CD.

In the late 1990s, Carlos introduced his own line of coffee. At one point, he offered a Special Limited Edition hand-signed numbered bag of coffee.[3]

In 2009, Carlos, together with Hanson singer Taylor Hanson, former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, and Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger, formed a new band, Tinted Windows. This new project ran alongside each of the artists' main bands. Tinted Windows played its first publicized gig at SXSW in Austin, Texas on March 20, 2009, and appeared on late-night network TV shows. Their album was released on April 21, 2009.[4]

On March 19, 2010, Cheap Trick issued a statement that Carlos is not the current touring drummer for Cheap Trick but that he still remains a band member. Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen's son Daxx was named in the statement as the touring drummer.[5] Carlos has stated that he hasn't heard from the band "in a couple years" and that "maybe we’ll kiss and make up".

In 2011, Carlos once again debuted a band at SXSW in the form of his new project Candy Golde. The other members of Candy Golde are Nicholas Tremulis, John Stirratt (Wilco, the Autumn Defense) and Rick Rizzo (Eleventh Dream Day). Mark Greenburg (The Coctails) was added to the band when they started to play live shows. Their 5-song EP was mastered by Ivan Julian of Richard Hell and the Voidoids. The EP contains four originals and a cover of Paul Simon's "Boy in the Bubble", issued for limited edition 10" vinyl and download on Ten O Nine Records.

On August 21, 2014, he filled in for drummer John Cowsill on a sold out Beach Boys concert in Princeton, Illinois.

On June 24, 2016, Carlos issued his first-ever solo album, Greetings From Bunezuela![6]


Carlos uses Ludwig Drums, Zildjian cymbals, Remo & Ludwig drumheads, Ludwig & DW hardware, Pro-Mark signature drumsticks, and Wilson gloves.

Ludwig Maple Classic Drums: 6.5" X 14" matching maple Snare (or a 5"X14" Black Beauty Snare), 9" X 13" Rack Tom, 16" X 16" Floor Tom, 16" X 26" Bass Drum

Zildjian Cymbals: 14" A New Beat Hi-Hats, 20" A Medium-Thin Crash, 20" K Medium Dry Ride, 18" A Medium-Thin Crash

Lawsuit & Reunion at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame[edit]

In 2013, Carlos filed a lawsuit against his former Cheap Trick bandmates, claiming that even though they claim that he is still a band member, he is not being allowed to participate in band-related activities, including recording a new album. The remaining three members of Cheap Trick filed a countersuit, seeking an official affirmation of their removal of Carlos. Their lawsuit was thrown out by a Delaware judge in late 2013.[7]

On February 26, 2015, Robin Zander announced that the lawsuit was over. “We’ve settled our differences,” Zander continued. “Bun E.’s a member of the band, but he’s not touring and he’s not recording. … We’ve had our differences, but we’re all settled up now and hopefully we can forget about that era. These decisions that Cheap Trick makes, Bun E. is part of.”

Bun E. Carlos appeared with Cheap Trick on April 4, 2016 as the band was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He spoke about the band's early days during his part of the acceptance speech. He gave thanks to many of those involved with various aspects of the band, including the three other original members plus bass player's Jon Brant, & Peter Comita who were with the band during the 1981 to 1987 absence of Tom Peterson. He also thanked his parents for buying his first drum kit he received as a youth.

The band played a variety of songs with Bun E. Carlos on the drum kit again. Cheap Trick founder and guitarist Rick Nielson was reportedly excited to play along side of his original band-mate saying "they are inducting the people that made the records way back when and that's good. He deserves it."

A common theme during all four band members speaking was a true love and respect for legendary producer George Martin. It was mentioned that George's favorite band to work with not named The Beatles was indeed Cheap Trick. The Hall Of Fame live set list included: I Want You To Want Me, Dream Police, Surrender & Ain't That A Shame. The band was in classic form and was very well received by the sell out crowd, a band trademark over all the years of playing live. [8]


  1. ^ Reputation is a fragile thing p12
  2. ^ "Today in history". ABC News. Associated Press. June 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Bun E Carlos Blend Story". Coffee-n-Caffeine. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
  4. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (February 17, 2009). "Iha, Carlos, Hanson, Schlesinger Form Band". Billboard.com. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
  5. ^ Braun, Georgette (March 22, 2010). "Nielsen’s son, Daxx, is now drumming for Bun E. on Cheap Trick tour" Archived October 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. RRStar.com. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
  6. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/greetings-from-bunezuela!/id1116395890?ls=1&app=itunes
  7. ^ http://ultimateclassicrock.com/cheap-trick-tom-petersson-return/?trackback=tsmclip
  8. ^ 4/4/2016 Cheap Trick Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame info & quotes from The Cleveland Plain Dealer Newspaper & website.

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