Bun E. Carlos

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Bun E. Carlos
Nielsen, Carlos and Zander, of the band Cheap Trick, on tour with Def Leppard and Poison in 2009 at the Sleep Train Amphitheater in Marysville, CA
Background information
Birth nameBrad Carlson
Born (1950-06-12) June 12, 1950 (age 69) Rockford, Illinois, United States[1]
Occupation(s)Musician, archivist
Associated actsCheap Trick, Tinted Windows, The Bun E Carlos Experience, The Monday Night Band

Brad M. Carlson (born June 12, 1950),[2] better known by the stage name Bun E. Carlos, is the original drummer for American rock band Cheap Trick. He was 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.[citation needed] 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 bags 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 had stopped touring with Cheap Trick but that he still remained a band member. Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen's son Daxx was named in the statement as the touring drummer.[5]

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!, with Jon E Brant. [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 and 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 claimed that he was still a band member, he was not being allowed to participate in band-related activities. 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. … 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.” Carlos is a business partner in the Cheap Trick merchandising business and remains involved in their releases of older material which he participated in the recording of: having curated the first of 'The Epic Archive' series releases, gathering a number out-takes, single edits and live rarities on CD.[citation needed]

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 Jon Brant, who was with the band during the 1981 to 1987 absence of Tom Petersson. He also thanked his parents for buying his first drum kit he received as a youth.[8]

The band played a variety of songs with Bun E. Carlos on the drum kit again. Cheap Trick founder and guitarist Rick Nielsen was reportedly excited to play alongside of his original bandmate saying "they are inducting the people that made the records way back when and that's good. He deserves it."[9]

A common theme during all four band members speaking was a true love and respect for George Martin. It was mentioned[citation needed] that George's favorite band to work with other than The Beatles was Cheap Trick. The Hall Of Fame live set list included: "I Want You To Want Me", "Dream Police", "Surrender" and "Ain't That A Shame".[10]


  1. ^ Reputation is a fragile thing: The story of Cheap Trick; MIke Hayes with Ken Sharp, published by Poptastic, 1998, p.12, ISBN 978-0966208108
  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. ^ ""Greetings from Bunezuela!" by Bun E. Carlos on iTunes". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  7. ^ "Robin Zander Says Spilled Beer Helped Revive Cheap Trick, Discusses Bun E. Carlos Lawsuit". Ultimateclassicrock.com. 2015-02-26. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  8. ^ "Cheap Trick - RnR Hall of Fame Acceptance Speeches - full, uncut". youtube.com. 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  9. ^ "RICK NIELSEN SAYS BUN E. CARLOS 'DESERVES' TO PLAY AT CHEAP TRICK'S ROCK HALL INDUCTION". Ultimateclassicrock.com. 2016-03-28. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  10. ^ Cheap Trick Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame info and quotes from The Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper and website.

External links[edit]