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Profiles In Rock: Ten Things You Need To Know About Bun E. Carlos

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As part of my new "fairness doctrine," I'm going to celebrate the career of Bun E. Carlos, despite the fact that he only turns 60 on Sunday, June 12. This makes him the youngest person to be given a tribute here at List of the Day, since we accidentally paid tribute to that youth-group The Ramones a few months back.

I don't want to get in the habit of promoting musicians who haven't yet paid their dues. But once in awhile I like to stick my neck out and let the new kids get a shot at the column. Have you heard this Elvis Costello fellow? A little gimmicky, but I think he might be with us for a while!

Bun E. Carlos came to my attention when I was working on that amazing, insightful, life-changing list of Supergroups earlier this week. Turns out there's a lot (something) to know about Bun E. Carlos. Let's discover him together!


10) He Played On That Song "Surrender": You know the song, "Your mommy's alright, your daddy's alright, they just seem a little bit weird." It was in movies like Up the Academy, Over the Edge, Fast Times In Ridgemont High, Detroit Rock City and Daddy Day Care. That's how you know it's good.

9) He Played With Cheap Trick: That "Surrender" song was originally played by Cheap Trick, a popular Midwestern hard rock band from the 1970s. Very popular with the kids.

8) He Wore The Correct Clothes On Stage: Unlike so many disrespectful musicians, Mr. Carlos dresses properly on stage. I do wish he'd button up but we'll let it go. His lead singer looked a little bit like a gigolo, if you ask me.

7) He Played On That "Dream Police" Song: You might remember this song from the movie Hard Rock Treasures or the Simpsons episode Two Bad Neighbors where Apu sings the chorus. Or maybe you heard it at Rite Aid pharmacy, since it was featured on the Rite Aid Radio Network. I'm telling you, these guys have a future!

6) He Is Left-Handed: Like myself and other great people, Bun E. Carlos is left-handed. He is known to play the drums left-handed and, for appeasement purposes, right-handed. He sounds better lefty, but maybe that's my bias showing.

5) He Introduced His Own Line of Coffee: He currently has Bun E. Blend Version 2.0 Gourmet Coffee. It is certified Kosher! It is an intense blend of Columbian, Guatemalan and Sumatran coffees "providing a full body in a sharp envelope of smoky flavored Italian Style Roast." It is best when used right away.

4) He Is Also In Band Called Tinted Windows: In 2009, he released his first album with Tinted Windows, a group featuring Taylor Hanson of Hanson, James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins and Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne. He is the oldest member of the band and, therefore, can tell these high schoolers what to do.

3) He Played On That "I Want You To Want Me" Song: Cheap Trick were always big in Japan. It's part of our cultural exchange. They send us cars. We send them rock bands.

2) He Also Played in the Bun E. Carlos Experience: This fine group featuring former Luxury guitarist Phil Miller played songs from the catalog of Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Lou Rawls and Cheap Trick. They are no longer together. I would have loved to hear them sing "We're In This Love Together." Oh, wait, that was Al Jarreau.

1) He Is Still In Cheap Trick But No Longer The Touring Drummer: Carlos has been removed as the touring drummer in favor of Rick Nielsen's son, Daxx. Carlos will remain a limited partner and an official member of the groups. Sounds to me like he still gets paid but doesn't have to work as hard. Very good, Bun and Happy Birthday!

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