2006 - No Strings Attached wins WAMI for Best Acoustic Act at the 26th Annual WAMI Awards Show!
"No other band that we play has generated more e-mails and phone calls than Milwaukee's own Bad Boy. Check out the Bad Boy website to get all their album releases plus stay tuned to the Brew for upcoming Bad Boy tour stop information." 97.3 THE BREW & THE BAND THAT MADE MILWAUKEE FAMOUS
2004, No Strings Attached / WAMI nominated for New Group / Artist of the Year.
2003, Bad Boy album "We Should've Been Dead by Now" / WAMI nominated for Album of the Year.
?? , Bad Boy inducted into the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Hall of Fame.rd gig in a band.
"Reputation is a Fragile Thing" "The story of Cheap Trick" by Mike Hayes with Ken Sharp. A great book that includes a section that talks all about Xeno's time with Cheap Trick along with some pics. Amongst other things, you can learn how Xeno inspired the bands name and why he decided to leave Cheap Trick to front the trend setting Minneapolis group "Straight Up".
From the Book: "We rehearsed in the garage over at Rick's parents' home. We had some really long, intensive rehearsals. I remember Rick standing next to me playing this Mark Farner kind of diddly diddly guitar riff, old Grand Funk Railroad. I turned to him and said, "Hey, that's a cheap trick." And he turns to me and said, "Hey, that's a great name for a band." He said to me that very same day "we're going to call you Xeno and spell it with an x", and I went "fine", now I have a stage name."
...."Rick and Bun E. had been to Europe and they were very familiar with hit songs in England which were not well known here", added Xeno. "We did a lot of those kind of songs, stuff like "Sour Milk Sea" by Jackie Lomax....One of our promo photos which shows me wearing a black hat, and Bun E. dressed in a kind of mink coat, was taken in Bun E.'s parents' back yard. At that time, we were going for a kind of glam look. We recorded some original songs. One track was "Hot Tomato". Bits and pieces of everything we did in those days is on an album somewhere. Rick used it later."
...Xeno remembered some of the more obscure material featured in the Cheap Trick sets of the early seventies:.... "The original songs came later. But funny enough, a lot of what we played people thought were original songs. For instance, we did "Do Ya" which nobody had heard yet. We did "Do You Feel Like We Do" by Frampton's Camel. I played mellotron on that, believe it or not. ... You've got to remember, this is '73, '74. I was a rock and roll singer in those days, a lot of high notes, very soulful, gritty, bluesy, very influenced by Steve Marriott, Robert Plant, Bob Trench.
...."I very much wanted to do a theatrical thing. I moved to Minneapolis and joined a band there called Straight Up. This was 1974. We did live video, recorded video, costume changes, all these special effects, we did quite a live show." "Xeno left voluntarily," confirmed Nielsen. "He got an opportunity to play with a band making two hundred and fifty bucks a week, and we were never near there.
City Pages VOL 19 #935 11/4/98 FROM FLANNEL TO GLITTER by Peter S. Scholtes
... But many fans of the current glam crop don't know that the Twin Cities produced its own bona fide glam band well before the music's mid-'80s hair-metal revival or Prince's purple reign. In fact, Minnesota's glam roots can be traced to 1973, when Cheap Trick's first singer, Xeno, left the Illinois-based power-pop group to join a Minneapolis theater-rock outfit called Straight Up.
Speaking via telephone from Milwaukee, the singer remembers playing First Avenue with Cheap Trick in '73, when the club was still called Uncle Sam's. "That's where I first met Straight Up," he says. "They showed up in a white limo and offered me $250 a week if I joined their band, which was a lot for a 21-year-old single guy." ..."We were all dressed up like sluts," laughs Xeno. "You'd wear your glittery clothes, some makeup, some scarves, and that's how you went onstage."
But Straight Up took its Bowie-inspired theatrics far more seriously, and when Xeno joined, he found himself rehearsing and choreographing carny-style skits and stunts that would make even Kiss blush. With the help of production manager Paul Stark, who went on to co-found Twin/Tone Records, the band learned to make artificial snow for a song called "Freezin' Slowly." They also added video backdrops, smoke bombs, and shooting flames to their show, which toured to sold-out clubs and ballrooms throughout the region.
Local rock fans remember other stunts: For one outdoor show, Xeno was lowered onto the stage from a helicopter.
"There were times when I would be raised on a swing to the ceiling and scream, 'Oh, no!' and let loose a mannequin that looked like me," he says. "It would fall down and bombs would go off and that would be the end of the show. I miss doing that sort of thing."
Straight Up did have a lasting impact on the music landscape. Besides catapulting Xeno into a life of rock 'n' roll--he enjoyed a long run as front man for Milwaukee's legendary Bad Boy--it also gave an artist soon to be known as Yanni his first keyboard.