(Antoni previously had been the vocalist for the Upper Darby-based group the Nazz.)
Nielsen said he wanted to stay in Philadelphia, but Fuse, which later changed its name to Sick Man of Europe, just never caught on.
"My wife was pregnant at the time," says the guitarist. "I didn't have enough money to have my son delivered there. So I moved back to the Midwest."
Nielsen, Petersson and Carlos - the latter two also returned to Illinois - lost Antoni in the process. But they gained in their current vocalist, Robin Zander, their current name and fame, with such late-'70s hits as "Live at Budokan" and "Dream Police."
"Except for Aerosmith and Z.Z. Top, we're the only American rock group with original members that's been around this long," says Nielsen. (In 1980, Petersson left the group to perform with his his then-wife, a German vocalist named Dagmar, but he returned after the marriage failed.)
Nielsen said Cheap Trick had no plans to disband. "We've been together this long because we simply like what we do," he said. "When we get together and play, you can't beat it."
FOR MORE INFORMATION
* Cheap Trick will appear with opening acts the Nerds and Johnny O and the Classic Dogs of Love on the beach in front of the Wildwood Convention Center, Burk Avenue, Wildwood. The area fenced in for the concert opens at noon. The music will begin at 1 p.m. with Cheap Trick appearing at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $18. Phone: 609-522-2100.