Home / Entertainment / Safety Harbor looks to honor favorite son Robin Zander

Safety Harbor looks to honor favorite son Robin Zander

A screen shot of Cheap Trick lead singer, and longtime Safety Harbor resident, Robin Zander. Credit: Bright House Networks/Bay News 9.
A screen shot of Cheap Trick lead singer, and longtime Safety Harbor resident, Robin Zander. Credit: Bright House Networks/Bay News 9.

On Cheap Trick’s 1978 smash “I Want You (To Want Me),” lead singer and longtime Safety Harbor resident Robin Zander famously sang, “I want you to want me/I need you to need me/I’d love you to love me…”

More than a quarter century later, Zander is getting his wish.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Zander and his band, which formed in 1973 in Rockford, IL and went on to produce a string of successful records in the 70s and 80s, including the live album Cheap Trick at Budokan, would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next April.

On the heels of the news, Safety Harbor city officials discussed honoring their adoptive son, possibly with a ceremony or concert tied into the City’s centennial celebration in 2017, during the City Commission meeting last week.

“I want to shout out a congratulations to Robin Zander, a 22-year-old (sic) resident, and his fellow Cheap Trick band members, for their induction into the Hall of Fame,” Commissioner Cliff Merz said during his Commission Report on Dec. 21.

Cheap Trick soared to rock superstardowm with a string of hit records in the 70s and 80s. Credit: Google Images.
Cheap Trick, led by lead vocalist Robin Zander (r), soared to rock superstardom with a string of hit records in the 70s and 80s. Credit: Google Images.

“Resident Joe Caisse sent us an email about maybe a suggestion of having someone reach out to him maybe as a participation in the 2017 centennial involvement,” he added. “He’s been here a long time, and it would be very nice to see him play.”

Mayor Andy Steingold seconded the suggestion.

“When we begin to get to our centennial, or prior to, since he’s being inducted on April 8th, perhaps either when he returns or before he goes, maybe we could have some Cheap Trick show at the Gazebo?” the mayor said.

“I think that’s probably one of the best ways to showcase Mr. Zander and bring him in as part of our celebration.”

As of today, the plans are unofficial, as no one has contacted Zander, a somewhat reclusive rock star who is rarely seen in town other than when he pops in at one of his reported favorite spots, the Whistle Stop Grill, or attends an art show at the Syd Entel Galleries.

Joe Caisse at the 2015 Safety Harbor Holiday Parade.
Joe Caisse at the 2015 Safety Harbor Holiday Parade.

But if Caisse, a member of the Safety Harbor Historical Society and former Holiday Parade grand marshal, has his way, the city’s most famous resident will receive his rightful honor as Safety Harbor’s favorite son.

“I think Safety Harbor should declare a Robin Zander Day and have a celebration for him, which would bring in thousands of people into Safety Harbor to eat in our restaurants and shop in our stores,” Caisse told Safety Harbor Connect during the 2015 Safety Harbor Holiday Parade.

“It would be a great celebration of our city and a great way to honor such a prominent member of our community.”

What are your thoughts, Harborites? Would you like to see a Cheap Trick concert in Safety Harbor? Have you ever spotted the elusive rocker Robin Zander around town? Let us know in the comments below:


  1. Mother

    Mother I can’t reach you on the telephone
    I wonder will you soon be coming home?

    I don’t quite have the words to say
    That I love you but that’s just my way

    Mother it seems so much time has passed
    Since I heartfeltly spoke to you last

    I can remember when we were just kids
    Your love came through in everything you did

    Let’s go wandering down memory lane
    I guess that things will never be the same

    On Mother’s day we would bring you lilac flowers
    And we kids would play in the glorious spring showers

    Mother will you please pick up the phone
    Every time I call there’s nobody home

    I can vividly recall the day I broke my left arm
    You saw that your little boy come to no further harm

    I remember the golden summer days on the beach
    Days when our dreams seemed within our reach

    Mother do you recall when you used to take me by the hand
    And you watched as I built my castles out of sand

    I built my many castles so high in the sky
    Imagined wings so that I could fly

    Why did those beautiful summer days all go by?
    Some of those memories still bring a tear to my eye

    Mother you taught me to reach for elusive blue skies
    And to always rise above mistruths and lies

    As my little sister and I continually grew
    It was always your guiding love we knew

    You comforted me whenever I was feeling down
    You helped me keep both feet planted on the ground

    I miss you mother I wish you would pick up the phone
    I am sitting here by myself feeling broken and all alone

    By Gary Edward Allen 2017

  2. As flattered as I think Robin would be to have this I think he would prefer blending in with the rest of us. I think having the local bands play tribute to him would be the best way to go and if he decides to stop over that would be awesome.

    • I am not a resident but am a fan of Cheap Trick and I think Brian has the right idea. Showing appreciation of Robin and other members would be classy. Local bands could perform there music and give a time line of the band.

    • I agree with Brian. Respect his private residency and honor his achievement through local expression. Then we all win.

  3. Not to be a stick in the mud, but I don’t think the gazebo would be a good venue for cheap trick. You definitely underestimate the attraction of this band. (Think snow at the park on steroids). I didn’t realize he lived here but he probably enjoys the privacy that safety harbor offers him. Drawing hundreds/ thousands of people in for a concert is probably not the best idea. He probably would enjoy a free dinner at the whistle stop and an offer of congratulations on a job well done! ?

    • I agree that the gazebo would be too small a venue for Robin Zander to play a public concert. Possibly several thousand people would show up to see him play. The best choice would be for Robin to play at the City’s Waterfront Park around his April 8th induction date into the Hall of Fame. Safety Harbor officials could then give him a City recognition award for his achievements.

  4. Congratulation to Robin Zander and Cheap Trick for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’ve seen Cheap Trick in concert many times and they really put on a great show. The residents of Safety Harbor would love to have Robin play a concert here so that we could all celebrate this great achievement together. Let’s hope City Officials get in contact with Robin Zander and encourage him to participate in a public event where Robin can play his music and we can all celebrate his great success.

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