Safey Harbor now home to Rock Hall of Famer

Posted at 5:15 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-04 17:15:14-05

He’s played in front of millions of fans around the world, but Robin Zander always comes back to his tranquil spot by the Safety Harbor Marina.

“I think it’s self explanatory, myself,” he said looking out at the water.

Zander met his future wife in Tampa in the early 1990s and eventually settled here to raise a family.

“Grandma would never speak to me unless we did,” he said.

He lived in Largo and Countryside in the past, but has spent the past 12 years in Safety Harbor.

“I love it because there is so much to do. Every day you wake up and look what you have,” he said.

It’s a long way from his childhood growing up in Rockford, Illinois.

“I still have bad dreams of my dad making us shovel snow all over the block,” said Zander.

Zander isn’t home much these days, although he did get to run out of the tunnel holding a flag before the Buccaneers game against the Bears.

“Probably the highlight of my life," he said.

He still tours with Cheap Trick, playing more than 120 shows a year.

Night after night, they perform classic rock standards like “I Want You To Want Me” and “Surrender” -- but even after 40 years, the band still makes new music. They have a new album coming out soon.

“I don’t think we’d be a band right now if we didn’t continue to be creative and make music.”

The band’s long history has finally led them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“When it happens to you, everything changes then. It’s like, 'Oh yeah! Alright!' The respect of your peers is important, and that’s what the Hall of Fame is all about.”

The induction ceremony is coming up in April, and the honor has brought a sense of pride to many Safety Harbor residents.

“Almost, they’re more excited than I am... It’s weird,” he said.

But making it this far wasn’t easy.

Often, the message Cheap Trick delivered was simple, like in “Surrender” when Zander sings to the crowd, “We’re all alright.”

"We’re all in this together. We’re alright. Everyday worries can get you down. But come to our shows, and we’ll try and lift you up a little bit," he said.

You can see Zander and Cheap Trick just a matter of weeks before their Hall of Fame induction. They will play the Plant City Strawberry Festival on March 5.