Cheap Trick Singer Helps Old Friend, Local Musician

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MACHESNEY PARK (WIFR) -- For all of the years Fred Brace spent playing guitar at local charity events, he never thought he'd need a little charity himself. He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and is now under hospice care. When an old famous friend found out, that friend wanted all to know Fred left his mark on this world.

Brace never recorded a top selling album or made the cover of Rolling Stone. But this local musician is a legend. A legend and mentor to one of rock music's greatest performers.

"Robin, he always had a beautiful voice."

Fred played guitar with Cheap Trick lead singer Robin Zander when they were teens and remain family friends today. Robin continues to tour the world, now opening for Aerosmith. Fred rocked local crowds until his musical career abruptly ended in May.

"They said Fred, like this, we like you, but we can't use you no more you're not remembering stuff." I asked, "What was that like to hear?" "Oh humiliating," he responded.

Fred has bile duct cancer and tumors are growing in his throat. While the pain of a deteriorating body now slows him down, Fred's not letting a deteriorating mind break his spirit.

"I wanted to sing a song, everybody loves to hear a sad song and I couldn't play, so I guess I'm turning to other people who tell me that I'm loved," said Fred.

Zander never forgot the cool kid with a car. He even wrote about Fred on Cheap Trick's website and auctioned off an autographed Fender guitar to help pay for his care.

Forty-five people bid on that Fender guitar. It sold for 35-hundred dollars. Robin Zander did not respond to requests to be interviewed.

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