Brad M. Carlson, better known by the stage name Bun E. Carlos, is the primary drummer for American rock band Cheap Trick. He is the band's chief setlister and archivist, and maintained recordings of all the band's shows, some of which have been released under the title 'Bun E's Bootlegs'. Carlos has two side bands with former Cheap Trick bassist Jon Brant; The Bun E Carlos Experience and the Monday Night Band.
Carlos is left-handed, but has alternated between left and right-handed playing throughout his career. He has several writing credits, the most notable of which is the drum solo track "Who D'King", from the album All Shook Up and Bun E. in a Box (2004), a drum sample album.
Out of the ashes of a previous band, Bun E. Carlos formed Cheap Trick with Rick Nielsen in 1973. Soon joined by Tom Petersson and Robin Zander, the band has earned over 50 gold and platinum RLAA awards worldwide.
Carlos has performed on every Cheap Trick album since they signed with CBS/Epic in 1976 and has played on Top 10 records in three decades. A fourth generation musician, Bun E. backed up Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Del Shannon, Freddy Cannon and The Shirelles in the early '70s and performed with John Lennon in 1980. He has also played on numerous soundtracks and commercials, including Top Gun, Caddyshack II, That '70s Show, Joe Dirt and Daddy Day Care.
n 2013, Carlos filed a lawsuit against his former Cheap Trick bandmates, claiming that even though they claim that he is still a band member, he is not being allowed to participate in band-related activities, including recording a new album. The remaining three members of Cheap Trick filed a countersuit, seeking an official affirmation of their removal of Carlos. Their lawsuit was thrown out by a Delaware judge in late 2013.
On August 21, 2014, he filled in for drummer John Cowsill on a sold out Beach Boys concert in Princeton, Illinois.
On February 26, 2015, Robin Zander announced that the lawsuit was over. “We’ve settled our differences,” Zander continued. “Bun E.’s a member of the band, but he’s not touring and he’s not recording. … We’ve had our differences, but we’re all settled up now and hopefully we can forget about that era. These decisions that Cheap Trick makes, Bun E. is part of.”