"Sick man of Europe" is a nickname that has been used to describe a European country experiencing a time of economic difficulty and/or impoverishment. The term was first used in the mid-19th century to describe the Ottoman Empire, but has since been applied at one time or another to nearly every other mid-to-large-sized country in Europe. Sick Man of Europe was also the name for a nascent Cheap Trick, formed around 1971.
“We were traveling around Europe and saw the Herald Tribune one day and they were referring to Turkey or Italy, I forget which, as the sick man of Europe, dragging the rest of Europe down,” Rick Nielsen says. According to some critics, this young band wasn’t so hot either. “We did one show with the Mahavishnu Orchestra,” Nielsen recalls, “and someone wrote, ‘Wherever they’re from, they should go back.’”
'Sick Man of Europe' is from Cheap Trick's new album, 'The Latest.'