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Robert Lamm of Chicago: The Complete Tell Magazine Interview

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Robert Lamm

Robert Lamm is one busy man. Not only does he continue to tour and record with Chicago, the legendary band he co-founded in 1967 and has been with ever since, but he also has a busy solo career—his latest solo release, Robert Lamm Songs: The JVE Remixes, is a collaboration with producer John Van Eppes, who turned recordings from his Chicago work and solo albums into adventurous, techno-infused dance tracks. Tell Magazine recently talked to Robert about this project, as well as his other creative pursuits, some potential musical collaborations, and that pesky Rock and Roll Hall of Fame question.
Note: An edited version of this interview was published in the August 2012 issue of Tell Magazine. The following is the complete, uncut interview.

Tell:Robert, I have listened to the JVE Remixes CD and it’s really cool.
Lamm:
Thank you.
Tell: How did that project come about?
Lamm: John Van Eppes and I are old friends and he’s produced a couple of my solo projects and I’ve been involved with him as a collaborating songwriter over the years.  I’ve probably known him for like 20 years. And while we were finishing, we did a bossa nova album together, a kind of organic bossa nova album, and he did a couple of tracks where he remixed them not unlike the way some of the things turned out on this album. And at some point, he said, “You know, it would be really great to do some remixes of classic Chicago tunes.” At that point, I tried to interest the guys in the band and also at that time Chicago was with Warner Bros. and I tried to get Warner Bros. to at least underwrite the project. It didn’t really happen. He did a couple of things on spec basically just using a CD version of, I think he did “25 or 6 to 4.”
Tell: So, no masters, no tracks?
Lamm: No masters, nothing. So at that point I played the roughs he did for the other guys and they weren’t really too thrilled with it and neither was Warners. So a year or two passed and then Chicago had an opportunity to re-record its masters. We had sold our publishing, we had sold our masters to Warner Bros, and that gave us the right to go in and re-record, which we did in Nashville a couple of years ago. So in 2009 we had new masters that we owned that we could do anything we wanted with. So I asked my partners “Would you mind if I sent John Van Eppes some stems from these re-records so that he can do remixes?” So in 2009 is when it sort of started. So that’s the long answer to your question.
Tell: It’s a good answer. So is this new CD primarily from those re-records, from those masters?
Lamm: Much of it is, yeah. Obviously all of the Chicago tracks—“25 or 6 to 4”, “Beginnings”, “Saturday in the Park,” “Another Rainy Day”, those are all my songs from that era that we re-recorded from that era. By the way, the re-records are amazing.
Tell: Have those been released?
Lamm: They’re available on the Chicago Web site. They’re called The Nashville Sessions.
Tell: Oh, OK. No CD of that?
Lamm: There might be CDs. I think they’re just downloads at this point. We’re doing a lot of streaming and download from our Web site, Chicagotheband.com. So anyway, the other tracks on this remix album are songs from my various solo albums.
Tell: Skinny Boy, your first solo album—that was a great album.
Lamm: Oh, thank you. That thing still sells!
Tell: Is that available?
Lamm: I did a Skinny Boy 2.0 version and it’s available not only through the Chicago Web site but at Amazon and I think it’s at CDBaby. … I think I added a new track or two on this version from that era.
Tell: I saw on the Remix CD that Danny Seraphine and Peter Cetera were credited. Is that indicating that some of the old tracks with the original lineup were used?
Lamm: Yeah, there are two remixes of “25 or 6 to 4” and what I’m calling the dance remix actually came from the very first remix that John did using a CD of the second Chicago album. So I thought it was appropriate to give those guys credit.
Tell: But primarily it’s with the current band.
Lamm: Correct.
Tell: Tell Magazine is tech-oriented, so I was just wondering, what are you into in today’s tech?
Lamm: Gee, I’m very low tech. But I actually fell in love many years ago with GarageBand. It has its limitations, but I’ve gotten very, very good at doing edits. I’ve done some great edits. There’s actually something on my new solo album which I released earlier this year, Living Proof, the title track is something that started out being seven minutes that I edited down just in GarageBand. So anyway, I like GarageBand, LogicPro 9. For me this is all new stuff. I’m using Omnisphere plug-ins. And really what I like to do is, I like to build my demos that occasionally turn into at least parts of the master recording and that’s for Chicago and for my solo stuff. As far as tech stuff, that’s my world.
Tell: You into smartphones, anything like that?
Lamm: Well, yeah, I’m talking to you on my iPhone.
Tell: But really you’re focused on the music.
Lamm: Yeah, I’m a Mac person and I use the iPhone. That’s pretty much it. I don’t have an iPad. I much prefer the non-backlit Kindle, which I can read for hours on a plane in any light. I’m really a book person. I read quite a bit—newspapers and magazines. I travel so much, I can’t watch movies on an airplane, I’m not into that. So instead for years and years, I’ve just read a ton, and I found that the Kindle lightened my luggage quite a bit, and I’m finding that I’m reading more, I read two or three newspapers a day and I read New Yorker Magazine, the Weekend Financial Times from London. I just find it’s so efficient. Like I said, I end up reading more than I used to, and I used to think I was a voracious reader before. But the cool thing about the Kindle, again, is that it’s not backlit and so there’s no eyestrain. When I’m working in my little home studio, which is basically a Mac-based studio, my eyes are gone after three hours. So anyway, that’s my story.
Tell: So do you miss physical books, magazines and newspapers or are you OK with having lighter luggage?
Lamm: Well, this goes with the music too—if I come across a CD that I just love, just love, I definitely want it on CD, I definitely want a physical version of it, because who knows what’s going to happen with the Cloud going down the road? So some things I stream or download, but certain things I really want to archive, I buy on CD. And it’s the same thing with books. It might be a rare edition, it might be an older book that’s out of print, of course I’ll buy the book. Well here’s the thing, when you get an a plane and they tell you to shut your thing off because you’re going to take off, you better have an analog copy of something to read. At least I do. So I always have a backup magazine or newspaper. I do love books.
Tell: Do you send files over the Internet?
Lamm: Yeah, I tend to use YouSendIt. Actually, Chicago is recording a new album.
Tell: Great!
Lamm: And the way that we’re doing it is, we have a serious digital recording studio that we travel with. And then we have a coordinating producer who is at home in his studio and he’s running ProTools but we’ve got a kind of pre-production workspace that everybody in the band has their own page, and as we write things and have demos, let’s say my demo is in LogicPro, I’ll upload it to Chicago’s workspace and I’ll send a link to the appropriate guys in the band that I think should hear this in case they want to learn the parts or whatever. So it’s essentially like YouSendIt, except it’s a very small community, it’s just the nine guys in the band and the producer. And it’s turning out to be very efficient and very exciting. And we just got a piece of equipment and it essentially mimics the sound of, let’s say, an SSL recording console or a Neve console—specific consoles, classic consoles that we have used over the years—so if we’re going for a specific sound, we might want to say we want to sound like the console at Abbey Road, and it’s got that in there. So for us, it’s really quite a breakthrough. And we’re pretty much recording everything 96-bit.
Tell: So you’re actually doing finished recordings this way, this is the stuff that’s going to be on the CD.
Lamm: Exactly.
Tell: Amazing. So are you on the road now, or about to go on the road?
Lamm: I’m leaving Monday to go on the road.
Tell: This is with the Doobie Brothers?
Lamm: No, this is before the Doobies. We have maybe a handful of dates in June, we get back the last week of June I think, from this little run that we’re doing, starting in Chicago and playing around the mid-south. But the Doobies starts in July and that goes through September.
Tell: I saw that show a few years back, and really enjoyed how you interacted with the Doobie Brothers onstage. Another band you toured with, Earth Wind & Fire, I had the opportunity to interview for Tell in January at the CES Show.
Lamm: That’s great. Well, that show that we did with Earth, Wind & Fire for three years was just so amazing in every respect. That tour took a lot of rehearsing and a lot of staging, a lot of bodies.
Tell: They’re a big band too!
Lamm: Yeah. Exactly. So we basically did the opening, and then they their set, we did our set and then we did the closing together. The Doobies is not quite as involved. I think that it’s a great evening of music, it’s a great concert of songs. We’re somewhat limited with rehearsal time with those guys. We’re lucky to get one day of rehearsal to remember all the Doobies songs and for them to remember the Chicago songs. In any case, we try to keep the songs that we play of each other’s repertoire on the simpler side—which tend to be the most popular ones anyway.
Tell: The guys in Earth Wind & Fire told me Chicago was the only band they could do that kind of show with.
Lamm: Yeah. It’s true. What was really nice was the friendships that developed as a result of that tour. As you know, the musicians’ community is very friendly and very broad. You don’t really get a lot of time with musicians that you like or musicians that you meet on the road. So we had months together for a few years and I really treasure that experience.
Tell: Think you’ll tour again with them?
Lamm: We were trying to do it this year and it may happen next year, I’m not sure. Essentially our manager is the guy who really dreamed up the … it wasn’t just co-headlining, but performing together with Earth Wind & Fire, and he had been trying to get that concert on the road for years, and there were a lot of people that didn’t think it would happen, or it wouldn’t work or work for the audiences but they were wrong and he was right, which is why we did it for three years. And now that we’ve established that model, now we got a call from Stevie Wonder, who maybe wants to do something with Chicago …
Tell: That would be tremendous!
Lamm: It would be. We did do it with The Beach Boys in the 70s, and now that The Beach Boys are sort of back together, we may do it again with them next year, so there’s a lot of interest in this playing together. It’s a lot of fun, and I think that it’s really wonderful for the audience, because it’s really a once in a lifetime kind of thing.
Tell: Any other acts you may team up with?
Lamm: We’re going to play a couple of shows in the fall with Kool & the Gang. Like Earth Wind & Fire, we have a lot of things in common. They have great tunes that it would be really a lot of fun to play. They also have very gifted musicians in the band that could play our deeper stuff. So we’re going to play a couple of shows with them and maybe go in and rehearse a couple of songs together and see how it goes, and if it works out, then that’s also an opportunity for us to really develop for another year.
Tell: Sounds great. Now, I have to tell you … I feel it’s a crime that Chicago and so many other deserving bands are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What’s your feeling on that? I think you should be in there.
Lamm: I agree. I have a couple of thoughts about that, and that is, certainly there are wonderful and deserving artists that are in the Hall of Fame. I’m not saying that anybody doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame that has been inducted, but because of some of the choices that have been made to induct, I don’t understand why Chicago has been shut out. I have talked to a friend of mine who is on the board who has said that Chicago’s name comes up every year in discussions, but it’s just never really happened. So that’s one thought, and I agree with you, I think at some point they’ll run out of bands and they’ll maybe decide Chicago should be in. However, in the scheme of the universe, I sort of have a problem with a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As wonderful as music is for the soul, I think that in terms of importance in the community of humans on earth, I think that there are other people who are more deserving in other walks of life, in other careers, that really deserve a hall of fame—whether it’s firemen, policemen, whatever. So in the scheme of things it’s not terribly, terribly important. … In general, I’ve been a little tired of awards shows and that sort of stuff. It’s all marketing and it’s all self-congratulatory and … I have other things to do.
Tell: And music is its own reward.
Lamm: Oh yeah. I love writing songs, and recording them, and performing them. It’s my life.
Tell: You’ve done some collaborations, like the work you did with Gerry Beckley (of America) and Carl Wilson (of The Beach Boys). Any other projects like that in the works?
Lamm: Not so much. That was sort of a one of a kind thing. And had Carl survived, I think we certainly would’ve done more recording together and more performing together. I’ve been talking to Peter Cetera about going out as a duo when I have time, so that’s interesting. That’s something that I’ve been thinking about. But in terms of something as artistically satisfying as the Beckley-Lamm-Wilson thing, I have nothing I can think of right now that I really want to do.
Tell: Carl Wilson is irreplaceable, right?
Lamm: What a voice.
Tell: Have you seen the current Beach Boys show yet?
Lamm: I haven’t seen the show, but last year we toured with Brian Wilson’s band, America and Chicago. The tour together was fantastic. Brian and I have been very friendly, very close for many years, so it was just really a thrill to be able to tour together and hang out.
Tell: Anything you wanted to add?
Lamm: Well, if you haven’t heard my new solo album, it’s Living Proof, and it was released in January, and there’s actually one song from that album that got remixed for the JVE remix album. But if you’re curious where I’m at as a solo guy, you should check that out.

Buy Robert Lamm Songs: the Jve Remixes on Amazon

 

Buy Robert Lamm’s Living Proof on Amazon
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  1. MY ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION SPEECH FOR CHICAGO

    The year was 1966, and the place was Chicago’s DePaul University. That was where a saxophone, clarinet, and flute player named Walter Parazaider got together with a drummer named Danny Seraphine, a guitar player and singer named Terry Kath, a trumpet player named Lee Loughnane, and a trombone player named James Pankow. Then in 1967, they met a piano player and a singer named Robert Lamm, from Chicago’s Roosevelt University, who was performing at the Belmont Lounge and Yogi’s Den in Chicago, and they asked him to join their band, which he did. The band would be called The Big Thing, and The Big Thing would play on the Midwest club circuit, building a following. An engagement during the second week of December 1967 proved to be an important gig. The Big Thing was an opening act at Barnaby’s in Chicago for a band called the Exceptions, which was the biggest club band in the Midwest, and they stuck around and listened to them. If The Big Thing had stayed late to see the Exceptions, one of the Exceptions had come early to see The Big Thing. That night, singer and bass guitar player Peter Cetera would leave the Exceptions and join The Big Thing as its seventh member, and big things were about to happen.

    James William Guercio, who had been a DePaul University student of music as well, moved the band out to Los Angeles and he would become their manager and producer. The Big Thing would become The Chicago Transit Authority, and then simply, Chicago. The plan from the beginning was to start a horn centered Rock and Roll band, a Rock and Roll band with a horn section, a Rock and Roll band with horns that were an integral part of the music, a Rock and Roll band whose horn section formed the heart of the band, a Rock and Roll band with a horn section that was another lead voice dancing with the vocals. Chicago’s use of brass and woodwinds was like no other band. They took what is called a “melodic” approach to the horns rather than a “harmonic” approach. The horns actually acted as an additional vocal line, not just performing fill rifts. This is what was innovative about Chicago. Chicago was a rock ‘n’ roll band with horns, and a band way ahead of its time.

    True to the need of the album-oriented rock format that launched them, the first four albums released by Chicago between 1969 and 1972 comprised three double albums and one quadruple album. That’s 10 albums in three years. Chicago’s next five albums: Chicago V, VI, VII, VIII, and IX all hit number one on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. Chicago took America and the world by storm without the help of their faces. Total subjugation of individual ego to the collective good of the group was the rule in Chicago, even to the point of using a logo rather than a picture of the band on all of their album covers. Chicago refused to emphasize celebrity over the music. The group turned its anonymous, professional air into a virtue and a marketing strategy. They were the faceless band behind a logo. Chicago’s logo and its facelessness were very much in keeping with the style of the late ’60′s that valued group effort over individual ego. The group would come to be identified by a logo, and that logo, designed by Nick Fasciano, would become the most famous logo in Rock and Roll history. Inspired by classical music, Chicago also chose to number most of their albums with Roman numerals instead of giving them full names.

    In 1969, Chicago released their first album, and to this day, it is considered to be one of the greatest groundbreaking albums ever produced in the history of Rock and Roll; that album being The Chicago Transit Authority. It was a blend of jazz, classical, and straight-ahead rock and roll. It included an unheralded synthesis of electric guitar rock and roll to more deeply rooted jazz influences and arrangements. It was funky, melodic, emotive, and politically intoned. I’m guessing most people in this room tonight have never listened to The Chicago Transit Authority. You can not buy a Chicago greatest hits record and understand what I’m talking about, but there are so many people that I am speaking for tonight who know exactly what I’m talking about. When The Chicago Transit Authority was released in 1969, it seemed to be the perfect synthesis of everything that was diametrically opposed. It had smooth, lush harmonies, it had the distorted feedback-drenched pyrotechnic guitar works of Terry Kath, it had the Beatles-meet-Motown bass works of Peter Cetera, it had the Buddy Rich-meets-Mitch Mitchell drum works of Danny Seraphine, it had the churning Hammond organ and classical piano works of Robert Lamm, and it had those powerful horns of Walter Parazaider, Lee Loughnane, and James Pankow weaving in and out of the arrangements, ending up toe-to-toe with everything else, and it all worked. The dynamics were perfect. The Chicago Transit Authority seemed to have everything in the right place. The horn section, the vocalists, and the rhythm section were tight and unified. Individually, the members of Chicago were all outstanding on their respective instruments. Unlike many bands of the era that utilized session musicians for their recordings, Chicago was completely self-contained.

    Chicago’s first 11 albums all showcased the impeccable musicianship of all the members of the band. At first, Chicago’s sound was a hard sell. Radio stations wouldn’t play their songs. Chicago’s music was not easily identifiable what it was. Chicago could not be pigeonholed. Their sound met with resistance. Record executives turned to Guercio, and Guercio edited a number of Chicago’s songs to make them shorter and more radio friendly. It was a compromise to be on the radio, and it was what it was. You can still listen to all of the band’s songs in their entirety on all the early Chicago albums; it’s the radio versions of the songs that are shorter. Basically, the songs were made shorter because Chicago’s music wasn’t for people with Attention Deficit Disorder. You know, because those are the people who listen to radio—people with A.D.D. As the ’70′s became the ’80′s and the demands of the music industry started to change, Chicago went looking for a new record label. During Chicago’s search for a new record company, one label said to them, “If you get rid of the horn section we’ll sign you,” to which Chicago responded, “Go fck yourself!” Asking Chicago to get rid of the horn section is like asking Elton John to get rid of the piano. Chicago would go on to sign with a new record label, and the horns stayed, and the band played on for forty more years.

    Question: What do you get when you mix the voice of Ray Charles with the voice and the guitar playing of Jimi Hendrix? The answer is Chicago’s first lead singer and lead guitarist, Terry Kath. Terry Kath had a very soulful quality to his voice and he was an outstanding, superb, deep and wicked virtuoso of a guitar player. One of the best examples of Terry Kath’s brilliant guitar playing can be heard on the hit single 25 Or 6 To 4 from Chicago’s second album. The song’s distinctive descending riff has been murdered by as many beginning guitarists as has been done with Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” The terrifyingly brilliant guitar solo performed by Terry Kath-a mountain few players ever dare to climb-is what makes 25 Or 6 To 4 absolutely essential. It is one of the greatest moments in Rock history for the electric guitar. The song’s rather mystical title is just a reference to the time of day the song was written: 25 (or 26) minutes to 4 A.M. In a group known for its horns, it was Terry Kath’s hard-edged guitar and soulful vocals that kept the band rooted in rock and roll. Chicago’s line-up for such a large band was astonishingly stable, broken after eleven years and eleven albums only by the death of Terry Kath. After Terry Kath’s tragic death in 1978, Chicago could have gone on to produce albums under a different name, they could have dissolved their band completely with each member going off to do other musical projects, or they could have just left the music business altogether and done other things with their lives, but they didn’t. Chicago soldiered on for another forty years with the help of other notable lead rock guitarists, from Donnie Dacus and Chris Pinnick, to DaWayne Bailey and Keith Howland.

    Chicago’s second lead singer was Robert Lamm—an ambitious composer and piano player whose songwriting talents made him the default leader of the band in the early years. The Robert Lamm-penned hits included, Beginnings, Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, Questions 67 & 68, Saturday in the Park and of course the afore mentioned, 25 or 6 to 4. His clear baritone voice was an asset, as were his stylized keyboarding skills. The International press portrayed Robert Lamm as Chicago’s social conscience, and many of his best songs (Dialogue, Free, Harry Truman, State of the Union) all espoused political themes. Some of Robert Lamm’s compositions had a swing feel to them as well. Frank Sinatra could have handled Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, very well. Actually, as the story goes, it was Colour My World, a portion from trombonist James Pankow’s Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon that Frank Sinatra wanted to do a remake of. It never happened though because Frank Sinatra wanted James Pankow to write a few more verses for it, and James Pankow wouldn’t do it. You don’t mess with a classic, even if the chairman of the board himself asks you to. Other Chicago songs penned by James Pankow included the hits, Make Me Smile, Old Days, Just You ‘n’ Me, I’ve Been Searchin’ So Long, and Feelin’ Stronger Everyday. That last one, by the way, was written by James Pankow and Chicago’s original bass guitarist and third lead singer, Peter Cetera—the elastic tenor voice who was brought in to hit the high notes and keep up with the horn section, which the baritone voice of Robert Lamm and the gruff voice of Terry Kath couldn’t.

    If you were to ask any Chicago fan or Rock music historian to name the first two Chicago songs they think of when they hear someone say the name Peter Cetera, they will all tell you the exact same thing—what else but the smoochadelic classics, If You Leave Me Now, from the 1976 Chicago X album, and Baby, What A Big Surprise from the 1977 Chicago XI album. The sexiest, the sweetest, the most distinctive tenor voice in all of Rock And Roll history belongs to Peter Cetera mthrfckrs! There is no comparison. “High above shimmering, echoing ballads and rock-solid choruses that aim for the bleachers, Cetera’s tenor voice soars like a bird in flight. If it doesn’t strike you deep in your heart, it’ll at least stick deep in your head.” That’s what an unknown source from Rolling Stone Magazine’s website once said about Peter Cetera. Well Peter, I would like to tell you tonight on behalf of all your fans that your voice has actually done both for us. Your voice has struck us deep in our hearts and it is stuck deep in our heads and that is where we want it and that is how we like it! In May of 1985, after 18 years with the band, Peter Cetera left Chicago for a solo career. Let’s just say that things got really ugly. It was like a divorce, as Peter would say, and that’s all I’m going to say about that because it’s none of my gddmn business! So, out walks Peter Cetera and in walks singer/songwriter and bass guitar player Jason Scheff, the son of Jerry Scheff, who was a bass guitar player for Elvis Presley. Jason Scheff has been with Chicago now for over 25 years. To tie this whole thing together, I have to take you back to 1981 because that was the year that singer/songwriter, keyboard player and guitarist, Bill Champlin, the lead singer of the late 60s and 70s psychedelic rock band, the Sons of Champlin, joined Chicago. During his 28 years with Chicago, Bill Champlin’s husky voice was the perfect complement to both, Peter Cetera and Jason Scheff.

    And finally, Chicago’s original drummer; its backbone, Danny Seraphine. During his time with Chicago, Danny Seraphine played drums in a style that, ironically perhaps, can best be described as lyrical. To be a good drummer one must develop his own technique. Good timing and good taste is essential, but it is the technique that sets the truly great drummers apart from the rest. In 1973, Chicago brought in percussionist Laudir De Oliveira from Sergio Mendes. For seven years, Laudir De Oliveira added Latin flare to the band’s music and his percussion work was the perfect complement to the drum work of Danny Seraphine. After 25 years with the band, let’s just say a little more drama ensued, and Danny Seraphine was replaced by drummer Tris Imboden, who has been with Chicago now for over 25 years. And that folks was Chicago. 50 years, 50 albums, 5 number one albums, 130 million albums sold worldwide, 50 hits, and 3 number one songs later, Chicago is being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

    Now I am going to present you with information that must be stated! According to Billboard chart statistics, Chicago is second only to the Beach Boys as the most successful American Rock and Roll band of all time, in terms of both albums and singles. The number one charting Rock and Roll band of the 1970s was Chicago! The Top 4 charting Rock And Roll bands of all-time on both the Billboard 200 Albums Chart and the Billboard 100 Singles Chart just happen to be the same four bands on both lists, and this is how the lists read: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, and Chicago! And in case you are wondering who’s at number five, it’s The Bee Gees! And that says it all right there folks! And up until tonight, Chicago was the only band on those lists who had not been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame yet! And all I have left to say is that it’s about fckng time Chicago got inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame because this is Chicago mthrfckrs! This isn’t Boston or Kansas—if you know what I mean! So, without any further ado, ladies and gentlemen, CHICAGO!!!

    ALTERNATE ENDING IF CHICAGO IS INDUCTED DURING A BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENCY

    Now I am going to present you with information that must be stated! According to Billboard chart statistics, Chicago is second only to the Beach Boys as the most successful American Rock and Roll band of all time, in terms of both albums and singles. The number one charting Rock and Roll band of the 1970s was Chicago! The Top 4 charting Rock And Roll bands of all-time on both the Billboard 200 Albums Chart and the Billboard 100 Singles Chart just happen to be the same four bands on both lists, and this is how the lists read: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, and Chicago! And in case you are wondering who’s at number five, it’s The Bee Gees! And that says it all right there folks! And up until tonight, Chicago was the only band on those lists who had not been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame yet! And you know what’s funny? First, a Chicago politician named Barack Obama is elected the first black President of the United States of America in 2008. Then, in 2010, the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks win their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history, but their first Stanley Cup since 1961, the year of Barack Obama’s birth. Then, what do you know, Chicago, the band, is finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 20??, during a Barack Obama presidency, but Chicago the band isn’t black, but they did play Rock and Roll, which stems from the blues, which is the music of black people as Jann Wenner said at the 2008 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in reference to the induction of Little Walter. Well, you know what they say, things always happen in threes. And all I have left to say is that it’s about fckng time Chicago got inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame because this is Chicago mthrfckrs! This isn’t Boston or Kansas—if you know what I mean! So, without any further ado, ladies and gentlemen, CHICAGO!!!

    THE CHICAGO INDUCTEES

    01. Walter Parazaider (1967-Present: saxophone; clarinet; flute; songwriter)
    02. Lee Loughnane (1967-Present: vocals; trumpet; flugelhorn; songwriter)
    03. James Pankow (1967-Present: vocals; trombone; songwriter)
    04. Robert Lamm (1967-Present: vocals; piano; keyboards; songwriter)
    05. Terry Kath (1967-1978: vocals; guitar; songwriter)
    06. Peter Cetera (1967-1985: vocals; bass guitar; songwriter)
    07. Danny Seraphine (1967-1990: drums; songwriter)
    08. Laudir De Oliveira (1973-1980: percussions; songwriter)
    09. Donnie Dacus (1978-1980: vocals; guitar; songwriter)
    10. Bill Champlin (1981-2009: vocals; keyboards; guitar; songwriter)
    11. Jason Scheff (1985-Present: vocals; bass guitar; songwriter)
    12. Tris Imboden (1990-Present: drums)

    POSSIBLE CANDIDATES FOR GIVING THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION SPEECH FOR CHICAGO:

    Al Jardine, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, Barry Gibb, Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Ralph Johnson, Steven Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Sting, Gerry Beckley, Steve Lukather, Bobby Kimball, Alistair Ian “Ali” Campbell, Huey Lewis, Chris Isaak, Dave Matthews, Lenny Kravitz, Axl Rose, Slash, Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Rob Thomas, Stephan Jenkins, Mark McGrath, Steve Malkmus, Trey Anastasio, Justin Vernon

    JUST SOME EXTRA INFO WITH A DIFFERENT ENDING WHICH WON’T BE USED IN THE SPEECH

    First, a Chicago politician named Barack Obama is elected the first black President of the United States of America in 2008. Then, in 2010, the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks win their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history, but their first Stanley Cup since 1961, the year of Barack Obama’s birth. Dustin Byfuglien becomes the first African-American hockey player in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup. Then, what do you know, Chicago, the band, is finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 20??, during a Barack Obama presidency, but Chicago the band isn’t black, but they did play Rock and Roll, which stems from the blues, which is the music of black people as Jann Wenner said at the 2008 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony in reference to the induction of Little Walter. Also, “Chicago” had seven letters and seven members until a game of rumored Russian Roulette. Then there were six, just like the six letters in “Barack”, who is an “ally” of Russia. Keeping one’s nuclear rivals close can be seen as a six-lettered gamble itself, and gambling was born of the Chicago mob scene. Seven Blackhawks on the ice would have been too many.

    Roy