Sunday, August 18, 2013

Not Just Jazz Asking The Musical Question - Should Chicago Reunite?

In a word..."no."

Recently former Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine has put the idea on the table for a possible one shot reunion or perhaps a series of reunion shows with the money going to charity.
Sounds good, and a nice idea to guarantee that artistic temperament will be checked at the door.
Or will it?

Instinctively I am reminded of a personal philosophy that has served me well over the past forty something years....
You never get back with an ex-girlfriend.
You broke up for a reason.
Chicago is currently working on their first full release of new music in seven years. Danny has a successful solo career, Bill Champlin has a successful solo career, and Pete Cetera is on the record stating that touring is out of the question.

I grew up with Chicago. The music of Chicago changed my life and approach to music. I fondly remember  founding member saxophonist Walt Parazaider remarking that Chicago was in fact, "an attitude." Sadly attitudes go south and some people simply do not age well with time. While Chicago has released numerous recordings with the "previously unreleased" single tossed in at the end, their status in the music community has shifted from serious band and creative driving influence in American popular music to serious tribute act and this did not happen overnight. This is not to say that Chicago does not have any creative gas in the tank, I don't know that. It does say that based on appearances that the attempt may be lacking.

Another negative to bring into the mix for consideration is the all too frequent use of replacement players, especially in the horn section on numerous gigs. What guarantee or how likely would it appear that with this fact in mind, would the band really be into it? The audience would potentially be the big loser in all of this given the facts as laid out. 

I interviewed Danny a while back and this subject never came up and I respect that. I interviewed Bill whose comments were a bit more candid and indicated his lack of interest given the nature of the split would make the possibility of a reunion a go only after the second coming were to take place.

Chicago is arguably the greatest American band in the history of popular music. Let it go.
In a recent interview, Paul McCartney addressed a possible Beatles reunion as being a bad decision at the time due to artistic differences, the passage of time and most importantly the fact they had artistically said all they needed to say. Chicago reached that high water mark a decade ago. Not just as a writer but as a fan, it was a great ride but now it's time to get off.