The first band that I ever went to see in concert was Chicago. So when I had the opportunity to do an interview with Tris Imboden, who is their long-time drummer, I was able to mark this goal off of my bucket list!
Growing up in the 70s/80s, Chicago was one of those mainstays on the radio. You knew when they came on the radio, it would either be on of their time withstanding hits or a new song that would also soon become a hit. I love all of their songs, however, I’d have to say my favorite one is, “You’re The Inspiration”! I hear the song every time my husband calls as it is the ring tone I have for his cell phone number!
One of my favorite things about the group is the artistry behind the lyrics! From the horns to the percussion, the music always sounds classic and outstanding. Have you ever seen them in concert? If not, you need to make plans to do so! They really put on a phenomenal show!
Here is my interview with Tris Imboden:
What is your favorite song to do live, and why ?
Tris: “I would have to say it is a toss up between Only The Beginning and Just You And Me. The reason being that in addition to both being great songs, they both feature improvisational sections that will change night to night”.
When did they (Chicago) know they’d finally “made” it?
Tris: I feel I’m not qualified to answer as I’m still one of the “new guys” at 27 years!!
What are your best memories as a band over the years?
Below are some neat facts about the band!
Hailed as one of the “most important bands in music since the dawn of the rock and roll era” by former President Bill Clinton, the legendary rock and roll band with horns, Chicago, came in at #9, the highest charting American band in Billboard Magazine’s recent Hot 200 All-Time Top Artists. And Chicago is the first American rock band to chart Top 40 albums in six consecutive decades.
Chicago was inducted into the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! This was their first nomination. They’ve been eligible since 1994. A long time coming!
Chicago’s first album, Chicago Transit Authority, was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 2014, and the band performed on the Grammy stage for the first time that year.
Robert Lamm and James Pankow will become the latest inductees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 48th Annual Induction on Thursday, June 15th in New York City. These legendary songwriters wrote mega-hits such as, “25 or 6 to 4,” “Saturday In The Park,” “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day,” “Make Me Smile,” and many others.
CHICAGO’s award-winning documentary film, Now More Than Ever: The History Of Chicago premiered on CNN on New Year’s Day and ranked No. 1 among adults 25-54. This is per “Nielsen Fast National Time Period Based Data” for 1/1/17 from 8 PM -10 PM.
The documentary film was originally shown at the Sedona International Film Festival in February, 2016, and won the Film Festival’s Best of Fest Audience Choice Award. The band opened the festival with back-to-back sold-out performances.
Additionally, Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago won three awards in April, 2016, at the 10th Annual Fort Myers Beach Film Festival, taking home top prizes in the Documentary and Audience Award categories. Director Peter Pardini was awarded the festival’s Rising Star Award in direction and was on hand to accept all three awards.
Earlier that month the documentary was the runner-up for Audience Award at the Sarasota Film Festival.
Chicago and The Doobie Brothers recently announced their co-headline North American summer tour kicking off June 7, 2017 in Concord, CA. The 30+ date tour, promoted by Live Nation, will take the Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling groups through amphitheaters in major cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Toronto, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Washington, DC for a night of unforgettable live music.
Chicago’s newest record of new studio tracks, “NOW” CHICAGO XXXVI, was released on Frontiers Records. It includes eleven brand new songs, recorded on the road. Chicago has built a new recording system that is flexible, portable, powerful and musical. This new “recording rig” travels with the band. They have even created an online collaboration portal that allows even more performances to be worked on around the clock from remote locations. The CD package is a six-panel digipack with a beautiful 16-page full color lyric booklet.
Chicago’s lifetime achievements include two Grammy Awards, multiple American Music Awards, Founding Artists of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Chicago street dedicated in their honor, and keys to and proclamations from an impressive list of US cities. Record sales top the 100,000,000 mark, and include 21 Top 10 singles, 5 consecutive Number One albums, 11 Number One singles and 5 Gold singles. An incredible 25 of their 36 albums have been certified platinum, and the band has a total of 47 gold and platinum awards.
Chicago have toured every year since the beginning – they’ve never missed a year. The original four band members are Robert Lamm on keyboards and vocals, Lee Loughnane on trumpet and vocals, James Pankow on trombone and Walt Parazaider on woodwinds. The band line-up also includes Tris Imboden on drums, Keith Howland on guitar and vocals, Lou Pardini on keyboards and vocals, Ray Herrmann on sax and flute, Walfredo Reyes, Jr. on percussion and Jeff Coffey on bass and vocals.
For five years, Chicago raised over a quarter of a million dollars to fight breast cancer for the American Cancer Society by having a winning bidder come on stage and sing “If You Leave Me Now” in concert. Chicago generously support other charitable causes, donating a portion of ticket sales to Kelly Cares, established by Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and his wife Paqui, to support local, national and global organizations that strive to improve their communities in the areas of health and education. Portions of ticket sales also benefit the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, which seeks a cure for a fatal children’s disease, Niemann-Pick Type C. Chicago manager Peter Schivarelli, who played football for Coach Parseghian, is on Notre Dame’s Board Of Directors for their Athletic Commission. Chicago has also associated with Hannah & Friends, an organization that serves children and adults with special needs. Hannah& Friends is the personal mission of Maura Weis and her husband, Charlie Weis, the former coach at the University of Kansas.
From the signature sound of the Chicago horns, their iconic Vocalists, and a few dozen of ever-Classic Songs, this band’s concerts are celebrations. 2017 will mark the band’s 50th consecutive year of touring, without missing a single concert date!
Chicago continues to be true ambassadors for their beloved hometown, carrying the city’s name with pride and dignity around the world.
Some of Chicago’s hits:
Make Me Smile Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
25 or 6 to 4 Saturday In The Park
Beginnings Questions 67 and 68
Happy Man (I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long
Old Days Free
Just You ‘N’ Me Feelin’ Stronger Every Day
If You Leave Me Now Hard To Say I’m Sorry
Look Away Wake Up Sunshine
Hard Habit To Break Baby, What A Big Surprise
Colour My World Another Rainy Day In New York City
Call On Me Dialogue (Part I and II)
I’m A Man You’re The Inspiration
What is your favorite Chicago song?