Monday, May 14, 2012

Lineup History: Chicago

One of the two best bands to ever come out of America (the Eagles being the other), this super group began in 1968 with Robert Lamm on keyboards, synthesizers, guitar and vocals, James Pankow on trombone, percussion, keyboards and vocals, Lee Loughnane on trumpet, guitar, keyboards, percussion and vocals, Walter Parazaider on woodwinds and backing vocals, Danny Seraphine on drums, percussion and backing vocals, Peter Cetera on bass, guitar and vocals and Terry Kath on guitar, bass and vocals.

Lamm, Pankow, Loughnane and Parazaider would turn out to be the nucleus of the group for 45 years.  Woodwind player Bob Roberts and percussionist Guille Garcia were bought in briefly, as was Brian Hicks on trumpet in the early part of the group's career.  

Laudir de Oliveira joined the group on percussion from 1973-1982  Terry Kath's tragic death in 1978 necessitated the hiring of Donnie Dacus on guitar and bass, but he left in 1980 and Chris Pinnick was in the lineup from 1980-1985.

Bill Champlin joined in 1982 and became a core member until 2008 on keyboards, synthesizers, guitar and vocals.  Lead singer Peter Cetera also opted to leave the group in 1985 for a very successful solo career and Pinnick also left.  The group turned to Jason Scheff, who not only became the group's lead singer but its bassist and key songwriter as well.  Scheff became another key member through the present.  

Three other members have been a part of the Chicago tradition for a significant time:  Dawayne Bailey on guitar and vocals (1986-1994), Tris Imboden on drums, percussion and harmonica (who joined the group when Seraphine left), and Keith Howland on guitar and vocals; both Imboden and Howland are still with the group.

In addition, drummer Drew Hester, who filled in in 2009, is now a permanent member of the group, Lou Pardini (keyboards and vocals), who subbed in 2007, officially joined the group in 2009 and Daniel de los Reyes is now a part of Chicago, having just joined this year.

Several other musicians have been guests of the group on albums and/or tours, including trumpet players Steve Jankowski (1992, 2006 and 2007), Lee Thomburg (1992), trombonist Nick Lane (1999 through the present), woodwind players Larry Klimas (2003-present), Ray Herrmann (2005-present) and Tom Timko and Art Velasco on trombone in 2011 and 2012.

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