Ep. 116 - Performing With Excellence - An Interview with Chicago

Ep. 116 - Performing With Excellence - An Interview with Chicago

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What You'll Hear in This Episode

[spp-timestamp time=”03:46″] – Why Chicago’s Music Has Remained Popular


[spp-timestamp time=”05:15″] – The Meaning of the Song 25 or 6 to 4


[spp-timestamp time=”06:36″] – Their Responsiblity to the Music


[spp-timestamp time=”08:36″] – What Chicago Hopes to Leave as a Legacy


Performing With Excellence

I had the honor to sit down with three members of the legendary band Chicago. On this interview you'll hear from Robert Lamm, James Pankow, and Lee Loughnane. It was recorded at the House of Blues in New Orleans Louisiana.

How Chicago Set Themselves Apart

The guys in the band shared intriguing insight into why they feel their music is not only different from what you heard when they were at the the top of the charts, but even more so what you hear from musicians today.

Chicago's music was more like what was being put out in the 20's, 30's, and 40's. It was a very formulaic style of music with a twist by adding horn arrangements to a traditional rock sound.

The Story Behind 25 or 6 to 4

Robert Lamm shares the surprising and ordinary source of the lyrics for one of their most popular hits. He was actually early in his song writing career and struggling to come up with the lyrics.

The song ended up being a story about him writing the song. He was staying up all night trying to get it finished and "waiting for the break of day." As he sat there looking out over the city of Hollywood he wrote about how he saw the "dancing lights against the sky." 

The hook and title for the song comes from Robert looking over at the clock and seeing that it was 25 or 26 minutes till 4. That's exactly what he need to put the lyrics together - 25 or 6 to 4. 

Committed to Add Value for Their Fans

The members of Chicago feel a huge responsibility to the music they've created and perform. They believe if you're not going to do your very best with the music, don't do it at all. 

As veteran musicians, they feel they can bring a lot of value by making sure their audiences are hearing the songs they love note-for-note from the artists who originally performed it. They don't use tracks or lip-sync because they honor the value of the music and the people gathered to experience it. 

The Legacy Chicago Wants to Leave

When it comes to what Chicago hopes they leave behind, it's as simple as being known as a great rock band with horns in it. 

Chicago believes music is best experienced when it's performed live and they've set themselves apart by the "fascination" they add to their music when you see them perform live. 

Even as performers the experience of performing live enhances the musical experience. They value that and want to always give that to their fans whenever possible. 


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