The very basis for induction into this elite (and thoroughly confusing and frustrating) group was to honor those who took rock and roll into new directions, establishing new trends and inspiring others to take those strides even further.
It was frustrating and infuriating to see a group as great and talented as Chicago snubbed each and every year of eligibility by never even so much as making the ballot.
And then ... finally ... THIS year all of that changed. Not only did Chicago finally make the ballot but they also won by a landslide the popular vote of the public, capturing 24% of all of the votes cast for the fifteen acts nominated ... an incredible 36.7 MILLION votes ... over 11 1/2 million more votes than the next closest runner-up. Finally ... VINDICATION for their incredible contribution to rock history.
But for weeks now all of that glory has been polluted by comments from Peter Cetera about whether or not he will accept his award and perform again with his old bandmates ... as if HIS presence is the only thing that brings credibility to this honor.
It's a shame ... and frankly, downright embarrassing.
Chicago has NEVER been about one individual. They are and have always been an ensemble act where ALL members have contributed to their overall sound and legacy.
Over the course of their fifty year career, they have overcome both tragedy (the death of guitarist / vocalist Terry Kath) and vanity (Peter Cetera leaving for a solo career in 1985) ... and, for the past 30+ years now have soldiered on WITHOUT Cetera, traveling the world many times over, playing to sold out, appreciative audiences around the globe.
In fact, one could quite favorably argue that it was Peter Cetera's collaborations with songwriter / producer David Foster that contributed to their lack of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame recognition for decades because they were no longer perceived as the innovative, progressive band they were when they first launched their career and made their mark in the public eye, choosing instead to take the far-safer soft-rock approach with middle-of-the-road fluff and schmaltzy ballads.
Don't get me wrong ... Chicago's all-time biggest hits came as a direct result of this shift of genre but, like any deal with the devil, long time fans and critics alike felt that perhaps they had lost their edge in the process ... and, along with it, any street cred that would have endeared them to The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominating Committee years earlier.
This award has been a long time coming ... it was incredibly satisfying to see them FINALLY rewarded for all their musical efforts and contributions.
But then, shortly after the first of the year, when Peter Cetera posted his list of "demands" under which conditions he would perform with the band again at the awards ceremony, this quickly began a downhill spiral.
As a finale, we can walk onstage together one last time as a group, I’ll strap on the bass, and we can do 25 or 6 to 4 in the key of E. I believe it would make for one fantastic Hall of Fame moment and satisfy those who have always wanted some sort of reunion. (Peter Cetera)
In our post dated January 9th, we complimented Peter on his inclusion of other key members of Chicago over the years that he felt should also be recognized for their contributions.
How we went from this encouraging comment to all that Peter posted this week is beyond me ...
First (posted last Friday, February 5th):
I know you’re all waiting to hear what’s happening with the Hall of Fame. I know how frustrated you all are, but trust me, no one is more tired and frustrated than yours truly.
I had a conference call with the musical department today and I’ve presented another song option. Right now it’s about a fiddy fiddy chance that we can hammer something out by the weekend. Frankly folks, I'm done if this doesn’t work out. Here’s hoping this one works … I'll let you know either way ASAP …
PS As of today it’s now down to 25 per cent chance of happening.
And then this, posted on Monday, February 8th:
I just sent this to the RnR hall of fame people. This is the the short high road nice version of what I really wanted to say. I’ll post that response at the appropriate time.
Hello Alex and Joel!
Hello Alex and Joel!