Members of the legendary rock band Chicago are celebrating the group’s fiftieth anniversary by doing what they do best: touring.
“This is a lot of fun. The hardest part, and it’s always been the hardest part is the travel -- getting there. But playing shows, that’s what we do,” trumpeter Lee Loughnane said.
The band stopped by the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles earlier this month for an exclusive Sirius XM concert. They were regulars at the club when they were first starting out.
“It’s pretty exciting. We had just gotten to California and played a couple of clubs before this. Once we got asked to play the Whisky A-Go-Go, it turned out we became the house band and for quite a while. I mean, for months and months. We came in here and opened up for different artists and we rehearsed here during the day, learning the songs for the first album.”
Loughnane says the band’s massive catalog makes it difficult to draw up a set-list.
“We have 70-plus hits, so we can’t even play them all in the course of one show. We play for two hours, and we play about 24, 25 songs, so someone inevitably comes up to us and says, ‘How come you didn’t play this particular song? This is what I’ve admired about you from the beginning. This is the song that I love.’ I’m sorry, we’ll have to get to that one next time.”
Chicago fans voted the band into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year.
“Once we finally heard and went through all the years, ‘Ah, it’s never going to happen’ and ‘it’s not that important.’ We had to slough it off and keep working and happy that we were working. But when it did happen, it was exciting. Without the fans, we’d be home watching TV.”