16 May 2009

"Old Days"

I'm going to tell you a quick story about Chicago. Well maybe several mixed into one.

When I was born, I could never fall asleep. I would literally cry and cry until someone would offer up their services and drive around the block twenty times. If, by chance, there was no one around to drive which is often the case in my family, they had to put Chicago on the record player and blast it into my crib. It is the only music that would make me stop crying because I wanted to intently listen.

Later on in the years, when I was around 5, I started going to see Chicago live every year with my aunt and cousin, both devout Chicago fans. They were members of the fan club, taught me every revolving member's name and respective instrument, and every album. They started taking me to flea markets too where records were abound - and I would always choose to use my $2 allowance on Chicago albums I would play at my grandparents' house on the weekends. It was the highlight of my childhood, besides getting pizza at Coszmo's in downtown Westfield with my aunt - where we would always wear our matching Chicago shirts.

We would get home and watch live Chicago VHS tapes my aunt sent away for from various Chicago penpals she had and needless to say, when my aunt and cousin went to Chicago, Illinois to see the birthplace of this almighty band without me, I was beside myself with grief.

My amazing aunt has sinced passed away, my grandparents' house is no longer there, and the memories from those times are very difficult to think about in detail but thank god I can remember them because they were the beginning stages of who I am today. Everything I am now is because of those times. My cousin and I still see Chicago every summer in my aunt's honor - and for our neverending love of the best band on the planet. It's funny how some things in this life just choose you.

I wish I still had those Chicago live VHS tapes because they trumped Youtube by a million. I loved them. I wrote to Robert Lamm every week - he is definitely one of the reasons I am so taken with fine looking gentlemen to this day. This is a strange memory to recollect but when I was about 7 years old, my family took me to meet the yellow Power Ranger (my favorite on the tv show) at a Burger King nearby. I was wearing a handmade button of Robert Lamm and while wearing her yellow costume and mask, the power ranger said to me, "wow, he's really cute", and I was so pleased with myself. That was how far my love extended. My obsessions have changed little since then.

Some of my favorite Chicago songs:

Beginnings (my all time favorite song of ALL songs)
No Tell Lover
Call on Me
Stay the Night
90 Degrees and Freezing
Does Anybody Really Know What Time it is?
25 0r 6 to 4?
Look Away
Questions 67 and 68
Make Me Smile

Beginnings - March 2008 (He is still as gorgeous as ever - and Jason Scheff's bass halfway through the song is fabulous)

Saturday in the Park - 1970's (Robert Lamm with a beard and much livelier)

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