By Brian Ives for Radio.com
Last week, Chicago keyboardist and founding member Robert Lamm told Radio.com that the band would perform at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year with former singer Peter Cetera. This was exciting news to fans, since Cetera hasn’t performed with the band since they parted ways in 1985.
Sadly, it turned out that Mr. Lamm spoke too soon. As he told Billboard, “I’ve mistakenly said Cetera would be playing…He has emphatically declined.” Which is a real bummer: over the years, the Rock Hall induction ceremony has reunited past and present members of bands, as was the case with Heart, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Eagles; it’s also hosted some amazing one-off reunions, including Led Zeppelin, Cream, the Police and Talking Heads. On the other hand, bitter situations between band members played out in public, as was the case with Creedence Clearwater Revival and Blondie.
We’re hoping that Cetera reconsiders and that a few hatchets get buried before this year’s ceremony. Being angry about stuff that went down years ago is, well, a hard habit to break. But oh so rewarding! Here’s what we’d be psyched to see:
1 – Peter Cetera and Chicago: Chicago have been playing their classics in concert for three decades since Cetera left, but how awesome would it be to see him splitting lead vocals with Robert Lamm on “Saturday in the Park?” Or taking the lead on “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” or “Wishing You Were Here?” Cetera still does concerts on his own, but not in places as big as Barclay’s Center in New York, where this year’s induction is being held. This would be a chance to play those songs, one last time, with most of the original band.
2 – Bun E. Carlos and Cheap Trick: Any band split, like any divorce, is painful. But reading Carlos’s recent Rolling Stone interview was cringe inducing. “Any friendship we had went away when I had to file a federal lawsuit,” he said. “That cost a bucket of f—ing money. Going after these guys wasn’t pleasant. The friendship sort of frittered away there.” Ouch! However, in the same interview, he says that he wants to avoid a Blondie-type fracas at the induction. “I’m assuming everybody is going to make nice. Me too. I have no agenda here. I won’t get up there and be like, ‘F— these guys!'”
3 – Ritchie Blackmore and Deep Purple: The famously contentious relationship between guitar god Blackmore and his long time band Deep Purple (and mainly lead singer Ian Gillan), came to an end in 1993, when Blackmore quit the band for good. For a while, he recorded and toured as Rainbow (the band he’d formed after he quit Purple in the ’70s), but soon went on to recording traditional folk music and playing medieval festivals. It’s been over twenty years; hopefully the Blackmore and Gillan, along with bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice, can share the stage one last time. Likewise, hopefully Blackmore and Paice will perform a song with the “Mark I” lineup, including singer Rod Evans (who is being included) and bassist Nick Simper (who, for some reason, is not), and the “Mark III” lineup which includes David Coverdale (who later went on to greater fame with Whitesnake) and bassist Glenn Hughes.
4 – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with heavy metal fans: Sure, Black Sabbath was inducted; how could they not be? Still, it took over ten years of eligibility for them to be voted in. And yeah, Metallica was inducted a few years ago, but you couldn’t really deny them either. And it’s cool that there’s a bunch of hard rock acts inducted as well, including AC/DC, KISS, Van Halen and as of next year, Deep Purple. But awarding the late Randy Rhoads — the original guitarist in Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band — with the “Musical Excellence” accolade (which has gone to the E Street Band, Ringo Starr and Leon Russell in recent years) would go a long way towards showing respect to the genre, by recognizing someone who may not be a household name, but who was hugely influential.
The 31st Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday, April 8, 2016 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. HBO will broadcast the ceremony in spring 2016.