Pioneering jazz-rock drummer and composer Danny Seraphine is a founding member of Chicago. Worldwide, the iconic group has sold over 122 million albums and just domestically earned 22 gold, 18 platinum and 8 multi-platinum albums. In 1990, after 23 years in the group, Seraphine and Chicago had a jarring parting of ways and he left music behind for 15 years. But, a call to play a benefit show for a fellow drummer pulled him out of seclusion and sparked a creative rebirth – CTAtheband.com
Wow! Talk about an intro!
Danny Seraphine started playing drums at a very young age. First it was pots and pans, then a practice pad, then a snare drum and THEN… he was a drummer! Back then there were not a lot of other kids his age that were as developed as a musician as he was, which he says was frustrating. Danny dropped out of high school at age 15 and started running around with Chicago street gangs in a “tough neighborhood”. Luckily, that was when he was invited to try out for a new band where he met Terry Kath and Walter Parazaider. They would later leave that band (well, they were fired due to a band merger). From there, they formed a cover band that was making them better money than ever before. After a while, Walter began gearing up to move into the Chicago Symphony and Terry Kath was planning to leave with another band for the west coast. The bond between these “musical soulmates” is what kept them together and created the foundation for CTA and Chicago. Their plan was to put together the best musicians from around Chicago- three grew to seven. These seven went to the west coast where they were holed-up in a two bedroom house for 6 months to rehearse; this being where Chicago Transit Authority would really start to bloom. Jimi Hendrix, a huge fan of CTA, took them on tour after their first album was released. The band would undergo a name change and lose guitarist Terry Kath to an untimely death.
“we were never the same after we lost Terry Kath.”
From there the history gets deeper and Danny was fired from the band (long story…no really, Danny and Dawn agreed there was no time). Regardless, they weren’t the first band to have some kind of issues. Danny Seraphine said he noticed a point where the guys in the band were all like “brothers” and bros fight (this coming from someone who has a 16 year-old brother who is about three inches taller than me). However, listening to the story of a band that my dad loved and that I love, was awesome. I hope that the remaining members of Chicago and Danny Seraphine get together for that dinner and wine he stated he was very open to.
Danny’s current band, California Transit Authority, released their first full-length album, Full Circle, in 2007. Their second album, Sacred Ground, dropped in March this year. If you love Chicago’s music, then you are going to want to give California Transit Authority a listen! Oh yeah, one of the vocalists in CTA(cal) is the son of Bill Champlin…former vocalist in Chicago. Danny Seraphine is a record, theatrical and film producer who has also written an autobiography. Did I mention he was ranked as one of the top 100 drummers in history by Rolling Stone Magazine?! Needless to say, his story has Dash-worthy written all over it! Make sure to click below to hear about his awesome rock & roll journey and California Transit Authority’s music first hand.
Aaron has worked in fields such as engineering, product purchasing, customer service, compliance, and as an executive administrator. He enjoys finding useful information on the web and sharing it with others. You can find him on Google+