Members of the enduring band share tips from their years of traveling.

  • Image about John Christian
Top Row: Robert Lamm; Center, Left to Right: Lee Loughnane, Jason Scheff, Keith Howland; Bottom, Left to Right: Lou Pardini, Walt Parazaider, Jimmy Pankow, Tris Imboden
With a career of consistent annual touring spanning more than four decades, Chicago is one musical act that defines the term endurance. Releasing its first album in 1969 as Chicago Transit Authority, the group landed on the charts with “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” and hasn’t looked back since. This year’s Chicago tour is truly newsworthy, as the octet has joined with the American Cancer Society to raise money for breast cancer — at every concert, a winning bidder gets to join the band onstage to sing a song. We caught up with the four original members still touring with the band — Robert Lamm (keyboards, vocals), Lee Loughnane (trumpet), Jimmy Pankow (trombone), and Walt Parazaider (woodwinds) — right before they hit the road again for a big summer tour. Also on the bill are the Doobie Brothers. Go to for a full list of concert dates. 

FAVORITE PLACES TO PLAY: Chicago, my hometown, which of course is number one. New York would be a close second, and since I moved to Las Vegas in 2004, I really like playing there. — WALT PARAZAIDER

BEST THING ABOUT BEING ON THE ROAD: being able to take our music to different parts of the world. It’s really amazing to watch people’s faces when we start the intros to many of our songs. You can actually see them remember back to the first time they heard the song, and then of course it’s up to us to make the song sound like we’re playing it for the first time. — LEE LOUGHNANE

FAVORITE SONGS TO PLAY LIVE: “Just You ’N’ Me” because of the jazziness of this great tune and “25 or 6 to 4” because regardless of the country we’re in, this rock-anthem song resonates across borders and across time. — ROBERT LAMM

DOWNTIME ON THE ROAD CONSISTS OF: relaxing and recharging, enjoying a great meal, and languishing in my solitude. — JIMMY PANKOW

THE ONE THING I CANNOT DO WITHOUT ON THE ROAD: good coffee. I bring my own, either Orens (New York City), Stumptown (Portland, Oregon), or Graffeo (San Francisco). — ROBERT LAMM

THE SECRET TO THE BAND’S LONGEVITY: We respect each other’s differences as well as our similarities. We have somehow known when to confront each other and when to stay out of each other’s way. — LEE LOUGHNANE

IF I HADN’T BEEN IN THIS BAND FOR THE LAST 40-PLUS YEARS: I would have been a clarinet player in the Chicago Symphony. I hold my playing degree from DePaul University and was the protégé of the clarinetist in the Chicago Symphony. — WALT PARAZAIDER

WHERE I GET MUSICAL INSPIRATION: pre-’ 70s jazz, chamber music (quartets especially), Brazilian music, and DJ mixes (Towa Tei, Tanaka Tomoyuki, Shantel, Rae & Christian). — ROBERT LAMM

BEST WAY TO STAY IN SHAPE ON THE ROAD: The performance itself is an intense aerobic workout, especially at outdoor summer venues, where the heat and humidity are high. Pushing air through a horn while moving on your feet nonstop for two hours is about the equivalent of a 10-mile run, aerobically. On days off, I try to do a two-hour power walk, and I weight-train three to four days a week. — JIMMY PANKOW

FIRST THING I DO WHEN I RETURN FROM A LONG TOUR: hug my wife who has supported me for 43 years, walk around my house, appreciate being home, and enjoy the sunset at the close of the day. — WALT PARAZAIDER

CL Exclusives


Aaron Basha, whose flagship store is located on Madison Avenue in New York City, is a luxury jewelry brand known for its unconventional designs. Most celebrated for their famous jeweled Baby Shoe pendants, Aaron Basha fine jewelry brings style and elegance to every creation, while consistently following its trademark theme of “Forever Young.” All of the designs are delicately handcrafted in Italy in a wide range of choice and styles, from pure 18 karat gold to a rainbow of colored enamel. Whimsical and sweet, the Aaron Basha designs have captured many hearts, with such high-profile clientele as Hollywood celebrities, international royalty, as well as many influential members of the fashion industry. For more information, please visit

Paradise is yours to discover at Balcones del Atlántico, the newest luxury resort in the Dominican Republic. This luxurious beach resort features lavish two and three bedroom villa suites, a beach bar, two pools and a wide variety of vacation activities including water sports, ecotourism and more.

Located on the Dominican Republic’s stunning Samaná Peninsula, Balcones del Atlántico is nestled in a lush tropical oasis on nearly a kilometer of white-sand beach. Discover some of the world’s most pristine beaches, untouched landscapes and underwater splendors while enjoying exceptional accommodations.

For more information, please visit www.BALCONESDR.COM or call 866-617-ROCK (7625).

At Beaver Creek, you leave everyday life behind. It is a place of intimacy, hidden from view, with the power to bring people closer. Whether you want to play a few rounds, ride a horse, or dine at one of our 5-star restaurants, you could not ask for a more spectacular setting. Beaver Creek is the perfect place to slow down and relax, get your adrenaline pumping or just enjoy the laughter of friends and family in the clean mountain air. Fly direct, non-stop, and stay from just $83 a night. Book some quality time now at

The Numeros Diamond Eternity band from John Christian is the most perfect elegant gift for that special anniversary or birthday. Featuring your date converted into Roman numerals, John Christian captures the timelessness of your special moment in a fusion of the ancient and contemporary. Visit us online to see your date converted to Roman numerals. Available in 14K Yellow or White Gold, a Two- Tone Gold combination, Gold and Platinum, or all Platinum, this stunning piece will truly amaze her on that special date. Prices start from $4400. John Christian offers a money-back guarantee and free resizing. Visit or call 888.646.6466 to request a catalog. Design yours online today! 3-Day Rush is available.

Karel Foti and Richard Wieder, The Paradise Professionals, have the qualifications and experience to surpass your expectations in the luxury residential market in South Florida. Whether your needs pertain to a waterfront vacation home or primary residence, they produce results.

Karel’s specialty is her client. She takes great pride in concentrating on you. Your needs are unique and Karel is well versed in meeting them. Confidentiality and trust are paramount in the luxury markets. Licensed since 1982, and a life-long local resident, she is sought out by high profile and celebrity clients worldwide.

Rick is adamant about serving your needs first. Expert advice, real estate proficiency, honesty, integrity and discretion make him the consummate professional. Born and raised in South Florida, Rick offers the unique qualifications that a native resident can provide.

For more information, please c all Karel : 305-606-3007 or Rick : 305-979-0370 or visit

Located just ten minutes south of Miami International Airport, Miracle Mile & Downtown Coral Gables is a bustling, hip mecca for shopping, dining and entertainment. Home to more than 200 designer boutiques and specialty stores, it is an ideal shop-and-stroll destination replete with stores and restaurants. The many unique gift shops offer truly personal service and one-of-a-kind designs. Tempt your taste buds with a delectable treat at more than 60 restaurants and cafés. For a directory of shops visit our website at or call 305-569-0311.