Hi friends, well we have been living here in Manhattan for the past week and have had beautiful walking around weather, played three sold out shows in the New York area, and made plenty of new friends along the way.
The NYPD helped us out of a little jam when, shall we say, our tour bus was a bit too wide for 54th Street as we pulled into town. Always nice when the city's finest turn out to be REO fans! You know you have been on the road when you realize that you need a haircut half way through the tour. Luckily I got word about Gabriel Jenkins, as he cuts fellow young and handsome lead singer Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic's hair. Yes, you heard right, I said fellow young and handsome lead singer! Hey, I know I turn 63 later this year, but I'm sorry, I still feel young, and plan on feeling young for the rest of my life...why not? I'm not saying it's always easy getting out to the gym, or passing on that ice cream sundae, but life is choices and every time I make a good one, I always feel better. So yes, I am forever young...and okay, I admit Ryan Tedder is both young and handsome, but at least I have a cool haircut!
Meanwhile, the REO/Chicago train keeps rolling and getting stronger every day. I am not kidding when I say that our Encore is truly a force of nature. It gets tighter and more fun every night. Robert Lamm sings this blues lick in Keep On Loving You that blows my mind every night. I have always dug Robert's voice, but I never knew he was such a good blues singer. Jason Scheff hits these amazing soulful high notes which take our songs to entirely new places. Dave and Keith Rowlands have become a two man guitar army, same thing for Bryan, Tris and Wall...they are a fricking percussion bulldozer, I have no idea what that means, but you get the picture, right? Neal and Lou Pardini have bonded on keyboards, and Lou sings his butt off...this dude is as soulful as it gets. I get to sing with him on Chicago's song, "Free" where we trade vocal answers and he raises the bar every night. I love it, it just keeps getting better. But as you might imagine, the thing that puts this thing over the top musically is hearing the amazing Chicago brass section on our songs. Jimmy Pancow's charts turn any song they play into a Chicago song. Before this tour I could have never imagined "Keep On Loving You" with horns...now I can't imagine it without horns! Plus, I get to sing lead all over these awesome Chicago songs, and Robert encourages me to continue to take the melodies to new places and sing the songs like they are my own, and mostly to have fun. He is such a supportive dude. Then add to that the fact that everyone gets along so well on a personal level...the Chicago guys are all genuinely great humans. We have eleven shows left on this tour and we will surely always treasure this experience.
My point is, if this tour is coming to a city near you, you need to come. If for any reason you can't get tickets, just come and hang out outside the amphitheater and listen!
Okay, I gotta hit the streets on this rare day off, knowing I will be safe and protected by my buddies at NYPD
rock on, kc
PS. I miss my family so much...I love you Lis, xome
Pictured below: left...kc and his new bodyguard, right...kc, his new haircut, and Gabriel Jenkins
Hi friends, this REO/Chicago tour is a fricking blast! I am serious. All the guys in Chicago are so cool. I love tours where everybody leaves the dressing room doors open, nobody has attitude, and people are all friendly and cooperative. We are all working really hard, and having big fun. The two band encore is indescribable. I call it a force of nature...and speaking of forces of nature... We had a day off in Denver and our tour manager Walter bumped into some folks from Lady Gaga's entourage in the hotel lobby. Turns out her Dad wanted to meet me, so who am I to turn down Papa Gaga, right? So we walked over to the Pepsi Center, and I will tell you the Lady knows how to put on an over the top spectacle. She is an amazing performer and her show is something to see. Now we played a show at the legendary Cow Palace in San Francisco back in 1976 with Ted Nugent. I had never seen Ted in concert so I walked around to the very back of the arena and up to the very top row. I could not have been farther from Ted's amps. When I opened the door to enter the seating area the sound of his guitar blasting out of his four Fender Twin Reverbs, all turned up to 10, ripped my face off. It was the loudest thing I had ever heard...until this Lady Gaga show. I never thought I would hear myself utter these words, but Lady Gaga is louder than The Motor City Madman himself. So Ted, if you see this, you may want to think about getting some of those amps that Nigel Tuffnel of Spinal,Tap uses...the kind that go to 11. PS. I was standing with the Lady's father, Joe, and he was kind enough to run backstage and bring me some ear plugs...that was so cool. Needless to say Mr. and Mrs. Gaga are on the guest list for our New Jersey show this weekend. Maybe they will bring young Stephanie, that's her in the photo... PPS. I really miss my family. My wife Lisa holds down the fort with such love and commitment...I am a lucky guy. Hi Holly, hey Josh, yo Shane, I love you Lis.
Hi friends, okay, so the past four days have been an amazing example of hard work, mutual respect, musical collaboration, anxious moments (mostly on my part), and Big Fun! REO and Chicago have become a force of nature...a perfect storm of hit songs, diverse musical influences, and that indescribable Midwest work ethic. It keeps getting better every night. My goal of making it through the tour without getting clotheslined by a trombone is still within reach, although I did almost get run over by an electric bus twice along 16th Street in Denver tonight. Our new song, "Whippin' Boy", has been going over really well, which feels very good to us. There is just one thing... Now, it may appear at first glance that I am sneaking a peek at a lyric cheat sheet during the encore jams, but I assure you that is not the case. I am merely reading my own palms, which are telling me that you should not miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear the unique and powerful musical combination of Chicago and REO see you all down the road...kc
Hi friends, one of the cool perks of touring is we play a number of big rock festivals such as Moondance Jam, where we played last night. I had some onstage dental issues which posed a challenge, but with the support of the band, and 20,000 amazing fans, I was able to rock my way through it...thanks you guys! Oh yeah, I was talking about the perks...so backstage at the festivals is so much fun. We get to hang with old friends like George Thorogood, who played an awesome set last night, and meet new friends like Jakob Dylan. Jakob walked right up to me, introduced himself as an REO fan, and we proceeded to talk about bands, the current state of music and touring, the importance of our families...I found Jakob to be quite charming and intelligent. Too bad I always forget to get people's contact info, I would like to talk to him again. Oh well, hopefully the Wallflowers will be on another show with us sometime soon. Meanwhile, I plan to rock my ass off here in Omaha tonight. I am a Midwest person and I love Midwest people. You guys are so loyal, you love to come out and hear live music, and you love to party, Let's rock out big time tonight...I'm so ready! kc
Hi friends, Lisa and I hung with our buddy Huey Lewis over post-concert Martinis and Chardonnay the other day in San Diego. Huey's Mom is a neighbor of Lisa's hippie sister Carla, and we bumped into her at a Grateful Dead fan club gathering up in Stinson Beach, CA...it's a long story! Anyway, Huey and I shared stories of overworked vocal cords, touring with Chicago, potential future golf outings, and charter jet fuselage surfing (Huey is an expert). Always awesome to hang with other rock'n roll survivors. Huey is as cool and funny as always. What would you guys think of an REO co-headline tour with Huey Lewis and the News sometime down the line? Okay, gotta run, big show at Rockfest here in Cadott, Wisconsin. We get to play along with Sammy Hagar, Winger, and Steel Panther tonight. Sounds good to me...let's rock!