Singer songwriter Peter Cetera has accomplished what few artists have in the music business … succeed at a very successful solo career, since 1986, and preceding that as the lead singer, bass player and songwriter for the multi platinum group Chicago.
Cetera will be kicking off the 2017 concert season when he makes a stop at the Seneca Allegany Event Center in Salamanca on Saturday, January 7 for one show only.
The voice and author behind some of the best and most popular songs in music history such as “The Glory of Love”, “The Next Time I Fall”, “After All” and “You’re The Inspiration” still enjoys performing and looking out at all those faces as they remember each of the songs he sings.
I had the pleasure to catch up with Cetera recently … nine years after I interviewed him the first time. We talked about the memorable show I interviewed him for, which was the Polish Heritage Festival in 2007, and why it is something he will never forget. We also talked about why he was on stage with Andrea Bocelli, why his only Christmas album was a real family affair, and oh yes … baseball.
Reflecting on 2016, a year for the history books in many ways, Cetera can add Rock and Roll Hall of Famer to his list of accomplishments, having been introduced into that elite roster when he was inducted into the Hall as a 2016 member. Include the fact that he was nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame and you can understand why the singer/songwriter feels good about the past year.
“It’s been a wonderful year … and musically it’s never been better,” said Cetera. Now I am looking forward to getting some rest over the holidays and getting back out there with my first show of 2017 at Seneca Allegany. I am really looking forward to it!
For more information on Peter Cetera visit www.petercetera.com.
A CONVERSATION WITH PETER CETERA
HULICK: It’s great to talk to you again. I talked with you back in 2007 when you played the Polish Heritage Festival at the Hamburg Fairgrounds Agri-Center.
CETERA: (laughs) Oh my God! I still talk about that gig! (laughs) That was one of the most unusual gigs I ever played because when I got there, unbeknownst to me, the local promoter actually had me booked as the Polish Frank Sinatra!
HULICK: (laughs) Oh no!
CETERA: (laughs) The Polish Frank Sinatra … I will never forget that.
HULICK: So how have you been?
CETERA: I’ve been good. I’ve been working a lot this past year with my band, the Bad Daddies. They will be with me when I come to Seneca Allegany. We’ve traveled around quite a bit and I’m looking forward to settling down now for the holidays and get back at it first of the year.
HULICK: You were in Italy recently for a charity show with David Foster.
CETERA: Yes. There was a group of us that went over and did a couple of shows for the Muhammad Ali Fight Night, which was something that he started years ago, and since his passing Andrea Bocelli has taken it over and brought the event to Italy in conjunction with his charity event. It was a spectacular show being on the stage with Andrea Bocelli … and now I can say that Andrea Bocelli closed for me. (laughs)
HULICK: (laughs) Wow! That’s quite a statement.
CETERA: (laughs) Yes it is! There was Brooks & Dunn, Reba McEntire, Andrea Bocelli and me on the stage. It was an eclectic group to say the least.
HULICK: Christmas is right around the corner and you recorded a Christmas album in 2004 called “You Just Gotta Love Christmas”. This album was very personal to you because one of the tracks is a duet that you sang with your daughter Claire.
CETERA: Yes. She is my eldest daughter and I even put my youngest daughter’s art work in the inside sleeve. So I got both my daughters involved. It’s actually the best thing I’ve done. I’ve always wanted to do a Christmas album.
HULICK: I know you are a Chicago Cubs fan. You must be absolutely thrilled they finally won the World Series.
CETERA: Oh my God! I am still in a state of shock! Strangely enough, you mentioned Italy earlier and Joe Torre and his wife were part of that group that went over there from the states and I got a chance to meet him. We were talking about the Cubs and he said if I wanted to go to some of the games to let him know. So I was actually going to be in Chicago for game two of the playoffs with the Dodgers, so I had some really good seats and unfortunately I had to watch Clayton Kershaw pitch a masterful game and beat the Cubs. Then I also had tickets to game five of that series, which myself and 40,000 other fans wished we didn’t have to use because that meant the Dodgers tied the series and I didn’t want to sit there with a bunch of people going … “Oh my God, please don’t let us down.” (laughs) … but the Cubs won that one. Unfortunately, I was not able to go to any of the World Series games because I was on the road, although I did get to watch most of them on TV and did get to watch the final game while I was in Maui in between two gigs … I had the night off and strangely enough that was the night they won and I was ecstatic! It’s funny about baseball … I think when you’re a fan of a team your whole life that hasn’t won you just get used to it and you love them for who they were and who they are. I didn’t really expect anything from them, but the past couple years they got it right. They got a good general manager, a good manager and a good group of players and they did it right for the first time in my lifetime.
HULICK: Do you have any projects in the works?
CETERA: Not really. I do have a couple songs I’ve written and I may put those out down the road, but right now nothing in the immediate future. The music industry has changed so much over the years allowing artists to put out a song or two instead of whole albums, and I am not sure if it is worth it just putting out a song or two, or three for that matter. I am not against the new music scene, but I am not sure if I want to go that route.
HULICK: Do you have a Buffalo connection?
CETERA: I remember being caught in a snow storm …
HULICK: (laughs) You know, several artists I’ve talked to remember being caught in a snow storm here. (laughs)
CETERA: (laughs) It was years ago and I remember looking out my hotel window down at the streets with snow swirling around and being stuck there for a couple days.
HULICK: Do you ski at all Peter?
CETERA: I cross country ski and I used to snowboard, but I gave that up because I didn’t want to break anything.
HULICK: Well when you get here you will more than likely be driving through the most beautiful small ski village called Ellicottville on your way to Seneca Allegany. Hopefully there will be snow on the ground and on the hills so you can see this picturesque village. If you have time around the show, before or after, you should make it a point to stay a day or so and experience all it has to offer.
CETERA: Sounds wonderful … I may have to take you up on that.
HULICK: What can we expect from your show?
CETERA: Well, it’s me and my band doing all the hits I wrote or performed both from my days with Chicago and my solo career. We’ve been getting not only our usual generational fans that have followed me all these years, but we are also getting the Gen-X group showing up now to introduce themselves to the music. I think people can put together my face with the music and are telling me they forgot I wrote that song … and I forgot you sang that song. You’ll get to hear and see my exceptional band the Bad Daddies … it’s a really, really good show. I am looking forward to seeing everyone. You won’t be disappointed … It’s a fantastic show!