Backstory of Chicago and Me

Chicago might have been a perfect band for my father. He was a rock and roll drummer in the ’60s and was your typical dad in the ’80s. His musical tastes and enjoyment of Chicago easily influenced my thoughts on the band.

Soft Rock Bill Hersey

As referenced in many articles, William (Bill) Hersey was a huge influence on my musical tastes. He often sat in his chair and listened to music – no outside distractions. He would just sit and rock. Sometimes he would be working on a TV or VCR (he was a television repairman and did side jobs at home). The smell of solder reminds me of soft rock.

VCR Repair - Bill Hersey - The Legend
William Hersey was a VCR Repairman and one damn good one. This relic is hard to find nowadays.

Although he had vinyl albums of all the classic rock groups, he had the CDs of many soft rock groups. I imagine he aged along with the bands. By the time I remember listening to these tunes from the other room, it was the mid-90s. He was in his forties. He had every Richard Marx album and I remember hearing plenty of Chicago.

It was no surprise when I started ranking songs, the Peter Cetera led songs were my favorites. They were very ’80s and that’s what I remember hearing. Granted, “Saturday in the Park” and “25 or 6 to 4” are amazing – but I love myself some soft rock.

Biology 102

There aren’t a tremendous of high school memories I have regarding the band Chicago – but one stands in my mind. I had Mr. Mutuska for sophomore Biology. I don’t remember much about that class, but for some reason we had computers. Maybe we did some research? More than likely, we goofed off on them.

This was 2000 and Napster was huge. Almost every computer had it installed. With Napster, came music. I was sitting next to one of my good friends, Shawn. I don’t know much about his musical tastes but he surely didn’t seem like a Chicago guy. My guess the song was already on the computer, but he started playing “You’re the Inspiration”. Being a ham, he started singing along and tried to get others in the class to join in. That power ballad will forever be linked to sophomore biology.

The Crash

One of the worst days of my life happened a few weeks earlier. Over the years, I developed an incredible music library. I had downloaded music since 1999 and many of those songs made their way onto data CDs. With the invent of external hard drives, I transferred my music to a 2-terabyte hard drive.

I threw away many of my old CDs. With iTunes and iPhones, I was never going to use them. I kept some of the sentimental albums, but most saw the garbage. Everything was on my hard drive. I would sync up my phone and grab my favorites and listen as I pleased. That hard drive had everything.

One day I tried to access a file I was working on. I was in the process of writing some short episodes for YouTube. My goal was to write 12 episodes and film. I would release like Netflix – all at once. I thought it was a unique way to see if people would binge watch on YouTube. The idea was original and I was up for trying something creative. For some reason, I couldn’t get the folder to my hard drive to open.

I switched outlets, power cords, computers, everything! The damn hard drive crashed.

My family photos were gone. All of my old graphics were gone. My music was gone.

Powerwashing with Chicago’s Greatest Hits

I turned to Pandora and streaming music. I wasn’t going to regain access to all of those songs. Illegal downloading was not something I would gamble with – I would either have to buy everything or stream. I decided on streaming.

Chicago Power Wash

One day I got sick of the commercials. Also, I wanted to listen to just one band. This was probably before Spotify became a thing. I decided that I wanted to hear Chicago. Not sure why, but I downloaded a greatest hits album. It was the only music on my phone.

That night, I had to powerwash behind the house. I decided to listen to some Chicago and power washed for a few hours. It was enjoyable. I could skip songs, repeat, and pause. I forgot that owning the music was better than streaming.

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