Songwriter's Hall of Fame 2017 nominees...

Pankow and I, (and inexplicably, Cetera*) have been nominated, in a lump, among about 25 songwriters. 2017%20SHOF.jpeg.

All creative people have their highs and lows in terms of doing good, prolific work. Some have a brief flash. Some lose interest. I have never stopped writing (although I work as slow as the hour hand moves on a clock). I am still looking to find anything I need to say. At least it gets me to the piano, to the studio, to the reading. 

OK, I cast my ballot, for the writers I thought the most deserving. As in all things in popular culture, it's subject to opinions. Essentially meaningless, but a nice bump for the inductees. 

I've become suspicious of awards. The zeitgeist's way of suggesting one should consider wrapping it up.

(*Excellent voice).

You need to be a member of Robert Lamm: Official Fan Forum to add comments!

Join Robert Lamm: Official Fan Forum

Email me when people reply –


  • On Twitter Danny Seraphine (not a credible source) said Peter was being inducted, so if this is true then that mean Robert and Jimmy are too. I hope we get official word here or from Chicago.

  • Congratulations on your nomination!  My thinking is the Songwriters HOF is recognizing the creativity of your work that resulted in timeless classics (Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, Saturday In The Park, 25 or 6 to 4, Dialogue, etc.) that are still very much loved to this day.  How moving it is now when attending a Chicago concert that everyone in the crowd sings Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is.  I hope and pray that moments like those provide a lot of happiness for you.

    When I think of your creativity, I think of the exceptional songs you have written that are a joy to listen to - Wake Up Sunshine, It Better End Soon, At The Sunrise, Happy Cause I'm Going Home, A Hit by Varese, Critic's Choice, Women Don't Want to Love Me, Never Been In Love Before, Long Time No See, Scrapbook, Manipulation, We Can Stop the Hurtin', One From the Heart, 90 Degrees and Freezing, Out of the Blue, Gimme Gimme....just to name a few!

    Your creativity continues to flow to this day and Chicago Now XXXVI proves it.  I love the snapping of the fingers rythym in More Will Be Revealed, the exceptional harmonies and pretty piano in Crazy Happy and the poetic verses and climatic horn charts of Naked in the Garden of Allah.  Most recently, I also enjoy your presentation in concert of Another Rainy Day in New York City.  Thank you for choosing that song and adding it to the set list.Speaking of songs for the set list, I want you to know how much I enjoy the song Gimme Gimme.  I thoroughly enjoy the live version of it on the New Zealand concert DVD.  I hope to see it someday during a Chicago concert.  I believe each and every concert attendee would LOVE IT!  I think that is one of those songs from one of your solo albums that could transition to a Chicago album.  That could help lead to it being included on a future band set list. 

    In closing, I'm very much looking forward to New Year's Day at 8:00pm with the premiere of The History of Chicago.  I'll be right in front of the television.  What a great way to start off 2017!   


  • That is odd that PC was grouped in with you and Pankow. Gotta love the way the people that do these prestigious awards don't do their homework on things like this.

    As to your suspicion of these awards it is funny on how it's normal in sports for the respective HOF's to wait until a certain time after a athlete has retired where music and other industries have no or limited restrictions. Maybe they're way of saying "KEEP IT GOING !" Please do
  • I agree with you regarding awards.  I am often amazed hearing radio ads for car dealerships and mattress companies being "award winning" and I scratch my head.  However, also appreciate that you are being legitimately recognized for all your fantastic work.  Was that recognition as quickly received as it should have been?  Of course not.  It is probably related to that your early music was often faceless, due to Chicago's team is better than the individual ethic from the early years.  Then as Cetera raised his head, he mistakenly received some of the plaudits that were more deserving of yourself and Mr. Pankow.  Now, as time has passed, people who should have known earlier are realizing exactly the magnitude and quality of your enormous contributions.  

    I have often experienced how difficult it is to gain fair appraisal of something by talking to the masses, who often have a superficial view, or the fans who have a skewed view.  With your writing and your songs, I am amazed at the people who gave up on Chicago during the X - 17 years and never reengaged who talk glowingly about CTA - VII and how great the Lamm & Pankow songs are, and how well they have held up over time. 

    This is a legitimate tribute, you deserve it, allow yourself, when the lights are off, to smile and take pride in what you have accomplished.

    BTW - regarding his excellent voice.  Speaking anecdotally and only for myself, I honestly have never encountered anyone who enjoys his voice over yours.  I have shared the version of 25 of 6 to 4 from New Zealand with so many people and each one of them has stated that you should have been singing it all along.

    • I hope people focus on the positive things. The band have told their stories to the film-makers. PC is even in Terry's daughter's movie, but not Peter Pardini's. The people who gave up on Chicago should know that they tried to make a full rock comeback (with a couple ballads) with Stone of Sisyphus. We know what happened there. Recently, they are free to make albums with no label interference, and I truly hope they make a new one with Jeff Coffey. I hope Lee gets more of his original songs on it too, and as many as Robert has.

      Me personally, I'm looking forward to my first Chicago shows since 1999. It will be an honor.   

    • Peter Pardini: "I didn't interview him but yes, I requested an interview in one way or another (booking agent, lawyer, through David Foster) at least 10 times and though I never spoke directly to him, the message was pretty clear that he wasn't interested.  He was concerned the band would edit his words, even when I reassured him I was editing the movie and would represent him the way he spoke.  Oh well. 

    • Peter Pardini has done some great work with dogged determination. 

    • 'I am amazed at the people who gave up on Chicago during the X - 17 years and never reengaged who talk glowingly about CTA - VII and how great the Lamm & Pankow songs are, and how well they have held up over time' - have I read this correctly Franc? I gave up after Hot Streets dipped in again from time to time but as soon as I saw Robert Lamm's input (songs) were minimal and middle of the road outside songwriters were writing for the band that was it for me. Cetera, Foster & Chumplin were never going replace Robert's songs. Who was it asked that Robert to stop writing songs for the band? How did control of band get diluted into the power ballad mediocrity?

    • Hey Andy, I probably didn't articulate my thought properly.  

      My intentions was to say, how the people who have disengaged, and considered Chicago some Pop / Power Ballad band still love and appreciate the Lamm & Pankow stuff off the earlier albums.  I am on a Progressive Rock Forum, and like clockwork, every 6 months, someone starts a Chicago thread, and immediately the response is heavily, "I stopped after VII" for post after post.  Then a couple of pages in, the tenor changes to "I loved all Lamm's songs", or "Why did Pankow and Lamm stop writing".  Then for page after page, people who have completely dismissed Chicago, talk about how great those early albums were due to the great songs from Lamm and Pankow and Kath's guitar playing.

      I was amazed in that people would say they had dismissed Chicago, and then turn around and say how blown away they have always been by the early albums, and the Lamm songs specifically. I was amazed in a positive way.  Maybe pleased would have been a better word.

      And regarding your last thought, I also always was blown away when the vocals were taken away from Robert.  I can't believe anyone ever thought any of the other singers could hold a candle to his voice.  His singing is FANTASTIC.  I would love to hear a number of their songs with Robert singing rather than Cetera, Chumplin or even Kath.

      Thanks for the wake up call.


    • Hi Franc, I agree. When I heard Chumplin (Champlin) sing Colour My World it makes me cringe. On CTA the combination of Lamm, Kath & Cetera was the defining vocal sound - listen to Questions on CTA on headphones.Unfortunately the one song associated with Chicago is If You Leave Me Now and this is seen as their template and when people hear POEM thay think that can't be the same band.The sound was forever diluted.

This reply was deleted.