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Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I Know People Move On...
...but why does it have to be so hard?

I know: been a long time, I should do this more often, etc. But nothing has really been motivating me to write - maybe because I got my head on straight for awhile. But then last night it got knocked off.

As many of you readers know, I have a deep and lasting appreciation for the band Chicago. Some of that has to do with the unique sound they have had over the years; a greater part of that has to do with one particular member of the band.

Last night I found out that member of the band has left. Not is leaving, but has left. Abruptly and in the middle of the summer tour. Without explanation other than to focus on his solo music (which he'd been making here and there on the side anyway). He was my favorite band member, and had the best voice (my opinion) hands down.

That would be Bill Champlin - the guy at the Hammond B3 who rarely smiled and had that rough bluesy voice. The guy who sang lead on 'Look Away' and 'You're Not Alone', and numerous other tracks that didn't get radio play. A pioneer on the music scene with the wonderful Sons of Champlin band. Who, for good reason I suspect, called Chicago 'the day job'.

The rumors persist that the band voted him out, much they they did two other members, one of whom was a founder, in years past. I don't know if they're true, and the only ones who do are the people involved - as it should be. One band member made a statement that started "Chicago has decided to part ways..." - that sort of sheds some sad light on things.

But that doesn't make it any easier. I sit here heartbroken and tear-stricken that one of the best parts of my favorite band is no longer there - it's like losing a friend so very unexpectedly. Even I'd known it had been coming it wouldn't have made it any easier.

So I sit here listening to his new album that came out last week - that I'd forgotten was getting a US release - and have come to his remake of "Look Away" and I can't stop the tears from coming. It's always been an emotional song for me, except when I've seen him do it in concert, but I can't hold back at the moment. I'm feeling unexpectedly emotional, and this just doesn't make it any easier.

This being the song or the situation at hand. I wish I could walk away and not have anyone see me this way, but it's just not possible. Granted, I'm sure Bill will be happier (at least I hope so) in the long run, but if the rumor is true then it's not going to be easy right now.

Not for anyone - most especially this fan who is having a hard time finding eloquent words to say a proper goodbye.