cover image Street Player: My Chicago Story

Street Player: My Chicago Story

Danny Seraphine, with Adam Mitchell, Wiley, $24.95 (296p) ISBN 978-0-470-41683-9

Drummer Seraphine, a founding member of Chicago, claims the band "always let the music do the talking." But now it's Seraphine's turn to blab. In his brutally honest memoir (the first by any Chicago member), Seraphine gives a lively insider's account of the music and history of a band that has sold more than 122 million albums. His stories–from the controversial departure of Peter Cetera; the band's multiple comebacks; and the hairpiece that saved his life one night in Nebraska, to the 1978 Russian roulette death of founding guitarist Terry Kath and Seraphine's own sacking by the band in 1990–will satisfy longtime fans of the band, whose famous logo often revealed more personality than its members. Despite an overreliance on cliché, Seraphine is a natural storyteller, recalling the early support Chicago received from Jimi Hendrix, how he almost came to blows with Janis Joplin, and the serious cocaine problem that gripped the band ("I considered coke a ninth member of our group"). He also covers his tumultuous childhood in a street gang and a tenuous connection to the Chicago Mafia, often naming names, and it's obvious that the wounds inflicted by his former band mates have yet to completely heal. (Nov.)