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Chicago's Robert Lamm Says Band's Rock Hall Induction Came as "Quite a Shock"

Courtesy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & MuseumChicago is one of the five artists chosen to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the "Performers" category in 2016.  The group had a stream of major hits throughout the 1970s and into the '80s, and arguably is the most successful horn-driven rock act of all time, but it took more than 20 years from the time the band was first eligible for it to be acknowledged by the Rock Hall.

Founding singer/keyboardist Robert Lamm tells ABC Radio that he and his band mates had become "sort of used to being passed over," so when he learned that Chicago finally was being inducted, "it was actually quite a shock."

Lamm says he can only speculate why Chicago was passed over for so long and why they finally were picked to be inducted.

"For all the obvious reasons for a band or an artist being inducted…making music that has had an impact on the culture and having a long career trajectory and having made successful records and having successful tours, all of those qualifications are qualifications that we've had all along," he maintains.  "So, it's sort of a mystery as to why, but we're not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.  We're just going to be very grateful and accept the honor."

Chicago's original seven-piece lineup will be welcomed into the Rock Hall in April, although two of the group's surviving founding members -- singer/bassist Peter Cetera and drummer Danny Seraphine -- are no longer in the band.  Lamm says he's hoping his ex-band mates not only will attend the ceremony but also will take part in the performance.

"We've made it clear that they are expected and more than welcome to be present and accept the honor as part of the extended Chicago family," he notes, adding, "We've extended invitations to past members and the present members to all be present and be ready to play."

Entering the Rock Hall alongside Chicago will be Steve Miller, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick and rap group N.W.A.  "I'm thrilled to be part of the group of artists that are being inducted," says Lamm.  "I love Steve Miller's music…And N.W.A., after seeing the [Straight Outta] Compton movie this year, it kind of justified in every way N.W.A. being inducted."

As for what songs he thinks Chicago might perform at the gala, Lamm lists "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?," "Saturday in the Park" and "25 or 6 to 4."  He also suggests that "25 or 6 to 4" would work well as part of the traditional show-closing jam, since it not only would offer the various guitar players the chance to deliver some rocking solos, but -- because it's a tune that's been sampled by many rap acts -- it also could allow N.W.A.'s members to "get a moment or two."

The 2016 Rock Hall induction ceremony takes place April 8 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

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