Tarzana, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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  • Bill Champlin

Bill's 2019 Spring BLOG


Hi everybody,


Once again the last month or two have been kinda' crazy for me. I went with CTA for one of those Carnival cruises with musicians performing in different venues on a giant ship. We sailed through the Bahamas and then back to Miami, where CTA hit the airport and, after a 10 hour wait, we got on a plane to Las Vegas for a gig in Summerlin. Well, since the boat was a floating petri dish and the plane was a petri dish with wings, I somehow ended up with pneumonia. I had to bail on the NV gig with CTA and check into Summerlin Medical Center for 4 days. Now the fun part: Tamara flew in, rented a car and we drove back to LA at night; two days later I'm at Cedars of Sinai with a bad strain of flu, in addition to the damage done by the pneumonia. Lucky me, I get both. I got the flu shot, so I want my $23 back, damnit.


After all this, Danny Seraphine, the leader of CTA, posted a thing, as soulful as it was, that made me sound like I was half- dead. Rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated. Anyway, I kinda' realized that I may have been over extended with too many bands and too much travel for a guy who was just doing chemo a year ago. I had to bail on something and, though I love the players/singers in CTA, I had to bail on that. I'll do one more gig with them in Arcadia on March 30, but after that it's just Sons and Wunderground. I'll do a few what I like to call “Formerly Of” dates out of the country with other singers, but not at the level it used to be.


I just realized also that, although "Tribute Bands" seem to be the norm these days, it's a little too nostalgic for a songwriter/singer like myself to play nothing but older material. CTA is mostly about Chicago songs and, though most of them are great, I need to be in the studio doing NEW MATERIAL to keep myself musically energized. I play my older stuff with the Sons, and I perform a few Chicago things that I sang on record with Wunderground when we play gigs. I usually re-arrange the stuff to fit me. I try to play the hits, but not two hours of old stuff. Just too tiring.


The Sons will be doing a 3-gig weekend coming up in May:

Crest Theater in Sacramento May 24 with Cold Blood Mystic Theater in Petaluma May 25 Yoshi's for a one-show night on May 27 Come out for all of 'em and I'll bet Tamara will throw you a cool shirt and maybe even a CD.


Wunderground is doing May 2 at Bogie's in Westlake, where we always have a ball, and St. Francis Festival in Valley Village. So, I guess I will be playing in SoCal a little. We always used to joke about the Sons NOT playing in LA 'cause they thought we were an NFL team. Now they got 2 NFL teams. Ahhhh, LA. One of a kind community. The ground zero for all traffic jams.


I want to thank all the people who sent me get well wishes when I was in the hospital having needles stuck in me every few minutes. My arms had so many needle bruises that I looked like a vintage 1956 NYC Be-Bop alto player......tracks for days. They finally found some blood and it's ok, and so am I, barring a bitta' coughing still. I guess that's what I get for smoking like a chimney when I was younger. Dumb move, huh?


If you haven't gotten your copy of "Bleeding Secrets" by Bill Champlin and Wunderground, we'll make sure we bring some to the Sons' gigs. Hey, it's really good. billchamplin.com/shop if you wanna' get one earlier in the mail. People are just now discovering it and going nuts over it. Slammin' CD.


Hey, you guys, I love you all tons and can't wait to see ya' at a Sons’ gig or two, or three.

Be good, bill

P.O Box #572971 Tarzana CA 91357 USA