My father is an artist by nature and profession, but not by ego. One of his most recognizable designs—a highlight of a lifelong career in illustration—is the longstanding logo for the band Chicago.
I know my dad is now partial to the classical radio station, maybe some jazz standards here and there, so Chicago’s upbeat rock was a little beyond his music taste even after he created several of the band’s early album covers. What’s more, he never got the chance to meet the band in person. But over the years, he maintained an appreciation for Chicago as both he and the band grew older and more distinguished, seemingly in tandem.
A few years back, Chicago came to town on yet another live stadium tour. Because decades had passed since its founding, the band had brought in some new blood. But original members Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, and James Pankow—still chugging on since before Chicago was even called Chicago—were set to perform. An opportunity became clear to me almost immediately.
I reached out to the band members to arrange some sort of meet up with my dad on the night of their performance. Chicago would finally get to put a face to the name behind their logo, and my dad could enjoy the success his prolific design portfolio brought the band and himself. Luckily, the band was totally gracious. A small celebration of my father’s work quickly fell into place.
The night of the concert arrived. We brought along a few younger family members, my pre-teen son Luca included. I was beyond glad that he and some of his cousins got to see their grandpa get recognized for his hard work. My father even received an on-stage shoutout from the band, unexpected by him in his modesty, but well-deserved.
Age had hardly diminished Chicago’s talent—if anything, it made their high-energy performance all that more exciting to watch. The same can be said for my father who still always has a major project in the works.