American singer Peter Cetera still draws the crowd after 50 years

Singer Peter Cetera has performed in Singapore several times.
Singer Peter Cetera has performed in Singapore several times.PHOTO: GOLDEN THREAD RECORDING & ENTERTAINMENT

With a career spanning more than 50 years, singer Peter Cetera still draws crowds

There is too much bad blood between veteran American singer Peter Cetera and his former band mates in Chicago for a reunion to take place, he says.

He is still a top draw among fans as a solo act, though, and plays more live shows today than he has in a career that has lasted more than five decades.

He will perform at Resorts World Theatre in Sentosa tonight, in a show that is part of a global jaunt that sees him playing across the United States, Europe and Asia.

"It's strange. I've worked more this year than I have in years. I just think I'm in good shape, I'm in good voice and a lot of people want to see me," he says in a recent telephone interview from Kuala Lumpur - a stop on his tour.

"I feel like now's the time. I got back on the road. I'm doing a lot of gigs. I have a great band, The Bad Daddies, and we're just having a great time."

The 72-year-old reckons that the renewed interest in his music came after he and the other original members of Chicago were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last year and the Songwriters Hall Of Fame this year.

Cetera joined Chicago soon after the band formed in 1967 and was their singer, bass player and songwriter until his departure in 1985. Along the way, the group became one of the most successful American bands of all time, having sold more than 100 million records.

  • BOOK IT / AN EVENING WITH PETER CETERA IN SINGAPORE

    WHERE: Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway

    WHEN: Today, 8pm

    ADMISSION: From $111 to $231, go to www.asiaboxoffice.com/peter-cetera-Singapore

He recorded 17 albums with the band and his distinctive tenor featured on trademark hits including Hard To Say I'm Sorry, You're The Inspiration and If You Leave Me Now.

Cetera wanted to take a break from the band's hectic schedule and focus on his solo career, but the band wanted to carry on making albums and touring, so he left.

He went on to make his mark as a solo artist, scoring Billboard No. 1 hits such as Glory Of Love, which was featured in the 1986 movie The Karate Kid Part II. His second solo album, Solitude/Solitaire (1986), also contained another No. 1 hit, The Next Time I Fall, a duet with fellow American singer Amy Grant.

Like Cetera, Chicago is going strong and its line-up includes founding members keyboardist/ singer Robert Lamm, trumpet player Lee Loughnane and trombone player James Pankow.

But fans who expected Cetera to reunite with his former band mates at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction were disappointed when he did not turn up at the ceremony.

There were initial plans to get back together, but they could not see eye to eye, he reiterates during the interview.

"I was going to do it, but neither Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nor the group wanted to do it in any way, shape or form to accommodate me. They wanted to do it to accommodate them and that was it. I just didn't want to do it," he explains, putting the blame on the award organisers and his former bandmates.

"Music is supposed to be fun and nothing about that (the reunion) was going to be fun. There's just a little too much bad blood. I just wasn't about to go there and act like everything was fine when it's not. I don't know what a reunion with a bunch of old guys was going to accomplish."

The rapid changes in the music industry in the past decade have kept him from releasing any new albums since his 2004 yuletide release, You Just Gotta Love Christmas, but he is open to putting out new songs.

"When you're used to record companies and everything and, all of a sudden, everything goes to the Internet, I don't understand how that works or how you do that. I would love to do another album or two and I'm just waiting for the right opportunity."

Cetera is looking forward to playing for his fans in Singapore again, having performed here several times.

He did a solo show at The Star Theatre in 2013 and was a featured singer in a two-night concert by American hit-maker David Foster at the Esplanade Concert Hall in 2010.

He will do a lot more than just sing during his time in Singapore, he reveals, as one of his favourite tailors is here.

"When I come to Singapore, one of my stops is always Joe's Tailor. I meet my friends. We concoct some new outfits and, there you go, I have some suits for the year."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2017, with the headline 'From hit band to top solo act'. Print Edition | Subscribe