If you tune into a classic rock station today, you’re bound to hear Danny Seraphine from Chicago.
Seraphine, a founding member and first drummer from Chicago, contributed to many of the band’s hits such as “25 or 6 to 4”, “Saturday in the Park”, and “Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?”
These tracks and more are what guests can expect from his Take Me Back to Chicago Tour, returning to the newly upgraded Rock Yard at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Saturday, March 12. Also joining the tour will be Jeff Coffey, Chicago’s 2016-2018 vocalist and bassist from 2016 to 2018.
“We are ready to step up a gear and put big smiles on their faces,” Séraphine said.
After parting ways with the band in 1990, Seraphine went into production and started his band, the California Transit Authority (which plays off the other band’s original name, Chicago Transit Authority). In 2016, Seraphine joined Chicago in the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“It was a great honor and an evening,” said Séraphine. “I got to play with Chicago for the first time in 25 years.”
Seraphine spoke with the Southern California News Group about her upcoming show at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and what it’s like to be a producer. The conversation has been edited for more space and clarity.
Q. How did you become a producer?
It’s just something I’ve always enjoyed. When we were making our records back then, I loved sitting down and learning from the great producers we were working with, and I wanted to be a part of that. It’s like being a film director. You really control the direction and pulse of the project. I appreciate that.
Q. What is it like to produce music for film and theatre?
It’s really not that different from just making records. You’re just using your creativity to try to match the scene you’re creating the piece of music for. That’s the beauty of it, trying to get the sounds to match the visuals. It’s a real challenge.
Q. What are some of your influences as a musician?
My first influence was the great [drummers] Gene Krupa then Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson and Elvin Jones. I had the privilege of studying with the late great Jo Jones. They are mostly jazz giants but also some of the great rock drummers of the last days like Jimi Hendrix’s Mitch Mitchell.
Q. What kind of music are you listening to at the moment and what role does that play in inspiring your music?
I still listen to a lot of old jazz, pop, R&B and rock artists from the past. I’m pretty much grounded in what I do. So I come back and listen to the things that I really like to listen to, like Steely Dan and Miles Davis.
Q. What were some of the highlights of your career that really stood out to you?
Being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is close to the top and being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame was a big highlight as well. I would also say the opening of Jimi Hendrix in the early days. We hung out with him and the band and got to know him. He was really a good person.
Q. This isn’t the first time you’ve played Rock Yard at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. Was there anything that stood out to you about the crowd or the atmosphere when you were playing in their outdoor venue?
The Fantasy Springs Show was the first show we had done since the pandemic began. It felt so good to perform in front of a live audience. People were smiling ear to ear. I can not wait to return.
If you are going to
When: 7 p.m. Saturday March 12.
Or: The Rock Yard at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84-245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio