Bill Champlin has just returned from playing five dates with his ex-Chicago bandmate Danny Seraphine, an experience he describes as “a fun week.” Unfortunately, it hasn’t all been fun lately for Champlin, who has experienced some recent health problems.
Seems Champlin went in to have his eyes examined, and an EKG revealed some scarring on his heart — the result of a minor heart attack. “My dad had the same thing happen to him when he was in his early 70s, so it was worth following up on,” Champlin says. A subsequent CT scan “showed that my heart rate was way too low. I had another EKG, and this one was way wrong. Luckily, it was in a doctor’s office instead of a plane to Sweden, for instance.”
Champlin was given a pacemaker two Thursdays ago, he said. “It seems that it’s hereditary,” Champlin added. “Anyway, it was all pretty much of a surprise and it came down so quickly that I didn’t have time to get too freaked out about it. I guess if it has to happen, you want it to happen fast. I was rehearsing four days later and did a long gig inside of a week — as well as a six-hour vocal date, leads and backings. I was less tired after the gig and session, so I think the thing is working. They say that inside of a year all kinds of things change; you get less ‘lazy,’ because you’re not avoiding exertion. Who knows, maybe there is an album still in there somewhere.”
Champlin, best known before joining Chicago for his songs “After the Love is Gone” and “Turn Your Love Around,” is a guest vocalist on the new studio album by Seraphine’s California Transit Authority, 2013′s Scared Ground. The two were part of Chicago from 1981-1990. Seraphine co-founded the band; Champlin exited in 2009.
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