Chicago, “Flight 602” from Chicago III (1971): Saturdays in the Park

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Robert Lamm can introduce the “Travel Suite” much better than I can, so here’s how he described it on the Chicago Live at Carnegie Hall album:

“The third album kind of has a lot to do with the kinds of lives we’ve been leading for the last two years. Things really change drastically in your eyes when you’re on the road all the time, and you have no roots and you have no home, and a lot of times you don’t have no lady … and it’s a drag. So, these next few tunes are kind of about that.”

Taking up the whole second side of from 1971’s Chicago III, “Travel Suite” is sort of a sequel to earlier songs like “Listen” and “The Road,” which describe the life of a small-time band traveling to and playing in small clubs, or opening for major acts. In the meantime, Chicago got big — headliner big — and now could afford flights and solo hotel rooms.

“The first one is called ‘Flight 602,'” Lamm continued amidst clapping from the audience, “which is, I think, Mohawk, and it goes to Toronto every day from New York, if I’m not mistaken.”

Lamm starts off the suite describing the boredom of traveling and waiting to go onstage, set to a CSN-like country-rock tune with lines in three-part harmony.

I’ve always preferred the live arrangement on Carnegie Hall, in which the bass and drums are a little heavier and move the song along faster, but the original III version is just as pleasant, and adds two pedal steel notes at the end by the phantom uncredited pedal steeler. (Cetera?) Either way, this engaging song is anything but boring.

‘Saturdays in the Park’ is a multi-writer, song-by-song examination of the music of Chicago. Find it here on Something Else! each Saturday.

CelticGal

CelticGal

CelticGal grew up in northern Indiana and now lives on the back cover of the 'Chicago XI' album. A fan of Chicago (the Good Parts Version, e.g. the lineups with Peter Cetera) since 1978, she is the author of 'The Famous Becky's Island Chicago Reviews' and 'Becky's Island Music Trivia Quizzes,' found at www.beckysisland.com. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com
CelticGal
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