The Fight That Changed Peter Cetera's Career

Peter Cetera in concert
Photo Credit
David Redfern/Redferns

On May 20, 1969, the Chicago Cubs scored a decisive victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in their own stadium, shutting them out 7-0. Unfortunately, there was another famous Chicagoan who was clobbered by some Californians at the game that day - and it actually changed the course of his career.

That Windy City native: Chicago singer/bassist Peter Cetera.

READ MORE: April 1969: Chicago Debuts as "Chicago Transit Authority"

Cetera and his bandmates weren't exactly known quantities at the time - they were still known as Chicago Transit Authority, and had only released an album under that name a month before - but during a break in their touring schedule, Peter enjoyed a Cubs game - or at least, attempted to, before a quartet of Dodger fans accosted him.

"Four marines didn't like a long-haired rock 'n' roller in a baseball park," he later recounted. "And of course I was a Cub fan, and I was in Dodger Stadium, and that didn't do so well. I got in a fight and got a broken jaw in three places, and I was in intensive care for a couple of days."

While he recovered, he admitted it did literally impact his craft. "The only funny thing I can think about the whole incident is that, with my jaw wired together, I actually went on the road," he explained. "And I was actually singing through my clenched jaw, which, to this day, is still the way I sing."

READ MORE: Chicago Revisit Carnegie Hall Run in New Box Set

Luckily, it didn't pose a problem for him or his fans: the next year, Chicago II spun off the single "25 or 6 to 4," which Cetera sang lead on; it became their second Top 10 hit of 1970 and set them up for a dazzling run of success that continued even after Peter exited the group in 1985.

Artist Name

Read More

Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
But it resulted in a No. 1 hit.
(Dick Barnatt/Redferns)
The sad news was shared by Priest's family on the band's Facebook page.
Eric Clapton performs on stage during the 2013 Crossroads Guitar Festival at Madison Square Garden on April 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
It's the first time the live performances have ever been committed to wax.

Facebook Comments