Chicago’s Jason Scheff Considers Himself Too Good To Copy Peter Cetera
During a recent conversation with Vicki Abelson, Chicago’s Jason Scheff clarified that he had no intention of imitating Peter Cetera when he joined the band in 1985. The rocker even called himself ‘a top 40 musician’ while suggesting he didn’t need to copy Cetera to fit into the band.
When the host asked how much he wanted to be a member of Chicago, the rocker first replied by saying:
“I wanted it badly because they wanted me. It was like this whole destiny thing was starting to unfold. It wasn’t like, ‘This was my favorite band in the world, and I couldn’t wait to be in it.’ And I got it. They wanted me as my voice was a tone that was perfect to go into that thing. I was not quote-unquote trying to copy Peter Cetera, but I’m a top 40 musician.”
He added, further reflecting on why he didn’t try to imitate Cetera:
“I always love this conversation too that when people say at first like, ‘Oh, he’s a Peter Cetera clone.’ Well, first of all, there’s never going to be a clone because he’s the gold standard, just like my father. The minute you’re getting into that, you’re cooked, but what I did do is I honored the music because I’ve heard it so much on the radio.”
Ahead of his words on Peter, Jason recalled his audition with Chicago, saying:
“They had me do three songs. It was ’25 or 6 to 4′ and maybe ‘You’re the Inspiration’ and one other song. We blasted through them. It was at Danny Seraphine’s home studio, so I couldn’t really hear that well. I knew I wasn’t blowing their mind vocally, but I was getting through it competently, but the system wasn’t set up to sound really amazing. Plus, I was just not ready on a certain level.”
When the interviewer reminded him that he was just 23 at the time, the singer went on, explaining:
“Yeah, but still, this is an important thing for them, and they could have whoever they wanted, so it was a pretty neat thing.”
After serving in the band for more than 20 years both as the vocalist and bassist, Scheff left Chicago in 2016. He currently plays solo concerts and performs with different combinations, including his band, Chicago Nights, where he sings some Chicago classics.
You can check out the full chat below.