Sunday, February 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Sons of Champlin bring their funky rock sound to Napa

By
From page B1 | November 30, 2012 |

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

FAIRFIELD — Renowned R&B/rock band The Sons of Champlin began its musical journey in the mid-1960s and while commercial success eluded them, they enjoyed a cult following that remains to this day.

The band’s namesake, singer/keyboardist/guitarist and Grammy-winning songwriter Bill Champlin later went on to success with the group Chicago. He recently answered some questions via telephone in advance of his band’s Dec. 7 gig in Napa.

Why the name Sons of Champlin?

I was married really early on and had a kid so the other guys made fun of me as “Father Champlin” and the name stuck. If I’d known it would follow us around the rest of our lives, I would’ve probably called us something different, but what the heck?

The Sons were pioneers of that rock band with the funky horns sound, correct?

We started out as a pop band. Tim Cain was one of the guys who started the band with me in 1965 and he is one of the most awesome tenor sax players I’ve ever heard. We lost a trumpet player before our first album and made up for it with the saxes, which made for a neat sound. I think the minute you put the trumpets in, you start losing the Hammond (B-3 organ) and that was always a real centerpiece of our band.

You guys played everywhere back in the day – I found a newspaper column from 1973 where you played in Fairfield to help save the Armijo Auditorium. Sadly, it was torn down.

Well, we tried! (laughs) Pepsi and Bay Area radio station KFRC used to sponsor Battle of the Bands and we would judge them and play a set and we went to nearly every high school in the Bay Area. To this day, I still get people who say, “You came to my high school when I was a kid!”

Was it hard joining an established band like Chicago?

Actually, I joined them when they were on one of their lower ebbs. I hung with them for a good long time and sang some big hits for them. “Hard Habit to Break” was me and Peter (Cetera) singing and later on I sang “Look Away,” “I Don’t Wanna Live Without Your Love” and others.

As a songwriter, do you write songs with others in mind?

“After the Love is Gone” I wrote for me, but Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire heard it and they took it off my album and put it on theirs. He really wanted two or three other songs from my album and I didn’t give them to him. I have been kicking myself for that decision for quite a few years. My solo album didn’t do that well, but their “I AM” album just passed 9 million sales a while back. We built “Turn Your Love Around,” which was a Grammy winner, around George Benson’s singing.

Sons fans love the band, but you are not household names.

We connected with a lot of people, but somebody asked me why our career was so spotty. I said it’s because when opportunity knocked, we answered the phone! (laughs) We missed our opportunities and it’s our own damn fault, I guess. Still, when you mention the Sons and someone says, “They’re great!” that is success.

What are your career goals now?

At this point in the game, unless it’s a good room and it looks like we can really have fun and get along with the promoters, we’re not going to play it. The last time we played it was a private party and I think there are still some notes and chords floating around that room. It was like playing the Houston Astrodome. I’ve never been to the Uptown but I’ve heard it is beautiful and the sound is impeccable. I am really looking forward to playing with this configuration of the Sons in a really nice venue.

We’ve got Tim Cain back in the band and it’s like having a cool breeze swing through the house on a hot day. I hadn’t worked with him in 35 years and we got together and it was like we had been working together all along. Any true Sons fan when they hear Tim Cain is back will say, “Whoa! I have to check this out!”

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at [email protected]

 

Sons of Champlin

  • 8 p.m. Dec. 7
  • Special Guest: Tim Hockenberry Trio
  • The Uptown Theatre, 1350 Third St., Napa
  • 259-0123
  • www.uptowntheatrenapa.com
  • www.sonsofchamplin.com
Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • lennyDecember 01, 2012 - 10:07 pm

    if i had the dough i'd fly in from kauai for the sons. i don't know how many times i cut school to go see them play around the city, but they remain one of my all-time faves. so glad the ariola years finally came out on cd. buy it.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Tim ChafeeDecember 02, 2012 - 9:02 am

    I have been listen to Sons and Bill Champlin for 43 years or so. Perhaps I am somewhat myopic. However, the talent he has and the talent he has surrounded himself with is unmatchable.To start a list would take me at least a month or two to complete.I would be remiss if I did not mention the versatility. Rock, Country , Blues , Jazz, etc., it is all there among Sons of Champlin and there incarnations.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Fire Department honors top firefighters

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
 
 
4th annual Health and Wellness Fair a big success

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
 
Banish dry skin this winter

By Sarah Porkka | From Page: C4, 1 Comment

Chocolate: A long journey to deliciousness

By Karen Metz | From Page: C4

 
County board to consider DA reorganization plan

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Eurozone offers lesson in debt

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7

 
Rodriguez graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

From ocean to ocean, through the Panama Canal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California health care contract fight resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man arrested after body parts found in suitcase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Scientist considered father of birth control pill dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Rolled Sleeves Bandit’ tied to 7 bank robberies in custody

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Bay Area agency accuses former official of embezzling $1.3M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Los Angeles female-only mosque may be first in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Letter with suspicious powder received at Samaritan’s Purse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Snails slither into spa scene in Thailand and around world

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
 
Drivers: Return to your dealers for a 2nd air bag recall fix

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Hatfields, McCoys make moonshine legally in southern W.Va.

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Airport authorities: Traveler beats homeless man with chair

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kerry: ‘Enormous interest in new relationship with Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Africa agrees to send 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
5 given preliminary charges over jihadi network in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Fire devastates major Russian library, threatens rare texts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Swiss police: 4 dead after avalanche hits group of skiers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Fire at Bangladesh plastics factory kills at least 13

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Islamic State fighters admit defeat in Syrian town of Kobani

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

From car lots to city budgets, cheap oil means change

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
British actress Geraldine McEwan dies at age 82

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Greek leader tamps down rhetoric, vows to pay off debts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Civilians flee east Ukraine town as fighting intensifies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

 
Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Feb. 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Feb. 1, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Prayer, commonly misunderstood

By The Rev. Rick L. Stonestreet | From Page: C3, 7 Comments

 
Sundance doc pulls back curtain on Scientology

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Feb. 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Volunteer or visit because February is National Salute to Veteran Patients

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Review: ‘First Bad Man’ is Miranda July’s debut novel

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Lorrie Moore nominated for short story prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book to feature unpublished Hemingway conversations

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Mustangs win the whole Encalada

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Super Bowl the final act of the NFL’s worst season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lowest prices on last-minute Super Bowl tickets near $9,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Seau, Bettis, Brown, Haley, Shields voted into Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Rodgers wins MVP, Watt unanimous top AP defensive player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Lydia Ko takes No. 1 spot at 17, Na Yeon Choi wins opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Laird takes a 3-shot lead in Phoenix Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

On the money: Low gas prices, incentives change math for electric cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Small talk: NFL players find second careers as entrepreneurs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Recalls this week: space heaters, orbital sanders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Sumptuous seaside hotel sells for record-shattering $360M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Review: Open e-book format comes with headaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Obituaries

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joe Lambert Robinson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Flora Mae Brooks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Otilia (Tela) Quinn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Lester Singer

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
WillIiam “Bill” Hunter

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Garry A. Britton

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics