Basic Background Info

Birth: August 28, 1948
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Band: Chicago, CTA (California Transit Authority)
Genres: Rock
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician



Danny Seraphine, born and bred in the Little Italy area of Chicago, watched his uncle play drums at family gatherings as a child. Danny Seraphine started playing when he was nine years old, and at twelve he played in a variety of rock bands. Although he dropped out of high school, Danny Seraphine later privately studied percussion with Bob Tillis at DePaul University. During this time, Danny Seraphine was acquainted with many of the musicians who would later be members of Chicago. Danny Seraphine also studied under big band drummer Chuck Flores (Maynard Ferguson and Woody Herman) and jazz drummer Jo Jones (Papa Jo Jones). Danny Seraphine still appreciates education today."I like to study music even now. It keeps me going and causes me to progress."

Danny Seraphine's early band, The First Big Thing, evolved into The Chicago Transit Authority, featuring Walter Parazaider (saxophone and woodwinds), Terry Kath (guitar), Lee Loughnane (trumpet), James Pankow (trombone), Robert Lamm (keyboards), and Peter Cetera (bass). The band moved from Chicago to Los Angeles and played as a the house band at Whisky A Go Go. Shortly thereafter, they signed a contract with Columbia Records and recorded a double album in just two weeks. Chicago performed and recorded a steady stream of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In terms of sales and albums, Chicago is the second longest running and most successful U.S. pop/rock groups (behind the Beach Boys).

In 1990, the other members dismissed Danny Seraphine from the band. Rumors floated that band members were dissatisfied with Danny Seraphine's devotion to practicing, but Danny denied that. "The reason I'm no longer in Chicago is the lead singer, the new lead singer, Jason Scheff and Bill Champlin, didnít like the fact that a drummer was running the band. And at that point I was pretty much running the band. And they didn't like it. I think they had designs on being in control of the band."

Regardless, after leaving Chicago, Danny Seraphine established his own label and production company from his new home in Colorado and, after returning to Los Angeles, he produced Broadway and off-Broadway shows. Continuing to play drums, friends Peter Fish, Don Lombardi, and John Good encouraged Danny to start a new band. With Marc Bonilla (guitar), Peter Fish (keyboards), Mark Mahan (bass), Edward Harris Roth (keyboards), and Mike Wallace (guitar), Danny Seraphine created the California Transit Authority. (Danny always liked the name 'CTA' and found a way to make it work.) The band's unique sound garners attention from unexpected places. (Danny Seraphine was recently interviewed by a metal and hard rock site even though the music fell outside of the genre because it was "some of the most dynamic music on a CD in a very long time.") Danny Seraphine is happy to be playing again. "I was born to play, itís been my calling since I was nine years old, and its what I do best."


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1969 Chicago Transit Authority Chicago
1970 Chicago II Chicago
1971 At Carnegie Hall, Vol. 1-4 (Chicago IV) Chicago
1972 Chicago V Chicago
1972 Live in Japan Chicago
1973 Chicago VI Chicago
1974 Chicago VII Chicago
1975 Chicago IX: Greatest Hits Chicago
1975 Chicago VIII Chicago
1976 Angelo Angelo
1976 Chicago X Chicago
1977 Chicago XI Chicago
1978 Hot Streets Chicago
1979 Chicago 13 Chicago
1979 Hot Maynard Ferguson
1980 Chicago XIV Chicago
1980 Dakota Dakota
1981 Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 Chicago
1982 Chicago 16 Chicago
1982 If You Leave Me Now Chicago
1982 Love Songs [TVT] Chicago
1984 Chicago 17 Chicago
1984 Runaway Dakota
1984 Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival 69 Chicago
1985 Beginnings Chicago
1985 USA for Africa: We Are the World Various Artists
1986 Chicago 18 Chicago
1986 Live Chicago Chicago
1988 Chicago 19 Chicago
1989 Beginnings Live Chicago
1989 Best of Chicago Chicago
1993 Cowboy Like Me Matt McKinney
1995 Twelve Twelve Kenny Passarelli
1997 Heart of Chicago 1967-1997 Chicago
1997 Innovative Guitar of Terry Kath Terry Kath
1998 Chocolate Soup Lyric
1998 Heart of Chicago 1967-1998, Vol. 2 Chicago
1998 Touch of David Foster David Foster
1999 Pop Music: The Golden Era 1951-1975 Various Artists
2000 Live '69 Chicago
2000 Miracle of Tepevac Kenny Passarelli
2002 Chicago II [Bonus Tracks] Chicago
2002 Chicago V [Bonus Tracks] Chicago
2002 Chicago VI [Bonus Tracks] Chicago
2002 Chicago VII [Bonus Tracks] Chicago
2002 Chicago VIII [Bonus Tracks] Chicago
2002 Live 25 or 6 to 4 Chicago
2002 Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning Chicago
2003 Chicago 13 [Bonus Tracks] Chicago
2003 Chicago Story: The Complete Greatest Hits 1967-2002 Chicago
2003 Chicago V [DVD Audio] Chicago
2003 Chicago X [Bonus Tracks] Chicago
2003 Chicago XI [Bonus Tracks] Chicago
2003 Chicago XIV [Bonus Tracks] Chicago
2003 Chicago: The Box [Bonus DVD] Chicago
2003 Hot Streets [Bonus Track] Chicago
2003 Superstar Rock Festival Various Artists
2005 At Carnegie Hall, Vol. 1-4 (Chicago IV) [Bonus Tracks] Chicago
2006 Chicago 16 [Bonus Track] Chicago
2006 Chicago 17 [Bonus Track] Chicago
2006 I'm Free! Ray Parker, Jr.
2007 Best of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition Chicago
2007 Full Circle CTA


  • After releasing their first album, Chicago Transit Authority shortened their name to just Chicago because the real Chicago Transit Authority threatened legal action.
  • Seraphine now owns the rights to 'CTA' and 'California Transit Authority'.

Instruments of Choice



Drums:Drum Workshop
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