Seraphine was a street tough running with a gang in Chicago when, after a particularly violent rumble, he realized that if something didn't change fast he was on track to become a professional thug, probably employed by the Chicago branch of the mob. Long having known that he had a talent for drumming, this is when Seraphine decided he'd concentrate on beating on drums instead of heads. Spots with numerous local bands gave Seraphine a chance to see that he enjoyed the life of a professional, albeit broke, musician and when his final local band the Chicago Transit Authority (later shortened to just Chicago) decided that fame and fortune awaited in California he up and left for the Golden State with little more than his gear in tow. What happened from there is pretty well known; the band took off fairly quickly on a rocket ride to success. But Street Player lays out some interesting details of a band coming of age in the hippie era, including first meetings with other scenesters like Jimi Hendrix and a raucous introduction to Janis Joplin that included an after party where the entire band got (unexpectedly) dosed on acid for the first time. As the story progresses some anecdotes are amusing (Seraphine for awhile was haunted by an "evil" imposter) but many are sad; the band getting mired in cocaine abuse and the circumstances surrounding the suicide-by-gun of guitarist Terry Kath. The thread that runs throughout Street Player is that Seraphine never really lost the combative attitude he held as a street punk and when his personal condition and sloppy playing gets him fired from the band in 1990 he holds a grudge for sixteen years, effectively putting a lid on his career as a musician. Eventually a few good things happen and amends to a small extent are made and Seraphine gets back to drumming and is still working today as the skins man for California Transit Authority.
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