Robert Lamm

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Robert Lamm
Robert Lamm profile plus.jpg
Robert Lamm, singing with a guitar, 2013
Background information
Birth name Robert William Lamm
Born (1944-10-13) October 13, 1944 (age 71)
Brooklyn, New York United States
Genres Rock, adult contemporary, jazz, progressive rock
Occupation(s) Songwriter
record producer
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, guitar, keytar
Years active 1967–present
Labels Blue Infinity
Associated acts Chicago
Website Official website

Robert William Lamm (born October 13, 1944) is an American keyboardist, singer and songwriter who came to fame as a founding member of the pop rock band Chicago. He wrote many of the band's biggest hits, including "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?", "Beginnings", "Saturday in the Park", "Dialogue (Part I & II)" and "25 or 6 to 4".


Robert Lamm (center) performing with Earth, Wind & Fire on keytar.

Lamm was born on October 13, 1944, in Brooklyn, New York, and moved with his family to Chicago, Illinois, when he was 15 years old.[1] His parents had a collection of jazz records, which were an early influence on him. At his church, he performed in the boys' and men's choir.[2] He studied art in high school, particularly drawing and painting, but changed direction in college by enrolling in the music program at Roosevelt University in Chicago.[2][3] In a 2003 interview, Lamm said, "My first musical training came as a member of the choir at Grace Episcopal Church, Brooklyn Heights, New York. It was a very good choir (Harry Chapin and members of his band were also in this choir at around the same time). It exposed me to some of the great sacred music from the Middle Ages, right up through Bach and into some of the 20th Century composers."[4]

Lamm formed a trio with Gerry Beckley of the band America and Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys. After Wilson's death from lung cancer in February 1998, an album was released entitled Like a Brother (2000).

Apart from his involvement with Chicago, Lamm has recorded a number of solo albums, from his 1974 debut solo LP entitled Skinny Boy to the present. He has been a guest lecturer on music production at Stanford University. In 2012, he lectured at New York University on the subject of songwriting.


In Chicago's early years, Lamm used a simple setup of Hammond organ and Hohner Pianet electric piano or Hohner Cembalet electric piano,[5][6][7] although he did use a Wurlitzer electric piano from time to time in the studio and on stage.[8] Initially, his use of the grand piano was limited to the studio until he began to use one more regularly on stage, although it is likely that he just used whatever concert venues supplied him with rather than go through the inconvenience of lugging a grand piano around on tour.[9] He was seen at a concert with an RMI Electra Piano on top of his Hammond organ circa 1970,[10] but he soon switched to a Fender Rhodes electric piano around 1972.[11] Around 1973–1974, he started to use a Mellotron and Hohner clavinet in his keyboard rig and also incorporated Moog and ARP synthesizers into his rig.[12] In the studio, he also experimented with tack piano, vibraphone and possibly harmonium, harpsichord and celesta. In the late '70s, he also started using the Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer and possibly Prophet 5 and Fairlight CMI keyboards. On a 1980 TV appearance, he played a grand piano with a Multimoog synthesizer above it.[13] After that he used a Roland AX-7 keyboard, and he currently uses a Yamaha Motif ES8 keyboard.[14]

Solo discography[edit]

  • 1974: Skinny Boy[2]
  • 1993: Life Is Good in My Neighborhood[2]
  • 1999: In My Head
  • 2000: Like a Brother (Beckley-Lamm-Wilson)
  • 2003: Subtlety & Passion
  • 2004: Too Many Voices (expanded reissue of In My Head)
  • 2005: Leap of Faith – Live in New Zealand
  • 2006: Life is Good in My Neighborhood 2.0
  • 2006: Skinny Boy 2.0
  • 2008: The Bossa Project
  • 2012: Living Proof
  • 2012: Robert Lamm Songs: The JVE Remixes

Discography with Chicago[edit]

There are currently over 150 albums, including foreign editions, many of which are live and bootleg versions. The list below is of the official and legal editions.


  1. ^ Helander, Brock (1999). Rockin' sixties. Schirmer Books. p. 77. ISBN 0028648730. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Iwasaki, Scott (July 12, 1996). "Chicago brings 29-year musical journal to Utah". The Deseret News. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ Chiu, David (April 26, 2006). "Chicago's Brooklyn Boy Comes Home: Super Group Returns With XXX". Courier Life Publications. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ Interview with musician Jim Newsom for PortFolio Weekly, a Virginia regional magazine of news, opinion, arts and culture, July 15, 2003
  5. ^ YouTube. 
  6. ^ CHICAGO Live in Amsterdam 12/12/1969. YouTube. October 4, 2013. 
  7. ^ Chicago Transit Authority (aka Chicago) – I'm A Man. YouTube. January 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ Chicago Transit Authority – Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? (1969). YouTube. May 12, 2007. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Image: 2013-1-30-terry_kath_2-533x419.jpg, (533 × 419 px)". Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  11. ^ Chicago – Dialogue (1972). YouTube. June 18, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Image: RobertLamm1975-2.jpg, (601 × 469 px)". Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  13. ^ chicago thunder and lightning remaster. YouTube. October 16, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Robert Lamm". 

External links[edit]