The End Of The Road? No, Only The Beginning

The End Of The Road? No, Only The Beginning

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Editor’s Note: This is our final installment of our continuing coverage of the Chicago tour featuring Walfredo “Wally” Reyes, Jr.  It’s been a great run here with Wally and we started in Atlantic City and followed Wally and the band all the way through the Northeastern United States to Canada and then out to the Western United States. Wally has been busy for sure and he’s done a great job in sending us some unusual pics and features from the road. Wally will be home for a while and then Chicago will resume its tour on February 2 with dates up and through February 11. The band also has 2 shows scheduled for March. For us and Wally, this has been a great and insightful journey and for that, we thank Wally.

LP

So, in this last installment we asked Wally the question that appears to be on the minds of many people; what is it like when the tour ends and also what it is like when Chicago goes on without EWF? Here’s what Wally told us.

BB: Wally, when you look back on this tour (Heart and Soul 3.0) what comes to mind?

Wally: Honestly, it was an epic tour.  I know people hear this all the time but I mean it, it really was. I never thought I would say that after 2.0 but things just seemed to get better between the bands on the tour. Never a dull moment and always something happening.  I am so thankful for the time that we spent with EWF and when we come back in February we start touring on our own. So, overall, I would say I have a feeling of gratefulness, satisfaction, and achievement as to that part of the tour that we did with EWF.

One last hang. Photo credit: Walfredo Reyes, Jr.
One last hang for the members of Chicago and EWF. Photo credit: Walfredo Reyes, Jr.

I know we–meaning both bands–literally put our “heart and soul” into this tour and I feel confident that the fans of Chicago and EWF were really happy with what they saw. I know I was. There was also a touch of sadness with the last show, I will admit, but that is a testament to how much fun and how good this tour truly was with EWF. I will miss my friends at EWF for sure but I know we have much more to look forward to.

BB: When Chicago resumes its tour in February will you have any opening act now that EWF is done with the joint tour?

Wally: Yes. We have had other amazing bands play with us on tour and some lesser known great bands open for us. But I have to say that the Chicago/EWF experience of both bands playing together on stage….well, there’s nothing like it.

Tail of the shark

BB: If you took a guess, do you think there will be more in the future for Chicago and EWF on tour?

Wally: I think I speak for myself and others when I say that we all hope that after this tour, which was called the Heart and Soul 3.0 tour, that there will be a 4.0 and a 5.0 and a 6.0 and so on. We all loved doing this tour so yes, I would not be surprised if these two great bands reunite in the future again.

BB: Despite the fun and success of Heart And Soul 3.0 are you looking forward to a break?

Wally: I am. I will miss the buses and the travel and the camaraderie that we had on this tour but by the same token, we are happy to go home for the holidays to be with family and friends.

The ritual known as cleaning out out wardrobe cases (Photo credit: Walfredo Reyes, Jr.)
The ritual known as cleaning out out wardrobe cases (Photo credit: Walfredo Reyes, Jr.)
Saying goodbye to the tour buses. Photo credit: Walfredo Reyes, Jr.
Saying goodbye to the tour buses. Photo credit: Walfredo Reyes, Jr.

BB: Any special mentions that you want to send out?

Wally: Yes, in fact there are. The first is to a Mike Fornes who is one of the best tour bus drivers in the business.

Wally and (Photo credit: Walfredo Reyes, Jr.)
Wally and Mike Fornes (Photo credit: Walfredo Reyes, Jr.)

After being with Chicago for more than 15 years he is retiring from being a tour bus driver and he will be going home to go into another business. We are so thankful for all he did for us that we gifted him a beautiful guitar signed by both Chicago and EWF. Thanks Mike for keeping us safe on the road and for not hitting that HUGE moose in Canada!!

Wally and Gerson (Photo credit: Walfredo Reyes, Jr.)
Wally and Gerson Marroquin (Photo credit: Walfredo Reyes, Jr.)

I also want to acknowledge Gerson Marroquin, our assistant tour manager, who had no less than 100 different jobs. Gerson started with us this year and it was his first rock music tour. For that experience he is a changed man and a better man as well!

In fact, I want to recognize the crews for both bands. They were absolutely great and I appreciate everything that each and everyone of them did for us. They certainly made it easier for us to do our jobs as performers.

(Photo credit: Walfredo Reyes, Jr.)
(Photo credit: Walfredo Reyes, Jr.)

BB: Wally, you’ve been great. Any last thoughts?

Wally: Again, I am so thankful for everything in my life. I play in this magnificent and legendary band called Chicago and every night I get to go out and perform with great friends and bandmates. Indeed, musical legends. I don’t take anything for granted and I appreciate every minute. I also wanted to say that I am so proud of my daughter, Lilliana de los Reyes, who has been out on tour with George Benson. (Check out Lilliana’s video below). Wally WorldShe’s a terrific performer and I am just thrilled to see her succeeding in the music business. Finally, I am excited to announce the release of my new solo record entitled Wally World. So in the end I am grateful, very grateful, and I want to thank all the fans for their kind words along the way and all the support we have gotten from them. I also want to thank my bandmates in Chicago. This entire experience with this band has been nothing short of amazing. I really look forward to more future success and fun with this group.

Editor’s Note: Look for upcoming review of Wally World here on Beato’s Blog.

Great stuff Wally and for Wally’s fans, don’t fret it. We will be talking with Wally in the near future about his new album (and so much more) when we get back with him in a few weeks. Wally, thanks for the ride, it was a great one.

Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor

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KEN “K BO” BIEDZYNSKI
Senior Editor, Beato's Blog