First of all, congrats to the whole band on their nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and thanks to Robert for the grace and class shown in his statement.
As it stands now, I think it is safe to say that we will win a fan vote, but that is one vote among the many hundreds of voters. What I do find disappointing is that a lot of these critics and their friends don't really understand the entire history of the band, and seem to enjoy to distorting it. I'm convinced they've never heard much beyond greatest hits compilations and radio singles.
As as fan base, I think we could do our part in reminding them of the band's entire history. I personally don't like the ballads by outside songwriters, but that has never diminished what I do love about their work: all the albums with Terry (ballads and all), SOS, Now, and many others. I'd dare anyone to play the first side of VII for someone who's not a Chicago fan and ask them if they know who it is. I'd bet they'd be surprised. It's never worth arguing with people (and doing so in public forums looks bad IMHO) but a little education might go a long way!
So, my greatest fear is that the music world will act out of ignorance and deny Chicago their rightful place in the HOF. At the end of the day, the ballad stigma is a real phenomena in the wider rock world, but so many other bands already in the rock hall have chapters in their recorded history that aren't very good. For example, everyone loves the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, but they also put out things like 15 Big Ones. Does the latter diminish the former? Not for me, and the double standard should be put to rest.
Finally, we know that Chicago will make us proud if it does come time to make speeches.. and I will vote, and hope and pray that it does happen.
I am sure we are all happy about how everything turned out!! Robert, Lee, Walt, and Jimmy made us very proud. Rob Thomas's speech summed up the frustration that I felt. His speech said everything that needed to be said, and I loved it.
At the end of the day, Chicago have a 50 year legacy to be proud of, all those decades of albums, hits, and accomplishments. I am very proud and really looking forward to the solo tour this spring! I'll see two shows, front row, here in South Carolina!