1970

The FUSE album is released. Now that FUSE has a record, shows get better and when FUSE plays a concert "REO Speedwagon" is the opening act. The FUSE band played quite a few Rock Festivals spawned by the success of Woodstock. One of note was the Kickapoo Creek Rock festival where FUSE was the opening act launching the festival. It was an open air stage (no roof), it was 110 degrees on stage and Chip was wearing a black shirt and black leather pants. In the second number Chip stopped playing got up and ran to the back of the stage and was sick. He was taken to the Medical Center while the band and audience waited. 20 minutes later, Chip returned and completed the performance.

1971

Things with FUSE started falling apart. The producer said we should change managers, the manager sued, attorney bills were piling up, EPIC dropped the band and the future looked dim. Chip decides to pursue his big band interest by looking into the Air Force Jazz Band program featuring the "Airman of Note" big band. Chip informs the band of his intentions and plays a farewell show at Sherwood Lodge in Rockford..

 

1972

Chip doesn’t go in the Air Force but is instead drafted into the Army for two years. Initial orders are cut to go to Viet Nam, but the day Chip and fellow troops are at the airport to board a flight to Saigon, a full-bird Colonel comes in and says Henry Kissinger has made a pledge at the Paris Peace Talks that no more American forces will be going to Viet Nam. The new destination is Frankfurt Germany. While in Germany, Chip spots an ad in the PX for a drummer wanted for a German rock group. Chip calls, auditions, and gets the job. He has the folks pack up the drums and ship them to Germany via Lufthansa.
For the next 18 months, Chip plays all over Germany in the band "Frantic Dwarf". Guitarist and vocalist Michael Hand and Chip become good friends.

1974

Chip returns from Germany to Rockford. The very night of his return, there is a concert in town featuring two bands. These two bands are made up of a 50/50 split of FUSE. The headlining band is now called "Cheap Trick" made up of Rick Nielsen, Tom Peterson, Robin Zander, and Brad Carlson. The other band "FOX" is Craig Myers and Joe Sundberg. That night FOX was by far the musically superior band. Craig and Joe approach Chip and ask if he’d like to join the band. Chip accepts on the spot. Two months later, while working part-time at JC Penny in the Toy and Hi-Fi department, Chip receives a call from Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick asking if Chip can fill in for sick "Bun E Carlos" at a local club gig that night. Chip accepts! The show was somewhat magical and electrifying as Chip, Rick, and Tom are reunited. The crowd was ecstatic. Following the performance, Rick pulls Chip aside and says he would like to make a change and offers the drumming job to Chip. Chip declines stating he has already made a commitment to FOX.

1976

Chip now in Jr. College at Rock Valley is playing in the jazz ensemble and loving it! In addition, he has joined a band called Moon Germs consisting of Rockford’s top jazz players on guitar. The highlight of this year was filling in for "Tonight Show" drummer Ed Shaugnessy in front of a sold out show in Rockford.

1978

After a move to Florida, Chip is hired by a band who is the summer entertainment at the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs West Virginia. This band called the Populairs and was at the time, in their 35th year at the hotel. This hotel catered to the elite, so it wasn’t uncommon to have company CEO’s, TV and Movie Stars, and major political figures amongst the evening crowd in the lounge. This gig only lasted one season then it was back to Rockford and the start of a brand new career in Aerospace. Chip gets hired by Sundstrand Aerospace as a Configuration and Data manager. This was sort of an engineering position that required keeping track of how products were built and maintained. Once back in Rockford, Chip is invited to join a band called "The Names".