In this song, Chicago singer Peter Cetera tells tales of life on the city streets, hanging out on corners and in billiard halls as he stands tall among the gangsters and thieves.
There's some dissonance in hearing Cetera sing about being a tough guy. With his high tenor and boyish looks, he was much more suited for love songs, and those were his bailiwick ("Glory Of Love
," "You're the Inspiration
"). But "Street Player" isn't his story, and he didn't write the song. It was written by the group's drummer, Danny Seraphine, and by David "Hawk" Wolinski, who played synthesizer on the track.
Seraphine did live the thug life and even wrote a book about it called Street Player: My Chicago Story
. He dropped out of school and ran with street gangs in Chicago; the mobster Tony "The Ant" Spilotro, inspiration for the lead character in the movie Casino
, was an associate. As recounted in this song, music led him out of this path.