On this date in 1978, one of the best rock guitarists of all time died. The saddest thing is Rolling Stone Magazine left him out of the lineup of top 100 guitarists of all time. Maybe because he was in a band not known for their guitar work.
I am talking about the founder of a band called Chicago Transit Authority, later just shortened to Chicago. Heard of them?
Terry Kath was the guitar player, co-singer/songwriter/producer of the early albums. The first three Chicago albums feature some of the tightest music I have heard on record. Featuring elements of rock, jazz, pop, salsa and prog-rock with lyrics of political turmoil and protest. Brilliant stuff.
In the center was Terry Kath, powerhouse guitar player, that rivaled Hendrix in his heyday.
Terry Kath died from a self-inflicted gun shot to the head. It’s unknown if it was intentional or an accident. I believe, when Terry realized Peter Cetera hijacked the band and turned them into soft rock gods, he was ready to call it a day.
I still listen to the early albums. They are mind-blowing.
In fact, on the way to most of my comedy shows, it’s become a tradition to listen to a piece of music from Chicago II called “Ballet For A Girl From Buchannon”. For me, still one of the best pieces of recorded music I have ever heard.
If you haven’t heard it in it’s entirety, you should. Some of it you already know, since it was chopped up for AM radio.
I remember playing this for my nephew Nick and he was shocked that it was Chicago.
Damn you Peter Cetera, you faggot. You are on my list of guys who ruined great bands. you and Phil Collins are tied.
And F.U. to Rolling Stone magazine for leaving him off the list, along with Richie Blackmore of Deep Purple. Yet they have Joni Mitchell, Kurt Cobain, and Willie Nelson on there. REALLY?
Have a listen to this. It’s really quite amazing. 13 minutes of brilliance: