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Today in Rock – January 23rd


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:

Chicago – Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon


About Stevie GB

60 year old stand up comedian from Long Island. My approach to comedy is telling the truth about being married, middle aged and living in the suburbs. I enjoy making people laugh without making them feel uncomfortable. My act is clean and clever. Featured in Newsday and on News12. Winner of the Huntington Arts Council Laff-off, 2006. 3rd place winner of LI Press Best of LI 2011, A regular on The Long Island Comedy Festival for 9 consecutive years. Opened for Dennis Miller, Louie Anderson, Kevin Pollak, Bobby Collins, Bob Nelson, Uncle Floyd, Kevin Meaney, and many more.

2 responses to “Today in Rock – January 23rd

  1. Gerard ⋅

    Great song, indeed the short version is played at our ‘rock-classic’ station. I am not totally agreeing with your Phil Collins remark, because even when Peter Gabriel was still in Genesis I didn’t get them at all with their prog-rock.

  2. Alan ⋅

    I agree Stevie.Terry Kath was unbelievable! Rolling Stone couldn’t get a “greatest” list right if their life depended on it. BTW, For a live fix of Terry’s stellar guitar playing listen to Live at Carnegie Hall recorded in the late 60’s.

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