by Robert Wilkinson
We continue our Aquarian musical weekend celebrating Terry Kath, who would have turned 72 last Wednesday. Who was Terry Kath? He was the incredible guitarist, songwriter, and co-founder of the band Chicago.
Terry Kath (January 31, 1946 – January 23, 1978), manic guitarist for Chicago, really was a wild man who gave us some memorable licks! Often compared with Jimi Hendrix, he was a troubled independent spirit who died way too young while playing with guns. Here's a little more from Wikipedia:
Kath was regarded as Chicago's bandleader and best soloist; and his vocal, jazz, and hard rock influences were integral to the band's sound. He has been praised for his guitar skills and described by rock author Corbin Reiff as "one of the most criminally underrated guitarists to have ever set finger to fretboard".... Jimi Hendrix once told (sax player) Walter Parazaider, "Jeez, your horn players are like one set of lungs and your guitar player is better than me."
We’ll begin the tribute with the tune that introduced the Chicago Transit Authority, later known as simply Chicago, to the world! From Japan live in 1972, here’s Chicago performing the Terry Kath tune from their first album, considered by some to be a mini-masterpiece in itself. “Introduction.”
Unfortunately, the next song from that set, “Beginnings,” has disappeared from the web. However, to give you a sense of how dynamic they were, here’s a clip from Rockpalast in 1977 of “Beginnings”
Live in Paris in 1969, Chicago in a live performance of the dazzling “Questions 67 and 68”
Live in 1969 at the Beat Club, Chicago Transit Authority cranking out another hit from their first album, written by Stevie Winwood. For your dancing pleasure, “I’m A Man”
Here’s a treat! It’s a full 30 minute live televised set of Chicago in 1969! “Chicago Live in Amsterdam December 1969” (Set list - “Does Anybody Know What Time It Is,” “25 or 6 to 4,” “It Better End Soon,” and “I’m A Man.”)
Here’s Terry and Chicago live at Tanglewood in 1970 at their best! “Color My World” and “Make Me Smile”
And while he didn’t compose this, it may very well be the song he’s most identified with, cranking up the special effects to an incredible level! For your enjoyment, from the same 1970 Chicago gig, the guitar of Terry Kath screaming out the lead on “25 or 6 to 4”
Here’s the encore from that show, “I’m A Man”
If you want to see the entire hour and a half show, here it is! For your enjoyment, Terry Kath and Chicago – Live at Tanglewood 1970
Live in 1973, a great performance of “Saturday in the Park” and “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”
From their second album, Terry’s 9+ minute studio composition titled “Memories of Love”
From the final tour before he died, here’s Chicago live in Essen in 1977 performing “Got To Get You Into My Life” and “I’m A Man”
And from Houston in 1977, “25 or 6 to 4,” "Feeling Stronger Every Day," and "Dialogue Pt. 2"
To give you a sense of how dynamic the band was when they first hit, here are their first five albums that introduced the world to the dazzling guitar and soulful voice of Terry Kath, the amazing songwriting and keyboard of Robert Lamm, the great singing and bass playing of Peter Cetera, and the mighty big horns of Chicago!
Here’s Chicago’s first album which went to #17 in the US and #9 in the UK in 1969! This type of music had never been done before, so enjoy entering into a new musical dimension with the exquisite music of Chicago Transit Authority
Here’s Chicago’s second album that went to #4 in the US and #6 in the UK in 1970, and gave us 3 Top Ten hits! As with the first album, I can’t find the whole album as a single clip, but the link takes you to the opening song and then autoplays all the rest in order. Chicago II
Here’s Chicago’s third album that went to #2 in the US and #9 in the UK in 1971! Chicago III
Live from Carnegie Hall in 1971, here’s the full 2 hours and 35 of Chicago on the album that went to #3 in the US titled Chicago IV
Here is the 1972 album that went all the way to #1 in the US for 9 weeks. For your enjoyment, the critically acclaimed Chicago V
From August 1969, a great 2 hour and 36 album of a classic live show! Chicago Transit Authority Live at the Fillmore West
For our closer, a great video of Chicago live in their Colorado studio in 1973 cranking out “Feelin’ Stronger Everyday”
I found an interesting 21 minute documentary on NBC’s “First Tuesday” newsmagazine tv show called Chicago – The band in 1970
For the encore, we'll close this tribute to Terry with a cranked-up live performance of Terry at his peak! One more time from Amsterdam in 1969, “25 or 6 to 4”
© Copyright 2018 Robert Wilkinson