MoviesMusic History

New Doc on Chicago’s Doomed Terry Kath

My mom had an interesting way of getting me up out of bed. After listening to the morning news, she’d come into my room bearing the worst news of the day in the loudest voice possible.

“The Bombers have traded Don Jonas!” (A big deal for CFL fans back in the day. Trust me.)

“Jimmy Carter sent helicopters to Iran and they crashed and now we’re going to war!” (Operation Eagle Claw during the hostage crisis.)

“The United Church burned to the ground!” (The church down the street from ours.)

One morning in 1978 she delivered this new: “The guy in one of those bands you keep listening to shot himself in the head!” She was speaking of Terry Kath, a guitarist and co-lead singer with the band Chicago, who killed himself while fooling around with a .38 at a party.

I was deep into Chicago back then thanks to their first greatest hits album. Here’s Kath singing on one of their big hits.

There are still questions lingering about Kath’s death, something that his daughter Michelle seeks to deal with once and for all in a new documentary called The Terry Kath Experience, which got a couple of screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Add it to your list of movie docs you need to watch.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38529 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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