“Don’t worry, it’s not loaded.”
Last Words – Terry Kath
Terry Alan Kath
Born January 31, 1946 – Died January 23, 1978
American Musician, Guitarist, “Chicago” Founding Member
Last Words – Terry Kath – “Chicago”
Kath was regarded as Chicago’s bandleader and best soloist; and his vocal, jazz and hard rock influences are regarded as integral to the band’s early 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”.
For the group’s second album, Kath contributed an extended guitar solo on “25 or 6 to 4”, which became a live favorite.
Last Words – Terry Kath – Death
Terry Kath was a noted gun enthusiast. Regardless of Kath’s personal issues (drug use, alcohol use, weight problems, depression, etc.), it has been concluded Kath’s death was by an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound, and not a suicide.
By 1978, Kath was regularly carrying guns around and enjoyed playing with them. Around 5 p.m. January 23, after a party at roadie and band technician Don Johnson’s home in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, Kath took an unloaded .38 revolver and put it to his head, pulling the trigger several times on the empty chambers.
Don Johnson warned Kath several times to be careful. Kath then picked up a semiautomatic 9 mm pistol and, leaning back in a chair, said to Johnson, “Don’t worry about it … look, the clip is not even in it.” To satisfy Johnson’s concerns, Kath showed the empty magazine to Johnson. Kath then replaced the magazine in the gun, put the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger.
However, there was a round in the chamber, and Kath died instantly.
Last Words – Terry Kath – “25 or 6 to 4”
“25 or 6 to 4” is a song written by the American musician Robert Lamm, one of the other founding members of Chicago. According to Lamm, the song is about trying to write a song in the middle of the night. The song’s title is the time at which the song is set: 25 or 26 minutes before 4 AM.
Chicago – 25 or 6 to 4 Recorded Live: 7/21/1970 – Tanglewood – Lenox, MA More Chicago at Music Vault: http://www.musicvault.com Subscribe to Music Vault on YouTube: http://goo.gl/DUzpUF Personnel: Robert Lamm – keyboards, lead vocals Terry Kath – guitar, lead vocals Peter Cetera – bass, lead vocals James Pankow – trombone, percussion Lee Loughnane – trumpet, percussio, background vocals Walter Parazaider – woodwinds, percussion, background vocals Daniel Seraphine – drums
Because of the unique phrasing of the song’s title, “25 or 6 to 4” has been incorrectly speculated to be a veiled reference to drug quantities, or a mystical allusion.
Also published on Medium.