Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Guilty Pleasures Month Day 11- My Brother's birthday and the city I live in, a band called Chicago

My brother is a private person, so we won't tell him about this blog.  Growing up, my brother was the king of cassettes.  He had entire catalogs of some really cool bands.  He also had a lot of crap and some bad albums by bands that had fallen out of favor.
Today's guilty pleasure is America's most underrated band, Chicago.

I'm not talking about the post 1980, my ears are bleeding, falsetto whining, Pete Cetera pop centric, horns in the background horror show of a band.

I'm talking about jazz/pop/rock fusion powerhouse of the 60's and 70's...CHICAGO.  Don't confuse the two.  Before the death of Terry Kath, Chicago was about the music and not the fame.  The creative and artistic drive was to take a handful of trained musicians and a handful of street players and make them into the rolling thunder of Rock and Roll.

The dream came to an end in 1978.  Terry Kath accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun (this is not a joke)

As Terry Kath, guitarist of the rock band, Chicago Transit Authority, rips through an unimaginably-complex yet tasteful guitar solo, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stone Magazine's 2011 so-branded greatest guitarist of all time, leans over to Kath's band member, Walt Parazaider, to say, "Your guitar player is better than me."
This well-known quote takes place in 1967, as Chicago Transit Authority (CTA - now known as Chicago) plays a live gig at Hollywood's famous Sunset Strip night club, The Whiskey-A-Go-Go.

The band lived on in name only, the sound and soul died with Kath.  
Sadly the pre-eighties sound and the post 80's nightmare often get lumped together in the lame, sappy, pop that sucks category.

Back in the days when they were called Chicago Transit Authority, the winning combinations of Bobby Lamm and Terry Kath were the recipe for musical goodness.

even with Peter Cetera on lead vocals, under the direction of Kath and Lamm the band found there place in history as early as 1970
a personal favorite

We can't forget about the song writing talents of Trombonist James Pankow.  The Balladeer of Chicago.

Bobby Lamm on Vocals

and finally, a song for the fallen Terry Kath and the end of an era

there are tons more songs by this amazing band.  If the 60's were about the Beatles, The 70's. belonged to the blue eyed soul of Chicago.

I'd like to thank my brother Stephen for introducing me to this band.  If you think Chicago was lame, look in the mirror, point, and say the word LOSER.

The band
Peter Cetera - bass, lead & background vocals
Terry Kath - guitar, lead & background vocals
Robert Lamm - keyboards, lead & background vocals
Lee Loughnane - trumpet, background vocals
James Pankow - trombone
Walter Parazaider - woodwinds
Danny Seraphine - drums
Laudir de Oliveira - percussion

No comments:

Post a Comment