Terry Kath, lead singer and guitarist for the rock group Chicago, accidentally shot himself to death following Party.
A spokeiwoman for the group said the 33-year-old Mr. Kath spent the afternoon in the Woodland Hills home of a road crew member, Don Johnson, visiting and drinking with friends on January 23rd 1978 . The party had broken up, she said, and only Mr. Johnson and Mr. Kath remained when Mr. Kath pulled an automatic pistol he usually carried and began twirling the weapon.
Mr. Johnson asked him to stop playing with the gun, the account continued, and Mr. Kath replied, “What do you think I’m going to do? Blow my brains out?” These were allegedly Terry Kath’s final words before he accidentally put a bullet in his head in 1978. Don’t worry, it’s not loaded, see?” Mr. Kath put the pistol to his head and pulled the trigger, killing himself instantly, Mr. Johnson told police.
Terry Kath was a founding member and lead guitarist of Chicago, and fans the world over have marveled at his playing on the classic “25 or 6 to 4” for decades. He was also a singer and multi-instrumentalist who played banjo, accordion, bass and drums. He sang lead on such Chicago tracks as “Colour My World” and “Make Me Smile.”
Lee Loughnane, trumpet player with the US rock band Chicago, vividly recalls January 23, 1978. It was the day his friend, Chicago’s guitarist Terry Kath, shot himself dead after a game of Russian roulette went horribly wrong.
“I took a call from our manager, who said: ‘Lee, are you sitting down?’” Loughnane says now. “He told me what happened. But I had to see for myself. They’d taken Terry’s body away, but there was blood everywhere.”
But the memory of Terry Kath is in danger of fading with each passing year, which is why Kath’s daughter, Los Angeles club DJ Michelle Sinclair, decided to try to make a crowd-funded documentary about him. The result of her work, Searching For Terry: Discovering A Guitar Legend.