Rock Docs: Chicago: The Terry Kath Experience (2017) - Reviewed

I will always stand by the statement that an excellent music documentary will inspire the viewer to explore a musical artist's catalogue. 

The greatest music documentaries are the ones that tell enough of a story about the artist to not give it all away, but more to arouse interest in not only the art they are creating, but the artists themselves as people. You ever notice the level of obsession some people have for certain artists? I have never been a Chicago fan. I never understood people's obsession with this band or the band's guitarist and singer by the name of Terry Kath. 

 It is almost impossible to not have songs like ‘25 or 6 to 4’ and ‘Saturday in the Park’ embedded in your DNA permanently with the amount of airplay they get even to this day. I think it was the horns that turned me off growing up. It just felt strange to me. However, as I get old, juxtapositions like this interest me more than just what feels right initially. This leads us here to Chicago: The Terry Kath Experience. As the title suggests without any doubt, this film is a journey. Centering around Terry’s daughter Michelle Kath Sinclair, we watch as Michelle talks to all of the other members of Chicago. We get a lot of tasty history on the band which will interest even haters of the band. I especially like the technical discussions on Terry’s guitar rig being an amp nerd myself. But, it is the journey Michelle is on to understand her Father, that really is interesting and heart wrenching about Chicago: The Terry Kath Experience. It is not hard to see the emotion coming off of all of Terry’s friends, family, and bandmates as we hear from all of them in this excellent documentary.

Chicago: The Terry Kath Experience leads us along the trail, raising our appreciation for this criminally underrated guitarist and singer, act by act. I can honestly say there are several moments during The Terry Kath Experience : A Daughter’s Journey that I did choke up. 

Terry Kath is another one of those artists whom, taken from us very prematurely, you wonder what he would have done if his life did not senselessly end on that day on January 23, 1978. It is sad to think about, but also heartwarming that his daughter would go the lengths she did for her own personal interests and to preserve her father’s legacy. 

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-Scott W. Lambert