As many of you well know by now I'm a fan of Chicago (the band)-- and while normally I'd be posting this over on my other blog this isn't a post about their music. This is about an item up for auction on eBay . As I type this I'm listening to Oh, Thank You Great Spirit from Chicago VIII, Terry's tribute to Jimi Hendrix (whom he'd befriended when Chicago had opened for Hendrix at the Whiskey in their early days). It's a hauntingly eerie piece which matches my mood as I type this and features some of the most emotive guitar playing I've ever heard.
On January 23rd 1978 Chicago guitarist, Terry Kath, accidentally killed himself. Kath, a gun buff was taking apart and putting back together an automatic handgun at the home of Don Johnson (one of Chicago's roadies at the time-- not the Miami Vice Don Johnson). Johnson urged him to put the gun down and get some sleep. Kath hadn't slept in awhile, he was messed up on drugs and alcohol and probably wasn't entirely "there" at the time of his death. Kath told Johnson not to worry, he took the clip out of the gun and showed Johnson the clip was empty, what Kath didn't realize was that there was a round chambered. Terry put the clip back in the gun and started waving it around his head erratically. The pressure of his finger on the trigger when the gun was pointed at his head set the gun off. Terry died instantly.
If this notebook is legitimate-- and according to the seller it was acquired from the widow of Jack Goudie, Chicago's late road manager (Goudie died of a heart attack in 1the late eighties). If such is the case it is entirely likely that this notebook on sale from eBay is legitimate. That the note in it dated 1/23/78 (the very day of Kath's death) is also legitimate. It also sheds some light on Terry's demise as both Terry's note and his then-wife, Camelia's note reference requests for him to "move out" and there's a general unhappiness in the tone of both notes.
At any rate, this brings me to my question-- is it just me or is this an item that belongs in the hands of friends or family of Terry? Terry's daughter, Michelle, was only about 2 at the time of his passing. She has no real memory of her father, and her perception and views of her late father has been shaped by positive and happy stories told her by her mother and certain surviving band members.
Another thing, if the note is authentic, it actually makes me feel guilty-- because despite how wrong I think it is that it's being hawked on eBay, there's still that small part of me-- that die-hard Chicago aficionado that wouldn't mind having this piece of memorabilia. Oh well, maybe the best fate for such a note is for it to be burned. It may be just me, but collecting something so personal, so private-- is akin to collecting bad karma.