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Author Topic: CNN Films: "Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago" Airs Sunday Night 1/1  (Read 4867 times)
guitarfool2002
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« on: December 30, 2016, 07:34:30 AM »

http://www.cnn.com/shows/history-of-chicago

I'm glad they're doing this, as that first Chicago CTA album was one of the most influential albums of my life and still a favorite. Terry Kath as well, among my top 5 easily of best all time guitarists. Same with Danny Seraphine on drums, incredible player.

So I'll definitely be watching to see any "new" footage of the classic lineup with Kath, and of course any Beach Boys content too that may show up in the clips or interview segments. Trying to find original footage with Kath was next to impossible before YouTube and the internet, so maybe they've found even more new archival material for this.

Being up-front about my fan status: It's hard for me to listen to anything they did after Terry Kath's death, and I'm sure the reasons will be given why they canned him but I also cashed in my chips entirely on any new formation of the band after Danny Seraphine was shown the door too. But the first 4 albums or so...essential. CTA, II, and III should be in every collection.

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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2016, 07:37:35 AM »

I may have to DVR that. 

Is there a DVD/Blu Ray release set?
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2016, 08:00:03 AM »

It should be - CNN acquired the rights to broadcast the documentary, but it had already made the film festival rounds in 2016, so it's not a premiere, but a broadcast TV premiere of the existing documentary via CNN Films.

The company who was involved in brokering the deals also acquired the rights to the Terry Kath documentary, and THAT is one I have to check out.

From what I've heard, and I have not seen it but only read reviews from the festivals, the first half is strong when dealing with the original band and their roots, but the second half after Kath's death, after all the pop success (which for me is almost a different band than the original run of albums), it starts to devolve into inter-personal infighting and the like...and that's why I kind of check out after Kath.

But it should be worth watching, and it will be good to see the band's history get a wider audience via CNN.
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2016, 08:05:00 AM »

It should be - CNN acquired the rights to broadcast the documentary, but it had already made the film festival rounds in 2016, so it's not a premiere, but a broadcast TV premiere of the existing documentary via CNN Films.

The company who was involved in brokering the deals also acquired the rights to the Terry Kath documentary, and THAT is one I have to check out.

From what I've heard, and I have not seen it but only read reviews from the festivals, the first half is strong when dealing with the original band and their roots, but the second half after Kath's death, after all the pop success (which for me is almost a different band than the original run of albums), it starts to devolve into inter-personal infighting and the like...and that's why I kind of check out after Kath.

But it should be worth watching, and it will be good to see the band's history get a wider audience via CNN.

I like some of the post Kath material, but I'll agree, it's not at all the same band. 

Even the Steve Morse Deep Purple still sounds like Purple, 20+ years after Blackmore left for good. 
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2016, 08:10:57 AM »

I have not seen it yet, but I hope it delves into some of how these guys got together in the first place, a combination of trained college-educated music school guys who could play jazz and classical and a few guys who cut their teeth playing gigs and package tours for Dick Clark and other caravans/clubs/etc.

One thing I heard only recently was that Danny and Terry were locked together personally and musically, Danny was Terry's drummer and vice versa. That lines up with something Neil Young once said, every guitar player gets one drummer in his/her lifetime...and it's similar to if you've seen "Bronx Tale" when Sonny says you only get three women in your life...it's true about drummers! If you play for a living, you find that one drummer that just locks in perfectly, and others just don't have the same connection.

I never heard Chicago - especially the live shows with Kath - the same way again after that revelation. Terry and Danny in some concerts I've seen and heard (which I'm sure will be excerpted for this doc) are just locked in like a machine, they drive the whole band and where they decide to go, the band goes too. It's terrific to hear that happen. I wonder if the decision to get rid of Danny had anything to do with his connections to Terry going back to the 60's.
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« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2016, 08:16:08 AM »

I have not seen it yet, but I hope it delves into some of how these guys got together in the first place, a combination of trained college-educated music school guys who could play jazz and classical and a few guys who cut their teeth playing gigs and package tours for Dick Clark and other caravans/clubs/etc.

One thing I heard only recently was that Danny and Terry were locked together personally and musically, Danny was Terry's drummer and vice versa. That lines up with something Neil Young once said, every guitar player gets one drummer in his/her lifetime...and it's similar to if you've seen "Bronx Tale" when Sonny says you only get three women in your life...it's true about drummers! If you play for a living, you find that one drummer that just locks in perfectly, and others just don't have the same connection.

I never heard Chicago - especially the live shows with Kath - the same way again after that revelation. Terry and Danny in some concerts I've seen and heard (which I'm sure will be excerpted for this doc) are just locked in like a machine, they drive the whole band and where they decide to go, the band goes too. It's terrific to hear that happen. I wonder if the decision to get rid of Danny had anything to do with his connections to Terry going back to the 60's.

That's pretty interesting.  I'll admit, I'm a novice when it comes to the backstory of Chicago.  I've only fairly recently bought some of the 70s albums. 

One of the best things about music going digital is that back catalog CDs have become very cheap.  I got a set with CTA, II, IV, and V for $10. 
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 08:39:55 AM »

That's a great deal for a set like that. I'd only add that Chicago III should be included in such a pack too, it gets overlooked because there were no "hits" that were spun on the radio but Kath particularly is on fire and terrific throughout that album. I'm sure it will come out in the film, or maybe not, but as the band got into the mid-70's and saw a ton of success, their albums got away from some of the vibe that drew me into CTA, II, III, etc. After Kath, I remember all the Cetera-driven hits but they lost something vital when Kath died.
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2016, 08:53:39 AM »

That's a great deal for a set like that. I'd only add that Chicago III should be included in such a pack too, it gets overlooked because there were no "hits" that were spun on the radio but Kath particularly is on fire and terrific throughout that album. I'm sure it will come out in the film, or maybe not, but as the band got into the mid-70's and saw a ton of success, their albums got away from some of the vibe that drew me into CTA, II, III, etc. After Kath, I remember all the Cetera-driven hits but they lost something vital when Kath died.

I guess that's why III was left out. 
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2016, 08:53:45 AM »

Thanks for the heads up, Craig.  I remember seeing some TV show, maybe "60 Minutes" or some such show, back in 1969 or '70 that did a story on this new rock band with horns.  I was maybe 13 or 14 years old and I was hooked right away.  I played saxophone in school at the time and I had just received my first guitar as a Christmas present, so they were right up my alley.  Terry Kath was a monster on guitar.  I read an article in Guitar Player magazine (I think) that said he plugged his guitar into a Bogun PA, and then ran the output of that through a Fender Dual Showman to overdrive the Fender's preamp.  These days it's easy to do that, but nobody had ever got that sound before.  Listen to "Free Form Guitar" on CTA to get an idea of what that sounded like.  I'm sorry I never got the chance to see them live back in the glory days.  I stopped buying their albums after Kath left, but they were on the radio so much after that I couldn't stop listening.

I will be setting the DVR as soon as I get home.  Thanks again.
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2016, 10:05:30 AM »

http://www.cnn.com/shows/history-of-chicago

I'm glad they're doing this, as that first Chicago CTA album was one of the most influential albums of my life and still a favorite. Terry Kath as well, among my top 5 easily of best all time guitarists. Same with Danny Seraphine on drums, incredible player.

So I'll definitely be watching to see any "new" footage of the classic lineup with Kath, and of course any Beach Boys content too that may show up in the clips or interview segments. Trying to find original footage with Kath was next to impossible before YouTube and the internet, so maybe they've found even more new archival material for this.

Being up-front about my fan status: It's hard for me to listen to anything they did after Terry Kath's death, and I'm sure the reasons will be given why they canned him but I also cashed in my chips entirely on any new formation of the band after Danny Seraphine was shown the door too. But the first 4 albums or so...essential. CTA, II, and III should be in every collection.



Maybe I am misreading your post, but they certainly did not "can", Terry Kath.  In fact, the band briefly considered disbanding after his shocking death. Seraphine, on the other hand was indeed let go years later.  Fortunately, he was included in the band's induction ceremony to the RR HOF earlier this year unlike Cetera, who was invited by the band but did not show up.
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2016, 10:08:01 AM »

http://www.cnn.com/shows/history-of-chicago

I'm glad they're doing this, as that first Chicago CTA album was one of the most influential albums of my life and still a favorite. Terry Kath as well, among my top 5 easily of best all time guitarists. Same with Danny Seraphine on drums, incredible player.

So I'll definitely be watching to see any "new" footage of the classic lineup with Kath, and of course any Beach Boys content too that may show up in the clips or interview segments. Trying to find original footage with Kath was next to impossible before YouTube and the internet, so maybe they've found even more new archival material for this.

Being up-front about my fan status: It's hard for me to listen to anything they did after Terry Kath's death, and I'm sure the reasons will be given why they canned him but I also cashed in my chips entirely on any new formation of the band after Danny Seraphine was shown the door too. But the first 4 albums or so...essential. CTA, II, and III should be in every collection.



Maybe I am misreading your post, but they certainly did not "can", Terry Kath.  In fact, the band briefly considered disbanding after his shocking death. Seraphine, on the other hand was indeed let go years later.  Fortunately, he was included in the band's induction ceremony to the RR HOF earlier this year unlike Cetera, who was invited by the band but did not show up.

You're misreading it, and my wording was shaky too - In no way was I saying they canned Terry, but they did can Danny and that was the last straw for me as far as any band touring as Chicago.
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2016, 11:37:13 AM »

Chicago today is pretty darn analogous to Mike's "Beach Boys." No, it's not a 100% perfect analog, but it's pretty close. A certainly solid, pro presentation and performance, with some long-time backing members, but little original left intact, and with living, active members still around but not part of it.

Only difference is that Peter Cetera was kind of a douche about the R&R HOF ceremony. I'm very much of the mind that even losing Cetera made Chicago kind of inert; he needs to be there. I'm not even opposed to a decision to not play the R&R HOF. It appears some of the other guys in the band were a-holes to Cetera too. But the way he strung out his "decision" late last year/early this year on the R&R HOF ceremony was pretty silly.
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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2016, 01:35:03 PM »

I've seen clips on YouTube of Cetera playing Chicago songs with his own band.  He still sounds great but the songs don't sound right without those Chicago horns.  He was always better with Chicago and I think it's crazy that he's gone 30 years without even a one-off reunion.  Maybe now that Jason Scheff has left the band to judge a TV singing competition (which I think says a lot about the state of the band), they'll reach out to him for an olive branch.
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2016, 01:39:56 PM »

I didn't even known Scheff left (that rhymed) the band!
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« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2016, 01:46:31 PM »

I didn't even known Scheff left (that rhymed) the band!

Yeah, a guy named Jeff Coffey has been filling his role since the summer.
http://ultimateclassicrock.com/chicago-jason-scheff/
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« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2016, 01:55:24 PM »

Man, shows how far out of the loop I have been! I'm pretty much with HeyJude on my feelings, so yeah that says volumes
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« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2016, 01:56:08 PM »

Interesting in terms of this documentary, as Terry Kath's daughter crowdfunded a documentary on her father, which apparently finally premiered a few months ago. There were some interviews with her discussing who did and didn't agree to be interviewed. I think she got most of the Kath-era Chicago members, although not Cetera as of the last interviews with her that I had read (which probably date from a year or two ago). I think she remained hopeful Cetera might agree to an interview, but was not assuming one was forthcoming. He apparently doesn't do a lot of interviews I guess.

Looks like the film also picked up a distributor recently and will be released next year:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/chicago-terry-kath-experience-doc-acquired-by-filmrise-948824
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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2016, 01:58:37 PM »

I've seen clips on YouTube of Cetera playing Chicago songs with his own band.  He still sounds great but the songs don't sound right without those Chicago horns.  He was always better with Chicago and I think it's crazy that he's gone 30 years without even a one-off reunion.  Maybe now that Jason Scheff has left the band to judge a TV singing competition (which I think says a lot about the state of the band), they'll reach out to him for an olive branch.

Previous comments from Scheff suggested it was "family health reasons" that led to his absence. Obviously, it's impossible to know what's what.

Ask Mark Hudson what happens when you quit a gig (in his case Ringo's All-Starr Band) to judge a reality singing competition. Hudson's case was extra pathetic, as the show he left Ringo for was axed after only a few episodes as I recall, and Ringo ended a near-decade-long extremely close partnership allegedly because of it.
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« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2016, 03:03:45 PM »

Scheff was still with Chicago when he agreed to tape the reality thing.  As Hey Jude suggests, the reason given by Scheff and the band was that he left due to family reasons.  I would suggest that  saying he left the band to judge a reality show is playing kind of fast and loose
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« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2016, 04:01:50 PM »

Scheff was still with Chicago when he agreed to tape the reality thing.  As Hey Jude suggests, the reason given by Scheff and the band was that he left due to family reasons.  I would suggest that  saying he left the band to judge a reality show is playing kind of fast and loose

Especially since it appears the show was only X number of episodes and surely didn't require a full-time leave of absence. I'd also venture to guess Scheff would make more money in Chicago than a short-term reality TV show gig on a third-tier cable channel.
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« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2017, 03:05:50 PM »

RE: Chicago II

Steven Wilson has remixed/remastered the Chicago II album for release on 1/27. He has remixed recent releases for King Crimson and Jethro Tull, among others.
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« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2017, 07:26:26 PM »

45 minutes into this documentary.  It's not incredibly revelatory.  Cetera gets the short end of the stick but I think that can be forgiven, especially as he refused to even be interviewed for the film.  Seriously, what is this guy's beef?
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« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2017, 09:02:21 PM »

A pretty good documentary/bio.    Raw at times.    I think I liked that aspect of it.   
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« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2017, 07:16:02 AM »

I was left feeling like some crucial points were left out, but as in any case they only have 2 hours to work with and cram in 50 years of history, so it's a tall order. But...no mention of Chicago III? No mention of Live At Carnegie Hall? There were also some purely musical topics left unaddressed, but that I can understand if they were going for universal appeal with this film.

The second half confirmed a lot of why I checked out after the mid 70's, and especially after Terry Kath's death. I appreciate a good song that catches the public ear, I appreciate wanting to get hits and generate money for the band...but there are few examples among my most loved bands and artists who have changed so drastically as Chicago from their first 5-6 albums to what they did later. They had hits with, basically, Peter Cetera and David Foster minus the rest of the band.

All the talk in the doc about being a team, and brothers in arms...I can see where that 80's run of MOR and MTV hits and balladry would cause a lot of tensions.

Some of that came out when Bobby Lamm described a phone call about their live shows he made to Terry Kath shortly before Terry's death, where Bobby said "f*** it, why don't we just give them all the hits if that's what they want", and Terry cursed him out and hung up on him. Terry and Bobby were both there in the early days when they were told by club owners "ply the hits", cover songs of the day to get people drinking and dancing in the clubs, and the band actually got fired or kicked out for playing originals. They stuck to their guns, and became who they became based on staying true to their music...songs in particular which Bobby, Jimmy Pankow, etc wrote and which Terry played a major role. Then when things got kind of tight, and people told them to "play the hits", I guess Terry saw the contradiction there.

After that, as much as I love what Peter added to those early albums and shows, a hell of a musician even though he had some self-doubts about it, the band became Peter Cetera (and Chicago) where the horn section became bit actors in videos and were barely on some of those massive MOR hits if they were on the records at all.

It was good, but the first half was more uplifting and enjoyable for me. I was also sad to see no Beach Boys footage or mentions of them together or at Caribou.
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« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2017, 07:21:28 AM »

Building on Rocky's post, what is Cetera's problem with the group?
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