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“Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago” reawakens fond memories. It’s also detail oriented and informative and sequenced chronologically. As expected I enjoyed the earlier portions of this documentary, though the entire two-hours is (mostly) filled with numerous factoids, some of which I had forgotten, and others were previously unknown by me.
Director Peter Pardini’s film production generally allows the band to express itself through old and new interviews and live performances. Concert footage of guitarist Terry Kath is fascinating as I forgot his fretboard strengths that are also reiterated with interviews by Chicago’s band originators. There’s also a segment that recollects Jimi Hendrix praising guitarist Kath and supposedly quotes Hendrix as saying that Kath was a better guitarist than Jimi.
Pardini and Chicago’s band-mates are direct and do not dodge around the band’s numerous conflicts and their over-the-top abusive drug consumption. Moving forward into the nineties Chicago’s (then) players discuss future recordings and what lies ahead for their future years. I found this to be (somewhat) perplexing knowing that their hit-making and creative heydays were way back in the rearview mirror. I understand that Pardini couldn’t illustrate that Chicago had already been (for many decades) touring (like many other bands of their generation) as a greatest hits show. Though it should be noted; Chicago’s latter-day vocal and instrumental skillsets continue to be potent. Pardini’s artful edits of older and more current versions of the same songs exemplifies this fact, and his audio-video technique is not only unique, it’s brilliant as Pardini smartly portrays how the band kept their playing prowess without compromising musical integrity. Even though Chicago’s still performing their classic hit tunes.
Note: Chicago was originally founded as (Chicago Transit Authority) in 1969 and were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.
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