California · Famous Last Words

FLW: it’s not loaded

Famous Last Words
Terry Kath
Woodland Hills, California
January 23, 1978

“Don’t worry. It’s not loaded.”

Kath, founding member of the band Chicago, had been playing with an unloaded .38 revolver, holding it to his head and pulling the trigger. When warned by roadie and band technician Don Johnson to be careful, Kath picked up a 9mm, removed the magazine to show it was empty as he said “don’t worry. It’s not loaded”*, placed the gun to his temple, and pulled the trigger. Kath did not realize there was a round in the chamber and was killed instantly.

* exact phrasing of his Last Words differ slightly, but the general sentiment is consistent

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