Thursday, September 2, 2010

This And That

Looks like The Ides Of March have got a pretty big month ahead of them. In addition to opening for The Buckinghams at this weekend's kick-off concert for Schaumburg's 40th Anniversary Septemberfest, NEXT weekend they will be honored with a street-dedication ceremony in Berwyn where "Ides Of March Way" will officially be unveiled. (And, just like Jim Peterik was on hand when The City Of Chicago dedicated Dick Biondi Way a few months back, the legendary Biondi will be there in Berwyn, too, for this ceremony ... and we hope to see some of YOU readers out there, too!!!

More below from Ron Smith, who sent in this "official" announcement from Jim Peterik's Facebook page:
The City of Berwyn will dedicate Home Avenue between Riverside Drive and Cermak Road "Ides Of March Way" Sunday, September 12, 2010, at 4 pm.
Corner of Home Avenue and Riverside Drive.
Honorary Guest Speakers:
Berwyn Mayor Robert J Lovero
Joseph Keating - School District 201
Joanne Zendol - School District 100
Dick Biondi - WLS Radio legend
Father Dan Mayall - Pastor of Holy Name Cathedral
and of course, The Ides, who will be bringing along their guitars and horns, etc.(it's not a concert, but a few unplugged tunes might be in order!)
Hope to see you all there!!
-- Jim Peterik

And this correction from FH Reader Mike DeMartino ...
>>>The Ides of March will be in Forest Park 10/11,doing all the Ides, Survivor and .38 Special stuff ... all original members. It is a great show! As Mikey sez "Try it, you'll like it!! Any takers? (Mike De Martino)
There must be something in the water ... I meant 9/11.

That's the day before the big street dedicating ceremony ... another great chance to hear these guys rock out in concert! (kk)

By the way, The Ides of March also have a brand new CD out ...

Called "Still 19", it's their first release of all new material in 27 years!!! And, it's available through their website:

In OTHER local music news ...

As we mentioned earlier, you can catch The Buckinghams at Schaumburg's Septemberfest this Saturday Night (September 4th) ... they'll be performing from 8:30 - 10:00 PM, following The Ides Of March, who will open that Concert Doubleheader at 6:00 and perform until 7:30. (Talk about some great "Chicago Gold" musical memories!!!) As well documented here in Forgotten Hits, The Buckinghams are boasting a newly revamped line-up ... while The Ides are probably the only band left on the planet still boasting ALL of their original members from 1965 up on stage together!!!

And you can catch ANOTHER pair of Chicagoland "Local Heroes" that same night when The Mauds and The New Colony Six perform together as a very special "Two-Fer" at WXRT's Garage Band Rock Fest, held at Reggie's Music Joint at 2105 S. State Street in Chicago. (The Mauds take the stage at 9 PM followed by The New Colony Six at 10 PM) ... Jimy Rogers' OTHER band, Blue Road, will open the show at 8:00.

>>>Lead vocalist / guitarist Darren Dowler (aka "Baby Raider", since he's the newest member of the band) has only been onboard for about a month now but he fits right in with the high-impact, high intensity, energetic show that Paul Revere and the Raiders put on night after night. (I've never seen a band work so hard up on stage! lol) Dowler does an outstanding job handling the lead vocals. In fact, his resume is quite impressive ... he also sang with The Lettermen for ten years ... within the context of this new gig, he's finally able to let out his inner demon performer and he absolutely excels at it. (kk)
I'm hoping to run an interview with Dowler and Drummer Tommy Scheckel as the "two newest Raiders" in an upcoming issue of Forgotten Hits. Meanwhile, I couldn't help but wonder about Darren's days with The Lettermen ... this just seemed like such an opposite extreme to the laid-back, soft-rock sounds of this other band ... so I asked former Letterman Gary Pike about it. (Interestingly enough, a special Lettermen Christmas Show is coming to the same venue where we saw Paul Revere and the Raiders perform the other night! I wondered if Gary would be taking part in that show, too!)
Hey Kent,
Darren's stint with the Lettermen was from about 1995 to 2005. Back in about 2003 he was experiencing some vocal problems and his doctor ordered vocal rest, so I filled in for him for a while. Darren is like me in the sense that he is an actor and can fit in. Just because The Lettermen had a majority of ballad hits didn't mean that's all we did in our show. We put all of our hits into medley form and did some up-tempo stuff, too. We all did solos, some comedy, and some audience participation. We did an all around variety show.
Officially, Jim (Gary's brother ... and Lettermen founding-member Jim Pike kk)

sold the Lettermen name to Tony Butala, the last remaining original, in 1976 and left the group because of vocal problems. While Jim was resting his voice, he got our younger brother Donny to fill in. I left in early 1981 and Donny left in late 81. Since Tony inherited the group, he has had quite a few guys come and go. Donovan Tea has been the longest replacement so far ... he started in the late 80's.
Quite a few years ago, Jim and I started singing together again with a fella from the King Family and King Sisters show by the name of Ric de Azevedo. His mother is Alice King of the "King Sisters". They had a very successful variety TV show in the 70's on ABC. We call ourselves "The Reunion" Our web site is: (NOTE: One "g" between singing and group) ... I've attached a picture.

In the current bio of the Lettermen you will read Tony's spin on the early history of the formation of the group, but that is not exactly how it happened. Jim was the catalyst in bringing everyone together in the beginning. He did the vocal arrangements and was the creative force in the group. (It's kind of turned into a "Herman's Hermits" thing, but you can ask anyone who was there in the beginning and they know.)
The Lettermen do a Christmas show every December and it's not too bad. The group now consists of Tony Butala, Donovan Tea and Mark Preston. They are entertaining and sing the same vocal arrangements but it doesn't sound quite the same.
I hope I have answered all your questions. I know it sounds like some sort of soap opera but if you would like more clarification I can give you a little more detail.
My Best,
Unfortunately, there seems to be some element of "soap opera" attached to virtually EVERY recording act in history ... glad to see that The Lettermen ... and The Reunion ... can co-exist in the performing arena these days. Thanks for all the details, Gary ... as we always say, we're all about getting "the most accurate truth" out there to the fans at large! (kk)

... and, speaking of Paul Revere and the Raiders, we got this "thank you note" from new drummer Tommy Scheckel after he received OUR "thank you note" for the tickets to last week's show at The Arcada Theater ...

Hey Kent,
You're most welcome for the tickets, glad you had a blast. Loved your review and so did Paul. I pulled it up on my iPhone on the way back to Chicago and he thought you captured a perfect snapshot of the concert. He also said, "This guy really knows his stuff!"
The show steamrolled across IN and MI after playing St. Charles, IL and played to some more amazing audiences. 60s fans kick ass! The good news is that the band will be playing out a lot more this coming year. We can't wait, we had such a good time that it should be illegal to have this much fun and get paid too. (it's not is it?)
Thanks to everyone who traveled out to see us and thanks to the promoters, DJs and journalists for covering these shows. We all wanted to say a special thanks to Ron Onesti for one of the best Italian meals any of us has ever had, and for the cool "Playboy After Dark" style hang in his awesome restaurant after the show in St. Charles, IL. It's built into this cool old church - I mean, come on!
Hope we make it out this way again soon, the Midwest always did know how to let loose and get wacky.

Thanks again Kent for helping keep the 60s music train firmly on the tracks.
Tommy Scheckel
PS We kept seeing Big Boy restaurants on the road. Paul is convinced that Rod Blagojevich was the model. He renamed him, Rod BigBoy-avitch.
The guy kills me!
LOL ... he DOES kinda look like him, doesn't he?!?!? (Paul Revere got off a couple of good Blagojevich lines during the concert, too ... and then, when asked about his own hair ... and as to whether or not it was real ... he said, "Are you kidding me? I'm RICH!!! You think I'd buy THIS?!?!?" GREAT line!!! All kidding aside, Revere looks 25 years younger than he is ... he appears to be in great shape and has a VERY full head of hair at 73 ... and he was up there rockin' right alongside all you youngins!!! Great to hear that the band'll be touring more ... which'll give more oldies fans a chance to see you guys. Please check in with us from time to time and let us know what's going on. Thanks, Tommy! (kk)

The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL, home to both The Lettermen Christmas Show (on December 17th) and the Paul Revere and the Raiders concert that we just saw last weekend, has some OTHER great shows coming up that you might want to check out ...
On September 24th it'll be KC and the Sunshine Band ... we were there a couple of years ago to see these guys and it was a VERY entertaining show. (Of course that's ALSO the night that the air conditioning went out, making The Arcada literally the "hottest disco in town"!!!)
October 1st you can catch Matthew and Gunnar Nelson's Tribute to their father, Ricky Nelson, a show recently reviewed right here in Forgotten Hits by one of our East Coast Readers.
On October 8th you'll be saying "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore" ... that's because Kansas will be right here in St. Charles, IL, performing live in concert at The Arcada.
Big show on October 14th ... America is out celebrating their 40th Anniversary ... these guys ALWAYS put on a great evening of music and memories. (We caught them at their Soundstage taping a few years back.)
Lots of other big shows between now and the end of the year, too ... you can check out all of the details at

Now that I've finished reading both The Rolling Stone Magazine List ... and the 2004 Book written by Stephen J. Spignesi and Michael Lewis ... side-by-side, I can honestly say that I'm more than just a little bit surprised at the similarities between the two lists ... particularly in the writers' commentary and Beatles quotations used to support each entry. Far be it from me to accuse anybody of anything here (after all, Forgotten Hits is often not much more than a consensus of four or five research sources accumulated and then rephrased into our own words as a means of reporting some facts that the average oldies music fan might not have been privy to ... kind of a "we do all the reading so that you don't have to" attitude, I guess!) ... but some of this stuff is virtually WORD-FOR-WORD IDENTICAL!!! (Yet nowhere in The Rolling Stone article to I see Spignesi and Lewis credited ... or so much as even mentioned!!!) I dunno guys ... it'd be tough to convince anybody that their 2004 Book ... published six years BEFORE Rolling Stone's take on the same subject matter ... wasn't used as at least a "point of reference" in preparing this "special collectors' issue". Seems to me the LEAST they could do is give Spignesi an Lewis a "nod" of appreciation. (kk)

As per your question on "Are The Beatles Still Relevant in 2010", I vote "No!"
If someone were to spend two million 1963 dollars promoting your Christmas song. Lonely Christmas, it would be even more of a holiday standard then it already is. 47 years later, the investment is still paying huge dividends. You've stated more than once in FH, how many configurations of the same album are you gonna buy? It's like any other product on the market, it was the right band at the right time. The only reason I own The Beatles 1 CD is that upon occasion if I'm asked to DJ a party, people request them. Otherwise I would not own any Beatles music. It is the only Beatles CD I've ever bought, or will buy. I know I could easily be a minority of one on this, but someone has to be.
I think we've got to go with "Majority Rules" on this one, Jack ... witness the mass hysteria last year on 09-09-09 when the entire remastered Beatles catalog was released on CD ... and the demand was so high they had to go back and press more copies! (They also couldn't keep copies of The Beatles Rock Band Game on the shelf either!)
Whatever Capitol Records did to insure a successful initial push to launch the band here in The States might have accounted for the majority of the screaming teen age fans out looking for the latest new teen idol those first few weeks of Beatlemania hysteria ... but the music soon took over ... and it's been all about the music ever since. Otherwise, The Beatles would have faded away like so many other flash-in-the-pan acts we've witnessed in the nearly 50 years since. (I can also pretty much guarantee you that not ONE kid screaming the night of The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show ... or The Beatles themselves for that matter ... could have EVER predicted that music like "In My Life", "Yesterday", "A Day In The Life", "Michelle" and "Eleanor Rigby" ... or albums like "Revolver", "Rubber Soul", "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Abbey Road" ... could have POSSIBLY been in the band's future ... not at a time when the simple, catchy melodies of "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You" and "Please Please Me" were turning the entire world on its ear. (Your Capitol Records financial theory really doesn't explain the mass hysteria that was going on a full year in advance around the REST of the world either!!!)
The plain and simple fact is that these songs have stood the test of time ... they not only paved the way and set the standard for popular music way back when but they have grown in stature ever since. NOT including them in your personal collection may make a statement of choice in your own mind but all you're really doing is depriving and denying yourself the pleasure and enjoyment of some of the finest music made in our lifetimes. (kk)

“Beatles 107.3” in Corpus Christi begins the Labor Day week of format changes.
There are rumors about other flips, such as the speculation about a CBS Radio client party in Tampa Thursday night. But one of the first actual flips is in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Convergent-owned KRSR, Ingleside (107.3) just grounded the “Star” AC format on a permanent basis. Through Friday morning at 9 am, the station is a fresh-sounding “Beatles 107.3”, featuring the lads from Liverpool. You can be a Beatlemaniac by listening to the stream
here. The ever-lively discussion boards at turn up one other example of pre-holiday stunting – or maybe two, in the same market .
-- (From Tom Taylor On Radio)

We were sad to hear that our FH Radio Buddy Jim Shea is out at Y103.9, our other oldies outlet here in Chicago. Jim has been a GREAT friend and supporter of Forgotten Hits (both on and off the air) for the past several years. (My very first on-air radio interview was with Jim several years ago when our Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame piece first ran in FH.) He's a VERY knowledgeable music guy who truly loves this music ... and he's also just a fun guy to listen to! Ironically, for the past several weeks, Y103.9 has been airing episodes of "The Best Of Jim Shea" while Jim was on vacation ... it was especially flattering to hear back-to-back-to-back interviews with Jock Bartley of Firefall, Dennis Tufano (former lead singer of The Buckinghams) and Peter Noone ... all of whom FH was instrumental in helping to set up for the station. Budget cuts and a 30% decrease in sales are the reasons being cited by the station regarding making this decision ... and it's really not getting any better out there in radioland ... so it's especially tough to see a talented guy like this taken off the air. Let us know where you land, Jim ... and if any of you radio folk out there might have a lead to throw our way, please let me know so that I can pass the info along. Meanwhile, another of our Y103.9 Buddies, Jeff James, has taken over the role of the new morning guy. Simply put, he's ANOTHER one of the most knowledgeable oldies jocks I know out there ... I just hope the tightly regimented format of doing a morning show doesn't completely cramp his style when it comes to playing some of the GREAT, obscure tracks he typically features on his show. (Jeff is the guy who started the "Windy City @ 6" program a while back, featuring an hour a night of Chicago-flavored music.) My understanding is that he will continue to host "Saturday Night Live At The '70's" for the station, too ... a genuine potpourri of musical gems airing from 7 PM till Midnight every Saturday Night! Tom Kent fills Jeff's old spot from 2 - 7 PM weekdays (and takes over the "All-Request Live Drive at Five" segment, too!) Best of luck to ALL the vocal talent out there reading this today during these EXTREMELY difficult broadcasting times. (kk)

Meanwhile, it sounds like True Oldies is back in Knoxville ... this piece comes from Tom Taylor's "Taylor On Radio" column:
Knoxville AM WMTY (670) is dropping talk to go “True Oldies.”
It's apparently using Scott Shannon’s True Oldies Channel from Citadel Media, returning the format to the local airwaves. That was the original message from the Eastern Tennessee Board of about Horne Radio’s WMTY, Farragut. One poster says that since Citadel’s own WOKI (98.7) dropped True Oldies, there should be a hole for Shannon’s deep, eclectic playlist and fun announcing style. In the meantime, “Metrotalk 670” is definitely gone from WMTY and the station’s no longer streaming. But if you scroll down through the board posts and the speculation about an FM partner for daytimer WMTY-AM – you discover that sister WLOD-FM, Sweetwater, TN (98.3) has apparently already ditched the classic rock to add “True Oldies.” Follow the action on the Eastern Tennessee Board.

I know Scott Shannon was actively pursuing another Knoxville outlet to feed all the True Oldies music fans out there ... great to see that he found one so quickly. The oldies are bigger than ever ... and we're proud to be doing OUR part to help keep all this great music alive. (kk)