Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another Amazing Forgotten Hits Find!

It's been an interesting journey, this past month ...

It all started with our coverage of the street dedication ceremony for Ides Of March Way, honoring Berwyn's favorite sons ...

The Ides Of March Get Their Way

Then we heard from Jim Peterik himself ...

Hey Kent!
Jimbo here.
Thanks for the great article. I so appreciate your long time support and encyclopedic knowledge of Chicago rock. Good times indeed.
Hope you get a chance to hear the Ides' new one, Still 19.
Thanks again, brother! Keep Rocking!!

And then, amongst a whole batch of Ides accolades ...

More Ides Accolades

The Sunday Comments ( 09 - 26 - 10 )

We received a question from Mr. Peterik:

Wow Kent!
These are some really cool letters. I was blown away!
The one from John Rook was a special treat because the Ides credit him as one of the main architects in the mega success of Vehicle. WLS support was critical to the success of any record and when Destocki and Rand told us Rook was making it Record of the Week, we celebrated.
Here's where John can help me out on the history:
For years we had been telling the story that it was Disk Jockey, the late great Art Roberts, who suggested adding the vocal answers to "love you, need you!". Our managers told us if you add those, WLS will add the record.
Recently I heard it was really John Rook who suggested that. Will we ever know?To whoever it was - we "Love you ... Need you ... Got to have you!" Lol!
Keep rocking!

So we went right to John Rook for the answer to this one ... who told us that Jim
remembered the story correctly ... it WAS Art Roberts who made that suggestion. (Personally, I was surprised to hear this ... I thought Roberts had left WLS by 1970 ... but apparently he was sold on the record from the first demo he heard ... and suggested that by adding the "call and response" gimmick it would help insure pop success.) Rook wasn't convinced ... in fact, he admitted that he was still a little reluctant to add the record even after Destocki and Rand brought him the new, updated demo. When he still hemmed and hawed about adding it to the WLS playlist, they screamed, "C'mon, John ... we MADE the record the way you guys wanted it ... how can you not jump on it now!!!" (lol)

Knowing he was leaving for LA the following week, Rook made it the Top Add / Pick Hit of the Week ... and plugged it into hourly rotation ... He also now admits that he was 100% wrong about the record and that he just didn't hear it from the get-go ... and credits Art Roberts for having a great ear for this kind of thing. He says that "Vehicle" is a GREAT record and a great song ... and says that once WLS jumped on it, other radio stations across the country followed suit and, by the time he was unpacking his bags in LA, it was already on the radio there, too!

Rook also had this to say:

Nice seeing the Ides of March receiving acclaim for their contribution to pop music. Jim Peterik should have a street named after him, too.
In the early 70's, promotion man Bob Destocki and Frankie Rand begged me to add "Vehicle" to the WLS playlist. It would be the very last record that, as program director, I would make "Pick Hit of the Week" ... giving it airplay every hour for the first week. I was on my way to Los Angeles to become president to Bill Drake's company but within a few weeks Vehicle was all over the airwaves in Los Angeles as well as Chicago and the nation. A great record ... and a great band.
John Rook

Of course now we were DYING to hear the original "Vehicle" demo ... SOMEBODY must have a copy of this thing lying around somewhere ... we asked Jim if HE might have a copy to share with our readers ... but never heard anything back.
(It is ALWAYS so cool and interesting to hear what the "original vision" for a well-known tune was like ... we knew it'd be a real coup to come up with a copy!)

Meanwhile, long-time Forgotten Hits Reader (and frequent contributor) Clark Besch sent us ALL kinds of AMAZING Ides rarities ... their Pepsi Commercial ... a Public Service Announcement for Budweiser's Designated Driver program ... even a "live" version of "Vehicle" recorded in 1970 at an Ides Of March concert ... ALL kinds of cool stuff ...

Marching On With The Ides - More Cool Comments, Info and Collectibles!

All incredible stuff to be sure ...

but the Holy Grail became finding the original "Vehicle" demo ...

And then we got this ...

While searching for some other stuff in my collection, I found a bunch of Ides things including a mediocre recording of the original "Vehicle" demo! Completely different recording, but it is as described. Some groovy different sounds in it besides the lyrical change, yet great!
Jim is such a great guy ... who knows, maybe featuring some of these rarities on your website just might stoke him to get some of these in great quality out to the public! He could make a whole CD of just Ides, etc, demos! These Ides demos have great value, just as if a Beatles outtake, IMO.
What a mind, voice, talent!!!
Clark Besch

INCREDIBLE!!! The complete vision is there ... the horns are COMPLETELY formed and arranged, FULLY realized, even in its most infantile version ... the guitar solo is noticeably different (and, if you've been following along with us, you now know that the burning solo permanently etched in the brains of millions of us was nearly lost due to a recording session glitch!) ... and hearing this take WITHOUT them, but knowing that the "call and response" aspect came later ... AFTER the demo was screened for WLS / The Big 89 ... and suggested by legendary WLS Jock Art Roberts ... and then watching "Vehicle" climb to the top of the charts ALL over the country ... we truly have history in the making here today.

VERY SPECIAL THANKS to Clark Besch for tracking this down ... apologies for the somewhat "muddied" sound (but to my ears all this does is add more authenticity and history to our findings.)

And, congratulations again to Chicago's Ides Of March for their long, exciting and rewarding musical journey ...

and for providing the "Vehicle" to take us all along with you.

We wish you continued success and thank you for all that you've given us.

Their new CD, "Still 19", is available from The Ides Of March website here:

Click here: The Ides Of March Flash Intro