So, I've just GOT to tell you ... I took a little drive down Ides Of March Way the other day ... and it was SO cool to see all the street signs now up and in place ... truly nothing short of incredible to see the City Of Berwyn honor their Local Heroes and "Favorite Sons".
And apparently The Ides Of March have still been on some of YOUR minds, too! Thanks to FH List Member Clark Besch, we've got some very rare and interesting tidbits to share with you today!
re: THE IDES OF MARCH:
Hearing about the Ides of March and "Vehicle" and how Art Roberts incorporated the "answers" in the song was a great story. I met Art and emailed with him a few times before his death and it was great to "speak" to one of my Big 89 heroes and find he was just as nice in real life as on radio!
The story about wondering if the original version without the "answers" in it exists intrigued me. I dug out the live 1970 version of "Vehicle" that Jeff Lind recorded and played it and found it did not have the "answer" parts as far as I can tell other than maybe the first one which Jim Peterik did not mention. Maybe this recording was made before "Vehicle" was released and before Art suggested it to Jim? Maybe this is why a few lyrics that ended up in "Superman" existed in this live version?
BTW, "Vehicle" was not the first single from the album that was released on top of its' success. The first WB single was the great "One Woman Man", so "Vehicle" could have been a work in progress at the time? Pretty interesting.
I've included the Ides' Pepsi commercial from the time, complete with Art's idea to add "answers"!!!
"Vehicle" was one of the four songs The Ides presented to Warner Brothers Records on their demo tape ... and it's what got them signed to the label. From the sounds of things, after the success of "Vehicle", Warner Brothers wanted a copy cat / sound-alike tune so, rather than pull another track from the album,
they had the band record "Superman", a "Vehicle" clone (and always an inferior track to my ears, probably because it sounded SO "forced" to be made to sound like their previous smash. In fact, I think "Superjock" Larry Lujack even said something at the time to the effect of "Isn't that just the same record with a few new words?!?!?")
For the record, The Ides wanted "Aire Of Good Feeling" released as their follow-up single, a GREAT track that probably would have been a pretty big hit, released hot on the heels of "Vehicle"'s reign at the top of the charts ... and may have permanently eliminated the band from "One Hit Wonder" status. (In hindsight, it stands to reason that, following on the heels of this second success, "L.A. Goodbye" would have then ALSO become the national hit it deserved to be!)
Now ... how's THIS for a Forgotten Hits tie-in?!?!?
Reportedly The Ides won their Warner Brothers audition when local promoters Frank Rand and Bob Destocki caught the band opening for Neil Diamond!
(We've certainly given Neil a fair amount of FH coverage lately ... and these guys, too, for that matter!!!)
Destocki was also a regional promotion man for Warner Brothers and it was through his connection that The Ides were given the opportunity to record their four song demo that ultimately got them signed to the label!
Jim Peterik told Bill DeYoung "We put 'Vehicle' last on the demo. We didn't really value that song. The first three songs we thought were the ones. We sent them to the label and they went, 'Are you kidding me? The fourth song is a smash!'"
With that thought in mind, it's hard to believe that Warner Brothers would have opted to release "One Woman Man" as the band's lead-off single. (The other three tracks on that original demo tape were "Lead Me Home, Gently", "The Sky Is Falling" and "Something Comin' On". "Lead Me Home, Gently" ended up the B-Side of "Vehicle" when it was released as a single and "The Sky Is Falling" became the flip of their non-charting single "Melody". "Something Comin' On" didn't even make the final LP!)
Cool to hear The Ides' Pepsi commercial again ... and the early "live" version of "Vehicle". Thanks for sending, Clark! (kk)
Clark ALSO sent me an ultra rare Public Service Announcement that The Ides Of March recorded for Budweiser and the "Designated Driver" Program that was so popular in the '70's. I can't help but wonder when's the last time that even The IDES themselves heard THIS one!!! (lol)