Monday, September 24, 2012

The Ides Have It

Jim Peterik and The Ides Of March seem to be what you guys want to talk about ... so we're happy to provide the forum to do so.

Here are some of your latest comments ...


>>>I wonder if your readers knew that Jim Peterik had a solo album out in 1976 called Don't Fight the Feeling. I always liked a catchy track called Hard Day at the World ... now THIS is something I'm sure you don't hear every day! (Dave / Hoffman Estates)
>>>Not a bad tune ... and another one I wasn't familiar with. Thanks, for sharing, Dave! (kk)

Wow. Great pages! Couldn't put my I-phone down!
Hard Day At The World from my Don't Fight The Feeling album! Cool!
That song is most notable for Tommy Shaw, JY Young and the late, great Russ Daughtry singing "down down down!". My favorite line is "Why can't I be unique like everybody else". Ha!
That album came out in 76 the same week and label - Epic - as Boston's debut. Talk about getting buried!! We did a cool kick off show at the Ivanhoe with Bonnie Koloc opening.
The album was produced by Toxie French, whose main claim to fame we producing Thunder And Lightning for one hit wonder Chi Coltrane. Anybody know where she is now?
The album was engineered by the late, great Barry Mraz, who had just done the first few Styx albums and the great Ohio Players hits. I have reissued Dont Fight The Feeling recently. It's a double disk that includes demo takes and stuff I recorded in 74 and 75 with Jim Peterik and the Chi-Town Hustlers. You can get it soon on
Also, I'd love to include a copy of that WLS survey for my soon to be published autobiography, Through The Eye Of The Tiger. How could I do that?
Rock on!
Chi is still recording and living in Germany, where she is quite successful! She's playing sold out shows and recently released a new album. She participates with Forgotten Hits from time to time ... we've done several updates on her career over the years. ("Thunder And Lightning" is one of my '70's favorites!) Click here: Chi Coltrane's Official Website
As for the WLS Survey, consider it done ... I'm sure I can get you a pristine copy. In addition, I'll send you a copy with "Vehicle" at #1 and "L.A. Goodbye" at #2, as those should make for some pretty interesting artifacts as well. (In fact, I feel confident that the readers on this list probably have some other memorabilia that you might find interesting ... I'll put some feelers out and see what we come up with. Got something cool to share that you feel would be worthy of making Jim's book? Drop me a line and we'll pass the info along.)
Meanwhile, tell us more about the book ... as I'm VERY happy to help promote that here as well. (I know Carl Giammarese has been working on his biography for ages now but is apparently still tweaking it here and there, as I still don't believe it's out yet.) Yours should make for a GREAT read ... so please keep us posted and know that we will help to spread the word. (kk)

Bill Hengel's autographed 1966 WLS Survey (with "You Wouldn't Listen" at #7 on the chart ...

The Big 89 of 1970 ... with Vehicle sitting pretty at #20 for the year ... and in some pretty good company, too ... The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel, CCR, Three Dog Night, The Jackson Five, Sly and the Family Stone, The Guess Who ... and The Partridge Family!!!

And here's The Ides Of March voted as Chicago's Favorite Local Group.
I know that there's LOTS of other great stuff out there ... so drop us a line and let us know what you've got that you think Jim might be interested in ... and we'll gladly pass the information along. (kk) 

Great story on the "other" Ides, Kent. I was contacted by a daughter of one of the members a few years back but didn't have any info on the group other than the 45 song titles and Michigan locale.
Great reading ...
Up until a few weeks ago, I didn't even know that they existed ... and let's face it, their release is pretty obscure ... but I'm sure a couple of these guys would be up for an interview for your website if you're interested. Just let me know and I'll see if I can help to set it up. (kk)
UPDATE: I just heard that Mike has been talking to The Michigan Ides Of March and that they will be putting together an interview for his 60sGarageBands website. We'll keep you posted as this develops and send you a link when it's up there for your enjoyment. (kk)

Scott Ebright makes some pretty bold claims regarding his life after The Ides Of March ... with this many credits under his belt, how come I've never heard of him before?

Honestly, I never really had the time to do any extensive research to check this guy out ... the few links I did find online were all put there by Scott, so there really wasn't any means available to corroborate his story. However, a couple of his claims jumped out at me right from the start ... for example:
If he was involved with "the first oldies revue band" in 1975, then what about Sha Na Na, who performed at Woodstock in 1969? Even Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids (who he mentions later) were already together and recording prior to 1975. And, if he WAS in the movie "American Graffiti" (as he also claims), then he would have / should have known that that film came out in 1973 ... two years PRIOR to him launching the oldies revolution. But that's OK ... because later he INVENTED karaoke and launched the very first Elvis and Beatles tribute shows. Actually, his name IS somewhat familiar to me, so I'm going to investigate further ... I just thought our readers might enjoy his humble beginnings as part of the OTHER Ides Of March. (kk)

Those Ides Of March recordings you featured the other day (from the Michigan band, not the Chicago band) sound almost as if they came from some homemade basement tapes ... they're not very professional sounding. And the fact that the record labels don't even have the name of the record company printed on them make me wonder about their true origin. Would ANY record company really press a release without their name on the label? Something just doesn't sound right.
Honestly, these are pretty rudimentary recordings, chock full of mistakes (which, of course, is the very essence of garage band rock that we all know and love!) It really sounds like one of those small, neighborhood studios where a band could go into, book an hour of studio time back in the '60's and then cut their own "do it yourself" demo to see what they sounded like on a record ... and, with no record label shown, I cannot help but wonder how anybody out there even got a copy of this to sell! (A lot of bands back then would press up a couple of hundred copies of a record and then sell them at their shows ... so maybe this is the case ... but from what Scott sent us, it sounds like this one actually got a little airplay in their area, too!)
We used to have a place in Berwyn (where I grew up with the OTHER Ides Of March back in the '70's) called Balkan Music ... it was literally walking distance from the high school (Morton West, which we also both attended), just a few blocks away ... and not far from what is now officially named "Ides Of March Way".
Anyway, it was a little old mom and pop music shop that sold a few different off-brand musical instruments (always displayed in the window) and a small selection of records (but a great place to pick up that week's copy of the WLS and WCFL survey ... after you cut through Sears, of course, to pick one up there ... which always had their own ad printed on the back ... but I digress.) They gave music lessons there and, off to the corner as you came in the entrance, was a small recording studio that we always DREAMED of going in to use to cut demos of some of our songs. (As I recall it was pretty reasonable ... probably only about $100 or so, which got you both the studio time and a few pressings of those results ... but that was an absolute FORTUNE to a 13 year old kid at the time ... and back then, if we ever could scrape together that much money, we'd more likely spend it on new instruments, microphones or a PA system instead!) I always wondered what they actually recorded there. (Someone once told me that it was used as a Polish Radio Station or something at one time ... and maybe they did a few commercials and radio spots there ... and I'm sure some of the neighborhood bands did pool their money and cut something there although, as I recall, the studio itself was so small I don't even know how a band would get all their equipment into that room!) One of my buddies, Brad Gould, DID make a record there of one of his songs and it came out ok. (I've told the story many times over the years how, if Brad ever made it successfully in the music business, I wanted to produce his first album ... and call it "The Gould, The Brad And The Ugly"!!!) Brad used to live right across the street from Jim Peterik's girlfriend (now wife) and we used to sit on his front porch and see Jim pull up in his hot little sports car (a green MG if I remember correctly) to pick her up for a date. And, right around the corner from there, you could stand out on the corner and sometimes hear The Ides Of March rehearsing in the basement, too.
Golden memories, to be sure, of those OTHER Ides Of March!!! (kk)

Oops! Here's a correction sent in by a reader regarding a recent concert review we published ...
>>>Saw Survivor last night at the Metropolis Performing Theater in Arlington Heights. They sounded good but did too many songs that only the ardent fan would know. They performed with enthusiasm seeing that they had just flown in from Italy, the day before. Paul Kantner said it was afternoon to them. Can you believe he is 71? He still plays and sings great. They also were on WGN TV news in the morning. They had the same clothes for both appearances. The lead singer Kathy Richardson recalls the Sunglass shack, which she remembered well, on Rand Road across from the 53 Drive In. Does that bring back memories. I bought all my sunglasses there. (Bill)
Hi KK:
The above review appeared in your Tuesday, September 18th FH edition ...
Mr. Bill may have had the word "survivor" in mind only referring to Paul Kantner ... He likely really intended to state the band was instead the current edition of Jefferson Starship ... These things happen.
BTW, the multitalented Cathy Richardson has been adamant that she be referred to as Cathy with a "C" and not a "K"...
In any case, here is the WGN TV video link to their morning news performance:,0,5869578.story
And so it goes....:)!
As Always,
John B. Krug
You're absolutely right ... it WAS a Starship concert, and NOT a Survivor concert. (I should have caught that, too. Chalk it up to another rushed edition, prior to running out the door for work.)
Ironically, Bill had written to us the week before, informing us of the death of Starship guitarist Mark Abrahamian, wondering if their upcoming show here might be cancelled as a direct result of his passing. (Obviously, the show went on as scheduled.)
All of this makes for yet another Jim Peterik tie-in, as Jim was once a founding member of Survivor (and co-wrote all of their biggest hits) ... and he ALSO produced Cathy Richardson's solo LP. (Cathy wrote us a while back after the PBS '60's special started running to let us know how much fun she was having performing with Starship.) kk

Hi Kent,
Someone posted your blog on my Facebook page today, so I thought I would introduce myself.
I am the "new girl" in Jefferson Starship. I live in the Chicago area, too, so it's possible you have heard of my band over the years.
I noticed you mentioned the Ides of March on your blog, I am a good friend of Jim Peterik, who co produced my first record in 1993 and my band opened many Ides shows back then. I also perform fairly regularly at Jim's World Stage events.
Here are some links with a little more background info on me. I've released several solo and Cathy Richardson Band albums and have a new group called the Macrodots and we have been playing around Chicago quite a bit this year.
Thanks and all the best,
Cath xo