Grammy Award-winning songwriter, performer and producer Jim Peterik and The Ides of March will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, in The Theatre of Western Springs, as a fundraiser for the community theater.
The group features all the original members, and the bandmates are nearing their 50th year together.
“We know there are a lot of Jim Peterik fans out there,” said Jennifer Jermano Miller, chairperson of the TWS board of governors. “We quickly sold out his concert here at TWS in February of 2012, so I’d advise people to get their tickets early. Just like last time, the evening will be great fun and a rockin’ experience.”
The Ides of March formed in 1965 in Berwyn. In addition to Peterik on lead vocal and lead guitar, the band stars Larry Millas – vocals, guitar, bass; Bob Bergland – bass, vocals, sax; Mike Borch – drums, vocals; Chuck Soumar – trumpet, percussion, vocals; and John Larson – trumpet, vocals.
The six men have been friends since grade school. As freshmen and sophomores at Morton West High School, they were studying the play “Julius Caesar” and decided to use a phrase from it as their name. The band quickly developed a strong local following, playing teen clubs and sock hops. The Ides of March toured America and Canada on weekends throughout the summer, while keeping up their high school education. And in 1970, they got their big break.
Warner Bros. Records signed them and released their million-seller, "Vehicle." The song went to No. 1 on Cashbox and No. 2 on Billboard, and became the fastest-breaking single in Warner Bros. history. The song, which Jim Peterik wrote and sang, has become a horn band classic, including being performed on "The Tonight Show" by Tom Jones and Sammy Davis Jr. It also became the centerpiece of Sylvester Stallone's motion picture "Lock Up."
With its signature horn riff and one of the most famous opening lines in rock and ‘roll, “I’m the friendly stranger in the black sedan; won’t you hop inside my car,” "Vehicle" earned its place in rock and roll history.
While in college, The Ides toured with artists such as Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead and Poco. They also appeared on a number of television shows.
In 1973, after 15 singles and four albums, the Ides went on a 17-year sabbatical. Peterik went on to platinum success as co-founder, songwriter and keyboardist with the group Survivor, co-penning the motivational anthem from "Rocky III," "Eye of the Tiger" and many more hits.
In 1990, the original six members of The Ides of March with the addition of longtime friend Scott May on keyboards and Dave Stahlberg on trombone reunited for what was supposed to be a one-time concert for Berwyn’s Summerfaire. The event drew 25,000 fans and convinced the Ides to extend their tour indefinitely.
TWS is at 4384 Hampton Ave. in Western Springs. Advance tickets to "An Intimate Evening with Jim Peterik and The Ides of March" cost $30 for TWS subscribers and $35 for nonsubscribers. Tickets purchased the day of the event cost $5 more. Call the TWS box office at 708-246-3380 or buy tickets online at www.theatreofwesternsprings.com.