The Ides of March began in Berwyn, Illinois (a western suburb of Chicago) on October 16th, 1964, as “The Shon-Dels”. Their first record Like It Or Lump It, was released on their own “Epitome” label in 1965. The original four members are:
LARRY MILLAS—VOCALS AND GUITAR
JIM PETERIK—VOCALS AND GUITAR
BOB BERGLAND—VOCALS AND BASS
MIKE BORCH—VOCALS AND DRUMS
In 1966, after changing their name to “The Ides Of March”, (The name was suggested by bassist Bob Bergland after reading Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” in school) The band released their first single on Parrot Records You Wouldn’t Listen. The song reached #7 in Chicago, and #42 on the Billboard Charts in the spring of 1966. This record, and its follow-ups (all pre-Vehicle and brass) have been re-released on the Sundazed Records CD “Ideology” and is available nationwide.
In 1968, the band added a brass section
(CHUCK SOUMAR–TRUMPET, VOCALS AND PERCUSSION/JOHN LARSO—TRUMPET/Bassist Bob Bergland doubled on Tenor Sax for the Brass Numbers)
And secured a record deal with Warner Brothers Records. In 1970 the band released Vehicle, which, at the time became the fastest selling single in Warner Brothers history. A little-known fact is that 14 seconds of the completed master of Vehicle was accidentally erased in the recording studio, (primarily the guitar solo), and the missing section was spliced in from a previously discarded take. The song reached #2 in Billboard, and #1 in Cash box. The following album “Vehicle” reached #55 nationally.
The band toured extensively throughout 1970, in support of many of the top acts of the day, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and most notably Led Zeppelin, whom the band upstaged in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The local newspaper’s entertainment headline read “Ides Of March Steal The Show”. The Ides were also among the participants in the legendary “Festival Express” train tour documented in a 2003 film, although the Ides were not featured.
In 1971, the band released their second album “Common Bond”. The featured single was the vocal-driven L.A. Goodbye. The song stayed at the #1 spot on regional charts for five weeks, but only reached #73 on the Billboard Charts.
In 1972, the band changed its focus away from the “brass” sound, adding blind keyboard player DAVID ARELLANO and changed record labels to RCA, releasing “World Woven” which failed to produce a hit single.
In 1973, the “Midnight Oil” album was released, signaling a shift to a country-rock direction. This album also did not produce a hit single. The band played its final show of the “first era” at Morton West High School in Berwyn in November 1973.
1973-1990 The Ides Of March go on extended hiatus, during which Jim Peterik founds the band “Survivor” and cowrites all their platinum hits including The Eye Of The Tiger/The Search Is Over/High on You/I Can’t Hold Back Jim also begins a career of writing collaboration, which results in many platinum hits for other artists-most notably Hold On Loosely/Rockin’ Into The Night/Fantasy Girl/Wild-Eyed Southern Boys (for .38 Special)
Heavy Metal (for Sammy Hagar)
- The Shon Dels became The Ides of March after the name was suggested by bassist Bob Bergland after reading Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” in school