The Beginning

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
  • Berwyn, Illinois makes an offer to have a re-united Ides headline their “Summerfest” festival

Reunited

In 1990, The Ides’ home city of Berwyn, Illinois makes an offer to have a re-united Ides headline their “Summerfest” festival. The six original members agree, and are joined by long-time Berwyn Pal:

SCOTT MAY—HAMMOND ORGAN, KEYBOARDS & VOCALS

Also added, to complete the brass section is
DAVE STAHLBERG—TROMBONE

The concert is attended by over 20,000; and the Ides return to live performance.

1991-The Ides release their first new music since 1973, a four-song cassette EP entitled “Beware-The Ides Of March”.

1992-Full-length CD “Ideology” released, with re-recordings of Vehicle, L.A. Goodbye, and You Wouldn’t Listen, plus new material.

1997-EP “Age Before Beauty” released

1998-Ides write and release Finally Next Year to commemorate the Chicago Cubs Championship season. The song is included on a CD entitled “The Cubs Greatest Hits” which is sold at all Major League Ballparks in The USA. The song is used on many Cubs-themed Radio and TV programs to the present day.

2001-The Ides expand their schedule and return to National Touring. The band records a two-hour live performance for XM Satellite radio in Washington, DC. Vehicle is used for an extensive national advertising campaign by General Motors.

2003-The Ides record and release a double live CD “Beware-The Ides Of March Live” of an entire concert at the College Of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Rhino Handmade Records release “Friendly Strangers”-a 2-CD limited run set of the original 1970’s Warner Brothers Recordings. The collection quickly sells out. As of February 2006, used copies are selling on Amazon for over $100

2004-The Ides Of March celebrate 40 years together with a series of Multi-media shows emceed by Broadcasting legend Dick Biondi. The sold-out show at the Arcada Theatre in St.Charles Illinois is captured for the DVD “A Vehicle Through Time”.

2005- Vehicle becomes a #1 hit again, from “American Idol” runner-up BO BICE, who performs the song 3 times on the top-rated show, and during his appearances on many other network shows.
The Ides’s CD “Idessentials” is released. It is a compilation including the Ides’ favorite hits (Vehicle, L.A. Goodbye, You Wouldn’t Listen) the Ides’ versions of the Survivor classics Eye Of The Tiger, High On You, and Rebel Girl, New material, featuring the new single Come Dancing, and a re-release of the Ides first recording Like It Or Lump It.

Christmas 2005-The Ides sing their Christmas Carol “Sharing Christmas” to a capacity crowd at the 4 O’Clock Mass at Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral.

2006-The Ides Of March first two albums “Vehicle” and “Common Bond” are nationally re-released on the Collector’s Choice label. Sony-BMG nationally releases “Ides Of March Extended Play”-culled from the band’s live recordings. The Ides team with Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago to release “Sharing Christmas” a 4-song EP-CD that features Radio Legend DICK BIONDI. The proceeds benefit the “Thursday Suppers” at HNC, and sells out in 4 weeks. In support of the disc, The Ides, Dick Biondi and HNC Pastor Father Dan Mayall go Christmas Caroling to the major morning radio and television news shows. The Ides and Dick perform at the 6pm Mass at HNC Christmas
Eve. The benefit disc sells out.

2007-The Ides continue to tour-“Mighty Bears” is released to support the Super Bowl appearance by the Chicago Bears. In August, the Ides headline what turns out to be the second highest grossing benefit ever for the Michael J Fox Parkinsons Disease Charity.

Focus

2008-The Ides film an appearance for Public Television’s SOUNDSTAGE. The Ides are chosen to be the entertainment at the FBI’s 100 year anniversary party-they play before many international VIP’s.

2009-After a devastating fire at Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral, The Ides immediately pitch in to help. Lending the name of their gospel-tinged song to the relief effort, “All Join Hands To Raise The Roof” culminates in an exclusive fund-raising event at the Palmer House, with the Ides as featured entertainment. The Ides play before Cardinal Francis George and Mayor Richard J Daley among other VIPS. The Ides record and release their first full-length Christmas CD “I Believe in Christmas”, featuring new songs and selected live tracks from the Ides annual Christmas Concerts. Work begins on the first all-new album of Ides songs since 1973.

2010-The Ides Hometown of Berwyn, Illinois announces that it will rename the portion of Home Avenue that passes in front of Morton West High School “Ides Of March Way” in honor of the band. The Ides CD “Still 19” is released at parties in Nashville TN and Berwyn IL. It is the first all-new set of songs from the band since 1973. The CD is available at the Ides website. Also, in late August, at Best Buy stores, and all major digital outlets including iTunes. The Ides play a featured set at the prestigious “Tin Pan South” Songwriters festival in Nashville with special guest Jeff Carlisi of .38 Special fame, and a encore of Vehicle that features American Idol Finalist Bo Bice appearing with
the band for the first time. The Ides are asked to be the special guests of Radio Legend Dick Biondi on the WLS Broadcast celebrating his 50 year anniversary on the air. Later, Dick asks the Ides to share the celebration of his honorary street-naming in downtown Chicago.

2011-A year of transition for the band. Original Trumpet Player John Larson retires from Live Performance and passes away from Cancer on Sept 21. Original Trumpet Player Chuck Soumar resigns from the band to pursue other interests. Noted session player TIM BALES joins the band on Trumpet late in the year. The band continues their tradition of singing the Christmas Eve Mass at Holy Name Cathedral.

2012-Nationally known Grammy Winner STEVE EISEN joins the band on Saxophones and Percussion, marking the first full-time Sax Player in the Ides’ history. At a show late in 2011, an anonymous fan gave Jim a set of cassette tapes containing live recordings of the Ides from a 1972 concert in Houghton, Michigan. Selections from those tapes comprise a new Ides CD “The Lost Tapes-Vol 1”.

2013-The Ides establish a Scholarship in their name at their Alma Mater Morton High School to benefit students continuing their education in the Arts. Production Begins on a new DVD Project to mark their upcoming 50th Anniversary. Ides Keyboardist Scott May releases solo CD “Inside The Outside” The Ides re-issue their Christmas CD Re-mastered and with new songs-the CD is retitled “The Meaning Of Christmas”

2014-The IDES OF MARCH kick off celebration of 50th Year together as band with all the original Members. Play Private event with guest stars Mike Reno of Loverboy and Cathy Richardson. 12-Camera Hi-D shoot at House of Blues Concert. Ides Keyboard Player Scott May releases solo CD “Outside The Inside”. Ides mount 50th anniversary “Chicago Cornerstones” show with special guests Carl Giammerese of The Buckinghams, Tom “Toad” Doody of The Cryan’ Shames, Ronnie Rice of The New Colony Six, and Jimmy Sohns of the Shadows of Knight. The show’s dual hosts are Dick Biondi and Bob Sirrott. The Ides play a private event with special guest Steve Cropper. “Vehicle” is used as the soundtrack for a series of Hardees/Carl’s Jr. TV Commercials. Jim Peterik’s Autobiography “Through The Eye Of The Tiger” is released. “Vehicle” featured in the movie “Dumb And Dumber To”

2015-The Ides play a Private Event with Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, Rik Emmett of Triumph, John Densmore of The Doors, and Carmine Appice of Vanilla Fudge. The Ides release a 50 year commemorative 5-disc Box set, with 4 CDs comprising a comprehensive career retrospective and a new Concert DVD of the 2014 House of Blues show, Music Video of “Last Band Standing” Exclusive band interviews, and other special features. “Vehicle” featured in Will Smith Movie “Focus”

THE IDES OF MARCH STATS
  • 11,000 performances
  • 7 singles
  • 4,400,000 friendly strangers
  • 1,145 times Jim put guitar over his head
  • 13 crew members
  • 2,000 shows attended by the eXtreme fans
  • 12 funnel cakes
  • 1,423 crowd walks
  • 1 rising organ
  • 8 extremely grateful band members