R.I.P. Dick Dearborn, Engineer on ‘Vehicle”

We were saddened to hear that Dick Dearborn had just passed away at age 91. Dick was the CBS staff engineer when the Ides Of March first came into Columbia studios on Fairbanks in Chicago to record our first demos for what would get us our record deal with Warner Brothers.
 
Guided by our producer/ managers Frank Rand and Bob Destocki we had come to the session with four new songs to present. The last song on our demo tape was a song we would perform at teen clubs all over Chicagoland called Vehicle.  
 
Dick Dearborn always wore the suit and tie of a loyal CBS employee but his heart was that of a true musician. He had a kind and patient manner as he set up the many microphones required to accommodate a big horn band like the Ides and dialed in the sounds. In those days we all recorded at the same time in one room, so leakage between instruments were always a huge issue. Dick handled that with ease.
 
As Larry said, “He saved the master take of Vehicle with a razor blade and experience.. !” referring to the well-known story about the accidental deletion of part of the master take and Dick having to splice it in from a different take.
He was also the master of one of the first 16 track multi- track recorders in Chicago.
 
After we landed our record deal he engineered our entire album with Frank and Bob producing.
 
Dick will be remembered for many things (his son and I have talked recently about Dick when we met a few times at a blues bar in Saugatuck) but for the Ides he will always be the guy that caught lightning in a bottle- one magical take on a song that would take us Berwyn teens to the top of the charts. Dick, you were the co-pilot of our Vehicle. Rock in peace. Jim Peterik, Larry Millas, Bob Bergland and Mike Borch.
 
Thanks to Dick’s son James for the photos.

Lions and Tigers and.. IDES ! Oh, my!

The Ides played to a huge crowd last Saturday at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois for their Summer Nights concert series. It was a perfect night for an outdoor concert, and the Zoo staff couldn’t have been more helpful in providing for a great evening! There were even some “tigers” in the audience to enjoy the show!

Two Great Gigs This Weekend!

The Ides have 2 great shows coming up this weekend!
Friday we are playing Wood Dale Prairie Fest, 655 N Wood Dale Road. (Wood Dale and Sivert). There will be an opening act at 630- 830.
 
The Ides take the stage at 930.
 
This is always a great fest. See you there!
 
Saturday the Ides are back in the town where I met my wife Karen – Brookfield! We are even playing the venue where Karen was working (selling refreshments!) when I met her – the famous Brookfield Zoo.
 
When we played this great concert series a few years back we had an audience of thousands. Not even including two giraffes 🦒 and a lesser kudu. We will be rocking the zoo at 7 pm. Your zoo entry fee will also cover the concert.
 

Something told me it’s all happening at the Zoo! Hope to see you there!

Jim

THE IDES OF MARCH RETURN TO ALMA MATER FOR MUSICAL TRIBUTE

Berwyn, IL – February 16, 2018:  The IDES OF MARCH, who have enjoyed a 54 year career with all the original members, including Grammy Winner JIM PETERIK, returned to their Alma Mater MORTON  HIGH SCHOOL for a gala pep rally on Friday, February 16th at 6pm in the Main Gym at Morton East High School in Cicero, Illinois.

The Ides performed their #1 Classic hit “Vehicle” with the Morton Marching Band (Led by Brian Toms).

Five of the Ides (Jim Peterik, Larry Millas, Bob Bergland, Michael Borch, and Scott May) are all Alumni of the Morton High Schools, and all played in the Morton Marching Band during their years of attendance. The Ides’ Brass Section are from different Chicago Area communities, but they, too, played in their High Schools Marching Bands.

City Winery – May 3rd, 2018!

It’s hard to find a great intimate venue in downtown Chicago that can properly present the soft harmonies and blend of the Ides vocals and the power of the full eight-piece horn band that we are.

The City Winery is just that place, and The Ides are looking forward to playing at the City Winery on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018.  Please join us and enjoy this great venue!

The Ides Really Rocked The Boat This Time!

For the second year in a row, The Ides of March were honored to be invited to play on the mighty Moody Blues Cruise to the Caribbean. This year’s cruise featured many fine artists such as the Zombies, Alan Parsons, Ambrosia, The Orchestra, Richie Furay, Jefferson Starship and many more, and, of course, the new Hall of Fame inductees, The Moody Blues.

This is an awesome sea cruise, with great music and wonderful people, including our incredible hosts, the Moody Blues, the fine crew that has to pull off miracles to handle the intense schedule of the many bands and venues on the ship, and the cruisers, the music lovers who come to enjoy the music!

Playing to an overflowing crowd in the club venue, and a full house in the main theater, the Ides were welcomed back with great enthusiasm, and really rocked the boat, as shared in the pictures below. The Ides met many new and old friends at the merchandise signing after the theater concert, and we really hope to do it, again, in the future!

Photo by Iron Mike Savoia Photography

Cornerstones of Rock Rebroadcast Three Times!!

Summer 2017 Update!

A Fond Memory of the Cardinal

One of my favorites from 2009 Roof Fundraiser. Rest in peace Cardinal Francis George.

THE IDES OF MARCH AND STEVE CROPPER LIVE!

Last Year JIM PETERIK had the pleasure of doing a gig with the legendary Guitarist/Songwriter STEVE CROPPER in Louisiana, and the two musicians found a common ground and a fast friendship. Steve, of course was the bedrock of Booker T and the MG’s, the “house band” of Stax Records in Memphis, and the composer of many many timeless hit records such as “Soul Man”, “Midnight Hour”, and “Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay”. Everyone knows Steve as the “Colonel” from the Blues Brothers Movies, has Steve is an inductee in both the Rock And Roll and Songwriter’s Hall Of Fames.

Cut to this year, when an proposal came in to the Ides Offices from a Couple in Burr Ridge Illinois who wanted to throw a luxurious 55th Birthday Party for the Gentleman. They wanted a “Mini World Stage” featuring the Ides plus a special guest. We thought of Steve Cropper immediately, and the show was swiftly booked.

As the date approached, The band encamped in Jim’s JAM LAB soundstage facility to woodshed the Cropper hits. World Stage Band Guitar Whiz MIKE AQUINO was made a Deputy Ide for the show, and R&B Stars MARZETTE GRIFFITH and YVONNE GAGE were brought on to add their vocal firepower.

The rehearsal sessions were great fun, playing the Soul Hits Steve made famous, and it really wasn’t a stretch for the band, ‘cos before Jim started cranking out his own homegrown hits, the Ides Repertoire consisted of almost all of these tunes and ones just like them. The memories were grand and warm.

Steve arrived the day before the show, and the rehearsals were a gas! Steve was a perfect Southern Gentleman, with a boatload of stories that made our heads spin. And the man can PLAY!

Event day was great-The Venue was an elaborate structure erected behind an ornate European-Styled estate in a wooded setting. It was hard to believe the lavish accommodations were for a single night, but it was so. Scores of staff manned the Bars, Food stations, and Cleanup, as we prepared for the show in our hosts adjacent, spacious downstairs Rec Room/Bar. We enjoyed the great food and more Stories from Steve. Then it was time to hit the stage.

The first part of the set was Ides’ music plus a sampling of Jim’s Platinum hits with Survivor and Sammy Hagar, then Steve was introduced. We ran down a whole set of Steve’s Soul/R&B hits with Steve’s stories punctuating the  tunes. Steve, Marzette, and Yvonne took turns on Lead Vocals, the band kept up the funk, and the mighty mighty Ides Brass added their blazing chops to the mix. The Horns are SO important to this music.

The assembled crown went wild, and they filled the dance floor. Steve and the Ides took the party up notches the host never expected, but they weren’t through.

After a short break, The Ides came back with more hits of their own plus Jim’s hits with .38 Special, then Steve, Marzette, Yvonne and Mike were introduced to join us again for “Vehicle” and “Eye Of The Tiger”.

To say the entire evening was a success was an understatement, made even sweeter to know there was an underlying co-theme for the event dedicated to raising money for a charity championed by the Hosts. The well-heeled attendees were generous indeed, and an impressive donation was amassed.

Normally pizzas are the after-gig refreshment for the band, but tonight there was the gourmet sweet table, ice cream station and Frozen Margarita fountain. A tasty splurge was in order, as the evening came to a close.

The next afternoon, Col. Steve graced World Stage Studios to add his distinctive guitar tracks to the new Ides 50th Anniversary CD.

We hope to do more things with the Great Steve Cropper, as this match seems like it was made in Heaven…