Betsy Larson Remembered

It was October 16, 2016, the day of the baby shower for Maisy Peterik when I happened to walk Betsy Larson from her car to the entrance of the Jam Lab where the event was being held.

I noticed a certain wistful look in her otherwise smiling eyes. “Jimmie, just got some bad news. I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer of the bile duct.” I tried to remain calm and offered her the standard encouraging word, but she seemed to possess a sixth sense about the journey she was about to take.

Thus started her brave battle with the cancer that rudely took her from us in the wee small hours of June 11th, 2017.

I remember clearly the gaggle of girls that surrounded us after the Ides Of March show at the Valley View Young Adults Club in Frankfort, Illinois – Friday night, February 29, 1970.

This date rings like a bell not only because it is the very day that “Vehicle” premiered on WLS, but also because two girls, Pam Stout and Betsy Resef, cuter and more attentive than the rest, emerged from the crowd and showed special interest in two of the Ides members. Pam took a special shine to guitarist and vocalist Larry Millas and Betsy to our lead horn player John Larson. Their interest was reciprocated and soon they were dating and double dating to beat the band.  Before you knew it wedding dates were being set for both couples. And it all started at Valley View!!!

Betsy through the years was a dear friend and confidant to all. She was a great listener and always gave advice in a non- judgmental way. And if a little vulgarity is the spice of charm, she served up a very tasty dish!

As one of the “Brides Of March” (Norma Bergland, Pam Millas, Betsy Larson, Karen Peterik and Cyndy Soumar- and a bit later Gail Millas, Patsy Larson, Chris May and Mary Jane Borch) their camaraderie was legendary and their parties could get a bit wild! I remember after one of their Soires, Karen Peterik revealed that they all got more than a little tipsy on sweet cherry suise! And Betsy was the ring leader!

She and John stayed close, even after they divorced and John married Patsy and Betsy married Zeno.

Through the years the Ides alumni have always remained like family, so it was a utter shock when the reality hit of the severity of Betsy’s illness. The flood of tears is not soon to abate. Betsy was a flawless gem (a term she must have used often as a sales person at her parent’s Orange Blossom jewelry store on the South side.) Her smile could light a room, her comfort was our cushion, her humor could curdle milk and we will miss her until we meet again.

Shine on Bets – we love you.

From the heart of Jim Peterik and all the Ides and Brides of March.  June 14, 2017

 

 

 

GOLDEN CELEBRATION for 50 YEARS of the IDES OF MARCH

It’s the GOLDEN CELEBRATION for 50 YEARS of the IDES OF MARCH, and the Boys from Berwyn have been on a tear!
Things started just before the turn of 2014 with our annual visit to Holy Name Cathedral. We had the pleasure, once again to help our Chaplain MSGR. DAN MAYALL out with the 6:30 Christmas Eve Mass. Our pal, the Dean of all Disc Jockeys DICK BIONDI was again with us, and it was a joyous occasion, indeed!
January and February were the “calm before the storm”, but things took off in March with a “MINI WORLD STAGE”  in Charleston S.C. for the good folks of Baker and Taylor who have been instrumental over the years distributing our CD’s and Jim’s Books. MIKE RENO from Loverboy and CATHY RICHARDSON from Jefferson Airplane were the IDES’ special guest along with World Stage Band Guitar Whiz MIKE AQUINO. The hits just kept on comin’!
Only back for a few days before we took off for the heartland and a one-nighter at the plush GRAND FALLS CASINO just outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. What was the date? Why, March 15th The IDES of March!
March kept on rocking with a sold-out show supporting TOMMY JAMES at the gorgeous Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet Illinois, followed by a trip downstate to Edwardsville, Illinois for a show at the smaller, but no-less-splendid Wildey Theatre.
April and May were quiet, but the end of the month saw the Ides in front of a PACKED audience at Chicago’s House Of Blues. Love those enthusiastic downtown crowds!The end of June saw us back at “The Cell”  (Cellular Field or as most Chicagoans still call it: ”Comiskey” or “Sox-Park”) to once again sing our National Anthem for the crowd followed by a Sox Baseball game. But we should have known something was up as the field guys were rolling out the tarps even as we sang. Ol’ Mother Nature had different plans for the night, which for us, was a private party in the SOX SkyBox Suite along the 3rd baseline. The sox faithful didn’t see any Baseball played, but the saw/heard the IDES!

We’ve actually had pretty good luck over the years, and haven’t gotten rained out that much, but just as we were to take the Stage in Itasca, Iliinois in July, the Town Fathers and Authorities “pulled the plug” due to heavy weather moving in.The next night, skies were clear as the main street of Westmont, Illinois filled to capacity as far as the eye could see,  welcoming us once again to their great downtown fest.A week later, Weather again gave us a bit of anxiety, with a dire forecast as we took the stage for a mid-week concert in Hillside, Illinois, but the night agreed to let the music play, and so we did!

Great God in Heaven…it happened again

This picture and info was sent to us by our friend, the Legendary WLS DJ Clark Weber:

A DVD and bonus CD, put out in 2010 by Reazar Productions, features old clips from a NYC small station Tv program from late 60’s to mid-70’s hosted by DJ Barry Richards. The DVD has classic performances by many great artists of the day.

The discs feature images not included in the video and lo and behold, there is an image of The Ides of March!

ANOTHER IDES OF MARCH SELLOUT!

The Ides Of March played before a sold-out crowd at the Moraine Valley Performing Arts Center on Saturday October 13th. The show was preceded in the afternoon by Jim Peterik’s Popular Songwriting Seminar, and the show that followed was special. The Ides played the first set “unplugged”, in an intimate setting at the edge of the stage, featuring tunes from the Ides songbook not played live for many years. After a brief intermission, the band returned to their electric instruments for a set of their most rocking songs. After the concert, it seemed like the entire audience lined up in the atrium/lobby to meet and greet the guys and buy a CD (or three) to autograph. A great night in Palos Hills!