Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Ides of March: Vehicle

Well I am a day late and a dollar short for today’s one hit wonder group, but be that it is a day after “The Ides of March,” I still think we can squeeze in this classic one hit band. Et Tu Brute? The year was 1970 and the growling voice of Jim Peterik and the pounding horns of The Ides of March could be heard nationwide. The rumor that Peterik was 16 when he sang the hit “Vehicle” is unfounded – he was 20 at the time.

I think the rumor occurred because when the band had its first major record deal in 1966 with Parrot Records and released a slew of singles, Peterik was only 16. The band was a local sensation in Chicagoland getting airplay on clear channel AM giants like WLS (890) and WCFL (1000). Although a decent following in the Midwest and five singles for Parrot and one on Kapp, The Ides of March failed to garner national attention until they signed to Warner Brothers in 1970.

I had an opportunity to walk down a corridor in the Charleston (WV) Civic Center backstage with Jim Peterik when he was with Survivor. He was a very pleasant individual to talk to and we discussed his early career with The Ides of March; however, I don’t remember much of the conversation that took place 26 years ago.

In fact all of the guys in Survivor were pleasant except their lead guitarist Frankie Sullivan. I had a back stage pass and went to introduce myself to him and he yelled for his road manager to call security. He was really whiny. He is definitely not of the same caliber of Jim Peterik who will always be remembered for this #2 charting one hit wonder.

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