Local Scene

LOCAL SCENE: The Stories Behind Some of Rock’s Biggest Hits

2012-10-25T15:00:00Z LOCAL SCENE: The Stories Behind Some of Rock’s Biggest HitsTom Lounges Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 25, 2012 3:00 pm  • 

Jim Peterik has enjoyed an enduring, consistent and successful career, having written and recorded hit songs for his own bands, The Ides of March and Survivor (taking home a Grammy for the #1 global chart-topper, “Eye Of The Tiger,” from the “Rocky IV” film soundtrack), along with penning hits for many other artists.

Area music fans can hear the story of how an answering machine message from Sylvester Stallone led to the creation of “Eye Of The Tiger,” when Peterik -- author of 2002’s “Songwriting for Dummies” – spends Sunday in downtown Valparaiso. His first stop a 3pm “Songwriter’s Workshop” at Front Porch Music (505 E. Lincolnway), followed by a 7pm solo concert at Chicago Street Theatre (154 W. Chicago Street).

Tickets are $25 per event. A special VIP concert package (including special couch seating and photo with Peterik) is available from CST for $50.

For info on the Sunday afternoon workshop call (219) 464-4700 or visit WWW.FRONTPORCHMUSIC.COM and for info on the concert call (219) 464-1636 or visit WWW.CHICAGOSTREET.ORG.

The Front Porch appearance will be more technical and geared to musicians wanting to learn from a master craftsman how to write and market songs.

The concert will more historical, entertaining and filled with plenty of stories about Peterik’s life in music and on the road over the last 40-plus years.

After writing and singing the #1 1970 hit “Vehicle” for the Berwyn-based Ides of March band he formed during the mid-’60s while in high school, Peterik’s pen gave his later group Survivor such hits as “The Search Is Over,” “Burning Heart,” “I Can’t Hold Back”, “High On You,” and others.

Peterik has also written or co-written songs recorded by many major artists, including: REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, Sammy Hagar, Van Zant, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackhawk, and Brian Wilson. He also co-wrote a fistful of hits for Southern rockers .38 Special, including “Fantasy Girl,” “Hold On Loosely,” “Rockin’ Into The Night,” “Chained Lightning,” and “Wild-Eyed Southern Boys.”

“It’s a learning thing, so I take the time to explain how and why I wrote specific songs,” Peterik said of his workshop format. “I answer questions about songwriting and give examples. It’s instructional, but it’s a lot of fun.”

The CST concert on Sunday will be much different, with an emphasis on entertainment. “It’s an acoustic show concentrating on the songs and the stories behind them,” said Peterik. Those attending will discover: who inspired Peterik to write the song “Vehicle,” which hard rocker included Peterik in his pre-concert prayer circle, which Southern rock group turned down a Peterik song became a hit for .38 Special, and why Survivor once recorded with drums set up in the kitchen?

“For these kinds of shows, I take away all the trappings and just get it down to the song itself. If a song works acoustically when it’s all stripped down, then it’s a good song,” he continued.

While Jim Peterik’s name is forever etched in the annals of songwriting and rock history, he is not content to rest on laurels and continues to write and record with a variety of projects, including his current rock group Pride of Lions and his jazz group Life Force. Peterik also works with a variety of younger artists, including teenage singer/songwriter Mallory Lennon, country artist Andrew Salgado, and notable jazz singer Lisa McClowry.


• Region rockers Hogtown Packing Company remain a force to be reckoned

with according to bassist/co-founder Michael LuBecke. Though relocating to Florida this month, LuBecke remains on board with the group that includes Andy Ross, Mike Akai and J.D. King. Hogtown’s new LuBecke/Ross-written single – “Symerton Lights” b/w “Depraved” – is currently getting some attention a region radio. According to LuBecke, the band will continue recording and will focus on festival and touring dates rather than night club gigs. Follow them at: WWW.HOGTOWNPACKINGCO.COM

Email Tom Lounges at: beatboss@aol.com

The opinions expressed are solely the writer's. Reach him at beatboss@aol.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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