Everyone’s heard of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, right? Essentially it’s a way of connecting from the actor Kevin Bacon to just about everyone in Hollywood. I would give you odds that, with enough work, we could come up with the Six Degrees of Jim Peterik, because he has worked with so many musicians over the years, either as a songwriter, guitarist, singer, producer, or mentor. His Wikipedia entry gives you a taste of how busy he’s been; for more detail, he’s written his autobiography, Through The Eye Of The Tiger with Lisa Torem and others. Let’s take a look at his career so far…
- The Ides Of March, "Vehicle": This song is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. Jim was one of the founders of the Chicago-area band The Ides Of March, and wrote this song and most of their other songs. This is the only one that actually went anywhere, although "L. A. Goodbye" was a local hit in Chicago. "Vehicle" peaked at #2 in the US, #3 in Canada, and #73 in Australia.
- Survivor, "Eye Of The Tiger": After The Ides Of March split in the mid-’70’s, he worked with the band Chase and formed The Jim Peterik Band. The band had one album, Don’t Fight The Feeling (1976), and in the liner notes Jim is referred to as a survivor. After that band dissolved, Jim met guitarist Frankie Sullivan, and they formed the group Survivor with bassist Dennis Keith Johnson and drummer Gary Smith (formerly from the band Chase, which lost most of its members in an airplane accident) and vocalist Dave Bickler. Their biggest hit was "Eye Of The Tiger," was recorded in 1982 for the movie Rocky III, at the request of Sylvester Stallone. It peaked at #1, remaining there for six weeks, and was in the Top 40 for 18.
- Chase, "Run Back To Mama": Jim wrote several songs for the jazz-rock ensemble Chase and appeared on their third album, Pure Music (1974). "Run Back To Mama" was a Peterik composition from that album, on which Jim sang and played guitar.
- Jim Peterik’s Lifeforce, "Joy": Jim found time in the late 2000’s to start a smooth jazz band, Lifeforce, which recorded three albums. This is from the band’s eponymous first album from 2009.
- Pride of Lions, "Carry Me Back": Jim started Pride of Lions with singer Toby Hancock in the early 2000’s. Wikipedia tells us he says it represents "my vision of the best elements of the great melodic rock era of the 80’s, updated of course with more modern production sounds." Dave Spuria, The Real Music Observer on YouTube, recommended "Carry Me Back," from Pride of Lions’ 2020 album Lion Heart, on his Patreon recently.
Jim Peterik, your Five for Friday, November 6, 2020.