Chicago's own band, The Ides of March, to celebrate 50th anniversary in style
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Jim Peterik is a music man whose career is so prolific and his music gifts so versatile that the only thing you might not know about this talented man is that constantly reinventing himself. On Sept. 20, 2014, Jim Peterik’s Official Page shared a reminder that a few tickets remain for the spectacular celebration for The Ides of March at the McAninch Arts Center on the campus of the College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, set for Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, at 8 p.m.

Any music fan within driving distance will jump in their “Vehicle” baby, for a one-night only performance with friends from Chicago’s rich musical tapestry. Hosts for the evening are legendary Bob Sirott and iconic Dick Biondi, Special guests include Tom Doody (The Cryan’ Shames), Carl Giammarese (The Buckinghams), Jimy Sohns (The Shadows of Knight), and Ronnie Rice (New Colony Six). The Ides’ special guests are billed as “The Cornerstones of Chicago Rock,” and rightfully so.

The Ides of March, also known as “The Boys from Berwyn,” have established and kept safe their place in Chicago music history for now 50 years. But to see them in concert, you’d card these guys because they look like they started playing in grade school. Well, almost; they began playing as teenagers.

Band members include Jim Peterik (co-founder, guitar), Larry Millas (co-founder, guitar), Mike Borch (drums), Bob Bergland (saxophone), Steve Eisen (saxophone), Scott May (keyboard), Dave Stahlberg (trombone) and Tim Bales (trumpet). Original lead trumpet player John Larsen, whose sound on “Vehicle” was so powerful, died in 2011.

Jim Peterik is the most visible member of the band, an in-demand singer-songwriter, who has remained all of these years in his home base in Chicago, Illinois. About the only thing about Peterik that has changed is his hair color, which on any given day could be brown, or red, or its current color, purple.

His hair color matters not; the man known to his friends as “Jimbo” has a heart of gold, and he has remained true to his Berwyn-born family values. They often support special fundraising events when asked, without fanfare or asking for attention. Every year the band can be counted on to help celebrate the holidays at the Holy Name Cathedral, where their favorite Chaplain, Msgr. Dan Mayall, invites them to help with an early Christmas Eve Mass.

The Ides of March have performed on the same acts over the years with Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, and the Grateful Dead, including many of their favorite bands who got their start in Chicago, including The Cryan’ Shames, The Buckinghams, The Shadows of Knight and New Colony Six. You probably know many of their horn-driven songs, particularly “Vehicle,” which helped propel Bo Bice from his “American Idol” platform to the current lead singer for the horn-prolific group Blood, Sweat and Tears today, as he reintroduced America to that beloved Peterik composition.

When this 50th Anniversary "event of the year" occurs next Saturday, you’ll hear many of the stories behind the songs, and there will be a Q&A session for the audience. The band will take requests, too, as they share a lifetime of memories of special music made by The Ides of March. It’s with great respect that some of their very special friends among the Chicago-music-community will join the night and let their voices ring out.

Everyone in Chicago knows and loves the band, respects and regards Bob Sirott and Dick Biondi as “their very own,” so it’s just a giant family of music lovers gathering to make new memories.The VIP tables are sold out, likely to members of a large group known as the X-Treme Ides Fans, but a few tickets remain, starting at $50 and $55 sections, with special pricing for active and veteran military, seniors and youth under 18.

And if that’s not enough, there’s free parking, a welcome bonus for all concertgoers. If you have to miss the show, later this fall the band will release a special 50th anniversary CD/DVD called “Last Band Standing.” Preview the cover art in the accompanying slide show.

Check out the video to hear The Ides of March performing “LA Goodbye,” a song that showcases their musical harmonies as much as their tremendous talents as musicians. Come Saturday night, the place to be is the Belushi Performance Hall, at the McAninch Arts Center (better known as The MAC) in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Find them on Facebook here. Get in their vehicle, baby. The Ides of March will take you anywhere you want to go, just as they have been doing for 50 years now.