Jim Peterik


Jim Peterik (2007)


Jim Peterik: The Roar Of A Lion.

MelodicRock legend Jim Peterik is one of the true nice guys in the business. It's always great to catch up with him and on this occasion it is to discuss the new Pride Of Lions album as well as Jim's work with Kelly Keagy and Joe Lynn Turner among other things.

Great to talk to you once again Jim. Looking forward to talking about the new Pride Of Lions album. To start though – and this may not be politically correct to ask of you - but what do you think of Robin McAuley now fronting Survivor?
I've never had the courage to listen. I have not yet heard it. I thought it would upset me. I appreciated people sending it to me, but I just never listened. I love Robin……

Me too…
He's great, so I have to plead ignorance. I haven't heard it.

It sounds ok but it does risk not being Survivor anymore.
Right, right I think we were fortunate when we made the transition from Bickler to Jimi because it went so smooth but not every singer can step in and create that sound.

Let's talk about happier things Jim.
(laughing) Sounds good.

Alright mate. I suppose the most important thing is Pride of Lions.
Album number three now, I think the band has very much developed its own little sound…

I think so. We've definitely gelled as a band. There is a Pride of Lions sound. I think there always was but the first album we were just kind of trying out our legs. That first album, still, how did we do that? I don't know. I'm very proud of that record.
The second album I think we strayed a little bit. I love Destiny Stone but it sort of forayed more into the theatrical and epic kind of thing. I think at the time I was very influenced by the stuff my son was listening to which was like Rush, Kansas, Styx. I love all that but it started seeping into my music. This album, like I've said in a few interviews, we're trying to get back to a little more simple hooks and a little more direct melodies. There's still a little bit of theatrics, obviously. I always say I write for the singers I'm producing.
Dave Bickler, he was very street, very rock 'n roll, very raw. When I wrote for Jimi Jamison it was very pop. When I write for Toby, its pop but it's also a little bit of theatricalness because he's got a very dramatic voice that I write for.

In fact, I've raised this with you on a couple of occasions. When is Toby going to Broadway?
(laughing) I know, you said that one time. I think that would be a great move. I love his voice to work with. I think on this record you'd say our sound is solidified. I think part of the reason is Toby's a better singer than ever. I was very, very pleased with his vocals on this record. There are some of his best, most emotional lyrics on these vocals.
Such as, the best vocals on the album, for me are Love's Eternal Flame. It absolutely kills me and I hear a lot of Jamison in his vocals.

Yeah, that's probably the most Survivor-ish song of the whole album.
I agree. That and probably Language of the Heart tap into the Vital Signs sound some as well. It's not like I was consciously trying to clone 1984, but I was listening to Vital Signs around this time trying to tap into what was special about the album and that era.
And of course, Too Hot to Sleep also, I love that record. Love's Eternal Flame was definitely influenced by Desperate Dreams. I feel like there's a kind of a lineage between those two songs. I felt I hit a roll on this album, in terms of writing where I struck a balance between the Vital Signs era, what was good about that, and what's unique about Pride of Lions. You're never going to mistake Pride of Lions for Survivor. There are similarities and differences as well.

Absolutely. You were talking about Toby's vocals there, like the last note on Heaven on Earth. The note itself goes for about a minute!
laughing) I know, I mean the guy's got unbelievable chops. He could sing the phone book and he'd sound great. And you know, he doesn't need any coaching really. He hit that last note and he just blew everybody in the studio away because nobody was expecting it. He does that to us all the time. There's another song on the record. Oh, the end of Tall Ships, he does this stuff, (singing “we are the tall ships”) you know, none of this stuff was planned. That's part of the fun of recording Toby is that he'll always be just surprising us with stuff.

Yep, he's a bit theatrical I think on the Roaring of Dreams. I likened that to something that could have come off the Lion King soundtrack.
There you go, there you go, like I said I like the epic music. I have to really watch myself or else I get too theatrical. I don't mean to, (laughing) but I do get carried away.
I think Pride of Lions will find the audience that it needs and it is important for it to be different than Survivor. If all I wanted to do was clone Survivor I might as well have stayed back in 1985. I love that era but I like to add a unique sound to Pride of Lions and part of that is a little more theatrics. Roaring of Dreams is…I love the message of the song.

I love Roaring of Dreams for, like you said, the message that it brings. Astonish You was another little bit of a sidestep wasn't it?
Well, I love that song and I always try to figure out what was my inspiration on that song and obviously it was Karen [Jim's wife]. I'm always trying to impress her. (laughing)
I'm eternally trying to impress her as much as she impresses me.
But musically, to me, Foreigner's Waiting For a Girl Like You is like probably my all time favorite rock ballad.

It's an absolute classic of course.
And amazing vocal by Lou Gramm.

Oh yes
I had that melody for the chorus and it just stuck in my head. Then I was sitting in the back of a limousine waiting for a show and the rest of the song came. I just couldn't wait to record it two days later. It just has such a mood.

It has, absolutely it's a very, very romantic song.
What do you think of Faithful Heart off the record? Do you remember that? It's a ballad (sings a bit of it).

I love that song. That's a really great song….one of the best on the album.
Thank you. I totally love that song and the story behind that song. With the exception of that song, all these songs were written for Roaring of Dreams in a period of about 3 months, or 4 months, whatever. But that song goes all the way back to 1984.
Whenever the hell we were recording When Seconds Count, anyway '85-'86, and I played that song for [producer] Ron Nevison. It wasn't finished. He flipped. He loved it and we cut a demo of it with Jamison singing. I wish I had it and I can't find it.
But it was not as good as it is now. I wasn't finished. The words were weaker, the bridge was terrible, but I never forgot that song.
Anyway, it never made the record. But it's almost better because in the passage of time I was able to finish the song to my satisfaction and of course Toby did an amazing job on it.

Yeah, I was gonna say, the vocal on that is just extraordinary. Very, very powerful and another one of my favorites on the album Jim, Tall Ships is obviously a great track, a lot of fun and a very pomp sort of style for you guys wasn't it?
But I must ask, what was with the horn in the chorus there?

(laughing) Well, I have to say, whether you like it or you don't like it, and obviously I know how you feel, it's a French horn.
I just felt that that said “the sea”, “the stormy sea” and I know it's not rock and roll, but if the Who can put a French horn on so can I...(laughing)

The first time I listened to it I laughed. Well, that kinda sounds disrespectful, but it surprised me. It really caught me off guard, but I've come to really, really like it.
You know, it's got a mood to it. And again, this is a very spiritual album for me.
Karen's brother Andy died on August 5 of liver cancer, and there were so many things that happened that Andy, after he died really, influenced me. He came to me in a dream and really gave me the song Heaven on Earth. He said “Jimmy, you don't have to wait until you're six feet under, you can have Heaven on Earth.” I heard the melody in my head, I saw his face, I ran downstairs and taped the idea of the melody, I still have the tape, and two days later we recorded it in the studio.
That is really Andy's song. He just was such a great guy and yet he wasted a lot of his life with just, you know, bad habits and things like that. But he's trying to tell me and everyone, do not waste a day. Live every day like it's your last and that's really what that song is all about. Same thing with Tall Ships, he gave me the inspiration for that. He really loved the ships and we used to go down to the harbor and watch the ships come in and out on Lake Michigan and so that's his song too.



The little story you said there about jumping out of bed and running down to record reminds me of when we were in the UK and you've got a tape recorder in your pocket constantly. You were always jotting down notes and singing into this recorder.
Someone else mailed me a neat story a little while back….a Chicago resident who knows you…said they were in a car park and there was a car parked awkwardly in the entrance. They were nearly ran into it and they were going to tell the driver off until they realized it was you (laughing) and you were sitting there jotting down notes to a song.

I would not doubt that for a second.

They stopped to say hello and you had a chat. They couldn't wait to get home and tell me the story.
That is great. Well, for me the best songs come at the most unexpected times. Never at convenient times and never when I sitting at the piano. It's always when I'm driving, or you know, doing just about anything but writing.

When you're free of thought, when you're not under pressure.
Right, because that's when your subconscious mind takes over and you can do amazing things.

I really liked that story and I wanted to tell you because I knew you'd get a laugh out of that. Are there some Pride of Lions shows coming up Jim?
Well we're doing a World Stage on May 18 here in Chicago. Pride of Lions is a part of that of course, along with Kelly Keagy, Rik Emmett, Kevin Chalfant, Kip Winger and people from my immediate world like Jeff Boyle, Lisa McClowry, and of course my son's band.
He's seventeen now and he has a band called Lobster Newburg that are just terrific. His band's on the bill. We're gonna do a jam with the Ides of March and Lobster Newburg. So Pride of Lions is part of that, then we're doing a Belgium festival on August 6 with World Stage also and that's gonna be a very similar bill to the one I just mentioned with the addition of Jimi Jamison.
He's gonna be part of the World Stage in Belgium. So that's gonna be very, very fun. Jimi and I were on stage together about three weeks ago at a cystic fibrosis benefit that Fergie Fredrickson organized. It was just wonderful on stage, to see him. Some magic moments; we did I Can't Hold Back, we did The Search is Over with just an acoustic piano and he and I would trade off vocals, and then we did Eye of the Tiger and just brought the place down.
We started talking and I asked if he'd be interested in being a part of World Stage in Belgium and he said “I'm there”. So that's going to be a lot of fun.

Awesome. That will be a great show!
You commented that the Roaring of Dreams was like a crucial album for you. A few people read into that that 'oh my goodness this might be your last album'. Was that the case?

No, that's not what that meant. This was, I thought, the record to separate the men from the boys. A lot of guys can come out and make a great first record. To follow it up with a third album, that's what separates the good from the great.
It's like with Survivor, Eye of the Tiger was our third record. We proved that we could break through, of course the movie didn't hurt anybody at all, and make a, I don't want to say a better album than one and two but at least keep the quality consistently up from one and two.

You certainly have done that.
That's the challenge. I also saw it as a possible breakthrough record. That's the point I was trying to make, that we all have dreams of a record like this breaking out of the melodic rock niche and some single, whether it's Heaven on Earth, or Love's Eternal Flame or Faithful Heart, that breaks out of the pack and starts getting noticed by the overall radio and buying public. Boy, I'd sure like to see that happen.





I think people are screaming out for something but the media are so closed ranks, you know the mainstream. How in hell are people supposed to hear great new music?
I'm looking for avenues and I'm thinking of doing a video for Heaven on Earth and trying to get that exposed. And I'm looking for movie opportunities for some of these Pride of Lion songs. There are alternate marketing schemes that you can break through with.

I think Faithful Heart lends itself to a movie roll.
That would work.

You've also, I mean you're always writing obviously, but you've been writing quite a bit with Joe Lynn Turner haven't you?
Joe is great, and to be truthful with you, most of the songs on the Joe Lynn Turner album are songs I wrote either on my own or with other writing partners.
We're doing some writing now for a future record. The stuff on the Sunstorm album is stuff that I selected from my catalog that was never recorded basically or were recorded obscurely. Like Arms of Love was on a David Carl record, but most the stuff was written in the early to mid '90s, things like Another You, This is my Heart, Strength Over Time. By the way he just, sometimes I think oh boy, how's this gonna be?
I wasn't involved in the production. I got this record and it blew me away it was so good. I love it. It's one of my favorites of last year. Strength Over Time in particular. I love that song. I'm glad you like it. I think Strength Over Time and Making up For Lost Time is very strong I think too. Maybe my favorite is Strength Over Time but my second favorite would have to be Another You. It's just an amazing voice. I don't think he's sung that well in 10 years.

He's very, very smooth.
It made me realize how good he really is.

I've got his new record Second Hand Life in front of me which is out next month. Oh yeah, that song is a collaboration.

Yeah, what interested me out of that is, it's one of my favorite records of Joe Lynn Turner, is the Deep Purple Slaves and Masters record which you were brought in to write for, but none of the songs written ever made it.
Yeah, they changed titles and kind of wrote me out of some of the stuff that I had written. It was a very confusing time.





That's kind of a shame because as great a record as it was I can hear a couple of these songs being very much at home on there as well. I mean there are only nine songs on the album I think. There's plenty of room.
Yeah, there ya go. I suggested a few to Joe but I don't think he took my advice on that.

But he's smart enough to take the advice now.
Yeah…maybe. (laughter)

Jim, I was talking yesterday on the phone to your old friend, and I know this is another one of those complex situations, but Joe Vana. You know the Mecca album is still a classic. I absolutely love it. It's a shame how things sort if panned out there in the end, with you and Joe going in different directions…
Well he did you know, he was young and inexperienced and he has his own style of doing things and treating people. I think he's very talented and he's a very good singer.

I think he's mellowed somewhat. I think he's got a new found respect for the process that went into making the first record.
I wish him all the tremendous luck in the world…I just hope he does great.

You've got another hand in writing with Kelly Keagy. On his new album I'm Alive - I love that album. I really wanted to talk to you about that.
I really love that record.

It's a great record.
Thank you.

Jim Peterik the guitar hero, who knew? Who knew?
(laughter) I did it because I didn't feel like hiring anybody. (laughing)

I say that who knew, but I know you've always been respected for playing guitar and whatever but you really shred on that record.
Well, obviously all the leads are not mine. I do all the rhythm parts and the leads that are more simple and soulful and of course Reb Beach does the shredding.

Yeah, but there's a really solid rhythm behind the album.
Well thank you. I'll take credit or blame for that and I do all the bass guitar work as well.

Did you really?
There might be the rare exception but it's pretty much Kelly and me. We made the record and then we embellished it with Reb Beach and this other guitar player from Minneapolis. I can't think of his name right now. When I write with Kelly we have such a good time. Obviously I know that I write different for different artists and with different writers. When I get with Kelly he has a positive spirit but he also has a vein of darkness that runs through him.

Yeah I love that bit.
I do too and when I write on my own I'm a different writer. When I'm in the room with him it's like I'm channeling my emotions through him. I'll come up with lyrics that I never would have come up with on my own. Of course he'll come up with a lot on his own as well. There are some really, really strong moments on that record. I'm Alive of course I had the seed of that song. In fact it was gonna be a Pride of Lions song, but when I showed it to Kelly he just went crazy.





That's my favorite.
Thank you and me too. I love Stolen, and from a ballad side I love A Life Worth Remembering. It's a wonderful song.

Then there's Nobody's Looking.
That was the first song we wrote for the record. I was very influenced by, believe it or not, I don't know if you can hear it, but the Who's I Can See For Miles. We were kinda coming from that angle and what I like about that song are the melody and the message. It really is what you do when there's nobody looking. It's what you give when the cameras aren't rolling and you're not getting credit for it. To me that's the measure of a man.

World Before and After is great.
Yeah, that's killer.

Great high energy track, I'd like to see that performed at these shows.
Alright, well that would be a good suggestion. That would be really kickin' ass.

Yeah, that and I'm Alive.
I'm Alive we've gotta do that one.

Those are great live tracks there. But that's a different vibe, a different sound than Pride of Lions, a different sound than Mecca.
It's because of Kelly. He's a very strong personality and he won't take no shit you know. (laughter) He's a sweetheart, but musically he's a tough guy.
He'll speak his mind and we make a great team and we really have a lot of fun.

And you obviously have a lot of respect for each other too.
Oh tremendously, I would say he's one of my favorite people in this business in general and as a person too.

Funny you should say that because I would include you and Kelly as two of my favorite people.
Well, that's very nice. (laughter)

I mean it, I'm serious.
(laughter) I believe you. I'm not fakin' it, but as soon as I met him, I didn't meet him early on, Survivor played with Night Ranger in Puerto Rico when The Search is Over was number one, but I don't remember meeting Kelly, or maybe just a little bit. It wasn't until much later with some incarnation of Night Ranger with that other guy, not Jack Blades..

Gary Moon…
I went this little club to see them and I met him and I said, “Dude, man you sing your ass off.” I had just never realized what an amazing singer he is. He just smiled and said “man, thanks”. I introduced myself and we've been just really good friends ever since.

The camaraderie showed through again when you did the show in the UK, The Gods Festival. Gary Moon, you and Brian and that all singing in the van….I'll take that to my grave.
That was quite the fun show.

It was indeed.
Anything else you want to plug Jim?
I'm just gonna really, really promote this record. I'm gonna get a video going for, probably Heaven on Earth. That song, for me, is a mission statement. I don't care if people think it's a single, I don't care what they think at all, I've got to do that song. I've got to do it for Andy. Miracles might happen and we might break through and have a hit record and then we could write our ticket. We could go on tour and do the whole bit. The response to the record's been just tremendous and I don't have sales figures but I think it's doing pretty well. I'm really pleased but onward and upward.

Yep, and another album next year or something like that?
Well, I'll tell ya, I'll do it when I have enough great songs to make another record. One a year for me is a little bit of a push, but one every year and a half is doable. I'm always writing; you know me.

Yeah, be it in a car lot or in the middle of the night.
Yeah, I write everywhere and in the middle of the night. It's just what I do. I've got a really good life with a great wife and a great son. I'm very blessed, I never forget that.

Absolutely, that's right, important, well alright mate.
Alright, well enjoyed talking to you.

Thanks as always Jim!




c. 2007 MelodicRock.com / Interview By Andrew McNeice / Transcribed By Sherrie







Mecca - Jim Peterik (2002)

AOR Heaven NEH Records Z-Roxx Loud 1 Groove Machine Destiny Hot Tracks Target Wishing Well Perris







JIM PETERIK / Mecca - Producer / Co-Writer

[After about 10 minutes of needless chit chat!] All right Jim, well….I better get going and ask a few questions.
Yes sir.

Tell me, I think I know the story, but for the record I guess… you and Joe, how did you guys hook up?
Well, I mean, that goes way back. <laughs>
You're talking about when Joe was 13, in 1983, and I was in Survivor, of course, and making records and there was this little kid that would come over on his bicycle and knock on my door - I don't know how he knew I lived there - and, I would say, “Yes?”.
The first time he says, “Well, I'm Joe and I'm a big rock fan, and I heard you're in Survivor.” Anyway, he seemed like a real nice kid, and I would let him come in and I think when he first came over I had just gotten test pressings of maybe Caught in the Game, perhaps. So here's this 13 year-old, and I'm getting my master disks and I'm sitting down to play them and he's there listening to them <laughs>. And I'm going, “What do you think?” He just kind of sat there with his mouth open, you know. But he impressed me because he always was polite and he always knew when to leave.

He wasn't one of these pesky kids, and through the years he would always come by and soon the bike had turned to an automobile, when he got his license, and we always kept in touch. Right about '89-'90, he said, “You know what? I write music,” and I go, “Yeah, yeah, sure, sure”, “and I sing,” “Yeah, yeah, well give me a tape sometime,” well, that never happened, at least not until many years later when he finally had the nerve to say, “You know, I think I'm ready to actually show you what I can do.” Well he started giving me tapes of a kind of a band called Project Voyager that he was cooking up.
He was working with Mike Aquino and a guy name Jason…let's just say Jason, I forgot Jason's last name. He's the co-writer of a couple of songs on the record.

Daroche! Yeah.

These tapes were really primitive, you know. They were just done at his little basement studio. But, I really heard a lot of good elements. He says, “What do you think, really?” And I go, “Really, I think it's OK, you know, it needs a lot of work, a lot of polish,” and just around then, Fergie came into town to write with me for his record, and Joe had showed me a riff that he had developed with Mike, and we wrote a song, the three of us, called “Sheila's Gone”.

That song, we wrote it, and demo'd it. It never made Fergie's album, but that was the first time I wrote with Joe and it worked out very nice. And right around that same time, I was doing demos for the World Stage record and there was this one song that I wrote called “To Miss Somebody”. I wrote that with Don Barnes, and I was around the piano, working it out, and Joe came over and I said, “Just for grins, take this high part.” This was the first time I really heard him sing live, you know. We're in the great room, and the echo is beautiful in this room, and he seemed a little nervous, but I taught him the part and lo-and-behold, I heard this tremendous voice come out of him.
The pitch was good, and the tone was good, and I looked at this guy and I go, “I can't believe this is you!” This is the 13 year old kid on the bicycle and he's blowing me away, you know. It was just a real amazing moment for me.
And about the next week we cut the song, “To Miss Somebody” and I knew that the song would probably be earmarked for Dennis DeYoung, but I had Joe sing the demo, which I still have a copy of, and he did a heck of a great job, and that was really the first time Joe had been professionally recorded, you know, not just in his basement studio. And I remember, I played that tape for people, and they go, “Who is this?” you know, and so I started to realize that this wasn't just me; this guy was good. And from there, I started using him on demos… there's a song that I wrote with Larry and Joe Thomas called “That's Why God Made the Radio”, which you'll hear some day, it's really pretty neat. It was meant to be for the Beach Boys.

But that never happened.

That sounds like a good hook.
It is a great hook, you'll really like the song. I'm going to do something with it; I don't know what yet. Joe sang on that and impressed everybody, so we just start… and then I put on my first World Stage show and I guess it was January of 2000, and Joe came up there with me, and of course Mike Aquino was on guitar, and of course all the other members of World Stage, and Dennis couldn't make it, so I had Joe do a solo on “To Miss Somebody” and he came out from the back line and stood out on front and just blew everybody's mind. So right around that time we started talking in the terms of a Joe Vana solo album or a Project Voyager solo album; he started talking to me about that. And I thought that was a pretty great idea, and we started scheming that and, you know, how we could get financing for it and everything else. Around that time he started talking to Fergie and he and Fergie started scheming up, “Why don't we do this record together.” The whole thing started blooming and we sat down and talked about it, and I said, you know, “I have a dream of someday recording the album of my dreams. And that means going to the best studio in the country.” And then he said… I don't remember who said it, but someone said, “You know, we could get David Hungate because he's in Nashville.”
I guess what I didn't say is, the best studio to me is this one place in Nashville called the Sound Kitchen. Especially this one room called The Big Boy Room. It's a huge room and it's got a statue of Big Boy hamburgers… Big Boy is a big hamburger chain in America.

Oh, I know Big Boy, yeah.
A big fat boy, that's their logo. Well they stole one of these statues or something, and it's in their lobby, so it's the Big Boy Room. Anyway, we just started brainstorming, “Hey, maybe we can get David Hungate,” you know, and so I said, “Well, I'll tell you what, let's just call him up,” because I had worked with David about three months earlier on “That's Why God Made the Radio”, which we cut at the Sound Kitchen. I mentioned that I was down there; I talked with David and he said, “Wow, that was a fun session,” and I said, “Would you be interested in cutting some tracks down there for this new project?” and I told him about Fergie, because he remembered Fergie.
He was never in Toto at the same time, but he remembered the album, and we started talking about drummers, and I said, “Who would you recommend for drums?” And he goes, “Wow, well the guy I'm working with down here, you're not going to believe him, his name is Shannon Forrest.”
He said, “That's my choice.” And I said, “What about this other guy,” and I mentioned another name, and he said, “Well, he's good, but Shannon's better, well not better, but Shannon's my guy, we work like a team.” And I said, “Well, could you possibly have him send me a tape of some of his work,” and Shannon did, and it was great. But I should've just taken David's word for it. If David says he's the guy, I guess I just should've believed him <laughs>.

So we just started planning and planning and had meetings with Mike Aquino and decided on a keyboard player… went through a lot of ideas on keyboard for the Mecca record, but ended up with a guy that worked with me on World Stage, Jimmy Nichols. We couldn't find anybody that was more appropriate and more in tune with what we were going for, which was kind of a blend of the '80s and now.

And he gets this wonderful… he's a great grand piano player, but he always MIDI's the piano sound with synths and bells and it's a very nice layered sound that he gets.

There's a very rich texture of that on the album.
It really is. A lot of that you heard is all in one pass. There's no overdubs.

There's some other overdubs, but very, very few. Most of that is just one pass with Jimmy with his MIDI, you know, he's got this MIDI thing that triggers all these other synthesizers at the same time. So, I called up Jimmy, booked him, and of course, the investment team was in place, and we all went down together to Nashville, and I have to mention Larry Millas, of course, who was an integral part of the production team, and we moved down to Nashville, booked the room, and we spent two very intensive days.
We cut all those basics, actually we cut 13 tracks, we're only releasing 11 [10 for Europe, Japan gets their pesky Bonus Track!].

Where are the other two Jim?
Oh, see, now you're curious <laughs>. Well, they're going to see the light of day, but we didn't have… we felt these 11 really hung together very well.

They do.
The other two, they are very good and they will be finished. But right now they're mainly in basic track form and will soon be finished… soon to be collector's items. Off the record, it may be someday where we'll finish one of those and offer it as a bonus to Japan, say, or something.

But they're both really good.

Yeah, you'll like them. They were a little bit outside the mainstream of what all these songs were, but anyway, (to make) a long story short, we cut 13 tracks in two days, which is a lot of tracks.

That's a lot of long days.
A long day… it's one thing getting through 13 tracks, but the quality of the tracks were stunning. We would get done with one magical take, and say, “OK, next,” and we'd start working up the next magical take and the spirit in the room, I mean, was amazing.
And we still found time to go have a beer at the end of the day. That's how good these sessions were. I'll never forget these sessions.
They're probably the best sessions I've ever been a part of because we were working on all 8 cylinders, you know. We had Hungate on bass, which was amazing, he brought his whole arsenal of basses; everything from the original bass he played on “Roseanna”… he brought all of his famous basses. When you talk to him, you say, “What tracks is the “Roseanna” bass on?”… He'll tell you. Of course Shannon was one of the finest drummers I've ever worked with.

Yeah. He's just like a computer with arrangements. He remembered everything. But a computer with a lot of soul and human feel. So he was like the best of both worlds; he had a computer mind, but a real soulful approach to the drums.
A lot of times a drummer can really slow down a session if he keeps forgetting what section is next, and we don't have charts; Rock and Roll bands usually don't use music charts, we've got it all in our heads.

He's just got an amazing head. All the musicians were playing together. We had Mike Aquino playing, we had David Hungate, we had Shannon Forrest, we had Joe doing scratch vocals on his, we had Fergie doing scratch vocals on his, I was directing the whole thing, Larry's back there manning the boards, Bob ??? and Frank ??? were there from Wasabi, just taking it all in. It was just this big team spirit; it's the only way we could've gotten 13 tracks in two days. I mean, some bands that I've been in, we've gotten a snare sound in two days…

Really. <laughs>
You know, a drum sound in two days. That's a bit of an exaggeration but in the old days, I remember getting a song a day. And we were happy, “Hey, we got a song today,” you know. We got 13! Which wouldn't make any difference at all, except that the quality was there.
The magic takes were there and we left Nashville feeling very good about what we had. We brought the master tapes to Chicago, well actually, this is technical stuff but, we cut it on 2” analog tape and had it transferred to Pro Tools files and… I have Pro Tools at my studio so… the rest of the project was done in Pro Tools where there's much more flexibility and you don't have all the problems of analog tape, the shedding of the iron oxide on the tape, there's just a million things better about being in Pro Tools.
Brought it back and started the overdub process, which was much more lengthy, and we had the luxury of taking our time. When Fergie felt like it was his time to come in and sing, he would do that. When Joe said, “OK, I'm having a great day, I'm going to come in and do a vocal,” we had the luxury of doing that because I do have my own studio.

So the overdub process was very leisurely. We got the basics done in two days but then the overdub process must've taken six months. That's the way we wanted it. We wanted to take our time and not make any mistakes. And then the mix process, we took our time with the mix process to make sure the mixes were holding up. We'd do a mix and we'd say, “Well, that's pretty good,” and then we'd do the next mix and it was even better, then we'd go back to the one before and tweak that and, you know, you can go overboard with that and be mixing for the rest of your life, and at a given point we just said, “No, you know what, this is great, we're done.” We mastered the record at Colossal, a really great mastering lab here and, I always say, the mastering lab puts the pixie dust on it, and pixelates it and just makes it sound like a record.

Right. You sent me the pre-master and then the post-master, and there was a difference.
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. It suddenly sounds more professional.

It brought out the textures evenly.
It brings out the inner textures. Fergie said the same thing. I sent Fergie a pre-master and then a post and now he's dancing. Fergie, he does it every time, he told me today; he said every time he gets an album back it's, “Oh man, I should've done this, we should've done that,” and then after a few listens he starts falling in love with it, you know. And, of course, his friends are saying, “Fergie, you're crazy, this sounds amazing.” That doesn't hurt either.

Yeah, yeah.
But now Fergie just, just loves it, you know. It's just been a really, really fun project… fun for me. I left out so much. The writing process was a lot of fun.
I wrote really with all members of the band, of the core band.
Joe Vana and I wrote a number of songs. Some that were kind of started by Joe, and I helped him. Some were started by me and he helped me, just like any really good collaboration.
A lot of times a co-writer will know what you're going for, and will go there with you, making it easier to finish the song. I always think my best songs are co-written, because there's another mind involved. If it's the right person, it's a positive. If it's someone that's not on your wavelength, it's a negative; you'd be better off finishing it yourself.
I showed Joe a song called “Mecca” and he immediately got it and said, “Wow, I love this song, let me work on this song with you.” And I had a lot of the music done but he was very helpful with the lyrical concept.
We talked about what Mecca was; he did research on the ancient city of Mecca. You know, he went to the library and found out about Mecca, and we used a lot of his research actually in the song… the part about kissing the black stone for luck, all of that stuff is Joe's research and it made it a more mysterious song. Same with “Silence of the Heart,” I showed him that song and he loved it and helped me finish it.
With Fergie, we ended up writing more of the rockers, actually, Mike Aquino is the fellow that brought us the basic music and riffs behind “Miss-Chevious”, and as he's playing this amazingly gnarly riff. I start skantin' over it and open my notebook and there was the word “Miss-Chevious”, I've had this little word tucked into my back pocket for probably 20 years.
The real pronunciation is mischievous, but everybody says mischievous, and I always thought, “I'm going to write a song called “Miss-Chevious”, and make it like this girl Miss Chevious, you know, and so I started singing Miss-Chevious over this guitar riff, and then Fergie starts chiming in with this “I hate to see her leave, but I love to see her walk away,” you know. And all these really funny lines, you know, and that song just kind of came together with the three of us.

For sure…
And the same thing with “Wishing Well”. It was the song that Fergie pretty much had the whole chorus pretty much intact, and said, “What do you think?” And I said, “It's great!” And we just sat down one day, me, Joe, and Fergie, and flushed out the story line of what this wishing well is about, and Joe helped us kind of form the story line of these two people at the wishing well.
Totally separate from each other, but each wishing for love, and finding it in each other. And that story came together and we started writing lyrics, and it's one of my favorite tracks on the record.

Yeah. It's a good track, for sure.
It's really a good solid track, and clearly a collaborative effort among the band. So a lot of collaborations between band members, which I like to see.

Yeah, me too. I think it's great. A particular favorite of mine, as you know, is “Silence of the Heart”

A wonderful ballad.
Yeah, that's a favorite of mine. Again, it almost has that kind of Sting pulsating staccato bass thing, that grabs you right off the bat. Joe's vocal, I would have to say is my favorite vocal of his on the record.

I think so too.
It's just wonderful. I don't think anybody could've sung it better. I just love to listen to that record. It does a unique thing in the chorus - this is just for the music people out there, people that play piano or study music - at the beginning of the chorus, it starts in the minor mode, and right in the middle of the chorus it goes to the major mode, you know, it changes one note of the melody. All of a sudden, halfway through the chorus, it turns from kind of bittersweet to happy, and what you're hearing is going from the minor key to the major key, and it's such a lift. It's the first time I've ever done that, and it worked so well.

Yeah, OK. That's interesting. It just has a great mood to it, that song, doesn't it. It's haunting, it grabs you...
Yeah, but listen midway through every chorus, it changes tonality; it changes from minor to major. A lot of people don't realize what they're hearing, but that's what it is.

Very clever, you see, you're the best producer on the block.
Well, it's actually in the writing, it's not in the producing.

Sorry <laughs>
<Laughs> The producing just enhances whatever you're doing. It's really an album, as a producer, or as a fan, you just put on and listen to.
I do it when I don't have to listen to it, you know. My wife, who, I mean... Karen Peterik is not one to pad anyone's ego, including my own. She's my biggest fan and my harshest critic. When I played her this record, she just could not believe it. It's in every car… we have a few cars… there's a copy in every car that she drives.
I'm blown away, because the last time she responded like this to any album, was Vital Signs.

Really? That was a big record.
That was a big record, so she's good luck when she likes something.

Yeah. That's a good omen. We've just got to get some radio to pick some of this stuff up.
Well that's going to happen, that's going to happen. I mean, it's not like the old days, certainly, but I think there's a few things on here that are very contemporary, and I think “Silence of the Heart” is one of them.

Yeah. Absolutely.
I think they could get airplay.

Absolutely. You've got that for Adult Contemporary radio and then you've got “Velocitized” for rock radio.
Exactly. I'm looking at the list of songs here. Just a couple of stories: “Close That Gap”, or course, is largely a Joe Vana song that I helped him complete, and he can tell you the story behind it, of course, better than I can, but it's definitely from personal experience what he was going through in his life at the time. It's the first song I heard him write… it wasn't totally done, but it was the first song that I heard him write that I said, “OK Joe, that's a great song. Now build from there.” That's when I knew that he could be a songwriter.
That song was a very hard song to capture. In fact, a lot of songs are made when they're cut, and other songs are made when they're mixed. This song went through a huge metamorphosis in the mix-down process.
We had a mix that I was happy with, and Joe said, “I like this, but it's not what I hear in my head. Give me just three hours in the studio with Larry, and yourself if you want to be there, and let me try a few things.” I have to say, I came in after about two hours and I loved what I heard. He did a lot of dynamic changes; he muted the drums at the top - the drums don't come in now until the first chorus. He built the song, and finally everybody's happy, and I have to give him credit for making that what it is.
That was his baby, and I wanted him to be happy with that. Just like with Fergie, his baby was “Blinded By Emotion”. He didn't write it, but he wanted to prove to himself that he could sing the song. He loved the song so much, and yet it's one of the hardest songs I've ever written to sing. I mean the range is amazing in that song if you really listen to it. The demo… this song, and I'm not afraid to say it, has been around a few years. So has “You Still Shock Me”, but a good song, it doesn't matter when you write it, it's still a good song.

Of course we updated the arrangement of it and re-cut it and all that stuff, but Fergie was determined to sing these songs. I'll tell ya, he worked his butt of on these songs and I have to say, he did an amazing job on both these, on all these songs he sang, but “Blinded By Emotion” especially, because it was such a hard, hard song to sing. The range of it is incredible.

Yeah. It does.
Everybody came to the line and gave 150% when they were in the studio. I'm really proud of everybody's performance. Everybody to the man delivered on this record.

Absolutely, and the vocals are some of Fergie's best.
I agree….”Falling Down”… there's not one track that I skip over.

No, me either. I've got to play the album from start to finish.
Yeah. It's really that kind of album. Of course a few words on “Velocitized” are something that… I love that song.

When was that written? What album was that written for?
I don't know the exact year. I want to say '93 though.
It was right around the time Survivor kind of got back together. I started doing gigs and Dave Bickler was the lead singer…oh, you know what, I take that back. It had to be late '92 because Jimi Jamison…we didn't know who our lead singer was going to be at the time, and Jimi came into town and Frankie and I had written a song called “Velocitized” and actually Jimi sang the demo of that song. Soon after that, Jimi went off and we got Dave Bickler back, and I toured with the band between '93 and '96. And Frankie and I wrote many more songs, but that song always seemed to get a reaction when I played it for people. I never forgot about that song, and when we were looking at songs for this record, I played everybody a lot of things, and that song just lit everybody up. I said, “Well, this song deserves another chance.”

Oh, I'm so glad you did.
Yeah, it's just a real… it didn't get its chance initially, you know. I know that… God, I'll tell ya, I thought so highly of that song, and nothing ever happened with it. Hopefully it'll get recognized now; I'm very proud of it. It was one of the songs that show what Frankie and I were all about. It's just the kind of songs we would write. It's a certain chemistry that he and I have… I can say “have” because those songs will live on. It's a very special thing.

Is it safe to say there's very little chance of you guys writing together again?
Well, you know, I can't say that. It's something that I really don't need to say because time will take care of it one way or another. If it's meant to happen, it will, if it's not, it won't. I never put up barriers.

That's a very… well, I think that's just a fantastic outlook. That's a great attitude isn't it?
You try to keep your mind open as you can.

Fantastic. You just thought this song fit into this project perfectly?
I did. I think it works. I think it's the harder edge of what Mecca is all about, but I think it flows well.

Yeah, it does. It's just got that great little, I don't know, it's got a great little buzz about it doesn't it?
Yeah. It really does, and Shannon really slammed that thing.

Yeah, absolutely. Fantastic.
Anything else?

That's a pretty good story, isn't it?
Well, it's pretty complete. Now, of course, we want to get it out in front of people. Let people experience it. I think people are hungry for this type of music, I really do. I'm not saying that all age groups are equally into this type of thing, but I know there's a very broad band of people, basically from the ages of 30-50, that are going to want to hear this record. And that is really where we're aiming this. I would love to see a couple of these songs in movies, and I will definitely be pitching that, because I think a few of these would be wonderful in a movie.

“Mecca” comes to mind, or “Silence of the Heart”, or “Close That Gap”, or really any of them. There's some really good potential there. We're not closing any doors to anything like that. I would like to see this thing released worldwide and really get an audience. I'd love to see a Mecca II.

Great! Great! That's what I was going to ask you.
But obviously one at a time. There was an awful lot of good energy put into this record. I think some day we'll look back on this record and go, “Wow! That was pretty cool.” I'm trying to tell everybody to appreciate this moment because these moments are hard to come by. There's so many albums out there. There's an enormous amount of product, but a lot of them are just that - they're product. They don't have the heart and soul that it takes to last.

This record really has heart and soul.
It really does, and it comes through. It's a combination of all those elements: the singing, the songs, the production, the commitment - you can sense it. You can have a budget of $500,000 and, trust me, and not have an album this good.

We did it!
…..I'm just telling you that it is possible to do an album economically.

[Time out….] I saw you and Kevin [Chalfant] at work after The Gods 2000.
Well you should be happy to know that the song we were writing in Liverpool at the dock there; we finished it and it's going to go on the record.

All right!
It's called "The Man I Want To Be".

It's exactly... in fact, we found the old tapes from us skatting right there in that little damp hallway waiting for the cab or whatever, and it was as good as we remembered it, and we just finished it. It's one of the real treats.

Fantastic. That was something else just to be there.
Well, we'll have some good stories when that album comes out.

Great. And next up a World Stage record?
Uh yeah, I think a World Stage record is definitely in the very near future, at least the planning of it. I have one track that's cut, it's called, "Night of the World Stage"

That's right.
I'm real proud of it. It's not finished but it's kind of laid down and I need to really get Mike Aquino in here and rock it up a little bit. I really don't know - there's only my voice on it right now - I don't know if this is going to be a superstar event or if this is going to be more of a... I don't know what this is going to be... what World Stage this is going to be. I do know though that I would like to be able to do more dates with the next incarnation of World Stage. So it may not be a superstar event this time around; I'm not sure exactly what shape it's going to be. I would like to be able to... it's so hard to get everybody together.
We only usually do a show or two a year, which is great. They're big events, and it's wonderful, but I would like to be able to do numerous shows.

Of course, I have a ball with the Ides of March, actually I'm going to be doing another Ides of March album too and you can definitely... I mean there's a... I don't know how much interest there is in that with your readers, but it's really going to be an exciting project because we have a concept involved, we're going to call it Show Stoppers.…you know, you can probably count memorable concerts on one or two hands - the ones that blew your mind. Take one of those concerts and pick the hottest number of the night, the one that got everybody crazy. Well I want to do an album of those songs.

You know, just great covers of songs that… we might put a few originals on, but mainly songs that have not been overdone.

You know, “Here's another oldies album” - No. Songs that are the Show Stoppers of various other bands and other performers, but putting the Ides of March flare on to it, and of course, the horns, and my vocals, and I just want to make it the best Ides of March album ever. To capture the spirit of what we do, but with some of these amazing tunes that just bring down the house. So that's the concept.

That sounds pretty cool to me.
Just go for broke. Really put out… you know, the Ides of March are… you haven't seen us live, we're just an amazingly vibrant, energetic, spirited band and I want that to come across once and for all on tape. I want to go down to the Big Boy Room in Nashville, I want to cut it all live with the exception of, we'll cut vocals but I'll probably re-do them, but I want that whole band vibe on tape, kind of what we had with Mecca, you know, where everyone is playing together and it's not like a series of overdubs where… you know what I'm saying.

Yeah, I do.
I want it to feel like the spirit that I get when I'm singing with the Ides. Aside from World Stage, I'm definitely going to be doing that also. I would like to have both projects ready by the spring of next year, so I've got a lot of work to do.

Yeah, it sounds like it.
But it's going to be fun, and just getting done with Leslie Hunt, at least the first three songs, and of course I'm working with Kelly - not Kelly Keagy, but Kelly who's my niece and we're getting very close to a record deal with her.

Well done. Thank you Jim…that's it for the Mecca portion of this conversation!!.
Great, Andrew…thanks.

Many personal thanks to Ron Higgins for transcribing this interview from tape for me. Appreciate it mate!





Jim Peterik (1999)



February 1999

A chat with the AOR song writing legend that is Jim Peterik.
Jim has been playing in bands since the late 60's and is still going as strong as ever today. From the Ides Of March to a string of hits with Survivor, to his behind the scenes song writing with 38 Special, David Carl, Captive Heart and Fergie Frederiksen, to his new solo project World Stage, Jim has without doubt achieved legend status.
Find out what Jim had to say when I spoke with him by phone a short time ago...

So Jim, I will take you back a couple of years if you don't mind.
No problem.

The band was obviously at the top of it's game in the early to mid 80's and suddenly your lead vocalist Dave leaves. That was a tough break..
Ell it was. Dave was the original singer and we loved Dave. Still do. He has a great voice. He obviously sung our biggest hit, eye of the tiger and a lot of the early days in Chicago when we were building the following up and playing a lot of the clubs, Dave was the man.
In fact the rumour is that Sylvester Stallone heard 'Poor Mans Son' and that's what got him interested in Survivor.
That was Dave - he has a really tough streak, a raw sound and a great guy and great singer.
So when he has to leave - he was having throat problems. He had to have an operation to remove throat nodules. He needed more time off that we had time to give him. He needed between and year and 2 years off to recover his voice.
He bowed out at that time and we were left in the lurch.
We started doing auditions and that was a tough time.

Had that come in the early 90's, you could have taken 2 years break easily!
Well yeah, but we were at our hot peak and at the time it didn't seem like something we could do.

In stepped Jimi Jamison. For better or worse I guess - better at the time at least.
How did you find him?

Well, through a friend named Frank Rand who worked for Epic Records. He told me about a band name Cobra and a lead singer who is really good and sounds a little like Dave.
So we auditioned him and probably about 4 or 5 singers all up in 1983 and he joined in early 1984.

Any big names in there - surprises that you auditioned?
The only one you would probably recognize was Kevin Chalfant. From 707 and The Storm.

Sure sure.
Well he did great. We were almost going to go with Kevin and Jimi came along and blew everybody away.
They were both great, but we went with Jimi.

Well it worked, because you continued to have success with Jimi. He took the band in a more smoother/AOR style didn't he?
He voice kind of made Frankie and I write in a more pop vein. I don't think we knew it at the time, at least I wasn't aware of it, because of the smoothness of his voice, we started writing a little less gritty and a little more pop.






You turned that back around a little on Too Hot To Sleep.
Well Too Hot to Sleep we went back to more the harder edge.
That was a really really good overlooked Survivor record. It really crushed us when that didn't make it.
We blamed the record company - of course all bands blame their record company - but it really was a bad time for Scotti Bros because they were going through distribution changes.
I think ours was there last record through Epic. They just didn't promote it.
There are some songs I particularity like on that album.
My favourite is probably 'Desperate Dreams'.

Sure, that is a pretty moody track.
Very moody! Also Didn't Know It Was Love. We loved that record and it was a big blow when it didn't happen.

Was that the point when things started to deteriorate?
I think so. Jimi Jamison was the first to say, well I a going to go solo. And blew everybody's mind with that. Frankie and I looked at each other and said 'well what do we do now?'
We just kind of took some time off to re-group and figure out what we were going to do.
Then Jamisons' album came out and didn't do much.

Well with no disrespect to Jimi - it wasn't a great record….
It wan't no, and I think he wouldn't disagree with that. It didn't really have the songs and I don't think his vocal performances were real strong.
But apparently it was something that he wanted to do and it caused a lot of bad feelings.

And it fell apart from there?
Well we did, but to be real honest we tried to re group with him back in late 92 and at first he said he was gonna do it then all of a sudden we couldn't get him on the phone - he went underground.
That's when we called our buddy Dave Bickler who was alive and well and doing great and said 'hey - lets do this thing again'.
We went out in 1993 and toured Germany extensively and Switzerland and Europe and I was still with the band then.
I left in July of '96.
Had a real good run there.

I didn't even know you had left the band! There was no publicity around it.
Well I am sure not going to go to press with something like that. If Survivor wants to talk about that, that's fine. It was just time to move on for me.
In '96 I told the guys I wasn't going to be continuing.

And they are still with Dave now.
Yeah the original guys are back there also.

At what time did Jimi Jamison start touring as Survivor also?
Well that was pretty early. Very soon after he jumped ship in '92 early '93, he started very discreetly going out as Jimi Jamison, but the promoters, who have no scruples as you know, started advertising it as Jimi Jamison & Survivor. And it wasn't a big jump before it became just survivor.
That is when Frankie and I mounted a law suit, trying to get an injunction against Jimi. We were not granted that injunction, which was a case of some very bad legal maneuvering on our lawyers part.

I heard that it was in court, but I never heard the result.
Well we never got that injunction and of course I am no longer with the band, but the battle with the trademark is still going on.

Still now?
Yeah, Frankie and Dave will win, but it's a real drag.

Was that whole legal challenge a hard thing to do? I heard it got pretty bitter.
Very hard. I don't have to go into it. Any lawsuit brings out the worst in people.

Did that lead you to say, enough, I am out of here?
Well it certainly didn't help matters any.
Really it was just time to move on.

And now Jimi Jamison has a record deal under Survivor.
Well that is very upsetting and he truly doesn't deserve the name.
To me that is not right.
Even though I am no longer a member of Survivor I feel that it is not right that Jamison is trying to use the name Survivor and hopefully the trademark courts will put an end to that soon.
That's really the way I feel about it.
I think eventually it will work out.

What did you do upon leaving Survivor?
I started getting involved in songwriting, as above everything else I am a songwriter.
Down in Nashville it is very hot for writers right now and it's not all country.
There is a cross section of music.
So I was visiting Nashville and getting involved in the click of songwriters there.
Just finally after 2 years, I am starting to do very well there.
I am not a country songwriter, but a lot of the country nowadays is like 80's pop, so I fit right in.
So I started making inroads there.
And I did some more production, I am producing a blues act from Chicago called the Anthony Gomes band, they have a record that is just coming out - I did that. And I started performing solo, which was a lot of fun.
I always wanted to do that.

So with Survivor we had lead singers and didn't need me on lead vocals, which was fine, but when I left Survivor I was really hanging out to sing.
I started opening up for various bands. REO Speedwagon called me up and asked if I would like to open for them. And I did that with just an acoustic guitar and did really well. I opened for Credence Clearwater Revival and the Beach Boys - about 6 months worth.
Great for my head!

Did you record any of these shows?
Not professionally, just on DAT for my own use.
I would do the hits in very stripped down fashion, Eye Of The Tiger and Search Is Over and some of the songs I wrote with .38 Special like Hold On Loosely and Caught Up You and some new solo songs.
It was received well and gave me a lot of confidence and that confidence kept growing.

Aren't you are still writing with 38 Special?
And I had 10 songs with .38 Special on their recent Resolution album.
I am working with them again this year now that CMC have picked them up.
I have 5 tracks on the album so far.
So I am working on this real hard and until the ink is dry I can't mention any labels, but it is an international deal.
When I left Survivor, another one of the things I did was get my original band back together - The Ides Of March.
At that point we had done a few concerts here and there.
But after Survivor I got the original 6 guys together, right back from when we started in '64 and we put it back together and it was a real thrill.

God that long ago!!
Yeah, our big hit was in '70 with Vehicle - we disbanded in '73 and just recently got back together again.

Sure, Joe Lynn Turner did a cover recently.
Yeah, he sure did and I am still waiting to get paid from that! Hahaha.
So that was me at age 19 - I wrote and played lead on that and that was my band.

And you work with the MTM label a bit...
Yeah, I have an album out with them right now - the David Carl Band.






Yeah, from memory I rated that somewhere in the 80's.
Well that's nice. You know I produced it, co-wrote a lot of the stuff. David's just a great guy.

Great sound. Great singing.
Thank you.

And of course it doesn't go anywhere without great songs and I guess that is where you step in?
Well thank you. There is a song on there I particularly like, I am very soft on ballads, it's called the Arms Of Love, (Jim sings the chorus!)….I love that ballad.

Me too! That was actually one of the more Survivor sounding tracks on the album.
Very much! Haha

It sounded like it could have come off Too Hot To Sleep or something?
Did you know that Uriah Heep just cut 'Across The Miles' from Too Hot To Sleep?

I didn't know that! That's one of my favourite tunes.
Between you and me, they didn't beat Survivor but they did a nice job. Haha.

With your production deal you also worked on the Captive Heart record…
Yes, I am working on another band, the spin off from Captive Heart. The singer Rick Trotter has a new band called Lincoln Field.
We just finished 10 songs on that - it is tremendous stuff. Very melodic, strong and I am very excited about that.

How about Joe Vana then? How did you get involved with his project?
Well the funny thing about Joe - I have known him since he was about 13 years old. He used to come by the house on his bicycle and I knew right away this kid was a good kid, he wasn't one of these pests. He knew when to leave, you know.
But I would always play him the new acetate by Survivor. This was in the heyday of Survivor - I remember acetates of Caught in the Game, Eye Of The Tiger and Vital Signs.
So every time he came over, I played him the new thing.
And we became really good buddies. And through the years we became best friends.
He actually has turned into a really good writer and guitarist. He hid that talent from me until just recently.
I was writing for the new Fergie Frederiksen record…Equilibrium and The Truth Is Good Enough.






Joe finally said I write a little music. And I go really? I was kinda afraid to listen, because if it was terrible I was going to have to tell him, but I was really knocked out. We actually wrote a song together - the two of us with Ricky. It didn't make the album because it wasn't really in the direction of the rest of the album.

So have you written together for his album?
Starting to yeah. He actually sounds a lot like Richard Page. Great singer.

Oh yeah, I admire his work a lot.
Oh yeah, he could sing the phone book! Hahaha.

So how is this solo project shaping up now?
It's going well - I am calling it World Stage featuring Jim Peterik and friends.
I am including a lot of people that I have worked with over the years. People that I wrote with, like Don Barnes from .38 Special, Henry Paul from the Outlaws, Kevin Cronin from REO Speedwagon. Kevin will sing on a tracks and Richard Marx and Tom Kiefer from Cinderella have expressed great interest in it.
Basically it is an album of duets with great singers I have known or worked with.
I just saw Night Ranger here in Chicago. I asked them to join me on my record and Jack and Kelly said yes.
Jack's a riot, he is the best PR guy there could ever be. There is just so much energy in him and on stage he's wild! He is one of the best performers ever.
The album should come out in June.

Well I will look forward to that big time. Thanks Jim for your time and for speaking with me.
No probems Andrew.





Podcasts & Radio

On this episode of ROCK TALK WITH MITCH LAFON. New interviews with Uriah Heep's Mick Box, Jim Peterik and songwriter Jim Vallance. Co-host is Jim Peterik.
Before the first interview, co-host Jim Peterik and I discuss Uriah Heep's cover of his song Across The Miles.
In our first interview, Uriah Heep's Mick Box discussed the band's current tour with Judas Priest, their latest album Living The Dream, making new music, drummer Lee Kerslake, Heep singers, how his songwriting has changed, upcoming 50th anniversary plans, keeping the brand name alive, keyboardist Phil Lanzon, and much more.
Quote from the interview: "Ozzy has a lot to Thank me for."
In our second interview, Jim Peterik discusses his new album (Jim Peterik & World Stage - Winds Of Change), the different guests on the album including Loverboy's Mike Reno, Dennis DeYoung, Jimi Jamison, REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin and many more. Also, he talks about meeting Work Of Art and melodicrock's Andrew McNiece, new recording techniques, being in so many band/brands, where do the songs 'come from', writing with CHEAP TRICK for their Woke Up With A Monster album, and much more.
Before our final interview, Jim Peterik and I discuss his time touring with Bryan Adams, meeting Jim Vallance and more. 
We end the episode with a new interview with JIM VALLANCE a part two if you will from our previous chat, but this time ALAN NIVEN sits in. We discuss songwriting, Summer Of '69, Aerosmith, cover versions of his songs, The Beatles, Pretty Woman: The Musical on Broadway and more. VISIT: https://prettywomanthemusical.com



Grammy-Winner JIM PETERIK To Star in New Episode of 'The Search For Aliveness'

News Feed
Releasing March 31, the Eye of the Tiger Co-Writer Discusses Aliveness in Episode 2 of the Docu-Series
Releasing March 31, Grammy-winning musician, Jim Peterik, of The Ides Of March, Formerly of Survivor and of 38 Special Fame, will star in Episode 2 of the sensational docu-series, The Search For Aliveness. The founding member of Survivor and co-writer of one of the most inspirational songs in rock history, “Eye of the Tiger”, discusses what aliveness means to him while sharing his love of music with viewers.
Tuthill Corporation has produced their first Internet documentary series, The Search for Aliveness, which premiered on January 31, 2019. Tuthill, “the company with heart”, is taking a journey outside of manufacturing to explore what it means to be alive. Tuthill’s summit is to Wake the World, which is a movement of discovery: discovering that you can create the life that you want to live. Episodes of the docu-series will stream on www.thesearchforaliveness.com, YouTube, and Facebook.
In their Internet documentary series, The Search for Aliveness, Tuthill’s creative team – made up of Tuthill’s Sherpa of Purpose, Chad Gabriel (host and narrator), Awareness Activator, Erica Magda (director of photography), and Explorer, Vito Pellicano (creator, director, and editor) -  are currently traveling the world interviewing individuals from different backgrounds, races, cultures, etc. to see if there is commonality in aliveness. The series is still in production and is being created to encourage people to slow down and think about what makes them feel alive amidst our fast-paced lives that are full of chaos, distraction, and doubt.
The company began their search with a worldwide casting call, and continues to find participants around the globe to share their perspective on what aliveness means to them. Each selected participant will not only appear in the Internet docu-series, but will also be featured on The Search for Aliveness website and social media. Interviewees have shared stories of love, loss, inspiration, and motivation. All of this will be used to find basic human truths, a “recipe”, made up with ingredients contributed by those who share their stories. The docu-series has been featured in a number of publications, including: Thrive Global, Hollywood in Toto, and Deadline - Hollywood. In addition, host and narrator, Gabriel, has appeared on WCIU’s The Jam, Daily Blast Live, FOX 13’s Good Day Utah and Voice of America’s American Café, Patti Vasquez on WGN Radio, to name a few.
The Tuthill creative team behind The Search for Aliveness, as well as Tuthill leaders, are available for interview about the documentary series and to discuss how aliveness is an integral part of the Tuthill brand. For all press and media inquiries please contact: Laura Orrico, President of Laura Orrico Public Relations, LLC to schedule an interview (lauraorrico@gmail.com or (872) 216-3781).
About Tuthill Corporation: Tuthill has always been a company with heart. In our early days, we made the bricks that helped make Chicago, relying on horses to carry the clay. Some days, the heat and haul were too much for their hearts – and ours – to bear. So we created an oil pump to power a truck, saving our four-legged friends and laying the foundation for our future.

Today, we make pumps, blowers, and vacuums, daring to make them better every day. But the original pump – the heart – is still at our company’s core. We’re on a journey to become a Conscious Company, inviting the entire Tuthill community to come alive in everything we believe, say, and create. And we’re extending that invitation beyond our walls. To have a seismic impact on our world, all hearts are vital. When our hearts are awake, our energy is contagious, and we make ripples that can move millions. The world needs people who are alive from the heart. Because when we come alive, the world comes along.

Learn more at: www.tuthill.com/our-story/


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With great pleasure, Frontiers Music Srl announces a new musical journey from the iconic songwriting maestro Jim Peterik, the Grammy Award winning songwriter/musician behind The Ides Of March, Pride Of Lions, formerly of Survivor, a man who has helped write hits for the Beach Boys, .38 Special, Sammy Hagar, and more. The time has now come for Jim to release the follow up to his now legendary "Jim Peterik’s World Stage" album, which will see a release in spring 2019.
"Listening to voices blending as one has always inspired me, going back to the Beatles and other great vocal groups. I decided to do the same thing and began contacting artists I had the pleasure of working with through the years," says Peterik.
Jim Peterik and World Stage is the opus that arose from that initial idea: the musical and spiritual collaboration of great artists and friends. The resulting album clearly displays the many talents of Jim Peterik, enhanced and embellished by a cast of noted singers and musicians.
The new album, “Winds of Change”, will be another musical masterpiece featuring brand new Peterik songs, in collaboration with a who’s who of melodic rock’s greatest superstars, including Kevin Chalfant (ex-The Storm), Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger), Lars Safsund and Robert Sall (Work Of Art), Toby Hitchcock (Pride Of Lions), Danny Vaughn (Tyketto), Mike Reno (Loverboy), Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon), Jason Scheff (ex-Chicago), and a very special previously unreleased track by the late great Jimi Jamison. More guests are to be announced too.
“Since the success of my first World Stage album back in 2001 and countless shows since, I have wanted to create a new musical legacy with this format,” says Jim.
Jim Peterik, through the years, has written or co-written some of rock's most memorable songs: "Vehicle" by the The Ides Of March (on which he was lead vocalist), "Eye Of The Tiger," "The Search Is Over," "High On You," and "I Can't Hold Back” for Survivor, hits for .38 Special such as "Hold On Loosely," "Caught Up In You," "Fantasy Girl," and "Rockin' Into The Night", "Heavy Metal" with Sammy Hagar, and many many more. Jim now a part of Pride of Lions with vocalist Toby Hitchcock, is one of the most esteemed and loved recording artists and songwriters, not only on the Frontiers label, but in the larger melodic rock community.

SURVIVOR’S JIM PETERIK Digs Into His First Ever Unplugged Project

Release Year: 
News Feed
New York, NY (August 5, 2015)—Survivor founding member Jim Peterik has been intensely busy over the last year, with the 2014 release of his autobiography Through The Eye Of The Tiger: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Life Of Survivor’s Founding Member (BenBella Books), and 50th Anniversary of his band The Ides of March, which recently released their 5-disc boxed set Last Band Standing – The Definitive 50-Year Anniversary Collection in April (Ides Of March Records).
Most musicians would be ready to take a break, but not the powerhouse that is Peterik! The singer-songwriter/guitarist is readying Eye Of The Writer – The Songs Of Jim Peterik – an unplugged CD and companion DVD that spans material from across his rich career. For his FIRST EVER unplugged release, Peterik is working with esteemed producer/arranger Fred Mollin, who is noted for his successful unplugged series of recordings with Jimmy Webb, Kris Kristofferson, Barry Mann, and Johnny Mathis, among others.
The project will delve into both Peterik’s Survivor and Ides of March repertoire, and his solo work/achievements as a songwriter. Potential selections include the Grammy Winning, Oscar Nominated Rocky III anthem “Eye Of The Tiger,” 1970’s #1 Ides hit “Vehicle,” Survivor hits “High On You,” “Is This Love,” and “The Search Is Over,” and smash cuts he’s written made famous by other artists, such as .38 Special’s “Hold On Loosely,” “Rocking Into The Night,” and “Caught Up In You,” and Sammy Hagar’s #1 hit “Heavy Metal.”
There’s one more component to this very special release: he’s inviting his fans to be a part of creating this album via PledgeMusic
A $35 donation to the PledgeMusic campaign will net a signed copy of Eye Of The Writer, along with a signed photo and an “Access Pass,” – an offer from PledgeMusic with a digital download of the album and access to behind-the-scenes updates during the course of the project’s creation. A donation of $2,000 will earn a custom song written and demoed for the donating fan.
However, the real prize is “The Ultimate Peterik Fan Experience,” in which a fan is invited to co-write a song with Jim, attend the final recording session, and perform the song onstage with him at a venue to be determined. Topped with a signed guitar from Jim’s personal collection, and Jim’s hand-signed original framed platinum copy of the “Eye Of The Tiger” single as originally presented to the band by Epic/Scotti Brothers Records. hand-signed original platinum framed copy of Eye Of The Tiger as originally presented to the band by Epic/Scotti Brothers Records, this high end reward is exclusively reserved for fans who donate $25,000.
"I am so pumped about this project and excited for you to be a part of it,” says Peterik. “I love the idea of my fans and friends in essence acting as my record company- having input- seeing behind the scenes and getting some cool stuff in exchange. It's the new reality of how to make a great record- and make a difference. Here's to the fun and great music we will make- together.  Cheers!”
50 years in making, Eye Of The Writer – The Songs Of Jim Peterik will serve both as a unique retrospective of Jim’s outstanding career, and a very special gift to the fans for being there for the ride.
Check out the PledgeMusic campaign here:  http://www.pledgemusic.com/jimpeterik

JIM PETERIK Interviewed By Howard Whitman

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Podcasts & Radio
There is a new interview with Jim Peterik now online, posted at Technology Tell's entertainment page:

At the same site there is an archive of interviews by Howard Whitman, with folks like Ted Nugent, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, Chris Squire, Bobby Lamm, Lawrence Gowan, and many more at www.tinyurl.com/howardwhitmanwrites

One On One With Mitch Lafon - JIM PETERIK

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Podcasts & Radio


In episode 109 of One On One With Mitch Lafon, Mitch is joined by a founding member of SURVIVOR, Jim Peterik.

In this episode Jim discusses his new book 'Through The Eye Of The Tiger: The Rock 'N Roll Life Of Survivor's Founding Member', his new collaboration with Marc Scherer called 'Risk Everything', THE IDES OF MARCH Box set 'Last Band Standing - The Definitive 50 Year Anniversary Collection', working with Frankie Sullivan and creating one of rock's most iconic songs, 'Eye Of The Tiger'.

For more about Jim Peterik visit: http://www.jimpeterik.com and on twitter: @jimpeterik

This Episode of One On One With Mitch Lafon is brought to you by the Heavy Montreal Festival taking place on August 7th, 8th and 9th at Parc Jean Drapeau in Montreal. This year featuring Lamb Of God, Slipknot, Korn, Faith No More as well as '80s artists Extreme, Dokken, Lita Ford and Warrant. Visit: http://www.heavymontreal.com

Head over to our official FACEBOOK page for your chance to win a pair of tickets to the HEAVY MONTREAL FESTIVAL: http://www.facebook.com/OneOnOneMitchLafon

Follow Mitch Lafon on Twitter: @mitchlafon
One on One With Mitch Lafon's Official Twitter is: @1On1WithMitch
And Official Facebook page is: http://www.facebook.com/OneOnOneMitchLafon

JIM PETERIK Through The Eye Of The Tiger Autobiography Due September

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
News Feed
The writer/performer of such classic hits as “Eye of the Tiger” and “Vehicle” reveals his life both on-stage and off, including having a chart hit as a 15-year-old, penning one of the great inspirational anthems of all time and touring with Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead
New York, NY (July 28, 2014)— You may not recognize the name Jim Peterik, but the songs he’s written have made an indelible mark on pop music history, an incredible first-person tale he relates in his biography, Through the Eye of the Tiger: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Life of Survivor’s Founding Member, published by BenBella Books on September 23.
It’s all here, from his beginnings as a 15-year-old in the Ides of March, which the Illinois native playfully dubs “The Beatles of Berwyn,” scoring a #2 Billboard hit in 1970 with the horn-laden “Vehicle,” to being personally asked by Sylvester Stallone to write a song for Rocky III, which turned out to be “Eye of the Tiger,” the triple-platinum, Grammy-winning inspirational anthem that gives the book its name.
“This is my chance to connect the dots and put a face behind those songs,” says Peterik about writing the book. “I love the past, but I don’t live there. And I’m not ashamed of it, either. I’ll be playing ‘Vehicle’ until the day I die, but I would feel unfulfilled if I wasn’t paying it forward, discovering new talent and writing with my heroes.”
Through the Eye of the Tiger offers a close-up view of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle – its pitfalls and triumphs along the way, as Peterik’s anecdotes include The Ides of March touring with Led Zeppelin (opening for them in Winnipeg), Janis Joplin (“I had to walk her home because she was too inebriated to get to her hotel”), the Grateful Dead (“I shared a deli tray with Jerry Garcia without getting dosed”) and the Allman Joys (the predecessor to the Allman Brothers).
It’s also a cautionary tale about the dangers of drugs and groupies, which Peterik carefully avoided during a 42-year (and counting marriage) to his wife Karen, whom he met when he was 17 and she was 15 during a Turtles concert at their high school. The two have a 24-year-old son, Colin, who is a musician himself, which makes Jim one proud father.
“I don’t think I could have written this book 10 years ago,” says Peterik. “I’ve finally reached a point where I see a very bright future for all the things I’m doing, but I can also appreciate what I’ve done. I thought the time was right to tell my story.”
That story includes a personal invitation from Sly Stallone, who left a message on his answering machine to call him, then asked if he’d write a song for Rocky III, which turned into “Eye of the Tiger,” a huge hit still ubiquitous at sporting stadiums and arenas everywhere. “I got the title from what Burgess Meredith tells Rocky in the movie,” says Peterik about the song he co-wrote with Survivor bandmate, guitarist Frank Sullivan, revealing it was the demo that made it into the final movie. “It had the mojo,” he said simply.
A world class tunesmith, Peterik’s songs have sold 30 million around the world, with 18 Top 10 hits, including “Hold on Loosely,” “Caught Up in You,” “Rocking Into the Night,” “Fantasy Girl,” collaborating most recently with Brian Wilson on the title track to the Beach Boys’ acclaimed album, That’s Why God Made the Radio. The artists Peterik has worked with over the years include .38 Special, Sammy Hagar, REO Speedwagon’s Kevin Cronin, Buddy Guy, the Doobie Brothers, Cheap Trick, Night Ranger, Dennis DeYoung, Reba McEntire, David Hasselhoff, Johnny Rivers and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
“I always lived in a creative bubble removed from the business,” he says. “For me the song is the ‘vehicle’… pun intended.  I did everything in the service of the song. It didn’t matter what happened on the bus or in the dressing room. I wanted my message of positivity to survive.”
To that end, Peterik’s first book, Songwriting for Dummies, is a best-seller about his own creative methods, and he travels around the world giving seminars on the subject.
As for his survival, he credits it to never losing his focus. “I’m a late bloomer,” says the 64-year-old. “I’m now the guy with the purple hair, red leather suit and striped guitar. It’s a delayed response to the fact I took a back seat all those years. I’m having the time of my life.
“I do this for the love of music, to hear my God-given voice echo across a filled auditorium.”
Later this year, Peterik will mark the 50th anniversary of his still-active The Ides of March with a deluxe, 70-song, three-disc reissue of the seminal band’s catalog, including a DVD featuring a live concert from Chicago’s House of Blues, Rare footage, interviews with the band and videos of “Vehicle” and “Last Band Standing.”
“Writing this book tore me apart,” he admits. “Going through the good times – those early idyllic years as a teenager with The Ides of March, and then with Survivor, surviving some rough times. It was very painful dredging all that up… the separation from my wife for months at a time, when the loneliness would just grip me, with music my only drug.”
Peterik captures it all in Through the Eye of the Tiger, the memoirs of a true rock ‘n’ roll Survivor.
Website: www.JimPeterik.com 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jimpeterik  (@jimpeterik)
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