The Ides of March Spotlight
Where did it all begin?
The Ides of March began as a community band back when they were in grade school. Many of the members knew each other while attending District 100 schools or as Cub Scout members in the same troop. All of the members of The Ides of March were born at MacNeal Hospital with the exception of one member. Larry Millas (guitarist) joked that his mother and Bob Bergland’s (bass player) mother shared a hospital room at MacNeal Hospital when both band members were born. Jim Peterik noted, “You can’t get more Berwyn than that!”
What’s the story behind the band name?
Bob Bergland can be credited with coming up with the name for the band. Jim shared, “We were all reading Shakespeare while in high school and that line, ‘Beware the Ides of March’ just stood out to us.” Larry jumped in and noted, “We weren’t always the Ides of March, though! At first, we were the Shondells Unlimited. Jim had come up with that name because at the time he liked a singer by the name Troy Shondell.”
What are some performances that stand out for the band over the course of 55 years performing together?
“Opening for Paul Revere & the Raiders at the Arie Crown Theater was an absolute dream come true. After ‘Vehicle’ became number 1 on the charts, we had the honor of opening for Led Zeppelin in Winnipeg,” said Jim. In 1990, The Ides of March performed for Berwyn’s Summer and brought out thousands. Scott May (organ) shared, “We attracted 30,000 people. The stage was set up right off Harlem, and it was a stretch of humanity all along Harlem, all the way down to the high school.”
Where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
“Everywhere! It’s always a group arrangement. Jim is the source fountain to everything that we do musically, but we all contribute and fine-tune it to be the great finished product.” -Larry
Tell us something most people don’t know about the band.
Jim:“I collect vintage guitars! I own 200 guitars. They are all over the house. I also still own the first guitar I ever owned. My father gave me this guitar when I was 11 years old. It’s a relic.”
Mike: “I collect drumsticks. I have over 400 of them.”
Larry: “I’m a jack of all trades. I enjoy owning my own business as a sound engineer and I love working on my Corvette. You should know another interesting fact about Jim that he didn’t share. He owns over 200 spiral notebooks that are filled with songs and inspirations for songs. It’s truly unbelievable, but he will come up with 2 to 3 songs a week and send them my way.”
Scott: “I’ve got a long history of comedy. I’m a musical collaborator for a lot of comedians. People laugh when I play and that’s what I want them to do!”
What’s your good luck charm?
“This band is our good luck charm. We feel so lucky to be together for 55 years.” -Jim
What can people expect this weekend?
“We are so honored to be coming home to perform where it all started. We are celebrating 55 years together and are excited to share our music, greatest hits and our new album, Play On. We will be available after the show to meet and greet, and sell our new album available on vinyl and CD. We’ve never really left Berwyn. Berwyn is so dear to heart and we are excited to see everyone this weekend!” -Jim