Jim Peterik

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Jim Peterik
Jim Peterik in 2012.jpg
Jim Peterik performs at an American Society of News Editors convention session in Washington, D.C., on April 3, 2012.
Background information
Born (1950-11-11) November 11, 1950 (age 65)
Berwyn, Illinois
Genres Hard rock, smooth jazz
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Ukulele, Keyboards
Years active 1964–present
Labels Frontiers Records
Associated acts Survivor, The Ides of March, Pride of Lions

James Michael "Jim" Peterik (born November 11, 1950) is an American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the founder of the band Survivor and as vocalist and songwriter of the hit song "Vehicle", by the Ides of March. He also co-wrote the anthem "Eye of the Tiger", the theme from the motion picture Rocky III.

Peterik has co-written songs for the likes of 38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackhawk, Cheap Trick, Sammy Hagar, Cathy Richardson, Van Zant, Brian Wilson, REO Speedwagon, and the Beach Boys. He is currently fronting melodic rock band Pride of Lions, smooth-jazz project Jim Peterik's Lifeforce, and has a regular series of yearly concert performances with an all-star cast as World Stage. He is also active as a producer and mentor to young, developing talent.

The Ides of March and early years[edit]

Peterik started performing in 1964 with some of his schoolmates in Berwyn, Illinois, as The Ides of March. Their hits included "You Wouldn't Listen", "Vehicle", and "L.A. Goodbye" in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Peterik graduated from Morton West High School in 1968 and Morton Junior College in 1970.

Peterik wrote several songs recorded by the jazz-rock band Chase in the early 1970s. In 1976 Peterik released a solo album, Don't Fight the Feeling, and toured as the Jim Peterik Band with Bruce Gaitsch (guitar), Terry Fryer (keyboards) and Chase's rhythm section of Dennis Keith Johnson (bass) and Gary Smith (drums), touring with several of the era's most popular bands, including Heart and Boston.


Peterik formed his most successful band, Survivor, in 1978.

In the early years of Survivor, Peterik continued to co-write hits for other artists, including 38 Special and Sammy Hagar. In 1982, Sylvester Stallone commissioned Survivor to write and perform the theme song for Rocky III. This song, "Eye of the Tiger", became their defining single, spending six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and going double platinum; it also won them a Grammy Award and an Oscar nomination for Peterik and Frankie Sullivan for Best Song. This was followed by their 1984 album Vital Signs, which featured the Top 10 hits "High on You" (No. 8) and "The Search Is Over" (No. 4), plus another sizable hit in "I Can't Hold Back" (No. 13).

In 1985, Peterik co-wrote the theme to Rocky IV, "Burning Heart", which would be another big hit (No. 2 in early 1987) for Survivor, and was followed by "Is This Love", (No. 9). Following Survivor's 1988 album Too Hot to Sleep, they disbanded.

One song from each of Peterik's bands appears in a Stallone film (their purpose to motivate the scene's action): Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" in Rocky III and the Ides of March's "Vehicle" in Lock Up. In addition, Survivor's "Ever Since the World Began" played during the closing credits of Lock Up.

In 1993 Peterik once again began touring and recording with a reunited Survivor but left them for good in July, 1996.

Later years[edit]

In 1990, the original members of the Ides of March (Peterik, Millas, Bob Bergland, Mike Borch, Chuck Soumar, and John Larson) reunited, adding new members Scott May and Dave Stahlberg. This lineup continues to perform. Peterik continues to write for other artists such as the Doobie Brothers and Cheap Trick. "Vehicle" found new popularity when it was performed by American Idol runner-up Bo Bice in 2005.

In 2001 Peterik produced and co-wrote the first album by AOR group Mecca with his long-time friend Joe Vana.

In 2003 he founded Pride of Lions with Toby Hitchcock. Peterik continues to play with the Ides of March as of 2011. His latest solo CD, Above the Storm, was released in 2006.

Peterik performed at the West Australian Music Industry Awards with shred virtuoso Michael Angelo Batio in 2005.

In 2009, Peterik appeared on The Jerry Springer Show as guest security.

In 2010, Peterik backed up the Louisiana State University Tiger Marching Band in their final halftime show of the season, at the LSU vs. Ole Miss game.

Peterik currently resides in Burr Ridge, IL.

In April 2011 Peterik played a sold-out run of 8 nights at the Pioneer Place Theater as a special guest of the Fabulous Armadillos in St. Cloud, Minnesota. In October 2011, he returned with the Fabulous Armadillos for a sold-out night at the Paramount Theatre, St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Peterik also develops and produces new talent on his own label, World Stage International. Current artists, aside from Lifeforce, include Marc Scherer, Hunter Cook, and the trio of Ariel, Zoey & Eli. Past artists include Lisa McClowry and Mallory Lennon. World Stage has two recording studios, engineered by the Ides of March co-founder and childhood friend, Larry Millas.

In 2012, Peterik both co-wrote and made an appearance on the Beach Boys' reunion album, That's Why God Made the Radio. He previously worked with Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson on Wilson's 1998 solo record, Imagination.

Peterik released his autobiography, Through The Eye Of The Tiger, on BenBella Books (co-written with Lisa Torem) in September 2014, and is traveling internationally signing books on tour.



  • Don't Fight the Feeling (1976)
  • Above the Storm (2006)

With The Ides of March[edit]

  • Vehicle (1970)
  • Common Bond (1971)
  • World Woven (1972)
  • Midnight Oil (1973)
  • Still 19 (2010)

With Survivor[edit]

With Kelly Keagy[edit]

With Pride of Lions[edit]

  • Pride of Lions (2003)
  • The Destiny Stone (2004)
  • Live in Belgium (2006)
  • The Roaring of Dreams (2007)
  • Immortal (2012)

With Jim Peterik's Lifeforce[edit]

  • Lifeforce (2009)
  • Forces At Play (2011)
  • Forces At Play: Remastered Deluxe Edition (2013)

With Jimi Jamison[edit]

  • Crossroads Moment (2008)
  • Extra Moments (2010)

With Marc Scherer[edit]

  • Risk Everything (2015)


Peterik co-authored Songwriting for Dummies, published 2002, with Dave Austin and Mary Ellen Bickford.

His autobiography, Through The Eye Of The Tiger, co-written with Lisa Torem, was released by BenBella Books in September 2014.


External links[edit]