Jim Peterik

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Artist / Musician

Jim Peterik (1950-)

Jim Peterik is an Illinois musician and songwriter.  He is best known as the founder of the rock band Survivor (“Eye of the Tiger”) and as vocalist and songwriter of the song “Vehicle” by the Ides of March.  Peterik has co-written songs for .38 Special (“Hold on Loosely,” “Rockin’ Into the Night,” and “Caught Up in You”), Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cheap Trick, Sammy Hagar, Cathy Richardson, Dennis DeYoung, Van Zant, Brian Wilson, REO Speedwagon, and The Beach Boys.

Jim Peterik grew up in Berwyn, Illinois and attended Morton West High School.  He first formed The Ides of March in 1964 with his schoolmates.  In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the group scored hits with “Vehicle,” which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, “You Wouldn’t Listen,” and “L.A. Goodbye.”  “Vehicle” is purported to be the fastest-selling single in Warner Bros. Records history.

In the early 1970’s Jim wrote several songs for the jazz-rock group Chase.  In 1978, Peterik met guitarist Frankie Sullivan and within one hour of their meeting formed the band Survivor.  In 1982, Sylvester Stallone commissioned the band to write and perform the theme song for the film Rocky III.  “Eye of the Tiger”, written by Peterik and Sullivan, spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, achieved platinum status, won a Grammy Award, and an Oscar nomination for best song.

Survivor’s 1984 album Vital Signs featured the Top 10 hits “High On You,” “The Search is Over,” and “I Can’t Hold Back.”  In 1985, Jim co-wrote the theme to Rocky IV “Burning Heart” which reached No 2, and in early 1986 the No. 7 hit “Is This Love.”

In 1990, the original members of the Ides of March reunited and continue to perform to this day.  Peterik also currently fronts the band Pride of Lions and a smooth-jazz project called Jim Peterik’s Lifeforce.

Peterik released his autobiography Through the Eye of the Tiger in 2015.  Jim has been inducted into the Illinois Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.