All posts tagged: Jim Peterik

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Pre-Order Popdose’s Benefit Album, ‘You Can’t Live on Love Alone: Songs for the Fight Against Multiple Myeloma’

Sometimes it helps to ask if there’s anything you can do. A little over a year ago, Pigeon O’Brien, a longtime friend to many of us at Popdose, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare form of cancer that attacks plasma cells. It’s incurable, but treatable. Coincidentally, multiple myeloma has been in the news recently as a result of Tom Brokaw’s newly published memoir detailing his own battle with it. Shortly thereafter, Leslie Liberatore sent an e-mail to our founder, Jeff Giles, and me to express her sadness and to marvel at how Pigeon was dealing with this life-threatening news – at least on Facebook – with her wonderful sense of humor. Knowing that her medical bills would pile up, that question – “Is there anything we can do?” – came up. So often that’s an empty gesture. We’ve all heard it; we’ve all said it at various times. But Jeff immediately came upon the idea of a benefit CD. He had a handful of live performances from the Matt N’ Jeff Radio Hour and …

Jim Peterik

The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour, Episode 9: Jim Peterik

When you get an offer to speak with a guy like Jim Peterik, it’s an opportunity that you really sink your teeth into. As Jeff points out during our conversation, Peterik, whether he realized it at the time or not, was writing songs that were (and would become) the soundtrack to the youth of many. While Peterik is perhaps best known for his work as the keyboardist and songwriter for Survivor, his songwriting success extended well beyond that project as he wrote songs for artists ranging from .38 Special and Sammy Hagar to REO Speedwagon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Beach Boys in more recent years. Jeff and I really enjoyed having the chance to pick his brain on songwriting (something which he says is still “50% inspiration and 50% perspiration), the business side of things and more than anything, we just enjoyed the chance to hear Jim tell us a few of the stories behind the songs and at times, simply how he was able to get it all done. And how does he continue …

Jimi Jamison

The Popdose Interview: Jimi Jamison of Survivor

In more than four decades in the music business, Jimi Jamison has worn quite a few different hats. While perhaps best known for his work with Chicago-based AOR rockers Survivor, his trademark vocals also helped to power albums by ZZ Top (take a fresh listen to “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” for example), George Thorogood and Joe Walsh, among others. When he stepped into the lead vocalist slot for Survivor in the mid-’80s, following the departure of original vocalist Dave Bickler, it was an important addition that would bring the band a second lease on life and add an extra five Top 20 hits (four of them went Top 10) to their resume. The road-worn huskiness of Jamison’s vocals helped make him one of the most distinctive vocalists of the decade, instantly identifiable on a crowded radio dial, where sounding different was the key, especially considering the hefty amount of competition that he was up against. Never Too Late, the new solo album from Jamison, plays out like a lost chapter from the Survivor discography and …

Death by Power Ballad: Jim Peterik, “Above the Storm”

This is the final entry in our DbPB salute to Jim Peterik, and it is, I admit, an odd choice for a conclusion. “Above the Storm” is not Peterik’s best ballad; truth be told, I’m not all that fond of it, certainly not as fond as I am of Survivor’s “Desperate Dreams” or their unreleased “The Love We Never Made”  demo, or of Pride of Lions‘ “Faithful Heart,” or .38 Special’s “Changed by Love,” or a score of other Peterik ballads I could have selected. Why, then, choose “Above the Storm”? Indulge me, for a moment: A week from tomorrow, I will have been a parent for ten years. That milestone and a recent event in my extended family got me thinking about perfectionism and parenthood, and how the twain never, ever meet. Oh, sure, I’ve had my moments. Like the time when Dylan was small and suffering from an ear infection, when I rocked him to sleep and, with that sleep, provided him some modicum of relief. I also felt pretty good recently, when …

Death by Power Ballad: Sunstorm, “Strength Over Time”

Our DbPB salute to Jim Peterik continues this week with “Strength Over Time,” by Sunstorm, a collective that’s not quite a band, and yet not quite not a band. Some explanation, of course, is in order. Most listeners in the U.S. know Joe Lynn Turner either for his three-album stint in Rainbow (which yielded classic tracks like “I Surrender,” “Stone Cold,” and “Street of Dreams”) and his brief tenure in Yngwie Malmsteen’s band (which resulted in the album Odyssey and the hit “Heaven Tonight”). Upon leaving Rainbow, Turner recorded the requisite solo album, Rescue You, which found middling chart success, but was embraced heartily by AOR aficionados (the ballad “Endlessly” will one day have its own entry in this column). A follow-up record was apparently prepared for but never recorded; or recorded but shelved; or partially recorded and partially shelved; or prepared for, recorded, shelved, removed from the shelf, dusted off, then re-shelved. Something happened — sources are iffy on what, exactly — but the phantom second JLT record never saw the light of day. …

Death by Power Ballad: Jimi Jamison, “As Is”

The next few DbPB installments will feature the work of a man who, to these ears, has contributed as much as if not more than any other artist to the power ballad arts and the melodic rock genre in general”Jim Peterik.  Many know him as the voice and driving force (no pun intended.  Okay, maybe I intended it) behind “Vehicle,” the great 1970 single by Ides of March.  Many more know him as the bespectacled keyboard player and chief songwriter (along with Frankie Sullivan ) in Survivor.  Yeah, that guy.  “Eye of the Tiger.”  “I Can™t Hold Back.” “High on You.” “The Search Is Over.” Ah, “The Search Is Over.”  How many makeout sessions/couple skates/lonely nights of the soul in ’84-’85 had that one as their soundtrack?  Survivor contributed many other fine, powerful ballads”“Man Against the World,” “Everlasting,” “Ever Since the World Began” (read about my personal relationship with that song here)”but none had all the weapons that made “Search” such a killer”the developing tension, the underlying power chords, the dramatic chorus and bridge, plea …