On Sept. 23, Chicago public television station WTTW Chicago and HDReady announced “Cornerstones of RockTM: American Garage” will be taped on Friday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. The event celebrates the music of eight different bands that came out of Chicago in the 1960s. The evening’s hosts are well-known singer/songwriter Jim Peterik of The Ides of March and WGN-AM personality Wendy Snyder.
The occasion brings together a “nostalgic celebration of the local garage bands that rose to national prominence” in the 1960s by the producers of the nationally acclaimed “Soundstage” program. The Ides of March will serve as the house band for the evening for those whose bands no longer tour nationally, to be taped in front of a live audience at WTTW’s Grainger Studio, where the iconic “Soundstage” program began 40 years ago.
Performers and bands represented include:
The Ides of March — featuring Jim Peterik, Larry Millas, Bob Bergland, Mike Borch, Scott May, Dave Stahlberg, Tim Bales and Steve Eisen (“Vehicle”)
The Buckinghams – Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna (“Kind of a Drag”), plus Bruce Soboroff (keyboards/vocals), Bruce (Rocky) Penn (drums/vocals), Dave Zane (guitar/vocals), Carlo Isabelli (trumpet), and Charles Morgan (trombone). They’ll also welcome original singer Dennis Tufano as a special guest. Billboard Magazine named them “The Most Listened to Band in America” in 1967.
The Cryan Shames — Tom Doody, James Fairs, and Jim Pilster (J.C. Hooke) with their trademark harmonies (“Sugar and Spice”)
The New Colony Six — Ray Graffia and Ronnie Rice, remember those uniforms? (“I Confess”)
The Shadows of Knight — Jimy Sohns (“Gloria”) joined by Dennis Tufano and Ted Aliota
The McCoys — Rick Derringer (“Hang on Sloopy”)
The American Breed — Gary Loizzo, Al Ciner, Chuck Colbert, Jr., and Lee Graziano (“Bend Me, Shape Me”)
The Ides of March, powered by four trumpets, will salute the jazz/rock/fusion band Chase (“Get it On”) with a historic appearance by guest, Chase member, Dartanyan Brown.
An especially poignant moment will be The Ides of March, Ted Aliota, and all the groups coming together for the grand finale, in tribute to the late Mitch Aliota (Aliota Haynes Jeremiah), performing the iconic hometown song, “Lake Shore Drive.”
Carl Giammarese of The Buckinghams noted “Lake Shore Drive” as “a special song that resonates with anyone who ever grew up in Chicago; it was the central road that took you to see people and places you’d remember the rest of your life, and safely back home again.”
Kudos to WTTW Chicago and award-winning “Soundstage” producer/director, Joe Thomas for capturing the history of the Chicago sound that shaped so much of American “classic rock.” The program is co-produced by Kim Mattes, production coordination and sound by Frank Pappalardo and video by John Anderson.
“Cornerstones of RockTM: American Garage” is developed as a celebration of the roots of 1960s and 1970s Chicago legends for one evening in one landmark public television special.
The Chicago rock scene from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s belongs in the same category as the fertile hubs of Memphis, Liverpool, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Nashville through the years,” said Peterik. “This special shines a spotlight on the local groups from the suburban Chicago area who defined that era as they rose through the teen clubs all the way to national prominence. We are thrilled to bring them all together on the same stage.”
As Jim Peterik says, “These bands may have come from the garage, but they did not stay there!”
Update: Tickets are now available on WTTW Chicago’s web site, so click here to go directly to ticket sales. VIP tickets including preferred seating, one souvenir item and one photograph with band members are $125 each; General Admission tickets are $50 each. As noted on the web site, there are no physical tickets to be distributed; as with all regular concerts, no transference of tickets or resale will be permitted.
The best advice for everyone who loves the music of these tremendous artists is “Do not delay.” Tickets will go fast so act quickly and enjoy the very special night in the history of Chicago music.