The Ides of March are an American rock band that had a major US and minor UK hit with the song “Vehicle” in 1970. After going on hiatus in 1973, the band returned with their original line-up in 1990 and has been active since then.
Having secured a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records in 1970 the band released the track “Vehicle,” which allegedly became the fastest selling single in Warner’s history. Fourteen seconds of the completed “Vehicle” master tape (primarily the guitar solo) were accidentally erased in the recording studio. The missing section was spliced in from a previously discarded take.
The song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 on the corresponding Cash Box listings. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc in November 1972. The following album, Vehicle, reached #55 nationally.
The band toured extensively throughout 1970 in support of many top acts, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin. The Ides of March were also among the participants in the “Festival Express” train tour documented in a 2003 film, although they were not featured in the film.
During the summer of 1970, Ray Herr was forced to leave the Ides to investigate his status with the local draft board. He changed his name to Ray Scott and formed the short-lived group Orphanage before relocating to Nashville to pursue a career in country music.
In 1971 the band released their second album Common Bond. The featured single was “L.A. Goodbye”. The song was at #1 on regional charts for five weeks, #2 on WCFL Chicago, #5 on WLS Chicago (#19, not #15, on March 15, 1971, the Ides of March), but only #73 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1972 the band moved to RCA Records and released World Woven. At this point, the band departed from the “brass” sound (though one song featured a single trumpet) and the album produced no hit singles.
In 1973 the Midnight Oil album was released. The band played its final show of their “first era” at Morton West High School in Berwyn that November.
Between 1973 and 1990, The Ides of March went on an extended hiatus, during which Jim Peterik co-founded the band Survivor and co-wrote all of their platinum hits including “Eye of the Tiger,” “The Search Is Over,” “High on You” and “I Can’t Hold Back”.
He also began a career of writing collaborations which resulted in many platinum hits for other artists, most notably “Hold on Loosely,” “Rockin’ Into The Night,” “Fantasy Girl” and “Wild-Eyed Southern Boys” for .38 Special and “Heavy Metal” for Sammy Hagar.