Bo Bice: winner of American Idol, Bo Bice winner of American Idol 2005?
That brassy hit Bo Bice has floored the judges with twice now on Fox-TV's American Idol has put the spotlight back on the "friendly strangers" from Chicago. The song was Billboard Top Ten (reaching #2) in 1970, and has remained a staple on Oldies stations ever since.
What is astounding is that the band who made that hit record is still alive, well, and rocking hard in 2005, with all the original members intact. Beyond astounding is the fact that they have been doing so for over 40 years.
That's not a typo. 40 years together as a rock band, with all the original guys. They should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for that reason alone.
Although the song remains popular, the group slipped from the national eye. But in the Windy City they're a top draw on the festival circuit, and have in recent years made a few ventures to Las Vegas and both coasts. Thanks to American Idol, the spotlight again is starting to shine their way.
Lead Singer Jim Peterik who wrote and sang "Vehicle" is no stranger to the charts. As the founder of the group "Survivor", he co-wrote all their platinum hits including "The Eye Of The Tiger" from the film "Rocky III". Recently re-united with Sylvester Stallone, Sly told Jim that the reason he turned towards Survivor to provide the title tune was due to his love of "Vehicle".
The Ides continue to record and perform live, and audiences are surprised when they see such rock and roll energy from what they might have preconceived as an "oldies act". Their fan base is huge in Chicago, and it's not just baby boomers. The sports teams (Cubs, Sox, Bulls and Bears) regularly tap them to sing the National Anthem, and the group is releasing their new album "Idessentials" within the month.
The Ides have even started a dialog with Bo Bice, who insisted on performing the song against the American Idol producers' advice. It worked out pretty well for Bo, and it just may prove to work out well for the Ides themselves.
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