Peterik has co-written songs for 38 Special (Rockin' Into The Night, Hold On Loosely), Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackhawk, Cheap Trick, Sammy Hagar (Heavy Metal), Cathy Richardson, Van Zant, Brian Wilson, REO Speedwagon, and The Beach Boys. He is currently fronting the melodic rock band Pride of Lions, smooth-jazz project Jim Peterik's Lifeforce, and has a regular series of yearly concert performances with an all-star cast as World Stage. He is also active as a producer and mentor to young, developing talent.
Peterik started performing in 1964 with some of his schoolmates in Berwyn, Illinois, as The Ides of March. Their hits included "You Wouldn't Listen", "Vehicle", and "L.A. Goodbye" in the late 1960s and early 1970s. "Vehicle", which was number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of May 23, 1970, is purported to be the fastest selling single in Warner Bros. Records history.
Peterik graduated from Morton West High School in 1968 and Morton Junior College in 1970, and attended college classes while "Vehicle" became a national hit.
In the early 1970s Peterik wrote several songs recorded by the jazz-rock band Chase. In 1976 he released a solo album, Don't Fight the Feeling, and toured as the Jim Peterik Band with Bruce Gaitsch (guitar), Terry Fryer (keyboards), and Chase's rhythm section of Dennis Keith Johnson (bass) and Gary Smith (drums). They toured with several of the era's most popular bands, including Heart and Boston.
In 1978 the Jim Peterik Band had broken up and Jim was considering going back to singing and producing jingles. After several days of pleading with Peterik, road manager/sound man Rick Weigand persuaded him to meet with guitarist Frankie Sullivan. Within an hour of that first meeting, the band Survivor was born.
In the early years of Survivor, Peterik continued to co-write hits for other artists, including 38 Special and Sammy Hagar. In 1982, Sylvester Stallone commissioned Survivor to write and perform the theme song for Rocky III. This song, "Eye of the Tiger", became their defining single, spending six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and going double platinum. "Eye of the Tiger" also won a Grammy Award and resulted in an Oscar nomination for Peterik and Frankie Sullivan for Best Song.
Their 1984 album, Vital Signs, featured the Top 10 hits "High on You" (No. 8) and "The Search Is Over" (No. 4), and another sizable hit, "I Can't Hold Back" (No. 13). In 1985, Peterik co-wrote the theme song to Rocky IV, "Burning Heart", which would be another big hit (No. 2 in early 1987) for Survivor. "Burning Heart" was followed by Number 9 hit, "Is This Love".
Following Survivor's 1988 album Too Hot to Sleep, the group disbanded.
Songs from each of Peterik's bands appears in a Stallone film to motivate the scene's action: Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" in Rocky III, the Ides of March's "Vehicle" in Lock Up, and Jimi Jamison's solo take on Survivor's "Ever Since the World Began" playing during the closing credits of Lock Up.
In 1993 Peterik once again began touring and recording with a reunited Survivor, but left them for good in July, 1996.
In 1990, the original members of the Ides of March (Peterik, Millas, Bob Bergland, Mike Borch, Chuck Soumar, and John Larson) reunited, adding new members Scott May and Dave Stahlberg. This lineup continues to perform. Peterik continues to write for other artists such as the Doobie Brothers and Cheap Trick.
"Vehicle" found new popularity when it was performed by American Idol runner-up Bo Bice in 2005.
In 2001 Peterik produced and co-wrote the first album by AOR group Mecca with his long-time friend Joe Vana.
In 2003 he founded Pride of Lions with Toby Hitchcock. Peterik continues to play with the Ides of March. His latest solo CD, Above the Storm, was released in 2006.
Peterik performed at the West Australian Music Industry Awards with shred virtuoso Michael Angelo Batio in 2005.
In 2009, Peterik appeared on The Jerry Springer Show as guest security.
In 2010, Peterik backed up the Louisiana State University Tiger Marching Band in their final halftime show of the season, at the LSU vs. Ole Miss game.
Peterik resides in Burr Ridge, Illinois.
In April 2011 Peterik played a sold-out run of eight nights at the Pioneer Place Theater as a special guest of the Fabulous Armadillos in St. Cloud, Minnesota. In October 2011, he returned with the Fabulous Armadillos for a sold-out night at the Paramount Theatre, St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Peterik also develops and produces new talent on his own label, World Stage International. Current artists, aside from Lifeforce, include Marc Scherer, Hunter Cook, and the trio Ariel, Zoey & Eli. Past artists include Lisa McClowry and Mallory Lennon. World Stage has two recording studios, engineered by the Ides of March co-founder and Peterik's childhood friend, Larry Millas.
In 2012, Peterik co-wrote and made an appearance on the Beach Boys' reunion album, That's Why God Made the Radio. He previously worked with Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson on Wilson's 1998 solo album, Imagination.
In 2014 Peterik released his autobiography, Through The Eye Of The Tiger, co-written with Lisa Torem, on BenBella Books, and traveled internationally to sign books on tour.
In 2016, Peterik released "The Songs," an album of some of his biggest songs, re-arranged as acoustic/roots versions. The album was produced by Fred Mollin and was recorded both in Nashville, TN and at his home studio in Illinois.Don't Fight the Feeling (1976)
Above the Storm (2006)
The Songs (2016)
Common Bond (1971)
World Woven (1972)
Midnight Oil (1973)
Still 19 (2010)
Feel The Heat (1980)
Eye of the Tiger (1982)
Caught in the Game (1983)
Vital Signs (1984)
When Seconds Count (1987)
Too Hot to Sleep (1988)
Jim Peterik and The World Stage (2000)
Rock America: Smash Hits Live (2002)
Time Passes (2001)
I'm Alive (2007)
Pride of Lions (2003)
The Destiny Stone (2004)
Live in Belgium (2006)
The Roaring of Dreams (2007)
Forces At Play (2011)
Forces At Play: Remastered Deluxe Edition (2013)
Crossroads Moment (2008)
Extra Moments (2010)
Risk Everything (2015)
Peterik co-authored Songwriting for Dummies, published 2002, with Dave Austin and Mary Ellen Bickford.
His autobiography, Through The Eye Of The Tiger, co-written with Lisa Torem, was released by BenBella Books in September 2014.