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Sabadosa: Reliving our youth, thanks to baby boomer rockers

Columnist baby boomer Reggie Sabadosposes with Jim Peterik member rock bands Survivor Ides March during fundraiser 2010.  |

Columnist and baby boomer Reggie Sabadosa poses with Jim Peterik, a member of the rock bands Survivor and the Ides of March, during a fundraiser in 2010. | Supplied photo

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The British invasion took us all by storm during the 1960s. We were awestruck by the rock music of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who, to name only a few. At the same time, “surf rockers” from America’s West Coast, such as the Beach Boys and the Ventures, were also hitting it big.

But it was in the 1970s that most American-based rock groups became iconic in the lives of us baby boomers. We danced to the music of Styx, America and Chicago (first known as Chicago Transit Authority) at our proms. We attended rock concerts at venues such as the International Amphitheatre, the Chicago Stadium and Sportman’s Park Race Track.

Back in the day, tickets for rock concerts were a mere $12 to $15, making them affordable for many of us.

On Sweetest Day, my husband Steve and I joined our friends Sylvia and John Kappel for an evening at the Allstate Arena to see the country rock legends, the Eagles.

While the group has gone through many member changes since forming in 1971, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Joe Walsh came together for us that night. They did not disappoint.

While the crowd was surprisingly diverse in age, it was obvious that the majority of those attending were fifty-somethings like us. Certain ballads became sing-alongs, with only the slightest prodding by the group. The place was sparking with emotion as we heard such classics as “Hotel California” and “Desperado.”

Walsh often stole the show with his masterful guitar playing. We all had to laugh at how the words to his “Life’s Been Good” rang so true to his rocky life.

I recently asked some of my readers to share some of their experiences seeing some of the great rock groups from their past.

From Enza Piech: “The two most recent “rock” concerts I’ve been to were the Monkees and Fleetwood Mac. I took my sister and daughter to see the Monkees and was so glad we went. They played at the Radisson in Merrillville, Ind., and it happened to be the last tour they did before Davy Jones passed away.

“The concert had a giant screen playing old Monkees TV episodes and it was a lot of fun! My sister and I definitely enjoyed this much more than my daughter. It brought back great memories of our youth.

“I also took my husband, Dave, a few years ago to Rosemont’s Allstate Arena to see Fleetwood Mac That concert surprised me. I enjoyed their music in high school, but my husband was a huge fan. I really went for him and was so pleasantly surprised. They put on a fabulous show! It was fun remembering the songs from our high school years.

“Over the years, I’ve attended many concerts. There are some bands I’ve seen in concert more than once. It’s so much fun enjoying the music, reminiscing and feeling young through music. I think that’s what the music is meant to do.”

From Beata Gaudry: “I loved Three Dog Night in the late 60s and in the 70s. I bought every album they ever produced. My parents actually took me to my first concert to see Three Dog Night at what is now called the United Center.

“They recently played at a nearby Ridge Fest in Chicago Ridge. As a teenager, I always wanted great seats to see them in concert. At Ridge Fest, I had the best seat in the house and sang every song with them. Naturally I knew all the song lyrics as I had memorized each one.

“I was introduced to Three Dog Night by a student teacher who played the album for us after a terrible stabbing happened in our school gymnasium. It was an awful shock for all of us. So the teacher, in an effort to heal us, played Three Dog Night’s ‘Easy to be Hard.’ After that, I was a fan for life.”

Oak Lawn’s Linda Stearns has been longtime friends with members of the Beach Boys and Three Dog Night. She has some great photos and stories to share about her life on the road with the bands.

One thing that I have found to be true is that there are some passionate musicians out there. You can feel this passion each time they perform, when it seems as if they are singing their songs for the very first time. One of my favorite local performers is Berwyn’s own Jim Peterik.

Peterik is best known as a member of Survivor and as the vocalist and writer of the hit song “Vehicle” by the Ides of March.

I first met him at a local fundraiser “We are the Cure” in 2010. He and my friend Lisa McClowry performed together and afterward did a lot of schmoozing with the crowd.

Since then, I have been following Peterik as he makes his way through the area at various venues. This summer, he and the Ides of March members did a free outdoor concert at the Bolingbrook Performing Arts Center and also appeared at the City Winery in Chicago.

Peterik is a prime example of how fame doesn’t have to change nice people and why we still love to see these legends perform.



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