The Ides of March: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — April 28, 2022

431) The Ides of March — “My Foolish Pride”

As Clark Besch notes, “with 1967’s [A-side] “My Foolish Pride,” we get the first taste of the layered horn sound to become the [IOM’s] trademark in a few short years.” (http://forgottenhits60s.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-ides-of-march-part-2.html?m=1) The culmination of that sound was, of course, “Vehicle”, the band’s #2 hit in 1970. Anyway, “Pride” is a remarkably sophisticated garage rock tune, especially considering it was written and performed by teenagers from Berwyn, Illinois.

As to IOM’s origins, Mark Deming explains:

The [band is] best-known for the tough, “hard rock with horns” sound of their 1970 hit “Vehicle,” but that’s just one facet of the group’s body of work. In the mid-’60s, they played British Invasion-influenced garage rock with a dash of folk on a handful of singles . . . . The story of the Ides of March began in 1964, when four friends who went to school together in the Chicago suburb of Berwyn, Illinois decided to form a band. With Jim Peterik [yes, the “Eye of the Tiger” Jim Peterik] on vocals and guitar . . . the group adopted the name the Shon Dels . . . . and in 1966, they changed their name to the Ides of March, after [a band member] had read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in English class. . . . [After] Parrot signed the band . . . . “You Wouldn’t Listen” rose to number five on the Chicago singles charts, and . . . [#]42 [nationwide].

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-ides-of-march-mn0000768010/biography

Richie Unterberger adds:

Although they recorded a number of singles throughout the rest of the 1960s . . . and had another sizable local hit with “Roller Coaster,” the Ides never did break nationally at this stage, or manage to get an LP out. They continued to work as a popular regional live act, however, in the process expanding into harder, heavier, more soulful sounds from their original British Invasion-inspired style. They . . . add[ed] a horn section along the way and ke[pt] their multi-part vocal harmonies. “We started as a British Invasion wanna-be band, really, kind of Curtis Mayfield-meets-the-Hollies,” remarks . . . Peterik . . . . “We loved that sound, but as the band wore on, we started wanting to do songs with brass, like the James Brown stuff and Arthur Conley’s ‘Sweet Soul Music.’ We got a trumpet, and that was seductive; then we got another. It was kind of a gradual process . . . . But then we started injecting some of the brass in even one of the Parrot singles, ‘My Foolish Pride.'”

http://www.richieunterberger.com/vehicle.html

Peterik explained in an interview that “My Foolish Pride was very Rubber Soul inspired (reference Girl). I wrote it on this cheap little Performachord organ . . . and in fact that sound made it on to the record and contributed to its unique character. Steve Daniels had just joined the band on trumpet and I wrote a cool line for him to play.” (http://forgottenhits60s.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-ides-of-march-part-2.html?m=1) The interviewer, Kent Kotal, said that “It is, without question, one of my all-time favorite Ides Of March tracks.  This song should have been a monster hit.  Was this an attempt to take the band in another direction?” Peterik responded “[t]o an extent, since this was really the first use of horns on an Ides record.” Kotal then observed that: “Honestly in hindsight it sounds a little Tijuana Brassy … but it has SUCH a great feel to it . . . there isn’t another Ides record that I can think of that captures so many different moods in under three minutes!”  Peterik concluded that: “It’s a really bittersweet ode.  Many moods as you say.  And that cheesy Performachord organ really makes it. Yes, Tijuana Brassy for sure.”

Kent, it is also one of my all-time favorite IOM tracks. Oh, and Kent, I think you’re on to something:

[C]heck out that opening note pattern . . . listening to it again, I am now convinced that Jimi Hendrix took that very same patten and was inspired to create . . . “Purple Haze” a year later . . . seriously . . . just listen to this intro . . . .

Yes, Jimi Hendrix stole “Purple Haze” from the IOM!

“. . . the girl I thought would answer all my dreams. It’s a shame she lied. Cause she left me down with just a frown and all that’s left it seems is my foolish pride. And it’s true. Now she’s left me, left me standing down and all alone. Left me to decide if I should find another girl or simply find another home with my foolish pride. And it’s you. But there are some times at night I cry because all my hope is gone. Hurts me deep inside. And . . . I realize I’ve been a fool so long with my foolish pride. And it’s true, yes it’s true. It’s just me foolish pride. . . .”

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