While you may know them for the smash hit “Eye of the Tiger,” Survivor has been playing within the rock scene for nearly 40 years. Friday, May 20, 2016 Survivor will rock at Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival on the State Farm Amphitheater Stage at 10:00 p.m. preceded by Asia featuring John Payne at 6:45 p.m. and The Guess Who at 8:15 p.m.
Formed in 1978 by Jim Peterik along with Frankie Sullivan, Dave Bickler, Gary Smith and Dennis Keith Johnson, Survivor was considered an ultimate band by Peterik. In the early years, Peterik served as co-lead singer, guitarist, and keyboardist. Their first album, self-titled Survivor, was not as successful as the band wanted. Johnson and Smith left due to scheduling conflicts and were replaced by Stephan Ellis and Marc Doubray. With this reformed line-up, they recorded Premonition featuring the first Top 40 sing “Poor Man’s Son.”
In 1982, Sylvester Stallone approached Survivor and asked them to create a song similar to “Poor Man’s Son”, for Rocky III. The band agreed, and “Eye of the Tiger” became their first hit, rocketing up the Billboard 100 to claim the number 1 spot and remaining in the Top 40 for several weeks. The album, also titled Eye of the Tiger, was one of the band’s most popular albums.
In 1984, Jimi Jamison replaced David Bickler as lead singer, after the latter suffered nodules on his vocal cords and was unable to continue singing. Their first successful song with Jamison, “Moment of Truth,” was the theme song for The Karate Kid.
Survivor produced albums from 1980 to 1988, when Too Hot to Sleep was released. Their most recent album, released in 2006, was titled Reach. Jamison, the longtime lead singer of Survivor left the band after Too Hot to Sleep wasn’t as successful as he hoped, and continued to tour under the name. Several members of Survivor sued Jamison for the inappropriate use of the name, but the lawsuit was dismissed. Jimi returned to Survivor in 2000, then again in 2011, where he played until his death in 2014.
Today, the band features Frankie Sullivan, Billy Ozzello, Walter Tolentino, Ryan Sullivan, and Cameron Barton. Over the 38 years they have been performing, the band has had nearly two dozen different line-ups, with Frankie Sullivan the only band member who was in the original band.
Check out Survivor on their website for tour dates and videos: www.survivorband.com
“Double Platinum Survivor Still Caught In The Game of Rock-N-Roll” written and contributed by guest blogger Ali Weiss for Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival. #WAMFest2016