Weather Updates

Songwriting has been good to Jim Peterik

Rocker Jim Peterik outside his Burr Ridge home talks Dave Hoekstrabout copyrights his songs. He posed with his 1955 Chevrolet

Rocker Jim Peterik, outside his Burr Ridge home, talks to Dave Hoekstra about the copyrights to his songs. He posed with his 1955 Chevrolet converible. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

storyidforme: 19063595
tmspicid: 7006264
fileheaderid: 3217781

Updated: November 15, 2011 8:45AM

Songwriting has been very good to Jim Peterik.

His guitar collection numbers 172. Several shredders are worth more than $100,000, including one of the first Stratocasters made in 1954. Peterik recalled when longtime Billy Joel drummer Liberty DeVitto visited his house and commented on all of Peterik’s “stuff.”

“Well, Liberty’s been married three times,” Peterik said with a laugh.

Peterik and his wife, Karen, have been married 39 years. They have a son Colin, 22.

Peterik recently acquired a coral and ivory 1955 Chevy Bel Air convertible.

“It was the one I always dreamed about,” he said. He also has a charcoal gray Lamborghini, which he calls lucky because he has written more songs in that car than any of his other three cars.

The vanity license plate: EYE TGR.

He recalls being pulled over driving 100 mph on I-294. He apologized and explained to the cop he was writing a song.

“I said, ‘Have you ever heard the song ‘Eye of the Tiger’? I’m the guy that wrote it.’ He goes, ‘No s--t, sing it.’ He’s looking through the window and I’m going, ‘Rising up! Back on the street! . . . ’

“After the first chorus, he goes, ‘Just be careful next time.’ ”

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.