Jim Peterik – Through the Eye of the Tiger (book)
Everyone seems to know Jim Peterik as the guy who wrote “Eye of the Tiger” for that Rocky movie. Yep, that’s what comes to mind. The movie, the video, the song…in fact, most people who only know that much can’t even pick out Jim in a line-up of the band Survivor. Most people also may not realize that in addition to writing or co-writing nearly all of Survivor’s hits, Peterik co-wrote huge hit songs for Sammy Hagar, .38 Special, REO Speedwagon and The Beach Boys, among others.
Now he has written his autobiography, titled Through the Eye of the Tiger. If you’re looking for a book filled with rock star excess, drugs, sex, groupies, total mayhem, over-indulgence and debauchery, then this is not for you. If, instead, you want a tale of what it is like to be a great songwriter, a kind and gentle human being, and be in a successful rock band, then this is right up your alley. Upon reading this book one feels as if they know Jim a little bit more on a personal level. He shares the emotional highs and lows of his love life, his career and his band. He pulls no punches on a certain Survivor member that is a total asshole, though… please realize that these are my words, not his... but after reading this book, that seems the only appropriate description of the band member in question. Note as well that Jim, in fact, not only refuses to stoop to the level that I just did in this review, he actually goes out of his way not to disparage this person too badly. Instead, he often rationalizes the inappropriate behavior, and only when pained admits the true difficulties this relationship caused him in his life. Suffice it to say that Jim Peterik is a much classier man than Jeb Wright.
When done with the book, Peterik comes across not so much as a regular guy (as he is not one), but rather as a sincere, kind, caring and emotional human being. He is a musician, an artist and a performer of music, and his craft defines who he is. Yet, he is also just a darn good guy. He may not be comfortable bellying up to the bar, or shooting the breeze with total strangers, but rest assured, he bares his soul in his musical compositions, and now in his book. To be fair, this is not an ‘edge of your seat page turner,’ yet it is like talking to a friend you have not spoken with for years. You are interested in the story and walk away from it feeling good.
At the end of the day, Jim Peterik tells his life story in a calm, thought out and in an emotional manner, which helps keep the reader engaged. There is tragedy, humor, angst and annoyance, as well as love and reverence.
By Jeb Wright
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