J.T. IV

Well, it's harder to be more obscure and unheralded than JT IV. He barely even tried to sell his own music, almost always giving copies away of his impossibly rare loner-punk 45's. Interest arose recently in his short career due to his inclusion on the "Staring Down The Barrel" rare punk compilation, but information was sorely lacking. He can in fact be revealed to be one John Henry Timmis IV, who attended New Trier high school and moved around Evanston, Winettka, Northbrook, and spending his late teens in east Rogers Park idolizing Bowie, Zappa and Lou Reed. Those influences couldn't really prepare one for JT's 1st impossibly rare 45 that was released in 1980-- the basement-blasting assault of "Death Trip" (not the stooges' number) or the aptly titled 'Waiting For The CTA" (a bit of a Velvet Underground take-off though). His second single was actually recorded in Odyssey studios on Michigan ave., but still shares a similar home-recorded feel and scuzz, but beyond the squall of "Destructo Rock", sensitive downer acoustic odes surface--on "In The Can" and "Out Of The Can", Timmis's quavering voice tells tales of prison, junkies, trick-turning, madness, and an all-encompassing yearn for escape. Intense indeed, as session-percussionist John Sudler tells tales of JT hanging from the rafters screaming during the sessions! Yes, Timmis was quite an interesting character, performing live in a hockey mask (it was rumored he'd been disfigured in a motorcycle accident), and also being quite involved with film--directing the longest movie in history--"The Cure For Insomnia", clocking in at 85 hours, and starring local visionary artist Lee Groban reading his 4000+ page poem!! Still, John's next few 45's are barely rumored to exist, though his fourth from 1987 was recorded at Soto Sounds in Evanston, featuring fuzzy delayed psych-punk on "The Monitors" and containing Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra and Velvet Underground covers. An LP collecting all his tracks (featuring JT IV giving you the finger in a military outfit) brilliantly entitled "Cosmic Lightning" also hit in 1987, but was mastered poorly and contains songs sped up. Sadly Timmis died in 2002, from complications resulting from alcoholism, after suffering from the degenerative ear/skull disease mastoiditis-- his potential hardly tapped... (from the Secret History of Chicago Music by Plastic Crimewave)

Shows & Venues in

Upcoming Shows

Monday Jan 23rd
at Slippery Slope

Dumpster Tapes Showcase
Tuesday Jan 24th
at Empty Bottle

Tall Pat Records Showcase
Thursday Jan 26th
at Empty Bottle
Friday Jan 27th
at Hideout

Chicago Psych Fest VIII: Frozen Mind
Saturday Jan 28th
at Cole's
Tuesday Jan 31st
at Vic Theater

8PM Show SOLD OUT
Friday Feb 3rd
at Cole's

Poison Boys Record Release Party
Friday Feb 3rd
at Constellation

830PM Show
Monday Feb 6th
at Door #3
Saturday Feb 11th
at Cole's
Tuesday Feb 14th
at Mutiny

Connections for Abused Women & Children Fundraiser
Friday Feb 24th
at Empty Bottle
Saturday Feb 25th
at Hideout
Saturday Mar 11th
at Genesee Theater
Monday Apr 3rd
at Double Door
Thursday Apr 13th
at Thalia Hall

performing Odyssey & Oracle
write VoT to add some shows

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Favorite Records Series: Gina Czarkowski on The B-52s 1st album