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

Friday Feb 12th
at Cafe Mustache

9PM Show 21+
Friday Feb 12th
at Quenchers
Saturday Feb 13th
at Reed's Local

9PM Show $5 Donation
Saturday Feb 13th
at Situations

9PM Show All Ages
Sunday Feb 14th
at Bric-A-Brac Records

4PM Show Lemons LP release party
Wednesday Feb 17th
at United Center
Friday Feb 19th
at Observatory

All Ages / BYOB 8PM Show
Saturday Feb 20th
at Cole's

Free Show 10PM
Saturday Feb 20th
at Fallout

All Ages / BYOB 8PM show
Thursday Feb 25th
at Empty Bottle

Third Man Records Showcase
Saturday Feb 27th
at Empty Bottle

Music Frozen Dancing 1PM Free Show
Sunday Feb 28th
at Empty Bottle

SOLD OUT
Wednesday Mar 9th
at East Room
Saturday Mar 12th
at Thalia Hall

Levitation Fest
Tuesday Mar 15th
at Empty Bottle
Monday Apr 25th
at Subterranean
Tuesday May 31st
at Empty Bottle

'Mesh & Lace' Tour
write VoT to add some shows

Video Feed


The Jags - Back Of My Hand (TOTP) (1979)