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 Apr 3rd
at Cole's

Free Show 21+
Friday Apr 3rd
at Door #3

Free Show 21+
Sunday Apr 5th
at Empty Bottle
Wednesday Apr 8th
at East Room

$5 Show 21+
Friday Apr 10th
at Empty Bottle
Saturday Apr 11th
at Empty Bottle
Monday Apr 13th
at Albion House

All Ages BYOB
Thursday Apr 16th
at Empty Bottle
Wednesday Apr 29th
at Riviera Theater
Saturday Jun 13th
at Cole's

Free Show 10PM 21+
Friday Jul 10th
at Empty Bottle
write VoT to add some shows

Video Feed


The Dummies (ex-Slade) 'Didn't You Used To Be You' (1980)