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

Thursday Sep 1st
at Hideout

Hecks & Matchess Record Release Show
Friday Sep 2nd
at Subterranean

Downstairs Show 11PM
Monday Sep 5th
at Empty Bottle

Radar Eyes Record Release Show
Friday Sep 9th
at Mousetrap

All Ages / BYOB 7PM Show
Friday Sep 9th
at Observatory

All Ages / BYOB 8PM Show
Saturday Sep 10th
at Cole's

Free Show 10PM
Saturday Sep 10th
at Hideout

Hideout 20th Anniversary Block Party 2PM
Monday Sep 19th
at Hideout

SOLD OUT
Tuesday Sep 20th
at Hideout

SOLD OUT
Sunday Sep 25th
at Hideout
Thursday Sep 29th
at Hideout
Thursday Oct 13th
at East Room

Straight To Hell 7th Anniversary Party 8PM FREE 21+
Tuesday Oct 25th
at Empty Bottle
Saturday Nov 5th
at Double Door

HoZac Records 10th Anniversary Party: TWO STAGES! Bands announced soon
Wednesday Nov 23rd
at Emporium Arcade Bar
write VoT to add some shows

Video Feed


Favorite Records Series: Dominique D'Amico on Heavy Heads, Voyage 2