For those of us who can’t get enough of The Jerks (and I know there are some of you out there who are still hoping for a reunion) here are some photos of the boys proving “it won’t play in Peoria” did not hold true for the band.

They were a big hit on the road in places like The Second Chance in Peoria, Mabels in Champaign, and The Red Lion in Dekalb.

These photos are from the summer of 1981–that was the heyday of the resurgence of live rock and roll in the Illinois Valley that Dave Piccoli wrote about in a feature article for the News Tribune in October 1980. Things would change a year later when bands would change their musical direction and in some cases lineups. But the summer of ’81 was still a time for Sweet Gene Vincent and So Lifelike.

Check out that vintage Batman jacket and Jaws T-shirt!

I wonder what song Al is playing: “Telstar?” “Bionic Man?” “Mr. Mike?”