Illinois Speed Press was an American rock band formed - originally, in 1965, as The Rovin' Kind - in Chicago, later relocating to California. The band was formed by Paul Cotton - later of Poco - and Kal David. According to Allmusic, their sound "combined elements of R&B and country music in a powerful double-lead-guitar attack." Cotton and David have occasionally reunited in recent years to perform together under the name.
The Illinois Speed Press
James Guercio discovered the Rovin' Kind at the Chicago Whiskey-A-Go-Go, where they were the house band. He offered them management and production and brought them back to Los Angeles where they were signed to CBS/Columbia Records under their new name, Illinois Speed Press. The change happened in February 1968. They opened for other major recording acts such as Led Zepplin, Chicago & Steppenwolf.
Initial members of ISP were the same as the Rovin’ Kind. Keith Anderson was replaced prior to the recording of the first ISP album mainly at Guerico’s urging. Keith comments:
"We left Chicago during the Democratic Convention riots, 1968, and moved to Hollywood. Later, James Guercio moved the Chicago Transit Authority to Hollywood for recording purposes. Both bands lived in bungalows next door to each other, while recording albums. We started recording the ISP first album. I wrote the song on this album, "Be a Woman". Mike Anthony re-wrote a lot of my lyrics, and is named co-writer with justification. It came to pass, James Guercio felt my bass playing was not good enough during the first ISP album's recording, and he convinced the band to let me go. This was a sad time (witness Paul Cotton's "Bad Weather"). James Guercio then had Freddy Peppalardo and Mike Anthony leave the ISP. Sad, Sad. I truly feel James took the heart out of the band, and then tried to make it go with the brains."
John Kelly, road manager for the band until Oct '69, reflects:
"One night after a gig Freddy, Kal, and I went to Calumet Park to cool off at the beach and see the sunrise (a very big thing in Chicago, at least at that time). While we were there Freddy and Kal were talking about going on the road to California which loomed like a Garden of Eden to all of us. This was not long after California Dreamin was a hit. If you've ever gone through a Chicago winter, you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, Kal said" why don't you come w/ us". Freddy chimed right in, saying "yeah, c'mon". I couldn't wrap my brain around the idea that night but a week later off I went."