High school friend Rich Mezger contacted Jordan Macarus in the spring of 1977 asking if he was interested in forming a band. He informed Jordan that he had a couple of people that would like to audition. Enter Doug Brown and Dan Searight. Rich also contacted Doug and Dan, telling them that he had a guy who would like to audition to play with them (Jordan). With Rich Mezger on drums, and everyone else thinking that they were holding the audition, things initially clicked. Rich’s idea had worked to get the key players together, but he wound up leaving for college; so Jordan, Doug and Dan began the search for another drummer.

Jordan and soundman, Henry Myers, went to a local record store in Downers Grove to pick up an add paper frequently used by local musicians. While in the store they saw an advertisement for a drummer on the bulletin board. The ad indicated that this drummer was into the same general musical style, and to "inquire within". Following the instructions on the board, Jordan and Hank went inside and asked the manager about the ad. It was then that they found out that the manager, one Mr. Steve Tsokatos was the person they were looking for. After a brief discussion, they all agreed to get together later in the week for a jam session. A couple of days later, Steve showed up in a VW Beetle, which was packed to the gills with his Octoplus drum kit. There was barely room in the car for him to drive. The session resulted in the birth of Winterhawk.

Jordan, Doug, Dan and Steve rehearsed vigorously for about 2 months, and booked a live show at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. The show was the first of many that resulted in a healthy cult following in the Chicago area. Dan Searight left and was replaced by Steve Brown, and the band concentrated on live appearances, playing another Aragon show the following year. The live recording of "Hammer and the Axe" came from this second Aragon appearance. Steve Brown then left the band to pursue a career as a commercial artist later that summer, and the band settled into a 3-piece unit. They played together as a 3 piece for about 2 more years, opening for acts like Jefferson Starship, Steppenwolf, Black Oak Arkansas, Budgie and others.

At the same time, Jordan's longtime friend Chris Mazur was playing in another band with drummer Scott Benes. The professional relationship between Doug and Jordan started to become difficult. It was becoming clear that personal and musical goals were beginning to go in different directions for Jordan and Doug. Eventually, the 3-piece version of Winterhawk blew up from the inside, and Doug recruited the bass player (Malcolm Williamson) and drummer (Scott Benes) from Mutiny, the band Chris was playing in at the time. Doug asked Chris to join also, but Chris's allegiance was with Jordan. While Steve Tsokatos devoted his time to starting a family, Chris and Jordan decided to attend college, and became roommates at Northern Illinois University. It was there that the brainchild that would become Winterhawk "Revival" was borne.

Jordan and Chris began thinking about the business of producing a record album. They listened to several live Winterhawk recordings, and made a list of potential songs. Doug showed interest in the project, and suggested that Scott Benes play drums. The band rehearsed for 7 weekends with Chris understudying the second guitar parts, and then went into Dr. CAW Studios on December 17, 1981. Recording was completed by January 1, 1982. Craig A. Williams manned the boards and Jordan and Chris assisted production through the final mix. The record was released in 1982 on the band's own label and has achieved a formidable cult status among hard rock collectors and enthusiasts.