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Johnny B.
Reviews:
- June 20, 1997
- November 22, 1995

Buzz Kilman Reviews:
- December 16, 1995

CD Reviews:
- Piranha Man: Blowing Goats

Jonathon Brandmeier
Breakfast Broadcast

A Review
[To the Photos Table!]

March 17, 1997

Gaelic Park

Oak Forest, IL

A Review and Photos by
The Dude on the Right
Johnny B.
Johnny B.
On the airwaves of Chicago if you set your dial to 97.9 on the FM you get WLUP. On the airwaves of millions of states from Illinois and beyond if you set your AM dial to 1000 you get AM 1000. And if you do this setting when its morning in Chi-town you usually find Jonathon Brandmeier, a.k.a. Johnny B., hosting his normally entertaining radio showgram as it is called. Well, if you happened to tune in on March 17th you noticed something different, something very different. This time there was an audience, this time there was a marching band, and this time the show was taken out of the studio and into suburbia to the peaceful setting of a banquet hall called Gaelic Park in lovely Oak Forest, Illinois.
Buzz Kilman
Buzz Kilman

Now, Johnny B. has done this before, but the times I remember him doing the remote broadcast were the day before Thanksgiving. That was a good enough time to take off work and get an extra days vacation. This day was a better reason, and what better reason than St. Patrick's Day. Yep, there is no reason like St. Patty's Day in the US to blow off work, wake up at some ungodly hour, head to the Gaelic Park banquet place, hang out with your buds and get liquored up before 10 AM. And whose fault is this, blame Johnny B.

 
Piranha Man Gives the Blessing
Piranha Man Gives the Blessing
Now remote broadcasts don't normally make good radio, in fact, maybe they don't ever make good radio, but it's always interesting to see just what makes a radio show click, even if most of the listeners stuck at work (ha, ha) had to try to picture the happenings in their head. But just how does one picture a band playing TV theme songs, how does one picture a dude and dudette jumping and spinning rope, how does one picture a 62 year old stripper, and how does one picture a dude making a plunger stick to his head. Well, lets take a little trip through a morning radio show and try to picture many of those things, well, all except the thought of the 62 year old stripper.

 

Traditional Johnny B. remote shows begin with a blessing, done in a simple manner by longtime radio guest Piranha Man. This show was no different, except for the fact that I don't think God would be blessing fucking Ireland. As an audience sat in total disgust, or maybe it was roaring laughter, Johnny B. couldn't believe his ears and from that point on the show kept taking strange twists, had heart-pounding suspense, and crowned a new king.

 
Bob Koch
Bob Koch
Moving quickly through the early morning hours Johnny blasted through many of his guests, ranging from the Gaelic Queen to a stunning gospel choir to Bob Koch who has a unique talent of being able to toss a plunger in the air and stick it on his head. He was spotlighted on David Letterman, even had the WGN news crew do a quick piece on him, and proceeded to impress the crowd with his unique ability of fun with a plunger. Then of course there was Johnny tempting one of the fine, upstanding law enforcement personnel in attendance to fire his gun. This being the southside of Chicago, well, he almost did.

 
Dakota Horvath
Dakota Horvath
But nothing could get this crowd to wake up like a little Sinatra, and well, since ol' Frank doesn't seem to want to tour these days what better choice than 8 year old Dakota Horvath to belt out some Frank tunes. Yea, yea, anybody can get liquored and belt out Sinatra tunes in a karaoke bar, but this dude is a little to young to hit the sauce, but boy can he hit the notes. And you know, from the hat, to the smooth moves, to working the ladies old enough to be his mother, well, maybe not his mother, but at least a much older sister, Dakota's voice impressed the radio audience, but Dakota's moves made me rethink my stumbling and slurring Sinatra impression I usually end up doing.

Now before the challenge to the throne for the Kind of TV Themes some really great radio happened with the Rope Warrior and his trusty sidekick, well I'll call her the Rope Warriorette. Hard to explain, but let's just say this duo takes rope jumping to a new level. But one of the main events of the day, not taking away from the Rope Warrior, but a little bit better radio, was the challenge for the
Paul Goebel and Arnold Lagos
Paul Goebel and Arnold Lagos
throne. Paul Goebel, the self-proclaimed King of TV Theme Songs was being challenged by the Prince, Arnold Lagos. Paul was cocky, Paul was confident, Paul was arrogant, but Paul lost. Yep, after whipping the butts of most radio listeners who would call in for the challenge in years gone by, Paul Goebel finally met his match, and Arnold de-throned Mr. Goebel in a challenge that was filled with controversy (at least until the instant reply tape truly showed a tie for the Grizzly Adams theme). In the end The Stormtroopers crowned a new king, and Arnold was proud to bring the crown back to Chicago.

Yea, yea, I'm rambling, so, let's move on, let's move quickly, and this is what we get. The rest of the morning we got to see some cute little Irish dancers that young Dakota started to try to hit on, a dude and Harry Teinowitz chug some yard glasses, Elvis the King of Comedy and Green E., The Environmental Elvis (who, and I don't know why, Johnny keeps bringing out on stages near and far only to have the crowd turn violent whenever either of them try to do anything resembling an act), and a cool Irish duo called Black Water playing some traditional Irish songs. S. Wyler's appearance was filled with tension and it looked like he wasn't going to let Buzz Kilman, the news dude, get away without a boxing match. Calmer heads prevailed, and Mr. S. was escorted out by "Wayne Newton" (a big , burly, security dude who, well, resembled Wayne), and that led the way for the best Jim Carrey look-alike I have ever seen and our next batch of really great radio, Baby Olympics.

 

Yep, turn on the imagination projectors and picture four little toddlers in a mad crawl to the finish. Picture if you will, too, parents and friends trying to coax these little dudes and dudettes using soda cans, toy balls, and even a beer bottle. And picture if you can what happens to youngin's when you try to force them to do anything - they quit. Such was the case for some of the little ones, but in the end cute little "Lightning" got over his little temper tantrum and proudly crossed the line first.

Lightning
"Lightning"

And if you think that's good radio how about this - picture if you will a 62 year old lady named Rosemary Black. Alright,

that's not too bad, but picture this same lady dressed in a strippers outfit, complete with twirling tassels. Not a pretty picture, is it, even on radio, but live it was, well, interesting, and if Johnny ever brings her back I'll never go to a breakfast broadcast again!

The morning was coming to a close, but not before the St. Patrick's Day celebration turned Mexican with 5 year old Julio Cesar Castillo belting out a Mexican song behind a mariachi band, and then the return of the Gospel music finished a morning of mayhem, scariness, fun, laughs, and a great way to start a day.
Rosemary Black
Rosemary Black

I don't know if it's impressive or not, or maybe not even interesting for most people, but it is kind of cool seeing a radio show in action. From the drop-ins out of a commercial, to the way the show tends to flow, to the fact that Johnny B. can be taking off his jacket, scratching stuff on a notepad, have someone talking to him, and still listen to his show and drop in witty comments while Buzz is reading the news all at the same time. I don't know, I just found it interesting.

Now, all in all it was a pretty cool morning, but not without some grumblings. One had to do with it being a breakfast, and well, some of the folks around me were kind of bummed because in the past there were free rolls, juice and coffee, but this time breakfast cut into your pockets to the tune of five bucks. Even my buddy Stu Gotz, who was there kinda observing, had the following to say:

"Stu Gotz here: One of the great things about coming from the south side of Chicago is all the great places for a cheap breakfast. Seriously... I know places where you can get two eggs, two slices of bacon, a cup of coffee, and a paper all for $1.99. What was with the rip-off breakfast here?!? Two eggs - scrambled, some bacon, a piece of sausage, and rye toast for $5?!? I might pay that much!!!"

Then of course I heard complaints about the crowd, especially about some of those who can't hold their liquor. Some of the people around me were all for fun, but wondered what some of the "belligerent idiots" were doing there so early in the morning. Then, I catch up with Stu after the broadcast and he tells me this story:

"Hey, Dude, did ya ever meet one of those people that seems to loudly comment about everything. Well, while you were up there snapping pictures, I got to sit by one of them. Man, this beer swilling pig couldn't keep her mouth shut. From complaining the bar wasn't open to bitching about the seats, I wanted to choke her and I think some of the people around me wanted to do the same. Then, get this, she had the nerve to call the sports guy an "ugly fat pig." Let's just say that, well, next to her he looks like the epitome of fitness."

Oh well, Stu never holds back and normally I would ignore him except some of the normal folks around me had the same complaints. I guess not everything can go perfectly as planned, and there is no stopping a crowd sometimes, but all in all I thought it was a great show and I'll be waiting for the next one! TWO BIG OL' THUMBS UP from me for the Johnny B. Breakfast Broadcast. Stu might think differently, but then again he did have some, as he put it, "beer swilling pig" sitting by him.

 

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