The Day Bon Jovi Crushed the Sunset Strip for Mark and Brian Fans!
Sometimes when you’re the producer of a top rated morning show in a major market on a classic rock station with a great programming director, things just come easy. That’s how it was in June 2000 when our programming director, Rita Wilde sat in my office and told me that Bon Jovi was flying back from Australia in a few weeks and would like to perform on The Mark & Brian Show in support of their new album CRUSH. Besides being a great Program Director, Rita is also one of the nicest people in the world so it’s not surprising the Bon Jovi’s record label called her first to see if we were interested.
We had a great relationship with Key Club which at the time was a small venue on the Sunset Strip that held about three hundred people, so I called them to see if we could stage the show there on the morning of July 9. They were thrilled to put the words Bon Jovi on the marquee. Then I called our superb freelance engineer Steve Cormier to make sure he was available and hooked him up with technicians from the Key Club and Bon Jovi so they could get all the engineering issues ironed out so the show would sound great both in the house and on the air.
Getting to see Bon Jovi in a small venue was going to be a hot ticket, so our promotions director C.W. West figured out how many tickets Mark and Brian could give away on the show. Once we went on the air with this, people went nuts and did all types of crazy things to get tickets. One women said she’d come down to the station and drink any concoction we gave. The next day I brought in blender with an assortment of stuff including liver, mixed it up and we all watched her drink it! I don’t recall if she got sick, but she left with tickets in her hand and a smile on her face.
The morning of July 9, we ran a taped segment from 8 to 9AM to give us all time to drive up to the Key Club for the live show. When we arrived we were greeted by a long line of excited fans waiting to get into the club. Along with Mark, Brian and Rita we met Jon and the boys to go over some logistics. I told them we’d have to break up the hour into four segments due to commercials. Their tour manager and myself quickly decided what songs they’d perform before Mark & Brian would come on stage to take the show into the breaks.
And just like that, on 9am on a warm and sunny July morning in Los Angeles, the lights went down, Bon Jovi rocked the house and aside from making sure Mark and Brian went on stage at the right time, I stood by the stage and enjoyed the show.
(Click here to listen to the show)