The first summer concert hosted by radio station B96, Eddie & Jobo’s Summer Jam, began with Eddie Volkman skydiving into the World Music Theater (now the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre) in Tinley Park, and his morning show co-host Joe “Jobo” Bohannon riding “Laura the Elephant” down the aisle.
That was nearly 20 years ago.
Today, Eddie and Jobo work mornings at 104.3 K-HITS, Summer Jam is now called Summer Bash and it takes place at Toyota Park in Bridgeview. The concert itself, however, hasn’t changed much. It still features some of the top pop acts on one stage (Flo Rida, Gym Class Heroes and The Wanted will perform at this year’s show Saturday) and still seems to be just as interesting backstage as it is onstage.
Here, past and present B96 personalities talk about their most memorable Summer Bash moments.
Eddie Volkman: After Hanson’s performance (in 2000), hundreds of fans pushed up against a wire fence separating their trailer from the crowd. Zac Hanson, (14) at the time, made his way toward the fence, which caused a crush of fans. Our general manager at the time, Don Marion, fearful of injuries and lawsuits, personally began pushing Zac back toward his trailer. Zac did not take it well. Our staff was shocked and somewhat amused as our two-way radios were buzzing with “Hey, come quick. Don is in a fight with Hanson.” Zac locked himself in the trailer’s potty and refused to do an interview afterward.
Joe “Jobo” Bohannan: Chris Brown was a budding superstar (in 2006) and had done a remix featuring a lot of booze references. I mentioned to him “I’m surprised more moms don’t complain about all the booze references.” That’s when I saw the now-famous Chris Brown temper. He said, “I don’t, never had and never will drink alcohol.” His mom was by his side and tried to calm him down.
Michelle “Showbiz Shelly” Menaker: B.O.B’s plane landed late and he was still at the airport when we were halfway through the show (in 2010). Everyone was freaking out backstage, worrying about changing the lineup, what they were going to do. I remember he sprinted from his car, grabbed a mic and then literally ran onto the stage for his performance. He ended up getting there just in the nick of time.
Julian Nieh: I ended up chatting with the guys from Big Time Rush before their performance last year. Kendall (Schmidt) was super cool and talking about the weather and vibe in Cali. I mentioned how I wanted to visit there sometime, and the dude offered up his cell (number). He said any time I’m out there, hit him up. That was cool that someone pretty big in the pop world was so genuine and real at the same time.
Justin Roman: When we had the Black Eyed Peas as our headliners (in 2009), Fergie came running up to (Stylz and I) after their set and said, “Where have you guys been? I’ve been looking everywhere for you two.” The only problem is, we had never met Fergie before that moment, so clearly she had mistaken us for somebody else. Of course, we played along. If one of the music industry’s hottest pop stars claims she was looking everywhere for us, who were we to correct her?
Doug “Dougie Stylz” Bobrowski: We had Ricky Martin headlining our show at the height of his success and were lucky enough to be on the side of the stage for his amazing performance. Nobody warned us about all the pyro he had for his show, and we were standing right on top of it. Thankfully we ran out of the way after the first huge pyro blast, and our eyebrows have since grown back.
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