||From the Vault...
© Brandmeier Productions In
Year of Release: 1984
You Won't See Me On MTV
Red Snow In Idaho
Hey Der Milwaukee Polka
Nice Head Mr. T
The Moo-Moo Song
We're All Crazy In Chicago
I Fought The Law
Just Havin' Fun
Jonathan Brandmeier related sites:
Jonathan Brandmeier may not ring a bell to alot of people, but if you are
from Chicago, then Jonathan Brandmeier is no stranger. Jonathan Brandmeier, or
to those who know him as Johnny B., was a very popular Chicago radio personality
back in the 1980s and early 1990s. His morning radio show, heard on
featured the crazy satire of jokes and music. Especially music, where Johnny
and his band, The Leisure Suits would play around Chicago, performing well-known
cover tunes, as well as their own originals.
Brandmeier's first album, Almost Live, is only available on vinyl.
(Nowadays, you'll probably find it in a local Chicago record store's used vinyl
section.) Almost Live features studio and live recordings by Johnny &
The Leisure Suits.
The opening tune is probably the best song on the album, You Won't See
Me On MTV. Obviously written about how the band Johnny & The Leisure Suits
will not appear on MTV with their videos, this song is very funny. Especially
towards the end when the band sings about other videos by well-known popular
Elvis Presley, you won't see him on MTV,
Chuck Berry, you won't see him on MTV, and
Stevie Wonder, won't see himself on MTV.
Red Snow In Idaho is a somewhat sad tale about how bunny rabbits
were killed in Mudd Lake, Idaho. It's not a memorable tune, where Johnny sings
"Hey bunny, bunny, come out of your hole, and I'll crush your skull."
And then there's the rivalry between Chicago and Milwaukee in Hey Der
Milwaukee Polka, where Johnny sings how "stupid" people from Milwaukee
are. For those of you who are from Milwaukee, obviously it's not nice to hear
"Hey der, polka boy, Go home and suck a beer,
Hey der, bratwurst head, Go drive your old John Deere,
Yah hey, keep your women away, The smell will make us cry,
Hey der, ho der, ya hey hey, Stay in Milwaukee and die"
But then again, I'm sure there's some popular Milwaukee DJ who is singing
how bad Chicago is. (Especially how bad the Chicago Bears are, since the Green
Bay Packers entered the Super Bowl two years in a row, winning one, despite
losing the other.)
Nice Head Mr. T is a song about (obviously) the TV/movie actor Mr. T.
This song is another least favorite, as the song talks about how tough Mr. T is.
(Don't we think we already knew that already back then?)
Then there's the funny tune called The Moo-Moo Song, in which a
man illegally entered the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago to make love to a cow
(yes, you heard right, a cow!) Believe it, this was a true story! Gee, where was
Uncle Lar' (Lujack) and Li'l Tommy (Edwards) and their Animal Stories
when that story broke the airwaves?
One song that was not on the album (and it should have been) was We're
All Crazy In Chicago, which became one of Johnny B.'s theme songs. I
consider this song to be a Bonus Track, if this album ever made it to the CD
That concluded what was called the "Studio Side." The remaining songs were
live performances (called the "Live Side"), taken from various live performances
from Johnny's (as he called it) World Tour.
Party Animals is a somewhat rock/punk song about partying and drinking.
I Fought The Law is a cover of the Bobby Fuller Four song, yet it has
different lyrics regarding Brandmeier's injunction with a Phoenix radio station
contract that was still in effect when he was hired to start in Chicago.
A cover of The Blues' Brothers Hey Bartender features great harmonica
work by WLUP newsman Buzz Kilman. Just like in The Blues Brothers, Buzz plays
the harp as mean as Elwood Blues did.
Just Havin' Fun is another one of Johnny B.'s theme songs, in which
all Johnny wants to do is just have fun with his job and his music.
Lastly, the album concludes with their version of The Isley Brothers'
Shout, which features the famous Animal House reciting of John Belushi's
"Nothing is over until we decide it's over" speech. Johnny makes a reference
to the band Otis Day & The Knights, who sang this song in the Animal House movie.
Johnny & The Lesiure Suits is a great sounding band. Their music is just
your basic rock and roll. Their harmonies and (in most songs) their musical
style is compared to Huey Lewis & The News. Brandmeier became a common name
in Chicago, and he did get some syndicated work. Back in the 1980s he sat in
for a week for Arsenio Hall's show, with tremendous success.
Note: The next paragraph references Chicago radio personalities, as of
Even so, Almost Live is a superb album. For those in Chicago,
this album was enjoyed by millions who enjoyed Johnny's radio show. Brandmeier
is now on
WCKG in Chicago, from 11am - 2pm. The most famous morning man in
Chicago radio these days is
who just recently switched radio stations from WRCX (Rock 103.5 FM) to
WKQX (101.1 FM).
UPDATE, 2013: Jonathan Brandmeier is currently employed at
Another album, released on CD in 1989, was entitled Jonathan Brandmeier.
It also features live performances of Johnny and his band. A review of that
album will come at a later date on this website. But Almost Live is
definitely better of the two.
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