Jon Bon Jovi Honors Early Radio Supporters at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony
Most nights when Bon Jovi performs the band’s first single, “Runaway,” on tour, Jon Bon Jovi tells the story of a young kid who walks into a radio station with a cassette and a dream — to get airplay and a chance to find an audience.
That radio station was New York’s WAPP, which only lasted for less than one year, but left an indelible impact on the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who referenced the story in his induction speech on Saturday night at Cleveland’s Public Hall at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
“After sending that cassette to every label and manager I could think of, I thought, ‘Who is the loneliest person in the music business? … the DJ. There was a new station in NYC called WAPP. It was so new, that there wasn’t even a receptionist, so I was able to walk in and get the attention of John Lassman and the DJ Chip Hobart,” he said. “I told them about the songs on the cassette and the frustration of not getting any label to listen to it. Chip did listen to it, and he told me he thought it should be included on their ‘Homegrown’ record of local original music.”
Afterward in the press room, Bon Jovi got a big surprise when Lassman — now a morning show producer at KQRS in Minnesota, and Hobart, now in Vermont — thanked him for mentioning them at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony.
“Dude!” yelled Bon Jovi. “John Lassman, is my story not true?”
“WAPP, God bless you,” he said, inviting Lassman and Hobart — who wore leather jackets with WAPP on the back — to the stage.
“That’s the kind of kid I was. I thought differently, and I knew the loneliest man in the world was the DJ, and he was the one that loved music more than anyone, because he had to determine what people cared to listen to, and a DJ could educate the public as to what to listen to,” he said. “It was a different era, and it goes back to this kid’s story.”
“That’s a great way to end my night,” he said.
Read the full article on Variety.com