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JonBon Makes His Own Bed?!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Apparently our Jon is not such a diva, he makes his own bed...

Bon Jovi's parayers are answered

There are some terrible stories about rock stars’ diva-like behaviour.

Spandex-clad metallers Van Halen, for example, reportedly loved M&Ms, but if any brown ones were left in the bowls of sweets they requested for their dressing room, there would be no show.

Hundreds of other stories litter music history, whether they’re true or not and it’s kind of expected. Rock stars should be outrageous, eccentric and not like the rest of us mere mortals.

And an artist of Jon Bon Jovi’s standing could surely make some outlandish demands if he wanted.

Since he and band Bon Jovi released their self-titled debut on 1984, they’ve sold 120 million albums and performed to more than 34 million fans in 50 countries. Quite simply, they’re one of the biggest bands out there.

It’s a pleasant surprise then, to discover Jon making his bed at the beginning of our conversation.

“Oh, yeah, it’s the maid’s day off,” he says sarcastically, while continuing to tidy his New York bedroom.

“This is how all big rock stars start their day. They make the bed.

“Actually, I woke up feeling like I’d fought 10 rounds with a boxer,” he adds. “But I’m feeling a little better now. Building up to the release of a new album you go from doing zero miles per hour to warp speed right away. Things don’t start slowly.

“At first you think, ’Why do I still do this?’ and then the psychosis takes over and you start talking to yourself in the third person, you know ’Now Jon...’. Then you get up and running properly and it all becomes natural again.”

Bon Jovi, and Jon in particular as the frontman and driving force of the group, have a lot on at the moment. New album The Circle is out now, released on the same day as a new documentary and tie-in book When We Were Beautiful.

Next June, the band will effectively be moving into London’s O2 Arena for a multi-date residency. At the moment, the 10-date stint kicks off on June 7, but with a few gaps in the schedule here and there, don’t be surprised to see that number go up in the coming months.

“I do love the UK, very much so,” he says. “I considered buying a place there for a while. I just wish it was a little closer. Let’s just get the Concorde working again. It wasn’t environmentally friendly I know, but London to New York in three hours? That’s the need for speed right there. It wasn’t comfortable, it wasn’t good food and there was nothing else good about it, but man, it got you there.”

New album The Circle is Bon Jovi’s second in just over two years, their fifth since 2000 marking a prolificacy not seen since the mid-Eighties.

“I’ve found my passion again. I was running off with a bunch of different distractions before: acting, solo albums and things like that, or simply not enjoying the company,” he says, hinting things weren’t always as rosy in the band as they are now.

“It’s great to have that renewed sense of enthusiasm for something you loved as a kid.”

Unsurprisingly, as a long-time Democratic party campaigner and outspoken critic of George W Bush, President Obama’s election last November is partly responsible for The Circle.

“If you think about what the world was like last September, it was a very different place. The last president was in office, the economic downturn hadn’t happened yet, and I’d bitched and moaned about George W Bush so much that it wasn’t even fashionable anymore, so there was nothing left to talk about.

“In October guys like Bernie Madoff former Chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange, and perpetrator of the one of the largest investment scams in history earning a 150-year jail sentence come out of the woodwork, President Obama changes the landscape of American politics forever. Then you go, ’Wow, there’s subject matter for us’.”

Incidentally, Mr Obama is a friend of Jon’s, the pair have met “many, many times.”

“He’s been to my house. I’ve got a beautiful picture of he, my wife and I in our back yard,” he says, perhaps not realising the most astounding thing about that story is not that a rock star could be friends with the premier, but that he refers to the grounds of his mansion on the banks of the Navesink River in New Jersey as a “yard”.

“Initially we were just fulfilling a commitment when we writing songs that became this album,” he continues. “We were going to write two new songs for a greatest hits. We said to our record label we’d do the greatest hits if we could go to Nashville to record.”

The sessions in Nashville turned into Lost Highway, the band’s 2007 album, and spurred on by the changing landscape, two songs for a greatest hits quickly became 12 for The Circle.

“There’s a song on the new record called When We Were Beautiful, which is like a bookend on the whole thing. It’s about getting back to a simpler time, when the world wasn’t so reliant on more more more, bigger bigger bigger.

“The world had just got punched in the nose and we were still seeing stars from it. It took writing 28 songs in nine months to see that and watch the world go round, and now we’ve got a complete story to tell.”

Adding to the story is the new documentary. As Jon explains, it was originally planned to be a memoir marking 25 years of Bon Jovi, but after some early interviews, something didn’t feel right.

“I was very hesitant about the book anyway, and I wasn’t going to sit there and go through all the cliches, you know, ’Dude, then we got drunk, then I did this chick.’ Who cares? Who needs to know that and what relevance is it?

“We’d hired a very famous biographer to write our story, but we weren’t telling any of those tales so the book was boring and the whole premise was going to be shot down in flames.”

Inspired by watching Peter Bogdanovich’s documentary about Tom Petty (Runnin’ Down A Dream) on a long flight, Jon then decided to create a film of his own and settled on English director Phil Griffin, who’s past work includes videos involving Amy Winehouse, to make it.

“We didn’t want to be completely retrospective, or for it to be just a concert movie, so I went back to our manager and said we’d tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth on film. We financed it ourselves, so no one else but us had a say in it, and it’s been very well-received so far.

“I must admit I didn’t care for watching myself so much during the editing, but I learned some things from it. All I could think was, ’God, I wish I smiled more’.

“In the film I was either caught up in thought or the neuroses of getting out to a gig that I didn’t look happy,” he says.

“Sometimes I look like I’m in turmoil even though I’m quite fine. I’m smiling on the inside.”

Bon Jovi's new album The Circle is out now. The documentary and accompanying book When We Were Beautiful are also out now. Bon Jovi will play a residency at London’s O2 Arena throughout June 2010. For more information visit



Catte Sambora November 4, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

We wish you smiled more too, Jonny Baby! Thanks for sharing, Q! :)

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I am and always have been a Bon Jovi fan. This blog is just my obsession taken a step further, my imagination in high gear if you will. I love to read and decided to see what would happen when I took that love of the written word and ramped it up a bit.

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