Together and with The Power of We, we can start a revolution. One Soul at a time... ~Jon Bon Jovi *** There's a Story on every street corner, my friend. All you have to do is open your eyes... ~Richie Sambora

Jon Bon on Abu Dhabi...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Interesting article from The National in UAE, Abu Dhabi.

'The visit to Abu Dhabi marks the future for us'

Jon Bon Jovi tells Michael Odell why his band’s new documentary begins with a concert in the UAE: it’s all about the ‘hunger’ in the crowds. Local fans won’t be disappointed by the band’s latest album, The Circle.

How important is Abu Dhabi to Jon Bon Jovi’s remaining plans for world domination? Answer: Very important. In fact, the way Jon Bon Jovi sits forward in his high-backed gilt hotel chair, he might be a general talking about establishing a bridgehead in a soft-rock war.

“That’s why we got it in the film, right up at the front. The visit to Abu Dhabi marks the future for us. That’s where rock music needs to go. The hunger out there is amazing.”

The film in question is the new Bon Jovi documentary When We Were Beautiful, which was made during the band’s Lost Highway tour of 2008 to mark their quarter century together. Put together by the director Phil Griffin to coincide with the release of their new album, The Circle, it does indeed waste no time in showing us Bon Jovi living it up in the UAE. Here is Jon swanking through the lobby of the Emirates Palace hotel. There he is with the band serving up blue-collar anthems to a sea of pumping fists.

“Our old manager Doc McGhee used to have this saying, ‘We’ll play anywhere where they have electricity. And even if they haven’t, we’ll bring our own.’ But it was more than that going out to the UAE. We still have the appetite for a new challenge. Who just wants to play stadiums across America where you know you’re going to get 60,000 lighters in the air and a singalong? That’s great. But taking your show somewhere completely new and seeing the hunger and love is just incredible. I’m still just a kid at heart and I love that feeling of ‘Wow! I’m in the Middle East playing songs I wrote back in New Jersey!’ And, you know, those fans came from Jordan. They came from Lebanon. That makes me very proud and moved.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing. Some of the tougher parts of the UAE experience were left on the cutting room floor. Which means we don’t get to see Jon Bon Jovi, the multimillionaire rocker, philanthropist, actor and entrepreneur thrashing about in a single bed the night before the show wondering where the rest of his band is.

“When I say we like exploring new countries and cultures, then I mean it, but I’m totally a selfish rock star and I like to do things right. We were booked into this palace of a hotel in Abu Dhabi. The other guys went a day early and I flew in after. We’d been promised a royal suite – unimaginable luxury, gold-leaf toilet paper, the works. I arrived very late from Paris that night and they show me to this room with an Ikea bed and a lamp. Next morning I meet the guys for breakfast and start moaning: ‘It’s not so great here is it?’ But they’ve had a ball – servants, peeled grapes, masseuse… It turns out I’d bedded down in the service wing. I’d slept in the servant’s room!”

Hence the Abu Dhabi show was done on a just a few hours’ sleep, drawing on Jon Bon Jovi’s deepest reserves of professionalism. But then again, this is not just any old rock star. In fact, at one point in the film he looks up from his portable office and says so: “I’m not just a rock star. I’m the CEO of a major corporation.”

Then he launches into a snitty diatribe about how all the other band members get to go off and do nice things while he mans the phones and executes band “business”.

Today is no different. I meet him in one corner of a vast suite at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge, London. He is boyishly trim and flashes his rock idol’s smile at staff whenever possible. His hair, the subject of so much speculation, looks thick and primped, but the days of the mullet are long gone.

It soon becomes apparent that this isn’t any old rock singer come to drawl a few lines about his influences. This is a chief executive unveiling a new product, keen for me to experience all its features up close. He has just flown in from New York and wastes no time telling me that he has personally brought the new album in his overnight bag, having only just finished mastering five of the tracks the night before. The hotel, of course, has its own stereo. But this is not sufficient. His staff have installed their own sound system in the suite. Before our interview, he asks that I listen to the new music at a volume that threatens to take out the hotel glazing in a single shock wave.

“We’ve aimed to go back to our core values on this one. Anthems. Songs that are ready- made to be played in stadiums,” he says afterwards. I can personally attest that the new set couldn’t be more stadium-ready if it came with its own queue for the toilets and a hot dog stand.

While he talks amiably about his music, it occurs to me that the key Bon Jovi asset is actually his personality. With all its can-do charm and down-home grit, it’s this that underpins his music, as well as ventures as diverse as his American football team (Philadelphia Soul), his restaurant (the Blue Parrot in East Hampton, New York), acting and what he calls his “philanthropy”.

There are some nice moments on The Circle. We Weren’t Born To Follow will be a drive-time staple across global freeways for ever. When We Were Beautiful successfully clones the epic U2 sound of the late 1980s. But if anything captures the midlife mood of Bon Jovi, it is Happy Now, in which he expresses the generational relief that a black man has finally been elected president of the US.

“For me that song is about how I and millions of others felt the day after the [US presidential] election. Finally, can we relax a little? Can we get back to being America again? It’s been like waking up from a bad dream but then you realise some of those bad things really did happen and someone has to fix them.”

Bon Jovi has met the president a couple of times, but hasn’t yet had a chance to play him the song. On the other hand, Work For The Working Man – a track so determinedly blue-collar and oil-grimed you expect it to come with a free set of rivets – has already made an impact at the White House. The song deals with the emotional impact of unemployment and was inspired by a TV documentary Bon Jovi saw on the closure of a DHL processing plant in the American mid-West.

“I sent the lyrics to my friend David Axelrod [a senior White House adviser] and he has them pinned to the wall of his office. He says it’s important to read them every day, which is touching.”

The Circle is big and earnest. But the album also contains some of the elements that have made Jon Bon Jovi the rock star that fashion forgot. The band formed in 1983 and seemed to combine several contradictory styles: heavy-metal hair with a Springsteen common-man sensibility, hard rock and pop appeal, which meant they didn’t fade with other bands of the era such as Skid Row.

Like any good chief executive, Jon Bon Jovi diversified. As an actor, he gave noted performances in the submarine drama U-571 and TV shows such as Sex And The City and The West Wing, and won the critical respect that eluded his band.

“I am the Tom Cruise of music and the Elvis Costello of film,” he says, one of his favourite career-defining aphorisms. “Tom makes great movies but he doesn’t win awards. Elvis makes music the critics love but he doesn’t fill stadiums.”

Perhaps his notable achievement has been building this multidisciplinary career while maintaining a stable marriage to his childhood sweetheart, Dorothea.

“In this line of work you soon learn to distinguish between the people who are going to stick around and have longevity and the ones who are going to burn brightly and fade away. Good-looking girls are everywhere. Good women are not.”

Bon Jovi have sold more than 120 million albums and toured in countless countries. However, when you watch the documentary it takes precisely 12 minutes for Jon Bon Jovi to address the fact that still niggles: the critics have always hated them. And this is not simply a case of a mega band like U2 coming in and out of vogue over a long career. This is the story of a band forced to duck a volley of critical rotten vegetables for so long that they could be forgiven for thinking the world actually smells of bad cabbage.

“I have an ego. Of course I would like our band to be gaining plaudits and a little respect. That’s been the case for years. But I think about it far, far less than I used to. I think there is definitely an element of snobbery at work.

“It is very hard to sell millions of records and retain any sense of the mystery and edginess that critics like a band to have before they start putting them on a pedestal. Like I say in the film, when you get a signed guitar from Bob Dylan, or you hear that Leonard Cohen thinks your version of Hallelujah is the best one he’s heard, then that really means something. I’ll take that over a good review any day.”

One of the most poignant moments in the film comes when Bon Jovi assesses his personal artistic dilemma. He has been famous for a quarter of a century and has seen other, more credible rock acts achieve commercial success while still being considered edgy. But when he tries to write more personal and meaningful music, critics don’t like it.

“Perhaps some people would disagree with my choice. Perhaps I should have gone my own way. I know some artists pride themselves on ruling audience reaction out of the equation. But I guess that’s not me. When I go on tour, I like to walk into a stadium and see a few faces there. No, I like to see a lot of faces there! And I can write the songs which bring those people to the shows. It’s a deal we have: I write the songs and you turn up. Not so bad, is it?”

And so Bon Jovi have ploughed their own furrow. It is, he says, no longer about trying to prove their credibility. When We Were Beautiful is about the survival of a band who have encountered the usual panoply of rock star problems: Tico Torres’s drinking, Richie Sambora’s divorce and ensuing alcohol and painkiller addictions. You know it must have been pretty bad when someone mentions that the band had an on-stage margarita machine while touring Mexico. It was the intervention of the rock therapist Lou Cox, recommended by the manager of Aerosmith, who finally saved the day.

“It’s not magic. He just got us to talk,” says Bon Jovi. “In a successful band it can be the hardest thing sometimes to admit you are unhappy or angry.”

Things certainly seem OK now: on the film, band members discuss these issues from, respectively, a golf cart on a sun-dappled links and the stern of an expensive-looking yacht.

Sambora and Bon Jovi clearly share a close bond. The former says to the camera that he sees it as his job “to make Jon happy”. Keyboard player David Bryan sounds a more dissenting note when he says the band is a “sexless marriage”, and that it has been hard to live in the shadow of the same boss for 26 years. He then adds, with almost schoolboyish, end-of-term giddiness that he has written a stage musical that has nothing whatsoever to do with the rest of the band.

Did Bon Jovi find it hard hearing that?

“Of course not. These are talented guys and there are times when they feel they should have more say. My report card definitely says, ‘Does not play well with others’. I certainly have the lead singer’s disease. I think it’s ‘Me, Me, Me’ sometimes and that must be a pain. But I think, given these frictions, surely we can say that we all get enough out of it and there is enough room for everyone to breathe.”

In fact, The Circle refers to the idea of the brotherhood that has survived through thick and thin, and the film is full of backstage birthday cakes and the Bon Jovi tradition of handing out diamond pendants to loyal crew.

“Everyone wants one, but not all get,” he says with a smile. “Even our producer, who has just done his second album, hasn’t got one, though he keeps asking. Yeah, when you’re in, you’re in. I only know of one guy who sold his pendant. People get very emotional about them. Take [producer] John Shanks. This is his second record with us and he’s begging me for one. I say ‘No’, you’ve got to wait till the end of this tour before you qualify’.” Bon Jovi’s life spans the excesses of the rock star and the concerns of the selfless philanthropist. No wonder he has been talked about as a possible politician. There are those who would like him to bring that “man of the people”, can-do ethic to Democratic politics. He has the contacts. He has the popular touch. But, no, he checked out the job with a presidential friend and didn’t like what he saw.

“It’s a thankless job. Thankless. One time I was on a private jet with president Clinton going to some horse race. Just five of us. The guy whose plane it was said, ‘Whose job is best? Yours or the president’s?’

“I said, ‘Mine, because I get to keep the jet and the house.’ Of course, you’re the president of the United States. But when it’s over, you get a Secret Service guy and a book deal. It’s harsh.

“The responsibilities are absolutely terrifying, you carry the weight of the free world on your shoulders and yet... you don’t get the rewards. It’s taken me a while to realise that my true love is my first love: music.”



All you ghosts and goblins out there, have a very scary day!!


Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign...

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's getting to be that time of year again. That time when the minute you step outside you can hear the ringing of those little bells and you dig for your change or quiet money to deposit into the famous red kettles.

During halftime of the Thanksgiving Day Dallas Cowboy game Daughtry will be kicking off the campaign.

On Friday, October 30th, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones and The Salvation Army's Major George Hood announced the featured artist for the 2009 Thanksgiving Day Red Kettle Kick-off will be Grammy-nominated Daughtry. The rock band will perform live during the nationally televised halftime show during the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game against the Oakland Raiders. This will be the first Thanksgiving game to be played in the new, $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX.

At my house, we are subject to watching the Cowboys because my Husband is a fan. I think this year, knowing that I get to see Daughtry at halftime, will make watching the game bearable.



Third Date Added...

Bon Jovi announced another date for the Circle World Tour, playing the NEW Meadowlands at the end of May. The latest date is on May 29th now. Tickets for all three concerts go on sale Saturday, October 31st at 10am. I’m sure they will sell out in seconds since those NJ people love them some Jovi, so be sure to get up early to get the tickets!

East Rutherford, NJ – October 30, 2009 – Following their groundbreaking performance and tour announcement at the site of New Jersey’s New Meadowlands Stadium last week, Bon Jovi has just added a third date on Saturday, May 29, 2010 to their series of inaugural concerts at the soon-to-be-opened venue. The newly added concert, along with the previously announced New Meadowlands Stadium shows on May 26th & 27th, are part of Bon Jovi’s “The Circle 2010-2011 World Tour, promoted by AEG Live. The tour launches February 19th in Seattle, WA, and will feature 135 shows in 30 countries throughout much of the next two years.

Tickets for all three New Meadowlands Stadium shows go on sale on Saturday, October 31st at 10:00AM and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations, via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000, Ticketmaster Express at 866-448-7849 (automated only self service line)or online at Tickets are subject to applicable service charges and event time and date are subject to change. Log on to for the most up to date concert and ticket on-sale information.



New Merch!

There's new merchandise available! Check it out...

Go here for prices and more information. I don't think I like the ornament this year. It looks like its made of that poly-resin stuff. A little tacky if you ask me. But that's JMO of course.


Finally got the Chance...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

to listen to the new album! My car ride to work isn't that long so it took me a couple days, but I finally managed to hear the whole thing. More than once!

I have my favorites (Superman Tonight, When We Were Beautiful...) and the one you'll find below. I only found one track that I might skip on occasion, but really, I liked all the songs. Well, Work for the Working Man isn't a favorite but I don't hate it. The skipper might be Brokenpromiseland, but it might grow on me after a few more listens. We'll see.

Anyway, here is the one track that I have been listening too over and over. I just LOVE it.


Jon Bon Sleeping in the Servant's Quarters?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How does a Rock God the likes of Jon Bon Jovi end up in the servant's quarters? I guess when you're late anything is possible.

Rocker Bon Jovi has revealed how he accidentally slept in the servants' quarters of one of the world's most exclusive hotels, during a tour to Abu Dhabi in the U.A.E last year.

Jovi, who releases new album The Circle next week, tells Q magazine: 'We were booked into this palace of a hotel in Abu Dhabi. We'd been promised the Sheik's suite - unimaginable luxury, gold-leaf toilet paper, the works.'

'I arrive late and they show me to this room with an Ikea bed and a lamp.'

'Next morning, I start moaning to the guys (the band), “It's not so great here is it?” But they've had a ball. Servants, peeled grapes. Masseuses. It turns out I'd bedded down in the service wing. I'd slept in the goddamn servant's room.'

Wonder who lost his/her job over this mishap?



Sports Illustrated and Bon Jovi...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Before the free concert last Thursday at the Meadowlands, Jon Bon Jovi spoke with's Jimmy Traina: We're in the middle of the baseball's postseason and you guys again were a staple of TBS' coverage with We Weren't Born to Follow. How'd that happen?

Bon Jovi: They had so much success with I Love This Town [the previous two years] and we created a friendship with the producer. Our manager played them the new single, and he just went crazy for it and said, "You gotta give it to me before anyone else." Which was great and bad all in the same breath, because he got it and he exposed it and they really branded it for baseball. But I gave it to the Patriots personally before anyone had it, and Bill [Belichick] heard it and said this was going to be their theme song for the year. And now baseball has branded it, so I don't know if it's going to end up being the Patriots' theme song for the year. I'm glad because so many people relate to it. And there's a line in it, "This one's about the one who curses and spits." Every coach, every player thinks it's about him. But it's a nun from Philadelphia. Well, that will work out well with the Phillies in the World Series. You guys have strong ties to both Philly and New York. Are you torn about a Phillies-Yankees World Series?

Bon Jovi. No. In all honesty, I'm not. I'm a football guy. Baseball, I enjoy it at playoff time. So having my druthers, I'd just come out flat out for the Yanks. Do you like their chances?

Bon Jovi: The Yankees have said since last March that it's all or nothing this year. But there seems to be great synergy on the team. And that, to me, is what any successful relationship has to be built on. You can't just have nine celebrities on the field. You gotta have a team. And it looks like they're really supporting each other, so fingers crossed, I'd like the see the Yankees bring a title back. It's been a long time. You mentioned Bill Belichick before. There's a great YouTube that's been in Hot Clicks of Belichick and Charlie Weis singing Wanted Dead or Alive with you at a charity event. You have a relationship with Belichick. And that video showed a side of him football fans never see. Tell us about your relationship. Does he sing a lot?

Bon Jovi: [Laughing] Not a lot. He's a very old friend of mine, 20-plus years at this point. We met when he was a defensive coordinator here [with the Giants]. And [Bill] Parcells allowed me to be the "mascot" back then. And then we stayed close. He's a closet drummer. [Bon Jovi band member] Tico [Torres] bought him a drum kit years ago. He came to Europe with us on the road in '95. So what did you have to do to get him on stage to sing? I know it was a charity event.

Bon Jovi: It was an event for Hannah, Charlie's daughter. Somebody, I think it was Brady Quinn, paid a lot of money for whatever the prior item was. And I said I'll double that amount if they'll come up and pretend to be Richie [Sambora]. And all they had to do was sing one line. But they were so caught up in the spotlight that they decided to sing the whole chorus. All I wanted them to do was say the word "wanted." When Bill got on stage, he said he'd pay 60 grand to not have to sing. I said, "Too late, pal." What's going on with the Arena League [Bon Jovi is co-owner of the Philadelphia Soul]?

Bon Jovi: I gotta tell you, let me see if I could put this one politically correct. We have spent more time since we won the title in 2008 trying to reorganize the league and trying to bring it back in a much bigger and better way than we spent the first five years we were in the league. And I'm not even exaggerating. We have conference calls and meetings regarding the future of the Arena League every day. Today, more than ever before, I think the chances of it coming back are less than any other day between now and 15 months ago, and it's really disheartening because the fans deserve an affordable, accessible sports broadcast with role models as players and ownership groups like ours that were committed. Is it just because of the economy right now?

Bon Jovi: That was the reason for the reorganization. And then, like any onion that you peel back, there are layers in there and you go, "Oh, I didn't know that, I didn't know that." So now, I'm more despondent than I've ever been. Would you try to get involved with an NFL team?

Bon Jovi: I've tried. Celebrities owning NFL teams seems to be all the rage these days.

Bon Jovi: Now that's bull----. That's what you call a bull---- vanity project. Every day it's a new celebrity.

Bon Jovi: Please. I want to own an NFL franchise. I understand the business of football. I'm not looking for a vanity project. One-seventh of one percent is not ownership. So you're opening the new Meadowlands in May. Is that a big deal for you?

Bon Jovi: Oh, yeah. If we had to decide to close the old Meadowlands or open the new Meadowlands, either one would've been a great deal. But I'm so happy with the way it worked out because there can only be one first. And Bruce's [Springsteen] tour cycle was ending and ours was beginning so it was agreed that that's the way it would go and I couldn't be happier. [Springsteen played the last concert at the old Meadowlands on Oct. 9.] You guys do a long show and you don't stop for an intermission or anything. How grueling is it?

Bon Jovi: It's a lot. You have to get physically and emotionally ready for it. I intended to do 10 shows on the last tour and that was going to be the end of it. But with this one, it's the opposite. I'm ready to go, I'm excited to go and this album, The Circle, is meant for this kind of a venue. I loved the last album and it worked out well for us, but this is a big rock record. I have to ask you about Livin' On a Prayer.

Bon Jovi: Sure. It's sort of become a huge karaoke anthem. I won't lie. I've performed it once or twice.

Bon Jovi: Do you sound good on tequila? I never sound good. But I was wondering if you ever go on YouTube and check out people singing it.

Bon Jovi: Is that on YouTube? Karaoke versions of Livin' on a Prayer? Of course.

Bon Jovi: Oh, my God. That is classic. Will we ever hear about Tommy and Gina in a Bon Jovi song again?

Bon Jovi: [Laughing] They've retired to Florida. They're old people now.



Story Update...

I know, I know, it seems like forever, but there is a new chapter of Sweet Dreams up and ready to go!


World Series Bound...

Okay, so this post is totally a shout out to my Hub's favorite baseball team. The New York Yankees took the pennant last night at their new home in the Bronx. They beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 to take the series, 4 games to 2. Game one of the World Series is scheduled for Wednesday night, the first pitch to be thrown by CC Sabathia at a time to be determined at this point.

This ALCS was a very exciting series. I hope the Series is just as exciting. The Phillies are going to be tough to beat, but I think the Yankees are up to the challenge.

Oh, whatever could this possibly have to do with Bon Jovi you ask. Well, if you watched any of the post season action on TBS, every other commercial was Jon spouting We Weren't Born to Follow.

And, to my friend cattesambora, care to make a wager on the game? :)


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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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