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

JonBon on E!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Having recovered from his recent leg injury, Jon Bon Jovi wraps up the American, er, leg of his band's The Circle Tour at Chicago's Soldier Field tonight and tomorrow.

However, before taking the stage the group's frontman took the time to chat with E! News about everything from working on an upcoming greatest hits album to the best and worst things about being on the road. (Jon's got a love-hate thing going with room service!)

Plus, the cowboy who's seen a million faces and rocked them all reveals there's still a few places in the world he and his mates haven't performed. Not yet at least!


Friday Funnies...


Saskatchewan takes Bon Jovi up on offer ...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Roughriders plan on using rocker’s ‘This is Our House’ track as theme song

Just what the Saskatchewan Roughriders needed: Jon Bon Jovi as a pitchman.

Playing before 35,000 fans inside the CFL team’s home stadium on Wednesday, the American rocker donned a Roughriders hat for his band’s final bow, made a reference to being “in Rider country” and, during back-to-back versions of a new tune called This is Our House, told the community-owned franchise’s proprietors: “If the Riders want to use this as their new theme song, it’s okay with me.”

The Roughriders already sell more merchandise – $7-million last year – than the other seven CFL franchises combined, so they aren’t going to miss a marketing opportunity. They plan to blast This is Our House from the loudspeakers before Saturday’s game at Mosaic Stadium against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“We are going to use the song,” Roughriders vice-president of marketing and sales Steve Mazurak said Thursday. “We use different forms of music for a highlight package and we’ll for certain use it for this game. We’re getting it all pieced together.

“Watch for it just before introductions. It’s a crescendo! It will be pre-kickoff.”

The Bon Jovi concert was staged on a beautiful summer evening. After Kid Rock served as the warm-up act, Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco presented the band with Roughriders jerseys backstage while the office lights inside city hall (visible behind the stage) were strategically illuminated to spell “BON JOVI.”

Several Roughriders players were in attendance to watch the lead singer with the mega-watt smile who used to co-own an Arena Football League franchise and his five bandmates play 23 songs, including It’s My Life and an extended version of Bad Medicine.

“I went to the concert,” Roughriders head coach Ken Miller said. “There were 35,000 people there singing the words … and me.”

Bon Jovi told the audience his band was recording a music video for This is Our House, so it had to be played twice.

Before ending the encore with his most famous hit, Livin’ on a Prayer, he thanked the crowd profusely for its patience. The new song – featuring lyrics such as “Are we gonna raise the roof? / Oh, yeah! / Are we gonna touch the sky? / Hell, yeah! – is expected to be published this winter.

“[Bon Jovi] gave us the rights,” Mazurak said. “All the stadiums that hosted his tour get to use that song.

“Good on him. He’s a smart businessman. This is a stadium song, like some of the stadium songs that have been around for decades, like [Queen’s] We are the Champions. Some songs are imprinted in the hearts and minds of the sporting world.

“If you get This is Our House, it speaks to what sports and home-field advantage are all about.”



Review: Bon Jovi at Regina Mosaic Stadium 7/28/10

Bon Jovi makes up for lost time with a Regina stadium show heavy on hits and deep cuts

Even Jon Bon Jovi is willing to admit that time flies when you’re having fun.

“Somebody told me before the show that it’s been 20 years since we were last in Regina. How is that possible?” the 48-year-old rocker asked the estimated crowd of 35,000 at Mosaic Stadium on Wednesday night.

“I like lots of things about Regina. I liked the fly over before the show. I liked the nice things written about us in the newspaper. And I met Jovi, a baby who was named after the band. It won’t be another 20 years before we’re back in Regina.”

Currently touring in support of their their latest album, The Circle, Bon Jovi certainly made up for lost time with an impressive 23-song, 135-minute set. Bon Jovi, joined as always by Richie Sambora (guitar), Tico Torres (drums) and David Bryan (keyboards), dipped deep into the band’s discography and gave the crowd a taste of the music that’s enabled the New Jersey rockers to sell 130 million albums worldwide over the past 26 years.

Opening with “Blood On Blood” and “We Weren’t Born To Follow,” Bon Jovi decided to challenge the crowd right off the bat.

“Regina — are you with me out there?” he shouted.

The answer was a resounding yes and when Bon Jovi asked the crowd, “Show me what you’ve got,” they responded with an enthusiastic singalong of “You Give Love A Bad Name.”

While the music was front and centre, the massive stage was also a sight to behold. Backed by a high definition video screen in the shape of a half circle — it measures an imposing 115 feet wide by 50 feet high — the stage also included a circular ramp into the crowd. With rectangular video screens on each side of the stages, fans were guaranteed not to miss a beat, whether it was a sly smile from Bon Jovi or a sneer from Sambora.

During “We Weren’t Born To Follow,” a song about standing up and fighting for a belief, the screen filled with images of Lance Armstrong, the Wright brothers, President Barack Obama, Winston Churchill, Oprah Winfrey and Martin Luther King Jr. It was interesting imagery — most people wouldn’t compare Lance Armstrong with Martin Luther King Jr.

Bon Jovi, who usually is very active on stage, apparently was limited by a calf injury he suffered on July 9 while performing at the new Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. It took Jon 11 songs but he finally made it out onto the circular walkway. It was a gentle stride out into the crowd and although Jon didn’t appear to be limping, he definitely wasn’t his usual high-energy self.

The pre-concert press kit indicated Sambora brings 15 different electric guitars on the road and if he didn’t use all 15 Wednesday night he came close. It seemed he changed guitars with every song but what didn’t change was Sambora’s skill — he plays like a man possessed, with poise and confidence. He might not be AC/DC's Angus Young but Sambora is capable of holding more than his own with it comes to guitar licks.

Sambora also proved he was more than just guitar player by taking centre stage and lead vocals for “Lay Your Hands On Me.” Sambora’s voice fit the quintessential rock ballad perfectly as he morphed into a church choir leader orchestrating the congregation.

Jon’s voice sounded great, the band sounded great, the visuals were impressive but the set did hit a bit of a lull one hour in with “(I Want To) Make A Memory,” “I’ll Be There For You,” ”Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night,” “In These Arms” and “Work For the Working Man.” This isn’t a knock on the songs — the material definitely was good — but stringing that many slower songs together took the crowd out of the performance.

The band regained its footing, ending the set with “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” and “Keep The Faith.”

Jon threw a curveball with the first song of the encore: “This Is Our House.”

“We’re going to play a song we’ve never played live before,” Jon explained. “And I hope you don’t mind but we’re going to film this for a video. So if you want to fix your hair and makeup, go ahead.”

Before playing the song a second time for extra filming, Jon had an interesting suggestion: “I wouldn’t mind if the Riders wanted to use this as they’re new theme song.”

Of course like any great showman, Bon Jovi kept the best for last, completing the encore with “Wanted Dead Or Alive” and a haunting version of the band's king-making hit, “Livin’ On A Prayer.”

On the latter, it sounded as if all 35,000 sang every word. It was a great way to end a great night.



Jon Bon Jovi: Stadiums are just what we do

Jon Bon Jovi is standing up.

The only reason that's news is because he blew out a calf muscle on stage July 9 during a concert at New Meadowlands Stadium in his home state of New Jersey.

"I got another leg," he told the crowd. "I don't need this one."

He hobbled back to the microphone and finished the show with "Livin' on a Prayer."

"The leg's back now, miraculously, with all the rehab I've had," Bon Jovi told the Sun-Times in an interview Wednesday. "If I was a football player, I'd say I'm 'probable' to play. Really I've just nursed all the sympathy I could get at home, and now I've gotta go back to work."

Work is a prominent theme on his latest record, "The Circle." Bon Jovi's job has looked the same for nearly 30 years -- playing one massive stadium show after another. This weekend, he returns to Chicago for two nights at Soldier Field. After that, more stadiums and arenas in 30 countries for the next two years. Again.

The Circle Tour already is the top-grossing tour in North America. Bon Jovi's last tour also had that distinction, in 2008. Amid all the reports of canceled shows and trimmed-back tours this summer, Bon Jovi's stadium gigs emerge as one of the few winners. Thus far in 2010, he's played 38 shows, selling half a million tickets and banking $52.8 million, according to Pollstar.

Since long before the band hit it big with the 1986 album "Slippery When Wet" ("Livin' on a Prayer," "You Give Love a Bad Name," "Wanted Dead or Alive"), Bon Jovi has been playing the big venues. "It's what we've done since the inception of this band," he said during a conversation that reflected on the first stadium shows, the new music business and writing a song about Jennifer Hudson.

Q. These tours are clearly huge undertakings. Do you have a limit? What would be too big for you?
A. Well, I was the guy quoted saying that I wanted to play and sell out the desert -- more than once. I've always been very comfortable in the big venues. It's not an issue of being too big as long as it's manageable, for us and the fans, and the business calls for it. And we're having fun, which we still are.

Q. Do you remember the first arena you played?
A. Yes: 1983, opening for ZZ Top at Madison Square Garden. Talk about a daunting venue -- this was before we'd even released a record. It took courage, but we did it. ... It was really only daunting inasmuch as this was the fabled Madison Square Garden, a place where heroes have walked. Every kid out there thinks that tennis racket is going to turn into a guitar and they're going to have the chance to speak to someone. We got there. We got in trouble, too. We had more people backstage than ZZ Top had times 10. We invited everyone. There was one case of beer between about 150 people. We didn't even get to meet ZZ. It was a fantasy.

Q. Do you still get nervous at all?
A. Not so much nerves, but anticipation. I ask: "Are you prepared?" I've never had stage fright, if that's what you mean.

Q. What do you attribute that to?
A. If you really want to dissect it, it goes back to the drinking age in New Jersey being 18 back in the '70s, which meant you could sneak into bars as young as 16. You'd get to see bands, and you thought that was the big time. And every step along the way, that was the big time. From the dance to the club to headlining a club to theaters and stadiums -- every step on that path you said, "This is it! I've made it!" ... It all goes back to that naivete or innocence at 16. I didn't have to go to the service, and I was young enough I could live at home, and I didn't have a family to support, so I could chase this dream. When the drinking age changed to 21, it changed the opportunities for the next generation of kids. Now you had to get to about 19 before you could sneak in and see a rock band, and by then things can be different.

Q. In the '80s, you had the quintessential success story: make a record, hand it to a DJ, he plays it, it catches on, sign the record contract. Could you pull that off today?
A. Yeah, but in a different way. The public spaces are on the Internet now, and the audiences aren't as big. "The Loop" [Chicago's WLUP-FM] had a voice back then. There were places like that where DJs had influence and were style makers. There are a couple of those guys still in the world. Pierre Robert in Philadelphia [at WMMR-FM] is a throwback to that. He guides you through what's going on, including some social activism. But if a kid like me walked into a Clear Channel chain now ... no one's going to come out and say, "Sure, let's spin this on the air in Chicago!" He'd get his ass whooped.

Q. When did you realize that had changed?
A. One day in Chicago. I remember walking Michigan Avenue -- right? where all the stores are? -- to that huge Virgin Megastore that was there until three or four years ago. I'd go there whenever I was in Chicago. I'd buy DVDs and CDs and whatever junk, anything and everything. I walked down there one day to see it all gone and thought that's the beginning of, not the end but -- it was definitely my nose slamming into the face of the record business and thinking, "Well, the new generation better find us a trick, because the old generation has given away the keys to the kingdom."

Q. Puts "7800 Fahrenheit" in a new light, eh?
A. You know, I had a conversation with Doug Morris, now the head of Universal [Media Group, Bon Jovi's current record label]. He was president of Atlantic Records when they tried to sign me in 1983. There we were in a meeting with [Atlantic founder] Ahmet Ertegun and Doug and all these guys trying to sign me, and we didn't sign. I did my deal at Polygram. But Doug wound up at Unversal, and I asked him, "What would have happened if I'd signed with Atlantic?" He said, "To tell you the truth, I don't know if we'd have made 'Slippery When Wet.'" I said, "Why?" He said, "You know, your first two albums did OK, but chances are we wouldn't have given you that third shot. That's the way Atlantic used to think. If you're not headlining after two records, move on." And now here he is the president of my label, saying, "Sure glad we didn't drop you."

Q. I'm guessing this is why you remain in at least some contact with aspiring bands, putting contest winners on your stadium bills [like Chicago's 7th Heaven, opening Friday's concert].
A. I've been doing the opening band contest for years. I love it. I want them to get the opportunity to go out there and see what it would be like on Christmas morning, the way we lived. If anything, it's a motivation tool. When they've tasted that ZZ Top moment, they go back home and work harder and figure out things, whether it's soliciting fans in the aisles with fliers they've made or giving away CDs 'cause they've made 500 of them or calling the newspaper and telling them what you do, getting an article written about you. My day or this day, you've got to work hard at it.

Q. How's "The Circle" doing?
A. Well enough, in this day and age. I think it's a fabulous album that says a lot.

Q. You do seem to be tackling topical matters more than ever here. How do you approach current events without crossing the line into folk music?
A. We think universally and timelessly. Case in point: the song "Bullet." One Sunday morning Richie [Sambora, guitarist] was at my house, and I'm watching "Meet the Press," and it's about Jennifer Hudson's brother-in-law, what's his name? The guy who killed her family members on a rampage? [On Oct. 24, 2008, actress-singer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew were murdered on the South Side. Hudson's estranged brother-in-law, William Balfour, has been charged with the murders.] He's this guy going, like, "Why didn't I get mine?" Awful. But instead of sitting down and writing a song with his name in it or hers, with a specific day and date, you make your case because this same situation is going to happen again in five years somewhere else. You speak to the larger issues. You ask whether the song will stand up 20 years from now and is the message going to be clear.



Out and About...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hudson Hotel becomes rock party central

The Hudson Hotel was rocker heaven Monday night. Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora popped into Spin magazine's 25th anniversary party at the Hudson Bar. Sambora partied until 2 a.m. among other guests including Jessica Stam and the Smashing Pumpkins who performed at Terminal 5 nearby before the party (frontman Billy Corgan, who recently fainted onstage during a performance in Florida, skipped the after-party). [See Dan Aquilante's review] Meanwhile, tantric rocker Sting set up camp with a group of friends at Hudson's outdoor garden area, Private Park.


Story Update...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A new chapter of Sweet Dreams has been posted for your reading pleasure.



Lima has been Confirmed!

Monday, July 26, 2010

US band Bon Jovi confirms concert in Lima on Sept. 29

Finally, Bon Jovi confirmed that they have included Lima in their world tour The Circle: they will perform in Peru on Sept. 29, at the San Marcos University stadium.

Jon Bon Jovi (lead singer), Richie Sambora (guitar), Tico Torres (drums) and David Bryan (keyboards) will bring a show that is expected to rock the whole audience.

The band is currently on the road in the US, and will come to South America after 15 years, to perform in the most important venues of the region.

The tickets will go on sale August 7 and the prices range between 48 and 570 soles.



Review: Bon Jovi @ Gillette Stadium 7-24-10

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bon Jovi rocks Gillette

FOXBORO - It's hard to think of a band more synonymous with summer stadium shows than Bon Jovi, and the band's performance Saturday in front of a sold-out Gillette Stadium did nothing to give that reputation a bad name.

Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and crew commanded the audience's attention for the 2-hour, 30-minute set with an ease that was awe-inspiring.

"This ain't television, baby! Get out of your seats! Get out of your seats! Get out of your seats!" Jon Bon Jovi yelled to the crowd before ripping into the band's mega-hit "You Give Love a Bad Name."

Throughout the set, the 51,000-plus had little use for those seats, with few choosing to use them.

Instead, they stayed on their feet, singing along to the band's anthemic tunes, including "Blood on Blood," "It's My Life" and "Lost Highway."

For someone who has been out on the road, playing sold-out stadiums and arenas the better part of decades, Jon Bon Jovi still seems to genuinely get a kick out the crowd's adoration, smiling at the cheers and catcalls whenever he cracks a joke or performed a dance move.

Playing with the Foxboro crowd's love of the New England Patriots, he employed his "football schtick," telling fans he had some inside info on the team, and then walking away from the microphone before finishing his sentences.

In one of the peaks of the set, supporting act Kid Rock joined the band on stage for a rousing rendition of Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" that had the crowd dancing and yelling for more.

The band saved its best for last, however, amping the crowd up with "Dead or Alive," "I Love This Town" and "Livin' on a Prayer" to close out the encore and send the crowd out on a high note. Before the Jersey rockers could take the stage, it was Detroit's own Kid Rock who worked the crowd into frenzy.

In an hour-long set full of the rock and roll excesses of sex, drugs and fireworks, Rock showed just how great of an entertainer he can be, ripping through his own hits and covers, and keeping the audience on its feet.

Although the sun was still out when they took the stage, Rock and his backup band, Twisted Brown Trucker, left no doubt that the party had begun with "Rock N Roll Jesus," the title cut off his 2007 album.

Rock and company had the crowd eating out of their hands by the time they got to "All Summer Long," an homage to youth featuring a the guitar line from Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" and Rock's biggest hit to date.

Showcasing his love of a good party, Rock showed the audience he can simultaneously scratch records on a turntable and pour himself a shot of whiskey, much to the crowd's delight.

The Boston band Mission Hill got the evening started, opening the show with a short set after winning an Internet contest.



Never Say Goodbye...

Bon Jovi is rocking hard, aging gracefully, and just hitting its stride

Bon Jovi may only be playing one show at Gillette Stadium (tomorrow, with openers Kid Rock and local band Mission Hill), but thanks to recent residencies at other venues — including 12 nights at London’s O2 arena — the band is primed to play just about anything. Whether it’s tracks from the multiplatinum rockers’ most recent release, “The Circle,’’ expected hits like “Livin’ on a Prayer,’’ or a deep cut from his “Young Guns II’’-inspired solo album “Blaze of Glory,’’ Jon Bon Jovi is prepared. “A lot of bands write a set list and go out and do that all year. We’ve never been that kind of band,’’ the frontman said recently by phone from Philadelphia. Just don’t expect to hear ’80s pop metal anthem “In & Out of Love.’’ Ever again. “Oh lord, no thank you. Pass.’’

Q. You appeared on the Tonys last month via satellite to congratulate your keyboardist Dave Bryan on being nominated for, and eventually winning, the best musical award for “Memphis.’’ Even though he had to take a break from the tour, you must have been thrilled.

A. We’re very proud of that; it’s a hell of an accomplishment for a first time.

Q. That got me to thinking: a Bon Jovi jukebox musical, perhaps? It certainly worked out for Frankie Valli and Abba.

A. Yeah, right? We’ve got a song or . . . two in that [musical] “Rock of Ages.’’ When you have a catalog of music that’s cross-generational and it’s universally accepted as [ours has] been, you’re not saying something that hasn’t crossed my mind.

Q. You were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame last year. What was that like?

A. I’m very proud of it. I love it. . . . But . . . now you’re staring at a blank piece of paper and you’ve got to do it again.

Q. When you get an award like that does it tempt you to reflect on your evolution from the first album to “The Circle’’?

A. Absolutely. We’re not trying to be something we’re not, and we’re not trying to rehash the past and rewrite “You Give Love a Bad Name.’’ When I was 25 I never wanted to be 50 and pretending to be something I wasn’t. And now that I’m 50, I’m not going to pretend to be 25. This is part of growing up in public and having shared a life with a lot of people who’ve witnessed it. So “The Circle’’ is a huge leap, a mature step, I think.

Q. Bon Jovi has a group of songs it has to do every night. Are you tempted to rearrange them? Do you ever find yourself mentally going over your grocery list during “You Give Love a Bad Name’’?

A. Don’t think that that hasn’t happened. (Laughs.) But yes, there are going to be that handful that it’s unforgivable if you didn’t do them — “Wanted,’’ “Livin’ on a Prayer’’ — and you understand that. Because I remember being a fan and seeing Eric Burdon doing reggae versions of the Animals and I thought “Oh no, no, no. I don’t want to hear reggae versions. I want to hear ‘Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ the way it’s supposed to be sung.’’ And yet I understood why he was over it. But I still like singing “Livin’ on a Prayer.’’ Who wouldn’t with the response it gets after all these years?

Q. Or the response it gets after a few beers, which is when most people find themselves singing it.

A. It’s the karaoke song of the century.

Q. Are you a studio guy or stage guy? Or does it feed different parts of you?

A. One feeds the other in this order: writing it, recording it, and then performing it live. Writing it, you think you have something. Recording it and realizing you do in fact have something makes you want to share it with the audience and then you go out there and do it.

Q. So it’s all good for you?

A. No, it’s just different stages of good. The writing to me is the best, it’s my favorite. Recording is second and then touring is third because it’s physically demanding, it takes you away from any kind of a life, it’s tedious. But when you’re in good shape and you’re doing what we’re doing now and the kinds of ridiculous accomplishments we’re having in this last decade, it’s pretty hard not to enjoy it.

Q. Be honest, have you ever had nightmares about losing your hair since you haven’t actually lost it?

A. Thank the lord! It’s like “mirror mirror on the wall.’’ (Laughs.) But you’ve gotta know how to grow old gracefully and just know that you’ve got to deal with it. It’s all part of the process, I ain’t 25 but I’m not 65 yet either. I’m just enjoying the ride.



Queenie's Loyal Subjects

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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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