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

Interview: Jon Bon Jovi - Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Scotland

Sunday, June 19, 2011

From Daily Record

Jon Bon Jovi is set to hit 50 but all he wants to do is rock Scotland on world tour 

AS hotel rooms go, Jon Bon Jovi's lavish suite at the five-star Bayerischer Hotel in Munich is the daddy of them all.

The lounge area is the size of a five-a-side pitch, expensive pictures adorn the walls and a spiral staircase leads up to a rooftop apartment.

I greet the US rock superstar who is sitting in a corner dwarfed by his surroundings, sorting out his on-the-road "home comforts"...a laptop computer with pictures of his wife and kids, a guitar and his favourite training shoes.

"What's up there?" asked the singer, pointing to the staircase. "I've not even had the chance to find out. If only people could see the opulence of this hotel room. It's wonderful but I don't need it. Just give me a bed. I really don't care for the rest of it."

Bon Jovi are on the home straight of their 2010-2011 world tour, playing 135 shows in 30 countries including a gig at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

It's a punishing schedule but the New Jersey-born singer is holding up well. Just hours before a show for 80,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium, Jon, 49, told me: "I'm not really feeling the wear and tear of having done 120 shows already.

"There are extremes to being on the road. When I'm at home I'm just dad.

You're taking the kids to school, dealing with high school graduations and proms.

"Then I go on tour and the next day I'm back to being a vampire again. I sleep until one in the afternoon and don't go to bed until way too late when the wine has dried up.

It's a whole different lifestyle but it works for me. I'm not the kind of guy who needs a lot of luxury on the road."

At Murrayfield, Bon Jovi will perform a three-hour set encompassing hits from every phase of a 27-year career which includes classic albums Slippery When Wet, Bounce, Have A Nice Day and 2009's The Circle. The band give 110 per cent every night, underlining their status in rock's elite.

"I feel if I don't leave a piece of my lungs on that microphone tonight I didn't do my job. It's a very all-consuming physical thing for me," admitted Jon. "Before you arrived a Chinese acupuncturist was sticking me in places that shouldn't be stuck with needles.

"If you wanna play hard you've gotta be on your game. Maintain that certain level of desire to be great. I don't get nervous before a show. It's only if you don't know what the hell you're doing you'll have a problem. We're playing to 80,000 people but the size of the crowd doesn't mean anything. If it was only 8000 people I'd still want it to be great.

"The last thing I want to do is feel cheated or let myself down, let alone the band or the crowd. I think very long and hard about what it is we do out there. You can't take this for granted. That cliche stuff of being in a kid band saying: 'I'm just gonna get off my rocker, go out and not care what the audience thinks' ... then you're a fool. You won't still be here in 27 years."

But it's not all been plain sailing. In April, guitarist Richie Sambora went back into rehab to fight his addiction to alcohol. The group were forced to fulfil tour dates using substitute guitar player Phil X. Jon was determined the show must go on.

He said: "To be honest about it, we've got to pay a road crew who are dependent upon that paycheck to put food on the table and shoes on their kids' feet. You can't put them out of work. We also have people who come to see the band and book air tickets and hotels way in advance. They were not refundable.

"We all fully supported and embraced my dear friend and songwriting partner. But the show goes on. I'm not beholden to anyone."

Jon is delighted Richie, who looked fighting fit in Munich, is back.

He said: "It was great for Richie to go and take care of himself knowing full well he was not being fired or punished. He needed and wanted to seek help. Now, he's focused, re-energised and everything is great. Our partnership is as strong as ever.

"Is Richie conquering his demons? How can I comment on that without knowing the disease. I think he's very cognisant of the situation and loves his mother, daughter and band more than anything in the world. I'm very proud of his efforts. He's still my dearest friend."

Was it strange playing without the guitarist who co-wrote such hits as Livin' On A Prayer, Wanted Dead Or Alive and Keep The Faith?

Jon said: "The shows actually went pretty well. It's not a slight by any means but Phil X did a fantastic job. It made it easier for me, the band and crew. So we have much affection for him. Obviously he's not gonna play those guitar parts in the same way as Richie because he wrote them.

"But my admiration for Richie runs deep. His abilities as a player never suffered. Richie's talent is God-given. He's blessed."

At the Olympic Stadium, I rubbed shoulders with WBC heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko who chatted backstage with Jon at the venue which staged the 1972 Olympics and 1974 World Cup Final. The audience erupted when Bon Jovi launched into Raise Your Hands and You Give Love A Bad Name. They were on stunning form and highlights included Bad Medicine, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead and the epic Always.

Jon promised there is more to come. Next March, he hits his landmark 50th birthday and hopes to keep on rocking as long as his heroes The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney.

He said: "Given the opportunity I would gladly take up the baton. My aspiration as a kid was to grow up to be a Rolling Stone. I also have a picture of McCartney on my mantlepiece. I hope I'll still be able to do it at 65.

"This band is past the point of breaking up or anything silly like that. There's such a mutual respect. We continue to make No. 1 records and fill stadiums.

"But will we still be doing 150 shows per tour? I just can't see it. I don't know how the hell Mick Jagger does it at 67. That would be the first question I'd ask him. He runs around the stage as much as I do yet he's got almost 20 years on me.

"Those guys were the originators for a reason. They're that great. There's not a kid who's come along in my generation or the next who is better. With admiration I look up to them still.

"After July 31, I don't have a game plan. If I've got one brain cell left I'll go sit on a beach and read a book.

"For now, I'm happy to be playing Murrayfield. After 27 years you shouldn't necessarily still be at this level. So I'm very grateful and I won't let you down."

Bon Jovi play Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, on June 22. For tickets log on to or telephone: 0844 481 8807/8898.

Keeping the faith in pal Obama 

Jon has formed a unique friendship with one of his biggest fans - US President Barack Obama.

In 2008, the singer campaigned for the then Senator and when he was voted into the White House, he performed at the Inauguration.

Jon showed me pictures of his kids meeting Obama and said: "I'm pleased he's a fan of our music. What kid in his right mind would think he'd be having access to the President. He's a great guy.

"You always look up to the President as being this older, wiser man. He is very smart but he's a contemporary.

He grew up doing what I grew up doing - listening to Led Zeppelin and watching Happy Days."

President Obama has appointed Jon to his Council for Community Solutions to help the homeless and poor.

Jon said: "I have a job in The White House. Working for the President is pretty cool."


Ann Jordan,  August 2, 2011 at 2:59 PM  

I just happened across this article and really enjoyed all the great info. and updates.

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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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