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

Review: Bon Jovi in Abu Dhabi October 1, 2015

Friday, October 2, 2015

Review: Bon Jovi fails to hit the high notes at Abu Dhabi concert

Review: Bon Jovi fails to hit the high notes at Abu Dhabi concert

ABU DHABI // It’s probably safe to say this won’t go down as a vintage Bon Jovi tour.
The band’s first outing to begin without longterm guitarist Richie Sambora – a low-pressure 12-city jaunt around Asia – was already struck by calamity, with three shows cancelled due to government intervention (in China) and a typhoon (in Taiwan). Arriving in Abu Dhabi for the penultimate night on Thursday, one felt a certain sense of hang-on-and-hope in the air.
The little-known That’s What the Water Made Me marked an underwhelming entrance. Quickly followed by 1980s hair-metal anthemsYou Give Love a Bad NameRaise Your Hands and Born to Be My Baby, the cracks were soon evident for all to see and hear – Jon was noticeably struggling to hit the high parts of these heyday classics. Was it a bad night, or are his 53 years starting to show? The way the frontman artfully rephrased, re-pitched, or left the rest of the band to fill the blanks suggests this isn’t the first time.
Ironically duller, newer material like Who Says You Can’t Go Home andLost Highway worked far better, pitched in keys that suit Jon’s latter-day vocal style.
There’s no escaping the missing void where Sambora once stood. Replacement session player Phil X does a fine job of copping the second vocal part in Wanted Dead or Alive, but there’s key, iconic solo work he can’t/won’t play.
A band known for their ballads (Bed of RosesAlways et al), there was a sad lack displayed Thursday night – because, one imagines, Jon’s vocal frailties may be exposed.
One plodding new song is titled Because We Can – but sadly it’s not clear if this is the case, anymore.
Perhaps the most affecting moment is a fresh acoustic band rendition of Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night.
Other highlights include retro rocker I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead and a rousing Keep The Faith.
During Have A Nice Day I overheard one punter attempting to sing the chorus to It’s My Life, a song already performed that evening – let’s face it, they’re much of a muchness.
Following the inevitable Livin’ on a Prayer, the lights went up after little more than two hours. Writing about the band, I’ve used a fast food analogy before – much like a burger binge, a Bon Jovi gig satisfyingly hits the spot, but leaves you feeling slightly guilty and nauseous afterwards.
What next?
In contrast to November’s upcoming Mötley Crüe show, there was a distinct lack of any pyrotechnics or effects. Back to basics works – but when the support band, the UAE’s promising Carl & the Reda Mafia, have more multimedia than the headliner, you have to wonder if this is Budget Bon Jovi (although it was nice to see Jon drinking Al Ain water onstage – no diva here).
When, earlier on, Jon announced new single We Don’t Run, not a soul applauded. It was the only cut to appear from 2015’s Burning Bridges, a “contractual obligation” release which severs ties with Mercury, the band’s record label of more than three-decades.
Which really raises the question – what happens next?
Without Sambora, the pretence of Bon Jovi the Band has been crushed – the other three were reportedly “paid employees” of their namesake all along.
But as most fans still think it’s a “he” not a “they” anyway, why not cut loose with another solo album, add the name “Jon” to the ticket stub, and loose a few of those embarrassing falsettos along the way?


All For One, One For All...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Everyone does their best for a great show, says Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres

Everyone does their best for a great show, says Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres

They band is named after the lead singer, but stadium rockers Bon Jovi are no solo act.
Drummer Tico Torres and keyboardist David Bryan have been part of the group since its inception in 1983. They say they never felt overshadowed by their charismatic frontman.
“Bon Jovi has always felt like a band to me,” Torres says. “Jon is the frontman and he is absolutely great at doing that, but that never took away from the fact that it is a band.”
Bryan concurs, stating the live shows are the best illustration of the group’s dynamics.
“Once you see us on the stage then you will know what we are about,” he says. “It’s definitely a group effort and everybody does their best to deliver a great show for the fans.”
Torres says there is a definite sense of renewal within the band. Speaking before a recent show in Malaysia, he says Bon Jovi are enjoying their live return after a two-year break. “In a way it does feel like the first day of school,” he says with a laugh. “But this is where we are best, out there with the fans. It never gets old.” Bryan also credits the renewed vigour to new band member Phil X. After fellow original member and lead guitarist Richie Sambora left the group in 2014, X took over and made such an impression that he was enlisted as an official member last month.
However, that doesn’t mean the band doesn’t miss Sambora. Bryan credits the flamboyant axeman for taking the hard step of entering rehab to battle substance abuse.
“You know, drug addiction is a very tough thing,” he says. “All we can do is just wish him all the best.”
Torres says Bon Jovi plan to hit the studio immediately after this mini Asian and Middle East tour. While acknowledging the new album Burning Bridgesis a bit of a stopgap record in that it consists of previously unfinished songs, Torres says it served its purpose in getting the band back on the road.
“There is plenty more music to come,” he says. “But for now this is an album that we want to be for the fans. It gave us a chance to come and return to Abu Dhabi – it’s really for you guys.”

Q Note:  I highlighted the once sentence that really bothered me in this article.  After one tour, they made Phil X an official member of the band?   To my knowledge they haven't made Huey an official member, have they?    


Jon Bon's Giants Secret...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jon Bon Jovi's secret life on the NFL sidelines

Bon Jovi signingWe know that Jon Bon Jovi is a big football fan. He's friends with a few NFL owners and coaches, his son plays for Notre Dame and he tried to buy the Buffalo Bills last year.

But what is not widely known is that Bon Jovi was a regular on the sidelines of New York Giants games during their 1990 championship season. His exploits as a pseudo photojournalist and Giants fanboy were recently detailed on

Early in the 1990 season, he met Giants punter Sean Landeta in a New York City nightclub and the two concocted a plan to get Bon Jovi on the sidelines during a game against the Dallas Cowboys as a photographer. Bon Jovi wore a camera around his neck, sunglasses and stuffed his hair up under his hat, but his true identity was almost revealed.

“One cheerleader looked at me kind of funny and then was staring at Jon,” said veteran photographer Mike Malarkey, who was in on the plan, according to “And he ran real quick to get some water or Gatorade or something, and she’s staring at me and she said, ‘I know that guy.’ And she was staring at his arm and she saw the Superman tattoo and was kind of catching on."

Malarkey asked the cheerleader not to tell anyone Bon Jovi was on the sidelines.

“When he came back, she was just staring at him and you could tell she was kind of excited. But she kept it a secret," Malarskey said. "That was the only person that caught on as well. Even in the photographers’ room and during halftime, no one had a clue.”

Bon Jovi would attend games during the 1990 season as his schedule allowed. He was in the cross-hairs of coach Bill Parcells at one point.

“I was yelled at by Parcells early on in the relationship,” Bon Jovi said. “But here was the difference-maker: there were rap stars who will go unnamed that were very flamboyant on the sideline at certain NFL games. Parcells yelled at me, and as soon as he yelled at me, I thought, ‘Oh, that’s funny. He’s my Pop Warner coach. I’ve been getting yelled at like this my whole career.’ But it’s: ‘act like a man, put the hair (up)’ and you were looking like an assistant, not a rock star getting on a motorcycle. So because of that, the photographers did the same kind of thing, and that’s how I was able to make friendships. It wasn’t about me. It was about the game.”
The Giants were rolling in 1990 and won their first 11 games en route ot the playoffs. When the team went down to Tampa Bay to play in Super Bowl XXV against the Buffalo Bills, the players found a gift from the rocker in their locker room stalls: a T-shirt with the words “Show No Mercy" written on the front with Giants and Bon Jovi logos on the sleeves.

"We’re all wearing (his) shirt underneath our jerseys,” Landeta said in the article. “I don’t know if you believe in things like that or whatever, but it was a little spark, you know what I’m saying? You say to yourself, ‘Wow, look what he did for us, how he feels about us, how he wants to be a part of this.’”

Bon Jovi was kicked off the field at the beginning the Super Bowl, which featured another Jersey superstar, Whitney Houston, performing the National Anthem in early 1991.

"Security came and they took me off,” Bon Jovi said according to “And Phil Simms said, ‘He has the same pass as I do. He is with us.’ And they said, ‘This is a different story.’ This is the Gulf War. They said, ‘You gotta go.’ And they sent me up to a box.”

Bon Jovi was later asked to come down to the field.

"They’re trotting out to kick the game-winning field goal and I feel a tap,” said Landeta, referring to the game ending field goal attempt by the Bills, which failed. “I turn to my left, and there [(Bon Jovi) is. I’m like, ‘Where have you been? I’ve been looking all over for you … All right, whatever, let’s watch this.’ So we stood there and watched him line up and kick that ball. Fortunately, it sailed a little to the right.”

The Giants won 20-19. Bon Jovi ran out onto the field with the team.

"When the kick went wide, we ran out on the turf, and to have been allowed to do that -- I tried to buy the Buffalo Bills last year. None of this would have happened had it not been for meeting Sean Landeta, when he introduced me to all those people who then I’ve become such good friends with," Bon Jovi said. "Everybody took a knee (after the game). Mr. Young (the general manager of the Giants, George Young) said come on into that dressing room. Before they closed the doors, before anybody got in, when they took a knee, I was there! That was crazy ridiculous for a singer for a rock band from New Jersey."


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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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