Ok, anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Bon Jovi. It’s definitely not a secret, nor is it a surprise. To me, it’s important I write this blog to lay the framework for future blogs, and to pay homage to the greatness of my “Jersey boys”.
I was a child of the 80’s. Big hair, parachute pants, Big Hair Bands. After growing up listening to Country Music and Elvis, I ventured out and found my own likes as a pre-teen and teenager. Tears for Fears, Skid Row, Europe, Motley Crue, etc. When I was 13, I feel in love with Bon Jovi. (I still loved my country music, too. George, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks. Great stuff). One would have to be blind to not see that Jon Bon Jovi is a beautiful man. But frankly, it really is more than that to me.
The first concert I ever attended was Bon Jovi in July of 1988 or 1989 with my best friend, Chris. We were way up in the lawn, but it was so much fun! (Later that summer, I attended Guns N’ Roses with INXS, too). I’ve since been to many concerts. I listen to plenty of music. Bon Jovi remains my favorite.
To me, again, Jon is a gorgeous man. Very nice eye candy. But, the music is more to me. You can love ‘em or hate ‘em, I don’t care. I just know what it does for me. Too often when people hear “Bon Jovi”, they instantly think of their largest hits. Livin’ on a Prayer. You Give Love a Bad Name. Bad Medicine. With that association comes the misconception of this has-been hair band. Not true.
Frankly, those songs are my least favorites. Bon Jovi still writes. They still record. They still put out relevant music that is underappreciated and isn’t played in favor of over-produced bubble gum poppy bullshit like Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga. Garbage.
Jon has an amazing voice. Richie is a phenomenal singer. Together, their harmony literally sends chills through my bones. Some of the “album cut” songs are simply spectacular. Relatable. Emotional. Real. I love nothing more than stripping Jon and Richie (or any great artist, like Bryan Adams) to just a guitar and a voice. THOSE are my favorites. That’s when they shine. “There’s no dancers, there’s no diamonds, no this boy don’t lip sync.” That’s when you see the true talent and artistry of these men.
Now, back on topic. Bon Jovi’s music is dope for my soul. Literally. When I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m stressed, I can listen to their music and then I’m Zen. Instant relaxation, chill pill. I was having a very hard day the other day and was on the brink of tears. What kept me from crying in the middle of Wal-Mart? Bon Jovi. I could shift my mind back to the music and forget for awhile. Bon Jovi helps me cope with the stresses of life, in a healthy way. I feel calm, energized, alive, even. Certain songs take me to another time and place. His voice in certain songs can bring tears to my eyes; I feel ice in my veins. It’s powerful. And, hearing my babies sing along is pure joy!
With all that being said, Bon Jovi absolutely puts on a phenomenal concert. Great. Shows. So, I’ll spend the money to be entertained well, to see my “dope” live, and to be in the same room with Jon. Nobody is perfect; we all have our faults, our flaws, our humanity. Despite his rock-star life, Jon has done a very good job of maintaining his integrity. He’s been married to his high school sweetheart for almost 30 years. They have 4 children together. He’s built his band and his business himself. He’s kept a rock band together, happy, and producing for 30 years. It’s really an abhorration in that business. He’s great. He is and his band is something I’m proud to say is my favorite, and I’m proud to share with the next generation. I am proud that my kids request certain songs for me to play. I am proud they listen to stuff other than the crap on the radios today. Bryan Adams, AC/DC, Maroon 5, Vince Gill, Van Halen….and Bon Jovi.
So, tease away. I don’t care. I know what impact Bon Jovi has on my life. It’s a release. An outlet. Dope for my soul. I hope you have some healthy “dope” for your soul, too. And, one day…one day, I’ll get to meet Jon and tell him what his work has done for my life. …. If I don’t clam up.