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jon bon jovi

JBJ 2
JBJ and band pose for “This House Is Not For Sale”

I was quite frankly intrigued by a concert review that came out yesterday about Jon Bon Jovi. Specifically, the reviewer questioned the ability of Bon Jovi’s vocal skills to continue to give his own tunes justice. The report came from a credible source at NJ.com, a “friendly” media outlet which would (or should) be predictably deferential to Bon Jovi since they both call “the Garden State” home. At first, I mistook the report to say that Bon Jovi is completely done but in fairness, it doesn’t say that. Instead, the author–almost apologetically–criticizes Bon Jovi apparently out of obligation; an obligation that I, as a fellow journalist, can relate to. Simply put, if you are going to report, then report. Those are our marching orders as journalists. Fictional, gratuitous, or patronizing accolades really have no place in objective journalism.

David Lee Roth
David Lee Roth

However, despite that, I have several thoughts about this review. First, I have not seen Bon Jovi in concert so I cannot comment on his live vocal abilities but I have seen David Lee Roth perform and Roth is who the author uses as a measuring stick for a vocalist who can no longer hit his notes. I can tell you from firsthand knowledge that “Diamond Dave’s” vocal abilities were shot decades ago and way before Roth approached middle age too. To compare Bon Jovi to Roth now is simply not comparing “apples to apples.” The former at least tried to sing his way into his mid-life era (and he largely succeeded) whereas the latter has been too busy telling stories for the better part of two plus decades to be considered a vocalist. At times, one couldn’t tell if Roth was a comedian, talk show host, or MC for one of the best rock bands on the planet. If there is one knock on the HOF qualities of brothers Eddy and Alex Van Halen, it is their inability to identify a vocalist versus a storyteller.

The late Brad Delp
The late Brad Delp

I myself think a better comparison would have been to the late Brad Delp (from Boston) who sadly died at 55 (which is Bon Jovi’s current age). I saw Boston in concert before Delp’s passing and it was clear then that Delp’s range was compromised and that he could no longer hit his notes that he nailed in his youth. In fact, Delp admitted as such and as a consequence, Boston brought in Fran Cosmo to hit notes previously reached by Delp. But I knew better than to rip Delp because what he did when he was younger was simply amazing and any expectation that Delp–or anyone else for that matter–could maintain that level of vocal range into his middle years was simply unreasonable and not realistic. I–as a music consumer–knew that when I saw Boston. I didn’t expect Delp to replicate his younger days when he was in mid-life form. I felt that Delp–to some extent–earned a pass just like I thought Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) did too when he encountered vocal issues years ago. The collective body of work amassed by Delp, Elliott and others in their youth proved their point; now in mid-life–I thought–they deserved some slack.

JBJ in concertSo, outside of criticizing the comparison of Roth to Bon Jovi I wanted to be fair to all sides and basically give Bon Jovi’s fans–the real consumers here–equal say and solicit their opinion about Bon Jovi’s recent concert performances. In other words, I thought rather than criticize the author who is writing an honest review and giving his opinion to which he is entitled, that I would give the fans their say in reply. After all, there were thousands in attendance who heard what the reviewer heard so I would imagine that there should be a consensus as to whether Bon Jovi is done as a vocalist, struggling, or he just had an “off” night if he even did at that. I feel that that respect (at the very least) is due Bon Jovi for all that he has done in his career. So, fans, your thoughts? Is Bon Jovi done, was the show reviewed just an aberration or, were you happy with what you saw and heard? Perhaps most importantly, even if Bon Jovi can’t hit those more difficult notes any more, do you really care? After all, he is Jon Bon Jovi and not Superman.

Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor
 

Jon Bon Jovi, besides turning heads with good looks and great music, can also do so on such a parental and lovable level. Case in point is JBJ’s recent performance at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. During the band’s performance of I’ve Got The Girl JBJ’s own daughter, Stephanie Rose (23), joined the iconic rocker on stage to dance. The video speaks for itself and you can check it out below. (Stephanie comes on stage at the 4:56 mark of the video).

As JBJ told People.com,

20170225_Bon_Jovi_Las_Vegas_3133.CR2“Everybody’s got a little girl in their life. Their daughter, their girlfriend, their wife, their mamma — it all goes by so fast. And they start out as little bitty babies and their future’s looking bright. And I wrote this song for that little baby, who’s now not such a little baby anymore.”

Great job, great artist.

Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor

As reported by our colleagues at Rolling Stone, Jon Bon Jovi’s latest album, This House is Not for Sale, has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. This is the band’s sixth No. 1 placing and it’s Bon Jovi’s first record done without former guitarist and songwriter Richie Sambora. Bon Jovi and crew will be on tour promoting the new record starting on February 8 when the group hits in Greenville, South Carolina.

Editor’s Note: For more information on tour dates and tickets, please visit here.

Gretsch Drums

Who says you can’t go “house,” I mean “home”?

House Not For Sale

Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor

The iconic rocker recently told People Magazine that he would serve as an excellent “secretary of entertainment,” although he’d never seek the highest office in the land. “There’d be so many skeletons that would fall out of my closet,” he said.

 

Murrary Clinton JoviBon Jovi, 54, also stated that he has personally known the Clintons for years and that he even attended Bill Clinton’s birthday bash last year. Earlier this year the rocker spoke at Rutgers-Newark when the democratic nominee made a campaign stop.

If we had any say in it Jon, you’re hired.

Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor

Updated July 23, 2015

Wow.  Great week for Jon Bon Jovi.  We just reported on the upcoming new album and the release of two singles ahead of it. (Our original blog appears below).  Now there’s more for JBJ.  What are we referring to?

Well, for Jon Bon Jovi add another fan. . . .a real big one in fact; New Jersey’s own governor and presidential candidate, Chris Christie.  Recently asked by a conservative pundit about their musical preferences, The Boss (Bruce Springsteen) or Bon Jovi, Christie’s wife, Mary Pat, gave the nod to the Sayreville, New Jersey, rocker. “Bon Jovi” was the governor’s response.

CC

 

“At least he’s going for another Jersey group,” said Dennis Diken who also happens to be the drummer for another classic Jersey band, The Smithereens.

If you follow Christie the comment is interesting if you consider that Christie tried to get The Boss to play his inaugural ball in 2010 (Bruce declined and instead Christie hired an E-Street cover band, The B Street Band).  He also said he cried when Bruce phoned to thank him for his Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, and, Christie also once claimed to have seen Springsteen in concert 130 times.

Apollo in the Hamptons 2014

“Maybe he’s a little crestfallen that his hero is not acknowledging him,” Diken said.

In fairness, the switch may not be out of left field as much as you might think.  For example, on June 30 the Gov did come onstage at Livingston High School to announce his candidacy to Bon Jovi’s We Weren’t Born to Follow.   Also consider that when New Jersey was devastated by Superstorm (Hurricane) Sandy in 2012 that amidst fundraising relief efforts JBJ gave Christie permission to use his music.  At the time, JBJ said: “My friendships are apolitical.  And yes, I absolutely give him permission to use my songs.”

bruce

Also consider that it was Bruce himself who made an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to sing a rendition of Born To Run which was dedicated to the Bridgegate scandal.  It’s doubtful that the Gov appreciated that effort, presidential campaign or not.

Well, the Gov has spoken.  But in the end “who says you can’t go home?”

 


 


Jon Bon Jovi To Release New Album On August 21

Being here in New Jersey, we are all excited to hear of Jon Bon Jovi getting ready to release a new album entitled Burning Bridges.  The new record is due out on August 21.

BJ

 

Already released ahead of the album are two singles; Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning and We Don’t Run.  The former tune is actually an outtake from a previous album while We Don’t Run is new material and it was written by Bon Jovi and John Shanks.  Shanks, a Grammy Winner himself, has previously worked with JBJ as a writer, producer and session guitarist (he produced What About Now, The Circle, Lost Highway and Have a Nice Day).   In fact, the lead guitar work on We Don’t Run is courtesy of Shanks with his touring counterpart Phil X prepared to emulate it live.  Additionally, it’s also worth noting that the vocals all around–both for JBJ and backing–are strong on We Don’t Run despite the absence of Mr. Sambora.

bonjovibridges

According to Camp Bon Jovi, Burning Bridges is a “fan album” with the band being hard at work for a “full-scale” album release in 2016.  JBJ and crew are slated to begin an overseas tour starting on September 11.

 

Munich, DE • May 18, 2013

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