Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas to all Bon Jovi fans, past and present

As we approach Christmas and the new year, I'd like to thank everyone who's supported me and this blog over the past six-and-a-half years. Bon Jovi will always hold special place in my heart (I'm never getting that tattoo removed :P) but I probably wouldn't have kept going all this time without all of you reading, leaving comments and sending messages, whether you agreed or disagreed with me. And even though it's been an "interesting" couple of years and blogging has taken a back seat, I'm still here.

Being a fan of both Bon Jovi and Star Wars, a 17-year-old John Bongiovi's appearance on the Star Wars novelty Christmas album is a moment of pure brilliance that I share on my social networks nearly every year:

Jon Bon Jovi - R2-D2, We Wish You A Merry Christmas


CBC Music writer Andrea Warner recently put together The first-ever oral history of Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album, interviewing co-producer/engineer Tony Bongiovi (Jon's cousin), Anthony Daniels (aka C-3PO) and composer Maury Yeston in the process. Read the full article at this link.

A lot changes in 34 years (or 3 for that matter -- just compare the difference in Jon's voice between then and Runaway)...

I'll leave you with two recent Christmas performances by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora respectfully to (hopefully) appease both "sides" at this time of year. ;)

Jon Bon Jovi & the Kings Of Suburbia: I Wish Everyday Could Be Like Christmas - Las Vegas (Dec 9th 2014)


Richie Sambora & Orianthi perform "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" on Home & Family


Have a safe and happy festive season!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Listenin to a Jovi Song

This is an interesting follow-on from the somewhat jaded tone of my previous post because it's a song about why many of us fell in love with Bon Jovi in the first place.

Here's the song:
Listenin To A Jovi Song


And a note from its writer, Rowdy Settles:
ATTENTION BON JOVI FANS: I decided to write a song about BonJovi music that I think we all can relate to as fans, and I'd like for ya'll to check it out. The song is called, "Listenin To A Jovi Song".

Long story short; I spend a lot of my time sitting in my jeep due to my commute so I decided to start writing songs to help pass the time. I have no musical talent whatsoever but I've managed to fumble around well enough that I've written about half a dozen songs on various topics (superheroes, prayer, my son, etc..) and I've put a couple of them on an album called "Welcome to Muskogee". Right now the album only has two singles, but more songs will be added soon.

To help push the music, I had a video created for "Listening To A Jovi Song". If YOU get a chance, or if you're really bored, check out the video, listen to the lyrics, and if it moves you or you like it, please download it off Itunes (or wherever you buy digital music). Out of all the 27 million BonJovi fans who are on Facebook...if at least one fan besides my mom buys the song...I plan on donating a percentage of the sales from the single to the JBJ Soul Foundation. My album can be found by typing in the album name "Welcome to Muskogee" or by typing in my name. And no, its not me singing on the song(s).

I typically sing/hum my songs to my son at night where nobody else can hear me and/or when trying to get him to sleep...he has yet to complain, but then again, he doesn't talk yet either...so I'm hoping you guys will like them as well. The Jovi song is about what we all already know as fans. And that is, no matter what we are going through, no matter how much of a Monday we might be having, everything becomes better when we turn on a Jovi song! No pressure, but if you buy the song (or album) you will increase your chances of going to heaven! And, it will be the best $.99 you ever spent. Enjoy.

If you want to download Rowdy's song(s), visit this link, then click View in iTunes (You should get the option to switch from the Australian store to your own country's).

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Breaking the silence

First of all, I'm not dead; I just haven't been blogging. More on that later.

Today seems like a fitting day to break my silence because, as far as the internet is concerned, Jon Bon Jovi broke his on Richie Sambora in an article published on Showbiz411 overnight, which has since been picked up/interpreted by other sites including Ultimate Classic Rock.

Anyway, here's the key part of Roger Friedman's article:
I did ask Jon what the story was with lead guitarist Richie Sambora. He left Bon Jovi’s Because We Can tour in April 2013 and never looked back. Again, Jon seems a little perplexed: “He quit. He’s gone. No hard feelings. Being in a band isn’t a life sentence.” Fans will always hope that somehow all of this will work itself out. And it might: Bon Jovi, as a band, is 10 years younger than most of the legacy groups playing right now. And, to quote a song, who says you can’t go home?

I'm not sure Jon reveals anything we didn't already know, though if you analyse the language it does suggest a subtle shift from "Richie quit the last tour and who knows what the future holds?" to "Richie is out of the band, it's over, full stop". What do you think?

The other grab is that Jon poured a lot into his failed attempt to own an NFL team -- which he copped plenty of flak for over rumours that his group planned to move the Buffalo Bills to Toronto:
Bon Jovi told me he’s getting over a serious depression after losing his bid (with partners) to buy the Buffalo Bills football team. “I devoted two years to that project,” he said with a shrug of shoulders. “But I’m coming out of it now.”
A few Bon Jovi fans whose opinions I respect have said if Jon was so devoted to his NFL bid, he should have focused on that instead of half-arsing the Because We Can tour with static sets and lacklustre performances. It got me thinking about why I've taken an unintentional three-month hiatus from this blog, and why, up until my shows in Australia I hadn't had the same unbridled enthusiasm as I had for previous tours. I'm not the only fan who was a bit jaded last year. For some, it's as simple as Richie's absence or their dislike for the What About Now album, but for me it's hard to pinpoint a particular reason or reasons.

Although Bon Jovi as a band has been relatively quiet this year too, Richie has been doing solo shows, Jon has been doing fan club shows, David has his musicals, etc. It's not like there hasn't been anything to blog about. It's just felt like a chore to do so.

But Bon Jovi was the first band I was passionate about, and therefore my gateway into so many other great artists. Most people I know know me as the Bon Jovi lover and I still cite them as my favourite band when someone asks (although Australian band 1927 is a close second and I proudly play the same guitar as Ed Sheeran, albeit badly). I had some personal crises to deal with this year, and one of the things that helped was going to a gig by Perth Bon Jovi tribute band Slippery When Wet and remembering why I fell in love with all those songs.

So I don't want to abandon the blog.

But it shouldn't simply function as a curator of Jovi news. After all, you can always set a Google alert for "Bon Jovi" and follow Bon Jovi or Richie Sambora or whoever on social media. Blame It On The Love should do something more, or different. What I wanted to achieve when I started the blog back in 2008 was present my unique perspective on Bon Jovi's music and let that perspective kick off a discussion with other fans around the world.

I just need to consider how I can best do that again in a way that serves both my readers and my sanity. :)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Richie Sambora live in Paris 26/6/14

Here is Richie Sambora's full concert at Le Bataclan in Paris on June 26, 2014.

Richie Sambora - Live in Paris 2014 [FULL]


PS - I know I haven't been posting Richie's set lists. They don't always get confirmed, and I've been super busy, but I will try to catch up on them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jon Bon Jovi NYC fan club show 20/7/14

Jon Bon Jovi recently performed an acoustic show for the Backstage JBJ fan club in New York City. He was accompanied by Lorenza Ponce and Bobby Bandiera, and here's what was reportedly played:

New York City, USA - BB King Blues Club & Grill - July 20, 2014
  1. Every Word Was a Piece of My Heart
  2. With These Two Hands
  3. Welcome To Wherever You Are
  4. Not Running Anymore
  5. Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen cover
  6. Destination Anywhere
  7. The Fighter
  8. Open All Night
  9. (You Want to) Make a Memory
  10. Thick As Thieves
  11. Who Says You Can't Go Home
  12. We Weren't Born To Follow
  13. Livin' on a Prayer

Here's a video of one of my favourite Destination Anywhere songs, and a partial video of one I thought should have been on What About Now (not just as a bonus track):
Jon Bon Jovi - Every Word was a Piece of my Heart/With These Two Hands 07-20-14


Jon's next gig is with the Kings of Suburbia on July 30. It's a fundraiser for the Parker Family Health Center, so you can watch it for a fee.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Avicii collaborating with Jon Bon Jovi

There are few details at this stage, but Jon Bon Jovi will appear on Avicii's upcoming album:
Avicii (a.k.a. 24-year-old Tim Bergling) has commandeered a small room as his home studio. He sits surrounded by computer screens and six synthesizers, working on the follow-up to his hit 2013 album, True. Collaborators this time include Jon Bon Jovi, Serj Tankian of System of a Down and Chris Martin of Coldplay. There's a song with Billie Joe Armstrong called "No Pleasing a Woman," and a reggae duet between Wyclef Jean and Matis­yahu. "I love it," Bergling says of the song, "but I don't know what to do with it yet."

Bergling cues up a dozen tracks from the 70 or so he's been working on. From the sound of them, the as-yet-untitled album (due out late this year) takes True's EDM-gets-rootsy vibe and broadens it further. "It's going to be a lot more song-oriented," Bergling declares of the album. "True was an attempt at that, getting electronic music in a song format."
Read more at Rolling Stone.

I'm interested to see how this turns out... Jon has been trying to "modernise" for years, and Avicii is a pretty hot EDM producer right now.

Avicii - Wake Me Up ft. Aloe Blacc

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Controversial Richie Sambora interview with Gitarre & Bass

Richie Sambora recently gave an interview to German magazine Gitarre & Bass Magazine. An English translation of the print interview has been circulating online and raised a lot of eyebrows. Here's the part of the interview that's got people talking:

Q: How did your style of playing evolve in the last three decades?
RS: (makes a long pause) …when you’re a sideman in a band that has a certain style that you’re not allowed to change, then solo albums and soundchecks are the only ways to break free and cross boundaries. As a songwriter, I know how important lyrics are. They open the door. In Bon Jovi, I played and sang the melodic parts. But how creative can you be when your boss only gives you four bars to move the song along? How creative can you be if your boss keeps limiting you? I’m the type of person who is open to all styles and genres. I even went to a Kanye West concert with my daughter Ava. And I discovered a musical quality that I never really realized hip hop had. It was the first time I truly understood hip hop. Today when I’m evolving my style, I focus on two things: songwriting and emotions. Goosebumps, sex, grief, love, anger. Expressing emotions through music is what’s fun for me.

Q: You and Orianthi are working on an album at the moment.
RS: Yes. We’ll be exploring different genres: from acoustic ballads to hard rock. No compromises, no marketing bullshit, none of that! What I love about Orianthi so much is how versatile she already is at such a young age. I’m 25 years older, I’ve been on the road for 30 years and experienced anything you can imagine. I’ve been through a lot of difficult times. It’s great to finally be able to just make music for the joy of it. Everybody knows what a fantastic musician Orianthi is. We have duets that are just insane. When we’re playing together, there is magic in the room. That’s never happened to me before. In fucking Bon Jovi, it took me and Jon three albums to finally develop chemistry.

Q: Your ex-boss stated that you won’t be playing with the band anytime soon. Is there even still a future with Bon Jovi?

RS: I don’t think so. I was in that band for 30 years. That’s a damn long time. I missed most of my life. I worked myself to death in that band. The last tour alone was 18 months. I was always there for them. I wrote almost all of the songs and produced the records. And guess how many of my guitar parts finally made it on the records? Be honest, how many guitar solos are on the recent albums? Not many. I didn’t have much of a family life either. There comes a time when you ask yourself: Is it even worth it? Who am I? I was like a robot; everyday I did everything for that band. And I kept having to put up with the same old shit…

Q: You sound angry…
RS: As a musician it wasn’t fun anymore. I wasn’t happy. When I had the choice between happiness and money, I chose happiness. I already have enough money.

Q: How do you feel about Phil X playing your songs?
RS: Honestly, I have no clue about what’s going on in Bon Jovi these days. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, no doubt. And as far as I know, he’s a decent studio musician in L.A. Bu can a session musician replace Keith Richards in The Rolling Stones?
Q: Absolutely not! Unthinkable!
RS: Exactly! (laughs)

Read the full translated interview here.

Richie has since tweeted that something got lost in translation. We can't know for sure what was really said because Richie spoke in English, which would have been translated into German for the magazine, and has now been translated from the translation back into English.




I do hope what has been written isn't what he really said. Although Richie has claimed credit for the Bon Jovi stuff that was popular while wiping his hands clean of anything that bombed, this interview (if accurate) is a more aggressive turn. And one that shuts the door on a band reunion where all parties had previously been open to one.