Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Reading material for Bon Jovi fans

I've been meaning to do a post like this for a while, but with the reported release today of former tour manager Richard Bozzett's book Sex, Drugs and Bon Jovi, now seems like a timely moment.

  • Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful -- The accompanying picture book to the documentary of the same name. You're mostly buying this for the photos but there are also some comments and reflections from the band. Check out Anthony Kuzminski's review on antiMusic.com.
  • Star Man: The Right Hand Man of Rock'n'Roll, by Michael Francis and Paul Elliott -- The son of boxing trainer George Francis spent three decades as a bodyguard for some of the biggest names in music. This is Michael Francis' autobiography, and a large part of it is about his time with Bon Jovi in the 80s. (As a side note, you can spot Michael briefly in the "Wanted Dead or Alive" video and Access All Areas IIRC.)
  • Bon Jovi Encyclopaedia, by Neil Daniels -- If you're a diehard fan you'll probably know most of what's covered here, and as an "encyclopaedia" I think it has a few problems, which I outlined in my Suite101 review last year. There are also some issues with editing but I can't really blame the author for that. And credit where it's due, it's a mammoth effort for someone who's not a crazy fan to write something like this, and I think the book would make for a decent stocking filler for casual fans or people who are new to the band.
  • Jon Bon Jovi, by Laura Jackson -- This completely unauthorised biography seems to attract mixed reviews for that very reason. Of all the books I mention in this post, this is the one that's had the most time elapsed since I read it, but again: if you're a diehard, particularly one who's followed the band from its early years, you'll know most if not all the content. And being written by someone without connections to the band, there aren't any great insights either. However for a "bio from afar" I seem to recall it being reasonably comprehensive.
  • Gospel of Jon, by Rebecca Wilson -- Rebecca's self-published memoir, harrowing and touching in turn, articulates why Bon Jovi's music means so much to her. While her personal story may be vastly different to ours, I think many of us diehard fans could relate to it. (NB: This is temporarily unavailable as a hard copy but you can get a digital copy by e-mailing Rebecca via rwilson311 AT gmail DOT com -- Put "Blame It On The Love" in the subject line.)
  • Finally, if you qualify as a "mature audience" and you're okay with the concept of Real Person Fic, you can head to the Bon Jovi Fan Fiction Directory and peruse the stories for some entertainment. :P

Anyway, those are my thoughts... Feel free to add your two cents on these and any others.

As for Sex, Drugs and Bon Jovi, TMZ has posted some images from the book, including one of Jon posing with some naked and topless women back in 1985.


  1. Hello. Rebecca Wilson here. My book, The Gospel of Jon, is temporarily unavailable in hard copy, but I will send a digital copy to anyone who emails a request to rwilson311@gmail.com. Put "Blame It on the Love" in the subject line.

  2. I've read all but the last book mentioned...WWWB is strictly a coffee-table book (a nice one) with nothing new to learn. I recall Star Man being eye opening about sexual romps but not involving Jon too much. I remember looking up "Lema" in the encyclopedia to find out why David is called that but not finding an entry. JBJ was a decent biography even if unauthorized.

  3. I finally got my copy of "Sex Drugs and Bon Jovi" in the mail. It took 2 more days to get it than Amazon promised, but it is a very impressive book and well worth the wait! It starts with Jon recording "Runaway" and goes right through the New Jersey Syndicate tour with a picture for each story along the way. Way different than "When we were beautiful" because it tells you what you want to know instead of what the author wants to say. Better than Michael Francis' book because it gets right to the point, has hundreds of pix, and isn't wordy. I saw Bozzett's picture in the book and then spotted him half a dozen times in the "Wanted Dead or ALive", and Living ona prayer" videos. I recommend this book to any true fan of the band. Fun reading!


Thanks for giving me your time.