Monday, June 6, 2022

Rock in peace, Alec John Such

Bon Jovi heart and dagger logo with text that reads: 'Bon Jovi Forever. Alec John Such, 1951-2022.'
 

It was Sunday in the US (and Monday in my native Australia) when the news came through that Alec John Such had died at the age of 70.

Alec left Bon Jovi in 1994, before I became a diehard fan (or really knew any music that wasn't on Play School or Sesame Street). So I never saw him live in person. But as the original bass player, there's no disputing Alec's importance to the history of what would go on to become my favourite band -- through thick and thin, for better or worse. And I guess it's a sobering reminder of the mortality of our heroes.

Jon posted this statement on social media:

"We are heartbroken to hear the news of the passing of our dear friend Alec John Such. He was an original. As a founding member of Bon Jovi, Alec was integral to the formation of the band. To be honest, we found our way to each other thru him - He was a childhood friend of Tico and brought Richie to see us perform. Alec was always wild and full of life. Today those special memories bring a smile to my face and a tear to my eye.
We'll miss him dearly."

I'm so, so glad Alec got to be part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2018. All those speeches were emotional for me at the time and they'll be even more so whenever I revisit them now.

Bon Jovi's current bass player, Hugh McDonald, posted a sweet picture of himself with Alec on Instagram, and described reconnecting with Alec as one of the high points of the band's induction into the Rock Hall.

RIP rock star. 💔

Here's Alec rejoining his former bandmates for "Wanted Dead or Alive" at Giants Stadium in 2001:


And things like this epic performance of "Blood on Blood" from the Moscow Music Peace Festival in 1989 hit a little harder today -- brothers 'til the day that we die:

Edit: JBJ paid tribute to Alec on Sirius XM's Bon Jovi Radio. Listen to his words below:



Feel free to share your thoughts below. 😊
Want to stay connected? You can find us on Facebook @blameitonthelove, Instagram @blameitonthelove and Twitter @bonjoviblog.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

The end? Bon Jovi tour wraps up in Nashville

I feel a bit crappy saying this, but it's been a few days since Bon Jovi's 2022 Tour ended (assuming no further dates are announced) and... thank Yoda that's over.

I mean, I love Bon Jovi. Obviously the classic lineup is unlikely to ever be together again unless they do some sort of reunion special for the 40th anniversary coming up. But even the current lineup is okay with me. Besides, I met Phil X a few years ago and he's just a really cool dude. And Jon is someone I've idolised for a huge chunk of my life. But I don't think he did himself, the band or their great legacy any favours going out there and sounding like he did last month.

If the speculation is true that this tour was just a contractual obligation to Live Nation after cancelling the 2020 dates instead of postponing... well, that's a whole other shit-show. And a pretty sad way to go out if this ends up being the end. 😢

Anyway, the last show of -- the tour? This leg? -- was in Nashville and here's what was played.

Nashville, Tennessee, USA - April 30, 2022

Bridgestone Arena

  1. Livin' on a Prayer
  2. You Give Love a Bad Name
  3. The Radio Saved My Life
  4. We Weren't Born to Follow
  5. It's My Life
  6. Beautiful Drug
  7. Born to Be My Baby
  8. This House Is Not For Sale
  9. Just Older
  10. Let it Rain
  11. Keep the Faith
  12. American Reckoning
  13. Whole Lot of Leavin'
  14. Do What You Can
  15. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
  16. Lost Highway
  17. Roller Coaster
  18. Who Says You Can't Go Home

    encore #1:
  19. Wanted Dead or Alive
  20. Bad Medicine

    encore #2:
  21. I'll Be There For You

Selected videos from Nashville

"Livin' on a Prayer". "Limitless" was dropped for the first time this tour so they could open with "Prayer". Jon performed it from the back of the arena while mingling with the fans and it's probably the most fun a live "Prayer" has been in years. And he's definitely singing the bits he doesn't throw to the crowd:


"I'll Be There For You". If that does end up being the last thing they ever play on tour, it's a good song to remember:


Where to now?

I know there are plenty of fans who are totally cool with the current state of affairs and would happily continue to pay big bucks to see Jon multiple times a tour in his current state. 

I also think the dudebros trying to build their platforms with "What is wrong with Jon Bon Jovi's voice?!" videos are pretty scummy.

But that doesn't change the fact that he just doesn't sound good. There are moments where he sounds okay... but it's not good... and once upon a time, he was great. If certain fans want to tell the rest of us that we're horrible humans for having functional ears, then that's okay. Because I know myself, and I'm not trying to take potshots at Jon -- I'm legitimately heartbroken.

He had vocal coach Katie Agresta with him in 2008, and he sounded brilliant -- better than he had in a long time. And then things started falling off the cliff around 2013, which I'm sure he was aware of since he started requesting a vocal coach as part of his rider during the Because We Can Tour. Mary Jo Duprey started working with him, as well as Everett Bradley, on the This House Is Not For Sale Tour in 2018, but it hasn't yielded the results we all want. (I'm in no way suggesting that's Mary Jo's fault -- she uses the same methods as Katie, after all. But Everett's probably a much better advertisement for her than Jon is.)

Is it a physical issue that's beyond repair? I've read people suggesting that Jon has a voice disorder like spasmodic dysphonia but I wouldn't have a clue about that. I just know that I don't want my idol going out there in front of the whole world (and thanks to the internet, it really is the whole world) sounding like... well, a professional singer who can't sing for toffee.

The acoustic set they were doing earlier on this tour had a lot of promise, and I think that could potentially be a way forward if Bon Jovi keeps touring after this. I know Jon wants to sell out the desert but an intimate acoustic tour would be pretty cool.

Anyway, while Jon takes an indefinite break and hopefully finds a way through this, Phil X is currently on the road with Kurt Deimer, supporting Yngwie Malmsteen.


Feel free to share your thoughts below. 😊
Want to stay connected? You can find us on Facebook @blameitonthelove, Instagram @blameitonthelove and Twitter @bonjoviblog.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Texas turmoil for Bon Jovi in Houston & Dallas

I put off posting anything about these shows because... well, I didn't really want to watch any of the videos. I mean, Jon has sounded pretty painful for several years now unfortunately -- but it was Houston that triggered a string of "Last Man Standing" quotes (specifically "That boy don't lip sync").

But let's back it up a bit. Here were the set lists.

Houston, Texas, USA - April 26, 2022

Toyota Center

  1. Limitless
  2. The Radio Saved My Life Tonight 
  3. You Give Love a Bad Name
  4. We Weren't Born to Follow
  5. It's My Life
  6. Beautiful Drug
  7. Born to Be My Baby
  8. This House Is Not For Sale
  9. Just Older
  10. Let it Rain
  11. Keep the Faith
  12. American Reckoning
  13. Whole Lot of Leavin'
  14. Do What You Can
  15. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
  16. Lost Highway
  17. Roller Coaster
  18. Have a Nice Day
  19. Livin' on a Prayer

    encore:
  20. Wanted Dead or Alive
 
No "Bad Medicine" or "Who Says You Can't Go Home", making it the shortest show of the tour with only a couple more left (presumably). Jon reportedly got a pre-gig IV drip and had the bandage on his arm during the show.
 
Scroll down for videos/dissection.

Dallas, Texas, USA - April 28, 2022

American Airlines Center

  1. Limitless
  2. The Radio Saved My Life Tonight
  3. You Give Love a Bad Name
  4. We Weren't Born to Follow
  5. It's My Life
  6. Beautiful Drug
  7. Born to Be My Baby
  8. This House Is Not For Sale 
  9. Just Older
  10. Let It Rain
  11. Keep the Faith
  12. American Reckoning
  13. Whole Lot of Leavin'
  14. Do What You Can
  15. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
  16. Lost Highway
  17. Roller Coaster
  18. Who Says You Can't Go Home
  19. Livin' on a Prayer

    encore:
  20. Wanted Dead or Alive
  21. Bad Medicine

 

"Have a Nice Day" was dumped after whatever happened at the previous show.

Videos from Houston 

"Have a Nice Day". This was the song immediately before "Prayer" -- Jon pulls out of the end of the first line, turns around and makes an explosion gesture at his throat, which foreshadowed what came afterwards:


"Livin' on a Prayer". Jon's always been pretty awkward at miming when it's called upon for TV appearances -- but he does try to make a decent fist of not singing down to the front rows so it may not have been too obvious on the night, I dunno:


To be fair, I don't think "Prayer" has ever been 100% live -- they've played to a click track and sung over some playback since the 80s. But it really saddens me to see Jon struggling as much as he is.

Jon did come out after that "Prayer" debacle and sing "Wanted Dead or Alive" (i.e. not on playback), but the crowd took the whole first verse and Phil X's harmonies are turned up loud enough to drown out the lead vocal:


Videos from Dallas

"Livin' on a Prayer". He is singing it this time:


"Keep the Faith". Just a great song and a great showcase for the band. Despite not being the classic Bon Jovi lineup, this is still a good group of musicians and I think that has been forgotten amidst all the voice dramas:

One more show left for the 2022 Tour, unless they announce new dates...


Feel free to share your thoughts below. 😊
Want to stay connected? You can find us on Facebook @blameitonthelove, Instagram @blameitonthelove and Twitter @bonjoviblog.

Monday, April 25, 2022

A trio of Bon Jovi Texas shows begins in Austin

First of three shows in Texas as we hit the home straight of the Bon Jovi 2022 Tour. Here's what folks in Austin got.

Austin, Texas, USA - April 23, 2022

Moody Center

  1. Limitless
  2. The Radio Saved My Life Tonight
  3. You Give Love a Bad Name
  4. We Weren't Born to Follow
  5. It's My Life
  6. Born to Be My Baby
  7. This House Is Not For Sale
  8. Beautiful Drug
  9. Just Older
  10. Let it Rain
  11. Keep the Faith
  12. American Reckoning
  13. Whole Lot of Leavin'
  14. Do What You Can
  15. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
  16. Lost Highway
  17. Roller Coaster
  18. Have a Nice Day
  19. Livin' on a Prayer

    encore #1:
  20. Wanted Dead or Alive
  21. Who Says You Can't Go Home
  22. Bad Medicine

    encore #2:
  23. I'll Be There For You

Selected videos from Austin

"Keep the Faith". Great energy. The band isn't what it was but that doesn't mean they're not good players: 


"I'll Be There For You". Same exit as St. Louis, where Jon kind of just waves to the crowd and leaves, except that this time the rest of the band wasn't caught off guard:



Feel free to share your thoughts below. 😊
Want to stay connected? You can find us on Facebook @blameitonthelove, Instagram @blameitonthelove and Twitter @bonjoviblog.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Elvis has left the building at Bon Jovi's St Louis show

We're nearing the end of Bon Jovi's 2022 Tour. In years gone by, I would've said "end of the first leg" but I really have no clue what the future holds at this point. Anyway, here's what was played in St. Louis.

St. Louis, Missouri, USA - April 21, 2022

Enterprise Center

  1. Limitless
  2. The Radio Saved My Life Tonight
  3. You Give Love a Bad Name
  4. We Weren't Born to Follow
  5. It's My Life
  6. Beautiful Drug
  7. Born To Be My Baby
  8. This House Is Not For Sale
  9. Just Older
  10. Let It Rain
  11. Keep the Faith
  12. American Reckoning
  13. Whole Lot of Leavin'
  14. Do What You Can
  15. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
  16. Lost Highway
  17. Roller Coaster
  18. Have a Nice Day
  19. Livin' on a Prayer

    encore #1:
  20. Wanted Dead or Alive
  21. Who Says You Can't Go Home
  22. Bad Medicine

    encore #2:
  23. I'll Be There For You

Selected videos from St. Louis

"I'll Be There For You". Jon seemed emotional here, taking it all in. He used similar "Drive All Night" ad libs to the ones on the Live from London performance of "Always" in 1995. And then he just... left the stage, leaving David Bryan looking a bit confuzzled:

Jon's brother Matt called it the "Elvis exit":

"Beautiful Drug". I dig the track but I'm mostly posting this because it's one of the few new songs where Phil X can kind of cut loose a bit:

 "This House Is Not For Sale". I just like the song, okay:
 

Feel free to share your thoughts below. 😊
Want to stay connected? You can find us on Facebook @blameitonthelove, Instagram @blameitonthelove and Twitter @bonjoviblog.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Everett returns as Bon Jovi plays Indianapolis

After two days off, Bon Jovi made it to Indianapolis. Everett Bradley, an Indiana University alum, was back from his recent bout of COVID. This is what the band played.

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - April 19, 2022

Gainbridge Fieldhouse

  1. Limitless
  2. The Radio Saved My Life Tonight
  3. You Give Love a Bad Name
  4. We Weren't Born to Follow
  5. It's My Life
  6. Beautiful Drug
  7. Born to Be My Baby
  8. This House is Not For Sale
  9. Just Older
  10. Let it Rain
  11. Keep the Faith
  12. American Reckoning
  13. Whole Lot of Leavin'
  14. Do What You Can
  15. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
  16. Lost Highway
  17. Have a Nice Day
  18. Livin' on a Prayer

    encore:
  19. Wanted Dead or Alive
  20. Who Says You Can't Go Home
  21. Bad Medicine

I mean, after two whole days to think about it, you probably could've chucked "Love's the Only Rule" or something back in, but whatever. 😜

Selected videos from Indianapolis

"You Give Love a Bad Name" with the 'get up off your seats' spiel:


"Wanted Dead or Alive" (never drop this again, you're Bon Jovi):



Feel free to share your thoughts below. 😊
Want to stay connected? You can find us on Facebook @blameitonthelove, Instagram @blameitonthelove and Twitter @bonjoviblog.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Here comes the Sunrise/Fort Lauderdale Bon Jovi show

Okay, so on the official Bon Jovi tour dates, this show is listed as Fort Lauderdale, but when I Googled the venue it appears to be in Sunrise, which is apparently a different city? 

If any Floridians read this, help me out here -- what's correct?

In the meantime, here's what was played...

Sunrise/Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA - April 16, 2022

FLA Live Arena

  1. Limitless
  2. The Radio Saved My Life
  3. You Give Love a Bad Name
  4. We Weren't Born to Follow
  5. It's My Life
  6. Beautiful Drug
  7. Born to Be My Baby
  8. This House Is Not For Sale
  9. Just Older
  10. Let It Rain
  11. Keep the Faith
  12. Lower the Flag
  13. Whole Lot of Leavin'
  14. Do What You Can
  15. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
  16. Lost Highway
  17. Roller Coaster
  18. Have a Nice Day
  19. Livin' on a Prayer

    encore:
  20. Wanted Dead or Alive
  21. Who Says You Can't Go Home
  22. Bad Medicine
 
"Wanted Dead or Alive" was played after being unceremoniously dumped from the previous show in Tampa.

Selected videos from Sunrise/Fort Lauderdale

"Lower the Flag". Jon dedicated it to those affected by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school shooting in Parkland, Florida -- which is of course mentioned in the bridge of the song:


"Have a Nice Day". Great take-on-the-world song on the album. I've heard a couple of people say it sounded better in person than it does when you're listening back to the video:



Feel free to share your thoughts below. 😊
Want to stay connected? You can find us on Facebook @blameitonthelove, Instagram @blameitonthelove and Twitter @bonjoviblog.