Tuesday, June 2, 2020

David Bryan performs If at Hip New Jersey Stays Home

David Bryan lent his voice and keys to Hip New Jersey Stays Home on May 31. The benefit show raised money for the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund.

David performed "If" from Diana: A True Musical Story:

Diana, David's latest musical collaboration with playwright Joe DiPietro, was set to open on Broadway on April 1, but had to be suspended during previews in March due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Bon Jovi performs Limitless on The Voice

With everything that's happened in the world since then, it's easy to forget that Bon Jovi released "Limitless" -- the lead single from Bon Jovi 2020 -- three months ago. The album was meant to come out in May but has now been delayed until October.

But the 2020 album is still coming out in 2020 so Bon Jovi got together, recording from separate locations, to promote "Limitless" during The Voice (US) finale. Check out their performance:

It's not on a stage, and won't be for quite some time... but it's great to see some fun being had (e.g Jon's "I need a haircut" sign at 2:34).

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

JBJ performs Saturday Night for Covenant House benefit

There have been quite a few virtual concerts during this pandemic, and Jon Bon Jovi lent his pipes to another one on May 18, playing an acoustic version of "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night" for A Night of Covenant House Stars. The show raised funds to assist young people facing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis.

Jon is a long-time supporter of Covenant House. Check out his performance of "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night":

I'm enjoying the acoustic stuff at the moment and it's been cool to see Jon and/or the band contributing different songs to these events. Hopefully we'll be able to safely enjoy live gigs again at some point.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Bon Jovi performs It's My Life acoustic for Rise Up New York

Bon Jovi regrouped at a social distance for the Rise Up New York! telethon on May 11 to raise money for Robin Hood's COVID-19 relief fund. With Jon Bon Jovi, Tico Torres, David Bryan, Hugh McDonald, Phil X, John Shanks and Everett Bradley each recording from a different location, they put together an acoustic performance of "It's My Life":

I'd be lying if I said I was a fan of This Left Feels Right, where this version originates from, but "It's My Life" was one of the tracks I thought was decent on that album. And I think the acoustic rendition suited the occasion. I love a good fist-pumping anthem, but sometimes it feels more appropriate to do something introspective and sombre.

If you want to jog your memory (or perhaps never listened to it in the first place) here's "It's My Life" as it appears on This Left Feels Right:

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Monday, May 11, 2020

Relive Bon Jovi's Rock Hall induction + remembering Little Richard

As a Mother's Day present to fans, the uncut version of Bon Jovi's 2018 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame premiered online on May 10. Opening with a welcome message from David Bryan, the stream included all the speeches and performances, some of which were cut in the HBO broadcast two years ago.

If you missed the Bon Jovi's full Rock Hall induction ceremony, or you want to check it out again, you can watch it below:

I was tuning in on a Monday morning while getting ready for work, but the speeches are still emotional for me two years on. And I enjoyed the performances, even though they were far from perfect. No musical artist has had as much impact on me as Bon Jovi. Sure, they've disappointed and frustrated me at times, but mostly because I've been so invested in them. They've been by my side (in my ears) through highs and lows. And tattoo removal is painful and expensive, so they'll always be a part of me.* 😜

In all seriousness, I was happy when Bon Jovi got inducted into the Rock Hall and I'm happy to be able to watch the whole thing today.

*If you're wondering, I have a heart and dagger tattoo. It's pretty rad, if I do say so myself.

In much sadder news, rock 'n' roll legend Little Richard passed away on May 9. So here's "You Really Got Me Now" by Jon Bon Jovi featuring Little Richard, from Jon's debut solo album Blaze of Glory:

Jon and David also paid tribute to Little Richard on social media:

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Friday, May 1, 2020

David Bryan plays Lean on Me

David Bryan has posted a video of himself performing the late Bill Withers' classic song "Lean on Me". You can watch it on Twitter or Instagram:

David's rendition was his contribution to the Worldwide Day of Gratitude, organised by music education community YOUnison to pay tribute to those on the COVID-19 front lines. David recently had his own first-hand experience of COVID-19 and it's nice to just hear him sing again.

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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Doing what you can in the time of coronavirus

From his home studio, Jon Bon Jovi performed "Do What You Can" in its entirety for the first time as part of Jersey 4 Jersey on April 22 -- a night of Jersey stars coming together to benefit the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund:

Inspired by life in COVID-19 lockdown, "Do What You Can" has had an intriguing journey. It kicked off in March when a photo of Jon washing dishes at the JBJ Soul Kitchen was posted to Instagram with the caption, "If you can't do what you do... do what you can."

A post shared by Jon Bon Jovi (@jonbonjovi) on

That became the hook of a new song that Jon debuted a few days later. He sang a verse and chorus and invited fans to add their own verses telling their own stories:

Selected fans' verses have been played by Jon and shared on Bon Jovi's social media channels in the weeks since.

Here's Jon singing verses by Adriana, Geoffrey, and Bryce:

And Jon at the keyboard singing verses by Kristen, Maritza, Tanya, and Luca:

Jon also showcased video performances from Clint, Eleven, and Andre:

Others have contributed their own verses, and at a time when we need the world to come together (but not physically), it's pretty cool to see the power of music, social media and technology at work.

Even though I didn't immediately rush over here to blog about it, I felt a sense of pride in Jon that I hadn't felt in a while. Not that I was ashamed of him or anything. But just like Bon Jovi has changed, so I have I. I still love them (and by extension Jon) and I'm sure I always will, but they're not the singular focus/obsession they were when I started this blog as a teenager.

Anyway, the pride I felt was because there was something raw and honest about "Do What You Can". At least I thought so, and it's my blog. πŸ˜‰

We've previously heard two songs from Bon Jovi 2020 -- "Unbroken" and "Limitless" -- and I haven't loved them. I've kind of felt like they were trying too hard and not really hitting the mark. (Both the original and the Invictus Games Choir version of "Unbroken" are supporting good causes though.)

But "Do What You Can" feels real to me. It feels like a guy from New Jersey, looking at what's happening around him, and expressing himself through song. It may not be the greatest song ever written. And sure, his voice isn't what it was. It didn't matter. It was the right song at the right time, when I was looking for a spark of hope amidst the confusion and uncertainty. And that's ultimately why I keep coming back to Bon Jovi -- when I've needed them, they've had the right songs for me.

Speaking of the power of music... my last few posts have alluded to the fact that I'm playing catch-up on this blog, and one thing I didn't post at the time was this Chicago singalong of "Livin' on a Prayer" in March, inspired by Italians in isolation singing on their balconies:

It's testament to the endurance of that song. And who doesn't feel better when they're cranking up or belting out "Livin' on a Prayer"?

Back to more recent history, Jon closed Jersey 4 Jersey with an acoustic rendition of "Livin' on a Prayer" that felt appropriate:

We're living in tough times. And we're doing what we can to get to the other side.
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