Tuesday, December 30, 2008

LH Magic Memory #23: Garageland in Anaheim

Magic Memory #23 from the Lost Highway tour takes us to the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The date is April 5, 2008 when a gem from the 2004 box set 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong is being played for only the fourth time.

To be honest, I was going to review the Toronto performance of "Garageland" from March 12 (the first time it was played this tour) but couldn't find a complete embeddable video of it. Jon's speech at the beginning of this Anaheim video is funnier though. ;)

"Garageland" is one of those songs that sounds better live than on the recording, particularly on the Lost Highway tour with Jon's superior vocals. It also has more energy live. That said, if it's an outtake from Crush -- Obie O'Brien and the band admit they didn't keep great records so we can't be sure when most of the box set material was written/recorded -- I wish it had made the album. It's a cool rocking song that segues beautifully into "Just Older".

Just two more Magic Memories to go... stay tuned!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy birthday Huey!

I'd like to wish Hugh McDonald a HAPPY 58th BIRTHDAY! He was born December 28, 1950 but you know he's not old -- just older. ;) Huey has played with Bon Jovi for over two decades and maybe he'll never be "official" in the band's eyes but he'll always be Bon Jovi's bass player to me. When it comes to the bottom, he's on top.


Oh c'mon Jonny, 300 Hugh McDonald Fans Can't Be Wrong!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas II

Well, if the videos from the Hope Concert weren't enough, here are a couple more classic Christmas vids.



Merry Christmas wherever you are. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Not everyone celebrates Christmas (myself included) but rather than a holiday of commercial and materialistic indulgences, it can be a time of reflection and generosity nonetheless. On this Christmas Eve, I'll leave you with these clips from the Hope Concert in New Jersey that Jon Bon Jovi appeared at a couple of nights ago.


TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT - In this duet between two of Jersey's favourite sons, Jon takes lead vocals on Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run classic

Plenty more where that came from. Jon did another duet with Bruce, a duet with Southside Johnny, plus "Lost Highway" and "Who Says You Can't Go Home". Click here for a complete wrap-up (centred on Bruce Springsteen but covers the rest of the show too) and here for a YouTube guide to the concert.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :)

Richie Sambora also gave MusicRadar an exclusive interview two days ago which you can listen to here. It seems Jon has thwarted Richie's solo album plans once more and the band will be heading into the studio in January to work on their new album.

PS - The last three Magic Memories from the Lost Highway tour will be up by early next year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

LH Magic Memory #22: Stranger In This Town in Newark

The Lost Highway Tour kicked off with 10 very hyped-up shows at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. For the mostpart, what fans got were some rather expensive okay shows. From a diehard's perspective, the biggest single gem popped up during the 7th show: November 4, 2007. As Jon Bon Jovi slipped backstage to cool off, Richie Sambora stepped up to the mic, having sung "These Days" on the previous six nights. But not tonight. Instead, Richie performed one of his solo songs, "Stranger in this Town" for the first time in six years.

At this early stage of the tour, Richie was a better singer than Jon and I think Jon knew it too. It was also quite a fitting song, given Richie had spent the past year being tabloid fodder. I love the bluesy tones in his voice and the guitar solos in this song... not to mention the way he plays them like a man possessed (I was going to say something more risque but I don't know how young my readers are :P ).

Everybody loves a winner 'til the winners lose
And then it's front page news
Nobody loves a loser
When you're down and out, you know there ain't no doubt

Just three more magic memories to go! And then you can all flame me for not including x, y, and z. :P

Friday, December 5, 2008

Crackstage Backstab :(

The Backstage with Jon Bon Jovi fan club is hosting a members-only concert in New Jersey in February, with tickets going on sale for $US275 tomorrow. I'm not a Backstager so the first I heard of this was an invitation to a Facebook group called "Can backstagejbj be more unfair to us?!?". Bon Jovi have always been commercial, and if you can afford this (plus airfares and accommodation if you don't live locally) then all power to you. But I feel sorry for the so-called Tommys and Ginas. In the current economic climate, I'm sure average Americans are just rolling in cash (note sarcasm). Not to mention New Jersey already got screwed on the last tour... 10 overpriced, half-arsed shows at the Prudential Centre at the beginning of what would later become the band's best tour this decade. And Backstagers are already paying $50 to use a messageboard and chatroom. I hope for their sake this is one hell of a show. An exclusive, intimate fan club gig should really be free of charge but money-grabbing stunts like this only serve to remind me and many others why we aren't members.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The final word on demo leak scam

I've already blogged about the Bon Jovi demo leak scam a couple of times, and sent countless messages and channel comments on YouTube telling people about it. Obie has said about three times on the official site that these aren't Bon Jovi songs. I can't reach everyone so maybe some people are just going to stay duped. But I'll give the final word to the man at the centre of the hoax. This was posted on Johnny Lima's MySpace blog late yesterday:

I Got YouTubed!! =(

So some nitwit (YouTube Screenname: hardrocknews) decides it would be a fun prank to post some of my songs on YouTube and claim that they're songs from a new Bon Jovi album called "Dangerous Curves". I'm not sure what would motivate someone to illegally post my songs, but even worse, give credit to another artist.

I tried to post a comment, as others have calling this phony out, but those comments keep getting deleted. I've also filled out the Copyright Infringement form on YouTube and looks like that was a waste of my time as well. It's even mentioned on bonjovi.com as bogus, yet he still continues fooling a few people.

However, if this guy's intentions for doing this were negative, then it's backfired on him as he's created a nice little buzz for me on the internet and the response he's gotten from my songs have been pretty positive. What perfect timing as I have a new album coming out shortly. I've paid for ads in the past that didn't create this much buzz for me. So, I'm done worrying about this guy and his "April Fools" joke. I just wanted to make it clear that I had nothing to do with this prank. I also want to make it clear that I don't appreciate anyone posting my music online without my permission. It's my f**king music, so please ask me first.

Peace & Love,

Johnny Lima

Now don't forget to check out Magic Memory #21... the Stuttgart show. I made you wait almost three weeks for it, so you wouldn't want to miss it, would you? ;)

EDIT: Actually, it would seem as if the final word has gone to Hardrocknews him/herself. Seems like they finally caved. As of December 4, the video titles have been renamed with the real artist credited.

EDIT #2: December 5 and the songs have now been removed. :P

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

LH Magic Memory #21: Stuttgart

After an extended wait, the 21st of 25 Magic Memories from the Lost Highway tour takes us to Stuttgart, Germany. The date is May 29, 2008; the location is Gottlieb-Daimler Stadion (now Mercedes-Benz Arena). Some real surprises popped up in Stuttgart, but I'll let the videos do most of the talking.

ROCKIN' ALL OVER THE WORLD - Bon Jovi performed the John Fogerty/Status Quo classic in full for the first time on the Lost Highway tour. Features a Dave Bryan keyboard solo and some great crowd singing.

THE LAST NIGHT - One of the rarer Lost Highway tracks this tour. If you like looking at Jon, you will love this video. ;)

BOUNCE - Not a personal favourite of mine, although the "Me I just don't give a f-f-f-f..." part always cracks me up. But since it's so rare, and was captured on video, I had to share it. And Jon's voice is much better here than it was during the Bounce tour.

DRIFT AWAY - A song made famous by Dobie Gray. This Bon Jovi cover version featured the much-maligned Bobby Bandiera on lead vocals. I think someone held up a sign for this song and they decided to give it a go but Jon couldn't remember the verses. Bobby, who has toured with Bon Jovi as an additional guitarist for the past few years, is often attacked by fans of the band who don't see why he should be there or why he should perform the solo on "In These Arms". I have no window into Jon's head so I can't answer that. But I can tell you Bobby has a beautiful voice and sung the hell out of "Drift Away" in Stuttgart.

WILD IS THE WIND - Played for the first time on the European leg. Great guitar work from Richie Sambora.

ANY OTHER DAY - Another quite rare Lost Highway track and a bit of a fan favourite. Includes an extended jam and band introductions.

Stuttgart, Germany - Gottlieb-Daimler Stadion (29/5/08)
I'LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD w/ Mercy + Start Me Up
I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU (Richie on lead vocals)
DRIFT AWAY (Bobby on lead vocals)

LIVING IN SIN w/ Chapel of Love

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Live Earth cancelled

Joint Official Statement from Live Earth Founder Kevin Wall, The Office of the Honorable Al Gore and Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Chairman IPCC Regarding Live Earth India

Friday, November 28, 2008
Everyone involved with Live Earth India, from our U.S.- and India-based staff, artists and crew to our India-based broadcast, production, non-profit and marketing communications partners, is stunned and saddened by the tragic events of the past few days in our host city Mumbai. We always felt very welcomed and safe as we spent more time on the ground in Mumbai to finalize plans for Live Earth India, scheduled for December 7.

Due to circumstances far beyond our control, we are saddened to announce that Live Earth India has been cancelled. We will continue to work for solutions to the climate crisis for the good of the people of India and around the world. But for now, our thoughts and our prayers are with the victims of this terrible attack, with the bereaved, with the people of Mumbai and with everyone in India. For updated information, please visit www.LiveEarth.org.

Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora - Acoustic performance of John Lennon's "Imagine" with "Give Peace a Chance" in 1995.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bon Jovi demo leak scam continues

Hardrocknews has uploaded more Johnny Lima songs claiming they are from Bon Jovi's bogus new album. There's even a complete track list for "Dangerous Curves" now, with songwriting credits attributed to Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and their long-time collaborator Desmond Child. Whoever this is has taken to deleting all the negative or questioning comments on his/her channel and videos in order to keep up the facade. C'mon mate, if you're going to do something like this, at least have the balls to take the criticism that comes with it. ;)

I like Johnny Lima's music though; rock with great melodic hooks, and you can really hear the glam metal influences. Bon Jovi themselves have moved on from those days and I'm glad they've had that growth and development, but I still dig their 80s sound too. Johnny Lima's "Another Lonely Day" was claimed to be a Bon Jovi demo a few years ago as well, and Brazilian band Ellevan was another that I "discovered" because someone tried to claim their English songs were Bon Jovi's. Since I'm always keen to check out new music (and can spot a fake Bon Jovi song pretty quickly) it actually does me some good when someone pulls a prank like this, but I know a lot of people fall for it, including fans who call themselves diehards.

Magic Memory #21 coming soon... watch this space!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bon Jovi demo leak scam

Some loser has set up a Youtube channel, Hardrocknews and uploaded songs claiming to be from a new Bon Jovi album called "Dangerous Curves" to be released in February 2009. There is a fake album cover and the tracks are "Another Lonely Day", "If I Had a Heart", "Thinkin' About You feat. Joe Elliott" (not really), "Sweet 16", "Another Girl", and "My Country 'Tis of Thee". Everyone should know first of all that there has been no album announced for February 2009. The fact that they claim this new album marks the return of former bassist Alec John Such should be enough to prove it's rubbish anyway.

Secondly, THE SONGS ARE BY AN ARTIST NAMED JOHNNY LIMA. There are so many of these hoax demos floating around the internet. The vocalist generally sounds just enough like Jon Bon Jovi to fool enough people but to the seasoned diehard's ears you can easily tell it's not.

Some of these lesser known artists cite Bon Jovi as an influence, but I'm not sure how I would feel if someone was claiming my work to be someone else's. I guess that's how some people get their kicks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Richie Sambora at the Les Paul concert

A couple of videos of Richie from the tribute concert honouring guitar legend Les Paul on November 15.

"Great Hall of Fame", Richie's contribution to the Les Paul tribute album.

A blues-infused rendition of "Wanted Dead or Alive".

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Greatest hits, DVD, documentary... end of 2009??

Following on from the previous post, this article was written by the same person but for Billboard.

"We've been filming a documentary and are in the process of mixing a live DVD of last year's 'Lost Highway' concert tour," Sambora says. "Also, I think we're looking at doing a greatest hits album next year. Jon and I are writing some new songs for it and to just load up for the next Bon Jovi record."

Sambora says he expects the DVD and best-of effort to be packaged together for a fall 2009 street date. The Nashville-tinged "Lost Highway" was a critical and commercial success, but Sambora says the band won't necessarily return to that style again.

"Fall" is Autumn, which will be Springtime in the southern hemisphere, so that looks like it'll be towards the end of next year. I was surprised when Obie O'Brien said that the DVD wouldn't be out before Christmas 2008 because I was certain they would cash in on the spending season, plus it doesn't take six months to mix a concert.

But if the DVD, Greatest Hits and documentary are all released together, that would account for the delay. The DVD is probably the one I'm most anticipating, and just hope it's got good sound, isn't excessively overdubbed, and that the best songs/performances are not cut out.

Greatest hits II in 2009?

An interesting quote from this article, based on an interview with Richie Sambora.

Sambora said Bon Jovi has already started to look ahead; however, fans shouldn’t expect another Nashville-influenced effort. Up next for the group is its second greatest hits disc, due out in late 2009.

Click here for the rest of the article:
I'm not sure how old the interview is though, because the Rock Hall nominations have already been announced and Bon Jovi were overlooked.

But if we can trust that article, the main points to take with regards to the band are:

1. No "Lost Highway II" which is good. I do like Lost Highway, and most of it isn't even real country, but I wouldn't want them to go too far down that road. A mature, solid rock record would be cool.

2. Another greatest hits release! Obviously these packages are usually cash cows aimed at casual fans but I really hope it's something worth getting for the rest of us too. Is it too much to hope for some new or unreleased tracks of the same quality as "Always" and "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night", without attempting to "rewrite" those songs? Personally, I'd rather have some new solo material than a greatest hits album. On the other hand, a new band release is likely to mean another tour, so we'll see what happens. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

24-second video of JBJ in New York

I wonder what was in the bag?

Don't forget to check out LH Magic Memory #20. No Bon Jovi fan should miss out on an excuse to watch the best-ever performance of "Stick To Your Guns", no matter how many times you've seen or heard it. ;)
There will be five more memories reviewed, making an even 25 just in time for the 25th year since the release of Bon Jovi's debut album. I was thinking of doing some album reviews after that but we'll see what happens. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LH Magic Memory #20: Stick To Your Guns in Amsterdam

Did I make you wait long enough?! I've had assignments and exams to deal with but my last one was today and I don't think I failed anything so it's time for another long overdue Magic Memory from the Lost Highway tour!

This one was probably my favourite moment of the tour. If I was going to have a heart attack at any time this year and still die happy, it would have been like this. June 13, 2008 at Amsterdam Arena in the Netherlands. The tone was already set for an explosive night after Holland's 4-1 soccer (football) victory over France was played on the big screens before the show.

Some fans in the front row were holding signs with the lyrics of "Stick To Your Guns" printed on them, but surely that was impossible. After all, the song had only ever been played once, and that was 20 years ago on the Jersey Syndicate Tour. So I can only imagine what it must have been like, as a diehard in that crowd. The anticipation of waiting for the encore. The dull roar of the crowd around you and at your back, the sudden explosion of cheers as the band return to the stage. And then Jon and Richie step up to the mic and start playing that acoustic riff.

Here are a couple of videos. One from Jon's side... Check out Richie's amusement at Jon's confusion. :P

And one from Richie's side. Slightly better sound and includes "Wanted Dead or Alive" which was played immediately after. This video has shots of the signs in the front row.

As you can see, it wasn't executed perfectly. After all, Jon quite clearly didn't know the words and wasn't too sure of the chords either. But they seemed to be having fun with it. Five stars for effort and consideration of the fans. :)

Just for something extra, here is the first and only other time Bon Jovi have played "Stick To Your Guns": Brussels, Belgium on December 15, 1988. Jon flubs the words in this one too. :P

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bon Jovi sued again

I first got wind of this in a Google alert a few days ago. Some of you probably already know about it but anyway, Sally Allen is suing Bon Jovi for £250 000 for negligence after one of their employees during the Have a Nice Day tour, Kevin McDonnell, allegedly ran over her with a golf buggy. You can read about it here.

I did notice in all the articles I've read that Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, David Bryan, and Tico Torres are listed as the defendants. No one has mentioned Hugh McDonald. That could just mean that none of the journalists knew who he was. Or it could mean that he's not being sued because he was considered merely a touring musician (like Bobby Bandiera, for example). If it's the latter, I guess that's one of the perks of being an "unofficial" member, who just so happens to have played on most of the albums and toured with them for 14 years. Perhaps I'll cool off slightly on my "Make Huey Official" campaign FOR NOW. :P

I'll be interested to see what happens with this case though. As far-fetched as the claim may initially sound, I think Allen has much more chance of winning than Bart Steele if it goes all the way.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Old guys still rock

Last Friday I went to Members Equity Stadium in East Perth to see Def Leppard with special guests Cheap Trick and support act The Galvatrons (a young Melbourne band playing their first stadium gig but if you like your 80s sounds, check them out).

While not surprising, it's worth noting that I was probably one of the youngest people there of their own accord. Robin Zander from Cheap Trick joked about how they didn't have any top 40 songs but were featured in every music video game the world, plus the opening credits to That 70s Show. Def Leppard's Joe Elliott reminded everyone that they were in fact touring a new album. But the sad fact is, despite surviving the 80s better than most of their contemporaries, they are more or less "nostalgia bands". It's a shame because Cheap Trick and Def Leppard both proved they can still put on a spectacular rock show.

How is it Bon Jovi have triumphed where the likes of Def Leppard have merely "survived"? Some Jovi fans call Lepp hasbeens. Some Lepp fans accuse Jovi of being soft and selling out. But at the end of the day, all that happened is that Def Leppard never had an "It's My Life". That song introduced Bon Jovi to a whole new generation that Def Leppard can only dream about. FWIW I don't think "It's My Life" is even that great a song (it's not terrible but it's no masterpiece). But you can't deny the impact it's had on their careers. Jon has said they would walk away if it ever became the "nostalgia tour". If Crush had bombed (bearing in mind that "It's My Life" was the ONLY single from it to reach #1 in any market), would Bon Jovi even be making records?

Something to ponder while you're waiting for LH Magic Memory #20 in the coming days. ;)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

LH Magic Memory #19: Damned in St Paul

Bon Jovi delivered a few (pleasant) shocks on the Lost Highway tour, particularly from midway through the second North American leg. One of these surprises was at the Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota on March 19, 2008. On the second of two nights in St Paul, wedged between LH tour regulars "Whole Lot of Leavin'" and "We Got It Goin' On" was.... "Damned".

This is the best embeddable video I could find but it's such a funky song and such a rarity that I had to revisit it. Richie Sambora's guitar work is awesome, and you can see Jon and Dave Bryan in the background getting into the song.

Click here for another partial (but much closer/clearer) video.

Prior to St Paul, Bon Jovi had last played "Damned" in Toronto, Canada in 2003. Here is that performance (with "If Loving You Is Wrong" intro).

I think Jon's voice handles the chorus a lot better in 2008. In 2003 he's sort of screeching and seems slightly out of breath. But which version do you prefer?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This better be on the Lost Highway DVD!

Been very busy lately with the end of semester drawing near but here's a little video just to let you know I'm still kicking around. ;)

"Dry County" from Wembley Stadium on June 23, 1995 (IIRC, the Live in London DVD is from June 25). There were some technical problems on that day, as you'll notice during the bits where the sound "skips" or parts of the mix drop out for a few seconds. But nevertheless, a mesmerising performance from the band.

Bon Jovi also played "Dry County" at Madison Square Garden this year and Obie O'Brien has said the Lost Highway tour DVD won't be out before Christmas. I don't mind the wait, but if "Dry County" (the greatest thing this band has ever recorded) isn't on that DVD, there'll be some hell to pay! ;)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A distinct lack of Republican musicians?

Less than three weeks out from the US Presidential elections, and Bon Jovi are the latest musicians (following the Foo Fighters, Heart, John Mellencamp, and Jackson Browne) to take issue with the Republicans' use of their work. Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been playing "Who Says You Can't Go Home" at her campaign rallies this week. Jon gave this statement to TMZ.com:

We are surprised to hear that our song, "Who Says You Can't Go Home" was used by the McCain campaign at rallies yesterday and today. We wrote this song as a thank you to those who have supported us over the past twenty-five years. The song has since become a banner for our home state of New Jersey and the de facto theme song for our partnerships around the country to build homes and rebuild communities. Although we were not asked, we do not approve of their use of "Home".

Of course, JBJ is a known Democrats supporter but this isn't even a political issue to me. More like "moral rights". I know I can be insanely protective of my work, whether it's published or not. While art is open to interpretation, as an artist, I'd hate for my works to be misappropriated. I cringe when people try to turn Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" into a flag-waving celebration. Or when people dedicate Heart's "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" to their spouses. Although the use of "Who Says" by the Republicans doesn't miss the point to THAT extent!

It does raise another issue though. Most of musicians, artists, and entertainers you see tend to support the Democrats. As far as Republican musicians go, I think we've got Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, Johnny Ramone, Hank Williams Jr, and I'm sure many others. Might be safer for the Republicans to go with one of those next time.

In other news, I cobbled together a header and promotional banner for the blog. Do you like them?

Sunday, October 12, 2008


The world changed on September 11, 2001 but the truth is, from the island nation of Australia, New York and America seemed so far away. What truly brought the reality of the "outside world" home to people here were the 2002 Bali Bombings (October 12) in which 202 people were killed. Here's a song for them. The bombers are currently on death row but I'm not interested in hate or vengeance.

A million prayers to God above
A million tears make an ocean of
One for love, one for truth
One for me, one for you
I found spirit, they couldn't ruin it
I found courage in the smoke and dust
I found faith in the songs you silenced
Deep down it's ringing out in each of us

Rest in peace.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Vote #1 Bon Jovi (again)

Four albums remain in VoteNumber1's top albums of this decade:

Bon Jovi - Have a Nice Day
Daughtry - Daughtry
Bon Jovi - Crush
Green Day - American Idiot

Personally I think it's criminal that Bruce Springsteen's The Rising wasn't even one of the contenders. And IMHO, Crush is actually one Bon Jovi's weakest albums. On the other hand, I will be a HAND defender until the day I die, and it's the only album that looks like it could beat Daughtry -- so vote for Have a Nice Day if you want our Jersey boys to win. You can vote once a day, and one album will be eliminated each week.

Bon Jovi sued for... a hell of a lot more than Tommy & Gina will ever see!

The famous Bart Steele is now suing Bon Jovi and a bunch of other parties for $400 billion for copyright infringement. This is the guy who claims "I Love This Town" is a ripoff of his Red Sox tribute song "Man I Really Love This Team". I'd prefer not to reproduce the whole antiMusic article in a blog post about alleged copyright breaches, so you can read the story here.

Bart also sent antiMusic a copy of the lawsuit: Steele v Turner Broadcasting System Inc. et al

And his Myspace page, where you can hear the song in question and read his blogs: http://www.myspace.com/chelseacitycouncil
I was a little amused to find that Bart has put Joel Ellis, who accused Bon Jovi of stealing "I'll Be There For You" from him, in his top friends. :P

Bart says his song was used as a temp track. The main query I have about that is, while "I Love This Town" has been used to promote Major League Baseball, the song itself is about Nashville. I don't think the songs sound alike and can't really stand Bart's song enough to listen to it again while playing the MLB video on mute. But use your own ears.

Friday, October 10, 2008

LH Magic Memory #18: Central Park

When Jon Bon Jovi announced that the band would be doing a free concert in New York's Central Park, I wasn't all that enthused. Apart from the fact that I obviously wasn't going to be there and knew the set would be pretty standard, I was expecting the performance to be half-arsed. I mean, it's a free gig. Not exactly going to contribute squillions to the Swiss bank account.

What we got was on July 12, 2008 was indeed a short show (thanks to the 10pm curfew), but a real committed high-energy performance that shows why Bon Jovi is one of the best live bands going around today. They sure made me eat my hat a few times on the tour!

I really dig this song as a closer to either the main set or the encore, but this video captures the anticipation of the crowd before the band comes on to deliver a signature song. Opening with "Prayer" only had the masses wanting more. The vid is quite shaky though so just pretend you're moshing or something. :P

Loved this song on the Lost Highway tour. It had so much more attitude compared with 2005-06, not to mention better vocals.

No need to introduce Bon Jovi's biggest worldwide hit. ;)

One of the best songs to come out of the 80s. What can I say, I love a good extended metaphor. Probably the band's first little foray into "Western" sounds, nearly 20 years before "Who Says You Can't Go Home".

Just a few snippets of what was a great show. In excess of 60 000 lucky people got to be there to experience it.

New York City, USA - Central Park (12/7/08)

I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU (Richie Sambora lead vocals)


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy birthday Tico!

Today is October 7 and you know what that means?


Better known as Bon Jovi drummer Tico.

"The Hitman" turns 55 today.

Have a nice day. :)

Anyway, I saw the Shannon Noll concert in Perth on Saturday night and I might do a mini review in the next post (given he has a loose connection with Richie Sambora). The next magic memory will follow shortly. ;)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

LH Magic Memory #17: Hallelujah in Hamburg

A couple of days ago Bon Jovi's recording engineer Obie O'Brien confirmed that "Hallelujah" would appear on the Lost Highway Tour DVD. The Leonard Cohen classic, famously covered by the late Jeff Buckley and several others, was first performed by Bon Jovi in 2007. It's proven to be one of their more popular live covers, albeit sometimes a bit polarising because it doesn't showcase the "rock" side of things too much. But if you put that aside and appreciate the universal language of music for what it is, you'll find a beautiful, mature rendition of a very poetic song. For Magic Memory #17, I tried to find the "best" version of "Hallelujah" from the Lost Highway tour, but the truth is I haven't heard a bad version. So here's "Hallelujah" from HSH Nordbank Arena in Hamburg, Germany on May 28, 2008. Enjoy! (The video is very Jon-centric though so be aware of that).

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this: the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

RnR Hall of Fame 2009

It should really come as no surprise that Bon Jovi has been overlooked for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. A Bon Jovi diehard is forever defending his/her band from either paid critics and/or rock snobs who think it's all about Jon's hair and Jon's looks.

For the record, here are the 2009 nominees:
Jeff Beck
Wanda Jackson
Little Anthony and the Imperials
the Stooges
Bobby Womack

Hopefully Bon Jovi are inducted someday but lots of worthy artists have been snubbed for years, many of whom aren't even so-called "cock rockers".

Anyway I've been away all weekend so the next magic memory might take a few more days but hang tight!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

LH Magic Memory #16: Frankfurt

The venue reportedly had terrible acoustics but Bon Jovi's Frankfurt show on June 3, 2008 can still lay claims to being one of the best shows of the Lost Highway tour.

On its own, "Summertime" is a fun little pop rock number that doesn't really reach any great heights. Which is fine; not all songs are designed to blow you away. But pairing it with a classic crowd-pleaser like Queen's "We Will Rock You" gave the "Summertime" performance an extra dimension.

Two of my favourite songs from Jon's 1990 solo album. I could never get sick of this live combination.

Second half of a highly spirited rock performance.

A classic New Jersey song that has appeared on official DVDs but is now rarely performed live. Prior to Frankfurt, it was last played in Toronto in December 2007.

"Damned" had resurfaced out of nowhere in St Paul, USA (March 19, 2008) after a five year absence, and was played for only the second time on the tour. "If Loving You is Wrong I Don't Want To Be Right" was a perfect a'cappella intro for it. The video is a little out of sync in places but Jon was on fire.

I think this is Jon's favourite song from the album and he was really into it tonight. Lots of showman acting and emotion. Strong vocals. Killer performance.

I was pretty liberal with the videos but these are just a few of the performances from an amazing show full of energy and surprises. That encore is almost worthy of a post in itself. The band was all too aware of the acoustic problems (Jon even apologised for it) and could easily have used it as an excuse to slack off. Bon Jovi fans in Frankfurt and around the world (God bless YouTube) can be very glad they didn't.

Frankfurt, Germany - Commerzbank Arena (3/6/08)
SUMMERTIME w/ We Will Rock You
I'LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD w/ Jumpin' Jack Flash + Mercy
KEEP THE FAITH w/ Sympathy for the Devil
I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU (Richie Sambora lead vocals)

DAMNED w/ If Loving You Is Wrong

Friday, September 12, 2008

Saving a prayer for 9/11

The obvious Bon Jovi song for the seventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks (I know it's the 12th in many parts of the world including Australia but if I'm not mistaken it's still the 11th in the US at the time of writing) would be "Undivided". Maybe a little too obvious. Besides, I wrote a bit about that song in my Randers post. So given Keep the Faith won VoteNumber1.com's best 90s rock album poll today, let's go with one of the tracks that could have made a classic album even better.

Here's an unofficial fan video for "Save a Prayer" which was a bonus track on some versions of Keep the Faith (and IMO should definitely have been on the album proper). It also appeared on the Special Edition Bonus CD of Cross Road. The song has some relatively simple yet deeply profound lyrics and is right up there with my favourite Bon Jovi songs.

Dear Jesus, Buddha, Allah, or can I just call you Joe?
I got a lotta things to tell you and some things I gotta know
I'm tired of hearin' talk about this world's about to end
If we can die together then why can't we all be friends?

Oh, and I know it's been more than a "couple" of days but Magic Memory #16 WILL be up soon.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Dave Bryan songs

Bon Jovi's own king of the keys David Bryan teamed up with Joe DiPietro to write The Toxic Avenger musical, based on Lloyd Kaufman's 1980s comedy horror film. It's running at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey from September 30 to November 2 and being the massive Dave fan I am, I'd love to go see it (I also wanted to see Memphis!). Actually -- I don't want you to do anything you're not comfortable with of course, but -- if you're in NJ and would like to get down there and make me a bootleg of the show, I would love you forever. :P But barring that, at least we can listen to the songs here.

Pretty cool/funny shiz. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea but I'm diggin' it.

"Brand New Day in New Jersey" (track 06) also has a few musical similarities to "Get Ready" from Bon Jovi's self-titled debut album. ;)

Monday, September 8, 2008


I've tried not to get overly political in this blog, preferring to focus on the music that I presume most Bon Jovi fans are here for. On the other hand, it's been no secret that politics plays a big part in the life of Jon Bon Jovi these days, and I think it would a bit narrow to ignore that entirely.

Last week, Jon highlighted his philanthropic credentials by donating $1 million towards the construction of some apartments in Newark, New Jersey for people with special needs. :)

Then it was onto the hosting of a campaign fundraiser for Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama, and I think this might have tickled a few feathers. Bon Jovi is a band that, despite never being particularly fashionable, appeals to a wide audience. So it's inevitable that such an audience is going to include some conservatives and Republicans. (If I'm not mistaken, former bassist Alec John Such is a conservative). Jon also attracts criticism from people who point out that he never used to be a political activist, or that he used to say things like "I'm normal, I'm Republican". Well, all I can say to that is that people's views change over time. My own political views have certainly evolved in the last few years as I grew up, encountered different people, and began to observe the world around me. So there's no reason why the same can't happen to Jon Bon Jovi. As for him supporting the Democrats (He also campaigned for John Kerry in 2004), he's entitled to hold and voice his political opinions like anyone else in a free country, and you are entitled to agree or disagree with them. No one is actually tying you up and forcing you to vote for Obama just because JBJ does... Hell, America doesn't even have compulsory voting. ;) I'm a bit of a so-called "loony lefty" myself but if I believe in democracy, then I must respect the rights of others to be right-wing, apathetic, or whatever they choose.

Jon also tends to keep his politics and music separate. I think this is partly because the rest of the band may not be as politically minded as he is, but mostly for fear of isolating large sections of his fans. "Have a Nice Day" is as close as Jon is likely to get to a protest song. As much as I love that song, it does sound a bit like "It's My Life Part 3" and I'd like him to write something a little ballsier. Be bold and angry! The downside to that would be the inevitable comparisons to Bruce Springsteen...

Too lightweight one minute, too political the next... but constantly criticised all the same... Bon Jovi must be used to it after 25 years! I've just voted in an election that resulted in a hung parliament, so there are plenty of thoughts running through my head, but these were just a few that related to Bon Jovi. I hope it was reasonably coherent and diplomatic. ;)

My next magic memory will be posted in the next couple of days... Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

LH Magic Memory #15: Lie To Me in Bristol

Firstly, a little housekeeping: I've been reviewing these "Magic Memories" from the Lost Highway tour since it ended in mid-July and I can tell you that there will be 25 Magic Memories in total to coincide with the band's silver anniversary. This is obviously #15 so there are 10 to go including this one. Rest assured I will still find things to write about when this gig wraps up!

Now onto LH Magic Memory #15. It was the June 25, 2008, at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol -- the third last show of the European leg. After playing "Whole Lot of Leavin'", Jon started asking people for song requests. Eventually someone held up a banner for something that hadn't been played this tour and Bon Jovi obliged, performing "Lie to Me" for the first time in 12 years.

Now this is a song that only diehards are likely to know and admittedly, it's probably a song that's not going to pack a huge punch in a stadium if you don't know it. But it's a good emotive song with some killer lyrics. While Tommy and Gina are not specifically mentioned, the song is a continuation of their story -- to which we were first introduced in "Livin' on a Prayer" of course -- and ongoing struggle to make ends meet. And man, Jon's vocal coach is my hero. This is yet another song that I didn't think he would ever sing again, let alone with any real power. But close your eyes and it's like 1996 all over again.

When this cold world comes between us, please tell me you'll be brave
'Cause I can realise the danger when forgiveness fades away
If you don't love me, lie to me
'cause baby, you're the one thing I believe

Friday, August 29, 2008

LH Magic Memory #14: Randers

Barack Obama formally accepted his party's nomination for the US Presidency at the Democratic National Convention overnight, which also happened to be the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. The times they are a-changin'... We'll find out in a little over two months just how much they've changed.

In Jovi Land, let's take a little trip back to June 19, 2008 when Bon Jovi played a very memorable show in Randers, Denmark...

UNDIVIDED - Jon endorses Obama before the band launches into the opening track from Bounce, which was played for the first time this tour. Given Jon's voice hadn't been all that great in the preceding five years, this could well be the best live vocal performance ever of this song.

THIS AIN'T A LOVE SONG - Played for the first time since 1996! Cool song from an excellent album... Jon might need to have the lyrics taped to the stage but he sounds great. Now if he'd thrown down the mic stand and crashed to his knees like in Wembley '95, it would have been perfect. :P

I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU - Richie Sambora on lead vocals, as he is for this song most nights, but I thought this was an incredible performance from Richie and the rest of the band.

ALWAYS - One of the best performances of "Always" on the Lost Highway tour. Just compare it to Des Moines... Jon seems so confident singing it now, and Richie's solos take your breath away.

FEVER - Jon had to teach Hugh McDonald the song right there on stage, but he learned pretty quickly. After two decades, surely he deserves to be considered an actual part of the band...

On top of all that, "Back in the USSR" was sung for the first time since the New Jersey tour!

Randers, Denmark - Messepladsen v/ Gl. Estrup (19/6/08)
I'LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD w/ Jumpin' Jack Flash, Start Me Up, Back In The USSR

FEVER (Peggy Lee cover)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

LH Magic Memory #13: Rock in Rio

Bon Jovi headlined the Rock in Rio festival in Lisbon, Portugal (not Rio de Janeiro as the name might suggest) on May 31, 2008. It was shorter than a regular gig and contained a pretty ordinary set but the energy levels for the first Portuguese Bon Jovi show since 1995 more than made up for that. The concert was also broadcast live on TV, radio and the internet, giving fans around the world a chance to experience this truly amazing performance. To be honest, I was expecting this show to be on auto-pilot. After all, it was "just a festival" and was taking place a mere 16 hours before the band's Barcelona show. History shows I should have given our boys a bit more credit!

Note: The network that broadcasted this show has been pretty strict with its copyright, so if you have trouble watching these videos, they've probably been removed from YouTube. (I only wish the same would happen to that horrendous Tokyo pro shot from January!) Moreover, this is just a selection of videos so do yourself a favour by going to YouTube and searching for Bon Jovi Rock in Rio if you haven't seen this show.

RAISE YOUR HANDS - From New York to Lisbon, Portugal!

ALWAYS - Nice tight performance. Pretty good singing from the crowd.

WE GOT IT GOIN' ON - Jon gets "patriotic" with the crowd. This is probably my least favourite song from the Lost Highway album but it rocked here.

BAD MEDICINE / SHOUT - This medley is overplayed but this video shows why the band keeps playing it. Wow.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - Parque da Bela Vista (31/5/08)
I'LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD w/ Mercy & Start Me Up
I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU (Richie Sambora lead vocals)


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Richie and LL Cool J

Richie Sambora appears on the rock remix of LL Cool J's song "Baby". You can listen to it here. And here's what LL had to say about it:
"We creatively put our heads together. I told him I wanted that talk box. Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi's is one of my favorite albums. I thought the talk box on a couple of the songs was incredible, 'Livin' on a Prayer' especially. So, I got Richie to do it on the 'Baby' remix. It sounds crazy. Then he did some vocals, and he did some guitar solos ... so it's good. I'mma drop it out there, shoot it out there and give people a chance to feel it. We been talking about it, having some good conversations."
Richie + talkbox = awesome but the song is probably not going to be well-liked by many Bon Jovi fans. I'm not adverse to a bit of hip-hop personally (old school stuff is better though) so I'd rate this song as ok without being great. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

LH Magic Memory #12: Can't Help Falling In Love / Bed of Roses in Barcelona

The King, Elvis Aaron Presley died 31 years ago last week (August 16, 1977) at the age of 42. And Bon Jovi, being the Elvis fans they are, posed in gold suits for the cover of the 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong box set in 2004, as a homage to Elvis' 1959 compilation album 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong. With these two things in mind, I thought it would be a good time for this magic memory from Barcelona's Olympic Stadium on June 1, 2008. Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora shared the mic for a riveting acoustic cover of "Can't Help Falling In Love" before launching into a heartfelt performance of "Bed of Roses" (the original and the best). "Can't Help Falling in Love" is one of my favourite Elvis songs, while I could never ever get sick of the electric "Bed of Roses", and I think the two songs complement each other well. "Roses" is quite vocally challenging so kudos again to Jon for bringing it back this tour.

For the record, the Barcelona set also included eight songs from my favourite-but-often-ignored Jovi decade, the 90s; including "Hey God", "Always" (both also tough to sing), and "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night".

Sunday, August 17, 2008

LH Magic Memory #11: Dry County in Brussels

Well, I did promise something special... though it was Bon Jovi that did all the delivering at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, Belgium on June 14, 2008. They produced an amazing set list for this show but the crowning moment was the epic "Dry County" which was played for the first time on the tour. The song had returned on the Have a Nice Day tour after a 10-year absence but Jon's voice was usually too thin to really do it justice. Enter the Lost Highway tour, Belgium. There seems to be something weird going on with Jon's microphone at times but his vocals are much stronger and he's singing it with more feeling.

This is my favourite Bon Jovi song. Lyrically, it's socially aware and full of pain and passion. Musically, the other band members get to showcase their talents with deeply expressive, almost haunting instrumental parts (most notably Richie Sambora's killer guitar solos). All these parts come together to rattle your bones, and I don't mean like "We Got It Going On" which I just realised wasn't played at this show. Put simply, there are songs and then there are masterpieces; and "Dry County" belongs in the second category.

I did mention that that the band delivered an amazing set, so here's the full set list with gems and/or rarities in bold:

Brussels, Belgium - Koning Boudewijn Stadion (14/6/08)
I'LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD w/ Rockin' All Over The World & Start Me Up


JAG - Always Run To You

I used to be the biggest JAG fanatic when I was a kid. I was about 7 when David James Elliott as then-Lieutenant Harmon Rabb and Tracey Needham as Lieutenant J.G. Meg Austin exploded onto my screen in "Top Gun meets A Few Good Men". But then JAG was canned in the US and picked up by another network. Suddenly Meg had disappeared, Harm wasn't charged with murder anymore, and the woman he was alleged to have killed had been resurrected as Harm's new partner (Catherine Bell played both characters). The show looked sleeker from then on but in terms of raw entertainment, it was never as good as the first season. And after a few years, it just got plain awful as the Harm/Mac storyline increasingly detracted from any real action, and I eventually stopped watching. However, I recently made this video based on an episode called "Webb of Lies" from Season 4 (not long before JAG "jumped the shark"). It's set to Bon Jovi's "Always Run To You" from the much-maligned 7800° Fahrenheit album. The video quality isn't fantastic and I'm no film editor but it was fun to do and this was a thriller episode.

When I give her the gun
You know she feels so right...

Bon Jovi themselves don't really like Fahrenheit as an album and I too found it very bland initially, but I must say it's grown on me. It does sound a bit dated but there's a sort of rawer, "dirtier" feel to it which is in sharp contrast to the overproduced records you often get these days.

Friday, August 15, 2008

LH Magic Memory #10: JBJ and the Boss

Technically this magic memory wasn't even part of Bon Jovi's Lost Highway tour and it wasn't even Bon Jovi. WTF?!, I hear you say. But it did take place during the LH tour, and involved Jon Bon Jovi... and this is my blog so I will write, review and gush over whatever I like. ;)

The date was April 13, 2008. The location was the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The event was Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's Magic tour. Jon Bon Jovi made a special appearance, and together the two New Jersey natives performed a rousing rendition of Bruce's classic "Glory Days". Like Jon, who is a youthful 46, Bruce seems to have defied the aging process and is still one cool rockin' daddy at the age of 58. The video begins at the second verse...

Think I'm goin' down to the well tonight
And I'm gonna drink 'til I get my fill
And I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinkin' about it
But I probably will

Nice vocal crowd too. :)

For those unfamiliar with the E Street Band; that is Max Weinberg from Late Night With Conan O'Brien on drums, and Steven Van Zandt (with the bandanna) from The Sopranos on guitar. ;)

I love Bruce. But if you don't, I promise the next magic memory will genuinely be Bon Jovi the band from the Lost Highway tour. And it will be an effing awesome one. Watch this space.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

In defense of Anthony Kuzminski and antiMusic

This is sort of a follow-up to my previous post about Bon Jovi being accused of plagiarism. Well, it seems Anthony Kuzminski from The Screen Door was flamed because antiMUSIC, a website he happens to write for, picked up on those stories. This is an extract from his blog on the matter:
antiMusic is not anti-Bon Jovi, in fact, we report all aspects of all genres of music. There is a reason RollingStone.com likes to steal stories from us, because my editor puts together the most comprehensive music news found anywhere on the net. He gathers stories, posts links to them and ultimately it’s why the site has huge traction and a few million visitors every month. What really amazes me is that if you added up all of the emails I got combined for my reviews of their shows from last summer (link here), Chicago this past February (links here and here) and recently about “Whole Lot of Leavin'” (link here) it would still be less than the hate mail I received today for an article I did not write or have any part of.
Click here to read his full post.

Now I don't know who specifically decided to flame Tony over this, and I don't wish to offend any of my readers (most of whom are here because I keep spamming the blog on the Bon Jovi website with my shameless advertising). And perhaps being a media student makes me more inclined to defend my fellow journalists and industry. But remember: Just because you don't like the news, doesn't mean it's not the news. The news was that some people ACCUSED Bon Jovi of plagiarism. antiMusic didn't say that Bon Jovi HAD plagiarised anything. As for Tony Kuzminski, he's a rare breed: a music writer who's also a Bon Jovi fan. He will criticise the band when it is justified and praise them when they deserve it, and that's what makes him good. Don't make people like him suffer just because you're angry at Bart Steele or Joel Ellis or all those other critics and hard rock fans who refuse to afford Bon Jovi any music cred.

Anyway, stay tuned for more of my Lost Highway Tour Magic Memories, coming soon. ;)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another musician seeks 15 more minutes

Here's the background: A few days ago, various sites latched onto Bart Steele's claim in Boston Magazine that Bon Jovi's song "I Love This Town" is a rip-off of his song "Man, I Really Love This Team". I don't know why the sudden publicity now, because it was old news (IIRC the story broke around May or June). But anyway, you can listen to Bart's song in the music player here and Bon Jovi's song here. Apart from the twang, they don't sound alike to me but Jovi haters have been quick to pounce on anything. ;)

Now for the new news. Apparently Sleaze Roxx received an e-mail yesterday from former Cats in Boots singer Joel Ellis claiming that Jon had stolen "I'll Be There For You" from him. To summarise, the e-mail says that after hearing the demo, Jon convinced Joel to give him the tape to give to his record company. Then when Joel heard Bon Jovi's "I'll Be There For You", he refused to sue because he didn't want to be compared to "a self righteous frosted hair perm boy" and "didn't care about that song". Later on, Joel says "I've always felt that people should know about this". Wonder why it took him some 19 years? The e-mail reads like your typical cliched Jovi bash... Not to mention the "bluesy" feel would suggest Richie Sambora might have had more to do with the song than Jon.

Click here to read the full e-mail.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Vote #1 Bon Jovi

As expected, Slippery When Wet came 2nd to Appetite For Destruction in VoteNumber1.com's best 80s rock album poll.

Voting for best 90s album begins on August 11.

The nominees are:

Nevermind - Nirvana
OK Computer - Radiohead
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge - Van Halen
Jagged Little Pill - Alanis Morissette
Metallica (The Black Album) - Metallica
Use Your Illusion I & II - Guns N' Roses
Get a Grip - Aerosmith
Keep the Faith - Bon Jovi
Innuendo - Queen
Ten - Pearl Jam

LH Magic Memory #9: Who Says in Coventry

"Who Says You Can't Go Home" was the song that built the bridge between rock and country pop for Bon Jovi back in 2005. In my native Australia, only the rock version was released and from memory it didn't even chart... But the duet with Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles was huge in North America and it's likely there would have been no Lost Highway album without it. "Who Says" has been played at every show since the Have a Nice Day tour and I personally don't think it needs to be played as often as it is outside the US and Canada; There are rarer tracks that are much more popular over there than "Who Says".

However, I think "Who Says" packed a pretty good punch at Ricoh Arena in Coventry on June 24, 2008, when an 8-year-old kid named Jack wandered onto the stage in the middle of the performance! Jon played daddy for awhile in this very cute exchange, before getting Jack to sing with him for the rest of the song. Check out the rock star with the young gun on this AEG Live pro shot.

Props also to David Bryan for not messing up the (extended) keyboard riff in the middle like I would have. :P

Monday, August 4, 2008

LH Magic Memory #8: These Days in Punchestown

My 8th Magic Memory (noting that they're not being reviewed in any particular order) took place at Punchestown Racecourse in Kildare, Ireland on June 7, 2008. For the record, this was the show in which that crazy fan jumped Jon during "In These Arms". You can watch that here but, while entertaining, I don't want it to detract too much from another, more special moment in the show. Or "This ain't scratch 'n' sniff, baby!" as Jon puts it. :P

Now onto THE magic memory. It was the final song of the night. Bon Jovi had planned to wrap up the show with "Hallelujah", "Always", "Wanted Dead or Alive", and "Bad Medicine", when they decided to give the Irish fans a second encore. After performing a cover of "Rockin' All Over The World", Jon pulled out the title track from what I personally consider to be the band's best album. Richie Sambora had sung his bluesy rendition of "These Days" on most occasions that it was performed on the Lost Highway tour. The reason being, Jon couldn't sing it anymore. Until the Leipzig show when he showed us diehards (again) that he had his confidence back. Well, Jon went one better in Ireland. IMO he sounded stronger when going for the high notes this time around, despite reportedly suffering from hay fever. And it was such a great song for the band to finish on.

The fiddle during the solo is not everyone's cup of tea, but I don't actually mind it since Lorenza Ponce is a talented violinist. And oddly enough, I think it adds an interesting dimension to this song (whereas it was too overbearing in Newark during some of the other classic Bon Jovi songs). That said, my musical background isn't grounded in rock and I can understand purists hating the violin. ;)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

LH Magic Memory #7: I Believe in London

June 28, 2008 at Twickenham Stadium in London marked the final show of the European leg of the Lost Highway tour. People expected this show to go off with a bang and for a lot of them, ending with "I Love This Town" and "Twist & Shout" was probably not quite what they had in mind. There were some real gems in this set though, including "Blood Money" and "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night" but the one that stands out comes from a killer album called Keep the Faith. "I Believe" hadn't been played in about five years. The video below opens with a speech from Jon before the band crescendos into that cool rocking intro. It's a tough one to sing, and it's a song with plenty of passion but I think Bon Jovi managed to do it justice after all this time.

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's the final countdown!

Ok, wrong 80s band. ;)

But anyway, it's down to the FINAL TWO on VoteNumber1.com's best 80s rock album:

Appetite for Destruction - Guns N' Roses
Slippery When Wet - Bon Jovi

It looks as though Guns will win but click here to vote.

You can vote once a day. Winner announced on August 8th, 2008 (first day of the Beijing Olympics).