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 Chic Wanda Jackson Little Anthony and the Imperials Metallica Run-D.M.C. the Stooges War 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!
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.
WE WILL ROCK YOU / SUMMERTIME 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.
BLOOD MONEY / BLAZE OF GLORY Two of my favourite songs from Jon's 1990 solo album. I could never get sick of this live combination.
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL / KEEP THE FAITH Second half of a highly spirited rock performance.
LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME 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.
IF LOVING YOU IS WRONG / DAMNED "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.
THESE DAYS 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) LOST HIGHWAY BORN TO BE MY BABY YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME SUMMERTIME w/ We Will Rock You JUST OLDER CAPTAIN CRASH & THE BEAUTY QUEEN FROM MARS I'LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD w/ Jumpin' Jack Flash + Mercy BLOOD MONEY BLAZE OF GLORY WHOLE LOT OF LEAVIN' BED OF ROSES IN THESE ARMS WE GOT IT GOIN' ON IT'S MY LIFE KEEP THE FAITH w/ Sympathy for the Devil I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU (Richie Sambora lead vocals) LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME HAVE A NICE DAY WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T GO HOME BAD MEDICINE w/ Shout LIVIN' ON A PRAYER
Encore: ANY OTHER DAY DAMNED w/ If Loving You Is Wrong THESE DAYS WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE
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.
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.
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!
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