Monday, March 23, 2009

Bon Jovi of old?

Just read this on the Q&A section of the Bon Jovi site:

you haven't been answering questions as often - must mean you're workin' hard! But don't work too hard.
Q: if you have to compare this new record (with what you have so far) which other record of BJ (or any artist!) would be similar? Give the fans out there a taster of the goods!

Stay killer :)
xoxo Gabi
asked by gabibonjovi on Mar 22, 2009 7:07am

Big loud guitars riffs, much like the earlier albums.
answered by Obie on Mar 22, 2009 9:02am

No idea what he means by "earlier albums" because technically everything before now is "earlier". I have a feeling "big loud rock record" really means Bounce or Have a Nice Day, but I personally hope he means something resembling the work that was done from 1986 to 1995, i.e. the "big four" (Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Keep the Faith, These Days). I don't want a clone of any previous album, but something more of that quality and less of trying to buy new fans at the expense of existing ones. Time will tell, of course.

Meanwhile, Jon Bon Jovi has recorded a "gospel-style" version of "Keep the Faith" for an upcoming compilation CD called Oh Happy Day. You can listen to a 30-second sample of it here.

EDIT: Full song can be listened to here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St Paddy's Day with The Fray

So how did you spend St Patrick's Day? I know a lot of people were decked out in green, sitting in a pub, downing pints of Guinness. Being a pretty weak drinker, I'd gone for a banana smoothie and was completely sober at The Fray's inaugural Perth gig at Metro City nightclub. :P

There are probably a lot of people reading this who think The Fray are a pretty soft band, and I guess you're right, but allow me to go off-topic for this post. ;)

Bon Jovi is streets ahead of any other artist in terms of their influence on me, but The Fray would have to be up there on a list of my favourite bands. I've never even watched Grey's Anatomy, the show credited with putting The Fray on the map, although their music has also featured on Scrubs which is one of my favourites. But I actually discovered The Fray the old fashioned way, by listening to a normal commercial radio station (That was only about three years ago but these days I'd be more likely to find a new band via the internet). Something about "Over My Head (Cable Car)" got my attention so I went onto MySpace, heard "How to Save a Life" and there was no turning back after that. I think their latest self-titled album is superior though.

I guess The Fray appeals to my piano background. Isaac Slade doesn't have the strongest voice but the emotion he conveys with it is the hallmark of The Fray. It's not overly original stuff, but it is heartfelt. And it's not Bon Jovi either -- Isaac spends most of his time on stage at the piano -- but you don't need to dance and jump around to be a good front man, and doing that wouldn't work with The Fray anyway. I also like that they're still playing very intimate venues in Australia at least, which, due to the demand, is something Bon Jovi will probably never do again.

There are some superficial similarities; The Fray haven't had an official bassist since Caleb Slade (although they haven't had the SAME unofficial one that entire time!), and guitarist Joe King takes lead vocals on "Ungodly Hour" a la Richie Sambora. Apart from that though, it's like comparing apples and oranges, and I think that's a good thing.

How to Save a Life - The Fray, live in Perth - March 17, 2009

So... what non-Jovi bands/artists do you listen to?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bon Jovi in 2D

Some people have speculated that the upcoming Bon Jovi book might just be something along the lines of a "picture book" with captions. Paul, aka The Walrus came up with this in response:
"The way people keep calling it a "picture book" makes me think it'll be full of pictures like this:


Now that should be the cover! ;) Maybe we're just weird at JoviTalk, but that cracked me up to no end. And considering it's a stick figure, the resemblance to the real Hugh is somewhat uncanny. Stick Hugh is also playing left-handed, demonstrating his talents through ambidexterity. :P

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bon Jovi book and documentary to be released this year

I remember Jon talking about writing a book then canning it because their "brotherhood" in-house policy rendered it boring. Still, HarperCollins has issued a press release so I guess it's happening again.
HarperCollins Publishers today announced a deal to publish the first ever official Bon Jovi book, Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful. Celebrating the band’s 25th anniversary, the book contains never-before-seen photographs and exclusive text from the band and will be published next October by the Collins Design imprint. Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful will also serve as a companion to a major documentary about the band being released at the same time.

Odd title. Presumably it's some kind of dig at the pretty boy hair band tag that's been following them around since the mid-80s.
The public face of Bon Jovi -- band of brothers, hitmakers, rock stars -- is well known, but in Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful, gorgeous, exclusive photographs and revealing text from Jon, Richie, David and Tico themselves tell the behind-the-scenes story. From intimate moments to basking in the limelight, the book offers fans an honest, unposed and unscripted portrait of this legendary band at work and at home.

No mention of Hugh McDonald. He deserves better; even if you don't believe Hugh "covered for" Alec John Such on the three albums before These Days, he has still played with Bon Jovi for longer than Alec ever did. And to highlight my point, they could only find room for two photos of Huey in the booklet for 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong (which, off the top of my head, is 66 pages long). (One of these aforementioned photos is of the back of Hugh's head.) I can only hope Huey gets some input into this new book but I'm not holding my breath.
The book offers unprecedented insights into the members’ lives on stage, on the road, and at home, as well as intimate reflections on the highs and lows of their 25 years together.

As I alluded to earlier, Bon Jovi have always been very "in-house" so don't expect The Dirt. But this could still potentially be quite an interesting release. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy birthday Jon!

On March 2, 1962, one John Francis Bongiovi, Jr was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

That's right, the great man himself turns 47 today.

This time a year ago, Bon Jovi were playing at Philadelphia's Wachovia Center on the Lost Highway tour...