Monday, November 30, 2009

Epic parenting fail

This plea for Bon Jovi pit tickets was apparently posted on craigslist and picked up on FAIL Blog.

epic fail pictures
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Click here to see it in full, add a comment, or share it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Superman Tonight on Conan

Bon Jovi were back on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, this time to perform "Superman Tonight". Finally, a song other than "We Weren't Born to Follow". :P

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bon Jovi's fall from grace

Bon Jovi had the dubious honour of the third biggest drop from the #1 spot in US Billboard chart history this week, with The Circle falling to #19.

Anthony Kuzminski discusses some of the possible reasons (other than the padding of album sales in the first week by forcing people to purchase the digital album with pre-sale tickets) for this decline on The Screen Door.

Bob Lefsetz
also had some interesting things to say in an e-mail to his subscribers... here's a taste:
If older folk still buy music and younger people steal it, why did John Mayer sell almost twice as many albums the first week out as Bon Jovi?

Yes, according to, John Mayer sold 301,204 copies of his new album, "Battle Studies", this week. Whereas last week, Bon Jovi moved 165,871 copies of "The Circle".

Ready for some truly horrifying news? This week "The Circle" fell all the way to number 19, selling 50,153 copies, a whopping drop of 70%. Whew!

What's the difference between John and Jon?

One is living in 2009 and the other is living in the last century.

Jon Bon Jovi was positively old media, tying in with NBC.

John Mayer was new media, appearing in concert on Fuse and tweeting up a storm.

It doesn't matter the total reach, it matters who actually watches and what the perception is.

Fuse would be canceled, the entire channel, if its programming was on NBC. To say the ratings are anemic would be charitable. But Fuse airs music, unlike MTV. And most people watching the shows featuring Bon Jovi on NBC don't give a shit about the man's music. In other words, Jon's shoving it down the wrong people's throats.

EDIT: The full article is now up on Bob's website. Click here for the link.

Bon Jovi on Ellen

Some videos of Bon Jovi on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Jon interview... the story about Romeo and the big ears was quite funny.

It's My Life

We Weren't Born to Follow

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Who says you can't go home?

Here's an article on about Richie Sambora's "You Can Go Home" campaign for Kelly Mahon, a girl from his hometown of Woodbridge who was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year. Check out the link here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jon Bon Jovi on Conan O'Brien

Here are a couple of clips of JBJ on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.

Jon talks about the art of seducing an audience, and makes me insanely jealous of his Labor Day jam session...

Jon talks about Bon Jovi being NBC's "artists in residence" and Richie treats us to a special cameo appearance...

Bon Jovi performing "We Weren't Born to Follow"...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Richie Sambora interview on Classic 21

In this interview with Belgian radio station Classic 21, Richie Sambora talks about The Circle, Lost Highway, the 90s, multi-millionnaire rock stars writing about the working classes, "When We Were Beautiful" (the song and documentary), the band's longevity, and some of his solo projects. Check out the video here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Richie and Ava Sambora at New Moon premiere

Richie and Ava at the premiere of the new Twilight movie. They talk about vampires, romance, and the new Melrose Place.

Videos: JBJ & Friends at Alice Tully Hall

Jon Bon Jovi, along with Bob Bandiera, Lorenza Ponce, Everett Bradley, and Jerry Cohen performed a special acoustic set for American Express at New York City's Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center) on November 16. I'm a big fan of the unplugged format so this is magic to my ears. There was also a Q&A with Phil Griffin (who directed the documentary) and Jon.






SUPERMAN TONIGHT - Just Jon and Bobby, as the others didn't know it

WE WEREN'T BORN TO FOLLOW - Jon spends the first five minutes or so talking about the background to the song



Monday, November 16, 2009

Boston songwriter files appeal in lawsuit against Red Sox, MLB, TBS, Bon Jovi, et al.

This press release landed in my inbox today in relation to the "I Love This Town" copyright infringement appeal. I have no vendetta against Bart Steele so I figure it's only fair that I reproduce this and let you, the readers decide.

For Immediate Release - November 15, 2009:


Dispute Centers on TBS/Major League Baseball Commercial

Bart Steele, a songwriter living in Chelsea, MA, has filed an appeal in his lawsuit against Turner Broadcasting, Major League Baseball, The Boston Red Sox, the rock band Bon Jovi, and other defendants. The case is Steele v. Turner Broadcasting et al, case #08-11727, and is pending in federal court in Boston. Steele argues that his song and an MLB/TBS commercial, which he believes was created using his work as a “temp track,” are similar enough to support his claim that the commercial infringes upon his copyright.

“Basically, the District Court believed the defendants’ argument that this was all a bunch of coincidences,” Steele says. “But it wasn’t. It was copyright infringement, pure and simple. In 2004, I wrote my Boston Red Sox-based country baseball anthem entitled ‘Man I Really Love This Team.'

“I emailed my song and also mailed the song with lyric sheets to the Red Sox and Major League Baseball several times, including in October 2004, June 2005, and June 2006. I also told them I had another version called 'Man I Really Love This Town' that could be used for any team in any town. To this day, neither the Red Sox nor Major League Baseball has denied receiving my letters, song, and lyric sheets. I never heard back from them.

“Three years later, MLB’s "I Love This Town" commercial aired on TBS, with Bon Jovi providing the audio. And I started getting phone calls asking me when I had sold my song. The answer was – and is - never.

“I was never asked for permission to use my work, much less paid or even given credit for it. Defendants admit, in Court documents, receiving my song in October 2004. Defendants have not denied receiving my letters informing them I had created a derivative work, which replaced “team” with “town.”

“Defendants admit “access,” which is a big part of any copyright claim. It is hard to believe TBS and MLB when they say their commercial’s similarities to my song were all a series of unbelievable ‘coincidences.’

Steele elaborates, “A close analysis of the MLB/TBS commercial proves that it, and the Bon Jovi audio, was derived from my work,” says Steele. “They left a pretty blatant trail of evidence behind,”

“There are just too many places where the visuals match up exactly with my lyrics to be coincidence. For example, at the exact time I am singing "Yawkey Way," the video shows a Yawkey Way street sign, and Bon Jovi is singing "this street." Another obvious example, at the exact time I sing "Tigers," the video shows a Detroit Tigers player."

“As for the lyrics, at the end of my song’s bridge I sing "come on and let ‘em know say here we go;" the Bon Jovi audio's bridge ends "come on now here we go again." Compare my song to the MLB commercial and see if you can find all the other 'coincidences.'

“In fact, over 50% of the commercial's lyrics are identical to, or paraphrased from my song, according to a number of professional musicians and video experts.

“96% of the commercial's frame-cut edits (149 of 155 video sequences) are in perfect synchronization with my song's tempo, beat, and measure. And the commercial and my song are exactly the same length, both fading out at 2:38.

Steele says the Court failed to properly consider his experts’ statements, and that is a major reason why he is appealing.

“I registered 3 titles as both writer & publisher with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP): 1) 'Man I Really Love This Team' 2) 'Man I Really Love This Town' and 3) 'Man I Love This Team,' and this can easily be confirmed at by title search.

“Everyone tells me that this kind of thing happens all the time in the music business even though it’s illegal. The big corporations think musicians will just give up if they have to face a big law firm hired to wear them out. But I’m not giving up.

“When ASCAP saw my evidence, their exact words to me were: "We find it very hard to believe this was independent creation on their (Bon Jovi's) part with the whole baseball and video thing."

“ASCAP subsequently opened a “Discrepancy” case file and requested statements from me and from Bon Jovi. In fact, an ASCAP title search for “I Love This Town” returns only an ASCAP request to call the “Clearance Line” with respect to the “Discrepancy” on that title code (392590937). I replied immediately to ASCAP’s request.

“Bon Jovi never replied to ASCAP’s request.

“ASCAP eventually froze all royalties on Bon Jovi’s audio, "I Love This Town," from the MLB/TBS commercial.

“Amazingly, Bon Jovi never questioned or challenged ASCAP’s royalty freeze. Actually, since MLBAM (MLB’s non-baseball media/marketing arm) – and not Bon Jovi – owns the copyright to the TBS/MLB commercial, including the audio, maybe it’s not that amazing.”

Steele concludes, "Bon Jovi is a major client of MLBAM and has been for years. In fact, Bon Jovi, TBS, and MLB teamed up yet again just this fall to promote baseball on TBS. Please check for yourself, this is all public record."

To view and listen to the MLB commercial with Steele’s song, go to

To view and listen to the MLB commercial with the Bon Jovi audio, go to

For further understanding on how this happened

Google: Fenway Sports Group+FSG+Red Sox+MLBAM+Bon Jovi

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bon Jovi Inside the Actors Studio (preview)

A few preview clips from Inside the Actors Studio.

Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora talk about the band's name.

A pretty sick sounding David Bryan talks about his formative years.

Jon and Richie talk about philanthropy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Critics' Guide to Bon Jovi

Jeff Giles' review of The Circle on Popdose is pretty much the only text an aspiring music critic ought to study before writing about Bon Jovi.

Jon Bon Jovi’s always been a nakedly craven opportunist, and I refuse to believe he’s approached the band’s career as anything other than a business plan. I think he realized that after five years away, Bon Jovi nostalgia would be high, and with rock radio mostly dead, he could afford to make what would have been a credibility-killing move in the ’80s — namely, hooking up with Max Martin for a lollipop of a leadoff single — and finally turn the band into what he’d always thought it should be: a tribe of musical mercenaries who didn’t have to feign allegiance to any particular genre, but could cop to whatever trend happened to be popular at the moment in an effort to stay on the charts, and do it without hurting sales enough to matter. Other bands had tried this before, but they’d all failed, possibly because they all still had credibility to squander; Bon Jovi made it work, because credibility had always been a meaningless abstract concept for them. Their music was never as important as how people responded to it — or to put it in more appropriately crass terms, how well it sold.

I don't even particularly like Crush (at least two of my least favourite Bon Jovi songs of all time are on that record), and I'm not denying Bon Jovi's commercialism for a second, but that was a blow low enough for me to feel it. :P And it's quite a revealing paragraph about the open-mindedness of our reviewer, methinks. ;)

Now how's this line: "If curing AIDS sold records, I’m pretty sure Bon Jovi would have done it by now. Sadly, curing AIDS doesn’t sell records. But pinching out tubes of boneless, easy-to-digest rock & roll does, and that’s why the band’s 11th studio album, The Circle, is coming out today" (review was posted November 10).

Ooh, burn! You can read the rest of the review here.

Coming full circle

Check out this interview published on channelnewsasia.

The word "circle" denotes "completion." Are you guys done?

Jon Bon Jovi: A friend of ours gave it to us, and her name is even on the credit. She suggested the title and I said, "Don't say anymore. I know exactly what this means." This could mean something different to everybody but to me it means it's never ending.

It's sort of what we feel about our band. In very New Jersey terms, it's very hard to get in, and even harder to get out.

Tico Torres:
Infinity is a wonderful way to look at music because there is no end.

Richie Sambora also suggests that Bon Jovi could be in Singapore in the first quarter of 2011.

The rest of the article is here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bart Steele appeals I Love This Town verdict

Oh dear.

Remember that guy who sued Bon Jovi for $400 billion over "I Love This Town" and had his case dismissed?

Seems he's appealing. His statement on the matter can be read on antiMusic and on his MySpace blog.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bon Jovi - The Circle - Japan interview

Masa Ito interviews Bon Jovi about The Circle.

Interesting comments about how it was a kid's solo on Youtube that influenced them to add a guitar solo to "We Weren't Born to Follow". I posted Rafael's solo on this blog back in August and still think it's terrific, so check it out if you haven't already.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora on This Morning

An interview with Jon and Richie aired on ITV's This Morning in the UK today. Jon was asked about ticket prices for the O2, to which he pleaded ignorance but said that he would look into it and shoulder some of the blame. Interesting. Personally, I don't see how any CEO worth his salt could possibly not know about those prices -- especially after the backlash and media attention -- but whatever. When I'm important enough to be interviewed, I'll be able to say whatever the heck I want too. :P Jon and Richie were also asked the usual questions about the new album, documentary and touring. They seemed to be in a fairly good mood.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Circle album review

The review of The Circle I did for Suite101 is now up. Suite101 doesn't allow first person articles which can be a bit restricting when it comes to writing reviews, but it's not too bad. Ideally I would have waited a few months or a year before reviewing something I'm so enamoured with but obviously it wouldn't be very current by then. Anyway, the link to the review is here and I'd award the album 4 out of 5 at this stage.

And in case you hate my review, here's "We Weren't Born to Follow" from BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge so you can decide which is better. :P

We Weren't Born to Follow (acoustic)

A limited edition release of "We Weren't Born to Follow", performed acoustically on Inside the Actors Studio, is currently available from iLike and Lala.

Unfortunately, I can't work out how to get it outside the US. If anyone can help me out, it would be much appreciated.

Jon Bon Jovi Inc

A Times Online article about the CEO of Bon Jovi...

Jon Bon Jovi is not your average rock star. When you tell people you are meeting him, you get two reactions: disdain or “Phwoar”. Both are usually followed by a rousing rendition of Livin’ on a Prayer. So for the conflicted out there, let’s start by getting a few things straight: he is not tiny; he’s a very respectable 5ft 10in or 11in. His hair, while by no means a No 1 all over, is no longer so big that it need dominate our thoughts. He’s a handsome and successful rock star who gets a reliably sneering press (too commercial, too soft-rock, too cheesily uplifting); a stratospherically rich man who nonetheless keeps plugging away with the CDs, the tours, the long absences from his family. And today, he is in a rubbish part of America listening to local dignitaries drone on at a tree-planting ceremony.

Link to the full article is here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Alan McGee meets Jon Bon Jovi

Founder of British indie label Creation Records Alan McGee interviews Jon Bon Jovi for The Guardian. Jon talks about the rock 'n' roll life, reality TV, and the band's longevity. He also reveals "Bullet" was about Jennifer Hudson's family.

The link to the full article is here.

Bon Jovi's prayers answered: WalesOnline

Jon Bon Jovi talks politics, The Circle, and the documentary When We Were Beautiful in this article from WalesOnline:

Since he and band Bon Jovi released their self-titled debut on 1984, they’ve sold 120 million albums and performed to more than 34 million fans in 50 countries. Quite simply, they’re one of the biggest bands out there.

It’s a pleasant surprise then, to discover Jon making his bed at the beginning of our conversation.

“Oh, yeah, it’s the maid’s day off,” he says sarcastically, while continuing to tidy his New York bedroom.

Link to the full article here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My thoughts on the Bon Jovi documentary

Well, I finally got to see When We Were Beautiful at Hoyts Carousel in Perth tonight. Apparently their shipment of CDs and DVDs got stuck in customs (What the? "I'm sorry but you can't bring these CDs in..."?!) so if you bought a ticket with the album/documentary package, you had to write down your address and contact details for them to mail out later. It had to happen in Perth didn't it. :P

Anyway, onto the actual film. I did enjoy it but I don't know if it would be worth watching again. I may or may not ever do a full review (it's more or less been covered elsewhere) but here are some thoughts in point form...

- The black and white worked well.
- Sometimes Jon sounds so arrogant it's hilarious ("I'm a CEO of a major corporation, don't waste my time"). But I guess it's those traits that have made him the front man he is.
- Dave's little hint that the dictatorship of Jon does bother him slightly on occasion was probably one of the most refreshing parts of the doco.
- The anecdote about Richie and Tico running into each other when Richie was with a girl and Tico was with her mother had everyone in stitches... there could have been more stories like that.
- The footage of "Diamond Ring" was magic... Would have been cool to see "Stick To Your Guns" or something like that. Because it's those gems that make us cynical fans fall in love with the band all over again.
- The lack of Hugh was to be expected but considering Obie O'Brien got to speak for the cameras, one measly quote from the bassist would not have killed anyone.
- They tended to "talk around" stuff like Richie's downward spiral with the alcohol and drugs. If you weren't familiar with that story, you would have been pretty confused during the doco.
- The censorship of swear words was a bit irritating, because a chunk of sound (including any background noise) was simply removed whenever an F-bomb or whatever came up. It sounded really jerky, especially when Jon was talking about organising the free Central Park gig and seemed to say the F-word half a dozen times in a couple of sentences.

Overall, I think the documentary is too Jon-centric for the typical diehard Bon Jovi fan, but not accessible enough for casual or non-fans. Still, there's no harm in checking it out at least once.

Superman Tonight: Possible 2nd UK single

"When We Were Beautiful" was the follow-up single to "We Weren't Born to Follow" in the US, but if this video is any indication, it appears that "Superman Tonight" could be chosen for the UK and international markets.

From BBC Radio 2 in London on November 3... Audio quality is poor, the video is very Jon centric, and Jon doesn't seem to know the song that well yet. But it's the first live performance of "Superman Tonight".

Here's a pic of the set list taken by Chris Evans...

...and a rather scathing review of the Radio 2 gig by Rick Pearson.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora on Absolute Radio

Here's an interview Jon and Richie did with Christian O'Connell from Absolute Radio after their appearance on X Factor. They talk about reality TV, the changing music industry, and Bon Jovi's upcoming O2 residency.

Musings about The Circle, the tour, and raising a hand...

If you're a Bon Jovi fan, there's a good chance you've already heard The Circle, either when it leaked last week or because it's already been officially released in a few markets. If you haven't heard the album, there's a good chance you've heard other fans calling it the best album in 14 years or more. If you hadn't heard any other Bon Jovi fans talking about the album until you read this post, then welcome to the world wide web -- I'm flattered my blog was the first page you visited. :P

So while we're all feeling warm and fuzzy about the new album, and while more and more O2 dates seem to keep popping up, it's good to see that the fan backlash about the European ticket prices, especially for the O2, getting some outside coverage. After making Perez Hilton last week (even though he couldn't resist an unnecessary swipe at Bon Jovi for the effort), articles have appeared in The Sun and Contactmusic, among other sites. The more stuff like this is talked about, the more likely we are to bring about change.

I've heard some fans defending Jon and the band on this issue. How dare we criticise the band, they say. We're clearly not real fans if we can't just appreciate the fact that they play concerts at all. You can't blame Jon because he doesn't have anything to do with prices. Other artists charge high prices too but Bon Jovi are worth it because they're the best band in the world. Et cetera.

Sure, AEG and the O2 want to get some of their money back after the untimely death of Michael Jackson before his 50-show residency. But Jon Bon Jovi is the CEO and face of a very lucrative business. If he wanted to do something about ticket prices, he could. He doesn't. I know people need to make a living, and that for musicians, the real money now lies in touring and not record sales. But Bon Jovi do not need to bleed their fans dry to make money.

This is not just about the O2 either. It is about getting a fair deal for all Bon Jovi fans -- no matter where they live and whether they are in the fan club or not -- on this tour and into the future. It's about making sure the passionate supporters who have made Bon Jovi the success they are today, get the chance to experience them at a reasonable price.

But as I was saying, ticket prices aside, I think this really is the best album since These Days, and probably the first time since then that they've been able to put together 12 good songs. (I do still enjoy the balance of Bon Jovi's work this decade, but IMO there have always been a few glaring clunkers per album prior to The Circle). I'm still so in love with The Circle it's ridiculous. Tony Kuzminski has been a little more tempered in his review on antiMusic and The Screen Door, but it's worth the read.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Screen Door reviews Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful

Check out Anthony Kuzminski's review of the new Bon Jovi book on The Screen Door and antiMusic:
Many of the quotes and stories can be heard in the documentary, but the book houses dozens of stories and quotes not found in the film. We get some interesting anecdotes from Jon about how he keeps his voice in shape, some minor reflections on the These Days record and individual reflections from all four main members of Bon Jovi. While there are no earth shattering revelations in the book, but there is enough here to hold one's interest amidst the stunning photos.

The full review can be read here and here.