Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jon Bon Jovi meets with at-risk youth in New Orleans

Obviously all the focus in Joviland right now is on Richie Sambora entering rehab and Bon Jovi touring without him. But against that backdrop, there IS a tour, and it resumes with Jazzfest in New Orleans tonight (April 30). As part of his White House Council duties, Jon took part in a roundtable discussion there in the leadup to the show:
Singer, philanthropist and sex symbol Jon Bon Jovi was the center of much of the attention today during a roundtable with at-risk young people at Cafe Reconcile, which hosted the event with other youth-program strongholds in the city: Liberty's Kitchen, the Youth Empowerment Project and the Tulane Youth Drop-In Center.

But despite a near mob scene afterward, when kids and their advocates posed with the star for photo after photo after photo, the rock star was quick to shine the spotlight on those he'd just listened to as part of his work for the White House Council for Community Solutions.
Read the full article here. Nice story.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Richie Sambora set to miss upcoming shows

It appears that Richie's latest stint in rehab will cause him to miss tour dates, judging from the statement Bon Jovi released today:
"Our support for Richie is absolute. He is, and will remain, a member of Bon Jovi. Although he will be absent from upcoming shows for the time being, we very much look forward to his healthy return. In the meantime, we will keep our commitment to our fans and continue our tour."

Jon's brother Matt had this to say on Twitter:
Matthew Bongiovi
Now you know it's not my place to comment. Richie will be fine and is fine. Personal life comes first and you have to respect that.

Matthew Bongiovi
All I can say is that we are heading to NOLA tomorrow. No shows will be canceled.
15 hours ago

Hoo, boy. I'm guessing Bobby Bandiera will take over lead guitar on any shows that Richie misses -- like he did in Puerto Rico in 2007. The whole band is in a tricky situation but given how much flak Bobby cops from Bon Jovi fans even when he's not playing solos, I have to say I feel extra sorry for him. Jon is also not getting off lightly for going ahead with the concerts instead of postponing and offering refunds.

Richie is the most recognisable member of the band after Jon -- and probably on par with Jon in terms of popularity among diehards -- which begs the question. How would you approach a show knowing that the King of Swing wouldn't be there and that the songs will probably sound different? (Even putting aside the constant argument over the quality of his playing, Bobby doesn't use talkbox, which is a big part of Livin' on a Prayer, It's My Life and even We Got It Goin' On.) Would it still be a Bon Jovi show for you without Richie? Would you still want to attend or would you try to sell your tickets?

For what it's worth, most addicts do relapse and it is often an important part of the recovery process, but I do hope Richie gets this thing kicked for good.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Richie Sambora back in rehab?

According to RadarOnline, the King of Swing is checking into a rehabilitation facility "for exhaustion and to regain his sobriety". He had previous stints in rehab during the Lost Highway Tour.
”Richie recently has been drinking too much, and wants to get his life together," a source told exclusively, adding that the band has been very supportive of the rehab decision.

"Richie has had a busy year," a close friend of the musician told Radar. "I think this was a culmination of all the things that overloaded his life and finally he realized he needed to take care of himself.”
Read the full article here.

Assuming it's true, it's not the greatest news to wake up to... but his health is the most important thing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Richie Sambora on new Osmonds album

Richie is reportedly credited on an upcoming CD by Donny and Marie Osmond to be released on May 3:
Donny & Marie Osmond have reunited to record together again after 30 years with a much anticipated new album, produced by Buddy Cannon, best known for producing Kenny Chesney's hit albums. The songs will excite fans of their infectious style a little country and a little bit rock n roll . The album features songs written by Richie Sambora, Carole King and Kenneth Babyface Edmonds, Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster, Jeremy Lubbock, Richard Marx, Frank Myers, Gary Baker and Walt Aldridge, and performances by Richie Sambora and Gavin DeGraw.
The album, entitled Donny and Marie is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Soul Foundation homeless shelter + restaurant

The Soul Foundation's new homeless shelter and planned "pay what you can" restaurant in Philly has made a few waves even on a few Australian news sites. From Contactmusic:
Celebrity philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi was on hand to boost the spirits of displaced youths on Tuesday (19Apr11) when he helped to open a homeless shelter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The rocker is a longtime supporter of homeless charities and he donated money to fund the $3 million (£1.88 million) facility via his Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation .

He joined Covenant House International president Kevin Ryan to launch the new accommodation, which will house 20 youngsters between the ages of 18 and 21, explaining that failing to support troubled youths "denies all of us their talents and visions".

And from the Asbury Park Press:
RED BANK — The foundation started by Central Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi plans to open its first community restaurant on Monmouth Street, where, pending local approvals, no one will get denied a good, nutritious meal.

Plans were filed late last month by the Philadelphia based Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation to convert a former auto repair shop to a neighborhood restaurant that will serve low-cost or no-cost meals to the community.

"This will be our first community kitchen, it would be fantastic if it took off and we could replicate it," said Mimi Box, executive director of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. "This is operated just like a restaurant. People can bring their families, they have a selection of items and have options to pay cash or volunteer."

Volunteers can work at the kitchen or with other local charities that need volunteers that the foundation hopes to work with, she said. Those who can afford to pay, could also donate more toward another person's meal, Box said.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bon Jovi house robbed

The Bongiovi home was among those targeted by a high-end burglar recently. From the Asbury Park Press:
MIDDLETOWN — The riverside home of rocker and philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi and properties of his Navesink River Road neighbors were burglarized by a Beachwood man accused of heisting more than $500,000 in jewelry from the homes over the past month, police said.

Nicholas J. Tracy, 21, of Clubhouse Road in Beachwood, was arrested Wednesday, after a burglar alarm was tripped at a home in the 400 block of Navesink River Road, prompting Patrolmen Ryan Riffert and Carl Roth to respond to the scene, according to Detective Lt. Stephen Dollinger.

The patrolmen searched the home to discover Tracy hiding in a third-floor bathroom, Dollinger said.

Following an investigation by Detectives William Strohkirch and Peter White, Tracy was charged with burglarizing Bon Jovi's 15-acre estate -- assessed at $22.25 million -- along the Navesink River on April 3, where he grabbed jewelry belonging to Bon Jovi's wife Dorothea Bongiovi valued at $100,000, according to documents.
Read the full article here.

I guess I could add some "punny" comments here, but I'll leave that to the folks at JoviTalk. ;)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Details on new DiPietro/Bryan musical

David Bryan and Joe DiPietro, who have collaborated on The Toxic Avenger and of course Memphis, appeared on Sirius/XM's Live on Broadway radio show hosted by Seth Rudetsky. From
The Tony Award winning duo spoke with Rudetsky about their upcoming project now in the works; a musical about a group of songwriters during the early 1960's working in New York City's historic Brill Building. Considered a city landmark, the Brill Building was once the centerpiece of America's music industry, with writers, musicians, record companies and promoters calling the office space their home. The tale will follow a talented female songwriter who comes up against some harsh obstacles in a male-dominated industry. "The irony will be that after all her hard work, everyone will be out of a job once the Beatles invade America in 1964", explains DiPietro.

The writing team recalled MEMPHIS' long journey from its earliest beginnings in Palo Alto in 2003 to its 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical. "In a way, the buzz and anticipation for the show to come to New York was great for us", muses DiPietro. "The longer we didn't do it, the more people couldn't wait to see it". Adds Bryan, "We became urban legends".

Read the full article here. They also talked about the upcoming movie screenings of Memphis in the US and Dave performed Memphis Lives In Me.

Wanted: Bon Jovi's opening act for Mohegan Sun

Bon Jovi is running a radio contest, through 96.5 TIC FM, to find the opening act for their May 7, 2011 show at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT:
We’re collecting submissions from all local bands who’d like the chance to open Bon Jovi’s show! All you need to do to enter are the following 2 steps:

1. Pick your band’s BEST performance video, and post it on YouTube. The video must be from a LIVE CONCERT performance, and must include your 2 BEST ORIGINAL SONGS.

2. Send us the link to your band’s video on YouTube.
The deadline for entries is April 12, 2011. Click here to find out more about how the competition works, and the rules.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Something to Believe In, Mystery Train + more from Vancouver

Bon Jovi hit Vancouver, Canada on March 25 and March 26, 2011... here are some special videos.

Something to Believe In

One of my favourites. Not nearly as good as the third night in Sydney 2010, but if I'd been there live I probably wouldn't have noticed.

Mystery Train

A pleasant shock. I recall not being overly impressed by this song as a teenager, but these days I love it.

Love's the Only Rule

Dear Jon. You clearly care about this song. Play it at every show?

These Days

Jon sucks up to the local crowd with a Vancouver Canucks NHL jersey. ;)

Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen from Mars

Some people absolutely despise this song, while others love it. I have no issues with the song itself, but I generally don't bother showcasing it when it's performed so I figured I'd make an exception for the Crash fans this time!

More excellent videos from Vancouver at Hath & Co's Circle Tour Blog.