Thursday, September 23, 2021

You can sing the melody to me and I can write a couple lines

Right off the bat, I'm going to admit this is a very self-serving blog post -- but hopefully it's of interest to some of you too!

eBook and print book mockups of Black and Blue by Lee-Ann Khoh.
In one of my other lives, I fancy myself as a writer. And now my debut novel, Black and Blue, will be released into the world on November 1! It's a contemporary coming-of-age story and the main character, Jade, just so happens to be a huge Bon Jovi fan among other things because... why not? It's something I clearly have a lot of firsthand experience of. 😀

Jade is 18, and this band saved my life when I was a teenager -- and I wanted to honour that in some way. Especially since I didn't know if I'd ever publish another book after this one (and technically I still don't, but I certainly intend to).

Anyway, like I said, this post is shamelessly self-serving. The point of it is basically to tell you all that I have a book coming out and you can pre-order it now if you want to.

Learn more about Black and Blue and find it at your preferred online retailer. 🙂

Now, you might have noticed the title of this post and concluded that I don't care about SEO. But to bring it all back to Bon Jovi, it's also a lyric from "(You Want To) Make a Memory". I love the song, but the music video is also one of my faves and it was recently remastered. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a great reason to watch it again to me. 😉

  

And one month before my book comes out, Diana: The Musical -- with music by our favourite Tony award-winning keyboard player, David Bryan -- will make its debut on Netflix



Feel free to share your thoughts below. 😊
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Monday, September 6, 2021

Hey, man, I'm alive...

I haven't blogged here in quite some time. Aside from the busyness of life getting in the way -- which I'm extremely grateful for because not everyone has been lucky enough to keep working throughout the pandemic -- there just hasn't been a huge amount for me to talk about when it comes to Bon Jovi. I mean, individual members have their own projects, but the band obviously hasn't been able to get together and tour.

But 2021 marks the 35th anniversary of Bon Jovi's breakthrough album Slippery When Wet -- a record that I think deserves a lot more celebration than it's currently able to get. To honour the milestone, Bon Jovi digitally remastered the "Wild in the Streets" video and uploaded it to YouTube for the first time.


Cool, but... I would love something more. And no, cheap-looking merch does not count as "something more". 😜

In Perth, where I live, a local band -- also called Slippery When Wet -- paid tribute to the anniversary by playing the album in its entirety at a recent gig. I shot a video of "Never Say Goodbye" on my phone:


It was beautiful and actually kind of emotional getting to see Slippery performed in its entirety, albeit not by the real Bon Jovi in their prime.

Will Bon Jovi (current lineup or otherwise) tour again? It's hard to say anything with any certainty these days. 

In the absence of touring, it looks like Jon's going to keep doing the Hampton Water Makes a Splash online gigs -- the "second annual" charity concert, in support of The Roots Fund, took place back in July. I neglected to write about it at the time, but if you're yet to watch it and have about an hour to spare, here it is:


Set list:

  1. Help! [The Beatles cover]
  2. You Give Love a Bad Name / Hit the Road Jack [Percy Mayfield/Ray Charles cover]
  3. Do What You Can
  4. American Reckoning
  5. Watermelon Sugar [Harry Styles cover]
  6. Livin' on a Prayer
  7. It's My Life
  8. Fast Car [Tracy Chapman cover]
  9. Story of Love
  10. Lost Highway
  11. Who Says You Can't Go Home

I feel like this sort of thing suits Jon more these days but man, I'd still really love a Bon Jovi show. 🥺

But I'll end this "hi, I'm still here" post on something different... Phil X plays guitar on Kurt Deimer's version of "Have a Cigar" (originally by Pink Floyd), which was released in August. Phil is also in the music video:



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Sunday, July 4, 2021

It's My Life hits 1 billion

"It's My Life" has become the first Bon Jovi music video to hit one billion YouTube views. The song credited with introducing the band to a new generation, it was released back in 2000 as the lead single from Crush and uploaded to YouTube in 2009. 

The "It's My Life" video was directed by Wayne Isham, who has also directed several other Bon Jovi videos, and stars Will Estes and Shiri Appleby as Tommy and Gina:


Jon posted a video thanking everyone who was a part of it (including himself, lol, and Richie Sambora):

I actually don't think I can claim credit for too many of those YouTube views -- I can't remember the last time I watched it prior to hearing about the billion-view milestone. But rewatching it has reminded me of how much fun it always was. And the song is an absolute banger. I've listened to "It's My Life" to psych me up for every job interview I've ever had, and I am employed so it works. 😁


Feel free to share your thoughts below. 😊
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Friday, June 11, 2021

Review of Bon Jovi from Encore Nights

Bon Jovi's Encore Drive-In Nights concert film premiered on 22 May at various drive-ins and cinemas in the US, Canada and Ireland. People also leaked recordings of it online but I opted not to watch or read too much about it before I got to see the show myself -- which finally happened last night, 10 June.

I saw it at a fairly small indoor cinema, not a drive-in as the show was originally intended to be. Jon makes some references to honking horns and sitting on hoods of cars, which obviously isn't possible indoors, but that didn't bother me.

An unplugged set from Dean Lewis opened the show. They were obviously trying to recreate a concert experience, and his set was fine but it felt quite awkward, given we were all very much sitting in a cinema. At one point, a man behind me yelled "Get on with it!". It may not have seemed so jarring at an outdoor cinema with a different vibe. 

As far as Dean Lewis goes, I wouldn't classify myself as a fan, but someone who manages to seamlessly get "mate" and "bottoms up" into a pop song deserves kudos. 😎

Now onto Bon Jovi. Let me just start by saying it's an absolute joy to watch Phil X on stage -- the dude is like a kid at Christmas even though the band was literally performing to no one at Asbury Park's Paramount Theatre. (Crowd noises were edited into the film later.) It was also so good to see David Bryan, given he wasn't available for the 2020 album promos and then a pandemic happened.

As for the show itself, I really enjoyed it. We cheered and clapped like we would've at a real concert, as did most of the people in attendance, even though we were aware it was a bit silly. But it was fun.

Definitely not the set list I would've picked though. I've seen the trailer pop up often enough to think that some casual fans might have checked the movie out and been very confused for large portions of it. 

It did make sense to play songs from 2020 and I'm glad they did, but I didn't need to hear some of the other stuff... I may even have groaned when "We Weren't Born to Follow" started... but then a funny thing happened. I ended up really digging it. All of it. Including the stuff I would've preferred not to hear going in. Though I still maintain a solid greatest hits set plus some 2020 tracks would've been the best thing to do.

A totally random, cute moment happened when "This House Is Not For Sale" started, and two kids from the family sitting next to me suddenly got very excited. They were even singing along to some of the backing vocals. I mean, I like "This House Is Not For Sale" but who goes to a Bon Jovi show actually hoping for it? At least two people, apparently.

Jon was making a lot of pain faces but that's par for the course. It seemed to take him a while to warm up and get into the performance, but it's a very weird situation so I give him a pass for that.

I've been fortunate enough to go to some concerts in person over the past year -- nothing on the scale of an international touring act like Bon Jovi, but it's not like I've been starved of gigs. But I guess I realised last night how much I actually missed my Bon Jovi boys. 

3.5 out of 5 for the movie and 5 out of 5 for the giddy buzz I got from it.

I know this is a pretty loose review, but hey, it's my blog. 😉 

You can head to BonJoviEvent.com to find screenings near you.

Bon Jovi from Encore Nights trailer


Bon Jovi from Encore Nights set list

  1. Beautiful Drug
  2. Do What You Can
  3. You Give Love a Bad Name
  4. Born to Be My Baby
  5. Limitless
  6. We Weren't Born to Follow
  7. Roller Coaster
  8. Lost Highway
  9. Who Says You Can't Go Home
  10. Let It Rain
  11. It's My Life
  12. Story of Love
  13. I'll Be There For You
  14. This House Is Not For Sale
  15. Have a Nice Day
  16. Keep the Faith
  17. Bad Medicine
  18. Livin' on a Prayer

    Encore:
  19. Wanted Dead or Alive


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Monday, March 1, 2021

New Drills single I Love You On Her Lips

Phil X & The Drills have dropped a new single, "'I Love You' On Her Lips" -- and here's the lyric video:
 
The song is heavier than anything Bon Jovi would do, but it's on brand with what I'd expect from Phil when left to his own devices. That CGI woman creeped me out a little though... Her movements are so zombie-like, but maybe that was the point. 😅



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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Facebook banned us!

Update (25/02/2021): We're back online! 🥳

Update (23/02/2021): I can no longer view any of the Facebook page content despite being an admin. 🙁 Asked a friend in the US to check and they could still see it all -- so it looks like it's still fine internationally but not in Australia. However, the news ban is set to be lifted in the coming days, so fingers crossed that all the banned pages (including ours) are back up soon.

Original Post:

I'll try to keep this short and sweet because we're a Bon Jovi blog, not a media blog. But long story short, Blame It On The Love's Facebook page has been blocked in Australia.

Basically, Facebook has reacted to the Australian Government's proposed News Media Bargaining Code by imposing a blanket ban on news content in Australia. That includes blocking news links from being shared and the removal of all content on Australian news pages.

Unfortunately, many non-news pages have been incorrectly taken down as well, including charities, community groups, health and emergency services, and small businesses. The disability organisation I work for has had its page wiped and is waiting to hopefully be restored. They're not alone.

And as I mentioned at the top of this post, Blame It On The Love got caught up in it too.

As far as I can tell, everything on our page shows up normally for the rest of the world, and I can still post to the page as an Australian-based admin. I've put in a support request so hopefully it will be sorted out soon.

But in the meantime, I wanted to fill people in on what was happening. Our Instagram appears to be unaffected, despite Instagram being owned by Facebook, so that's good.

Anyway, I suppose it's a good reminder of the pitfalls of being too reliant on a social media platform. "I Believe" might have alluded to that if it were released now... 


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Friday, February 19, 2021

Story of Love music video

The official music video for Bon Jovi's latest single, "Story of Love" has been released:

Jon, armed with an acoustic guitar, is in a (freaking gorgeous) room surrounded by his family photos, home videos, and various sentimental items. I don't have kids, but "Story of Love" was one of the songs I was drawn to early on in the 2020 album listening process, even though it probably wouldn't have been my choice of single. And the video is really sweet. Despite lacking the album version's awesome outro...

A couple of days before the video's release, we got a sneak peak/behind the scenes look in which Jon remarked, "This COVID stuff is getting old because once again I'm stuck doing a video while the guys are all home!" 😀

Jon also called into BBC's The One Show on 12 February, where he was interviewed by Alex Jones and Ronan Keating ahead of the release of "Story of Love":


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Friday, January 29, 2021

Story of Love single out now

The radio edit of "Story of Love" is out now... and yes, that epic instrumental outro has been cut out. But I knew that was coming as soon as I saw the words "radio edit" on Bon Jovi's social media, lol.

Anyway, here's the lyric video for the single version of "Story of Love":


Obviously the album version is better, but it's still a beautiful song. You can stream or download "Story of Love" from your preferred music service now.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Story of Love to be next single + more from JBJ & Sambora interviews

In news I was not expecting, the next single from Bon Jovi's 2020 album will be "Story of Love". Apparently the single will be out on 29 January in the UK. 

I really thought "Beautiful Drug" would be next, but that's okay. My two least favourite tracks ("Limitless" and "Unbroken") already came out before the album, so it can only be smooth sailing as far as single releases go now (for me personally, anyway).

Hadley Freeman's interview with Jon for The Guardian also touched on the progression of his career since the 80s, "taking sides" in politics, his feud with Donald Trump, and Richie Sambora's departure. Jon said something vague about "seeing Richie around" in his interview with The Washington Post's Geoff Edgers, but he's now back to confirming that they're not currently in touch.

Anyway, you can read the full article in The Guardian. What do you think of "Story of Love" being the next Bon Jovi single?

Speaking of Richie, I never got around to posting this when it came out, but he did this interview with People magazine back in December:


The story says he suddenly quit Bon Jovi in August 2013 -- he actually left mid-tour in April, though it could've been around August that he realised he wasn't coming back, who knows? At any rate, Richie describes it as a tough decision he made but he's glad he did it. Doesn't sound like he has much interest in a return to Bon Jovi these days, so I don't know why some people keep badgering Jon about bringing Richie back as if Jon is the sole reason Richie isn't there.

Richie also spoke a lot about his family, specifically Ava -- he looks and sounds like a really proud dad, and they seem to have a positive father-daughter relationship, which is awesome.

As a side note, Richie and Orianthi got back together last year. I wonder if there'll be more RSO music in the works? (Although Ori released O late last year and Richie has a new solo record coming at some point.)
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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Jon Bon Jovi sings Here Comes the Sun on Inauguration Day

After recent unrest, the inauguration of US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris went off without a hitch. 

Jon Bon Jovi and the Kings of Suburbia recorded this performance of the George Harrison-penned Beatles classic "Here Comes the Sun" for the event:  

The song fits the occasion and I like it, but it would've been nice to take the chance to showcase the still-very-topical 2020 album. "Do What You Can" would've worked well. "Let it Rain" would've been awesome. What do you think?

Here's the "Let it Rain" performance from On a Night Like This:

And because building bridges and tearing down walls is imperative right now, I thought I'd post a bit of a throwback... "Walls" from 2018:




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