What happened along the way? What happened to the 1970’s kid that got fired from his job because he cranked Bruce Springsteen up on the radio?
I am a Bon Jovi fan from their inception. I saw the “Runaway” clip doing the rounds on late night TV. The next single “She Don’t Know Me” did some rounds as well and then it was “In and Out of Love”. Of course when “Slippery When Wet “came out and started moving 700,000 units each month, the Jersey boy went from suburbia to high-class royalty. I always saw Bon Jovi as a band, much the same way I saw Van Halen as a band.
So who is Jon Bon Jovi these days? He is the face of a rock n roll band that has sold millions. He is the reason why Richie Sambora is not it the band? He is the reason why fans at the New York State Fair missed out on a Bon Jovi performance, so that he could play at a Government private fundraiser. He is the reason why Bon Jovi fans, who paid money for a Bon Jovi concert got treated to a beach party Kings of Suburbia show.
Of course Jon Bon Jovi does his bit, donating $1 million to the Sandy relief (monies obtained from his fans), donating to his Soul Foundation (which is again financed by the fans via the fan club) or playing a show in Spain where ticket prices are lowered and in some cases free.
This is Jon Bon Jovi playing to the mainstream press, ticking all the boxes that he is a good guy. Things change. Just because Bon Jovi sold a ton of tickets yesterday, that does not mean he can sell a ton today. Once again, it all comes down to money. Didn’t used to be that way, it used to be about music.
First and foremost Jon Bon Jovi is a musician and the current Jon Bon Jovi has forgotten that. These days, he just all about the sell so that he can fund all of his other adventures that have nothing to do with music however he over charges his musical fans in order to fund them. I paid $1000 for 4 tickets to Bon Jovi’s Australian shows and I was really hoping that Richie Sambora will be in town for them, for the reason that I was taking my children and they are fans of Sambora.
Once upon a time Jon Bon Jovi’s story was not all about the hype and the sell. He failed like all of us before he succeeded. After two Bon Jovi albums that the band worked hard to tour and to promote, he was in debt by half a million to the label and still living in his parents’ house. Things had to change.
The whole reason he started using Desmond Child was to write songs for other artists. He was trying to find another income stream as a song writer. So they wrote and wrote. He then got a top notch production team in Bruce Fairbairn and Bob Rock. They released Slippery When Wet and Bon Jovi had finally become a winner. He then tried to do the same thing with the New Jersey album, however it just wasn’t the same.
Bon Jovi obtained an audience because the band had formed a relationship with the songs. The album was just a format to get the music out there that the Record Labels exploited. The problem with Jon Bon Jovi, is that he believed he gained his audience because of the album. He based his success on the number of albums he sold. He measured his success on the numbers. So what did he do afterwards? He tried to re-write “Slippery When Wet” over and over again, losing that specialness. Relationships are formed on specialness.
Jon Bon Jovi is too far gone at the moment, seduced by the B.S of making money right now instead of making creative everlasting art. The fan base of Bon Jovi was built on the poor, the ones that who couldn’t afford much, the ones that believed in the message of “Livin On A Prayer”. The fan base was never built around the rich who would pay anything. What does this do? It separates the band from the real audience.