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A Dear Jon ( Bon Jovi ) Letter (in Honor Of His Turning Fifty)
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A Dear Jon ( Bon Jovi ) Letter (in Honor Of His Turning Fifty)

Dear Jon:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! That is, I wish you as happy a birthday as it's possible to have when it's your fiftieth, and you make your living as a rock star.

What a long, strange trip it's been. (I know that's a line from a Grateful Dead song, but it applies, so I'm using it, so there!) The way we met is a perfect example.

I've never disliked you - on what is now referred to as classic rock radio, I liked your songs Runaway and In And Out of Love, and Living On A Prayer from your third Album Slippery When Wet. But it was when I heard Wanted Dead Or Alive from that album, I thought, "THAT'S the song I've been waiting for them to write!"

Around that time, music videos were born, but MTV was not to be installed where I lived for years to come. Fortunately, there was a broadcast TV show that played MTV videos that were more than 30 days old. The very first time I saw your video for Wanted Dead Or Alive, I crossed the line from "fan" to "fanatic." But it wasn't because I thought you and your bandmates were cute (though I'm not denying that you were) - it was because I was seeing what I thought was a great video of a great song.

I've seen you play live at least two dozen times, but it's my first Bon Jovi concert that will always been my favorite. I paid an embarrassing amount of money for a "nosebleed" seat - so far up I could not see your keyboard player Dave Bryan. However, I could take comfort in feeling superior to the people who were sitting directly BEHIND the stage.

At one point, you were kind enough to turn around, face the people who'd been watching your back all night, ask "How are you guys doing?" and spread your arms to receive your avalanche of applause. But what you got instead was a chorus of "WE CAN'T SEE DAVE!" Though your back was to me, I didn't need to see your face fall - despite a screaming sellout audience, I heard it. You called Dave over, then the rest of the band to make sure everyone could see them, and place went wild.

I also attended the concert where you busted a calf muscle and blamed it on someone shooting you from the cheap seats. You got off to as slow start that night, but I kept reminding myself that neither of us were either in our twenties anymore. The next day, I read you had turned down being injected with morphine, and then I see your Advil commercials on TV.

I would also like to extend my best wishes to your esteemed colleagues, along with my hopes that you realize that you STILL don't amount to a hill of beans without them. You, Dave, and your guitarist Richie Sambora have embarked on solo artistic ventures, but they've all come up as the fraction of Bon Jovi that you are. Alone, you are a finger. With Richie, Dave, drummer Tico Torres and bassists Alec John Such and Hugh McDonald, you are a fist. Hope you can take a hint.

As for your future, Bon Jovi can spend it as either increasingly embarrassing caricatures of your past squeezing the last few dollars out of the last of their nostalgic fans, or by at least attempting to continue as an artistic entity still worthy of being reckoned with. After your performance at an awards show that seemed to have the critics confused about how you managed to make good music without auto-tuned vocals, fireworks, or dance troupes, I know what I'd prefer!

At any rate, welcome to middle age! And remember, you're not older anymore -- now, you're just old.

Rocktivity


Street Talk

Haven't heard about Bon Jovi till I read your article. Thanks for the info.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I love Jon Bon Jovi! Keep rockin'!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Rock never forgets and never gets old. Rock on!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I am nearly as old as he is - lol!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

keep it up!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

age catches up quick. thanks 4 sharing

Reply
  about 6 years ago
Deshinali  

Wow aint he old! Great article!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

wow he's 50 already! that means i'm getting older too! lol. I used to love this band.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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