Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I have so much to share with you that I don't even know just where to start. I guess the first thing is that my European girls arrived safely ... a little late, but safe nonetheless.
I will give a full report later on all our Jovi-related activities but for now, I'll jump straight to the fan club show on Monday. I would like to thank Rike for letting me use some of her photos right away ... we still need to go thru the pics and video but wanted to give you some quick shots.
We were happy to be all together right behind the soundboard (Obie) on a raised platform with a nearly perfect view.
By now, you have seen the setlist so you know just how amazing the show was. And to the MANY of you who have texted and e-mailed about how happy I must have been about hearing "Every Word..." -- I can't begin to tell you the emotions that went thru me for that entire song, including awe, disbelief, and then eventually just completely crying my eyes out.
As I said above, there will be much, much, MUCH more to come (when I can get home and can write on a familiar computer.) But, in the meantime, a few thoughts ...
I love to see Jon Bon Jovi happy. Cuz when he is happy, he has the innate ability to take you to a whole other world.
And DAMN, Jonny was frickin' happy on Monday ... it was like he was in his element, having a blast and the rest of us were just incredibly blessed to be able to go along for the ride.
See the look on his face in this picture ... that genuine, happy smile we like to see ... that's what the whole night was.
Between the rarely done solo works, covers of Jukes songs and a smattering of Bon Jovi songs, the night really could not have been more perfect. The "and friends" band he assembled completely rocked. Bobby Bandiera was on fire.
The fact that this concert gave Jon the opportunity to use a horn section ... FABULOUS. I always said, if I didn't play bassoon, I would have loved to play bari sax in the Jukes ... well, correction ... now, I'd love to play bari sax with either of the Jersey Johns.
Okay ... I have to go for now ... must get ready for the big Jovifest tonight at Chickie & Pete's in Philly.
But, don't worry because
Though I'll blow away
You know I'll be back soon ...
Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog ... The New Jersey Rat Race ... I PROMISE you will love it!
PS If there are misspelled words in here, forgive me ... the German computer thinks ALL my words are wrong ... LOL
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Actually, as hard as they are, these are the times I thank the heavens above that I'm a Bon Jovi fan. But, its not just the music that I'm grateful for ... I'm also grateful for the people that have come into my life because of this band ... friends I have made that make me stronger, make me smarter and make me feel valued.
Maybe its the overriding optimism of their songs that attracts a certain kind of person to this band.
Now, don't get me wrong - its not always flowers and sunshine - I have seen some pretty crazy stuff go down when Jon walks into a roomful of women. But, those momentary lapses aside, I have met amazingly loyal and caring ladies (and even a few men!)
Perhaps its an example set by the band itself? So ... here's a little dedication to the friendships that have been made and will continue to grow for years to come ...
For those of you at this show, did you not hold your breath the entire time Jon was standing on that railing?! I know I did. I mean, really Jon ... love the spontaneity and all ... but it would not have been a pretty sight to have you falling off that thing. On the other hand, I'd be happy to rub whatever hurt afterwards. Oh, lordy, did I say that out loud? *blushes ever-so-slightly*
Well, friends ... I will try to post as much as I can over the next week, but as you know, my European friends arrive tomorrow so all hell is gonna break loose! Woo hoo!
If you're coming to the fan club show, please be sure to try to stop by and say hi ... I'll be the one in the Bon Jovi shirt. LOL
A quick note: A couple of the girls will be collecting gently used blankets on Monday for Project H.O.M.E. in Philadelphia.
So, if you're planning to bring things to help you stay warm in line while waiting for entrance to the venue, please consider donating it at the end of the day for use by this incredible organization.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Damn, what a day THAT was! Ok ... I know some of you reading this were there too, so I expect to hear your memories of that show.
I remember the stage being so incredibly high -- Jonny, you looked really tall up there ;-) -- and the energy was like nothing else. That's saying a lot for Times Square.
Sure, they did a great set with new songs from Bounce, as well as all the hits we know and love (and a kick-ass Shout), but it was the end of the show that cemented this performance's place in history ...
Seriously, how absolutely gorgeous is that?! And the flag on Richie's jeans blowing in the breeze ... I still get choked up when I see this.
Okay ... and I just had to include the clip below as well.
The Bounce record has a lot of significance for people - most of it having to do with the need to heal after 9/11.
For me, its also very personal. The album came out after my cancer had relapsed the first time. I used to listen to it every time I went for chemo (and yes, I was that girl who would yell "Is there a doctor in the house?!" when I arrived at the hospital ... LOL) If I'd had the money, I would have bought a copy of the album for every person ever diagnosed.
P.S. The only bad thing that day ... the Giants lost. :-(
Monday, February 16, 2009
Actually, its not so bad for a Monday ... its sunny and bright out. A little chilly, but not bad. I'm hoping the weather will hold out thru "the invasion" ... between the Europeans and the Aussies all coming for the fan club show, its gonna be a hot time in the tri-state area.
Per Rike's request, today's ASA will be non-food related so that y'all can go back home and say you did more than just eat and drink your way thru NYC .... LOL
Lets talk about museums ...
No matter what kind of art you like ... or if you're not the well-versed when it comes to art ... there's a place for you in New York.
Of course, the top two places are The Metropolitan Museum of Art (one of the modern wonders of the world, in my opinion) and the Museum of Modern Art (aka MOMA ... my personal favorite and the place where I could - and have - spent countless hours!)
But, lets talk the Met because it really can fulfill most of your art needs. Though there is a stated entrance fee, it is only a "suggested donation" ... so don't feel guilty about not paying the whole thing. Of course, if you can, please do ...
Make sure you stop by the most spectacular place in the Museum, the Temple of Dendur. (For those reading my sad excuse for a fan fic, you know this is where Madison held her fundraiser.) Whether its sunny or raining or snowing, this space is just gorgeous.
There are places to eat (ooops, sorry Rike!) inside the Museum and they aren't completely overpriced (only a little.)
But, keep in mind that if you're not into the big, sometimes noisy museums, there are A TON of galleries around NYC (and no, I haven't found any of Tico's art in them yet.) If you are a gallery person, be sure to pick up a copy of TimeOut New York when you get to town or visit them online. Actually, no matter what ... you should visit the site. Luckily, Fashion Week will be over by the time you all get here ... its fabulous .. but the city is crazed then.
Okay ... that's all for today or I'll never end up posting this!
But, before I go, I thought perhaps we needed a little reminder of what is bringing us all together in the first place ...
They really need to re-release this on DVD. I have 3 copies of this on VHS because I never, ever want to be without one for the rest of my life and tapes do wear out.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I was lamenting that it has been so long since I heard "Thank You for Loving Me" ... and there aren't that many good videos of it live.
Oh, Jonny ... please work this back into the setlist ... any setlist ... anywhere. We really do love you, ya know!
Well ... and since I'm posting ... here's ASA#5 ...
NEW YORK BAGELS
While visiting New York City, you must have a bagel. It would be sacrilegious not to! Now, there are many options -- H&H, Murray's, Kossar's, Bagelfellers, Zabars ... deciding which is the best can get just about as heated a discussion as whether you put ketchup or mustard on your pork roll sandwich (you Jersey people know what I mean, right?)
But, my favorite is Ess-A-Bagel. There's just something about their nice, hot, doughy bagels with cream cheese. And they freeze well, too ... so feel free to buy half a dozen and bring them home with you. The people sitting near you on the plane will hate you, but you will get brownie points for helping boost the NYC economy. :-)
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Everybody is asking about the Hard Rock Cafe so they can get pins and t-shirts and generally just gawk at the beautiful signage in the store ....
Location: Times Square.
Subway: Just about every train stops on 42nd Street, but my recommendation is the 1, 2 or 3 which drops you off RIGHT there at the HRC.
P.S. If they make you get off once you arrive in Staten Island, just take the next boat back.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Now, there are plenty of versions to choose from - the well-known Jeff Buckley or Rufus Wainwright or Alexandra Burke or even by Leonard Cohen himself. But, I truly believe that Jon's version - which I love because its so clean and uncomplicated, almost pure - can hold its own to any of those and more.
The first time I heard him do this live was the Puerto Rico show back in June 2007. I wouldn't say the performance (or the concert for that matter) qualified as "legendary" ... it was the one show I've ever seen, and perhaps the only one they have ever done, without Richie. But, I have to tell you ... when Jon started this song and we all started thinking about Richie and what he was going thru - there were more than a few of us with tears streaming down our faces.
Obviously, there are a ton of clips out there of this. But the one included below is from my dear, dear friend Rike from Germany - who I will get to see in exactly one week! Woo hoo! (yes, I'm just a bit excited.)
Now, I will admit .. as the tour progressed, his gestures and the "acting out" of the song got more and more grandiose. I know there are some that thought it was over the top a la "Right Side of Wrong" ... I choose to simply chalk it up to the fact that he needs to communicate the emotion all the way to the back of the stadium and maybe it works well on the big screens.
Nonetheless, Jon's amazing vocals on this cannot be denied.
I've been really digging Sugarland's "Love" lately and have been playing it a bit non-stop. If you don't know the song, here is a clip. I'm so pysched that I will get to see them at JazzFest and even maybe with Urban at Mohegan Sun (my attendance TBD.)
But! The fan club show is just over a week away, so let's see if we can get back into the groove ... maybe a few photos would help ...?
Ahhh...that's what I needed - Jonny and his guitar.
Or Jonny and the white mic stand ...
Or maybe this ....?
Oh yeah .. that helped. A LOT!
Ok ... I'm feeling much more connected now. So ... next up ... Legendary Performance #4 as well as today's ASA.
Be back in a few minutes ....
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I'm thinking specifically about some of the coupling of cover songs with their own over the years. Jon Bon Jovi is just fantastic when it comes putting songs together. (Of course, one thing is ... once you hear their version of a cover, you never seem to go back and listen to the original version ... i.e. Have a Little Faith in Me.)
Anyway, a few pairings come to mind - including the combos of If Loving You is Wrong/Damned (hot, hot, hot) and my personal favorite -- Tom Petty's I Won't Back Down with BJ's Have A Nice Day ... just BRILLIANT!
But, here's one that was a lot of fun but not performed very often. :-(
So ... what are some of your memorable cover couplings? Sleep When I'm Dead with Dancing in the Streets? Bad Medicine and Shout? Bad Name with Hit the Road Jack? ... damn, that one was so good ...."such a dirty bad girl ... but I like it like that" ... oyyyyy!
Monday, February 9, 2009
Here's Jon Bon Jovi ASA#2. (if you missed the first installment, "ASA" stands for anti-stalking activity.)
There are no shortage of great, great restaurants in NYC. Seriously, you can find just about anything your heart desires - from Korean BBQ (yumm!) to Peruvian ceviche to the finest in "fine dining" -- everything from Thomas Keller's Per Se to great American cuisine at Gotham Bar & Grill to one of my favorite places, Aquavit.
Oh I miss my days in banking when we would eat all these great places ... how did I - a trained classical musician - get into banking? Well, that's a story for another time ...
Sorry ... I digress. ANYWAY, yes ... there are tons of fabulous places to eat. But, you've just spent all this money on a fan club ticket, airfare, hotel, etc. so $200/person for dinner is out of the question.
What would a New Yorker do? Go to Gray's Papaya!
You simply can't have a trip to NYC without a visit to Gray's. There are several locations - the most popular being probably the one at 37th Street and 8th Avenue (for my friends staying at The New Yorker hotel, that's just a couple blocks up from you.)
"My" Gray's is at 72nd and Broadway. I couldn't have gotten thru Juilliard without it.
Other locations include the corner of 8th Street/6th Ave and one down on Waverly Place.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
So ... in an effort to keep Jon Bon Jovi stalking to a minimum, I thought I'd use the next two weeks to highlight some of the great sites, sounds and smells of New York.
Now, keep in mind ... these are just things that I love about the city ... some may be to your liking, others might not ... but at least I'm giving you other things to do besides hang around Soho waiting to spot Jon (who if he's smart, will probably be in hiding ... LOL.)
So, today's NYC-ASA (Anti-Stalking Activity) has to do with shopping.
Of course, you need to stop by the flagship Macy's on 34th Street and a trip uptown a bit to Saks Fifth Avenue is always wonderful (go upstairs and have a quick bite to eat at the cafe.) And ladies, don't get lost in the cosmetics department ... make sure you have a cell phone so you can call in case of emergency (or to see how much you have available on your credit card!)
But, there are tons of places to get great bargains ... a NYC favorite is Century 21. I know this is always on the list for my German girls when they come to town!
But heed this warning ... make sure you eat your Wheaties because its not for the faint-of-heart. But, there are some really awesome deals on designer clothes. Also, like all discount places its hit or miss ... but I find it hard to leave there without at least a few things.
The store is located down by the World Trade Center site, so be sure to stop and take a moment to remember September 11, 2001. Its amazing that its already been almost 8 years since the attacks. When I'm in that area of town, it still feels like it was just yesterday.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Today's Legendary Performance is a very recent one. And one I would have loved to experience in person ... next tour I'm going to EUROPE!!! "Stick to Your Guns" from the Amsterdam show in 2008.
Well, Jon Bon Jovi can never say his fans don't tell him exactly what they want - as can be evidenced by this video.
With the fans holding up lyric sheets in the front row, Jon and Richie really gave it their all. I don't know many artists that would, in front of 50,000 people, do something like this. Was it perfect? No. Was it legendary? Absolutely.
I always loved their belief that Bon Jovi is just a great bar band that happens to play in REALLY big bars. It's moments like these that they truly embody that belief.
I had to include this video as well because its just so great ... I love Jon saying "slow down" to Richie in the beginning. And you can tell Jon is really reading the lyric sheets. (FYI - from my "sources," Jon wasn't actually flipping off somebody in particular, it was just that one of the sheets fell so he was a bit stuck ... LOL)
P.S. Ok .. and just because its my blog and I CAN ... this post was also about all the comments going around about how Jon doesn't care about his fans in light of the cancellation of a certain event. There's a lot more to that story. That's all I'm gonna say.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I would recommend you might want to go back to the beginning and re-read the first three chapters only because its literally been nearly six months. I promise the next update will be sooner than August 2009 ... LOL
P.S. If this post makes no sense to you at all ... explanation: I am a peripheral part of the fan fiction writers' club ... very peripheral. If fan fic isn't your thing, no worries. Plenty of other Bon Jovi-related stuff to read, right?!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
A lot of my friends out there have cats so they can appreciate this clip. I personally don't like the Roomba because I think its a lazy way of getting things done and it doesn't actually vacuum all that well - but it certainly has entertainment value for your pet!
And, of course, in the Bon Jovi world that means lots of going on (and on ... and on ... and on, ad nauseum) about what songs are going to played, who "the friends" are going to be, what the entrance procedure is, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera (think Yul Brynner in "The King and I.")
As for me, I'm excited about seeing my overseas friends and the opportunity to hear Jon in a different kind of setting. I'd be happy with just Jon and his six-string (actually, I'm sort of partial to the beautiful noise a 12-string makes, but I won't be picky.)
For all those people going on and on about the fact that its just Jon and friends ... well, here you go.
Here's Jon ... and friends (two of whom I'm guessing WILL be at the Starland show) and to me, its just perfect.
Anyone who knows me is aware of my absolute love for "Every Word ..." -- its the song I would pick if I had to choose just one for him to perform.
P.S. And look! I even tried to make it educational by giving you the opportunity to learn some Spanish ... though I guess "hey now" ... which was translated to "listen to (or hear) me" was the best they could do ... LOL
P.S.2. And I still smile every time I see that "Dallas Sucks" bumper sticker!