Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Have a Little Faith in Me

Hello, my dear readers. I apologize for being a bit lax in terms of updating the blog. I have been muy (that's "very" in Spanish) busy as of late. I've actually been working hard to launch my new business ... my RL friends know all about it (I'm probably driving them a bit crazy) ... its actually Bon Jovi-inspired! There will be much more on that later.

But, in the meantime, that's why I have been missing-in-action for the last couple of weeks and will probably continue to be a bit scattered. But, have no fear ... have a little faith in me ... I will always return to you and to Bon Jovi, of course.

Ahhh, speaking of "Have a Little Faith in Me" ... I can never say that phrase without thinking of this performance. I'm not sure it falls in the "legendary performance" category, but its damn good. The video clip is from the Minneapolis show during the Bounce tour - an absolutely awesome night when they threw an acoustic set into the middle of the show. (Umm..note to JBJ ... feel free to do that again ... like in Vegas in a few weeks. HINT!) I must say, the songs Jon Bon Jovi chooses to cover are always truly great, great songs.

video

(this is another Julie in South America video ...
I swear the girl has everything ever recorded!)

The man is just ridiculously good -- the part at around 2:25 where he sings the eighth notes and is just slightly behind the beat ... OMG! Perfect. When Jon sings like that, you can just feel it ... and damn, how could you not have faith in him? Lordy, lordy!

Okay ... gotta go for now. Work. Work. Work.

P.S. For those who don't know, the song was written by the amazing John Hiatt. You should check out his work (especially "Feels Like Rain") if you aren't familiar with him.

P.S.2. There was a great article about David's Toxic Avenger in my Google alerts today. My favorite line was about David, "who wrote the music to the show and also moonlights as the keyboard player for a small Jersey band called Bon Jovi." LOL

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Remember My Picture Dilemma?

Do you remember back in January one of my New Year's resolutions was to finally organize my Bon Jovi pictures? Well, I'm still working on that project. Most recently, when trying to move things around, my computer responded with this (LOL) ....











Actually, I had forgotten about that little image until someone re-posted it on Backstage.

But, truth of the matter is - I think I just have way too many pictures of Jon Bon Jovi? Is that possible? I mean, seriously, its been 25 years ... and say 1,000 pictures per year, that entitles me to 25,000 images right? That's approximately 3 pictures per day. That seems quite reasonable to me. Wow! I can justify just about anything when it comes to Bon Jovi, can't I?!

So, anyway ... I thought I would just post a few other pics I found recently that I hadn't looked at in a while...






















































Okay ... I promise to have something with more substance tomorrow ... we're about to get slammed with a storm so I'm gonna go stand out in the rain ... (okay, you can finish singing the rest of the song...) ;-)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Jon Bon Jovi: Naked


NOOOO ... you sick people! I know what you're thinking.

My crazy German girls and I have been a bit obsessed lately with this internet radio station, cleverly named ... theradio.com ... LOL ... not kidding!

Why do we like it so much? Well, first off because you can put in your favorite artist (hmm...wonder who that would be?) and then like every 5 songs or so, they will play something by him/her/THEM. But another reason its so good is that they really play a mix of songs - both live tracks and deep record cuts.

We've heard everything from "Bang a Drum" (which now nobody can listen to without thinking of Starland ... ahhhh) to Richie's "The Answer" to "Save a Prayer." But, then one song stopped me in my tracks ... a song that, for some unknown reason, I don't listen to that often ... Jon's "Naked" from Destination Anywhere.

Well, this time it really hit me - how different it is than really anything I've heard from him - the groove of it and the vocal and instrumental sounds. And sure, its sexy and all that ... but I love the honesty of the chorus...

Naked. Naked.
Just get back to basics.
Naked. Face it.
You can't fake it when you're naked.


I hope y'all know he ain't just talking about physically. When you think about those words, in conjunction with the meaning of "Every Word was a Piece of My Heart," you really get the sense of where he was mentally when he wrote the record.

There is really only one video I know of with this song - live in London in 1997 - posted on YouTube by my friend Julie in South America (hey Jules! How are you?! Its been way too long!) ... take a look ...

JBJ: Naked (live 1997)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Evolution of a Song: KTF

Jungle noises. Maracas. Fireworks. Jon Bon Jovi "dancing." We all know what song I'm referring to, right?

So ... due to unforeseen circumstances (damn financial markets!), I wasn't able to catch the Bon Jovi block on WMMR with Pierre Robert. I was HIGHLY bummed - not only because it was Bon Jovi, but it was Bon Jovi with PIERRE - who I absolutely love - and the guest appearance by Obie just added icing on the cake.

As you probably know, Obie was on to debut the new Jon Bon Jovi gospel version of "Keep the Faith" that comes out next week (which my German friends have already pre-ordered ... LOL ... NOBODY shops like my German girls!)

So I missed the whole thing. But, thank goodness for Hath -- for she totally saved the day! You can visit her site to hear both Obie's comments and the song. All together now, THANK YOU GODDESS!

But, as I was sitting listening to the new version, I began to think about how this song has evolved over the years. I remember when it first came out ... I was in school and going thru some tough times re-thinking whether or not I wanted to stay at Juilliard. It was very personal for me.

As the years have gone by, and we fans have grown up and faced both individual and societal challenges, I see the song in a whole different way. And now it amazes me that Jon and Richie wrote that when they were still actually quite young.

I can't really talk about this song without thinking of this performance - probably the best one I ever experienced. (note to Jon Bon Jovi: I understand about the whole fireworks, bad for the environment thing, but really ... it was very cool ... and we miss them ... maybe just a small little display at the last concert of the tour ...? just a thought.)



P.S. If you missed my little tribute to the ever wondrous Obie O'Brien, here's the link.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Richie ... I need you!

Okay, as a lifelong Jonny girl, you are probably surprised to find that I'm begging for Richie Sambora.

Here's the deal ... I can play bassoon (which admittedly most people can't). I can play flute. I can play piano. Heck, I can play the kazoo (okay, that doesn't require that much talent.) But, I can't for the life of me play the guitar! Yes, that "everyman's instrument" that people play around the campfire and at family picnics...nope, not me.

I have been attempting to teach myself guitar for several months now and have hit a wall (or almost thrown the guitar against it, for that matter.) Its extremely frustrating. I try to justify to myself its simply because I'm a wind player. But, then again, I did play cello in high school for two years ... okay, not particularly well, but nonetheless.

I have come to the conclusion that I need lessons. Its hard for me to admit that I can't do something myself (especially when it comes to music), but I am now convinced that's what its gonna take. And who better to teach me the guitar than a guitar god himself, right? Also, I just simply think Richie would have more patience than Jon Bon Jovi. So, Richie ... whaddya say?

Unfortunately, its probably not going to happen .... so I'll have to settle for this.






















I was in Colony Records the other day (basically NYC's heaven-on-earth for people who love music) and was searching through the zillions of songbooks (yes, I have every Bon Jovi/Jon Bon Jovi songbook ever released I think) and started perusing the guitar section.

Of course, I almost bought it because, well ... its Bon Jovi ... its music ... and the picture is from one of my greatest concert memories. But, I was a good girl and held off - at least for now. (By the way, there is also a book for "The Early Years" ... which I might just need to get because it has In These Arms.)

P.S. A funny side note -- there was a label on the divider that probably was supposed to read "with score" ... but someone had inadvertently reversed it, so the sign simply read "score with Bon Jovi" ... I thought ... hmmmmmmmmm. LOL

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Toxerific Review: Opening Night of Previews


Sorry for the delay ... yesterday got a little crazy. Tell me again, why am I bassoonist working on Wall Street?! Oh right ... rent (and Bon Jovi tickets.) I keep forgetting.

ANYWAY, a little late ... here's a bit about opening night of previews for The Toxic Avenger. I'm generally a traditional musical theatre person - not the big blockbuster shows like Phantom or (god forbid) Cats - hell, I loved Once on This Island (which basically nobody ever heard of!) - so I wondered what I would think of this.

First off, the venue. Heck, I remember when that was the $2 movie theatre - damn, how old does that make me?! For my RL friends who know the story, this is the same theatre that I had my Schindler's List experience. (Speaking of which, deepest condolences to Natasha Richardson's family.) In any case, I didn't think about how far below ground the theatre is, so, sorry for the lack of consistent Twitters.

Upon arriving and getting my ticket, I went down to the theatre lobby and almost literally ran into David Bryan, who admittedly was looking a bit harried. Ahhh..opening night chaos, I know it well.

It was nice to see my friend, a fellow Soul fan, who came in from Jersey for the opening. Took a quick look at the merchandise (I'm a Jovi girl ... we always have to look at the merchandise, right?!) ... next time, definitely getting a t-shirt.


Saw David again just hanging out in the lobby, talked for a few minutes, wished him luck and went in to find my seat.

I ended up sitting next to a couple of young actors who are friends with Nick Cordero, who plays Toxie ... (only a friend could love that face ... LOL) Had a nice conversation with them about life in NY, the drama division at Juilliard and the crazy world of the performing arts.

When the show started, it was pretty obvious that there were a lot of fans in attendance and the energy was fantastic. Its a small theatre, so you really feel a part of what is going on up on stage.

I am not going to give too much of the story away because you should try to see the show yourself - its a good reason to visit NYC (as if you needed another one!)

I do want to say that the cast was terrific (Demond Green who plays "black dude" was absolutely wonderful.) They are definitely working actors -- playing multiple roles with quick changes and much diversity ... and they do it very well.

The script is incredibly funny with some hysterically witty references to certain people, places and events. I definitely need to go back and see the show again because you end up laughing so hard that you miss what comes next. And yes, there is a Bon Jovi (and Bruce, too) reference in the song Jersey Girl (which is brilliantly performed by Nancy Opel, seen in the picture below as the Mayor.)

Of course, I was all excited about hearing the songs ... and I wasn't disappointed. You've got "anthem" songs and love songs, solo numbers, ensemble numbers ... even an incredibly funny folk song moment (actually moments.) The band was small, but mighty - and could totally rock. And, of course, as a musician, I liked that they are on stage ... you have no idea how many creepy crawly things I have almost brought home in my bassoon case after playing a show in the pit ... LOL.

All-in-all, it was a great evening. I hadn't laughed that hard at a performance in a long time ... its the kind of thing where a while later you find yourself still chuckling at a line you just remembered. Its good fun ... I still think, however, Memphis is gonna be the one to absolutely hit it out of the ballpark. Get a shelf ready for a Tony. (Clips from Memphis.)

So, congrats to David and Joe DiPietro and the cast and crew of the show. May you have a good long run!

photo credits: Nick as Toxie (Kelly Ryman); Nancy and Nick as the Mayor and Melvin (Charlie Erickson)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bon Jovi Slot Machine ... maybe it will make it to AC?

Okay, I'm generally a Texas Hold 'Em poker girl, but I would be willing to play slots if they looked like this!



















Yep, you got that right! In Japan, they just released a new Bon Jovi slot machine (or pachisuro as they are called there.) I wonder if it plays Bon Jovi music while you gamble ....? That could be VERY bad for all us Jovinuts ... then again, maybe we could win enough to pay for more tickets to see our boys in person ... rather than the cartoon version of them on the machine (which, admittedly is adorable)














They seem to have gotten Jon's shoes and mic stand mixed up -- the shoes should be black and the stand, white ... but oh well. And, damn! Doesn't Tico look just yummy there?!?

Addendum: I just found out that it does INDEED play Jovi songs and you can hear messages from the boys. Here are some extra pics from the unveiling... (I really need to learn Japanese!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Will I see David? Tomorrow.

So, I'm a little excited about tomorrow ... can you tell? Why, you ask? Because tomorrow I'm going to the first night of previews of David Bryan's musical "The Toxic Avenger."

So ... I thought I would take this opportunity to maybe spotlight our favorite curly-haired, power-singing, joke-cracking keyboard player.

Though I don't write about him often, I have always had a special connection with David - maybe its the classically-trained musician/Juilliard thing - though in all honesty, I sometimes believe its GOOD that he didn't go to Juilliard. Why? Well, besides the obvious (that he chose to join Jon Bon Jovi and the rock-n-roll circus, etc. etc. etc.) ... but because I would have hated to see his sense of humor get squashed. I love his sense of humor - dry, very intellectual and sometimes downright silly. (Remember those Richie and David moments from the New Jersey videos VHS?!) Now, don't get me wrong - there's a lot of things I liked about Juilliard, but I wouldn't call it one of the most open, laugh-inducing places. On the other hand, he could have really loosened up the joint.

I also have an incredible respect for the time, effort and money he's put into keeping music in the public schools. Like David, I came from the public school system and had an absolutely incredible musical education (Mr. Crews - where are you now? I owe everything to you!) In any case, I applaud David wholeheartedly and hope he inspires more professional musicians to stand up and speak.

But, back to the musical. I have been a big fan of musicals since I was a kid (I can thank my parents for taking me to tons of shows) and so, of course, I couldn't miss tomorrow night. I will be "Twittering" from the show - at least at the beginning and during intermission, so tune in to see what's going on. (You can follow me on Twitter - just look at the upper left side of this blog.)

And what's additionally exciting is that his other show, "Memphis" is coming up right behind. There have been a lot of clips of this floating around. Here's my favorite one so far.



Now, DAMN, that's a song! That show is gonna take Broadway by storm - I truly believe that.

ADDED SHORTLY AFTER ORIGINAL POST

Okay ...okay ... I know I already had submitted this post and now I've updated it ... but I just simply couldn't NOT post this clip too. I mean, seriously, just listen to this ... it kicks a$$.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Legendary Performance #7: Wembley 1995. Period.

Happy Monday to y'all! It's disgusting how quickly the weekend goes, isn't it?!

So, here we are back to the Legendary Performances series. What's on for today? Wembley Stadium ... such a big part of Bon Jovi history.

I am forever grateful that they released the 1995 video from Wembley - Jon Bon Jovi's voice during those shows was just frickin' amazing. I don't know if its just that he was really rested or if it was something (moisture) that they were pumping onto the stage, but I think its hands down the best version of "Always" I've ever heard. Don't you agree?



I mean, seriously ... Richie's solo, David's playing, Tico pounding and Huey grooving. Its flawless. (Hmm...this seems to be exactly what I said about their performance of "This Ain't A Love Song" way back when I started this blog.)

I just wish they had actually released the WHOLE show. You KNOW that the setlist was much, much longer. And, it would have been great if they had included songs from the other nights. But, we all know how Jon is ... LOL.



And what about those classic Jon Bon Jovi moments? Like this one ...



You totally have to love that!

Well, its a shame that Bon Jovi didn't get the chance to open the new Wembley. I think other artists should be grateful for the construction delay because we know that our boys would be a very hard act to follow. :-)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Some Great News for Our Aching Soul

Over the last couple of days, there has been more and more talk about the return of the AFL in 2010. It was announced that an agreement had been made with the players association, which is certainly a big step. There is still a lot of work to do, but, damn this was some good news!

I try to keep in mind that Jaws is ALWAYS positive - he's one of the most optimistic people I have ever met. He can instantly put a smile on your face and has one of the best hugs in the business.

Soul president Jaworski: AFL returning in 2010
by Brian VanOchten The Grand Rapids Press
Saturday March 14, 2009, 1:45 PM

There is a 99.9-percent chance the Arena Football League is returning for the 2010 season, according to comments Philadelphia Soul team president Ron Jaworski made at a public speaking appearance in Portsmouth, Va., this week.

He told the Virginia-Pilot newspaper Web site there is a one-tenth of 1 percent chance the league would not resume play next year.

"We had a board meeting in Chicago a couple weeks ago and we ratified the new collective bargaining agreement," said Jaworski, who also serves as an ESPN "Monday Night Football" commentator. "The players association is going through it now. We have a plan in place, we're going to open up next year again."

Jaworski's comments are the first by any AFL team executive painting such an optimistic future.

"We're very close to getting a deal done," said Grand Rapids Rampage kicker Brian Gowins, the team's AFL Players Association alternate representative.

"I've always been optimistic about the two sides coming to an agreement. I think it is overwhelmingly likely we will come to a finalized agreement soon," he added.

AFL acting commissioner Ed Policy told The Press last month the league would issue an official statement regarding plans for 2010 by the end of March. The league earlier had set a self-imposed March 1 deadline for announcing whether it would return or fold.

It canceled the 2009 season due to deep financial losses.

Jaworski, keynote speaker Wednesday night at the Portsmouth Sports Club Jamboree banquet, said an expansion team is planned for the Pittsburgh market and the New Orleans VooDoo franchise, which folded following the 2008 season, might return to the revamped league.

"There's a lot at stake. I mean, ESPN is a 10-percent partner with us, we've got an expansion team coming in in Pittsburgh. So we left the meeting with incredible excitement. The only question mark is New Orleans right now," he said. "They were going to drop, but under the new business model, they're likely to come back. But I don't want to say definitively yet we're gonna have New Orleans next year."

He said that shutting down for the 2009 season "was disappointing for us, because obviously (the Soul) were Arena League champions last year, our season-ticket sales were through the roof coming into this season, our partnerships were through the roof. We were all excited.

"But the model needed to be fixed. We were doing well, San Jose was doing well, but some teams weren't doing very well. So the business model needed to be fixed."

Between this article and the oh-so-careful comment Jon Bon Jovi made at the Sayreville show, maybe ... just maybe ... this time next year, we will be exactly where we want to be: Screaming and yelling at the referees, cheering for our boys, eating crab fries from C&P and complaining about parking costs at the Wachovia Center.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUNNYNIGHT!

So, I feel awful that I completely forgot my friend Sunnynight's birthday. I'm really horrible about remembering birthdays - I know that's not an excuse.

Sunnynight is a Richie girl all the way so I thought I'd do a little Richie tribute today in honor of her.



(Richie - you were definitely missed at the Starland during Wanted ...)

And I could listen to him sing this all day long ....



So, happy birthday my dear friend ... from your NYC girl.

Here's a little Harlem Rain ...



We had such a great time when you were here, S. I can't wait for you to return!

PS I gotta say ... for a Richie girl, she takes REALLY great Jonny photos. This is one of my all-time favorites. (I know, S, you'll take them both right?!)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wanted Dead or (preferably) Alive

So, my RL friends know that I recently returned back to work. I'm actually working at my old investment banking firm located down on Wall Street (read: lots of time to catch up on The New Yorker magazine while on the subway.)

Anyway, I had worked for this firm about 10 years ago and when I returned there last week, all that kept going thru my head was "It's all the same ... only the names will change ..."

But, there's another reason why the song has stuck in my head.

"Everyday, it seems we're wastin' away.."

I think its because I remembered what a rat race that industry (and others like it) can be - especially in New York City, where it seems the norm to stumble into the office at 8:30am, work all day, order dinner at the office around 8pm, call a car to take you home to your overpriced apartment that you spend no time in anyway, and then wake up the next morning and do it all over again.

The image of the Bon Jovi boys exhausted at the end of the Wanted Dead or Alive original video came to mind instantly. In any case, I don't plan on adopting that lifestyle any time soon (once in a lifetime is plenty.)

So anyway, I'm back at my old company but with a new approach ... a bit reminiscent of This Left Feels Right. Now, I know that some of you out there don't like it so much and that Jon Bon Jovi has called the record self-indulgent. But, I gotta tell you ... I think it's BRILLIANT.



I love the groove of this version. I love the different sounds. I love the cool, calm delivery.

"I've seen a million faces ...
I've seen an awful lot of faces."
(this line actually makes me laugh ... did he mean an awful lot in terms of numbers or an awful lot in terms of a bad-lookin' bunch ... inquiring minds want to know! LOL)

One thing I will concede is that perhaps they should have maybe released JUST the dvd. I mean - this is a band that is known for its amazing live performances and I think that seeing them perform these versions (and damn, those Borgata shows were awesome) is what could have sold it better.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Whenever Jovi fans discuss this album, its always interesting (and I'm always in the minority.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

One Wild Night ... okay, actually TWO wild nights

My head is still spinning from my last two nights with the Jukes. Holy cow!

Saturday's show was absolutely amazing ... one of the best shows of theirs I think I've ever seen. Trumpet player Mark Pender rejoined the Jukes for these two shows and he was just fantastic.

No suprise visit from Jon Bon Jovi ... BUT we did have an awesome guest appearance by none other than Little Steven van Zandt. The place went crazy. And, of course, that meant that the show went longer. The setlist, in typical Southside fashion, was abandoned somewhere after the third song I think.

If you know the Jukes, then you can appreciate that we got ALL the hits - Talk to Me, Without Love, Trapped Again, Love on the Wrong Side of Town, Hearts of Stone (with Little Steven), The Fever, I Don't Want to Go Home ... just too many to name them all. But they also did some wonderful album tracks, including a few great songs from "Into the Harbor."

One thing I love about seeing the Jukes is that you are RIGHT there. No barriers. No distance between you and what's happening on stage. I was lucky enough to have a front row spot between Southside and Jeff Kazee - seriously, close enough to tickle Jeff's feet in his yellow sneakers if I wanted to.

I will try to post some videos of the shows soon, but in the meantime, enjoy this clip of "Its Been A Long Time" from way back - they all look so young. They did this song Sunday night, but I don't think anyone knew Little Steven was there yet.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I'll Be Rockin' with Southside Tonight

Y'all know of my love for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes ... so you can imagine how excited I am that they are doing not one, but TWO nights back-to-back here in the city at BB King's.

The last time I saw them was at the Agora Theatre and Ballroom in Cleveland (umm...I think "theatre" is a stretch ... picture Starland, but dirtier ...) and it took me three days to recover ... LOL ... so who knows how I'll be after two nights in a row, but whatever the cost - its totally worth it! And maybe I'll get a bonus ... perhaps a quick visit from Jon Bon Jovi ....?

If you missed my little tribute to SSJ ... here's the link.

And here they are doing one of my favorite tracks from the "Better Days" record.



Okay ... I had to come back and add this one.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Legendary Performance #6: The Return of Richie Sambora

edited on 3/9 ... I guess this was actually #6 ... oops

Okay, now that the fan club show/European invasion/NJ Rat Race is over (wahhhhh), time to pick up where we left off.

From the moment I started this list, this was a performance that came up constantly in all your requests -- Richie's solo during "Any Other Day" at the O2 concert.

Just watching this gives me chills - remember, I was AT that concert in Puerto Rico where Richie's absence was sorely felt(nothing against Bobby who actually did a fantabulous job) ... but you know what I mean.

I can't imagine the relief Jon felt ... not just because he had his great bandmate back ... but because his dear friend was getting better.



"Welcome back my brother!" Welcome back, indeed.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Sign of Things to Come....?

So, I'm embarrassed to say that I ... usually knower of most everything Philadelphia Soul-related ... was not aware that the organization has put up a new store website. I'd like to thank one of my crazy shopaholic German friends for letting me know (especially as I am the mailing address for all their stuff ... LOL.)

Here's the LINK

In my defense, I did get something later via Twitter. I recently signed up for that so if any of you can explain exactly what I'm supposed to do with it now, I'd be a happy camper.

Anyway, in celebration of the store's grand opening ... and thus our hopes for next season getting back on track ... here's some eye candy (and not just Jonny.)




























I just LOVE Jaws!!! You always know exactly how he feels. The man wears his heart on his sleeve. :-)



















And now for our fearless leader, Jon Bon Jovi ....





And, my personal favorite ...


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rat Race: Who Says You Can't Go Home

So, this is the final installment of Rat's journey thru New Jersey. If you missed the earlier entries, check out Part1 and Part 2.

The last we saw Rat, he was making his way down the Atlantic City Expressway towards some surf and sand. But, first we needed to stop and do a little shopping ... who knew that rats liked Crocs so much?!? (As you can see, he pimped them out with Bon Jovi-inspired Superman "bling.")




















With all that gambling, eating and drinking at the Taj Mahal the night before, Rat had a hard time getting up the next day and needed copious amounts of coffee (or maybe that was me?!?)

























It was such a beautiful day, we decided to hang out for a bit on the boardwalk outside our hotel.




















Ahhh .. the Jersey shore ...



















For those who did not know, there's an awesome cat sanctuary outside the Taj Mahal. Things were going fine until Rat got a little too close ... LOL



















"uh oh ... I think I'm gonna be dinner!"





Then, it was back in the van for the last leg of our road tour ....

Of course, we were hungry by that point so we stopped at Umberto's for some pizza ... right across the river from Jon's New Jersey home.



















Once Rat had basically finished ALL the pizza, he was ready for his close-up ... LOL



















I have to say that it was probably one of the best darn pizzas I've had in quite some time. And everyone at the restaurant was awesome ... probably helped that we had an Italian with us ... but nonetheless, what a nice group of people!


But, unfortunately, all good things must come to an end -- even Jon Bon Jovi road trips ...




















So, after three days ... numerous miles ... countless laughs ... an incredible number of sites (there are some I didn't even picture here - including Richie's old house, Richie's childhood house, David's old house, Alec's old house, the car wash from the SWW artwork and a few other places) ... it was time for Rat's journey to end.






























CREDITS
Stefania - who knows everything there ever was to know about Bon Jovi
Steffi - who did all the driving and got us to each location safe and sound
Rike - who was fearless in taking pictures
Sandy - who videotaped most of everything ... we will probably be blackmailed for years to come ... LOL


On a personal note
, I will never forget our trip thru Jon Bon Jovi's New Jersey. With good friends, great music, fantastic food and so many smiles, this is what underlines what the Bon Jovi Sisterhood is all about. And all I can say is ...

Yeah.
Yeah.
Oh .. yeah.

Yeah.
Hallelujah.
Amen.



clip is by Deb308 from Backstage, who takes the most awesome videos!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The New Jersey Rat Race - Part 2

So, today we continue on Rat's journey thru Bonjoviland. (I repeat the disclaimer that this has not been done in actual order. )

Here we go, back in the van ... all for the love of Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, David Bryan and Tico Torres ....




















Oh, the signs we got to know so well .... (anyone who has ever driven in NJ knows all about the no left turn signs ... LOL)



Continuing in Sayreville, we stopped by the site of the "pizza parlor jury" ... you know the story. It was still early in the day so no pizza this time.




















Then, we saw Century Productions where the Slippery studio demos were done ... (Rat was very cold so you can see him hiding on the ledge near the door)



















And, on the way out of town ... we even stopped by the Amboy Motel where they shot the Only Lonely video (is that right...?) (Rat was too cold to get out of the van ...)




















We made a quick stop at Elements where Rat may have gotten a bit blurry-eyed and tipsy thinking about the cosmos there ... LOL




















We also stopped by the site of MANY a great Bon Jovi show ...



















Of course, no trip thru New Jersey would be complete without a stop in Asbury Park. (It was wicked windy out ... and I was sick, sick, sick. Made for a bit of a nasty combination ... perhaps I became just a wee bit crabby ...)




















First we stopped at The Stone Pony ....




















I have to say that Asbury Park is looking much better than the last time I was thru there. Still a long way to go ... and we all know it will never be what it was ... but still, its great to see that people still care about the history of the place.

And then it was to The Fast Lane ... so sad that the sign is gone, but you can still tell it was "the place" and right between the bowling lanes and the Baronet.

Here's Rat going in the side stage door ... don't you just love the little star on his butt?! LOL Its a pretty darn narrow alley ... good thing Jon is so thin. ;-)


























The front doors ...




















After Asbury Park, we headed further down the shore to spend the night in A.C. As we were driving watching the gorgeous New Jersey sunset, you couldn't help but marvel at the sense of Bon Jovi history we were experiencing.


In my rearview mirror,
My life is getting clearer.
As the sunset sighs and
Slowly disappears.




















And so the journey continues ....
















Author's Note: I'm going to post this one now. Next up will be Atlantic City and Jon's New Jersey house.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy "Thank Mr. and Mrs. Bongiovi" Day

We take a break from our regularly scheduled blogging to wish our favorite Jersey boy a very happy birthday. How appropriate that I spent some of last week touring Jon Bon Jovi's old stomping grounds. (by the way, The New Jersey Rat Race Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.)

Its been an incredible 25 years for all us fans, so I'm assuming its been a pretty amazing 47 years for Jonny. You've grown into quite a man, Mr. Bongiovi.





















































Don't ever doubt it ... you have made a difference.

























So, we thank you, Mr. and Mrs. B for giving us
an amazing, inspiring and thoughtful human being.
























Happy Birthday Jon!

ADDENDUM
Well, it may be HIS birthday today, but it seems we got all the gifts.
I can't believe its already been a week since the fan club show. I would like to express my appreciation to those who actually took pictures and videos, because I didn't. I just stood there and sang and danced and enjoyed. Probably a good thing, because my camera would have been ruined by all my tears during this song...

And to the girls who made it possible for me to be there at all ... you know how I feel about you.