Monday, June 29, 2009

One More ...Then I'm Done With This

Hope you all had a great weekend. I seem to be still recovering from my whirlwind 24-hour trip to Milwaukee (it was those gummy bears, I SWEAR!)

I'd like to thank all of you who left comments regarding my review of the show. As expected, I got completely blasted by a number of people (mostly from Backstage) because I forgot that one is never ever supposed to say anything remotely less-than-spectacular about Jon Bon Jovi or the band.

The truth of the matter is ... I love that man. I love that band. They had a rough night. Let's move on.

But, in thinking about the Summerfest show, I was reminded of the Club Zepp show from 2002. It was one of those nights where, again, things didn't go quite as planned (though I have a feeling a bit part of that had to do with jetlag!) I mean, seriously ... Jon botched the words to Prayer! LOL Yet, its one of the shows I love to watch again and again. (The comment about coming down in his fuzzy slippers and robe is classic.)

Well, as you could see from the Summerfest setlist, I didn't get anything from Bounce. :-( So, here's a little performance that might have fit in well with the other night ...

And since, its Monday and I need a good kick in the tush ...

Anyway, that's all folks.

P.S. Sorry to those in London at the Bruce show who reportedly missed the opportunity for a Bruce/JBJ duet. Wish I was in London now actually ... Wimbledon!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

One Wacky Night

As those of you who follow this blog know, I am very honest about my impressions of things. Therefore, if you are one of those fans that never wants to hear a negative word about Bon Jovi ever, you may want to skip this post.

Greetings fellow Jovinuts! I have been struggling a bit with how to sum up my thoughts about the Summerfest show. Perhaps its good that I waited a couple of days because I think my first go-around when drafting this was pretty brutal. But, with time and a bit of reflection, hopefully I can be a bit more neutral in my perspective.

First off, regardless of how this review comes out, I'm very very glad I went. As always at a Jovi show, I met some incredibly wonderful ladies and had a fabulous time with them. Between hanging out at the pool, discovering the joys of vodka-marinated gummy bears and just laughing and sharing stories, there is really nothing like the Bon Jovi sisterhood.

Anyway, about the show ...

I have been to a lot of Bon Jovi shows (I mean A HELLUVA LOT of Bon Jovi shows! LOL) and this was by far the worst I've experienced. I actually didn't have a good time. I never in my life thought that would be possible at a Bon Jovi show, but it happened. And lordy, I hope it never happens again!

You could tell from the minute the band took the stage that something was seriously wrong with the sound. I didn't think much of it because knowing the quality of the Bon Jovi crew, I figured they would have it fixed in no time. I always feel for those guys ... they don't know what kind of system they're going to find when they arrive, but somehow, must always make it work. Sort of like a pianist who, unless you are at the superstar level, show up and have to play whatever is rolled out in front of you. I don't envy them at all!

Anyway, I loved that they opened with "Glad All Over" because it reminded me of the second Philly concert on the last tour. (I didn't quite agree with the Backstage twitter that it was as rare as they had implied ... now, if it had been "I Believe" or "One Wild Night", now THAT would have been a shocker.)

The setlist was as you would expect for a non-touring summer show ... there were a couple of "newer" songs like Lost Highway, Whole Lot of Leaving (WOO HOO!!!) and Last Man Standing, which was a bit rough and seemed to wander a bit. I'm not one for "it needs to sound exactly like the record", but watching the interaction between the guys (especially the rhythm section) you could tell it was more than just typical live performance changes.

But for the most part, they stuck to the party songs (I Love This Town, We Got It Going On) and the anthems (Raise Your Hands, Bad Medicine, etc. etc. etc.) I was disappointed they didn't throw something fun into the middle of Sleep When I'm Dead, since that's the stuff I usually love. And during Bad Medicine, things just seemed to go around in circles ... I thought we'd maybe not get Shout, but then it turned around and there it was.

To me, the whole show just seemed very unsettled. Again, I don't expect the record when I go to a show and when Jon misses or changes words, usually its no big deal at all. But, this time there were just way too many botched lyrics.

Of course, the craziest moment of the evening was Jon not being able to pick up the key for Summertime. I stood there in disbelief as it went down ... I've never seen Jon take like 12 or 16 bars to get something. I remember a few shaky starts to Undivided once or twice, but in my opinion this qualified as a train wreck.

As a performer, I've experienced the live train wreck - it's the most gut-wrenching feeling. I remember once doing "The Planets" (an orchestra piece by Holst) for a live radio broadcast. The conductor cued the entire brass and percussion section in 4 bars early and chaos ensued. There was no way to get the separate parts of the machine running in sync again. Eventually, we had to stop and restart. I tell you this so you know that I truly understand what its like.

In any case, here is a video of it posted on YouTube. Though its a bit blurry, you get the idea.

Once that happened, there seemed to be a change in Jon. Before Summertime, he was just frustrated by the sound problems, but after that he seemed to go the other way and overcompensate with dancing and shaking his tush. He usually has a way of drawing an audience in but in this case, you felt like an outsider if you weren't one of the girls in the front.

Once the show ended, I was happy to just go back to the hotel and decompress. I thought - damn, wouldn't it be interesting to be a fly on the wall in that dressing room when Jon finally gets his mad out (of course, unless he is holding something in his hand!)

I did end up seeing Obie in the airport the next morning, but held off on saying anything. It was still too fresh and I was afraid what I thought wouldn't come out right. Even now, it probably still doesn't. But, nonetheless, there it is. Those are my thoughts.

Now, as they would say on West Wing ... "what's next?" ... well, according to Jon, that would be going to London to mix the record they just finished recording ... and we all know what that means!!!! TOUR!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Messages for Jon Bon Jovi

I'm literally counting the hours until I leave for Summerfest ... though at this point I think its more about the ridiculously long list of things I have to get done, rather than my excitement about going to see "the boys."

I have not decided whether or not I'm going to create a sign for this show ... I'm tempted to take my (in)famous "Destination Arenabowl" sign from last tour and put in big red letters across it "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED."

Then again, I'm also tempted to make a sign that says "Jon, We Want Our Soul Back!" -- as an aside, I was disheartened to read in Sports Illustrated today that the owner of the Cleveland Gladiators filed for bankruptcy protection. If (ooops! I mean when) the AFL returns, it would be a shame if Cleveland lost that team. They came on the scene and made an impact very quickly, even if they "borrowed" a lot of their operations ideas from the Soul.

Perhaps I should make a sign that says "The Power of WE" after watching the videos of Jon's speeches at the last few events - especially some of the comments he made in San Francisco and during the CNN feature. If you haven't seen them, visit Hath's blog.

(Speaking of him in San Fran, there is something wrong with you if this picture doesn't make you smile ...)

So ... what do you think? What would you put on your sign for the concert?

Okay ... now onto other business ... the next poll.

I wasn't really too surprised that We Will Rock You/Summertime won the last poll ... would be nice to get that combo tomorrow night in Milwaukee (though if given the choice of anything, I'd still prefer either Undivided or Bounce ...)

So, lets see how much you really liked that clip as I put it up against another great performance from Germany *waves wildly to my dear friends over there*


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Papa, Can You Hear Me?

Today is Father's Day.

My dad took me to so many concerts - all kinds of concerts - pop, classical, jazz, country ... you name it, we saw it.

I think he is a big reason I became a musician - his love for music. We would "argue" over different recordings of Brahms symphonies and he would always chastise me for my lack of devotion to Bach (sorry Dad, still not one of my faves ... now Beethoven on the other hand ... or Shostakovich ... but I digress.)

And sports! Football and baseball and golf. I know my love for those sports comes from him. Lots of afternoons out on the links laughing and cursing (him at his driver and me at my irons.) Every session would end sharing a Coke and a Snickers bar in the clubhouse.

And football season, FORGET IT! Him and his damn Chicago Bears ... me and my fabulous New York Giants. And never the twain shall meet! I just wish he would have been able to visit while I was involved with the Soul but I lost him a few years ago - I'd like to have introduced him to some of the players and have a good conversation with Coach Munsey.

And, he liked Jon Bon Jovi - thought it was okay for his daughter to listen to and be inspired by him. I think Jon's love of Sinatra and Elvis and good rock-n-roll went a long way. So, this video is for my dad. He would have loved it. I hope you do, too.

Miss you Dad.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Oh What A Night!

As you all know, our favorite boys (that would be Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora) got inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame last night here in the Big Apple. No, I wasn't able to go ... tho my buddy from the classical department of ASCAP (that's NOT the animal protection organization, that's ASPCA) ... tried his darndest to get me in. I knew I shouldn't have picked the bassoon. LOL

Most of us did follow what was going on via Twitter ... a big thank you to Chris Daughtry and Rob Thomas who kept us in the loop. Very funny guys!

In any case, there are pictures all over the place so no need to post them all here ... but I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.

Like a true-blue Italian ... always talkin' with the hands.

40th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony - Show

The three musketeers from last night ...

40th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony - Cocktails and Backstage

... and just because this one makes me smile. *a la The Sixth Sense* ... "I see happy people."

2009 Songwriters Hall of Fame 40th Anniversary Induction Ceremony and Gala in New York

Hope you all have a great weekend ... ciao ciao for now.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Destination Found...?

A little piece of history according to a Google alert ... on this day back in 1997, Jon Bon Jovi made his solo debut at a NY club in support of "Destination Anywhere."

I'm trying my darndest to remember back then ... I was in New York already (arrived here in '89) ... I was already a Bon Jovi fan ... I did see one, maybe two, small concerts with songs from the album ... I just can't remember. Lordy, I'm getting old!

In any case, its good reason to post about the record ... what?! like not having a reason has stopped me before ...? My love for this album is VERY well documented. LOL

Anyway, over on Hath's blog, she asked what our two fave tracks are. (You should visit her blog - I love those clips - and Bobby sounds awesome, too.)

Well, no surprise to anyone that "Every Word..." would be my first. Y'all know how hard I'd been lobbying for that song. I can now die happy.

It was a little harder for me to pick the second - I love the groove of "Midnight in Chelsea" and the lyrical content of "Janie ..." and the rawness of "Naked."

But, in the end I went with "Destination Anywhere" ... I think it speaks to those feelings that exist in all of us at times. Also, did you somehow feel that with the song "Lost Highway" things had sort of come full circle? The first time I heard LH, I immediately thought of DA ... like a resolution of what was going on in Jon's head back in 95/96 ...

Destination anywhere ... left or right, I don't care ... pack a bag and we're out of here ... let's run ... I've finally found my way ... say goodbye to yesterday ... hit the gas, there ain't no brakes on this Lost Highway ...

The connection between the two songs seems very obvious to me ... what do you think?

... in my rearview mirror, my life is getting clearer ... as the sunset sighs and slowly disappears ... maybe we'll just disappear, like the sun ...

P.S. Its another rainy day here in the Big Apple ... but the lights will be shining on Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora tonight. Not since Lennon-McCartney has there existed such an amazing songwriting duo. Congratulations!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summertime...Or So They Say...

Happy Tuesday y'all! Sorry its been a little hit-and-miss with me and posting lately -- been a lot going on.

Well, the countdown to Summerfest has begun!! Its less than two weeks now until the boys will be rocking the Marcus Amphitheatre in Milwaukee. And, I don't know about you, but I'm seriously ready for a little bit of summer. We've had some strange weather as of late here in the Rainy-One-Day-Beautiful-the-Next Indecisive Apple.

So, to psych ourselves up for next week, the new poll is all about summer, may it finally arrive (at which time we will all be moaning and complaining about the heat and humidity and the aromatic character of the city ... LOL)

Up first, the absolutely sublime coupling of We Will Rock You with Summertime. FANTASTIC!

Okay ... our second video is one of my favorite pairings with I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (which admittedly isn't one of my faves, but is a blast live.)

Blogger was being cranky, I had tried to upload this one - which is from one of the three amazing nights in Giants Stadium at the end of the HAND tour. Oh, what nights those were!! (I am still depressed that the boys won't be closing Giants ... but hey! there's a new stadium opening right next door ... HINT HINT!!)

Now, as for Summerfest ... just wondering what song(s) you all would like to hear? All I can say is, "Jon Bon Jovi, I have one word for you ... BOUNCE!" I'll take just about anything from that oft-neglected record (tho my preference would be Undivided.)

P.S. Word from Brothers is that they are sending me a new cd "right away" ... oh, and Rue, I agree with you. I think it sounds pretty darn good - I will even forgive them for creative editing ... still not sure everything on there was from night one ... *wink wink*

Monday, June 15, 2009

Its NOT Okay to be a Little Broken

So, after hundreds of miles back and forth, criss-crossing the country ... my Starland CD finally arrived. And, of course, it didn't quite survive all the trials, tribulations and travels. The jewel case basically disintegrated when I opened it and the insert is completely mangled.

So, now starts the arduous task of trying to get a replacement copy ... hmm, wonder what fun and exotic places this one will visit before arriving on my doorstep. Bali? New Zealand? Singapore? I swear, in my next lifetime I'm coming back as a fan club CD! LOL

Perhaps Jon Bon Jovi has a couple of extra copies at his place and I can just hop on the subway and pick one up ... (as long as I don't stop at the Kate's Paperie in Soho on the way ... that place is DEADLY ...)

P.S. New poll is going up tonight ... I PROMISE!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just a little something ...

Hi Jovinuts ... did you miss me? Well, I missed you. Been dealing with some pretty serious medical issues for the past few days, but am feeling well enough to write for a little bit. Let's just say ... I could really use a big 'ol Jon Bon Jovi smile just about now. And a hug wouldn't hurt either. ;-)

So, in the taxi on the way home today I was listening to my iPod in an effort to block out the noise of the city. I usually love the energy and buzz of New York, but not right now. Anyway, this version of "Its My Life" popped up and I hadn't heard it in quite some time. Once again, memories from the Borgata show were flooding my brain and it made me realize how incredibly grateful I am that this band has played such a big role in my life.

In any case, don't know what kind of week you all have had, but if its been a bit rough, take my advice ... play this video ... close your eyes, just listen ... and breathe.

Okay, I'll be back later to post the new poll and whatever craziness comes to mind.

P.S. Did you see that Jon went to the White House for lunch today ... "Mr. Bongiovi Goes to Washington" ... now THAT would be a movie I'd see over and over again. LOL (if you didn't catch it, I was making reference to the 1930s Jimmy Stewart film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington...)

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Don't Like Mondays ...

I don't like Mondays. I believe I am not at all alone in this feeling.

Its not that I don't like to work (quite the contrary) ... I don't even usually mind the people I work with/for. But, for some reason its that feeling that when you wake up in the morning, you must get ready for war - battling the subway, battling the haziness from the weekend, battling other people who are all feeling the same way I am.

What's the best remedy? Some loud, rockin' music I think. So, to tide you over until I post the next Legendary Performance poll, here's something to get your blood running a bit hotter ...

What a great cover of this song! And Jon Bon Jovi with a bit of war paint ... wonder how he feels about Mondays. LOL

Okay, Jovinuts. I'll be in touch soon.

(Don't forget to be on the lookout for new pics from the event tonight in NYC.)

Friday, June 5, 2009

$50 = 2 drinks, 3 songs and ...

You know I'm always honest - about music and about life ... so here it is. It's not always pretty being a Bon Jovi fan.

So ... I attended the Jon Corzine fundraising event last night in Newark.

It was ironic to find myself, once again, sitting in the New Jersey Performing Arts Center waiting for a Jon Bon Jovi appearance. As I mentioned in my HoF review, I really do love that venue ... its a wonderful facility and home to one of the often overlooked good orchestras in this country.

Anyway, upon finally arriving (not sure why the Light Rail line only comes every 25 minutes during rush hour ... argh) I was happy to receive a free drink ticket and went upstairs to find my friends (and a bar!) Of course, though the printed ticket said 6pm, the actual program didn't start until 7:30pm ... so the bar did come in handy. ;-)

At 7:30pm I took my seat way up close to God in the third tier where many other Bon Jovi fans were sitting. After a few speeches -- including a never-ending one from the volunteer chair for the campaign (as a friend said "22 minutes of my life I can't get back") and a rather amusing speech from the Governor of Montana - it was obvious the crowd was getting restless for Jon Bon Jovi to take the stage.

And so he did ... he sounded wonderful, with the regular musicians we have grown to love (Bobby, Lorenza, Jeff and Everett.) Its been posted everywhere what they played - Who Says, Prayer and Here Comes the Sun - and complaining and nastiness has ensued about the fact that it was only three songs (more on that later.) It was short and sweet for sure ... heck! I think Jon was already in the SUV on the way home before Governor Corzine finished speaking. LOL

Jon also spoke for a few minutes about his friendship with the Governor and, in particular, work that the Soul Foundation is doing there in Newark and an upcoming project in Camden. It really is fantastic what the foundation is doing - I still think they could use an experienced non-profit professional on their staff (...hmmm...who might I be thinking of? ... hehe ...) but they'll cross that bridge when they get there.

Much has been said of Jon's inherent ability and obvious interest in politics and how that may translate into a future run for office - well, I think he summed up his feelings last night when he referred to politics as "an ugly stage to perform on." I think the only office Jon is going to be running for is the one in his home when the phone is ringing. LOL

Anyway ... back to the event ... then Governor Corzine spoke - this is where it started to get ugly. It was apparent that fans were NOT happy JBJ only did three songs and started screaming things from various sections. It was disrespectful to the Governor and, in reality, it was disrespectful to Bon Jovi. It continued thru the majority of Corzine's speech to the point that, as a Bon Jovi fan, I was embarrassed at how people were acting. I'm glad Jon didn't see that ... I think he would have been disappointed.

In closing, it was a political fundraiser/rally -- there were going to be speeches and such. I do feel that the Corzine campaign totally misrepresented the event saying that it was a "rare acoustic concert" by JBJ. They could have said that JBJ was "making an appearance in support of ..." and playing a few songs -- but I understand ... that wouldn't have raised as much money -- a campaign staffer told me the house was heavily papered as it was (that means comped.)

In the end, I'm glad I went - gave me my mini-fix to hold me over until Summerfest and I was able to catch up with some Jovi friends I hadn't seen in a while.

P.S. I still get a laugh out of thinking how many times I used to give Corzine the run-around when he was calling my former boss. Sorry, Governor! I was just doing my job. I bet my boss would take your phone call now. LOL

P.S.2. I knew one of the girls had gotten video ... thanks for posting it M.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rockstar Card Kit No. 1

Greetings Jovinuts!

I have cool friends ... they do cool things ... and yet every time I am looking for a birthday card or a simple notecard to send to one of them, mostly I find things with flowers and pastels and fluff. I can totally understand how Tico felt when he created his Rockstar Baby line. So a while back, I started creating my own cards ... and now, after some cajoling (ok, pressure!) from some of my friends, I'm making them available to all of you!

So, welcome to my new line of Bon Jovi/Rock-n-Roll inspired cards. Whether you are an experienced scrapbook person or craft person, or you have never created anything in your life, YOU CAN DO THIS!

What do you get? You will receive enough pre-cut, pre-stamped supplies to make 4 cards of each of the three designs below, including all the ribbon and embellishments. You'll even receive the perfect adhesive you need to assemble them. And the great thing is that the patterned paper is double-sided so that multiplies your options for creating your own design of card.

SO ... that's a total of 12 cards for $25 ... less than $3 per card!

This kit will be available thru June 20th (or while supplies last.)

Pssst! You know ... if you take a black pen and write the name of our favorite band on the banner in the heart, it would be PERFECT for your Jovinut friends!

This kit is great for beginners (ya know ... those of you who haven't touched paper and glue since elementary school) and just want something fun and different to do for an hour ... or for those experienced with scrapbooking and stamping who might want to change up the cards some.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

You can simply click below to order the kit.

Rockstar Card Kit No. 1 - $25
plus s/h $5 ... currently only available in the U.S.
(For overseas customers, please contact me directly at

P.S. Are you already a scrapbooker? Like the paper or the ribbon or the brads, but don't necessarily want the card kit. You can order your own supplies by clicking the Stampin' Up logo in the upper left hand corner of the blog.