Friday, July 31, 2009

The Jukes Rock the River (part 1)

Greetings friends ... hope you are all looking forward to the weekend. I know I certainly am!

Trying to "resume normal activities" (as my doctor said), I went to see Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes last night on the Rockin' the River Circle Line cruise.

Seriously, the best $50 I have spent in a LONG time.

This review is going to be in two parts because Stas (ktfcoyote) took some pictures with her cell phone so I'll post those in part 2. :-)

Anyway ... after all us wonderfully cynical NY/NJ people got over the fact that we were doing the "cheesy tourist" thing, we all knew it was going to be a beautiful night on the boat - c'mon, gorgeous skyline and one of the best bands around, how could we go wrong?

As is usually the case with Southside, the setlist was pretty much abandoned after the first song. They DID actually start with Better Days, which kicked things off with a bang, but after that it was typical par for the course with SSJ just calling out songs.

Stas and I had great spots, literally two feet in front of Jeff Kazee, who was an absolute hoot-and-a-half (a lot more about that in part 2.) I always love being so close to the Jukes because they are goofy and very interactive on stage.

Looking at the original setlist, I have to laugh because they didn't do hardly anything that was written! (oh ... and Johnny, after all these years, you really should learn to spell Renee ... it was a huge hit for you ... LOL)

Ok, though they didn't do "Under the Sun", they did do the title track from Into the Harbour which provided for some amusement given the locale of this gig.

Here are the opening lyrics:

This old ship needs caulking (hmm...not a good line to start with when we're on a BOAT!)
and the crew needs rest (...not getting better ...)
And I’m weary of the sea, I must confess
This is not the final journey I had planned (by this time we are all laughing our a$$es off)

But, its a terrific song - actually the whole record is fantastic (and for you Jovinuts, it was recorded in HRH's studio in Jersey.)

More about the show in tomorrow's post, but I did want to mention that after coveting the Jukebox (a 5-cd collection of live, rare and demo tracks) I finally gave in and purchased it. And, OH MY GOODNESS! For any of you Jukesfans, you really need to get this ... and NOW.

There's a terrific booklet included that traces the history of the Jukes' first 31 years. Of course, lots of mention of our boy, usually something like "...and Jon Bon Jovi made a surprise appearance ..." (whether it was at the Count Basie or other Jersey shore venues.)

But, I'm going crazy listening to the set ... everything from ACOUSTIC VERSIONS of "This Time Baby's Gone for Good" and "Broke Down Piece of Man" to the original demos for "I Don't Want to Go Home" and "The Fever."

So, here's a clip from waaaaay back (mid to late 70s I'm thinking) ... the video quality may not be great, but damn I love these guys!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thank You. Period.

Note: this may be a bit long and rambling and esoteric ... blame it on the meds! (and my love of James Joyce)

Hi there Jovifriends. I have missed you all.

I am not quite back to normal (whatever that may be!) but I do feel well enough to get to the computer (damn, I really need a laptop) and do a blog post.

Not sure I'm quite ready to tackle my e-mail yet.

Why, you ask? Because all of you ROCK! I am so incredibly touched by the number of messages - on my cell, to my e-mail, thru Twitter and here on this blog.

Okay - first things, first. I must publicly thank the absolutely incomparable Fiction Mistress for serving as "communications director" during this past week. May you all have the opportunity someday to meet her in person. FM, you are a force of nature and truly one-of-a-kind. I love you dearly.

Thru FM's Twitters, most of you know how everything went down - from arriving at the hospital, thru the scans, thru the surgery and all the drama and complications afterwards with the anesthesia, etc. It was quite a couple of days.

I must say, though ... you don't get much rest in a hospital for they keep coming around to ask you the same questions over and over again. And, yes, its true...I did try to convince the nurse that it was 1986 and Jon Bon Jovi was the President. Thank goodness this surgery wasn't a year ago because when asked who the President is, it would have been more than the meds that would have made me feel sick. LOL

Anyway ... I know y'all have been waiting for the new poll ... and I promise that will be posted soon. But, as usually is the case here, I wanted to post a video today.

Sure, I could have done "Something for the Pain" (right now I highly recommend Percocet. LOL) or something from my beloved Bounce record. (By the way, I can't believe how many of you played that song last Wednesday. And B. in Germany, 150 times?!? Did you have it on constant repeat?!? I really hope you don't hate that song now. LOL)

But, instead this song has been going thru my head. And I love this particular performance - partially, because I experienced it - but mostly because its just so moving. Perhaps this whole ordeal has made me somewhat schmaltzy (how do you spell that?!) but challenges like this can make you question a lot of things. In the end, don't we all just need something to believe in?

P.S. So, I ventured outside this morning to get some coffee (FINALLY!) ... and lo and behold what do I find on the sidewalk? One of those cardboard fans advertising David Bryan's new show "Memphis." Though bending over to pick it up less than a week after brain surgery was "interesting" I did manage to snag it. Oh ... and if you haven't purchased tickets to the show yet, do so NOW. I'm serious. This is a Tony Award-winner in the making.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jon...sorry, friend, but you are WRONG

Okay ...I hope I did these frickin' scheduled posts right ... it should now be Thursday and hopefully all the drama of yesterday will be over. :-)

So, I decided for the meantime to just continue with the Bounce record ... poor neglected album. I'm reminded of Jon Bon Jovi's comment in the film that when he plays certain tracks he gets "the nice applause" and that nobody wants to hear them except him. He couldn't be more wrong.

Now, I understand that not everyone at the shows is at our obsessive level (yes, you are ... just admit and embrace it.) But, I would like to give concertgoers a little more credit. Sure, its easier to keep things just rockin' along with Bad Medicine, Prayer, Sleep, Faith, etc. but Jon, you have never backed down from a challenge so don't start now.

Give us a chance. You might be surprised at how far we'll go ...

*jumping off soapbox (for) now* LOL

P.S. I just love that shirt. So many fans didn't ... hmmm? Also, how on earth does he sing chewing gum without spitting it at one of those girls in the front row? (...and how much would that gum go for on Ebay? LOL)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bounce. Bounce.

Greetings Jovinuts. Happy Wednesday to you (though its still Tuesday as I'm writing this.)

I have been struggling with what to write for this day and still can't come up with the right words. So, I'll do what always works best...make it about the music.

My love for Bounce, both the album and the song specifically, is never-ending. That's because they have gotten me through some of the most challenging of times. And today, in particular, those lyrics hit the spot. I am having surgery to relieve pressure on my brain stem caused by a nasty-ass tumor. I always knew there was something wrong in my head ... and, look, now its been proven! LOL

So, in any case ... I may be a bit out of touch for several days. But have no fear - I have scheduled some future posts - for there is no shortage of great songs and video clips to talk about right?

But, for right now, let's just ... Bounce.

P.S. You can guess what they'll be playing in the operating room. I did refrain from having them put a picture of Jon Bon Jovi on the ceiling. Seriously, not a bad last image to have in your head before they put you under. Am I right? :-)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Healing Power of .... Nashville?

So, I spent some time this morning watching an 8-part interview with Southside Johnny (thanks Stas for the link ... you rock!) I have always found SSJ to be incredibly down-to-earth and very honest -- actually quite humble in that funny self-deprecating kind of way. He also is a ferocious reader and has a wicked sense of humor.

How many of you have ever been to Nashville? If you love music, you really need to plan a trip there. Once, I was supposed to go for the morning to see Sugarland play for Good Morning America and I ended up staying for three days. LOL Seriously, you can just go from bar to bar listening to songwriters and bands and completely lose yourself in the creation of music.

Anyway, back to SSJ ... in this clip below he talks about one of the more difficult periods in his life with his mother dying and his marriage breaking up and how he went to Nashville and healed and rediscovered himself a little. Hmm...sound a bit familiar? Ahh...the power of Nashville.

P.S. Also made me think that Jon Bon Jovi has probably had to be there a lot for his friends through hard times ... but who better to have in your corner, huh? And, isn't that what friends are for? ;-)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Special Treat for a Saturday Afternoon

Okay .... it is no shock to any of you readers that Jon Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny are "my guys" so you can imagine my sheer joy with this video sent to me by one of my dear German friends, S.

Seriously, folks, does life get any better than this?

I'm counting the days until the Jukes rock the Circle Line cruise around Manhattan. Woo hoo ... we're having a party ...

P.S. This looks like the same time they did the video for "Its Been a Long Time" ... I know I've posted this one before but its soooo good. :-)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

DaughtryMania Continues ...

Happy Wednesday! You know what that means -- we are closer to the weekend. And, thank goodness for that because I need to catch up on my sleep after yesterday's festivities in Rockefeller Center.

We are blessed to have a never-ending stream of free concerts in New York City. But, the Toyota Concert Series for The Today Show continues to set the standard in my opinion.

I have been to quite a few of the musical performances on "The Plaza." I remember the last time Bon Jovi played there ... complete pandemonium. If I remember correctly, they said it was the largest crowd ever for an appearance.

I didn't expect the same chaos for Daughtry's performance and I was glad it was really quite calm and positive. Having been so spoiled by Bon Jovi in the past, I arrived super early because I wanted to be sure to be near the front (blame Jon ... see yesterday's post...LOL.)

Without much pushing and cursing, we all staked out our spots behind the barrier and waited for soundcheck to start. I met some really cool diehard Daughtry fans that had traveled up from the D.C. area. Its always nice to talk to true fans of music - you know, the ones without judgment or prejudice when it comes to different people's tastes (though I think there are a lot of Bon Jovi/Daughtry fans out there.)

In any case, then soundcheck came. Like usual, Chris was great with interacting with fans, signing autographs, taking pictures, joking around. You could really feel his sense of excitement about the day. It was contagious.

The performance itself seemed to fly by ... it always does. But, the band completely rocked and the crowd was fantastic, singing along with every song.

There are a lot of growing similarities between Bon Jovi and Daughtry (except for that whole Twitter thing ... Jon ... seriously, think about it!) And it seems, Chris Daughtry may have learned a lot from being on tour with our boys last year.

Well, congratulations to Daughtry on the successful release of their new record. Glad I could be a tiny part of it.

Alright ... that's all for now, folks. Until next time.

P.S. Don't forget to vote ... Blood on Blood vs Living in Sin. Next up ... hmmm ... actually I haven't decided yet. Any requests?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Up at the Crack of Dawn (blame Jon)

Well, Happy Tuesday to y'all! At least I think it's Tuesday ... its the freakin' middle of the night and I'm up getting ready to hit the road.

Why, you ask? Well, because today is the release of Daughtry's new album "Leave This Town" and I'm joining the celebration at Rockefeller Center when the band plays The Today Show.

I've done this crazy thing several times before, but exclusively for Bon Jovi -- and, frankly, I find myself a little surprised to be doing this for another artist. I blame Jon Bon Jovi -- that line works for so many things, so I figured I might as well use it here ...LOL.

Well, it does ... just think ... my paltry bank account after attending so many shows (blame Jon), lack of sleep criss-crossing the country during the tour (blame Jon), having to deal with cranky people on an overnight plane to city XYZ because the band is playing there (blame Jon), holding every guy you date to an unrealistic standard (blame Jon.) Is this sounding at all familiar to you? LOL

So, now I can add this to the list because it was Jon who introduced me to Daughtry.

Seriously, the only two episodes of American Idol I ever watched were the two that Bon Jovi were on (blame Jon...LOL) But, after hearing Daughtry at several shows during the Lost Highway tour, I was hooked.

So, count me among the newly-converted. (I would have voted for you, Chris, I swear!)

side note: it was a bit difficult finding a lot of live clips ... hmmm...?


Alright ... okay ... I had to include this one, too, because it was a great concert (Jon's birthday in Philly) and I LOVE Knockin' on Heaven's Door ...

Anyway, if you liked Daughtry opening for the boys during the Lost Highway tour, run (don't walk) to your local music store and get a copy of the new record. It rocks!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Not-So-Patiently Awaiting MSG DVD...LOL

Happy Almost-End-of-the-Week my fellow Jovinuts!

I bet you were beginning to think I would never post the new poll. Sorry to keep you waiting, sometimes life just gets ... well ... complicated. In any case, here I am now.

After seeing SWW last weekend, I was all about the New Jersey album the last couple of days. It truly is one of the great records out there from start to finish. Yes, many of us are incredibly partial to These Days, but you must admit that New Jersey is simply fantastic.

So, between that and the upcoming anniversary of the MSG concerts, I thought I'd choose a couple of great songs from those shows. Speaking of those shows ... umm ... note to Jon Bon Jovi ... we truly appreciate your incredibly high standards and all, but can we just get the damn dvd out now? Probably, truth of the matter is ... it is finished and in the corporate queue somewhere as they figure out which comes first - the chicken or the egg (the dvd or the new record.) [please note that is just an expression, not an editorial comment on either project ... LOL]

But, back to July 2008. What a time it was! We (Fiction Mistress, Goddess Hathor, Willow and I -- thanks jbjbounce, I actually knew that ... argh ;-p) all got together ... isn't it amazing the cities of Boston and NYC are still standing?! We ate, we drank, we laughed, we sang ... we really didn't sleep for several days. Those are memories that will stay with me forever.

So, to celebrate all that was ... and will hopefully be again, here's the new poll.

First up is Blood on Blood in what could absolutely be described as a legendary performance.


Living in Sin which totally brought down the house.

Happy voting ... and be safe, be generous, be yourself.

Lots o' love.
Big Apple Jovi Girl

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What a Great Treat!

Happy Tuesday to you, my friends.

Sorry I was M.I.A. there for a couple of days. Hope all of you here in the States had a good Fourth of July weekend. I, myself, went down the Jersey shore for some sun, surf, sand ... and, of course, Bon Jovi.

I met up with a couple of girlfriends to go see Slippery When Wet, our fave Jovi tribute band. I have extolled their virtues before, but they were really on fire Saturday night. Great setlist, great energy and there's nothing like being at a gig where you can just walk outside and bury your toes in the sand. :-)

The highlight of the night was their absolutely ROCKING version of Homebound Train. Seriously, they played the heck out of it (tho, sorry Mike if I made you laugh while trying to blow that wooden whistle ...LOL.) Once again, I highly recommend if you are in the tri-state area, you should check them out.

Made me think .. geez, what would we give to be able to hear Bon Jovi play some of those tracks from New Jersey and Slippery? Without Love? 99 in the Shade? Social Disease? (the last two of which I have also heard SWW do ... see?! ... you should go see them!)

Hmmm...I can't even remember it was I last heard Homebound Train ... could it possibly be back in 88/89 ...?

And, what is the likelihood we'll get THIS to ever happen again ...

P.S. To my readers on Facebook (my blog feeds directly into fb), click on "visit original..." at the bottom of page to be taken to the videos. :-)

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I saw this on YouTube and just had to post it. It was like a retrospective of my own last 25 years -- many of the songs being so intrinsically linked with my life. And I am continually amazed by the songwriting of Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. Listening to this compilation, you can hear the evolution over the years, but its always distinctively the band's sound, the band's personality. Enjoy.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Call for Support of the Soul

Remember what I said about not posting what comes up in the Google alerts ... well, I'm breaking my own rule! But, I have good reason.

This is a post that was made by a Bon Jovi fan (well, I'm thinking they are a fan if they have a Bon Jovi blog) ... and well, I just couldn't help myself from responding. I hope you will do the same.

Does Anyone Really Miss the Philadelphia Soul?
I was reading Joe Brescia’s blog post about the Philadelphia Soul today, and it occurred to me–I haven’t even thought about the Soul in months. I used to be fairly up-to-date on the Soul. (Once upon a time I had to suffer the embarrassment of confessing that the last football game I watched was a Soul game during the office Super Bowl pool.)

But here’s the thing: I only ever thought about the team because the Soul was Jon’s pet project. If he hadn’t been involved, I probably wouldn’t even have known that Philadelphia had an arena football team. If I had known, I would have just wondered why they bothered when Philadelphia has the Eagles. (Granted, the Soul was the only sports team in Philadelphia that didn’t completely suck back when they were still playing.)

Other confessions: I have never been able to sit through an entire Soul game. I usually get bored and start playing Xbox instead. Also, the most entertainment I have ever gotten out of a Soul game was watching the news media fuss over the ‘Finger Incident’.

I can’t be the only one in this situation. Actually, I’d guess that Bon Jovi fans probably outnumber actual fans of the team. I’ve never seen a Soul t-shirt on anyone other than Bon Jovi fans. And you’re definitely far more likely to see a Soul jersey with ‘Bon Jovi’ on it than a player’s name. I don’t even know if they even sell them with players’ names on them.

But here’s the question: other than Jon’s fans, will anyone miss the Soul if the Arena Football League folds?

Here was my response:

I can say emphatically “yes” — without a doubt that people will miss the Soul.

I will admit that I was introduced to the Soul because I am a Bon Jovi fan. That was simply how I found out about the team - as did other people. That is where the Bon Jovi connection ends for many of us.

Over the past five years, fans have gotten to know the players (yes, there are jerseys with players names … duh!) and have embraced and supported the many community initiatives that the Philadelphia Soul organization has spearheaded.

Jon Bon Jovi didn’t have anything to do with why fans worked to spread the word about the team or why they traveled down to New Orleans to watch the Soul win the ArenaBowl. Its not the reason I spent countless hours on a bus back and forth from Ohio to see every home game. And, Jon Bon Jovi is not why kids waited anxiously by the rails to get the autograph of their favorite player.

So, yes. People DO miss the Soul and will continue to hopefully wait for its return. Perhaps when they come back you should go to a game IN PERSON – my treat! Then, you, too, can see why it is missed.

I hope you will consider showing your support of the Soul ... to do so, here's the link.

P.S. I will admit that I was so impassioned typing my response that I'm not sure I TOTALLY made my point ... but I just HAD to respond right away.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Little Something for a Thursday Morning

A couple of people sent me messages about one of the recent "image of the day" posts so I thought I would post a few of those here. Also, I thought this would fit in well with the recent posts by my friend The Fiction Mistress ... LOL

The man and a phone ...

"So...what is this Twitter thing?!?"

....still looking for how to send a message ...

...judging by the smirk on his face, I think he "gots it now!" ....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Since Y'All Were Asking....

More than a few people commented that I hadn't posted the NYT article quoting Jon Bon Jovi talking about the state of the AFL - especially given my past connection to and forever love for the Soul. So, here are my thoughts ...

I just don't generally post things I get in the Google alerts. Why, you ask? Well, because I feel blogs should be about the people who write and maintain them -- their experiences, their thoughts, their opinions -- a reflection of their personality. There are plenty of other message boards and news outlets where you can get the black and white facts of what's going down.

What I truly love is sharing with you when I attend an event or a concert -- mostly because I want to give you a first-hand account of what happened and how people reacted -- or my thoughts on what has already been reported in the news.

I like the dialogue that exists between people here - whether it be about a show, a song or just life in general. A dear friend of mine said I was more of the Bon Jovi Op-Ed section than the front page. I think that's a good analogy.

BUT ... since you did ask about the AFL article ...

First off, I'm glad JBJ finally spoke on the record about this. I understand there was a serious gag order in place (to the tune of 7 figures ... tho I'm thinking if the League had that kind of money, they could put it into team development or perhaps MANAGEMENT TRAINING!!) Nonetheless, when Jon talks, its like a lightening rod and, for sure, anything he says is picked apart and analyzed.

I have been trying to 'keep the faith' about the return of the AFL, but each day that passes, it becomes more and more difficult. The thing is ... even if (I mean when) the AFL returns, they are going to have some huge challenges in terms of re-engaging their fans. The League was never known for its communication skills, but these past couple of months (in addition to how the cancellation went down in the first place) hasn't ingratiated themselves at all with the fan base.

Now, the fan base wasn't huge before, but it was incredibly loyal. So ... if you're having issues with your loyal fans, how the hell are you going to convince the casual or new fan?

Throughout these last weeks, I thought an e-mail every once in a while from the Soul office would have been great - just a simple "hey, we're missing you too..." type of thing. (Yes, I know there is really only one person in the office but considering I sent out many of the e-blasts last season, I know for a fact how quickly they can be done.) It just seems that it would have been prudent to try to maintain some kind of relationship with the people who will, in turn, be your best marketing machine when the team returns.

All this being said, I would love to be proven wrong ... and have the AFL back in business, with some strong strategic thinkers on the management team. And, heck, I'm right up the street from the offices ... I'd be happy to come down and help out. I really think they need a woman in that office to get things done!

But, in the meantime, I guess we just have to wait it out. And, I don't know about you, but I'm an Aries ... so, patience isn't one of my strongest traits ... LOL.