Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What An Amazing Morning ...

Okay ... I will probably be back later to post more but for now, just wanted to drop in and say that the Today Show this morning was AWESOME!

Yes, OF COURSE I was there and thanks to my good friend JerzyJovi had one of the VIP Radio Winner passes which got us into a special area before the VIP passes and the fan passes (that's goin' in the scrapbook for sure! )



















the pass translated into this view ... about 15 feet from Tico ...



Even though we were at the side of the stage, we had GREAT views of the guys and were surrounded by some real fans, a bunch of fantastic ladies.

There were a couple of soundchecks - the first one was without Jon (like the Veteran's Day show) and then Jon came out later. It was great to hear RICHIE singing Work for the Working Man and Superman Tonight, even if he didn't really know all the words (that's okay ... WE DID!)

There is usually one moment in every show that sticks with me for a while ... I think this one will stick with me until the day I die.

Many of you have heard about my special moment with Jon at the Central Park show. If you don't know the story ... very quickly ... I had this sign (that said Destination Arenabowl) that I took to every show. Jon saw it A LOT. LOL. The day of the Central Park show was the day we won the Conference Championship which gave us a spot in the ArenaBowl. This is what happened when he saw my sign ...




many of you know Joviswillow who got those shots and to whom I will be forever grateful!!! :-)

Anyway ... that was an incredible moment.

Today's moment just might rival that ... for when Jon saw my baseball cap with the honkin' big Soul logo, he looked at me, we did several thumbs up back and forth to each other, he pointed to the hat, I laughed, we smiled at each other ... this went back and forth for a good several seconds ... though it felt like the whole thing was in slow-mode. LOL

One of the ladies behind us got an AWESOME shot of the exchange ... she said she would e-mail it to me ... I hope she actually does.

Jon Bon Jovi and I definitely have this ongoing connection when it comes to the Soul. The team was a very big part of my life, especially in that last season. I ate, drank and breathed that team in year 5. Oh ... I almost forgot! I'm pretty sure Obie was wearing the Soul Band and Drumline shirt today that I gave him. So, all around it was a little Soul lovefest.

I do deserve some credit for refraining from jumping on the stage and absolutely interrogating Jon about exactly what he is doing to bring the team back. I figured that might not bode well for future encounters with him. LOL

Anyway ... it was a fantastic morning - too short, as always - but we did get Work for the Working Man several times ("and once again from the bridge, starting on D" LOL) and a couple of times thru Superman Tonight. Because it was a broadcast and time was limited, they did have to shorten both songs a bit.

I gotta say ... I absolutely LOVED being so close to Tico. Its usually so hard to even see him back there sometimes, so to have the opportunity to be close enough to almost run my fingers over the windchimes was pretty darn cool.

We finished off our wonderful morning with a quick trip to Ferrara's in Little Italy to pick up some pastries. CANNOLI!!! Yumm!! ... well, yumm eventually ... ... after getting a little turned around in Chinatown. Haha. Seriously, it gets funky down there with Canal and the Bowery and all that ... oyyyy!

P.S. YES! I know I need to get a real concert camera ...

But, in the meantime, I will END on this (sorry ... I just HAD to!) ...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Phil vs Phil

Now don't fall off your chair or anything ... but yes ... I have FINALLY posted a new poll! I figured we hadn't done one of these in a while, so it was high time we did.

In celebration of Monday night's AmEx event with Jon Bon Jovi and Phil Griffin, I decided that we would take a closer look at the two videos Phil had done with Bon Jovi prior to the making of the documentary.

First up is Whole Lot of Leaving ... which is, in my opinion, hands down the best song on the Lost Highway album. Period.

The video - which is clearly a precursor to what we would see in the documentary in terms of film style - wasn't widely played here in the States but I really enjoy it. I like that on a few recent videos they did overdub Jon actually singing (also on Make a Memory.) Additionally, I just simply love black and white film. Those of you who know me are probably not surprised AT ALL by this.



Up next is one of the other singles from Lost Highway, Til We Ain't Strangers Anymore ... which was played non-stop in the States.

I like the song - will listen to it on the record and think their voices meld very well together. As for the video, of course I love that it was shot in New York. I believe it was done right in front of the Flatiron building (correct me if I'm wrong) and I like the symbolism in how those two streets come together. I do wonder, however, what God-awful time of night they had to shoot it, considering traffic around there. Well, at least Jon didn't have to travel too far. LOL
















Sorry, video upload was taking waay too long, so CLICK HERE to see the video. (Will try upload again later.)

Side Note: That is one big bed there ... with the size of NYC apartments, you'd HAVE to have it out on the street. LOL

Anyway, so those are my thoughts ... now its your turn ... (don't forget to leave comments if you'd like) ... poll box is somewhere in the left sidebar.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Brahms, Beethoven and Bon Jovi

I really did try to pare this down ... sorry, its a bit long and the spacing is wonky ... but anyway ...

Hello fellow Jovifans! Hope you are having a great day. I can't help but be in a good mood after Monday night's AmEx event at Alice Tully Hall. Geez! I don't even know where to begin.

Oh, wait ... yes, I do!

First and foremost - I need to publicly thank my beloved friend, the Fiction Mistress. It was because of her that I was able to attend this event ... and it was because of the lovely people at American Express that our seats were third row dead center. (And I'm not kidding - literally DEAD CENTER.) Luckily, FM is a great photographer because I tend to not take pictures during shows ... so be sure to thank her for the lovely images you see in this post. :-)

In any case, there are already so many articles and mini-reviews of the show floating around that I'm not sure what I can add that will be new to y'all.

So, instead ... I will just ramble a bit (as usual) ... until I have nothing left to say. LOL
___________________________________

I have been VERY blessed to attend many a Jovi event over the years - fan club trips, small concerts, big concerts, press events, Soul events, etc. - but I must say that this one rates way up near the top ... on par with the Actor's Studio taping, but different because it wasn't all the guys.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a special fondness for Alice Tully Hall. Why, you ask? Well, the hall is attached to Juilliard and the school does many of its orchestral and chamber music concerts there. I have played on that stage more times than I can count - some performances memorable - others ... well ... not so much.

In fact, I had recently told Jeff Kazee (keyboard player for the Jukes and frequent "and friends" musician for HRH) about a concert I had done there during the Mozart bicentennial celebration several years ago. It was for bassoon and two basset-horns (which a member of the clarinet family.)

Jeff, being the consummate joker that he is, sent me a message late last week saying "hey, I just heard Jon Bon Jovi was going to use a bassoon and two basset HOUNDS!" ... lordy ... only Jeff!! (just in case - for my international friends ... see the links for each to understand the play on words.)

Anyway ... about Tully. There is actually a "quasi-secret" hallway that leads from Juilliard to backstage at Tully. All alumni of the school have access to the building pretty much at all times ... so I WILL admit ... it took everything in my power not to utilize that hallway Monday night. LOL

Okay ... enough about the venue and on with the show.

I really didn't have any expectations going in regarding the structure of the event. When I read the promotional material and it said that Jon would do a question and answer with Phil Griffin (photographer and director of the WWWB documentary), I really didn't imagine Jon would sit up there the WHOLE time just talking and answering questions, telling stories and such. But, that's exactly what he did. And it was fabulous.

For me, the evening really seemed like a continuation of the film's exploration -- but with live music and even more, perhaps, candid responses. Jon obviously has a comfort level and trust in terms of Phil ... though I do believe he was caught off guard a couple of times...


I will say that hearing Bon Jovi's music in such a formal (at least to me) setting was a bit ... well ... unsettling - only in that it felt strange to be in Tully (home of Chamber Music at Lincoln Center and such) clapping and singing along as we would at a show in another venue. I have seen and played with some of the greatest classical artists of our generation there - Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Andre Watts, etc. so "letting go" was a bit of a challenge for me. LOL

(By the way, why do some girls find it necessary to constantly scream while Jon is on stage. Excitement is one thing, but didn't we come to hear him sing and to hear him talk? I'm just sayin' ... you miss a lot of great off-the-cuff moments when you're screaming like that. Perhaps that's why he keeps referring to fans as "maniacs" or "lunatics" ... Jon, please note ... we aren't all like that.)

So many memories from the evening ... one in particular was when Jon agreed to play Superman Tonight. He started the sentence "I am going to play something off the new record ..." and then quite a few people yelled out this song title. It wasn't what he had PLANNED on playing, but we were so happy agreed to do it ...



Of course, there were many funny anecdotes. Jon does seem to be into "firsts" lately - opening the new Giants, opening the 02, first rock band with a number one country hit, etc. etc. When Phil mentioned last night they had hit another "first" this past week (the first band to have three consecutive number one albums in Japan) Jon jokingly said "hey, but we're big in Japan!" Very funny moment - because as he said every band starting out always says "but we're big in Japan" ... but in the case of Bon Jovi they really ARE big in Japan. LOL

It would be great if at some point, this event was released on video ... would love to hear again about Jon going in to L.A. Reid's office to talk about going to Nashville. Very funny. You can tell by FM's wonderful pictures how open and expressive Jon was during the discussion, drinking coffee, wine, tea ... (he did joke about having to pee a lot ... no wonder, with everything he drinks! LOL)


















































I was pleased that he decided to open up the discussion to include questions from the audience (though by the end of that, I'm not sure HE was so pleased.) A constantly running theme throughout the Q&A was that he needs to perform more of the band's back catalog. After the third person said that, he finally mumbled "I get it ... no more Bad Name..." Hopefully, he understands its not that we DON'T want to hear the big hit singles (for any person with half a brain understands why they have to do all those songs at every show) but he needs to get over this misconception that people don't want to hear the other tracks.

Unfortunately, that belief was probably strengthened when the audience went crazy over his performance of Hallelujah ...



The thing is though ... he really does sing the %$#& out of that song. THAT'S what we are reacting to ... but it doesn't, in any way, negate how much we love the songs he and Richie write. Somewhere, somehow I truly hope he understands that.

Okay ... I better post this for now or I'll never get to work!

P.S. Those who follow me on Twitter already know this ... but my evening kicked off with a bang when I was headed to the subway from the office and ended up meeting Elton John (yes, Elton FRICKIN' John!) at Cipriani Wall Street. Holy crap!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Blame Jon - Part 659

Well, this has been one helluva Joviweek, huh? I do love when a new record comes out ... all the new songs ... the new artwork ... the new tour ... the exhausting press schedule. I can't imagine how tired the guys are considering I'm absolutely beat from just the few events that I went to.

But, then again ... they didn't have to stand out in the cold and rain on Friday for FOUR hours ... LOL. (Blame Jon.)

So, yes ... I went ... I waited ... I conversed ... and I ... left. LOL

The wait really wasn't so bad because my friend J and I were having a good time chatting. She and I met ever-so-briefly at the Central Park concert. A fellow NYC dweller, we passed the time very quickly catching up on the trials, tribulations and triumphs of city life.

Finally at around 5:15pm they started letting small batches of us in. J and I were about 30 people back - right behind these sleazy professional autograph seekers who were trying to sell the blue wristbands to people for $150.

Unfortunately, despite my informing more than one security guard person of their shady dealings (including bringing in a whole posse of extra "workers" with various things from posters to the dolls -- I mean figurines -- to old records, etc.) ... the schmucks still got thru the line MORE THAN ONCE and got all the things they wanted signed. I must say that I was QUITE pissy about the whole thing - especially as Best Buy was so anal about all the rules and regulations surrounding this event. ARGH!!!

Ok ... rant over ... not gonna let that ruin the experience right? breathe ... breathe ... breathe ...

Anyway, back to the story.

So, though the whole thing went down pretty fast, I felt I did "okay" in terms of my time with the guys. I was able to speak to each one of them individually ...

First up was Tico, who didn't look up at first but when he did, immediately noticed my pendant. (I did that on purpose) and smiled and commented and I thanked him for creating it. (I LOOOVE the Rock Star Baby Line ... thank goodness my crazy German girls always buy things for me *muah*)

Then was David ... who I thanked specifically for writing "Memphis" ... its a great show and I plan to see it several more times.

Next was Richie ... who I thanked for his work with Memorial Sloan-Kettering. I have been in and out of that place for over a decade. What he's doing there is very personal for me. Not sure how much he heard -- he really is a bit deaf. That's okay ... his smile more than makes up for it.

Finally, it was Jon ... who I might have shocked a little because he was looking around and I said, quite firmly, "AND YOU, Jon Bon Jovi!" (at which point he DID look at me.)

I told Jon not to be sad about the Soul, that it was an amazing ride and in the end "Destination ArenaBowl: Mission Accomplished." (yes, I do believe he does remember that sign ... he should after all those times. Poor guy. LOL)

He said, "we did it, baby" and we fist bumped and that was it.

Four hours of waiting. Fourteen seconds with the whole band. Next time, I'd like the times reversed, please. Haha.

In any case, here are some more crappy photos from my cell phone. (By the way, the picture situation was horrendous and terribly and UNFAIRLY managed. Seems those at the front of the line were not allowed to take pictures, but those farther back were. So much for rules. ARGH!)

Anyway... the finished product.















Seriously, it was quite the scene ... the guys there, Bon Jovi music blaring over the speakers, the dvd playing on every screen on the wall ... ahhh ... that MUST be what heaven is like!



















that's Jon ... really it is ... look for the light ... LOL

















and a better picture from one of the fan club girls ...



















In the end, would I do it again? Absofrickinlutely!

But, can't focus on that now ... gotta figure out what I'm going to wear to tomorrow's shindig at Alice Tully (more on my funny history in that venue later.) Fiction Mistress and I are going to have a fantastic time ... I can just feel it. :-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blame Jon - Parts 657 and 658

Hello Jovifriends ... I told you it wouldn't be so long again 'til I updated the blog. ;-)

So, obviously a lot has been going on this week. With the release of the new record in the States (which I KNOW you all already have ... probably multiple copies ... LOL) the press blitz is WELL underway.

Blame Jon Bon Jovi - Tuesday
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I hemmed and hawed about traipsing down to Best Buy to pick up (yet another) copy of the album so I could get a wristband for the CD signing. I had just gotten finished working a BRUTAL number of hours for several days in a row and was simply exhausted.

I set my alarm for 6am Tuesday morning with the plan that I'd get to Best Buy by (not bye-bye ... LOL) 7am. Well, when my alarm went off my body said "noooooooooo." I turned the alarm off and went back to sleep.

Luckily, my friend L texted me at about 8:15am and basically said "where the hell are you?!" haha. Assuming that the line would be halfway to Idaho by then, I had thought "oh well, wasn't meant to be." So, L informed me that there were only about 30 people in line and to get my butt out of bed.

So ... off I went in a taxi ... whizzing by the theatre where Memphis is playing ...
arriving at the Best Buy around 8:45am at which time they nicely let us in, I bought my 3rd version of the album ("one Jovi and a wristband, please") ... paid ... chatted a few minutes with the nice security guy and was done. EASY EASY EASY!

Then, off I went to the office ... again ... exhausted ... not having slept enough.

But, yes ... FRIDAY ... CD signing ... WOO HOO! Will post review on Saturday. :-)


Blame Jon Bon Jovi - Wednesday

Okay ... this one he deserves a bit more.

Still recovering from a whole lot of work stress goin' on (seriously ... nobody needs to be texting me at 1:17am!) I wasn't sure my body could handle getting up at the crack of "way-before-dawn" to go to see the boys play on the Today Show.

As you can see from this picture, New York actually DOES sleep (and as I found out at 4am ... most of them were sleeping on the subway ...)

In any case, got there around 4:30 and immediately spotted my friend L. Eventually we were let in -- thank you R for making sure I got a good spot ;-) -- and stood ... and stood ... and stood.

I must say that I met SEVERAL nice people around me (p.s. if anyone has an extra set of the smirk pins - the four colored ones - please e-mail me at bigapplejovi@yahoo.com) Obviously as this was Veteran's Day, the majority of those in the "special" sections were military and I really enjoyed meeting and laughing and joking with these people who serve our country EVERY day.

There were a lot of families there - the little girl in front of me was particularly cute. She had a Bon Jovi sign with a really big crab on it (I withheld any comments about how it may be reflective of the lead singer sometimes ... LOL.) Why a crab? Well, because she knows Bon Jovi because of the theme from "Deadliest Catch." She even had her own words to Wanted (steamed or deep fried) ... all about this poor crab being served up at a restaurant. Haha. She was QUITE amusing.

In any case, here are some of my crappy cell phone pictures ...













































Seriously ... I need to get a new camera ... but I keep using the money to buy more concert tickets. AND ... I really hate to miss any moment of the show because my face is behind a camera. Well, there's pics up all over the internet ...

They did a couple of soundchecks - without Jon (it was like Bon Jovi karaoke - woo hoo!) - then with Jon - then some more levels testing. Everyone seemed to be in a FANTASTIC mood (maybe it was all the caffeine they had probably just consumed LOL.) But, it was a great time.

Obviously, most of the crowd there really didn't know the words to the songs too much ... except maniac me singing along doing all the hand gestures (THE NICE ONES!) which got me some nods from the boys. Ahhhhh ...

As is often the case, Tico gave his sticks to a nearby audience member - in this case a really nice serviceman and his family. He didn't want to be included in the picture but was gracious enough to let me get a shot.















After they were done, L and I stopped by Starbucks (if you read my blog on any kind of regular basis, you know my obsession with coffee) sitting inside the building, downstairs by the ice rink in Rockefeller Center. Total side note: I have a very special connection to that building ... its where I made the call to Juilliard finding out I had been accepted. That call changed my whole life. *sniffle sniffle*

ANYWAY ... back to Bon Jovi. Next up, besides the CD signing on Friday is the AmEx private show at Alice Tully on Monday. I'm super-excited that I will be attending with FM. Tully is another very special place for me as I've played there a zillion (okay ... maybe only a million) times. Its a fabulous venue (and acoustically the best one in Lincoln Center I think, other than the Juilliard Theatre.) It will be an AWESOME night!

Okay ... I have GOT to get some sleep. Will write again soon ...

Ciao ciao for now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just When I Thought I Was Over It ...

Greetings Jovinuts! Sorry its been so long. Those of you who know me in RL (real life) are aware that I have been working RIDICULOUS hours as of late ... and as such ... that's why the blog's been a bit quiet.

But, hopefully that will change soon!

In any case, a few quick things ...

1. I was able to get a wristband for the CD signing in NYC on Friday -- so be sure to tune in on Saturday morning for a recap of that.

2. I will be at the band's performance tomorrow morning on the Today Show. I will Twitter from the Plaza ... LOL.

3. I'm loving watching the dvd of the documentary over and over again. Seeing the scenes of Jon Bon Jovi watching the Soul win the Conference Championship (the first game I missed in FIVE years - due to the Central Park concert) was definitely bittersweet. Just when I thought I had dealt with the loss of the Soul it all came back to me. :-(

In the end, I am just DAMN honored to have had the opportunity to serve on the board and help develop the Band & Drumline. Those are memories that I will take with me forever.



















And I just absolutely LOVE this image of Jon and PK!




















(fyi - the section with the football footage is in the "deleted scenes" ... which my mom will FLIP over because it also has a nice bit on Tico hehe)

Okay, I need to get back to work ... but will try to drop in later tonight or tomorrow. In the meantime, does anybody need to learn about special tax obligation bonds? LOL

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Boys in London

So, not sure what Jon Bon Jovi was thinking jumping into the chat last night ... he is one BRAVE soul! (for those who may not have heard, HRH decided to stop by the fan club chat room at Backstage for a few minutes ... and he didn't break the internet this time! (that's a story from long ago ...) LOL)

Anyway, he mentioned they were in London doing press, etc. Here is a quick clip of them on the The X Factor. Did the lighting effects make anyone else a bit dizzy? Lordy! Imagine that after a couple of glasses of wine ... ugh.




And here is a quick interview on Sky News ...

video