From the 100 000 000 fans canít be wrong booklet:

100 000 000 fans canít be wrong. Can they? Go on insert a snide remark (here)Ö

Itís 3 A.M. and Iím trying to put into words the meaning and the feelings of the last 20 years. These songs helped shape our LIVES not only our careers. These are memories for me and for the band. The who, what, where, when, and a look into the why of the band. Itís been 20 years in the making and yet, this isnít all the vaults had to offer, itís just what time constraints would allow. The idea came to me a couple years ago as the reality of these milestones was approaching. Iíve never been very good at celebrating the magic moments for what they were. I was guilty of always looking ahead, always feeling I had to prove to myself and to anyone else who cared to pick a fight that it wasnít a fluke. Iíd show Ďem. I guess thatís what the rebel in me brought out. I realize now that all I did was miss a lot of memories. So here it is. Iím not going to say Iíve mellowed now and that I donít still have a chip on my shoulder but Iíve learned to live with it. I like that itís still there. Itís just there I donít feel the need to bring it out as often.

As Obie OíBrien (our recording engineer) began to assemble the box we didnít get too involved in the choices of material. We let him, as an objective insider, look and listen to the songs and guide the package. There are some songs that even the band didnít know existed. When I sat with them they brought back some old memories. Some better than others but all of them an integral part of the sum. Iíll have my favorites and I hope you will too. I hope youíll hear the influence and the intent.

Thatís what this box is meant to represent. Itís the start of another chapter in the book. Itís not the beginning but itís certainly not the end. 50 songs, most of which have never been released, were our way of saying thanks for the memories- hereís where we got them. You see, all I ever wanted to do was share our music with as many people as possible for as long as possible. Every kid dreams of this job. It is a pretty good one. But for that lucky few who ever get a chance to make their own music or ever make their own record, itís amazing. Anyone in it also knows itís a fickle business full of the ghosts who have had a chance and either blown it or watched it get taken away. Weíve been blessed. I know it. Donít think Iím not aware that it was you. Yes, you (the one with this paper in your hand.) YOU who kept me in a job. Thanks. Weíve always done the best we could.

The record company has changed not only names and faces but actual locations in the last 20 years. Iím proud to say Iíve only been signed once and have no intentions of leaving there any time soon. So to all of the number of execs both large and small in the field and in the city offices- THANK YOU.

Weíve been everywhere you could go at one time or another. So, to the road crews who helped us build it up to tear it down- who sacrifice so much for the life of a carry I THANK YOU.

To the producers, collaborators and engineers, the studios and, of course, Bon Jovi Management- I THANK YOU. Paul, you are a Brother, a Dad, a Bodyguard and a friend. You have had my back through the best and worst of times. I THANK YOU. Ilene, you too have been pure Gold. Whatever I need, no matter how far- fetched, I know itís always delivered  and done. I know I couldnít do this without your care and babysitting services. Cheryl, youíre still wondering why youíre in this mess but have more than earned your wings. THANK YOU all for giving so much of yourselves.

Finally, the band. Richie, Tico, Dave, Hugh. Thanks for believing when you didnít have to and when you didnít want to. Iím proud to call you friends.

OK, alright already. Iím reading this and feeling all mushyÖ yuck. It isnít over, no one died. In fact, we have a great record coming next year that I canít wait to play you. It kicksÖ but thatís just me writing another chapter in the book.

Can another 100 000 000 Bon Jovi fans be wrong? NahÖ

JBJ

9/17/04

 

I remember the first time I met Jon Bon Jovi quite vividly. I was leaving the radio station as the record company folks were walking him in for an evening interview. The first album was out and ďRunawayĒ was taking off. After being introduced, Jon immediately asked if Iíd come see the band play later that night. Having been to a lot of shows that week, I politely declined, but said Iíd catch them next time. Mr. Bon Jovi would simply not take no for a answer and, as you can imagine, delivered a very persuasive argument! After a few futile attempts at resistance, it became quite clear which direction I was headed that evening. The joint was a small club on Philadelphiaís legendary South Street called the Ripley. There, in front of a couple hundred people, this young, hungry band played as if they were headlining a major stadium. Needless to say, I was hooked!

Iím sharing this with you because the same passion, commitment and belief I saw in them then continue to this day. This incredibly tight band of brothers broke out of New Jersey like a wildfire with absolute intention of taking no prisoners. Tico Tores, David Bryan, Alec John Such, Richie Sambora, and Jon Bon Jovi began to climbing the rock Ďní roll mountain and would not accept any imposed limitations, would not be denied, would not take no for an answer! Taking a page out of one of their heroesí book, that other Jersey Rock Star (no, not that guy, Iím talking about the Original Rock Star of ALL time: Francis Albert Sinatra!) they did it their own way. And it worked.

You already know their story. Itís been told by far better Biographers than this humble fan. All I can hope to add is my perspective from having the pleasure of knowing them for the entire run. A run sustained by an unwavering belief in the power of their music, their message, and their absolute unwillingness to give up. It all comes through in the songs- songs we can all relate to: individual stories speaking to the hopes, fears, passions, and dreams alive within each of us.

Speaking of tunes, this unique box set extends a special invitation for you to dive deep into the vaults and explore previously unheard selections from the Bon Jovi Archives. I think youíll discover the same vibrant energy and depth here as in the hits weíve been singing along with for years. All this, plus the DVD footage opens yet another door of this amazing bandís world to us! By the way, hats off and glasses raised to longtime members of the Bon Jovi family: the great Obie OíBrien and his trusty aide, Mike Rew, for their hard work on this project!

To me, a band is very much like a family, though often one that we can only view and celebrate from a distance. Not so with Bon Jovi. There are many examples of their desire to touch the fans. In concert, there were tours with long ramps so they could run out toward the back of the arena. Do you remember when Jon actually flew across the crowd? Recently theyíve had fan club and audience members on stage with them. In the studio, theyíve even invited cameras in so we could observe their recording process on the internet. As yet further proof, check out some of the heartfelt comments presented on these pages by citizens from all walks of life, from all over the world. Letís face it: the audience is an integral and truly valued part of the Bon Jovi family!

To me, the simple reason for this is that these incredibly decent and regular guys have never forgotten where they came from or how they got where they are. They give back to their communities, whether itís on a neighborhood or a national level. They continue to try to make a positive difference in this world, and by their actions, encourage each of us to do the same in whatever way we are able.

I love seeing rock and roll bands from all eras in concert, itís where their mettle is truly tested. I love to bask in the warmth and glow of a fanís genuine love for their band. However, as I survey the rock and roll landscape today, I wonder, given the state of the music industry, how many young bands will still be around in 20 years? How many can graduate from clubs, like the Ripley, to theaters? Will they be able to land a spot opening for a big group on a major tour and then eventually return as headliners in the big arena? And maybe one day, the stadiumÖ? These guys have. And theyíre cool enough to still want it for other artists on their way up.

Finally, I love the veteran bands who, like long- term successful marriage, have stayed committed to each other and have come to realize their strength and power as a unit. In my twenty- three years on the air at WMMR, there are precious few groups whoíve run the gauntlet, survived and even thrived. Itís much easier to give up. Itís much more difficult to work through the stuff. However, for those brave enough to persist, thatís where the real pot of gold is found. Iím so proud of these rock warriors for having stayed in the game. Theyíve earned our respect and, as to the future, I truly believe the best is yet to come. Why? Because there are still many mountains to climb! Thanks for believing and being such an important part of the journey!

Cheers,

Pierre Robert,

WMMR- FM, Philadelphia, PA

September 1, 2004

 

100 000 000 Bon Jovi Fans Canít Be Wrong is not your typical box set- how can you explain it?

This box set contains nearly 40 songs that nobodyís EVER heard before. There are couple of songs that have different versions of lyrics and music, key changes and productionÖ that you may have heard. And these are things that were in our vaults. The way a record takes shape with the band is that we usually write 30 or 40 songs for an album. Dating back to Slippery When Wet, we were really prolific and we take our time to get each and every record right, representing who we were at that time. I wanted this to come out at the time of our 20-th anniversary which is now and, fortunately for us, is also is the milestone of 100 000 000 albums sold. So, we wanted to make this very special and most artists are able to give a box set to a record company that are comprised of several mixes of songs youíre familiar with, remastered versionsÖ this is something thatís gonna help you understand why a record took a certain shape.

What is the standard / criteria?- what makes an album, what goes on the shelf?

Itís usually very hard to pick what songs are going to finally appear on a record because Iíve always looked at them as I do a movie or a book, where you want a beginning, a middle and the end. You have certain subject matter that you canít repeat on a record, sometimes the music is derivate of another song that makes the record. You know, when youíre in that frame of mind and youíre writing songs like X, Y or ZÖ chances are youíre gonna write 2 or 3 of them and the best one usually makes the record. Sometimes you think about playing them live. Sometimes you think about just the lyrical content and sometimes you think about, you know, whatís going to be a single. In the case of each of those records we made choices based on the way we felt at that time. Thatís why Keep The Faith is a more socially conscious record- it was just after the riots in LA. Why was These Days a darker record? I still canít answer that question because we were actually in great spirits at that time. There are a lot of songs on this record that were written and recorded in the two years between Young Guns and Keep The Faith and youíll see the way I was feeling personally, wondering if we were going to go on and if we were, what was the message going to be? It was the end of the first era with Slippery When wet and New Jersey and moving into another phase of our livesÖ So, thatís how you really decipher at the time. And everybody votes. Everybody votes. Anybody thatís here votes on what their favorite songs are and weíll compile a list based on whoís wanting a certain song on the record. Sometimes you know Iíll become a benevolent dictator and override anyone elseís vote but itís rare. So thatís the way they were chosen. And there are some that are on this record that youíll see why made it or didnít make an album and then because we ran out of time we had to limit ourselves to fifty tracks for this record. We wanted it to be in your hands and out of ours so we have to let it go. And with that, we hope that you enjoy this.

Why is now the time to release this music?

You become so close, when you wrote the songs or you co- wrote the songs, with the material that sometimes it brings up a memory that you donít really want to readily share. Only with time can you let them go and you bring them out now. There are some of those on this record: theyíre very personal. So, a milestone like the 20 years and the 100 million mark- itís a good opportunity for us to stand back and to celebrate that- itís not something that I have ever done a lot of. It was always hard for me to step back from the band and from my own songwriting and to say Ďwe done goodí- you know take the pat on the back, enjoy the accolade, and then move on. I was always so engrossed by it and in the work that it was difficult for me to enjoy it and I think this is a great opportunity for me to stand back and really enjoy everything that weíve accomplished and get ready to share something new with you too.

Tracklistings- what is the arrangement of songs over the four CDs? Why?

The sequencing of any record is important. You need a beginning, a middle and an end. And the obvious choice would have been to make this chronologically but I wanted to make it easy for the listener to have a beginning, a middle and an end to each of the CDs. I wanted to make these listening experiences so if you only listened to one CD you got a taste of what this whole box is about. Because I do realize that even the hardest core fan and friends of a band arenít going to be able to sit through 50 tracks and stayed focused! You know, so youíre gonna wanna listen to one, take it off, put another one on- you might go back to the first one again before you put the third one on. But I want you to enjoy that listening experience on each of the four so that the sequencing was important to me as though each one is an individual album and youíre enjoying that entire listening process in pieces, so that you understand the whole.

What do you see / hear when you listen to the box set?

What stands out the most is that body of work really does speak for itself. I called Richie up after I heard the box set and I said, ďyou know, weíre written some really great songs over the years.Ē And maybe it was just an opportunity to stand back and pat him on the back, or pat myself on the backÖ just to say weíre worked really hard at making Bon Jovi something that was unique and I think that the songwriting stands out more than anything. You know, sure the playing has gotten better- anything you do for 20 years I hope you get better at than when you began it. The same for the singing. But the songwriting, I think is something that really stands up.

INSIGHTS

Why Arenít You Dead?

You couldnít live without me so why arenít you dead? Fun title. One of the kinds of things  like when we wrote Bad Name- you have a fun title, you know what the songís gonna be. Itís the young guyís approach to a tongue in cheeks lyric in the vein of Bad Medicine and You Give Love a Bad Name- we demoed this for the Keep The Faith record. After we wrote it and demoed it, and now that, I hear it 14 years later, youíll realize it wasnít where we were going- it was more about where we had been and for that reason alone it didnít make the record. Keep the Faith, I Believe- those became the core of what that album was to be and we had grown out of this stage of writing those kind of fun clichťs and moved on, and itís nice to look back on it for what it is and what it was but it wasnít where we were going.

The Radio Saved My Life Tonight

Radio Saved My Life Tonight I wrote on the piano. And it was at a very difficult time, as are several songs that are gonna come out here for the first time on this box, where I was looking inward and questioning what it was that was going to motivate me to make another record. It wasnít a question of making another record with the band or not, it was just to make another record. The innocence of my youth was now gone. It was after New Jersey when the burn out settled in- and again, in retrospective, it wasnít anyoneís fault. It was the powers-that-be doing what they do to help ensure that youíre gonna be in the marketplace. You know, touring and recording and touring and working and doing interviews and touring and more touring- I was really burned out. So I wrote the Young Guns record and I look back on that record and I realize that Billy The Kid was the subject matter but it was my spirit in that body. With songs like Radio Saved My Life Tonight I realized the purity of writing a song- being moved when you heard a song on the radio. And you realize that a song marks memories for people and hopefully those memories are good ones- sometimes theyíre sad ones- the breakup songs and makeup songs- you know, ďwhere was I at this time and place when I heard it for the first time?Ē And so now, now that itís 20 years on- this book is still being written but I realize that thereís a lot of songs that have influenced people who have grown up and gone on to do things that I would have never imagines those songs would have influenced. People that have grown up with us and continue- now a next generation- to grow up with us.

Taking It Back / Starting All Over Again

I think once we got the idea that what would make the band stronger as a unit was to rely on what it was that got us into this in the first place, which was our love of music and our friendship. And in 92, as we were about to begin the recording of Keep The Faith, music had changed, it was a new landscape in music- all our peers, everything that record companies were signing that were similar in style to us was now being put out to pasture by the movement in Seattle and the commercial birth of rap music. We knew it was gonna be us against the machine the same way it was us against the world seven, eight years prior just before the recording of our first record. With Keep The Faith, we knew that we had to take control of our own destiny and songs like Starting All Over Again and Taking It Back were sung from the point of view of that chipís back on my shoulder and Iím ready to launch into phase two of the band\s career.

Someday Iíll Be Saturday Night (demo)

Whenever we write a song, 95 % of every song weíve ever written has been written on two acoustic guitars or sitting at the pianoÖ Itís very, very rare that weíve ever gone into a room with a drum machine or with a drummer and pounded something out, riffing from the get- go. And our songwriting process is based on the song titleÖ and then the cords come because of thatÖ and then the lyrics are filled in. But we write them right then and there. So if youíre playing on a guitar and itís an interesting title like Someday Iíll Be Saturday Night, itís not as in- your- face and obvious a tile as You Give Love a Bad Name- oh, this is fun, this is how it should go and you bang through it. With Saturday Night, we knew that there was a hidden optimism in it but there was a dark shadow hanging over it. Richie, myself and Desmond (Child) wrote that on a vacation in Mistique, an island in the Caribbean and we worked very hard on it but when it was done, we thought it was a little too melancholy. So we went back in and with the band, started getting behind what we were doing musically- not so much lyrically because we knew the chorus was there- so by strumming, as opposed to just writing and playing those music chords, it took on another life and we tweaked the lyrics and rewrote the lyric and brought it up to the way you know it from the Cross Road record.

Miss Fourth of July

Fourth of July I wrote in Malibu. I used to have a house in Malibu, California and I stuck a piano in one of the bedrooms and Iíd close the door. And in what I called the Grey Period in my life- 91, 92- post Young Guns, I didnít know what the future held. I was really concerned that the innocence that I had when I picked up a guitar as a teenager was gone and gone forever. Suddenly you became the head of a corporation, and a boss and a tool for the machine to go on. You more often than not would burn yourself out to please somebodyÖ I sat at the piano at that whole period and wrote songs like this and Bed of RosesÖ thereís a lot of my hurt in that innocence that was lostÖ ďI used to live / Iíve learned to cry.Ē We were listening as a band for the first time to the whole box and Richie said, ďYou know this is my favorite that we never did.Ē And I heard it and I thought, you know, I really like it too. It sorts hurts to hear it because I know what the lyric means. But I remember thinking, ďboy itíd be great to hear Don Henley sing this!Ē- itíd be just perfect. So, you know I really do like the song. Itís just, it hurts too much sometimes.

Open All Night / These Arms Are Open All Night

LOVE that title! Loved it so much- you know, wanted to use it over and over again Ďtil we got it right. The reason we put them on here, even after having realize the song on Bounce was we wanted to show you that vulnerability. I wanted to show you why you take a title and you beat the heck of it until itís something that you wanted to share. But I like to show you, for all you aspiring songwriters, its OK- try somethingÖ try it againÖ try it againÖ until you get it right.

Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing is an important song thatíll be included on the new album. The song was influenced by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. And Johnny Cash had just passed away and I thought how many of the greats are still around, and still viable, and still doing it? And is this the breed of the originals gonna be lost forever? And are we gonna just be limited to what these radio stations that have playlists of twenty songs are giving us or force- feeding us and the video channels are force- feeding us and is the next Dylan gonna ever be able to come along? And so in my mindís eye I had the picture of a carnival huckster sitting outside the tent singing. ďCome see a living, breathing spectacle only seen right hereÖĒ and taking you into the tent so if you came in youíd see the guy covered in spider webs and theyíd wind him up and one more time heíd really play and really sing and really write you a song.

Garageland

Richie and I wrote Garageland in New York City in my apartment. We were writing for Crush. Weíd talk about where we came from and where we were going to. And it was an early song written for Crush but because the subject matter had been written before in a number of songs over the years, it didnít make it. But when I hear it now, I go, ďgee, this could have made it.Ē It really was just about us and where we came from. But it was more important with Crush to talk about where we going to. A lot of a garage bands were coming back which is exciting to me. When I hear bands that are really singing and playing and are making music that they want to sing and are reminiscent of the influence that I had as a kid, I get it. If you asked me two years ago what was my advice, Iíd say sing a song, learn an instrument, write about what you know- didnít worry about how may sit- ups can you do and how flat your belly is. The video era, as The Buggles once said, killed the radio star- they killed the imagination. But I think that there is a return to it again which is exciting to me because thereís an opportunity for a band to grow as a band. Go out there on the road and become one- where each of the members of the band is as important as the next. And thatís what Garageland was about. Longevity is virtually impossible these days. For a band to have three records before they have any real success the way we did? But I do believe that thereís an opportunity that some of these bands are gonna shine.

Only in My Dreams (Tico on Vocals)

One of those kinda 6/8 feels I write a lot- at least one per record, even if they donít make it. I wrote this one and when we went in to do it, I wanted Tico to sing it. His natural voice is Tom waits and Louis Armstrong. Heís a stylist. I fought hard in the mixing of the box set to have Tico sing this song because I think he means it from the belly. He took my words- and itís always great to hear your words interpreted by someone else, and in this case, it was T. T. always says, ďYou know I love you- Iíve been staring at your ass for twenty years.Ē Tico pulled this one off. People hear it and they go, ďWho is that?!Ē Thatís really Tico. Tico as good as he sings.

Sympathy

Sympathy was an outtake from Keep The Faith and when we went to Vancouver, on the wall of the studio was a big projector screen. On a constant loop, must have been 8 or 10 feet high, 8 or 10 feet long, was a concert tape of The Rolling Stones. And just watching then, even with tha sound off, you couldnít help but get the Jagger Swagger and Keith doing his thing so we sat down and knocked this one put. I think as an homage to what that film was on the wall.

Love Ainít Nothing but a Four Letter Word (demo / final)

Four Letter Word is about spousal abuse, I wrote this, first alone- and so the demo version of it is that. The second version, with horns and the girls and the lyric changes, was co- written with Dave and Richie. I liked the idea that it had a R&B feel to it. I think that a lot of that to do with my spending time with Southside Johnny and going on the road with him and playing guitar for a few datesÖ and just getting back  to the pure fun of what it was I liked about music. Ten years prior to that, why I wanted to grow up and be Southside Johnny. And I wrote this originally, even though It was in my mind that I could see Johnny singing it, and then we put it away and dug it up again as a band. And re- worked it, re- recorded, tried to make it fit but itís a little too R&B. And it was little too important to us to have our own identifiable sound. Even though it had an interesting lyric- was more than a boy/ girl song- it dealt with issues. And I think that with songs from Keep The Faith forward we started to deal more with issues and what was going on in the world.

Edge of a Broken Heart

This is the song that youíre all wanted me to play liveÖ people ask me why didnít this make Slippery? Well, this was the same era that I didnít think that Liviní On A Prayer was a hit, I never claimed to a good A&R guy. But Edge of a Broken Heart was an outtake from Slippery. It ended up on a soundtrack for a little movie called Disorderlies and it starred a very early rap band called the Fat Boys. I know you guys like it so we found the masters and we put it on this box just for you. It was absolutely appropriate for the Slippery record- coulda, shoulda, woulda been on Slippery had cooler minds prevailed. Hereís my formal apology.

Outlaws of Love / We Rule the Night

Outlaws of Love. I donít remember writing this song! I donít remember it at all! This and We Rule the Night and some of these had dust on top of their dustÖ you know. Iím amazed and amused that our vaults are that deep and that we forget. Our vaults have been deep for a long time. Iíve been asked time and time again, why donít you ever use these songs on the next album, the next album, the next albumÖ well, itís because we write enough and weíre capable of writing a lot of songs for any given project. With songs like We Rule the Night, Outlaws of Love and these early songs we forgot Ďem! We didnít even know they existed. And thatís some of the fun is that weíre finding gems that we didnít know that we had. You know, objectively speaking, I didnít necessarily want to include them even on this- it doesnít mean I like them! But they are a part of our history and for what they were and at the time that they were written, we obviously liked them enough to record them. But itís a part of that growing period and who we were, where we were going that got us to where we are today. So Outlaws I think was a precursor to things like Wanted Dead or Alive and Stick To Your Guns when we had that infatuation with the cowboy aspect of, you know, riding into a town, stealing the money, meeting the girls, drinking the booze and leaving- all the things I would say in my youth that were funny and fun. But really, you did feel a bit like a cowboy or a gypsy or a circus act- probably a little of all above. Just look at some of the pictures of us in the 80ís- it really was a circus act. Now I can look back on them and say Ďthat was a part of my youthí- itís OK. Itís really good to show that. Itís like baby pictures. Those are mine.

ďThe Movie TracksĒ

Good Guys Donít Always Wear White / Real Life / Gotta Have a Reason / The One That Got Away / Always

Unbeknownst to you folks. Gotta Have a Reason is a song that we wrote with Michael Kamen, who is a great orchestrator. He did musical scores. He asked us to write a song for the Three Musketeers. And we were on the road and Danny Kortchmar, who co- produced Young Guns, did a track of it without the band Ďcause we were in the Far East somewhere. I didnít like the way it turned out so we scrapped it- we pulled it from the movie. Remember: Always was in fact written for Romeo is Bleeding. Didnít like it so we pulled it; put it on the shelf. That one was one of the few, if only, times I pulled a song back and it was our biggest single ever. Real Life was recorded in a day, maybe two, in New York City. It was the last time we worked with Bruce Fairbairn before he passed away. I was going off to do U- 571 and we were amassing songs for what was to become Crush. So at that time, I had given Bruce the thirty tracks that I had written and Richiie gave him the songs he had written and we had picked that one for EDTV that starred Matthew McConaughey and I was just off to Italy to go and be in a film with MatthewÖ and that was it. And when we came back, the day I came back, I got the news that Bruce had passed away. And we had to find ourselves another producer and start from scratch. So this was the last chance that we ever had to work with Bruce who obviously changed our lives, made our lives, producing Slippery When Wet and New Jersey.  And he still sorely missed in the camp. He was a great man, a great producer. Just wonderful producer. Good Guys Donít Always Wear White was for a movie called The Cowboy Way. Wayne Isham shot the video- I remember that. And Andy Johns produced it. They wanted something loud and fast, and upbeat. I like the lyrical content of this but we really went after a WHO kind of a musical approach to it. Tico playing his best. Keith Moon all over the kit. A lot of energy- you know, fun song, fun song. I remember more about the recording the video than I did of the song until I heard it for the box. I like the lyrical content. Thereís another movie song called The One That Got Away that was a Kevin Costner movie and he did it with Robin Wright Penn. Message in a Bottle. And we wrote a song for it and it didnít get picked up. They didnít take it but it was called The One That Got Away. But oftentimes weíll write a song for a film, I think because of the experiment I had with Young Guns, I find it quite easy to do, fun to do. And if youíre involved at the right stage of a film, it really can be a great asset to a film to have a good song in it. It really takes a scene in a movie to the next level.

The Fire Inside

The Fire Inside fits along the lines of Taking It Back and starting All Over Again. I wrote this one and we kept the original, original demo. Just an acoustic guitar and vocal. Itís something that coulda, shoulda, woulda made the record- that was probably meant for Keep The Faith as well. That was kind of that bittersweetness that I had towards the music business because I realized it was called the music business, after the New Jersey record, around the time of Young Guns, but how it had changed my life so but not necessarily always for the better. I was just tired of being angry and needed to move on so this wasnít included. But I like the lyric.

Lonely at the Top

Richie and I wrote it after Kurt Cobain died. I admired the guy a lot. I thought that he had a great voice, he had a unique sound. He really had something to say lyrically and it seemed he was really troubled by the music business. But unlike us, where we were able to get help and figure it out, unfortunately Kurt Cobain obviously didnít have someone to help him through the hard part. Oftentimes you see a band implode. A few rare times you see a band get over that hump and go and really have any success. When he died, what bothered me the most is that heíd left a daughter who was the same age as my own and I thought my god, Iím so grateful that we were able to get help and to talk to somebody and figure out what it was that was bothering us about the music business. I wanted that to be given to Kurt Cobain and to his wife and daughter. So we wrote it in the form of a song but itís a letter to her, to his little daughter, Frances, that said ďIím sorry you didnít get to know your dad- I bet heís sorry he didnít got to know you too.Ē We just wanted to tell you itís lonely at the top. Itís not everything everyone thinks it is.

If I Canít Live without Your Love (Richie on vocals), Memphis Lives in Me (David on vocals)

What we wanted to do with this was also share a taste of what Richieís obvious influences to me and the band are with a song that didnít make one of his solo records. Itís just him emoting the way he does. He moves me every time I hear him play and sing like this. Itís a great song but I feel that way about everything on his solo records. I think he did a great job with it and we wanted to include it so you guys donít forget he made a couple of great solo records. And when we talk about Dave and his delving into musical theatre, this is a song from a play that Dave wrote the music for, itís called Memphis. This is a song from that play that he sings. And when I heard him singing it I thought this is the great Elton John song that Elton never wrote. So we wanted Dave to include a song on the record too. So that you get a feel for what it is that Dave does, what it is that Richie does when weíre not working. What it is that Tico does when he sings a song. We wanted you to get a little feel for each of us individually and why collectively it works. So we included a couple of those solo tracks for your listening pleasure.

Flesh & Bone / Ordinary People

Flesh & Bone is one of those songs that me, Dave and Richie wrote. We also wrote things like Ordinary People together and a couple of others. But they werenít right for where we were going with These Days. I remember that it wasnít enough of our sound and where we were going- and it was, perhaps, a little too dark lyrically, even for These Days. And stylistically, it just wasnít us. And I think the one thing we try to do as artists in our writing is to not do something thatís someone elseís. We have to write songs that are just ours. Flesh & Bone and Ordinary People were better exercises than they were contenders for the record. So you still see the underlying threads of optimism in Ordinary People, for instance, but it sounded too much like what was on the radio. So, best left shared here, now. 

Band /Fans

Weíve been very honest putting this box set together for you and told you that thereís going to be nearly forty songs that no oneís ever heardÖ and shared a lot of our insights and memories with you. I couldnít have dreamt ever that Iíd be sitting here 20 years on and 100 million albums sold and saying thanks because this is the kind of things that you donít even dream of as a kid. But youíve obviously been a part of it- so much a part of it that we wanted to include all those little notes from you in the box, in the booklet, because we want to share this with you. We made this together- you just as much as me. This is by no means a goodbye. Itís just recapping another piece of the book, another part of the history, another chapter as far as weíre concerned. Weíre going on, moving ahead. In twenty more years, I hope to sit down with you again and talk. But itís been a great ride. Itís been a great ride thus far. And Iím just real grateful to get the chance to do what I love to do and to grow up with you. And I guess weíll just say weíll see you out there on the road.