BLENDER MAGAZINE ARTICLE
DEAR SUPERSTAR - JON BON JOVI
"You think Nora Jones is fucking Willie Nelson?" asks Jon Bon Jovi, staring at a photo of the jazz chanteuse in a recent Blender. "She sure talks about him alot."
We point out that the notion of the youthful Jones coupling with the great-but-grizzled Nelson seems a little unlikely.
"You'd be surprised," Bon Jovi says with a laugh, lighting up a cigarette in his suite at New York's Bryant Hotel. "We were down in Nashville, and Willie is hanging out with these good-looking young girls. And look at Adam Duritz! He had two girls from Friends. And he ain't the most handsome kid on the block."
Unlike, that is, a certain 40-year old frontman - who's every bit the pinup he was in the 80's, when he and his band spent as much money on hair spray as on guitars.
"Yeah, I think we paid for a house or two for VO5 executives," jokes the singer, in town to promote his band's latest CD, Bounce. "I had the name of the album before 9/11", he recalls. "I left a note on our Web site asking if I should rename it Bounce Back. All I got were messages saying, "Why don't you call it Physical Graffiti?" But that didn't seem like a very good idea.........."
-What's the most depraved thing you've ever seen on a tour?
I remember a phone placed in a lady's private parts. Then calling the international operator to see if we could hear him. (In muffled German accent) "This is the international operator!" We had our versions of Led Zepplin's fish stories. Youth brings out the fun stuff. But it was a time before AIDS and weddings.
-What do you think of Bruce Springsteen's new album, The Rising?
Honestly, it's not finding its way back to my record player. I've heard it a couple of times. I don't dislike it. But its subject matter is too specific for my tastes.
-Have you ever been arrested?
Technically, yeah. One time I broke into Central Park's Wollman Rink in a drunken stupor and went ice skating with my then girlfirend, now wife, in 1989. I told the cops who I was, and that I was playing at the arena the next night. They said, well, show us ID. I didn't have any on me, so they took us down. They called Donald Trump, because technically he owned it, and he said let them go.
-What do you remmeber about singing on Star Wars Christmas Album?
A $186.00 check. I thought that was just the shit - I got paid by a record company to sing a song. What was the song? "R2D2: We Wish You a Merry Christmans." It was 1980; I was sweeping floors at the Power Station. This guy named Meco Monardo made those records. He'd take John William's scored and put disco beats to them. He had a number 1 single with the first Star Wars record, so they mad a Star Wars Christmas record, because that's the obvious thing to do, right? [laughs]
-Have you ever considered having plastic surgery?
Man, if they could make me taller and give me a bigger dic k, I'd be into it. Other than that, you know, everything else is in place.
-As a large-breasted fan, I'd like to request that your tour t-shirts have the work Bounce on the back, not across the chest. Otherwise, some females will get alot of comments.
Fine! Fine! Prudes! I'll wear it on the front!! [Blender points out that Bon Jovi is not exactly "large-breasted"] Well, OK....I'll take her opinion into consideration.
-What are the strangest rumors about yourself you've ever heard?
That I was the kid on the Dick Van Dyke Show. That my marriage was annulled for the sake of the band.
-Why do critics generally give you a hard time? Is it like David Lee Roth says - that music critics like Elvis Costello because they look like Elvis Costello?
David was always great at those one-liners. Poor David. I really, truly don't mind a review that is an honest opoinion. But there are some that are just...they've got a vendetta against the band for some reason. I remember a guy who quite being a journalist because he was going to start a rock band, and all I could think was, " I can't wait until he makes a record."
-What did you think about Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, making fun of you recently on Late Night with Conan O'Brien?
One thing about that - we got him as much as he got us, but they had the scissors to edit the film.
-Does your wife ever get sick of female fans swooning over you?
She doesn't give a fuck. One of the greatest things about our relationship is that she's such an independent woman. This is the last thing on her mind. She's also been with me since high school, so she's seen it grow, she's seen it fall, she's seen it grow again. She's definitely not intimidated by any of it.
-What's the most embarrassing thing you've done for publicity?
Oh, man, I've sold my soul a few times. You know, the Spanish soap opera in South America, where you do a walk-on. Or hosting things like the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco. You wonder, "What the fuck am I doing here?" We ran the gamut, especially early on. We'd do anything to get the music out there.
-Do you tailgate before New York Giants Football Games?
I do. It's not as good now as it was in the Parcells years. Then, it was an event. The thing about tailgating at Giants games is, you go there around 10:30 in the morning with homemade wines and sausage and pepper sandwiches for breakfast. It's like an Italian wedding. Everyone's bringing something else from the kitchen. Some things, you can't figure out what they are, but they all taste good. How do I think the Giants are going to do this season? I'm predicting a wild-card playoff berth. That's probably being optimistic. But Iwent to a preseason game last weekend, and they looked surprisingly good.
-Did you have your balls caught in your zipper when you hit the high notes at the end of "Runaway"? It sounds like a yell I let out in a similar situation.
I regret that high note. I don't hit those notes anymore - don't even attempt them now. That's the sound of a 20-year-old man, not a 40 year old man. But I caught my pee-pee in a zipper once when I was a little kid, I never forgot that.
-I'm a big fan of your music and your acting. But I recently bought the Vampires: Los Muertos DVD (the shabby sequel to John Carpenter's Vampires, in which Bon Jovi starred), and I was wondering if I could maybe have all of my money back?
Yeah, please. If you can have your money back, then I'd like my time back. I hated the original, too - hated it. I thought it was crap. I had dreams that this one would be better. Did you know that it had a $10 milion budget? Not that I saw any of it.
-When was the last time you were involved in a fight?
Probably when I went after Sebastian Bach in about '89 for being a wise-ass on my stage. What did he do? Badmouthed my organization when the shoues on his feet were from my closet. Even his own band turned it's back on him. Not to say anything bad about the guy. It's 13 years later. Perhaps he's different now.
-Since you're the sexiest man alive, I was wondering if there are any female celebrities you have the hots for?
Fuck, yeah! [laughs] There's alot of them I would like to have had my opportunities to, you know........but that's my penance for being married. I never got to take advantage of my celebrity. Liz Hurley, Elle MacPherson, Caprice, Demi Moore...that's four off the top of my head who would rate high.
-About "Living on a Prayer": Was there actually a Tommy and did he really work on the docks?
It was based on truth, but it wasn't as romantic. A kid I knew gave up an opportunity to play baseball in college on a scholarship because he got his girlfriend pregnant. He did the thing of valor. Fortunately, they're still together after all these years
-What happened to your hair after you cut it? Did you auction it off?
No. It's funny: I was 30 years old, and I was looking for a change in my life. I was as amused and amazed as anyone that CNN talked about it. Had I known I could have made a buck off it, damn it...
-Is it true that your wife is a black belt in Karate?
Yes. She has her own school - they call them "dojos." She competed both statewide and nationwide before we had kids. Does that mean she can kick my ass? Perhaps. I never want to find out.
-Was it a big surprise when your manager, Doc McGhee pleaded guilty to drug smuggling in 1988?
Yes. [long pause] I had no idea. It was shocking, and... Doc was ready to take his lumps all by himself, though. He did what he did, he apologized for it and he moved on with his life. I see him all the time. He was at my house on July 4th.
-Who's your favorite Muppet?
Once when I was in London, I saw a Muppets TV show where there was lik, Jon Bon Muppet. I don't remember the characters, but it was a hoot. I should get it for my kids; I'd forgotten all about that.
-Do you have any paintings by Tico Torres, your drummer, hanging around the house?
I do, several. And some of his ceramics. Tico's the grownup in the band. When he got sober and figured his life out, we went, "Wow, this guy's got a lot to say and do." We had no idea he was actually that good. Never went to school for it, just did it. And he does it very well.
-Does someone have to clean the Frampton Comes Alive-ish talk box that your guitarist, Richie Sambora uses on "Living on a Prayer"?
I imagine. But it ain't me! It's just a piece of hose with the edge cutt off. So instead of cleaning it, maybe they just buy a new one.
-Richie Sambora is married to Heather Locklear. Have you ever seen her naked?
No. No. Gondamn it.
-Are you a good dancer?
I am the whitest man in America. No rhythm whatsoever. If I were going to be a rapper, my name would be DW Toast - Dry White Toast. My father often questions if I'm his son, because he's a good dancer. My father goes out on the floor, man, he's Tony Manero.
-Growing up in New Jersey, did you meet any Tony Soprano - type characters?
Sure. I approached David Chase and asked him to let me do an apisode. He said, "Tell me why." I said, "I've played these bars, I know these people, this is my neighborhood." If you pull up to my father's house, it's Tony Soprano's house. He's coming down the driveway picking up that paper.
-When you appeared in an episode of Sex and the City, why didn't you have any chest hair?
I did that during a bodybuilding period, where I was working out for a movie called The Leading Man. [Now] I have a rug on my back and chest. Shag carpet.
-Do you think the band will just go on and on?
On the last tour, someone asked me that, and I said, "I guess we're beyond the point of breaking up." But now I'm wondering, could I be doing this, like [Mick] Jagger, 40 years on? Would I really want to be talking about another record and tour? My gut's telling me no. But I don't know what else I'm going to do, unless I make movies. Or take up gardening.