Centerstage Interview
Michael: Jon all atheletes wanna be musicians, all musicians seem to wanna be atheletes. You started out wanting to be an athelete, and then you didn't have that growth spurt, any regrets?
Jon: (laugh) None. None whatsoever.
Michael : Really?
Jon: Mine is probably the best job in the universe, and uh, I'm having a blast every single day.
Michael: You had once said that when you played your high school dance. It was cooler then being a quarterback. How come?
Jon: Well, you got the girls and made the loudest noise.
Michael: (laughs)
Jon: It was, uh, it was sweet. You know, it was hard to kiss with a face mask on you know, so you just get out there and play the guitar. It works. I have to say, you know, Everybody played a tennis racket in front of their mirror, get a real guitar and it's, uh, it's a good way to make a living, I gotta tell ya Michael.
Michael: I bet. That's Jon Bon Jovi. I'm Michael Kay, and this is Centerstage.
Michael: Jon Bon Jovi has worn many hats throughout his career, and he keeps adding new ones. For almost 20 years ( shows 80's picture of Jon here) he's headed one of the worlds top rock bands ( band photo here), with mega hits, such as, Runaway, You Give Love a Bad Name ,Livin on a Prayer and It's My Life. Plus the solo hit Blaze of Glory\, from the Young Guns 2 sound track. The bands record sales are at the 100 million, they've sold out arenas around the world. Jon the actor has also received critical acclaim, including roles in the film, U-571 and Pay it Forward. And stints on the TV shows Ally McBeal and Sex in the City. Those who know him well, know that Jon Bon Jovi lives and breaths football. So, it's only fitting that he has
taken this love one big step further, and is fulfilling the dream as co-owner of The Phliladelphia Soul arena football team. Please, let's welcome to Centerstage a true renaissance man, Jon Bon Jovi.
Jon, thanks (shakes hands with Jon).
Jon: Thank you man.
Michael: Where did the love affair with football start?
Jon: Well, in my house you were a Giants fan and it was a common bond that you could have with uh, Dad. And it wasn't like he was , uh, gonna pick up the guitar and play or ya know, all the great arguments sons have with their fathers, there was one thing that we had in common, which was the love of the Giants, or the suffering of the Giants. Depending on what year it was, or what era it was (laughs).
Michael: Now I heard that there was a slight deviation at one point where you strayed over to the '72 Dolphins, what's that about?
Jon: Well, any kid that was 10 years old, you know, like me at the time, Greesy (sp?) and Shula, I could probably still name a dozen, (names players here). I could still name the team, ya know. I was 10. Uh, but it was really a romantic version of what football was about, you know the undefeated season.
Michael: Did you get grief from the family at all?
Jon: Nah, ya know, I think everybody in America fell for the Dolphins that year.
Michael: Now tell me about your Giants memories. Anything that stands out?
Jon: The suffering of the (didn't get the name) years, Ya know. ( laugh) all the coaches before Bill, couple of them after. Um, but all the memories of going there to the stadium, and uh, the first time I played the stadium, um, you know, now you're in the house of the Giants, playing at a Giant game, being the only band that has ever played at a Giants game, that I know of. Playing half times. But I've also had a long standing relationship with a number of them, and uh, the coaching staff, and you got to know a lot of the Giants over the years.
Michael: So, childhood was football and music, and you mentioned before, I don't know if you were joking, did you get into the music because of the girls?
Jon: Uh, yeah. ( everyone laughs)
Michael: But, you were about 9…
Jon: I was an early starter (laughs)
Michael: Guess so!
Jon: I realized there was good things to come. And um,yeah, I think I was 5'9 at 14 and stayed 5'9 for the rest of, you know I'm 41, and um, so for me, so I realized sports wasn't going to go very far, after my freshman year in high school. And I found music, but you know you realize music is, it's a sport at the end of the day, it's a team sport. You're only as good as your weakest link. We've had the same team now for 20 years and we're still going on, which is a nice thing to be able to share that with the guys.
Michael: Now what was the in the water in Jersey in those days, I mean, you were young, making it in the business, playing with Springsteen, Southside Johnny. Does it amaze you now in retrospect that all that greatness came from that one little area?
Jon: It's wonderful to have, you know, friends like that. Guys that grew up in the same neck of the woods, obviously they were of another generation, they were both 10 years older then I was. Um, but having known them when I was in high school is pretty astounding in retrospect.
Michael : They were cool to you right from the beginning?
Jon: Nice enough, I mean Johnny produced some of my first demos and uh, Bruce, god I guess the first time he ever jumped up on stage with my band at the time, I was 16 or 17..
Michael: What was that like?
Jon: Well, it was pretty incredible…
Michael: I bet..
Jon: I mean, uh, because these guys made records and they also lived in your backyard. They wrote songs about the places that you knew. It made the impossible just seem very possible. You know down on the shore, um, the cover bands were very popular, but I realized in high school it was a dead end street. Because, unless, you had your own material you were going to go anywhere. So, I quit my own band, joined an original band as the singer in this guys band, and from there became a song writer and formed my own thing. But, having those guys, in that situation, made it seem like you could do that too. And, there was a lot of comradery down the shore and it wasn't the right, it wasn't the popular thing to do, but it was the right thing to do.
Michael: Now you grew up, your parents met in the Marine Corp. Did you have a very disciplined upbringing because of that?
Jon: No, probably just the opposite, cuz I think when they both got out of there, they allowed us to do silly things like stay out in a bar til 3-4 in the morning and I was in high school.
Michael: Marine and he was a hairdresser, your father. How did that play? How does a Marine become a hairdresser?
Jon: He said that it was the time of Warren Beatty, uh in Shampoo and uh he came from a line of plumbers, and my mother found that it uh, was much hipper with Jackie O and what was going on in the country at the time, and he became this Warren Beatty like character instead. I don't know, she pushed him into it, he was gonna be a plumber like his father.
Michael: Now, he did a lot of your hair, we have a shot from your high school yearbook (shows photo). Do you give him credit for that?
Jon: I was a freshman. Yeah, or blame (laughs), needless to say he doesn't work anymore (laughs)
Michael: Now, I see the progression here, this is sophomore year. That's a good look. And now this is now. Does he still do it? Does he do your hair?
Jon: No, he has since retired. He plays golf now. No.
Michael: When the band first started, and the hair was the big thing, was he doing it then?
Jon: Yeah, yeah. He uh, he took blame for what every kid in the mall looked like. (LAUGHS) I certainly influenced a few haircuts in my day.
Michael: I bet you did. When we return, Bon Jovi the man, forms Bon Jovi the band. As we go to commercial, here's a snippet of that band in action from their concert DVD, This Left Feels Right.
Michael: Welcome back to Centerstage. I am talking with rocker, actor and arena league football team owner Jon Bon Jovi, You know what's about that song ( Livin on a Prayer), every time I hear it, even if I am in the car, I go like that ( hand motions over head).( LAUGHING) I don't know why. I just don't look good doin that. (More Laughs) Bon Jovi, when did it start, and how many bands did you go through before you got to Bon Jovi?
Jon: Not that many. Um, let's see, my first band, phew, I couldn't ,um I was in many half a dozen bands prior, um…
Michael: The first one, couples of one, were they cover bands?
Jon: They were all cover bands.
Michael: ( shows photo) this was sophomore year in high school.
Jon: Yes, all boys Catholic high school. That was Sept of that year. By mid October I was back in public school, where I belonged (laughs) took that thing and ran with it. (laughs). But, yeah, um, I had a record deal by the time I was 20 or 21, so this band was formed around that. And, I thought it was gonna be for 3 weeks, and I can't get rid of them still. (laughs), wherever I go.
Michael: Did you have to fight with them to call it Bon Jovi?
Jon: Actually, what happened is I had a record deal before there was a band, because I wrote a song called Runaway, and took it to every label trying to get a record deal. So, I went to see a DJ out on Long Island, there was a station called WAPP a now defunct rock station. It was so new, that they didn't even have a receptionist, so I walked in and literally walked in to the DJ, you're the loneliest man in the world, you have no idea if anyone is listening to you. You must love music. Listen to this. And he said I like it, I put it on this home grown album, we're gonna kick off, and it broke nationally without a band or a record deal. So then I got the guys together and, which was supposed to be for 3 weeks to take advantage of that record. 100 million records later they're still following me around. (laughs).
Michael: Did you ever Jon, invision this scope of success, what did you want out of it?
Jon: How could I even lie like that? My aspirations at that time were to be the Asbury Jukes , which was, this little group, never had a gold record. You know, um, they'd get on a bus for a couple of months, really were popular regionally, not nationally, or internationally. So for me, that was the big time. You know, Asbury Park was the big time, because, uh, all the bands that were starting out came through Asbury and were playing at The Fast Lane, if I wasn't there watching, I was opening for, you know. That to me was big. I didn't realize anything else.
Michael: Why do you think that this band, I mean obviously you're good, but there are a lot of good bands that don't have 20 year staying power. What is behind that? Have you figured it out?
Jon: Them (points to the audience) ya know.
Michael: But, you're appealing to people that grow up. I mean now there are kids that..
Jon: It has crossed generations.
Michael: yeah.
Jon: I think that ultimately, I'd like to think it's because the songs touch people in, lyrically, it becomes them and the characters become them, and um, we also didn't follow any fads or fashion and in all honesty there have been years where we weren't as popular or certainly as popular in America . But, two things, we toured the world, so if America turned it's back on me, we went to Europe, Africa, Asia, and we toured the rest of the world. And then when things like fads and fashions, rap or grunge came in, I didn't move to Seattle and play that card, I didn't get a guy scratching records and doin this ( hands movements like rap) we stayed true to what we were. You can dislike it, you can love it, either is up to you. But, by staying true, that was a lot, it meant a lot.
Michael: Things have changed for the band though, I assume touring in the 80's is a little different then touring now. Were you guys a little wilder then? Give me one story, come one help me out.
Jon: (laughs) I'd stunt your growth. Trust me. There was, you know, this is uh, the best story that never happened. You know, (laughing) I don't know what you're talking about.
Michael: You're a good looking guy, you have a huge rock band, 100 million records and you've been married to your high school sweetheart. How does that stay?
Jon: Penance. That's my penance. (laughs) That's the best deal I ever made. (audience says awwwwww, Jon rolls his eyes and says stop). You know, um, again it has a lot with uh I don't like change. I don't like change. I don't want to play with other guys, I don't want to lose the wife, I don't want to change my manager, I don't like change. I have been with one record company for 20 years. That's the honest to God truth of it. She's the greatest, I couldn't imagine going on without her (audience says awwwww,) You're gonna make me puke. LAUGHING HERE Yeah, that Hollywood game is so boring. I just, geez, it's so, shallow who's with who today, ya know. It's so boring.
Michael: Now, do you guys think its still cool that you can walk in and say hello to Heather Locklear? (laughing)
Jon: (laughing) It doesn't suck, yeah.
Michael: Heather is married to Richie Sambora of the band. Uh, when did you decide to get into acting? And why?
Jon: An accident. I uh, through one of Richies previous loves in another life was uh Allie Sheedy, who was friends with Emilio Estevez. I was out in California, and she was asked by Emil could they use Wanted for the Young Guns movie, and I said I'll write something like that for you, you know, that applies to the film. He invited me out to the set. So, I was, it was so easy to be inspired being on my first movie set. I wrote the album, I just knocked the whole thing out. And as a joke they dressed me up as an extra and put me in this pit, and one take and they shot me , and the director came out an got to sing Shot thru the Heart (sings it). Cute (laughing). But, I befriended Emilio Estevez, and it was at a point in my career that was my 5th album, um, I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue making records. I was really, uh, getting a little saddened by what it'd become, it ran us all down mentally and physically. But, if for no other reason, I wanted to get other scripts so that I could write songs, because it came very easily to me when they basically hand you the stories to the songs. Eventually I got the courage to go for it and won a role in Moonlight and Valentino, and on the set, had a good experience. Because of that I subsequently wanted to do others. Had I had more time in the last 10 years I would have done even more.
Michael: Do you want to do more?
Jon: I do. I see us continuing to make records forever , as long as we are relevant. This will never be a nostalgia kind of band. I won't be doing that circuit anytime soon.
Michael: Now, what's the deal with the Sopranos, Jersey guy, you should be in it. Why are you not in it?
Jon: Look into the camera right there, and tell David Chase.
Michael: He should be in it!
Jon: Actually, I called Chase before the 2nd season, and asked him. He said there's two things, 1 you're so recognized as being from Jersey, that the "Sopranos" would know Jon Bon Jovi. And, if we cast you as uh, the priest or whatever, um, you're too recognizable as being the 2nd favorite son from Jersey.
Michael: Oh tell him that's weak though, he put hair on Little Stevie, nobody recognized him. ( Laughs)
Jon: You're in troubleeee ( laughing) Steves gonna come and… Steve takes that Soprano stuff seriously ( makes cutting motion near neck).
Michael: He's great in it. OH that seriously! (laughs) Ok.
Jon: He uh, but that's not a stretch for Steven, that is Steven.
Michael: I think this show is gonna springboard you into that, I can feel it.
Jon: (Laughing)
Michael: Bon Jovi the band plays arenas all over the world, but Bon Jovi the business man has a very different arena view. We'll talk about the Philadelphia Soul next, here on Centerstage.
Michael: Welcome back to Centerstage. Our guest is Jon Bon Jovi. That was a little bit of the terrific AFL commercial, that was done before the season. That was a neat commercial.
Jon: Me and Elway are gonna start doin buddy movies now. (laughs)
Michael: Tell me why you got involved in this, uh, we know you're a big fan, but you're investing money in this, and time. How come?
Jon: Well, I'm a football fanatic. I love the game. I'll always love the game. I go into mourning post superbowl.
Michael: Ok…
Jon: And, so, I was talking with a friend of mine who's a sports agent, uh who was talking to me about the AFL. And, initially it was, a goofy joke. You know, hey, let's buy one of these teams, they're cheap. Well, he mislead me, they're not cheap. (laughs). And, um, and it was gonna be a band endeavor, and one by one they dropped out and the price was completely different then what he had told us, it was in the multi-millions. But, um, I loved, when I really did my homework, that it is, affordable, which these days it's hard to find things to take a family too. A family of four, if you will. Even if you could get a ticket to see the Giants or the Jets or what have you in New York, um, it's a very expensive ticket. The kids are so far away, they're very close here. The opportunity for little Joey or Johnny to go meet that Quaterback is virtually impossible. Part of the AFL bill, fans bill of rights is, the players stay on the field, and they interact with these kids. So, I loved all of those things, the accessibility, the affordability, and then I went to see a few of the games and I thought it was a lot of fun for a fanatic like me, or for omeone like my son who's nine, and in the, of the video age, where this is right in your face, it's not like taking them to Giants stadium where he goes, which one are we? They're so far away. So, um it started to make sense, and then the pure love of the game is the only thing that inspires these guys to play. Because they're certainly not making a lot of money, and some of them are on the cusp of getting into the NFL, are going back to the NFL, um other ones are, they know their playing days are coming to and end, and, and uh that they're gonna go out, start another chapter in their lives. But, when you see that pure love of, of the game, it's really energizing.
Michael: When you approached the AFL, did they meet it with skepticism?
Jon: Actually they brought somebody out, uh, to talk about partnering up with me, and that didn't work, so I was more skeptical of them at that time. But, um, the commissioner and the head of business affairs, uh…
Michael: He's a pretty bright guy.
Jon: He's a very bright guy. He's a very passionate guy too. Um, I knew how to play the card, I sent a car for him, and brought him out to the airport, he met us and got on the bands plane, and then we went to uh, I don't know, some huge stadium we were playing at, Cleveland or somewhere. And so, you know, the guy walks into a football stadium, on the bands Boc 1-11, which is a huge jet airliner, he was pretty impressed, you know (chuckles). And uh, and then, I'd really done my homework on it, and we could tell him what was good and bad about it, and um, he went to bat for us with the league. And, you know, it's come a long way, it's still considered a baby sport, as it's only 18 years old, but, as it's only in it's 2nd year on NBC, people think it's a brand new sport.
Michael: Well, the commercial was so good, why don't we take a look at a little more of it right now.
Michael: Any of that filmed in the Bon Jovi mansion?
Jon: Yeeeeahhh (laughing)
Michael: Really? No way. That's all studio…
Jon: Soundstage in L.A. Elway's a pretty good actor though..
Michael: Not bad, you should do a buddy movie with him (laughs).
Michael: How's the game different from the NFL for those that don't know.
Jon: *sighs* 8 guys a side, not 11. 20 man squad. Um, there is a drop kick, which is never really utilized, but there's a net at the end of the end zone and you play the ball off that net. It's a 50 yard field instead of 100, so obviously the kick off can bounce off the net, if the kickers got the leg. The goal post is 9 feet wide instead of 18, so these guys have to be marksmen with their kicks. Uh, there's no punting. So, 4th down you're either going for it or kicking a field goal. High scoring, very energetic game, guys have to play both ways.
Michael: You're obviously serious about the football end, because you got Ron Jaworski as team president, right?
Jon: Yup, we hired Ron to be the president of the team, he brings in instant credibility, because in Philadelphia he is really loved. He's the only guy that ever got them to the big dance, and um, he was a great quarterback as well, and he tried to bring a team in Philadelphia for years and uh, for whatever reason it didn't come through for him, so, we were fortunate enough to uh, to bring him aboard as team president.
Michael: Well, obviously this is a league, that has spawned, Kurt Warner, Tommy Maddocks, so there are NFL players.
Jon:Yeah, there was a guy named Clinton Hart, that was, this year on the Eagles who last year was in the AFL, so we have a guys right in town..
Michael: Now, you own the Philadelphia Soul, you obviously want this to do well. Just wondering, let's just say, that Wellington Mara,
Jon: right? No.
Michael: would you?
Jon: Tell ya why.
Michael: You wouldn't mortgage you life to buy the Giants?
Jon: Ughh, I could probably buy a small country for less money then I could by the Giants . But um, If I owned an NFL team, which would be wonderful, um, what could I do, what could I change? You can't have cheerleaders, the sports and exposition place out there won't allow it. They won't have a different uniform deal, they won't have a different media deal. Everything is done. You sorta get this paycheck, pay these bills and the revenues go to where they go and your team is worth what it's worth and that's what makes it valuable. But, with the AFL, it's exciting because the opportunities for growth are there. And they're allowing me to pursue them on their behalf, you know, everything about it that I'm running, like it's the business and it
really is a business. I stay away from the player personnel stuff , you have coaches to do that. But, from the name I had to fight for the name, but we got the name, and the name is hip, it's different, it's unique. I don't care if you're a Bon Jovi fan or a football fan, everybody thinks they have soul.
Michael: Right
Jon: (laughs)
Michael: That's why I do that ( makes hand motion in the air)
Jon: (laughing) Everyone but you Michael (both laughing hard)
Jon: You know, we didn't go the obvious Nike/Wilson/Reebok kinda route with the uniforms, I went to Mitchell and Ness. The hippest guys that make all the throw back Jerseys, it's a Philadelphia based company. I couldn't have, I can't do this if I owned the Giants, it's already there. So, this is exciting to me, because I enjoy that stuff, and they're just standing back going, whatever you say. Yeah, cuz, it's working. The commercial, I wrote that song, and um, I'm having a blast. I have never worked so hard on anything in my life. No record, no movie, anything. But, I'm having more fun then I've ever had.
Michael: Good luck with it, really.
Jon:s Thanks.
Michael: When we return, more of Jon Bon Jovi's love of the big blue plus, how to make a grand entrance into Giants Stadium. That's next, right here on Centerstage.
Michael: That was Jon Bon Jovi's 2004 DVD. Now you've played the rock version of that (It's My Life) to open up an NFL season. Times Square, the place goes nuts, and then they helicopter you to Giants Stadium . That must have been an unbelievable day for a Jersey kid.
Jon: I was watching the traffic down below, that 500,000 people leaving Manhattan trying to get to a Giant game. I said I'm to blame for that. (laughs) This is troooooouble. But, uh it was unbelievable, you know to do that after what happened at 9/11. The commissioner was at the firehouse where the NFL had asked me to uh, to sing. Remember they delayed the season by a week and um, so I went and sang uh, America the Beautiful at this firehouse. And the commissioner came over and wanted to do something, he wanted to do something big and he says , I really want to give back to the city of New York and make them know I care, and that the league cares. And, I think that truthfully he asked me to do it because we were probably the only rock band he had ever heard of. (laughs) That are still alive.
Michael: He's not exactly cool (laughing) I was actually, as a fan, at that game. I must have been about 20 feet from you.
Jon: (laughing hard, makes that hand in the air motion) Oh, that was you.
Michael: (makes the hand motion) Yeah that was me. (both laughing really hard)
Michael: I was with a bunch of guys and..
Jon: (laughing still) You look like you're having a seizure when you do that.
Michael: Yeah absolutely.. I feel like it too..
Michael: But, everybody kept saying, you sounded great, the song was great, the game
was a great game.
Jon: We lost
Michael: But we kept saying, that guy has the whitest teeth we've ever seen.
Jon: (laughing) My dentist will be so proud.
Michael: Now a week before did that you were at a Giants practice, you ran a play but it didn't go that well right ? (shows clip)
Jon: No, I fumbled. Yeah, I
Michael: How'd that feel? Here's the play right here….
Jon: oooooooohhhhhhh God……….. (shows jon fumbling)
Michael: you recovered it though..Was that fun? I mean does it give a rush when you are out there?
Jon: They call the play, Bounce 21 or something like that. You know, Jim named a play for me, and uh to be there, with those guys, at that field. Whenever I go there, get to go there over the years, it's been a huge thrill. Some of those friendships have lasted, like the one with Belichek, since the 80's because of the Giants.
Michael: Who is your favorite Giant coach? Since you've been rooting.
Jon: Well, it would have been Parcells , cuz he brought us the rings, and he was..
Michael: Did you become friends with him?
Jon: I did. I was, I was, um and I've stayed in touch with him, I just, he came to the Dallas show. Um, that, what a story. Blendetta was a friend of mine, I met him many, many years ago in a bar here in NY, and he asked Bill if I could come, knowing what a die hard fan, and Bill allowed me to come. As you know those practices are closed. He yelled at me immediately like he was my Pop Warner coach, or something, and I, you know I quacked, and he liked that. And so, as years have gone on, he'd come to my house and charity things and what have you. So, when he went to New England, when he was with the Jets, I was allowed to go to camp. You know, and uh, actually go out there and shag punts and do whatever. I got away with murder. So, I was on the bench for the Tampa superbowl, I mean I got the grass stains to prove it. I got a ring.
Michael: Really?
Jon: Yeah, and Blendetta got me a ring. So um, I stayed very close, especially with Belichek. Bill Belichek has toured with this band in Europe, and he's a closet drummer. We bought him a kit years ago. He's uh, god knows he's a brilliant coach. Ya Know and he's got the rings to prove it. So, we've been very close over the years.
Michael: Does he do this (makes the hand motion again)?
Jon: Nods head, not as well as you Audience laughs
Michael: He's only human. Now your song Bounce, you actually dedicated that to Bill Bellichek, tell me about that.
Jon: Well, you know, it was about the resiliency that was , uh, that was the people of New York. But, it also really related to him, when I was writing it, because I felt that he was sorta run outta New York when they, uh with the Jets debacle.
Michael: Did it gall you as a Giants fan that this guy cut his teeth as a Giants assistant Has gone to two superbowls as a New England coach and not coaching the Giants?
Jon: Three superbowls with New England. If you think about the one they lost. Against Green Bay. Um, no, you know I think that the Giants have made their choices and You know when Parecells left and there was, were some decisions that needed to be made And people go on. What are you gonna do, ya know. But um, he"s, I think he's very happy up there and he's not the kinda guy who's gonna come and sit in this chair and work the circuit, and do the media stuff.
Michael: You're gonna tell him it's a cool show though, that he should come
Jon: Absolutely (laughs)
Michael: Tell me about your involvement in Special Olympics, because that is pretty special. It's a neat thing that you do.
Jon: Yeah, I've been involved in it since the mid 80's. When you see 7,000 atheletes from around the world enter the floor of the stadium and 70,000
Of their fans, friends and supporters, you know, in the stands, people from Nelson Mandela to Bill Clinton to Bono to who, were all there celebrating that, It's magical. We made these series of Christmas records over the years that benefited that and I was even one of the executive producers of the TV shows and the records, ya know.
Michael: It's a great thing.
Jon: It is a nice thing.
Michael: Well, when we return we will get to the bottom of some staaaaange things About Jon Bon Jovi. ( Jon opens his eyes wide)That and our audience takes the mic,  so don't go away. (Jon looks off stage and says, "I'm scared" (laughs).
Michael: Welcome back to Centerstage everybody. I am talking with Jon Bon Jovi. Over the years there have been a lot of things written, and we took some factoids off fan websites and things like that, and just want you to tell me if they are true or false.
Jon: Ok (smiles)
Michael: Your guilty pleasure, cartoons.
Jon: False
Michael: Really? Ok. You're a junk food fanatic.
Jon: False.
Michael: Oh these fan sites are great! Your wife Dorothea has a black belt in karate.
Jon: True.
Michael: She ever kick your butt?
Jon: Absolutely. Nothing wrong with a good spanking once in a while. (everyone laughs)
Michael: Alright, your mom bought you your first guitar when you were 7 and you threw it away.
Jon: Down the basement stairs.
Michael: Why?
Jon: I wasn't gonna practice. At 7 I was still swinging a bat.
Michael: So, the chick thing didn't kick in yet?
Jon: That was right about 9 (winks)
Michael: You auditioned for Footlose.
Jon: No, false.
Michael: Ok, did you really have 109 absences during your last year at Sayerville War Memorial HS
Jon: Wow, is that possible? Possible, if not probable.
Michael: And you graduated??
Jon: By the skin of my teeth. It was one of those things where I expected The phone call, and it just never came, and I was lucky and I skated out of there, and it was great.
Michael: For a little chunk of months, you broke up with your high school sweetheart, who became your wife. Did you date Diane Lane?
Jon: Yes.
Michael: Nice lady?
Jon: Uh, Yeeaaah…( everyone laughs)
Michael: Um, that your mom was a playboy bunny.
Jon: True.
Michael: Was that cool for you or was it gross?
Jon: (laughs) I think it was probably pretty cool, but I was you know, one.
Michael: So , she actually worked in the restaurant
Jon: Just in the restaurant.
Michael: Not in the magazine.
Jon: No.
Michael: Ok, gotcha. Ready for some audience questions?
Jon: Yeah.
Michael: Alright. You're first (points to a audience member).
Audience member: I've read that you're a hands on Dad and you go to school functions and your kids sporting events. Do people in your community treat you normal, and how do your children deal with your celebrity?
Jon: Wow, that a really complex question. Yes, I go to all the school functions. Um, there's another so and so that makes records that our kids go to school together. So, the mothers are used to seeing the two of us on a daily basis
Michael: Is that Bruce?
Jon: (Nods, yes.) We show up at anything. Basically, you know, id we paly one more community related something, you know, people are used to it. But, that uh, you, my kids are exposed too. They obviously know what I do. They've realized it. But, not because there is a platinum record hanging in my house anywhere. Because their school friends told them. Their mothers told them. You know, that's how they came into it. They came in the backdoor way.
Audience Member: I was wondering how you get, and stay in shape for your rigorous touring schedule.
Jon: You know, I wish I could tell you that I did anything really great. I smoke and I drink. Then I feel bad in the morning, I go to the gym (laughs). That's pretty much the truth. You hurt and go oh God, I'm not gonna do that anymore, I gotta go run this off. The next night you see Richie, and. My wifes always said, the devil is not going to be red and have the horns. He's gonna look just like Sambora, and (makes a come here, come here motion with hand.) (everyone laughs).
Michael: When we come back to Centerstage, we learn how a lucky gopher turns into a rock n roller. So stay with us.
Michael: Welcome to Centerstage everybody. My guest is Jon Bon Jovi. Your second cousin owned the New York Power Station, and you were a gopher there. Give me your favorite memory.
Jon: Probably my favorite story of all time there was getting out of a cab, shortly after John Lennon was shot. Was payin the cabbie, counting out my change and the band were in the backseat getting out. Suddenly saw all these flashbulbs going off, and you're alarmed, and jumpy at that time, early 81. And uh, it was this paparazzi Jumping out of this garbage dumpster to take pictures of the Rolling Stones who were in hiding in this studio. And, being the thugs that we were, we grabbed this guys and jacked him up and he dropped his camera. The Stones loved it, they were laughing and giggling. Bill Wyman held the door open for us . The guy is yelling Mick, Mick, take a picture, and Mick grabs me and my guys and says, this is my new band, the
frogs. So, I wrote him a fan letter in 95, and I says uh, we're playing all the same stadiums you are , I was that kid, and can I come and open for the Stones. He was obviously thinking, you're playing the same buildings as we are. Well, we're not gonna pay ya. (laughs) And, we still did it. I says, I wanna do it, just to take a picture of our band now and the Stones. And, they obliged us.
Audience Member: What was your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Jon: Oh God, I've had a number. I've split my pants more then once. I remember recently on this tour, feeling a breeze, looking down and going oh wow, (laughs) (Points to an audience member, and says, You were there?? Laughs harder.)
Michael: They seem to have a great memory of that Jon.
Jon: That was a little weird, you run out there and go wait an minute, whoa! You know, so, you have those moments. That's probably half the fun of it, its' not choreographed, it's not overly rehearsed. Everything that happens, happens. You know, and if you fall down, get up, you wipe yourself off and do it again.
Audience Member: Where do your ideas come from for most of your songs? And, when you come up with an idea, what actually motivates you to sit down and write the song? Other then money.
Jon: (laughs) Wow! You know, I don't know where it comes from. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't. I mean, Richie and I were writing last week and it stunk.So, but, you have to say to yourself, today is just not the day for it, and tomorrow will be. Um, but everything around you is a story, as long as you are willing to accept it as it is happening. You can see something and shut yourself off to it, and miss the moment. Other times your eyes open wider and you get it and you go bang, there it is. And you know, every so often it's lightening in a bottle And I don't know where that magic one comes from. But, as a songwriter, I could craft a song, I could write you one that you need. I could write a theme song for the Centerstage.
Michael: Could you please? (Michael, sings, "Centerstage.." makes the hand motion again)
Jon: ( laughs) I would do it just so you could make a video! (everyone laughs!)
Michael: When you write a song, do you know right away if it's a huge hit? And, if you think something is a huge hit, it is a clunker?
Jon: (shaked head no to first part) Yeah, just more often that, then not. I mean I didn't  want to include Livin on a Prayer on the Slippery record, and I thought It's My Life was the most self indulgent song I could ever write. You know, I mean, you get songs like that and bang zoom, who knew. There's other ones that I swore by, you know. On the Bounce record, I swore by Everyday as a single, this is it, buy the house.
Michael: I like that song
Jon: Me too!
Michael: Well, he rocks, he acts, and he's a sports exec. Next Jon Bon Jovi faces the challenge of his life , Centerstage hit and run coming up next, stay right here.
Jon: Oh no! (laughs)
Michael: Welcome back everybody. My guest is Jon Bon Jovi. Now, it gets tough. Sambora told me you hated hit and run, so we're gonna go right to it.
Jon: Ugggghhh (laughing)
Michael: I'm going to tell you something, you give me the first thing that comes to mind.
Jon: allllllllright
Michael: Favorite movie
Jon: Godfather
Michael: Favorite song
Jon: Sounds of Silence
Michael: Favorite musical group
Jon: Other then my own, the Stones
Michael: Favorite food
Michael: Favorite diner food, and in what New Jersey diner
Jon: This gets into a bigger debate. Would be a pork roll sandwhich, porkroll and cheese but then you get into is it ketchup or mustard, North Jersey is mustard, South Jersey it's ketchup. I mean I get into fights about it.
Michael: A porkroll?
Jon:You don't know what porkroll sandwhich is?
Michael: No I don't
Jon: Where you from?
Michael: I'm from the Bronx. Pizza that's it
Jon: Poor Michael. Porkroll sandwhich, big deal, taylor ham, you know what that is
Jon: It's a Jersey thing
Michael: How about your New Jersey diner. You have a special diner?
Jon: No, I don't
Michael: Favorite fellow New Jersey native
Jon: Southside
Michael: Favorite athlete
Jon: Michael Jordan was someone I always, and Jerry Rice, were 2 guys I always wanted to meet
Michael: Did you ever meet them?
Jon: No, neither one.
Michael: Can't you just pick up a phone?(laughs)
Jon: You have one? You must know these guys.
Michael: I mean you're Jon Bon Jovi, your as famous as famous as Michael Jordan
Jon: Nooooooooooo
Michael: Well, you're as rich
Jon: (audience laughs) Jon make a hand motion like "could be".
Michael: Favorite sport othe then football.
Jon: Anything at series time. I'll watch anything at championship time. I live football
Michael: Favorite sport to play
Jon: Football
Michael: You do any golf or anything
Jon: Nooooooo, god forbid (laughs)
Michael : Favorite city
Jon: New York City
Michael: Favorite vacation spot
Jon: Some warm island, somewhere in the Caribbean
Michael: Favorite book
Jon: The Monk who sold his Ferrari
Michael: Who's that by, what's it about.
Jon: It's about a lawyer, who sold everything to go and find inner peace. It was a very influential book for me
Michael: and did he find it?
Jon: Nah, he gave up girls and cars and everything to go find peace. Who needs that, you can buy a piece of whatever you want (laughs)
Michael: That is a beautiful Christmas story.
Jon: Yeah, it was a very good book though
Michael: Favorite actor
Jon: Sean Penn
Michael: Favorite actress
Jon: Meryl Streep, I guess it would be off the top of my head
Michael: Favorite TV show
Jon: West Wing
Michael: Favorite time of the year
Jon: Summertime
Michael: Favorite moment in your career
Jon: Oh, too many to name, too many to name
Michael: Person you would most like to have in a foxhole with you
Jon: Richie
Michael: How come him?
Jon: As loyal as they come. Watched my back for 20 yrs. Like Tico says, you know I love you, been staring at you ass for 20 yrs (laughs)
Michael: A lot of these ladies out here must love you then too (laughing) Alright now, I worte this outro
Jon: (laughing)
Michael: It's my Life and I want you to know, I'll be there for you, and I won't be a Runaway, but I promise you, you will not be Shot thru the Heart, or Livin on a Prayer when we come back and let Jon Bon Jovi go out in a Blaze of Glory
Jon: (laughing hard) What are you drinking
Michael: Early in the show you said you want to stay with the band, as long as it is relevant. You said in the past, you never want to be the fat Elvis.
In 20 yrs where do you see yourself? What will you be doing? Do you think you'll be a big movie star?
Jon: Well, I don't know if that's ever gonna happen. If I'll ever get the shot, in Hollyweird, but um, I'd like to make records and I'd like to continue to make movies. It's been a great ride thus far, and I have no intention of getting off it. They book isn't finished being written yet.
Michael: Good luck with the Soul (leans in to shake Jon's hand) Thanks for being here
Jon: Thank you! Thanks for having me. Thanks everybody (to the audience)
Michael:That's Jon Bon Jovi, and I'm Michael Kay and this is Centerstage, so long everybody.