FHM July 2000
Minted rocker Jon Bon Jovi on his British pub, fear of lifts and desire to be president
Some popular bands like to tweak their sales figures to make themselves sound even bigger- a cheeky trick being ? Weve sold 50 million records¦ when the bulk of them were actually 1.99 singles bought by bored housewives for their daughters. American rock band Bon Jovi have had their share of hits, but it's their album sales- 80 million and counting- that make them so ridiculously massive. Frontman Jon Bon Jovi is a shrewd businessman, with properties all over the world, and a bank balance likely to be nudging the $50 million mark. As his 40th birthday fast approaches, the erstwhile poodle headed glam rocker has also managed to pull off the impossible: the cliche musician-into-film star trick. And, with his band having just released their new album, Crush, Jon is in the mood for chewing the fat about some of the more personal aspects of his life. And the magazine at the top of his list? That'll be FHM.
"Jon is a pub landlord"
When I bought the estate in New Jersey where I've just built my new home, there was a caretakers house that was too good to knock down, so we remodelled it into an English pub- complete with swinging sign. It's called
the Shoe Inn and the logo is a horse with a horseshoe jammed up its ass. We drink there every night. I'm the only bartender, unless we have a large party- in which case I'll hire proper waiting staff. We don't charge people, although I have received a couple of tips.
I love tending bar- I have a book of cocktails, and can pretty much make anything you want. The most popular drink in my pub is my Cosmopolitan. I'd put it up against those of the Met Bar any day of the week. It's all done by eye- the pink has to be just right and it can't be too tart or too strong, but it has to have enough bite so that you don't need to pee before you get a buzz. There are no house rules- in fact, that's why the pubs there in the
first place; just about anything can happen, has. People have passed out, so we'll walk them over to the house or the guest house and put them to bed. There's been many a night of slurred speech and staggered walking. But I like to get everyone pretty twisted- that's my job.
"His mother was a playboy bunny."
When I was very little, my mom used to go into New York and work in the original Playboy club on 59th Street. We used to have playboy ashtrays in our house and a lighter that was 10 inches high. I remember going to the
club when I was about four or five; my mom no longer worked there, but she took me there to show me, and I had a Mickey Mouse, a kid's cocktail. She was a bunny at the same time as Lauren Hutton.
She did a lot of cool things ahead of her time, my mom. She used to be a marine- she and my father met in the marine corps, and in the mid Seventies she ran a business which meant she had to go to Asia for trade shows at a time when women in Asian culture were not accepted. Me and my two brothers were in Cannes last year and we bumped into Hef, so we had our picture taken with him and gave it to her for her birthday. She loved it. She really laughed. He didn't remember her- but he's still great. I don't think I'll be that sexually active when I'm 70. No way.
"Jon runs a hotel"
My apartment in New York is basically the Bon Jovi Hotel. People stay there constantly; it's usually friends, sometimes family. We get double booked sometimes, but it never bothers me- there are three bedrooms back there so they can sort it out themselves. I'm happy to report that none of my guests have ever walked off with anything, but I had a maid steal my watch once. It broke my heart. It was a Cartier, and I loved it. She claims she didn't steal it, but of course she did. There have been some stains on things that I have had to have a few words with people about but mostly they are pretty good.
A friend of mine, Desmond Child ( a songwriting pal), came into the apartment saying "I'm not guy for nothing"- he looked around, then redecorated the place! I'll come back after he's stayed, and he'll have put in new lights for no rhyme nor reason. One time he put dimmers on all the light switches- shit like that. But I have a simple motto: "You can play with my toys, if you can afford to pay for them if you break them."
"Jon and his misses worship flea markets"
A lot of the furniture in my new house was bought in Parisian flea markets. I go with my wife, and we really enjoy it. We've never bought an old picture frame and found the declaration of independence in it or anything amazing like that. In fact, I pay premiums for everything now. People know who I am and that I've got money, so it's hard to get knockdown prices.
I got hooked on the Antiques Roadshow when I lived in England for six months a few years ago, and now I watch it at home in the States. It's really huge here now- bigger than Sesame Street. The most expensive thing I've bought was a painting I got for my wife which was $13,000. Actually, no, I bought one of Tico's (Bon Jovi drummer) paintings- I paid $70,000 for that piece of shit. It used to hang over my bed in the old place, but it doesn't quite fit in the new house, so it's wrapped up in one of the garages.
"Wildfowl drive Jon mad"
Geese migrate through New Jersey during the winter months, and they are fucking terrible. The migration lasts for a couple of months, and last winter there were 85,000 geese in the state. Flocks of them, like about 20 to 30 at a time, land on my grass. They eat the lawn around the entire house and shit everywhere- there's so much goose shit you can't walk around. And there's nothing you can do about it except get a dog to chase them. Or shoot them. We don't have a dog, and I am not handy with a gun, so the kids and I just throw things at them. But there's no stopping them. One of these days, I'm going to catch myself one, kill it, and post it at the gate as a warning to the others.
"Older women turn him on"
Britney and Christina do nothing for me. Christ, no- they're babies. Add the two of them up and you've got a woman. I'd rather throw Sheryl Crow one any day of the week- or Courtney Love. I don't go for babies, young women don't do it for me. I like older women. My first crushes were Cher and Michelle Pfeiffer. And when Richie (Sambora, Bon Jovi guitarist) was going out with Cher, I had a shot at Michelle Pfeiffer- or at least he said I did. And I once said in an interview that Madonna is the kind of chick that would fuck you. She'd come up and say "You will pleasure me now" and get you to jizz on her tits or something. And the press made this whole thing up about me having the hots for her. She's a nice lady, but she doesn't really appeal to me.
Being married doesn't stop chicks making a play for me- I guess there's a certain sense of safety in them knowing I have a wife. Richie's wife Heather (Locklear) is a TV star and Tico's ex-wife (Eva Herzigova) is a model, but my wife never wanted to be a public person. I've been with her so long, I fell in love with her before I was famous and I didn't check her box office that week.
"Jon's terrified of elevators"
I have an elevator at home- but I'll never get into it. It all started 11 or 12 years ago when we were touring. We'd get to a hotel and there would be the band, the road managers, a security guard- all of us holding our bags- getting in an elevator together. We'd pack it to the gills. And every time we did that, the keyboard player would say "My mother is claustrophobic in elevators." If he said it once he said it a hundred times. By the end of the tour, I was so burned out it started to freak me out. I went home telling my wife "Yeah, I'm fine." And she said to me "No you're not, you'll walk up 40 flights of stairs before you'll get in an elevator- you-ve got a problem." I truly hadn't realised that I was claustrophobic- but it's only in elevators: not in bathrooms, not in any place else. But to get into a metal elevator where I can't be in control of getting up and down- man, I just don't want to be stuck in the bitch.
"Jon wants to be president"
I would be a great president. Before that, I'd like to run for office in New Jersey, and the first thing I'd do is lower my taxes! I've become very philanthropic in the past few years- I do a lot of charity work. I'm on the national board of the Special Olympics for retarded kids, and I'm involved in organising against ocean dumping. I'd love to be a politician. I think Warren Beaty's bid was a ploy, like Donald Trump's- just a way to get more attention, I think they're both bullshit. Maybe people would view me in that way, but who cares? I'm also a great fan of Hillary Clinton. I know her and her husband quite well now. She loves me, she's a huge fan. I must have sung for her five or six times. I think she's fucking great