“The Hits”- 1988

It’s 4 pm in the afternoon in a gigantic draughty “hall” in the “fair” city of Dublin, Ireland, and Jon Bon Jovi, The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, is dangling 20 feet in the air, hanging nonchalantly onto the end of a rope. Bon Jovi you see, viewers, are back on “the road” (i.e. they’re off on a huge world tour and tonight’s show in Dublin is the very first “date”) and so, because flying across the audience on the end of a rope is Jon’s special party piece on these occasions, he’s putting in a bit of practice.

“I’m getting to be a cocky son of a bitch on this thing, aren’t I? He smirks. “But I get scared every time- you bet I do. Flying without a safety net, man, you fall down and it’s all over. You hold on to this thing and your knuckles are wide. And you are thinking ‘Jesus, why am I doing this? Please God, don’t let me fall.’ But it’s a neat thing, people are really surprised by it and they smile, and so it’s a pleasure to do it for that reason.”

And with that he glides off, cool as a cucumber.

The next morning it’s a rather warn out Jon Bon Jovi who plonks himself onto a plush armchair at the group’s snooty hotel to have a natter with The Hits. This is partly because he’s slightly puffed out from last night’s show, and partly because he also popped round to “dine” with his fellow amply- haired rock legend, Joe Elliot of Def Leppard.

“Yeah, I went to dinner at Joe Elliot’s house last night, “ he mumbles. He lives here in Dublin and he’s a good friend. I try to teach him what American Football’s all about and he tries to convince me to kick this goddam thing around- proper football he calls it.

“It’s funny because Bon Jovi and Def Leppard are really the same band you know. We’re exactly the same characters from across different sides of the ocean. We got together and we are the best of friends. A great band- one of the best things to come out of England. And I love England- I love the audience there and I love shepherd’s pie and I love London. I’m not sure about your newspapers though, The Sun and The Mirror. According to your newspapers, I’m having an affair with Samantha Fox, I’m a junkie, I’m dying of AIDS and I have a double who goes out onto the street in my place so I don’t get mobbed. Wild stories, but I suppose they just make me laugh.”

Having reams of silly stories invented about oneself is all part of the “lot” of the rich and famous, but Jon’s a fairly contented chap on the whole.

“Fame doesn’t suck, you now,“ he drawls. “There is a lot of staff that goes with it that I’m not comfortable with but where I come from if you are vain enough to believe that shit you get your ass kicked. It’s hard for me to believe that I am meant to be some kind of special guy. I’m just a singer in a rock and roll band and I love what I do for living.

“And as for being rich, well that doesn’t suck, bud. It doesn’t suck at all. It’s not bad knowing you can pay for your dinner, you know. But I thing the most expansive thing I ever bought is my house. I don’t have expansive tastes- not in my clothes, as you can see. I have cars though- a Ferrari, a Corvette, a couple of motorcycles and a snowmobile. The snowmobile’s great. It’s like a sledge I suppose- you sit on it and it has a throttle like a motorcycle. Then it has these kinds of skies on the front and a track like a tank on the back, and it zips along through the snow. I used it once. It doesn’t snow much in New Jersey. I think I’ll give it away for charity- some place where it snows a bit more. I don’t really have time for that sort of thing now. I’m back at work. Doing the show last night was just so exiting. It’s an exchange of adrenaline with the kids. It’s good to be back.”

Jon Bon Jovi you are the king of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Viva le roi.