Jon's letter- Thanks Lupe for posting it at BWJBJ
Dear BSWJBJ Members,
I don't know where to start this newsletter so I'll start with "Hello, how are you?" (Just kidding.) I know you want to know everything that's going on. Well, things have been really busy this second half of the year. At the end of the tour, I took my family and some friends to Italy for a cruise around the Italian islands. It was amazing. the boat was almost 200 feet long, and the crew of 17 made sure we ate too much, drank too much and even that I rested enough. We went to Dave Stewart's wedding in Nice, where we caught up with U2, Elton John, Dave and his new bride Anoushka, Annie Lenox, director Ted Demme, Mick Jagger and a lot more folks I can't remember now but, believe me, it was a great night.
I needed the vacation to get my head clear after the tour. I want to thank all of you for your support throughout the Crush/One Wild Night cycle. We couldn't have asked for a better run or more supportive fans.
As you've heard by now, the telecast from Giants Stadium was the second biggest show ever on VH1. Thank You. Now as I sit in my NY Giants seats and hear It's My Life playing in the stadium, I'll often see someone singing along; all the while they don't know I'm watching. I wonder whether they were at the shows or just liked the song. Anyway, I smile.
The rest of August we spent home enjoying the last days of an incredible summer. the beach was calling my name and like a good listener I followed, knowing that after Labor Day weekend it would be back to work.
The next record was already on my mind. I knew it couldn't wait as long as Crush. There could be no solo records and, with the threatened actor's strike, I knew there would be no movies to consider. So in the beginning of September, Richie and I began commuting to each other's houses to write. The result, I'm happy to say, has been great. As of today we are 26 songs deep and have begun the demo process. We've been to Nashville, LA, Miami, and N.J. to write so far and (fingers crossed) are on a roll. I can't really explain in this letter the
direction we're taking but I will say that there are songs like It's My Life, Keep The faith, Thank You For Loving Me, and songs like Elton John's Levon or Jungleland/Desperado (depending if you like Bruce or The Eagles.) Then there's some heavy stuff too. Needless to say the lyrical direction changed on Sept. 11th.
On the morning of the 11th, Dorothea was in the gym. I was done and heading into my office to write. Richie was here with me but still sleeping. We watched in horror. While our stomachs turned we all realized
that this was the worst tragedy we have had in our lifetime. As the planes hit the towers and the 3rd and 4th ones were in the air, the thought of Armageddon came to mind. Do you run to school? Get the kids? Hide? Get a gun?
Hell, we didn't know what to do so like everyone else in the world we turned on the news, watched and waited.
As this affected hundreds in our Country alone, we offered blood but the incredible generosity of the locals caused an overabundance. I offered to work the bucket brigade but was told I needed to know CPR.
We made 250 sandwiches and brought them along with socks, shirts, drinks and whatever else we could think of, to the drop point at our school. We have friends who lost family. We didn't know what else we could do.
Soon after, the phones rang, Jimmy Lovine, founder of Interscope records and an old friend, put together a telethon to aid the victims' families. I was one of the first called and asked about artists, format, etc.
We dropped everything to be there for that special night. Never once did it cross my mind, as Bill O' Reilly would suggest, that we would participate for glory. Never did we think of publicity. This was what I could do. I couldn't work the bucket brigade. I couldn't join the Marines. But, I could make a difference with that guitar. I asked Richie and, with Everett Bradley and Lorenza Ponce, we set out to do our part. There was no celebrating, no drinking, no promoting anything. We played and we went home. Bruce asked me to have dinner with him that night after he watched us sing but all I wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed. I was home before it was over. Like so many others, I was in a terrible funk for weeks after.
The new songs will reflect the tragedy but will hopefully show the spirit of the American people. The optimism that we've strived for on our most successful records will be out in force on this one. And I hope the lyrics inspire others to do good, to make a difference. Hell, if the Taliban would let music, literature in its many forms, even movies into their country, the people of Afghanistan might have had a different opinion of the West and their enemy.
Let's change the subject. On the movie front, there's nothing good to report. The Vampire movie isn't coming out. I can't point the finger of blame in any one direction and for political reasons I won't. But I will say that it could have been a cool movie. Derek Bliss was a great character to play and a performance I was proud of. This is one of those moments when I wish I was Jon Bon Jovi instead of some struggling actor. It was a pleasure to work with Tommy Wallace (Director) and Jack Lorenz (Producer) - they delivered on everything they promised. I'm sure it'll be out on video and probably on cable TV somewhere in the not too distant future. In the meantime, I've been writing two screenplays I hope to shop around Hollywierd with the hope that producing your own movies will help them get a better shot of being successful or at least artistically correct. I've been working with more experienced collaborators on these projects and I'll keep you up to date on their progress.
On the acting front now is Ally McBeal. As I type, I'm flying back to L.A. to continue the filming. So far, so good. Calista seems really nice, as do the rest of the cast. My character's name is Victor Morrison. I'm a
handyman hired by the bank to work on Ally's house. We meet, become friends, and though nothing has happened yet, we'll become involved. I think the first episode air January 21st so check it out. I'll be on for 9 episodes and will continue the writing process with Richie while I'm out in L.A.
Speaking of Richie, you may have seen him in a bit part in the 'N SYNC movie On the Line. He also did a solo song for the album. Check that out too - it's really good. Dave has been working away on his plays and has been trying to get them produced. He seems happy with the progress he's making. Tico has the baby line in stores and told me things are really looking good on the clothes front. He amazes me. Between the clothes, art, painting, a new marriage and his jet-setting lifestyle I continue to be amazed. The girls on Ally all asked about him. He is the man.
On the My VH1 Awards front, we heard about the hacking of the system by a handful of U2 fans and so did VH1. As of today I don't know if we've won but if it works out... thank you for your support. VH1 have been
great to us also but it's been your determination that has kept us in the forefront of the voting this year.
Luke Ebbin will co-produce the album with Richie and myself and I'll see them both later today as we continue the demos. I'd like to do a pizza jury so we'll see if we can figure that out. If all goes well, we'll be in the studio at the same time as I fulfill my Ally obligation so that will mean doing at least part of the record in L.A.
That's about all I've got for now so have a great holiday season wherever you are. Enjoy the little things and maybe next year will be a better one.