60 SECONDS: Jon
Jon Bon Jovi was the proponent of what became known as Hair Metal - his band Bon Jovi spawned such huge 1980s hits as Living On A Prayer, You Give Love A Bad Name and Bad Medicine. The hits continued in the 1990s as Jon embarked on an acting career. The band, whose latest album Have A Nice Day was released last year, start a British tour in Glasgow tomorrow.
Unlike other bands from the 1980s, you didn't split up or sue each other. How did you manage that?
I always say
it's not a nostalgia or reunion tour. I guess ultimately we still like each
other's company and get on well on a work level. As long as Richie [Sambora] and
I keep writing these songs and people like them, we'll keep going. This year in
America, we've had a No.1 record in the country chart, so there's new
stuff for us to do.
Does rocking get more difficult as you get older?
No. It's paced in a different way now. We used to do 240 shows a tour. This one is quite civilised - it's only 85 shows. We'll play to the same number of people; it's just the venues are much bigger.
You were supposed to open Wembley Stadium. Are you disappointed that fell through?
Hugely. We closed the last Wembley Stadium so we'd have been the only people who could have said we opened and closed the same venue and sold out both times. I even offered to play in the parking lot on a huge extension cable, ha ha.
What's been your most extravagant purchase?
I've got a plane. It's a Falcon 2000. It seats ten people and I've had it for five years. Time is my most valuable commodity so, if something helps me get to where I need to go quicker, that's an extravagance I'll pay for.
But you also own a football team.
Right. They're there to make my life miserable. The team wins and I'm higher than can be; they lose and I'm miserable. It's not something I'll make money from but it's important philanthropically. It's part of what we're doing in the community in Philadelphia. My team have become role models for kids in the area and give families an affordable day out. We also build homes and playgrounds and have started a helpline for kids to talk about their problems, whether it's bullying or drugs or whatever.
We caused the hole in the ozone layer - there was no shortage of hairspray in the dressing room
Why have you got involved in that sort of charity work?
I believe in the adage of thinking global and acting local. Philadelphia's the No.9 city in America in terms of people living below the poverty line. There are serious homelessness issues there. We help out there because we grew up halfway between Manhattan and Philly. The band invested ?800,000 last year in home-building charities there. It's very rewarding.
What's the best thing about coming from New Jersey?
The attitude. You live with a chip on your shoulder. It's the attitude capital of the world.
How important is hair in rock?
At this point in my life, I'm just happy to have some.
Would you consider growing it back to its former glory?
No, it isn't necessary at this juncture in my life. It's nice to be able to see what's in front of me.
What's been your worst fashion blunder?
I don't know whether we should get the credit or the blame for the 1980s. We were responsible for the hole in the ozone layer - there was no shortage of hairspray in the dressing room - but those days are behind us. It wasn't until we stopped dressing out of our sisters' closets and stopped trying to look like the stereotypical successful LA 1980s rock group that we had any real success.
You were in Ally McBeal. Did it blow your rock credentials?
No. It turned some people on to me for the first time. There are people who don't have a clue about the music you've made until they see you in a movie or TV show. Ally was just another acting experience. It wasn't great and it wasn't bad.
Do all the groupies throwing themselves at you make it difficult to maintain a happy marriage?
It's just one of the risks you have to take in the profession I've chosen, ha ha. You handle them one at a time.
You topped many 'sexy rockstar' polls in the 1980s and 1990s. What's the oddest thing a fan has done to meet you?
Once we actually had girls hiding in the back of the van which took us from the hotel to the venue. They jumped out at us. It's a mystery how they got in there. They could still be on the kerb where we threw them out - along with the security guard who looked after me, ha ha.
Have you got more acting work coming up?
I'd like to do more movies. Aside from the opportunities for growth when I needed it emotionally, acting gives you the chance to sleep in the same bed for weeks at a time, which you don't get to do on tour. I got to live in London for three months when I was filming The Leading Man ten years ago and I lived in Malta and Rome for several weeks each. Those are great experiences.