Smash Hits, 29 November 2000

At Home With Bon Jovi
Ever wondered what it would be like to use Jon Bon Jovi's toilet? Well. just before Smash Hits is due to meet the Patron Saint of Rock, we feign the need for a wee so we can check out the 'smallest room' in his New York apartment. Inside, we find he has patterned toilet tissues, heart-shaped soap, ultra-swanky Hiehis handcream and a framed poster from his film, The Leading Man, on the wall.

The Jovi residence is on the 28th floor of a posh apartment block, a building he shares with famous actor Liam Neeson and a bunch of supermodels. It's so high up it makes your head spin, but you can't help looking out of the huge windows to admire the amazing view over Central Park. The living room is decorated in a zillion shades of beige, and there are loads of photos of Jon with his wife and children, the rest of the band - even outgoing President Bill Clinton.

Smash Hits is having a good nose around when we hear the thud of cowboy boots strutting across the floorboards. Aargh! It's him! The Jovi himself! "Hi," he smiles, picking up a copy of Smash Hits, and spotting the ad for a Johnny Bravo wig. "If you send me one of these, I'll give you such a good interview. My kids really, really dig Bravo. They would love it if I came in wearing one of these!"

The word is that Jon's feeling a little peaky today. "I've had bronchitis, bit I'm over it now," he sighs with a wave of his hand. "I'm back to work next week, because we're going on tour, and after this I'm off to New Jersey."

Jon, his wife Dorothea and their two children, Jesse James and Stephanie Rose, spend most of their time in their larger family home in New Jersey. He describes it as "big, palatial and decorated in a French style". Rumour has it that he owns an old English pub there too.

"Yes I do!" he chuckles. "It's calked the Shoe Inn and it thas a 100-year-old bar. There's a lot of stuff goes on in there - things that you wouldn't want to know about!"

Fellow rocker Bruce Springstein often comes over for a swift tipple and Jon is very proud of his bartending skills. "The drink of choice is called the Cosmopolitan, which they say I make better than the people at the Met Bar," he whispers. "You mix up vodka, cranberry juice, a little blue lime juice and triple sec. If you make it just right, with the right pink hue, it's damaging!"

And does he serve pork scratchings too? "Sure, there are bar snacks! It's a place where there are beer nuts on offer and you get the peanut shells on the ground," grins Jon.

He's a big fan of all things English. In fact, he was inspired to buy his city apartment after he filmed the Leading Man in London back in 1996. "I wanted to get a place over there, but I was afraid I wouldn't use it, so we wanted to try to capture some of the magic of London here," he explains.

Then he was down to Jon and his wife to do a Handy Andy on the place. "Dorothea and I like the same things and I guess we would trust each other to buy stuff. We both saw this picture and went, 'Oh yeah!'" he says, before gesturing to an , er, 'unusual chair that's been shoved up the corner. "But when the interior designer brings you a chair like that, it's neither of us!

"When a designer is looking for stuff, we'll say, 'Buy a table you can put pizza on pr put your feet up on.'" That doesn't sound very rock 'n' roll! Jon shakes his tousled head. "My ideal night in is a Saturday at my house, where there will be ten people watching a movie on the nig screen (JBJ has a cinema in his "other" house) and then we'll go to the pub."

Does he make his mates watch his own movies? "We've get whatever's coming out. Last week was Almost Famous," he says. "But we did see U-571 there. I'm proud of that film! I have no problem watching myself on screen. I'm over that! I don't listen to Bon Jovi music around the house though."

The Jovi have spent a lot of time on the rock 'n' roll highway recently, but when Jon returns from a tour, he likes to put his feet up and relax with his wife and the kids. "During the football season, we'll all sit on the couch, and I won't shower or shave all day! I like a veritable pot-pourri of junk food and football."

As Stephanie Rose is seven and Jesse James is five it seems like their famous dad is steering them towardsa rawk lifestyle. "My kids have always been into music. They know the difference between Elvis Costello and Elvis Presley," he insists. "They can hear the little kids' stuff from their schoolfriends, but they don't hear it in my house. I've yet to buy them a Britney Spears record. My daughter wanted to dress as Britney for Halloween though. I think it's funny, it's cute."

It's tough being away from his family so much, but these days, Jon's used to being out on the road. "I'm one of those guys who doesn't need many things around him to feel at home," he says. "I think I've grown accustomed to that way of living after 20 years. If you can't carry it in a suitcase, you don't need it!"

One place Jon isn't at home, though, is in the kitchen. "I can't cook and I don't care too," he frowns. "But I'm a great
cleaner-upper. You see, I'm a great guy to invite over because I'll bring a great wine and then do the dishes."