November 8, 2010

And I will love you...always.

I just got back from the One Night Only event - from seat-dancing, waving my arms in the air, singing at the top of my lungs, screaming and laughing with my dear friends - and reliving the three most incredible nights of my life in May.

I also fell in love with Bon Jovi all over again.

There's something so deeply powerful about that band, and the effect they have on me. I've been going through hell the last few weeks, and tonight was a shining beacon of excitement amid a slump of depression and lack of energy. I was looking forward to getting away, even though academic and money stress plagued me up until the minute I left for the theater. But the second I walked through those doors and saw my friends, all women I've been to many a Jovi show with, smiling and yelling my name, I forgot all about my worries. Just for a minute.

And when Jon, Richie, Tico, and Dave took the stage (on screen), big and beautiful and larger than life, and swung into Blood On Blood, I literally had to choke back tears.

I was attacked by a rush of emotions - overwhelming joy, comfort, and relief, which Bon Jovi has the uncanny ability to bring me, as well as a POWERFUL sense of deja vu that took me back to the emotions I felt on May 26th, 27th, and 29th, when I saw them play New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey for the first time.

Then, I had been recovering from an equally exhausting and stressful year that had literally weakened me to the point of illness. When I was standing in that enormous hometown crowd within the walls of NMS, the open summer night sky above me, and those beloved men playing their hearts out onstage, my heart was flooded. I was in a sphere of safety and sheer happiness, excitement, energy, and euphoria for the next three hours -- nothing could touch me. I was living a longtime dream, with the words and beat of songs that have been the soundtrack of my life pounding through my veins. They inspired me. They encouraged me. They comforted me and lifted me up and told me: YOU CAN DO IT. You've done it. You made it through a challenging year, learned and grew a hell of a lot, and suffered - but you're stronger for it.

NOTHING can describe that feeling. It's something you feel so deeply within your soul that your body doesn't know how to react to it - the emotions are so powerful that you can do nothing but simply break down and cry. And I did.

Each of their live shows takes me away to a place I can never attain elsewhere - I surrender completely to them, and for 2 or 3 hours my feet are not on the ground. I am happy, carefree - not a worry in the world, not a thing on my mind except the music and the men. My heart literally expands as they play each song, the melodies and the lyrics and the fist-punching adrenaline traveling through the venue and beating into your veins. The whole atmosphere makes me smile, laugh, sing at the top of my lungs, wave my arms in the air, throw back my head, and breathe everything in. It is PHENOMENAL how they do that, and it is for that reason that they put on the best show on Earth.

A part of me will truly die when they cease touring and performing, because their live act is so sacred. I can't even imagine how I will feel when that day comes, to look back on a lifetime of memories and the feelings that I crave during a tour or a show, and know I will never have it again...I deeply dread it.

Tonight, I was transported back in time to those supernatural feelings that took over me on those warm May nights. This time, I was in a crowded, hot theater with a roof over my head - but I was surrounded by friends and the same words from the same band were strumming through my heart.

I can attribute certain moments in my life to those words and songs. "It's My Life" was the song that introduced me to the band and grabbed hold of my heart when I was 11 years old. As a teenager, my nickname was Billie Jean - thus, "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night" became "my" song. "Lay Your Hands On Me" was the song I played the second I got home from my high school graduation; Richie's "Rosie" blasted in the background after I talked to my boyfriend (long-distance on the phone) on New Year's Eve the first year we met. "Whole Lot of Leavin'" was the song that broke my heart and healed it again when my boyfriend left after visiting the first time that summer; Richie's "Undiscovered Soul" gave me the strength I needed to move away from home for the first time, and "Love's the Only Rule" comforted me more deeply than I've ever been comforted when I was so homesick I could break down.

And each song in their extensive catalog - whether it's an anthem I can rock out to, an encouraging song I gain confidence from, or a ballad that brings tears to my eyes - each of them stirs memories and emotions.

I can never truly explain how the band has saved my life. Through the most tumultuous times of my life so far, they've been there to hurt me, heal me, and make me come alive. They've seen heartbreak, horror, anger, catastrophe, happiness, excitement, love, change, and new horizons. From hot, still summer nights as a teenager, locked up in my room, listening to New Jersey and writing in my journals - to the first time I ever saw them live and knew I would never miss another show again - they've been there.

They brought me the most amazing, wonderful, dearest women - whose friendships I will cherish until the day I die. They brought me a man who has captured my heart and utterly changed my life, who has loved me and made me into a far better person than I used to be.

When I was broken, they were there. When I was soaring above the clouds, they were there. Through many an important event in my life and every facet of who I am as a person, they were there.

I've tried to put this into words before, and I have never quite hit the nail on the head. I don't expect to tonight, either, but my heart is so full from emotional realizations that I have to try to give them credit once more.

How can you ever thank someone when they've changed your life and don't even know it? When their presence and the music they make has inspired so much emotion and change, and turned your world upside down (for the better)?

You can't. And I will never be able to communicate that to them. But I will hold them within my heart, and cherish their impact on my life until the day I stop breathing.

I made a pact with myself tonight, that I am going to try to separate Bon Jovi the Band from Bon Jovi the Politics: all the inner workings and technical underbelly are henceforth pushed aside. I had started to get jaded about them, finding the song "Work For the Working Man" hypocritical, turning to bitterness over the fan club's corruption and the ticket price fiasco. I had started to blame Jon, and see him as an arrogant rockstar ass in some ways.

I don't want that to happen. I don't want to tarnish the beautiful image they have in my heart with disillusions about power and greed. Until Jon comes outright and says that he doesn't care about the fans - and even then I would be in denial - he is the beautiful, smiling, kindhearted man that I fell in love with all those years ago. Because I know he truly is.

So from now on, my Bon Jovi is the Bon Jovi that so long ago courted me, pulled me close and danced so intimately with me that I fell head over heels almost instantaneously. It's the Bon Jovi who saw me through the roller coaster of growing up, gave me those indescribable live concerts that have left individual imprints on my heart, built me up when I was broken, and rejoiced with me when I was whole. And there are a million more memories to be made, broken hearts to mend, and joys to share - because they are so intertwined in my heart and soul that I can never let them go.

My Bon Jovi is my Superman Tonight, and always - always - will be.


Anonymous said...

Hi Becky,

I've never commented, and we don't know each other, though I read your blog all the time & follow you on twitter. Tonight though, I wanted to say something. This is the best post you've written. Everything I've ever wanted to say about my love for this band, and you've captured it perfectly. There are literally tears in my eyes. I'm 17 years old, I've been a fan since right before Lost Highway came out, and I've had many problems with serious depression, so your words speak to me soo personally & perfectly. I'm going to see the loves of my life for the first time this coming March, and I'm almost terrified to, because I know that if there ever was any doubt that I'm obsessed, lol, there will be no turning back. Not that I want to!! Haha!

Anyway, fantastic job. Jon & the boys are, and always will be my Supermen, just as you've said. Much love!

Becky said...

Marnie -

Thank you SO much for your honest and kind words. I'm very happy to hear that *my* words touched you and that you can relate - it is difficult every time I feel this way to put it all into words, but I tried to let my heart guide me tonight.

You are going to have the most amazing, incredible experience when you finally see them live, and it will stay with you forever. I still remember my first time - almost the last row at the back of the venue in Las Vegas, not even a full show but an off-tour anniversary gig. I needed binoculars to see, but I was dancing until I nearly collapsed, so exhilarated and overwhelmed that I didn't sleep a wink that night. The music, the energy, the atmosphere - it's all so infectious and incredible, and you will LOVE it.

Don't be scared, be excited and let the giddiness overtake you. It's worth it. Have a wonderful time, and let me know what you think after the show! :)

And thank you again for your comment, it means a lot to me. xx

Joanna said...

Just beautiful Becky! I'm glad you had a great time last night and it reconnected you with the band and all that goes with it!! <3

Rue said...

WOW, what a fabulous post Becky.

Johanne said...

Hi Becky, it's Saturday morning, and I just read your post. Boy, did you just bring tears to my eyes and stirred up a lot of emotions. I old enough to be your Mom and I wish I was this morning and be able to hug you and tell you that all is going to be alright. Just hang in there, you'll pull through. I know that life sucks sometimes, I had more than my share of downhills in my life, but as you beautifully wrote, this Band helped me, and still are, coping with it all. I have good and bad memories when I ear them, because each song is attached to emotions that I felt once hearing it. Keep the faith, it's not always that way. When I was in a very bad day, period, or mood, my secret was to take one day at a time, even one hour at a time, and to push away all negativeness that was killing me. Always try to see the bright side of things. Today, I'm over 40, and proud mother of two and an even more proud grandmother of a beautiful baby boy. I'm lucky enough to have all of them in good health and that is what's the most important. I'm also lucky to still be marry to the man of my life (the other one being Jon, of course!)for more than 25 years. See, there is a brighter side to everything. I have to admit though, that I'm also dreading the day that Bon Jovi will announced that all is over. Don't know how I will cope with all this, but in the meantime, I'm carburating on the shows that I will attend in February in Montreal. I'm still on my Bon Jovi cloud since the last show! Too much for my heart! Take care Becky and don't backdown on life, it is already better. Love U

Kris said...

Hi Becky....
I just had to comment on JoviBits--which I truly enjoy---as well as your post(s).
I have been a fan since 1982 (The Power Station years b4 there was a Bongiovi (lol) I am a Jersey girl that completely appreciates the band and what they stand for!!! On March 2 2011 I will attend concert number 18 and let me tell you--the anticipation is unreal! He will be in Phila that night for his 49th Birthday (we were there in 08 for his 47th) and you cannot imagine how the house goes nuts when we sing Happy Birthday (led by Richie) It is magical. I agree that I am not sure how I will react when they announce their retirement--I know it will be a sad day for me---but since JBJ is only a year older than me--I can see his point on the relentless tours. Let's hope they tour for the next 20 years---I plan on growing older with the guys!!!! Thanks so much for your interesting site!!! I enjoy it very much!!! A True Jovi Girl!!!