November 25, 2010

"Coming Full Circle"

From, although it was transcribed from Universal Music Group.

Pretty cut-and-paste, dry responses (again), but the Twitter bit is interesting. hehehe

By: Christopher Toh

It has been a long road for Bon Jovi. One that stretches 27 years to be exact.

In that span of time, the American rock group has sold over 130 million records worldwide and performed more than 2,600 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 34 million fans.

Best known for their hard rock stadium anthems like Livin' On A Prayer, Keep The Faith and It's My Life, Bon Jovi has also been honoured with numerous awards and accolades. And they're still going strong.

Pollstar has cited the band's Circle Tour as tops in the Top 20 Concert Tours for 2010 so far.

Earlier this week, the band - singer Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres and current bassist Hugh McDonald - booted the unstoppable Taylor Swift off the top of the Canadian charts with their greatest hits collection, which also attained pole position in several countries in Europe.

So how does it feel to be one of the biggest rock bands from America? And are they too old to tweet? The 48-year-old headmaster Jon Bon Jovi tells all.

Why did you wait so long before releasing the Ultimate Collection?

It was part of a commitment to the record company. I would not have intended to release a second volume of greatest hits. I had to be convinced of it.

When I informed the record company in 2007 that I intended to go to Nashville to record what became Lost Highway, they thought I was going to make a pure country record. "Sure, of course, you can do whatever you like (but) will you agree to a greatest hits?" And I said, "It's a deal."

And as we began to write songs for what would become that greatest hits commitment, the economic downturn, the election of president Obama in America and a chain of events inspired what became The Circle. And the record company asked again if we would consider the greatest hits and I said, "Sure." This was an opportune time.

Greatest hits are usually a culmination of a career and one that is perhaps finished. We're anything but finished. We agreed to do this because the Crossroad package was released in '94, and we've had lots of hits since then.

And because we wanted to make sure the fans got value added ... I wrote five new songs.

Can you tell us more about them?

Those songs were written specifically for (the Ultimate Collection) so it was a different mindset. These are more anthemic rock songs about who we are. I wouldn't say they are socially conscious - just uplifting Bon Jovi anthems that were fitting of a greatest hits (album).

Have you ever thought about changing your sound?

I guess it may have come and gone in my consciousness to consider things that could have been perceived as extreme. Case in point: Nashville, going down to do the Lost Highway record.

On the other hand, you do what it is that you do. We feel confident that throughout the years, our music has grown and matured, and has become a little more socially conscious, while remaining true to who we are. And I'm not re-writing You Give Love A Bad Name - that seems like something that was written by a 25-year-old guy.

How do you feel about being nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame?

It is a very elite club, and I hope the outcome is a positive one, and if it is not, I will be disappointed. But you're in the company of Elvis, The Beatles and The Stones ... the greatest of the great. And when we were inducted a year ago into the Songwriters Hall Of fame, that is an even more elite group. To be among people like Bob Dylan, Hank Willlains, John (Lennon) and Paul (McCartney) - that was kind of astounding.

I'm not that impressed with the Grammys or MTV awards. But when you are remembered for your songwriting and records you've made, that's pretty great.

Where do you get inspiration for songs?

The beauty is, if you open your eyes and ears, every day is an opportunity to write a song. If you were caught up about the miners in Chile, there would be story there, if you chose to write about it, or if you were watching your kids wake up and go to school that day.

Do you or your kids use Facebook or Twitter?

I can't even concentrate while the TV is on and I want to read an article in the papers. But you know kids nowadays, it's very natural for them.

I do not tweet, no. I don't think anyone really needs to know what I'm doing every moment of the day. We have that Facebook page that the band has. On occasion I have to put something up. We update it with a guy who is on the road with us - that's his job. It is an amazing way to reach five million people who are interested in you, with a touch of the button.

Comparing your albums to your live shows, which moves fans more?

Earlier on in our career, I remember that they used to say that the band was a best-kept secret of rock 'n' roll. And that point pertains to probably the recording of our first few albums and people would often say, "You gotta see them live."

It was with the recording of the third record that we started to capture that live essence on vinyl. But our reputation precedes us as a live band - there is a reason why 34 million people have seen the band over the years.

People come because they know the songs. My wife and daughter were in Beijing this year, and they told me how excited the people in the hotel were, just from the name.

What is the greatest or biggest achievement of Bon Jovi this year?

I think once the numbers are added up, in 2010, Bon Jovi will be the biggest tour in the world, which will make it two out of three years. The nomination for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, though we have yet to be inducted.

The Circle being a No 1 album, and the response to the record the world over. And opening of our stadium in New Jersey for four nights and doing 12 nights in London - it's been big and that's just at the top of my head.

Any plans after your long career?

The beauty of my life is that I have no plans. This is what I was going to do and I did, and it has been a wonderful life thus far, and I have no intention of quitting. I'm not one of those coulda, shoulda, woulda, kinda of people who just really want to finish this so I can go off and be a gardener. When I want to try things, I try them. If it was acting or philanthropy or owning a sports franchise, I just did them. Some more successful than others, but that's what life is: A series of experiments and experiences.


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