"Tico's got his drum right up my butt and he plays some different feels and he does some different things, and I smile..."
Sorry. Take that as you will - dirty or just simply silly! - but it made me laugh out loud.
Bon Jovi gearing up for big tour
By Jane Stevenson
There's no rest for the wicked, or in the case of New Jersey rock veterans Bon Jovi, for the super-successful.
Hot on the heels of having the No. 1 tour of 2010, and releasing a greatest-hits collection in November, the band is hitting the road again. They visit four Canadian cities between next week and May, as part of an extensive North American tour. First up is a two-night stand at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Feb. 14-15.
Bon Jovi have been in the music business together for 28 years and sold 125 million albums worldwide. The keys to their success? Simple. Hard work and friendship.
"Love of music, love of each other," said guitarist Richie Sambora, 51, down the line with drummer Tico Torres, 58, during a teleconference interview.
"We're brothers. And we go out there and we look at each other and I don't want to play with nobody else, you know? Tico's got his drum right up my butt and he plays some different feels and he does some different things, and I smile -- and then I'll play something different. And it's an exchange of energy. Not only between the band and the audience, but between the band. I mean those three hours or two-and-a-half hours on stage every night is what we live for."
Added Torres: "Richie's right. We play off each other and that's what we have, that's what a band is. Really, the innuendos and the changes that we make are (the key). We play differently every night. It's something that you look forward to because, you know, you spend a lot of time in the hotel room away from home, and you're looking forward to those three hours on stage."
Sambora said that over the years Bon Jovi has perfected the art of what he calls "giving good stadium." Through the use of large video screens audience members "can see the sweat,' and having a charismatic frontman in the form of Jon Bon Jovi, who manages to keep things intimate no matter how large the setting. Neither Sambora nor Torres says the band thinks about scaling things down to do a theatre tour.
"Maybe when we're 85 we'll do the small, little tour because you don't have to run around a lot," Torres cracked.
After the current tour wraps with European dates in August, Bon Jovi will take the next couple of years off. Jon Bon Jovi has already said he might make another solo record in the group's down time.
"I think it's important for us to just get away from the audience for a bit," Torres said. "We've toured the world quite a bit, and sometimes you've got to get away so people can appreciate you better."
Added Sambora: "We do need a little bit of a break, but not that much of a break because what's going to happen is there's going to be more songs to be written and, you know, guess what? We want to be the Rolling Stones. I know I do."
Bon Jovi might not get the same critical respect as the Rolling Stones of the music world, but they have had the top-grossing tours of 2008 and 2010.
"You know what, we get the respect from the people," Sambora said. "And on this particular tour, on the Circle Tour (in 2010), the media came around ... Personally, I don't read the reviews myself."
Added Torres: "I don't think we ever did (read the reviews). I think you gauge yourself. Remember, we're from the East Coast -- Jersey, New York -- and our motto has always been. 'Go up there and kick some ass.'"
Sambora, however, does bristle a bit at the fact that this was the first year Bon Jovi was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but didn't make the final cut.
"Personally, I mean I think it's a boys club over there. I don't know what they're doing. And, you know, they're looking for ratings or what are they're doing, I have no idea. Is it legitimate? Let's ask that question."
Torres has a more diplomatic take on it.
"The bands that were nominated this year and the ones that made it -- well deserved. And it's just -- well, it's nice to be nominated. We have a long life ahead of us. And I think there's a lot of bands that we're included with that, one day, should be in the Hall of Fame, and will be. So we just do what we do, play in front of people and have fun until then."
What it takes to succeed in music
Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora has some advice for the young hot music stars of today -- the Justin Biebers of the world.
Write your own songs.
"Well, you know, I had the pleasure of meeting Justin, and I introduced my daughter (13-year-old Ava, with ex-wife Heather Locklear) to him. And hopefully she won't be going out with him any time soon," Sambora said jokingly.
"Although, I thought he was a great guy, I really did. I think he's a nice boy. And, you know, now the business has changed and you just got to write great songs that get to people. I mean, that's the advice."
Sambora also advises working with like-minded people.
"You've got to get in the band with people that have your same passion. If you don't have passion for something, you know, then there's a problem there. So continue to be better, because every time that this band gets on stage we try to get better. Every time I sit down with Jon (Bon Jovi), we try to write a great song."