jueves, 29 de julio de 2010

Despite mass success, Bon Jovi remains as ambitious as ever ,


Jon Bon Jovi and the rest of his band will perform a long-awaited outdoor concert at Mosaic Stadium on July 28.

Jon Bon Jovi has never rested on his laurels and he's not about to start now.

Driven by a seemingly unquenchable thirst to create the best music possible, the 48-year-old Bon Jovi has always had a defined plan for his career.

"I know you will never be talking to me about a nostalgia tour or a reunion tour," Bon Jovi said in a recent telephone interview. "One thing I've always said is, 'We're going to do it on a level I've become accustomed to or we're not going to do it.' I'm not going to be the fat Elvis.

"There are some guys who love it so much that they can't do without it. There are guys that do it for the applause. There are guys that do it because they need the income. I do it to push myself as a writer and as a performer and as long as I'm loving it, man, when you're doing it at this level, it's pretty great.

"But the idea of me calling you and saying, 'Guess what? We're going to be at the Such and Such Saloon on Friday and Saturday playing the '80s hits.' You're not going to get that phone call from me. I'm out."

It's safe to say that Bon Jovi is nowhere near the fat Elvis stage in his career. Over the past 26 years, Bon Jovi and his bandmates -- Richie Sambora (guitar), Tico Torres (drums) and David Bryan (keyboards) -- have sold 120 million albums worldwide. The band, which is scheduled to play Regina's Mosaic Stadium on July 28, has reportedly played 2,600 concerts over the past 26 years, performing in 50 countries for 34 million fans.

While Bon Jovi jumped into the A-list of rock 'n' roll in 1986 with the release of Slippery When Wet, the New Jersey rockers have managed to extend their time in the spotlight with a number of high-profile tours.

The Slippery When Wet tour, tabbed by the media as the "Tour Without End," saw Bon Jovi play 130 shows in 1986-87, grossing a reported $28 million. The New Jersey tour played 232 shows in 22 countries in 1989-90, while the Keep The Faith tour included 177 shows in 38 countries in 1992-93. In 1995, the These Days tour consisted of 126 shows in 35 countries.

The band took a three-year hiatus following the tour, but returned to the road in 2000 with the Crush tour. At one point in the trek, Bon Jovi played before one million fans in fewer than 30 shows.

Bon Jovi continued to post impressive numbers as the band reached 20 years as a unit. The Have A Nice Day tour was the third-highest-grossing tour of 2006 at $131 million. Only the Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang world tour and Madonna's Confessions tour topped Bon Jovi in 2006. Then came the Lost Highway tour, which was ranked as the top-grossing tour in 2008 by Billboard. The tour had ticket sales of $210 million, with Pollstar determining Bon Jovi's gross for 2008 at $70 million.

Now 60 shows into the Circle World tour, which has 135 dates scheduled, Bon Jovi explained how he survives the gruelling pace of touring.

"Let me just say that those 135 shows are written in pencil, OK?" he said with a chuckle. "I'm not keeping tabs on how many shows I've done thus far. I don't know if it's 60. I really honestly don't know -- I'm not paying attention. But it's paced so well when you think about 135 shows over what is probably 16 or 17 months, it used to be 240 in the same amount of time. So it's quite civilized when compared to our youth.

"I don't want to make it sound like an old man tour. We're just doing it better. We do it really well. It's paced. I have the month of August off. It's alright. I think I've learned how to do this properly."

Better pacing doesn't mean that the band has stepped off the gas pedal when it comes to performing. A great example of its commitment to performing occurred recently in London, England, where the band had a string of 12 shows at the O2 Arena. As part of the promotion, the band made its way to the roof of the facility where it proceeded to play a short set before heading indoors for opening night.

"Let me tell how screwed up that was," said Bon Jovi.

"Not only did we do that, not only did they tie us to a harness, each one of us individually, we had to climb a ladder for the first 150 feet and then they pulled us up on a rope to the top. We did it, helicopters were flying all around and we played four or five songs up there. But then we had to go in and perform the first night in London that night.

"If you don't think I was already spent before I went on, between doing that gig and jet lag, I looked at my manager and wanted to punch him right in the nose," he said laughing. "If he wasn't 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6 I might have. It was a cool thing. It was a Let It Be moment."

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