domingo, 4 de julio de 2010
Rock solid Jon Bon Jovi .
HIS anthems follow a populist formula, but Jon Bon Jovi is not a rock star cliche.
"This cliche of being in a rock band - who gives a sh... any more?" Bon Jovi says, smiling. "It's not sexy, it's not fun, it's certainly not important.
"If your headlines are more about drink and drug habits, and not records or touring ability, you're an idiot."
Bon Jovi, 48, should know.
He has sold 120 million albums and played to 34 million fans while skilfully avoiding the traps of drink, drugs and divorce.
His bandmates haven't fared so well.
Guitarist Richie Sambora is divorced from actor Heather Locklear and underwent treatment for alcohol abuse and painkiller addiction.
Keyboardist David Bryan is also divorced. Drummer Tico Torres sought help for a drinking problem.
"It's not easy to see your friends go through tough times. It's not pretty," Bon Jovi says.
"I had to be a shoulder. I'll be damned if I wasn't there for them."
Bon Jovi casually shrugs when asked how he dodged so many bullets.
"I am certainly not perfect," he says. "But the harder you work, the luckier you get.
"It's part of what I have to do. It's part of what I tell our fanbase. To contradict that would mean the whole thing is a farce."
Certainly the Bon Jovi empire, formed almost 30 years ago, is hard to ridicule.
The band's latest record, The Circle, charted globally.
A world tour to support the album is, according to US concert tracker Pollstar, the No.1 tour of 2010.
And the unbreakable circle of Bon Jovi, Sambora, Torres and Bryan endures.
"We know each other better than we know our wives, brothers or sisters," Bon Jovi says.
"That's not an exaggerated comment. The truth of the matter is we've spent more time together than our siblings or spouses.
"We have been through the circle of life together - good, bad and indifferent.
"From being boys seeing the world for the first time, to getting married, to having kids, divorces and death.
"If it was over today, I'd look back at these parts of my life as being integral to who I am. All the successes - I did it with these guys at my side."
And his wife, Dorothea Hurley, quietly on the sidelines.
"I have been with her for 30 years and never been happier," Bon Jovi says. "She is smart, strong and independent. You need to be strong and independent to understand the ups and downs of this nomadic life.
"What I do does not define her. She is not the pop star wife who wants to be the celebrity in the family, or never miss an opening. That's not the real world."
Those truths made Bon Jovi quit acting. His feature film credits include Moonlight And Valentino and U-571.
"I found a love of music again that didn't really allow for acting," Bon Jovi says.
"But it was frustrating, too. The roles I was being offered were shite and the truth is - when you're used to being the creator, to stand in that long line to audition for some part every other guy already turned down, life's too short.
Bon Jovi detested the Hollywood system, too.
"It's just not for me," he says. "Hollywood is an island. It's so superficial. It always seems to be asking: 'What have you done for me today?'
"It's all about how hot are you today? Not in your career, not in your lifetime. I find the whole thing rather rotten."
Bon Jovi recognises the ever-revolving door of Hollywood brats. He files them under his pet hate: cliches.
"All the young kid cliches," he says with a sigh.
"These cliches are what you make them, then the media magnifies it. It's a vicious cycle, so I stay out of it."
These days, Bon Jovi has an air of elder statesman about him, a rocker who took care to build the foundations and who is still standing.
The band's stadium-sized show, The Circle Tour, is one of the biggest concert events to visit Australia.
It has an epic set-list to match, which includes Living On A Prayer, Wanted (Dead Or Alive), You Give Love A Bad Name, Blaze of Glory, Always, Bed of Roses and Have A Nice Day.
Bon Jovi says: "We built a reputation on being a live band first and foremost.
"We are from an era when you had time to do several albums to build a following. Then you cut your teeth as a live band.
"We were the youngest part of that old band era. It took three albums to break and 500 shows to build a foundation around the globe. Now we're in the uppermost echelon of what a touring band is."
Bon Jovi, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, December 11. Tickets go on sale on July 8.