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March 04, 1993 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-03-04

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The Mchign E.-Thusday r .

Close Encounters
of the Black
Bohemian Mind
1. It's been awhile, so let's open
with a hearty (belated) Happy Valen-
tine wish to all my friends.
2. A special Xtra large batch of
hugs and kisses to everyone that re-
sponded to "Who Stole The Soul?"
Now do yourselves a favor and read
"The Death of Rhythm and Blues" by
Nelson George and call me in the
morning.
3. I suppose that Red Hot Chili
Peppers/George Clinton gig at the
Grammy's was cute andall. Ijust wish

gives pop metal
a good name
BY KRISTEN KNUDSEN,

Doesn't Jon look the cat's pajamas with his new haircut?

it would have sounded better. But why
didn't any of them acknowledge why
yer boy had "Hazel" written down the
leg of his pants?
4. For the record, Eddie Hazel was
an extraordinary guitarist that kicked it
in the Parliament/Funkadelicposse for
years. Sadly, he died last month, to
little (if any) fanfare. So I'm taking a
moment to pay tribute to one hell of a
musician, who influenced folks like
Living Colour and the Peppers them-
selves immensely. Peace out two fin-
gers, my brother. You will be missed.
5. D'ya ever notice how insanely
perfect coffee beans are? Coffee beans
are beautiful, sweet, sexy, crazy works
of art. Especially the ones with that
little line in the middle. Enough to
make you wanna sing Barry White
songs at the top of your lungs to the
world. It's all about coffee beans.
6. March Required listening:
"Stain" (Living Colour), "In Search of
Manny" (Luscious Jackson - com-
ing out soon, I swear!), "19 Naughty
3" (Naughty By Nature), "Where You
Been" (Dinosaur Jr.), "Dusk" (The
The), "Reachin' (ARefutation of Time
and Space)" (Digable Planets).
7. Welcome to the real world,
America.Thebombatthe WorldTrade
Center was a rude introduction to the
helpless fear people in so many coun-
triesexperienceon adaily basis. Kinda
harsh.
8. M.H.H.'s Book of The Month
Club selection: "In The Tradition, "an
amazing collection of fiction and po-
etry by young African writers. It's ed-
ited by Kevin Powell'(you know, the
Black guy from the "Real World") and
Ras Baraka. Pure brilliance from a
bevy of perspectives.
9. Would someone please tell me
why that Snow character ("The In-
former") is all over the radio? No, I'm
not dissing him because he's White:
The guy's just got no skills whatso-
ever. I saw guys in New York come out
of the crowd at a hip hop club and just
flow. There's no justice...
*X Never ask the bear with a dozen
arrows stuck in his back why he's
angry - Either help get the arrows out,
or get the hell out of the way.
11. If you ever get the chance,
make a stop in Kylerville, PA. The gift
shop at the Motel K is more than worth

Back in the glory days of the 1980's
when mood lipstick, feathered hair, roller
skating and Bon Jovi were all the rage,
the albums "Slippery When Wet" and
"New Jersey" sold over 25 million cop-
ies worldwide and Jon Bon Jovi was the
fantasy of teenyboppers everywhere (in-
cluding myself, I might add). Jon, gui-
tarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist
David Bryan, bassist Alec John Such
and drummer Tico Torres brought long-
haired-guy music to the mainstream
and became superstars in the process.
Bon Jovi's fame had no bounds and one
question is: How did they do it?
"I'd like to think that we did have the
great songs, which we did," Sambora
said. "We had 'Livin' on a Prayer' and
'Wanted Dead or Alive' and 'I'll Be
There for You' and songs like that. 'Bad
Medicine' and things like that, thatwere,
you know, good rock songs, and the
ballads were really heartfelt, and we
wrote good material. But I think it's also
what the people wanted and it was also
timing. At the end of 1986 and the
beginning of 1987, there was a huge
hole for a band like us."
Maybe, but it's been 10 years since
Bon Jovi started out and a lot of bands
have come and gone. Furthermore, it's
been four years now since the band Bon
Jovi was heard from at all, and the music
scene has undoubtedly changed. Where
pretty-boy pop metal "power ballads"
once ruled the charts, now a Seattle-
tinged grunge and irreverent rap have
seemingly taken over. In Bon Jovi's
absence, bands like Alice in Chains and
Arrested Development have not only
filled Bon Jovi's shoes, but changed the
style altogether. So does Jon's new
shorter haircut signify that the members
of Bon Jovi were worried about their
comeback? No, according to Sambora,
Bon Jovi has always kept its cool.
"I don't know if you can honestly

say we were worried," he said. "What
you can say is that we discussed our
own evolution. But when you're a band
like us that has created such a niche for
themselves, you can'tchase these trends.
You know, if Jon donned a flannel shirt
and grew a goatee, I don't know if that
would really work!
"I think that what we did was just
kind of like evolved our own style and
stayed true to what we were as a band
and our roots, and I think at the end of
the day what makes you 'cool' is that if
you weather the storm and you're still
standing there."
Bon Jovi's music has evolved con-
siderably from the cowboy styling of
yesteryear. "Keep The Faith" discusses
society's lies and "Dry County" is a 10-
minute epic about the recession. This
may be surprising, since in the band's
"Slippery When Wet" home video,
Sambora described Bon Jovi'as a "good
American rock'n' roll band" that would
not be getting into any political stuff.
"Well, we grew up," he said matter-
of-factly. "That was five years ago. It's
a whole different view for all of us now.
We all went through a lot together. Not
only growing up in the public spotlight,
butjust having a lot more responsibility
to deal with now as an adult. Things,
happen, your views change."
Today the songs are more about
keeping the faith, being away from loved
ones and believing in yourself.
"I think that you need to believe in
yourself, number one," Sambora stated
in reference to the song "I Believe."
"You have to believe in your own soul
and what you feel. Your personality and
what you do is going to be able to
change the world if you make it that
way. If you tell your children 'you'll
never be President,' they'll never be
President. If you enrich them and let
them know that they can do anything

they want, they'll believe that they can
do anything they want. 'Little Bit of
Soul' is about the same thing."
Bon Jovi's mature new views have
helped them "weather the storm," so to
speak, as "Keep The Faith" debuted at
number five on Billboard's chart and
their romantic new single "Bed of
Roses" is the number one most-re-
quested video on MTV. Sambora cred-
its Bon Jovi's happy return to some
much-needed time apart, but says that
rumors of a breakup were "all bullshit."
He said: "We never thought that we
were going to break up. It was just a
well-needed break. Those rumors went
around the world. I remember Jon and I
speaking on the phone a few months
after the end of the ('New Jersey') tour
and we were both discussing about how
should we hold a press conference and
tell everybody that we didn't break up
or what, and we said nah, fuck 'em,and
kind of just let it go."
In the time apart, Jon Bon Jovi re-
corded the "Young Guns II" soundtrack
and Sambora recorded a bluesy solo
album called "Stranger In This Town."
Sambora admits that the ponderous na-
ture of his album did reflect some of his
feelings about Bon Jovi at the time.
"Yeah, I guess it did relate to a lot of
the stuff that was happening in Bon
Jovi. ... Because we were so big, I kind
of lost my individuality a bit," Sambora
acknowledged. "I kind of leftthatguy in
a hotel room somewhere, because I'd
become an integral part of what Bon
Jovi was, but I really didn't have any
idea who I was personally. I just knew
me within the band."
"Another hotel room, another stage,
another set of Bon Jovi's material and I
really had no idea who I was. I think all
of us were experiencing that same kind
of burn. So everybody needed to take a
See BON JOVI, Page 8

Jon struts his stuff with an inflatable doll.

'Never Say Goodbye' to Bon Jovi

I '

by Kristen Knudsen_
On Tuesday night, I and about
16,000 others came out to wish Jon
Bon Jovi a happy 31st birthday. But
from the opening notes of"I Believe,"
it was clear that the gift was ours. This
Bon Jovi
Palace
March 2, 1993
wasn't just a concert, it was a reaffir-
mation of Bon Jovi's place in music,
and when all was said and done, they
were better than they ever were before.
Constantly jumping around the stage
and out onto the ramps, peering up to
thenosebleed section, Jon and theboys
made it impossible to not become in-
volved.
Most of the hits were present, in-
cluding the explosive "You Give Love
aBadName,""BadMedicine,""Livin'
on a Prayer" and an impressive rendi-
tion of "Wanted Tead or Alive" ac-

companied by Richie Sambora on a
double-neck guitar. It was as much the
audience singing these songs as Jon.
And he seemed to appreciate it. When
the audience responded to his "you
givelove" with aroaring "abadname,"
Jon smiled and looked like he meant it.
Their new songs were just as
warmly received, a pan over the audi-
ence revealing that most already knew
the words to this stuff as well.'The new
songs fit well with the older songs, and
when the band went directly from their
first-ever single "Runaway" to the new
ode to workaholism "I'll Sleep When
I'm Dead," the crowd didn't miss a
syllable. One of the major highlights
ofthe show was provided by the band's
new hit single "Bed of Roses." The
energy that the band put into this song
pushed it to classic status. The place
was aglow with lighters and awe.
There were some rare treats for
diehard Bon Jovi fans like two of Jon's
solo songs, "B loodMoney"and"Blaze
of Glory." There were also afew cover
songs like Jon's soliirv "I Can't Heln

Falling In Love" and the band's im-
promptu "You Say It'sYour Birthday."
A TV monitor over the stage brought
the audience closer to the band, mak-
ing it possible to feel and see their
energy, sincerity and cohesiveness.The
show was lighthearted - Jon danced
with an inflatable doll that was thrown
on stage; and they seemed to be chang-
ing the set list as they went along, Jon
even taking requests at one point -
but the intensity was never absent.
The Jeff Healey Band turned out to
be a sophisticated opening band, con-
tributing 30 minutes of some calming,
somehow reassuring music. Their hit
single"Angel Eyes" was well-received
by all those who were lucky enough to
be paying attention.
Above all, though, the show be-
longed to Bon Jovi. When they finally
ended with the emotional ballad "Never
Say Goodbye" after more than two
hours of playing, it was difficult to
watch them go. With them left our
past, but not to worry. Like it or not,
they are our future. too.

v

n . _ A __1. _..._ .. _ J . . . L . , i . A .t

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