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Bon Jovi's Sambora on life, lyrics and live shows 17 December 2005 article


WHO: Bon Jovi.
WHAT: Rock.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
WHERE: Continental Arena, East Rutherford. (201) 935-3900.
HOW MUCH: $47.50, $65 and $95, Ticketmaster.

Bon Jovi shocked the music industry in 2000 with "It's My Life," the surprise hit single that marked the band's triumphant return from a five-year hiatus.

The single, from the album "Crush," was the start of Bon Jovi's new millennium renaissance. The band's follow-up, 2002's "Bounce," reached No. 2 on the Billboard album charts. Bon Jovi's new CD, "Have a Nice Day," also hit No. 2 on the charts upon its release in September.

"Have a Nice Day" sold 202,000 copies in its first week of release, a Bon Jovi record, and the eponymous first single is receiving solid rotation on rock radio.

All this from a band that industry watchers had long dismissed as far past its 1980s prime, when Bon Jovi turned out four No. 1 singles: "You Give Love a Bad Name," "Livin' on a Prayer," "Bad Medicine" and "I'll Be There for You."

Bon Jovi - singer Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres and bassist Hugh McDonald - performs Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at Continental Arena in East Rutherford.

In a recent teleconference, Sambora spoke about Bon Jovi's longevity, change in lyrical direction and live show.

Q. You surprised a lot of people with your success in 2000 after being away for five years, and your continued success since then. Many critics said Bon Jovi wouldn't survive the death of the hair band craze in the early 1990s, yet here you are. To what do you attribute your longevity?

There are some organizations that are just able to transcend through whatever [trend] is happening, and we've been lucky enough to be one of those bands. And the way we do that is just to be ourselves. We just kept evolving into a better us.

I think that one of the reasons that people still come to see us is because of the camaraderie of what we have together, we survived all this [stuff], this hair band criticism stuff.

And what we did during that period of time [in the early to mid-1990s when the band's popularity waned somewhat in America] is actually become a huge monster outside this country. We've been playing stadiums all over the world. And I think that, you know, people want to see people stay together. We still like each other. It's pretty unbelievable after 22 years, but....


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