|Vets Bon Jovi still having fun
After more than 20 years together, these Jersey rockers are having the time of their lives: An exclusive chat with frontman Jon Bon Jovi
Not many rock bands, more than two decades into their career, can celebrate the release of one of their most successful albums and fastest-selling tours.
And of all the groups, who would have thought such longevity would be enjoyed by Bon Jovi?
The New Jersey rockers' latest disc, Have A Nice Day, debuted at No.1 in this country (and several others) when it was released last September. It also gave the band the highest first-week sales of their 22-year career in Canada and the U.S.
"I guess people like the songs," the band's frontman and lead singer, 43-year-old Jon Bon Jovi, says down the line from Los Angeles in a Toronto newspaper exclusive with the Sun.
"You know, it's that kind of idea that they keep coming back because of the songs. I don't know. It's a phenomenon to us too. We're real pleased. That's all I can say."
On top of that, Bon Jovi have sold out a stunning four nights at the Air Canada Centre, beginning Saturday night (Jan. 21, 23-24, 30). The first three shows sold out in less than 15 minutes.
Even band leader Bon Jovi, whose group recently passed the 100-million worldwide sales mark, is impressed.
"Look, we're not taking it for granted," says Bon Jovi, on his way to begin shooting an episode of The West Wing (see sidebar).
"I'm not going to pretend to not be excited about it. But, in all honesty, we're selling (out) two, three and four nights (in many markets), and it's the kind of thing if there were more days in the schedule, we would (add shows). I can't. So it's really great that we could find the four nights in Toronto.
"It's really humbling to do what you love to do and do it at the level that we do it at," he says. "It's not nostalgia and it's not rehashed reunion or anything silly, you know what I mean? We've had our ups and downs, mind you, but in the grand scheme of things, it's been very positive.
"It's great to know that (we've gone) from the El Mocambo, our first time there (in January 1984), to (now playing) four nights at the arena. I have a lot of great memories of Toronto.The first movie I ever did was there (Moonlight And Valentino). Playing places like the Mocambo -- when you think about the Stones having been there, great memories of that kind of stuff, and then coming back there now 20-plus years later and still having that kind of feeling for the place -- it's great, it's fabulous. I'm humbled and grateful. I've played there a bunch but never four nights."
The Have A Nice Day tour involves a dozen trucks and a road crew of 100, so expect a big production with an audience participation section where "there'll be, no exaggeration, 200 people up on the stage during a portion of the show where they are invited to come and sit up there," Bon Jovi says.
Bon Jovi also expects the set list for Toronto to have changed from the first leg of the tour, which launched last November in Chicago. The second North American leg began last night in Oklahoma City.
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