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Bon Jovi still rocks the stage 24 February 2006 article


What is it about Jon Bon Jovi and band that has kept them
going so long, particularly when most of the band’s peers are playing clubs and the Ribfest circuit? Here’s a look at five reasons why Bon Jovi still rules:

5. They’re just like me and you: While the group’s earliest
records indulged in a bit of teenage-boy-baiting naughtiness — the title of their 1986 breakthrough, “Slippery When Wet,” referred to the relative slickness of oiled-up strippers — Bon Jovi soon settled into the place they remain today.

The band is basically Journey with “Born in the U.S.A.”-era Bruce Springsteen on vocals.

There’s a definite Everyman vibe to the band’s songs, the most popular of which celebrate simple themes (being in and out love, giving love a bad name, being thankful for being loved) delivered as arena-style anthems.

And they’re famous, yeah, but they’re still from New Jersey, which gives the band an approachable vibe that translates across the country.

4. Jon Bon Jovi was blessed with one heck of a set of genes: As down to Earth as he might seem, Jon Bon Jovi also happens to be one of his generation’s most enduring sex symbols. Those smoldering eyes, that devilish grin and a head of hair that has defied all signs of aging add up to a guy so irresistible, he has even carved out a side career as an actor (“Moonlight and Valentino,” “U-571,” “Ally McBeal,” and “Sex and the City”).

It helps, too, that the entire band has held up in the looks department. They were the rare hairspray metal group that never forgot to bring conditioner on the road (a dime-size dab is all it takes) and they’ve always hired the best stylists to keep them looking exactly of the moment. (This is particularly vital as drummer Tico Torres is a sole $400 haircut away from coming off like a plumber who fixes Harleys on the weekends.)

3. The band’s public history is free from “Behind the Music”-style disasters: During the past two decades, Bon Jovi has had exactly one lineup change, when bassist Alec John Such quietly left the group in 1994.

Beyond that, the band’s career has been largely short on drama. That means no rotating lead singers (a la Van Halen), near-death overdoses (Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx), alcoholic guitarists (Def Leppard), one-armed drummers (Def Leppard, again), years-in-the-making unreleased masterpieces (Guns N’ Roses) or accidental murders (Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas Dingley’s ill-fated ride with Motley Crue’s Vince Neil).

They’ve even managed to keep their private lives private. Jon Bon Jovi recently said: “I’ve been in this industry for 22 years, and no one has any idea what my four kids look like.”


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