Campus Times article
|Bon Jovi: Rock's golden boy still rollin' out the hits
Jon Bon Jovi sounds a wee bit frustrated on a recent Tuesday morning, phoning from New York. Not about the interview, but about philanthropic red tape. He needs to gently vent.
It's well-known that the singer has a big heart when it comes to helping those less fortunate. (On behalf of his band, he recently presented Oprah Winfrey with a check for $1 million for her Angel Network.) But Jon is most closely associated with Habitat for Humanity, having channeled the profits from his arena football team (Philadelphia Soul) to the organization to build homes and playgrounds. One corporate meeting later, he finds it's not always a smooth process, hence the reason for his frustration.
"I got involved with Habitat because I wanted to find that 'Father Flanagan' who needs that orphanage and then just go out and build it," he says emphatically.
"I just got a real good lesson in red tape. I've paid for six houses to be built in Philly and they're not done and it's already been almost a year. If it was up to me, they'd be done. I paid for the houses; I want them up so these families who are waiting for them can move in. Now I find out there are three organizations involved in just getting these six houses built. I don't understand that at all. There can't be 1,700 chapters of Habitat for Humanity. There should just be one."
Has he actually worked on a Habitat house?
"I'm a crummy nailer," he says with a chuckle, his frustration vanishing. "I'm better at hammering the heads of Habitat as to why it's taking so damn long."
There are few sure things in the pantheon of rock 'n' roll. Elvis, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, the Who easily come to mind. Alive (or dead), they'll forever be a draw at the box office or your local music emporium.
Purists may scoff, but it's hard to discount one of the best touring bands in the business -- those formidable pop-metal New Jersey boys known as Bon Jovi.
For more than two decades, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, David Bryan and Tico Torres have continuously delivered the goods when it comes to arena rock. Their latest album, "Have a Nice Day," reached the No. 2 spot on the Billboard charts. Their tours routinely come in among the highest-grossing of the year. The "Have a Nice Day Tour," which rolls into Soldier Field tonight to a sold-out crowd of 55,000, will gross more than $100 million by the time it ends later this month --with ticket prices ($45-$125 in Chicago) that are well below what most of the current big arena tours are commanding for seats.
"We are very aware of ticket prices when we set up a tour," Bon Jovi says. "We don't do a cheap ticket, but we do a very fair ticket price. Forget about the cost of a concert ticket, I'm very aware of the cost of living. I can't dispute what the Stones or Madonna wanna charge, but I know that to take a date to a concert, park the car, get a T-shirt, buy a couple of beers -- that's more than a week's pay for a lot of folks. We charge less and know that 50,000 seats will be sold for Soldier Field. That's just good business."
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