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Bon Jovi taking a country detour 31 March 2008
Denver Post article

Source: Denver Post

Like any job, being a musician can be boring and repetitive. Even for superstars Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.

They won't publicly admit it, but they must have been slightly restless in the arena-rock doldrums to write a song like the twangy "Who Says You Can't Go Home." The song was the surprise hit from the New Jersey band's 2005 CD "Have a Nice Day." It was a big surprise because the track, a duet with Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, landed at the No. 1 spot on the country charts.

"We certainly didn't write ('Who Says You Can't Go Home') as a country song," Sambora told The Denver Post last week as he prepped for yet another leg of his band's current tour, playing the Pepsi Center on Monday. "When it got picked up on country radio and television, we were surprised and thrilled. People have really been trying to get us to do something like this for a while. But we thought it might feel like we were carpetbagging."

The surprise country hit gave Bon Jovi songwriters Bon Jovi and Sambora with drummer Tico Torres and keyboard player David Bryan the jolt and confidence to mosey on down to Music City and write a Nashville-inspired record. The result was "Lost Highway," the band's 10th full-length studio effort and a hit record that will afford Bon Jovi its most profitable tour in its 25-year history.

Bon Jovi's late-career switcheroo is not as unusual as it might seem. Many acts that are able to stick around in the mainstream with engaging, newly released material tend to change things up eventually. It keeps things fresh and interesting, and it also gives the fans something to look forward to when they "return to form."

Many veteran artists opt for the looking-back method for a boost. Rod Stewart has his great American songbook, and Barry Manilow made mad cash for his ferocious, decade-by-decade attack on soft rock staples. Linda Ronstadt was all over that scene before Stewart and Manilow.


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