|The rock survivors of Bon Jovi roll into Anaheim
Twenty five years after Jon Bon Jovi called up his schoolmate David Bryan and talked him out of enrolling in music school, the band they started then is still on the road, rolling into Southern California tonight for a trio of shows.
Bon Jovi – the band – plays Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday and Saturday, and Staples Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
After guitarist Richie Sambora got arrested for on suspicion of driving under the influence in Laguna Beach last week (and suddenly was no longer available for interviews) keyboard player Bryan stepped forward to talk about the legacy of a band that's beaten the usual rock-'n'-roll odds to survive a quarter century and counting.
Q: What's it like to look back and realize that 25 years have passed by and you, Jon, Richie and (drummer) Tico (Torres) are still going at it?
A: You really don't look at it every day. In retrospect, we've outlasted everybody we've ever played with. But when you start, your biggest thing is to get a record contract, and we got a contract. And then to have a No. 1 record, and we got that. And then we learned that the hardest thing is to stay on top.
To tell you the truth, it's more fun to step on stage now than it ever was. Me, Richie, Jon and Tico, we interact without each other saying a word. And it's been an amazing journey.
Q: So how do you keep going after all these years – and what keeps fans wanting to come out and see you again each tour?
A: It goes back to really striving to be current. Not writing "Living on a Prayer" 15 times. Not rewriting "Wanted, Dead or Alive." Not being happy to rest on your laurels, but working to move forward.
Most people are happy to be where they are, and they rest on their laurels and maybe get a little bit lazy. We've always wanted to be the Rolling Stones, and we've lasted and I think we still have a shot at it.
Q: You think Bon Jovi will be out on the road in 15 years when you're as old as the Stones?
A: Well, let's call it 20 (laughs). We don't need to do it, we just really want to do it and like to do it … so I guess there is no end in sight. The end is when it stops being fun.
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