Richmond Times Dispatch article
|The Beat: Bon Jovi the band, the man, the brand
It begins with Jon Bon Jovi flat on his back, his leg being stretched toward the ceiling by a burly leg-stretching guy.
Outside the room, in a cinder-block corridor of Madison Square Garden, the rest of Bon Jovi -- guitarist Richie Sambora, drummer Tico Torres and keyboardist David Bryan -- awaits the arrival of Their Leader.
He eventually bounds out, smacking gum, and leads the band in a pre-concert rallying cry that includes the recognition that the show is taking place almost 25 years to the week that Bon Jovi first played the storied arena.
"We ain't still supposed to be here," Jon says to Sambora with a crooked smile that really means, "And who is having the last laugh now?"
Jon is right, of course.
Rock bands with a knack for penning clichéd -- albeit crazily catchy -- anthems about the working man usually expire after a decade at most, no matter how approachably handsome their members.
But, while Bon Jovi's continued success makes its critics gag, there is no arguing the band's impact.
Its 2007 country-influenced "Lost Highway" album has sold close to 2 million copies, and the ensuing tour was the fifth highest-grossing of 2008, raking in $70.4 million, according to Pollstar.
Quite simply, Bon Jovi mastered a formula, and it has kept the band vital to the point that, during the next five weeks, the Jersey boys will be inescapable.
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