Detroit Free Press article
|Jon Bon Jovi looks back at 30 years of looking up
Scroll back through Bon Jovi’s three-decade legacy of songs, and it’s not hard to spot the common thread.
Indeed, Jon Bon Jovi himself will tell you without missing a beat:
Fans will get a big dose of it Thursday night at Ford Field, where Bon Jovi will touch down for its latest Detroit stadium extravaganza, this time without guitarist Richie Sambora but with longtime Motor City fave J. Geils Band in the opening slot.
Those yearning, uplifting rock anthems have seemed to instinctively pour out of Bon Jovi through the years — from the debut hit “Runaway” in 1984, through the bazillion-selling “Livin’ on a Prayer” in 1987, right up to this year’s “Because We Can,” lead track from the new 12th album, “What About Now.”
“This is who I am and what I do,” says Jon Bon Jovi. “Part of which is to be an optimist. So the thematic hue that I choose tends to lean towards optimism. It may be based in realism — case in point, (the new songs) ‘What’s Left of Me’ or ‘What About Now.’ But there’s always going to be an underlying optimism.”
It’s a trait the 51-year-old songwriter and front man attributes to a distinct set of circumstances: his upbringing in blue-collar New Jersey of the 1960s.
“I was born in an era when that was just instilled in you,” he says. “I was born in the Kennedy era to two working-class parents who believed in Camelot. And that’s a blessing. … Being born in 1962, being told that we’re going to go to the moon, my parents just looked at me and said, ‘You can go to the moon.’ And I believed it.”
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