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Bon Jovi Keyboardist Talks Grammys 12 February 2001
David Bryan article from the Asbury Park Press

Source: Asbury Park Press / / JoviTalk

David Bryan, keyboardist for Bon Jovi, is finally going to the Grammys.

In 1986, Bon Jovi sold zillions of copies of "Slippery When Wet" and Bryan and his bandmates -- Jon Bon Jovi, lead vocals; Richie Sambora, guitar; Tico Torres, drums; and then-bassist Alec John Such -- became teen idols.

But the album that spawned "Livin' On A Prayer" and "Wanted: Dead Or Alive," Bryan's two all-time favorite Bon Jovi tracks, was ignored by the Grammys.

So were the band's subsequent albums. Bon Jovi won trophies from the American Music Awards, valued by Bryan because the public chooses the winners, and Jon Bon Jovi scored a Grammy nomination for his 1990 solo hit "Blaze of Glory," but the band as a whole received nothing, nada, zilch from the Grammys.

Bryan -- who lives in Colts Neck with his wife, their three young children and his much-used home recording studio -- does not mince words about the longtime Grammy snub.

"All these critics' darlings who don't sell any records win tons of Grammys," he said, "but we've sold millions of records and we haven't won."

Is he annoyed that Radiohead's "Kid A" was nominated for Album of the Year? Or that Eminem -- not exactly a critics' darling, but certainly a critical phenomenon -- is the odds-on Grammy favorite?

Bryan won't be specific about which "critics' darlings" he resents. And actually, most low-selling critics' darlings also have been denied Grammy recognition -- Pavement, Belle & Sebastian and Stereolab all have been left behind. And, as far back as the '80s, when Bon Jovi was omnipresent, critics' darlings like The Smiths, Husker Du and The Replacements were summarily ignored.

And that doesn't begin to address the denial of hip-hop pioneers back in the day.

It's only since the addition of new Grammy categories for alternative and hip-hop that artists like Beck and Lauryn Hill have stood a chance.

In fact, the Grammys have traditionally rewarded bands precisely like Bon Jovi -- mega-selling, hugely popular, not too weird. So, what gives? Why didn't Bon Jovi score nominations for their breakthrough albums?

That's a mystery for the ages, and it all could be moot Feb. 21, when the members of Bon Jovi head to the Staples Center in Los Angeles to see if "Crush" wins best rock album or if "It's My Life" wins best rock performance by a duo or group with vocals.

"Crush" has sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. The video for "It's My Life" was declared video of the year at the My VH1 Awards in December.

The band faces stiff competition in both categories, vying for best rock album against Foo Fighters, matchbox twenty, No Doubt and Rage Against The Machine. Bon Jovi's fellow nominees in the best rock performance category are Creed, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and U2.


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