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David Bryan Article 27 July 2001
On the eve of two final homecoming concerts at Giants Stadium

Source: The Record (

Bon Jovi sideman refused to stay sidelined

Five years ago, Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan was one finger away from losing his career.

Now he's back with a vengeance -- and so is Bon Jovi.

The New Jersey rockers are basking in renewed popularity in the wake of a best-selling album, "Crush," and sold-out concert venues around the world. (Bon Jovi performs Friday and Saturday at Giants Stadium.)

And Bryan, now fully recovered from the home accident that nearly derailed his career, is not only touring with the band but has released a solo album, "Lunar Eclipse," on Rounder Records.

"The biggest lesson I learned is that you don't truly appreciate what you have until you nearly lose it," says Bryan.

It was every pianist's nightmare -- the mishap that sidelined him for more than a year.

"I was using one of those portable circular saws, cutting a piece of wood, then the thing slipped and cut off the tip of the little index finger on the left hand," says Bryan, who lives in Colts Neck with his wife and three children. "I couldn't play for a year, then I rehabbed for about two years. It wasn't supposed to come back, but it did."

During a window of opportunity between the release of "Crush" and the non-stop touring that followed, Bryan took several months to put together his solo album, much of it remastered material from an earlier 1995 effort, "On a Full Moon," that foundered due to bad distribution.

It's an album where he gets to show off the classical chops and New Age tendencies that take a back seat in the arena rock world of Bon Jovi. "Lunar Eclipse" includes material from movie soundtracks and unproduced Broadway projects ("Sweet Valley High" and "Memphis," the latter a collaboration with New Jersey playwright Joe DiPietro, author of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change").

There are New Age melodies ("On a Full Moon") cheek-by-jowl with gutbucket New Orleans blues ("Room Full of Blues"), a country-flavored tune ("Netherworld Waltz," featuring Edgar Winter on sax), and his own vocal version of the Bon Jovi hit "In These Arms" (which Bryan co-wrote).


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