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Bon Jovi Is Optimistic In Post-9/11 World 7 March 2003
Article from Norwich Bulletin

Source: Norwich Bulletin

When Bon Jovi hit MTV in the mid-1980s with its videos "You Give Love A Bad Name" and "Livin' On A Prayer," it took the hairband scene from normal popularity to outright dominance. For the rest of the decade, MTV and radio became flooded with the aerosol-friendly groups.
After the Cinderellas, Whitesnakes, Warrants and Poisons, it's Bon Jovi who, in 2003, is the one left standing and still making relevant music. Where other bands vanished almost as quickly as they took the spotlight, Bon Jovi (now with shorter hair) played concerts to benefit families of 9/11 victims. And they opened and closed this past NFL season with shows in Times Square and at the Super Bowl respectively. The band still packs arenas when it hits the road.

"We're still just some guys from Jersey trying to kick ass," drummer Tico Torres said during a recent phone interview. "We'll give you 150 percent. We're not going to be complacent. This is the best time we've ever had performing on stage."

The boys from Jersey continue the good times on stage when they visit the Mohegan Sun Arena today. The sold-out show begins at 8 p.m. with the Goo Goo Dolls opening.

Torres, singer Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Richie Sambora and keyboardist David Bryan have been together for 20 years. Last year, Bon Jovi released "Bounce," its eighth studio album and 10th overall.

The CD followed the same successful formula as past Bon Jovi records with upbeat, catchy rock tunes and heartfelt ballads. But some of the songs were specifically written for the post-9/11 world.

"Undivided," the album's first track, opens with the lyrics "That was my brother lost in the rubble/That was my sister lost in the crush/That was our mothers, those were our children/That was our fathers, that was each of us."

In Middletown, N.J., where Jon Bon Jovi calls home, 37 residents died in the terrorist attacks.

"Some of the songs like 'Bounce' and 'Everyday' were written with 9/11 connotations," said Torres, who will turn 50 this year and is the oldest member of the band. "There was a determination of healing and getting on with life. There's optimism in the lyrics. The album is a collection of songs from that whole year of feelings that came from September 11."

Optimism seems to be Bon Jovi's trademark, especially when compared to fellow New Jerseyian Bruce Springsteen, who is known for his hard looks at society with songs such as "Nebraska," "Badlands" and "Born in the U.S.A."

From "Livin' On A Prayer" and "Keep The Faith" to "It's My Life" and "Everyday," Bon Jovi projects a positive working class attitude.

"We're more seasoned now," Torres said. "We've had our growing pains. It's just like any marriage. We're like a comfortable pair of shoes now. We enjoy doing it and we'll continue until it's not fun anymore."

While the band is a tight unit, the members of Bon Jovi have been able to pursue their own individual creative outlets without tearing the group apart. That's one reason why Bon Jovi has stuck together and is in its third decade of making music.

In the early '90s, when Bon Jovi was at the peak of its popularity following the "Slippery When Wet" and "New Jersey" albums, the group took a hiatus and the members discovered what they could do outside the band.


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