Bon Jovi: Bon Jovi rocked even without Richie Sambora at the New Orleans Jazz Fest

Published: Saturday, April 30, 2011, 8:35 PM     Updated: Saturday, April 30, 2011, 8:43 PM
Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune 
As part of Jon Bon Jovi's schtick Saturday at the New Orleans Jazz Fest's Acura Stage, he laid out a pop music timeline. Today it's Justin Bieber, he noted, when it used to be Justin Timberlake. It's Ice T and Jay-Z now - well, Jay-Z at least - instead of NWA, Ice Cube and Grandmaster Flash. The world is "goo-goo for Gaga" now, whereas he predates Madonna.
Bon Jovi on First Saturday Jazz Fest 2011Jon Bon Jovi in all his glory on the Acura Stage on Saturday, April 30, 2011 at the New Orleans Jazz Fest.
The one thing that hasn't changed, Bon Jovi noted, is himself. His band, however, has, at least temporarily.
As news broke this week that lead guitarist Richie Sambora was bound for a rehab encore, fans wondered what would become of Bon Jovi's scheduled Jazz Fest show.
By all accounts, Jon Bon Jovi is the consummate show-must-go-on professional. With so much riding on the band performing as billed, he and his bandmates resolved to do the gig sans Sambora.
For a major rock band to carry on without a key member is not unprecedented. Aerosmith toured without lead guitarist Joe Perry back in the day. U2 logged one gig with Adam Clayton's bass tech filling in. Journey still fills arenas fronted by a former Filipino cover band vocalist.
Whether it works depends on what is more important: The music/experience, or the musicians making it. Without Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi and company needed to sell the former. And they did, in spades, even as they largely ignored the fact that a key member was missing.
Ultimately, Sambora's absence didn't much matter. For nearly two hours, Jon Bon Jovi and Phil "X" Xenidis, Sambora's more than capable stand-in, worked extremely hard to deliver a show that, on balance, was more electric and more satisfying than Bon Jovi's 2009 Jazz Fest set.
Bon Jovi on First Saturday Jazz Fest 2011Veteran session guitarist Phil "X" Xenidis filled in for Richie Sambora with Bon Jovi on Saturday at the New Orleans Jazz Fest.
The Canadian-born Xenidis has a long history as an understudy and session guitarist for the likes of Tommy Lee. And he wasn't on his own. Since 2005, veteran New Jersey guitarist Bobby Bandiera, an alumnus of Southside Johnny's band, has toured with Bon Jovi as its rhythm guitarist.
With Bandiera laying the path, Xenidis was free to walk in Sambora's shoes. He wasn't shy about it. He soloed in the opening "Forever Young," and busted out the talk-box in "It's My Life." He dressed up "Runaway," a thrill ride from Bon Jovi's debut album that the band did not perform at Jazz Fest in 2009, with extra licks and fills.
Bon Jovi made the most of his time in New Orleans. He spoke with at-risk youth at Café Reconcile on Friday; Friday night, he reportedly visited music clubs on Frenchmen Street. He was typically gracious onstage. "I'm so happy to be back at Jazz Fest," he said. "We wouldn't miss it for the world." (Or for a guitarist going to rehab.)
He noted he had a "great time bouncing around from tent to tent," and thanked both Jazz Fest producer/director Quint Davis and Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Later, he gave shout-outs to Irma Thomas and Wayne Toups, who preceded him on the Acura Stage.
He hammed it up in a leather vest with all but two of its snaps undone. He "put another quarter in the jukebox" and called up "Dancin' in the Streets." His Mick Jagger impersonation - hands on hips, big pout, effeminate strut -- during the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" was a hoot. During a chorus of "Who Says You Can't Go Home," he pointed out a face in the crowd and, grinning, quipped, "Nice hat!"
During "Bad Medicine," the band detoured into a "Pretty Woman" that was more Roy Orbison than Van Halen, thanks to Bandiera's lean guitar tone and lead vocals. Just as quickly, they spun back around into "Bad Medicine," playing like a polished band thrilled to be charting slightly new territory.
In a set highlight, Xenidis and Bandiera muscled through "Lay Your Hands on Me" atop David Bryan's organ fills. Drummer Tico Torres kicked into a double-time beat for a hard rock/gospel finish that dropped off into sunburst harmonies.
For the encore, Bon Jovi donned a No. 11 Saints jersey emblazoned with his own name and chanted "Who Dat." He and Xenidis intertwined chiming acoustic guitars on "Wanted Dead or Alive." Xenidis broke out the talk-box again for a final, most excellent "Livin' on a Prayer." Bon Jovi dedicated it to "our brother Richie."
It was the first time Sambora was mentioned. Or missed.

This man is a writer not a fan, we all missed Richie... It's not the same.

Bon Jovi: Pictures from Jazz fest

On the Vanilla Scale the set list was imitation (imitation being weak, McCormick's being Ok, and Nielsen Massey being OMG Best show ever) but what do you expect from a festival show?

Some pictures from the AP, none of "The Replacement".  All of Jon and his aviators.  The eyes are the windows to ones soul and Jon doesn't want us to see his.  :(

Bon Jovi: Richie's Replacement is....

Well Richie didn't show up and is in Rehab, I'm glad if he needs help he needs help.

It appears his replacement may be Phillip Sayce, Phillip plays with Melissa Etheridge and played Wanted with Melissa at an event Jon & Richie were at, Jon seemed very impressed.

Or is it @therealphilx
Phil Xenidis

Bon Jovi: Richie Sambora might still make it to the New Orleans Jazz Fest???? Really???

Richie Sambora might still make it to the New Orleans Jazz Fest

Published: Saturday, April 30, 2011, 9:15 AM   
Updated: Saturday, April 30, 2011, 9:37 AMKeith Spera, The Times-Picayune
Reports that Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora was bound for rehab this week seemed to indicate that he would miss the band's Saturday performance at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. The band confirmed as much with a posting on its web site that read in part, "Although he will be absent from upcoming shows for the time being, we very much look forward to his healthy return. In the meantime, we will keep our commitment to our fans and continue our tour."

bon jovi sambora.JPG
There is still a chance Richie Sambora will find his way back to the Fair Grounds for Bon Jovi's show at the New Orleans Jazz Fest on Saturday. 
However, as I left the Fair Grounds around 8:45 p.m. on Friday after filing my last reviews, the Bon Jovi road crew was already assembling the band's gear on the Acura Stage. Tico Torres' massive drum kit was in place; it will be moved to the back of the stage as other bands perform Saturday.
Interestingly, at stage right stood a standard microphone and the tube device used for "talk box" guitar solos.

A member of the crew confirmed that this was Sambora's guitar rig. So would Sambora actually make the gig at Jazz Fest? "We'll see what happens," said the roadie, declining to elaborate further.
Jon Bon Jovi was in New Orleans on Friday; he met with at-risk young people at Café Reconcile, part of his duties for the White House Council for Community Solutions.

If Sambora jets in for the gig - either taking a break from rehab, or delaying his admission into a program - he would likely receive a hero's welcome from fans who count him as an integral part of Bon Jovi's appeal.

If he doesn't make the gig, the question remains who Bon Jovi would use as a stand-in. If it's an unknown, then a surprise appearance by a guest star or two would go a long way to mitigating disappointment at Sambora's absence.

But the best substitute for Richie Sambora would be...Richie Sambora.

Bon Jovi: Jon Bon Jovi meets with at-risk youth in New Orleans

Katy Reckdahl, The Times-Picayune By Katy Reckdahl, The Times-Picayune

Singer, philanthropist and sex symbol Jon Bon Jovi was the center of much of the attention today during a roundtable with at-risk young people at Cafe Reconcile, which hosted the event with other youth-program strongholds in the city: Liberty's Kitchen, the Youth Empowerment Project and the Tulane Youth Drop-In Center.

But despite a near mob scene afterward, when kids and their advocates posed with the star for photo after photo after photo, the rock star was quick to shine the spotlight on those he'd just listened to as part of his work for the White House Council for Community Solutions.

When Cafe Reconcile graduate Carl Harris, 20, needed to leave to get to work at a steakhouse, Bon Jovi stood up, shook Harris' hand and thanked him.

Harris didn't know who Bon Jovi was until Friday afternoon. "But now I do," he said, recounting how the star had asked questions about the cafe and listened as Harris bragged about his advocates at the Youth Empowerment Project.

"Always, every step, they were with me," Harris said. With their help, he made a conscious choice to step away from trouble, he said.

Others praised staff at the Drop-In Center and Cafe Reconcile for similar devotion. "They pretty much rescued me. Pulled me out," Reconcile grad Vauven Loiseau said.

The singer summed up the struggles he'd heard about during that afternoon's roundtable, most of which was conducted behind closed doors and not open to media. "It's not easy for disenfranchised and unemployed youth," Bon Jovi said, steering questions away from himself.

Had he been interested in at-risk kids since his hit "(She's a Little) Runaway"? a reporter asked.

"I don't think any one song motivated anything," he demurred, adding that "music is what I do, not what I am."

Still, when compared with the blond 48-year-old rocker with the deeply unbuttoned shirt, the other members of the White House Council -- Tulane University President Scott Cowen and New Jersey public-relations executive Michael Kempner -- were basically "chopped liver," Cowen quipped.

As cameras aimed at Bon Jovi flashed behind him, Kempner said that he was impressed with roundtable participants. "They were insightful and articulate and had a real grasp of the issues," he said, calling it "a life-changing educational moment."

In December, President Barack Obama charged the council to conduct "listening tours" to find out what communities need and what kind of programs work best. The council will then advise the president on how citizens, nonprofits, the private sector and government can best work together to address important issues. New Orleans is the first stop for the council's youth roundtables; similar forums are planned in Atlanta, Houston and New York City.

Early groundwork for the council partnership was laid here a few years ago, noted Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who participated in the roundtable. In 2009, when Landrieu was lieutenant governor, he visited Cafe Reconcile with Melody Barnes, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Barnes wrote a blog about the experience titled "Innovation with Crawfish Sauce: What a New Orleans Nonprofit Can Teach the Rest of the Country." In it, she noted that Landrieu had created the nation's first statewide Office of Social Entrepreneurship and that he'd told her that the cafe was an example of how "the answers to America's problems are coming from the streets of New Orleans."

Bon Jovi for six years has helped those in need through the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which has financed homeless shelters; hundreds of affordable houses, includes two dozen in Houma after Hurricane Katrina; and a "Robin Hood" restaurant that has no prices on the menu. Those who can't pay come by and volunteer in the soup kitchen or food pantry. Customers who can afford it pay for their meals, as a way of affecting social change.

"Sometimes people want to help and don't know how," Bon Jovi said on Friday, as he discussed the White House Council's mission. Some potential contributors may also be more willing to give to private entities rather than to government where they fear that their money will get caught up in red tape, he said.

Social-entrepreneurship enterprises can both do good work and have a broader effect on areas like Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in Central City, where Reconcile is located. "These mom-and-pop places bring back neighborhoods," Bon Jovi said.

Here's another story with video:

Reported by: Natasha Robin, Reporter

Bon Jovi connects to at-risk youth
Jon Bon Jovi poses for a photograph. He was in town as a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions listening to how programs helped turn young people's lives around.
New Orleans- Smiling teens posed with rock star Jon Bon Jovi, but their visit with the famous musician was about so much more than a quick picture.
Young men and women, who have been rescued by community-based programs, sat down for a candid conversation with the Grammy-winning star.

Bon Jovi is on a tour of sorts, not to perform, but to listen as a member of a White House Council for Community Solutions.

“The president entrusted us with this opportunity to listen to the youth and each of these stops will be unique. New Orleans is very different from Seattle and New York, but they are all challenged because the opportunities are few and far between,” says Bon Jovi.

The teens talked to Bon Jovi and the other council members about their past and what life is like for them growing up in New Orleans.

“We have different issues like prostitutions, also drugs,” says participant Rashad Jame.

The teens told Bon Jovi how organizations like Café’ Reconcile, Liberty’s Kitchen and the Youth Empowerment Project have changed their lives.

By learning how the local programs work, the White House hopes to duplicate the success around the country.

“If I wasn’t introduced to this program, I would probably be hanging out with a gang or probably still on the corner doing things I shouldn’t do,” says participant Carl Harris.

The council took note on how the programs made a difference for the youth.

New Orleans was the first stop for the White House council. They will visit three other cities and then write a report on their findings in June.

The completed report will be handed over to President Obama.

Bon Jovi: Royal Wedding screw the Royal Wedding.

April 29th may be the date William and Kate Catherine got hitched in some big ceremony in London watched by (unwillingly) everyone  (Dear US Media we haven't been connected to the British royals since 1776 when the Constitutional Congress told King George to shove it).  But we remember it for another date.

A wedding took place 22 years ago much simpler, no pomp, circumstance and allegedly under $200.

Singer Married High School Sweetheart

Dave Allocca/Reuters

In 1989, Jon Bon Jovi was one of the biggest rock stars in the world. Also known for his good looks, Bon Jovi probably could have been with almost any woman he wanted to.

He chose his high school sweetheart, Dorothea Hurley, and wed her at Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas.

Bon Jovi and Hurley secretly visited the chapel during a Los Angeles stop on his band's "New Jersey" tour. In true rock 'n' roll fashion, the then-fluffy-haired rock star and his bride tied the knot in blue jeans and leather jackets during a $65 service with a cab driver as their lone witness.

Bucking the trend of quickie celebrity Vegas marriages, the two are still married today and have four children together. In 2001, Bon Jovi held a concert in the parking lot of Graceland Wedding Chapel and renewed his vows with Dorothea, along with 75 other couples.

I didn't think he renewed his vows there.  I know they did get married a few years later in a catholic church so they could be the Godparents to her sisters kids.  Fact checking is important.

Who else remembers hearing this news a few days later on Entertainment Tonight.  I was 13.  I cried uncontrollably at home & school for days.  Today, I don't think I would trade places with her, I can't even imagine some of the sh*t she has to deal with.

But, since I started this off with the Royal Wedding, allegedly William and Catherine left Whitehall in a convertible blasting Livin on a Prayer.

Happy Anniversary Jon & Dorothea!


Bon Jovi: Thoughts....


These are my thoughts and I don't care if you agree with them or not.  My blog my thoughts.

I'm fortunate enough in the next 2 weeks to see Bon Jovi two more times.  I have a feeling that both shows will be sans Richie Sambora.  This makes me sad.

I'm sad that whatever struggles Richie is going through are this bad, my heart breaks for him.

I'm sad for Jon because he's between a rock and a hard place.

I'm sad I technically won't see my favorite band (but technically if you're a purist Bon Jovi hasn't been Bon Jovi since Alec left/was fired in 1994). 

Screw Technicalities, I'm happy to see them in any form one more time.

I'm sad my favorite song ever won't sound the same without Richie.

Wanted Dead or Alive has been my favorite song forever.  It's in my will that it will be played at any wake if I should die.  I'm that serious about my love for that song.  The lawyer was kind of horrified that I wanted that in writing but, if something happens to me and my Mother is still alive it will not be played. 

Over the years both Jon and Richie have played this song at solo shows they've done, and while my heart belongs to Jon, in regards to Wanted it's all Richie's.

Jon from the Starland Ballroom 2009

Richie 1998 Hamburg, Germany

Of course nothing is as good as them together....

1995 Christmas Show

Get well soon Uncle Mumu

Bon Jovi: Twibbon

Add a Richie Twibbon to your Twitter or Facebook avatar

Great job @xdregina!


Bon Jovi: The Band's offical Response

So it's true Richie is headed off to rehab (unlike Amy Winehouse... No No No).

It's good that he recognizes he needs help, and we're all here to give him the support and love from out homes all around the world.

Here's the band's official response.  (took them long enough IMO)

In response to questions about Richie Sambora and Bon Jovi's upcoming performance schedule, the band released the following statement today:
 "Our support for Richie is absolute. He is, and will remain, a member of Bon Jovi. Although he will be absent from upcoming shows for the time being, we very much look forward to his healthy return. In the meantime, we will keep our commitment to our fans and continue our tour."

Take care of yourself Richie.

Bon Jovi: Don't know if this is true or not...

I really hope this isn't true.... I mean really hope this isn't true. And I looked at the time stamp on the story and thought maybe it's an old re-hashed thing that came up but... UGH. Radar online is reporting that Richie is going back into rehab.

Thanks @soundofmadness for the heads up

Posted on Apr 28, 2011 @ 06:31AM

By Radar Staff

Bon Jovi star Richie Sambora is checking into rehab, RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively.

Sambora is coming off a highly successful tour with Bon Jovi and is checking into a facility for exhaustion and to regain his sobriety.

The guitar player spent a month at Cirque Lodge in Utah in 2007. That was after the traumatic break-up of his marriage to Heather Locklear and his split from girlfriend Denise Richards the same month his father died of lung cancer.

Sambora, 52, successfully launched the clothing line White Trash Beautiful and then helped Bon Jovi haul in more than $201 million as a top touring act of 2010.

”Richie recently has been drinking too much, and wants to get his life together," a source told RadarOnline.com exclusively, adding that the band has been very supportive of the rehab decision.

"Richie has had a busy year," a close friend of the musician told Radar. "I think this was a culmination of all the things that overloaded his life and finally he realized he needed to take care of himself.”

It was not immediately clear how Sambora's treatment will affect his role in Bon Jovi. The group is scheduled to play tour dates this month in the U.S. before performing in Europe during June.

Richie and Locklear split custody of daughter Ava, 13.

Bon Jovi: Richie & Bruce Foster talk about Shark Frenzy

Thanks to Amit for this find. It's a few years old but gives a little background on Mr Sambora.

Interview by Sian Llewellyn

Sharks rising from the depths

What do you think when people mention Shark Frenzy today?
Richie Sambora: I remember it as being a great time. You have to remember that this was my first proper gig. All the other guys were about ten years or so older than me, and had so much experience, they had played with people like Gladys Knight! And there I was, this 18 or 19 year old kid and I was playing with these phenomenal session players. It was a great introduction to the whole session scene. And I got to be great friends with these guys.
Bruce Foster: What was amazing was how mature a guitarist Richie was for his age. He fit in with us straight away, it was as if we'd been playing
together for years.

What did you learn from playing in Shark Frenzy?
Richie Sambora: I think of Shark Frenzy as almost my musical education. I learned so much in terms of how to play with other people - how to fit in with a band. We covered so many different styles too, it really improved my chops.

Can you still recognize yourself when you listen to the album?
Richie Sambora: Oh yeah! I was listening to it in the shower this morning. It was a definite trip, and kinda embarrassing at times too. You've got to remember how much of a kid I was. I can still hear how my blues roots were coming through - I hadn't really been playing all that long when we
recorded this, just a few years. You can hear that I'm still establishing my musical identity.

How did you come to play with Shark Frenzy?
Richie Sambora: Bruce and the guys were in a band that played many of the clubs around New Jersey and I was the "hotshot" guitar kid around town. They'd heard of me and I'd heard of them, and then one night I moseyed into a bar where they were playing. And it just so happened that their bass player had gotten food poisoning, so they asked from the stage if there were any musicians in the house. Then they saw me and said "you're a guitarist, you can do it". So I played bass that night, and that's how it happened. Next thing I know I was playing with them all the time.

Where did that lead you?
Richie Sambora: Before I knew it, the guys were getting me on in sessions in New York City and Philadelphia. It was there I learned the skills to cut through a lot of the chase and realize what worked and what didn't when it came to recording. I learned about the economy of music, and how important arrangements were when it came togetting music down on tape.

How often did you play?
Richie Sambora: We played on and off for years - we had a reunion in May 2004 which was fantastic. Shark Frenzy was a cool band. What made it cool was that we all really dug each other, and after the show we'd hang out together. Sometimes it would be five o'clock in the morning and we would still be standing out in a freezing parking lot just shooting the shit.
Bruce Foster: At one point we were playing about three or four nights a week - the camaraderie was brilliant. Sometimes the police would have to chase us out of the parking lot because we were still hanging out two hours after the show was over. The reunion was great - it was as if we had never left the stage! We had a ball and we were as tight as ever - it's as if muscle memory took over and we all had such a good time, Richie ended up playing the whole set. It would be great to do it again.

What do you make of the performances on Shark Frenzy?
Richie Sambora: The life stuff is just us really jamming, and is really a testimony to our musicianship. It was (and still is when we played recently) such an exciting thing. I'm obviously a way better musician today, but you never lose your roots.

How were Shark Frenzy's sets worked out - were they mostly originals or cover versions?
Richie Sambora: We used to play Beatles and Rolling Stones covers, maybe some Tom Petty. Most of the time we just used to show up and see what happened. The covers were rarely rehearsed, we just used to work them up in the car on the way over to the show. Originals were different - those we worked on. We used to play three sets a night, we'd play two sets of cover versions and then the third set we used to get to play our originals.

How did the sessions for Shark Frenzy occur?
Bruce Foster: All in all, I think we had about 25-30 originals worked up. Shark Frenzy was primarily a live band, but we did manage to go and record about two to three hours of original material. At the time we had no money, but a friend had a studio. We used to go to see him and ask if he had any spare tape left at the end of a reel that we could use. You have to remember that a reel cost about $120 at that time. We used to record live onto the last 10 or 20 minutes. We lost a lot of those as they'd then get wiped and reused.

Why have we had to wait until now to hear these songs?
Bruce Foster: Until now the technology hasn't really been such that we could put them together. I only had the rough mixes on tape and some of them had been water damaged so we had to piece them together bit by bit.

Bon Jovi: Interview with David Bergman

David Bergman is the guy who takes all those amazing pictures you see on Backstage and Facebook. Many of you have met him at shows (I know my friend Lauri met him in Las Vegas). Here's an interview that was done with him.

By ALLEN MURABAYASHI | Published: April 28, 2011

If you've picked up Sports Illustrated in the past few years, you've seen David Bergman's work. Not only is he a masterful photographer, he's also savvy marketer and businessman. He's served as the official tour photographer for the Bare Naked Ladies, and currently with one of my favorites bands...Bon Jovi.

You're known for your sports images and Gigapan work. How did you get into music photography?
I was a musician before I ever picked up a camera. After attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston for my freshman year of college, I transferred to the University of Miami. At UM, I walked into the school newspaper on a whim and began my photo career.

Years later, when I was on staff at the Miami Herald, I pitched a story to the entertainment desk that put me on tour with Gloria Estefan. Next thing I knew, I was on a tour bus with Gloria and her family and loving every minute of it.

When I went freelance and moved to New York City in 2001, I was determined to make tour photography a regular part of my photo business.

Did you start off shooting both live events as well as band portraits?
Early on, I preferred shooting live events. The excitement and energy in the middle of a big stadium show just can't be beat. But over time, I've developed my portraiture style. The truth is that bands are more willing to pay for portraits. Lighting a portrait and working directly with artists is something that not everyone can do. Those that can do it well should always be able to find work.

How do you go from shooting local bands to Bon Jovi?
Slow and steady wins the race. That's my philosophy. I've been in this business for 20 years and treat every shoot as an opportunity to show what I can do.

My advice is to be nice to everyone and, most importantly, produce the highest quality work possible every single time you shoot. You never know who is talking about you and who can help you in the future.

I think of rock stars as getting drunk all the time and being surrounded by girls? What's the reality of the situation? Clearly a band with the longevity of Bon Jovi has to be pretty good about taking care of themselves mentally and physically.
Sometimes I regret the fact that I missed the 60's, 70's and 80's as a rock photographer. I see those old photos and hear the stories and can only imagine the crazy times they had back then.

These days, it's a business. Jon Bon Jovi, for example, is the CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation that just happens to be a rock show. I've been in meetings with management that, if you were to walk in off the street, you'd think we were working for a Fortune 500 company.

Jon takes incredibly good care of himself since millions of dollars are riding on him being able to perform at the highest level every single night.

You're not the typical music photographer in that you often are an official photographer. What sort of access do you have that the normal photographer or fan doesn't have?
It's very hard for me to do "three songs and out" when I'm hired by an editorial client these days. Working for the band is liberating and fun. I can photograph the artists in their dressing room and backstage. During the show, I try different angles and can go anywhere in the venue. I also have the advantage of shooting the entire show and can capture some of those moments later in the set that the press will never see. Afterwards, I can get the band coming off the stage when they're tired and sweaty. It's real photojournalism and can't be beat.

How aware is the band of your presence backstage and during the show?
I try my best to be a "fly on the wall," but the truth is, as long as there is a photographer in the room, the band is going to notice. The bands that have been around a bit longer, though, are better at just ignoring me when I work. I try not to stay in their face for very long and I know when to leave the room.

How many cameras do you use at once? Where are they?
My "go to" concert kit that I carry on my shoulders during a show is two Nikon D3 bodies with the 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses attached. I also use an extra body (normally a Nikon D700 with 14-24mm f/2.8) for a remote camera. I'll put that in different places on stage to try and catch unique angles that I can't physically shoot during the show.

Big bands fly or drive between stops on tour. Do you hitch a ride with them or travel separately?
If I'm just coming in for a show or two, I'll fly in myself. However, if I'm on tour with a band for any length of time, I'll ride on one of the tour buses with the crew or band. For Bon Jovi, Jon has invited me to fly with the band, so I've been traveling on their private jet. We'll be visiting 17 countries in Europe this summer and I can't wait!

Do you plan specific shots with the band or management?
I'm fortunate that most of my clients hire me for my style and just let me do what I do. Of course there's the occasional photo request and I'm happy to oblige.

Does the band or management have to approve every image you publish?
It depends on the band. Barenaked Ladies, for example, love to look silly on stage and backstage. When I first worked with them a number of years ago, we started out with their tour manager approving the images. That lasted about two shows and then they just said I could publish whatever I wanted. In the case of Bon Jovi, Jon is involved with all the aspects of the business and he personally approves everything that goes out. He's been great to work with and we usually agree on the best photos.

How similar is each show? Can you tell when the band is "on"? Similarly, do you have days where you feel like you're just nailing the shots?
Most of the bands I work with are "on" every night. There is too much at stake for them to phone it in. I love it when I've worked with a band long enough that I know their tendencies and inside jokes. Something might happen on stage that no one in the audience will catch, but I get a little chuckle out of it.

How crazy are the fans? Do you see some crazy stuff? Do tell...
Bon Jovi's fans, many of whom are female, do go a bit crazy when Jon gets close to them. There is a "B" stage in the center of the arena and, when Jon emerges out there, the screams can be deafening.

You're selling prints and books from the current tour. Is this how you make being a concert photographer economically viable, or are the sales just gravy?
I'm on a quest to bring artistry and respect back to concert photography. Everyone is a photographer now and most bands don't hire tour photographers anymore. I started my site http://www.TourPhotographer.com with the goal of creating a sustainable business that would allow myself and other concert photographers to make a living. My goal is to have multiple photographers traveling with multiple bands all selling high-quality imagery to their fans at the same time. I'm a few years away from that, but I'll get there!

Do your friends/acquaintances hit you up for free tickets?
All the time. On some tours, I can easily get freebies. Bon Jovi is a "no comp" tour, which means no free tickets!

"Wanted Dead or Alive" is my go to karaoke song. Do you still get chills when you hear that opening guitar riff?
Absolutely. It's a classic song that I remember listing to (along with Livin' on a Prayer) when I was in high school. It's an honor to watch the original band members perform those songs every night. No offense, but it probably sounds better than your karaoke.

Also I hear it was David's birthday recently so happy birthday David!! Thanks for all the great photos this tour. And if you need an intern call me (but I prefer Canon over Nikon).


Bon Jovi: An Interview with David

David talks about Memphis, Bon Jovi and the future.

Philadelphia Daily News

How often does a Broadway musical pop up in a closed-circuit, high-definition video presentation at movie theaters, priced at a mere $20 a ticket, when the selfsame show is still pulling in lots of spectators in New York (for six to eight times the price) after 650 performances, and the producers haven't even sent the touring version out on the road? Like never, until "Memphis," the original rock-, soul- and gospel-tuned theatrical that's landing on area screens tomorrow for a brief, four-day run.

Closed-circuit event specialists NCM Fathom "convinced us it would be good for branding, for name recognition," said show composer David Bryan in a recent chat. And he should know about such things from his other gig as keyboardist in Bon Jovi, which Bryan modestly calls "the biggest rock band in the world."

Plus, there's no time like the present to be touting "Memphis" as the "Tony Winning Best Musical of the Year." Come June 12, that distinction will be passed along to another production.

"This isn't a show based on a popular film or book or character, so it doesn't have name recognition," said Bryan, who spent almost a decade creating and fine-tuning the show with book and lyrics collaborator Joe DiPietro.

But, given exposure, "Memphis" has the power to create quite a buzz, Bryan believes, with its account of life in the 1950s South with music-centric core characters - a white DJ and an African-American singer - who break down color bars and fall in love.

"It's set in a time when it was illegal for interracial couples to be married," said the composer. "The idea of seeing this reminds, shows us how ridiculous racism is. But the underlying purpose of the show is entertainment. It's not delivered with a heavy hand. And it's really history viewed through modern eyes."

That holds true for Bryan's score. The guy is well versed in classic southern soul music, harking back to his teenage years in Edison, N.J., when Bryan started playing with Jon Bon Jovi in a brassy 10-piece cover band called Atlantic City Expressway "that did all the Stax/Volt hits, like 'Knock On Wood' and 'Hold On, I'm Coming.'

"And, yeah, there are moments in the show, songs in the second half with the five-piece horn section laid on top, that are meant to evoke those times. But some of those chord changes we throw in weren't used then. They're more sophisticated. I wrote the songs thinking in terms of the characters, not in terms of particular artists or period."

With his tunes given short shrift in the Bon Jovi repertoire, Bryan loves that he's got "23 songs getting covered eight times a week" in "Memphis," numbers that will double when the road-show production opens in the namesake city come October. (It's booked here at the Academy of Music next Jan. 17-22.)

He and DiPetro are working on a follow-up, "Chasing the Song," spinning around a semi-fictionalized "composite" pop songwriting team of the 1960s. "Raising another $12 million to put that one on should be a whole lot easier," Bryan shared with a laugh.

"Memphis" plays on-screen in high definition and 7.1 channel sound at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday; 12:30 p.m. Sunday, and next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at area theaters including the Regal Riverview Plaza, Regal King of Prussia 15, AMC Hamilton 24, AMC Neshaminy 24, Regal Marketplace@Oaks 24, Regal Warrington Crossing 22, and Regal Brandywine Town Center 16. The musical also plays at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Rave University 6 and tomorrow (only) at 7:30 p.m. at Rave Ritz Center 16. Tickets are $20, www.FathomEvents.com

To find showings in your area (most likely the same place where you saw Bon Jovi - The Circle Tour Movie) click here: www.FathomEvents.com


Bon Jovi: Are you going to see Memphis?

Someone did.

6 foot tall


Code Name: Lemma/Lema (will someone PLEASE verify/confirm the spelling and share it with the world)

Not only does he look like he would steal your rock and roll, but your popcorn too...

If you didn't catch Memphis it's running through May 3rd (limited Release).  Find a theater in your local city here

Bon Jovi: Guess who's opening in Uniondale?

If you said Lorenza Ponce you would be correct.

(Long Island, NY – April 21, 2011) – As Bon Jovi gears up for another round of North American dates this spring, the band with the #1 tour of 2010 has announced that longtime collaborator, singer/violinist Lorenza Ponce and her band LP and the 45’s, will appear as very special guest at their Nassau Coliseum show on Friday, May 6th. As part of the extended Bon Jovi family since 2001, Ponce was featured prominently on the band’s 2007-08 Lost Highway Tour. Now, the multi-talented musician has been invited to perform the opening set with her own band at Bon Jovi’s concert in Uniondale, following her previous performances at the tour kick off in State College, PA, as well Uncasville, CT.

Ponce first performed with Bon Jovi after September 11, 2001, when she was called upon to support the band members at 9/11 events including the Tribute to Heroes Telethon and the historic Concert for New York. Ponce subsequently became a permanent member of Jon Bon Jovi’s solo acoustic group, and was then asked to join Bon Jovi’s Lost Highway Tour as well as their MTV Unplugged performance. In addition to her work with Bon Jovi, Ponce has toured the world and played alongside such notable acts as The Dixie Chicks, Sheryl Crow, Ray LaMontagne and Dolly Parton.

In his BLOGCRITICS review, which also ran via NO DEPRESSION, respected writer Jack Goodstein praised, “Ponce’s first foray into rock is riddled with successes and filled with promise for the future.” Saturation tour press ran in support of Ponce’s recent headlining dates – THE ALBANY TIMES UNION raved, “Let's just make this perfectly clear: Lorenza Ponce is a big deal.” ‘Soul Shifter’ is “glorious.” Remarking on Ponce’s unique background as a self-professed ‘rock-girl side person’ for such superstars as Sheryl Crow and as violinist for Bon Jovi and others, THE TIMES HERALD-RECORD noted, “Not every girl can say that rocker Sheryl Crow bought her first pair of leather pants!”

Bon Jovi: Jazz Fest schedule

In case you're going to NOLA for Jazz Fest to see Bon Jovi after this long month of no touring (OMG what are we going to do in July????) here's the stage schedule.

Bon Jovi is on at the ridiculously early hour of 4:50 PM CDT! (That's 5:50 EST or 10:50 GMT any other time frames check here for PBP in your local area) Is Jon even awake???  I kid, I kid.

Bon Jovi 4:50 p.m., Acura Stage In the 1980s, the New Jersey band rocked arena crowds with hits including "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Livin' on a Prayer." The band returned to the charts in 2000 with the single "It's My Life," and released the country-influenced album Lost Highway in 2007. The greatest hits album released in November 2010 was the band's first to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.


Huh?? GH wasn't the first to debut at #1. Someone didn't do their fact checking.


Bon Jovi: Soul Kitchen gets the Green Light in Red Bank

Good news for the JBJ Soul Foundation, the borough of Red Bank approved the application.

Jon Bon Jovi

Written by

RED BANK — Rocker Jon Bon Jovi got the green light Monday night on plans by his charitable foundation to build a community restaurant on the site of an auto repair shop on Monmouth Street, which could be open as early as July.

The borough planning board unanimously approved the application to convert a former auto shop in the rear of a 7,424-square-foot lot on Monmouth Street between Bridge and Shrewsbury avenues.

Plans call for tearing down a one-story house in the front of the lot for a four-space parking lot and using the back yard for outdoor seating. The former auto shop would house the four-table restaurant and kitchen and seat about 30 people.

Attorney Philp San Filippo, representing the JB Soul Foundation said that with Monday's approval, the community restaurant could be open as soon as the July Fourth weekend.

"The building permit can be issued this week and they'll get started right away, the bulk of it its interior renovation'' said San Filippo, who donated his services. "We'd be happy to open by July 4th.''

The foundation would operate it like a restaurant, where people would have a menu of healthy dishes and have a selection of items and have the option to pay cash or volunteer time with the foundation or another charity to pay for the meal.

The board approved plans to only have four parking spaces on site, less than what is required with the condition that if the restaurant is ever sold, that applicant would return to the board. Any neighborhood issues with parking would also send the issue back to the board.

But most of the clients wouldn't drive to the restaurant, San Filippo said, which was its experience when the foundation ran a similar operation at Lunch Break and St. Anthony's Church last year.

"Most came by bike or walked,'' he said.

Board member Dan Mancuso, who grew up in the neighborhood, praised the application.

"I can't say how happy I am to see this use rehabilitate the area. I grew up playing in the back yard. It's very nice to see such a good use,'' Mancuso said.

Plans were filed late last month by the Philadelphia-based Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which did some piloting of the low- or no-cost meals concept late last year at St. Anthony's.

"Any improvement to the site will be an improvement,'' said Mayor Pasquale "Pat'' Menna.


Bon Jovi: «Ich werde nie so fett wie Elvis»

Thanks Heidi (@swissrichiegirl) for posting this!

I used Google to translate this from German, so if it doesn't make any sense... Blame Google.

(I will never be as fat as Elvis)

Madrid, 3 clock in the afternoon, a suite in the Hotel Villa Magna. Jon Bon Jovi (49) enters the room. Washed T-shirt, black vest, vintage jeans, the upper arms are muscular, his white teeth flashing. "Hi, nice to see you," he says with a soft voice and give me your hand. Then he must first open a window. He was in the suite too hot, he says. Subsequently, John Francis Bongiovi Jr. sprawls, like the rock star's real name, on a sofa. I sit vis-à-vis on a chair.

Mister Bon Jovi ...
Jon Bon Jovi: Please call me Jon. habs am I love when people come to me and just "Hi Jon" just say. Then I feel on equal footing.

Last month, you become 49th How young you really feel?
I have never felt better. Life has presented me rich: the best woman in the world, with wonderful children, sensational fans and a band that accompanied me for decades. What more could I want?

And then there are the many millions on the account ...
... with which one can not buy happiness. Of course I appreciate the many opportunities that money brings with it even now. More importantly, it makes sense to use. I sit down for example in the States for homeless children, helping families with autistic children and trying to move my fellow citizens to get involved socially. I come from very ordinary circumstances, my father was a hairdresser in New Jersey, my mother a florist. My "Normalo" roots have given me to earth.

Scandals are not known by you, but your hair was always an issue. Sharp tongues they called "the singing mane." Not very nice.
I used some very upset about this. Especially, if my music was mentioned only in passing. Now I can laugh about it - and read what I have so fortunately long gone. I hope not, that will change now and again ... (Laughs).

They have performed in the course of your career more than 35 million people. How can one be authentic?
As a songwriter you have many options. Each of us looks experienced and feels every day so many situations over which we can sing and write. You just have to be open to it. We are blessed with the luck to play our impressions on a high level. Many generations accompany us - and hopefully will remain a considerable time. I only know two things: One will never see me as a "fat Elvis" and we are not sure as octogenarian still be on stage, then we are out. As long as we love to write songs, and love the people why we continue.

How do you get the "fat Elvis"?
Well, sometimes I also have a few pounds more on the ribs. Since I only have to be photographed from an angle and then it is called in the press. "If he carries on like that, he will soon be as fat as Elvis' That have actually written! Apart from that, I will certainly never bold Sun I eat healthy, give many concerts where I move constantly. But to be honest: This comparison but I was offended.

Jon plays thoughtfully with the gold pendant, it rides with his hands through his hair.

I have read that you are bored with life and so would drink too much. Is that true?
I have read the article too and it does so not at all. That's the difficult part of written interviews. The case was such that a journalist asked me if I was sometimes bored. As I said, Sure, every man is sometimes bored. She said then she would go in the evening drink. And I said, a drink is cool. In the article I was the bored alcoholic. I smile now and also tell you that I'm tired today. Now you can write: "Jon is just tired" or "Jon has flirted with me." Does both. But hey Honey, do not go so deep, let's talk just relaxed with each other.

Are you fed up of bad headlines?
If they are dishonest. I've read concert reviews of songs that we had not played that evening. And of course annoy me absurd, fictional love stories. Me and my band is about the music we make. The rest of us is largely matter.

Do you remember how many awards have you received in the last 30 years?
Phew, no idea.

The door opens, drummer Tico Torres enters. "Sit down with us, but also tell what," says Jon. Tico, with dark sunglasses and a tan, takes place next to his friend greeted me with a brief "Hi."

Where do you put all your awards and trophies?
Tico: some place where you live on. My son gets the coolest, all of which appeal to him. The rest he leaves me (deep laugh).
Jon: For me it is similar. A few are in my closet, in the display case, in the studio and in the nursery.

On 14 July Bon Jovi come for a concert in Switzerland. As the fans are there?
Switzerland has changed significantly in the last 25 years. It has become more international. The early 80s our fans were predominantly male. Not any more. They are also information and pleasure-oriented. We are one big world now.

Have you ever been home in Switzerland?
Jon: Unfortunately not.
Tico: I do, I let my logos and symbols do there. I love Switzerland, a beautiful country!

How do the groupies on the last decades have changed?
Jon: The size will not change, they are just as they are.

What was the most brazen offer that you have ever received?
Jon: Ui, this much we could say, but may not.
Tico: Hey Jon, a generous episode but we can tell: We were after a concert once again on the road in our van. Suddenly we heard a loud giggle. It was incredible, but there have been two 15-year-old girl in the back really hidden. They wanted nothing from us, but something to be experienced simply by hiding in our van. I am sure they will tell their grandchildren still like this.

And then?
Jon: Then we have seen that they come home well. We're responsible ... (Jon and Tico laugh).

What would you do with your last $ 100?
Jon: When we were successful and earned good money, we bought each other birthday cars. Everyone wanted the other with even more expensive gifts on offer. Today wants Richie Sambora (lead guitarist, note) from me that I bake a cake to him. And I have often burnt their fingers already. So back to the question - I still think has to ...
Tico: Would it be the last day of our lives?

No one knows ...

Jon and Tico laugh like two thieves.

Tico: I would then invite family for a good meal and a fine cigar, my treat me.
Jon: And I have a good bottle of wine.

married Jon, are you happy with your wife for almost 22 years. What is your favorite recipe?
A relationship is hard work. I've had a Dorothy the best deal of my life. At home she is the boss. I am happier than ever.  

Bon Jovi: Happy Easter

Who's ass is going to CH_ _ CH?  UR

A little video I took in San Antonio, TX.  Happy Easter for my Christian friends.  Happy Sunday to everyone else.

Bon Jovi: One Night Only full video on Youtube???

Thanks @blushnscarlet for finding this and sharing it on twitter last night (@blushnscarlet on twitter)

**EDIT**  Thanks to Jen (@jovixphillies24 for liking this on You Tube and bringing it to everyone's attention, Jen also won the Livin on a Prayer video contest in Philly on 3/2/11!)

You can also Google this and find sites that will let you download an HD copy of the show in its entirety, but if you don't have the hard drive space You Tube is an option.

Bon Jovi Widget