The end of chapter Bon JoviMay 10, 2013
People say I’m crazy, doing what I’m doing.
For all my adult life, people have looked at me a little strangely when I’ve explained the full extent of my love for Bon Jovi’s music to them. Friends have looked at me a little differently, bosses have laughed out loud and my mom’s shrugged her shoulders and said “You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.” And I did it and it’s been truly enlivening, invigorating, amazing and tear-jerking.
Four years ago, I used to dream of seeing the band play live. Literally. I’d wade through concert wonderlands in my sleep and wake up utterly disappointed, wondering if I’d ever hold up a lighter to “Bed Of Roses”. And then, in 2010, I did what I had to do (thanks, Mom) and flew to New York to see them play. The strange looks started. But I’ve never been as all-consumingly happy as that first song they played that night in New Jersey. “Blood On Blood” – what a classic. It was a true life goal accomplished and I’ve never been vaguely sorry I did it.
As with all things in life, I believe if you’re passionate about something, you’ve got to fucking love it with your heart, soul and even aching back and knees from the concert last night. Give it everything!
And then fortune rolled my way again when the band and I happened to be touring the States at the same time in 2011. We crossed paths twice and I followed my rock and roll heart thinking ‘God, 2009 me would hate 2011 me if she knew this was happening.”
Well, 2011 and 2009 me. This week, I’ll have seen them play stadium shows twice in 5 days. Plus, on Tuesday night, I sang “Livin’ On A Prayer” as loud as I possibly could and didn’t even hear myself because Jon Bon Jovi himself was singing it about 5 metres in front of me. Yeah, suck on that.
But back to that crazy thing. I can’t really describe it when I don’t know what’s important to you in life. But imagine a belief, a way of life, a friend or a goal that’s been defining you for at least half your life. Every time you turned on the radio. Every time you sang a song. Every time you spoke to a friend. This thing you hold dear has defined you. It’s like a friend and a drug and a parent all rolled into one. Would you not haul ass to anywhere on the planet to be a part of it, if you could? Yes, that’s what I thought.
But I’m a little older and wiser and slowly putting together how I see the world and what affects me within that, and I think those Jersey Boys and I might be on diverging paths. Maybe it’s because their last album felt like they were preaching to working classes they are decidedly no longer a part of. Maybe it’s because I’m starting to have had enough of Jon Bon Jovi’s God complex. Heck, maybe it’s just because Richie wasn’t there on Tuesday. Whatever it is, as I sit here writing this, I’m still getting slightly teary at all the joy their music has brought me.
When the searing riff of “Raise Your Hands” started on Tuesday night, I had a flashback to sitting in my mom’s car on the way to matric exams, playing that song on repeat – I’d just discovered the New Jersey album, and was on the cusp of discovering my rock and roll life. On the real cusp of knowing what it was to feel music and to live through it.
What a long journey it’s been from those days.
So, that’s it. I may be ready to grow up and loosen my grip on what I’ve always known. But you can keep looking at me funny, because there’ll never be a Bon Jovi song that doesn’t make me smile. They taught me what it was to live music. And that’s goddamn magical.Tags: bon jovi, live music, south africa, tour