Ask Lexi: Bon Jovi!

This question has been floating around for quite a while, and Lexi “nudged” me last night to get on it and share it! Now, just so you know, a nudge from Lexi is akin to having the foundation of your house shake. Anyway, here it is:

Question from Nonie: What was it like for you and Stefan to meet Bon Jovi?

Sorry it took me a while to get back to you Nonie, but there’s something afoot. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on, but there has been lots of activity here which only happens when there is a change in the life continuum. I’m a little concerned.

As you can imagine Nonie, it was always special when Stefan and I saw each other. And though it wasn’t as often as either of us preferred, when we did get together we never skipped a beat. It was as if we had seen each other daily. And so it was with great anticipation that I stood in the restaurant in Philly where we planned to meet on that January day.

Friday January 3rd 1987 to be exact, and it was a cold, cold mofo day. We had big plans for that night though. We were going to the Bon Jovi concert in Wilkes-Barre, Pa, and we were beyond stoked. So…the plan was to meet in Philly, check out a few places (Franklin Square, Longwood Gardens, The Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall, Rocky Statue), eat have a few drinks before taking the 2 hr drive to the arena in Pocono Downs. But the trip there became somewhat problematic. Our journey was hampered by two things. The first: we were buzzed. The second: we couldn’t read the damn map to save our lives. Yeah we panicked and acting like two stooges laughed our ass off as we tried to figure out directions. Thanks goodness for GPS these days.

The two hour trip became four and after many gas station stops [for directions] and wayside pit stops we got to the arena at 9:10. We grabbed our bottle of Jack Daniels and headed in. Skid Row was on stage, the place was jammed and rocking and LOUD. Getting to front row was harder than we anticipated, but hey, that was nothing some compelling couldn’t fix. And so there we were in the front friggin row man. Skid Row did two more songs and was off. Then we took sips–hell–gulps of JD and waited for what seems like forever for the main event!!

The anticipation was growing as we watched the roadies prepare the stage for our all time favorite band, then the lights went down, it was TIME! I saw Richie [Samboa] on the left side of stage waiting for his cue to enter. They all slowly came out (Tico Torres, David Bryan) except Jon, the crowd was going nuts–Stefan and I were arm in arm, jumping up and down like crazy–shouting whistling– then Pink Flamingos started to play as Jon walked right up the middle to the front of the stage! For the next two hours we soaked in every minute of standing right at the feet of our favorite band and sang every single word to every song! They played their hearts out, and we sung our hearts out. As an encore the band sang Wanted dead or Alive and took the experience up a notch. We went WILD!! Yeah Stef was dancing his drunk ass off!! A sight to behold.

After it ended I asked one of the staff members to hand me a set list. We got it, and we did one better. We ‘vamped’ and compelled our way back stage to meet the man himself. He was soft spoken and a little hoarse (trying to rest his voice after the set), but he was polite and welcoming. He shook our hands and thanked us for coming to the concert. We told him about our ‘ordeal’ getting to the concert and told him how much we loved it and how we adopted Wanted as our theme song.
Jon said he got the inspiration for the song early one morning when he couldn’t sleep while riding in a tour bus. The “lifestyle of every rock band” was similar to that of outlaws in that each was, “a young band of thieves, riding into town, stealing the money, the girls, and the booze before the sun came up.”
He also said that the song absolutely positively was influenced by [Bob] Seger’s ‘Turn the Page.'” , Jon told us he remembered listening to this song in 1985 while traveling on a tour bus in the midwest and telling Richie Sambora, “We got to write a song like this.” The following year the duo composed “Wanted Dead or Alive.”

Richie came in for a bit and we thanked them again and then we were on our way. Happy and happier. Apart from the experience and a fabulous memory, we rolled outta there with something else- –a Jon Bon Jovi guitar pick!!

If you have a question for Lexi, please ask in the comments section.

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