Our own Asbury Park

At Christmas 2003, Jon Bon Jovi joined Bruce Springsteen on stage.
They had sung together before, and they would sing together after, but this night had a little extra something special because it was at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park.
And Asbury Park was not just in New Jersey, the state where both Jon Bon Jovi as well as Bruce Springsteen are from, but it is also the title from the debut album from Bruce Springsteen:
Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ.
Asbury Park, released in 1972, was the album that had started it all for Bruce Springsteen, and Jon Bongiovi became a fan.

Asbury Park was also the location of The Stone Pony, a venue that since its opening in 1974 has been the epicenter of the New Jersey music scene.
And perhaps most remarkably: Asbury Park was also where in 1980, Bruce Springsteen had joined a cover band on stage, called Atlantic City Expressway.
The name of their young singer?
Jon Bongiovi. 

Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi (he changed his name when he formed the band) are both linked to this park.
Asbury Park was one of the locations visited in the coming of age movie Blinded By The Light (2019), based on the memoir of the writer Sarfraz Manzoor.
I ve included a trailer at the bottom of this post.

In the movie Javed, the main character, grows up in the 80s in a small town in England, and Bruce’s music changes his life. He develops himself as a writer and he and a friend visit New Jersey in the final scenes.
Taking snapshots of Springsteen locations.
One of them, is Asbury Park.

The movie Blinded By The Light was endorsed by Bruce Springsteen who gave 17 songs to the movie to be used, chosen by the makers of the film.
He even performed on opening night.

And the author Sarfraz Manzoor has been to 180 Bruce Springsteen concerts, has interviewed him multiple times because he’s a journalist, and he gets recognized by him at concerts.

But the movie is of course about all that came before that.

In Blinded By The Light, Javed hijacks the school radio station with his friend, to let everybody listen to Bruce Springsteen.
He feels that, although people laugh at him because it’s “already” 1987, Bruce Springsteen will speak to the other students of his college, as he has spoken to him and his friend Roops.
That’s why he hijacks the boot and plays the music over the speakers.

It’s a movie about many things, but one of them is a remarkable double one. Like a Russian doll, it is the same story within a story (within a story?).
Because Sarfraz Manzoor, or Javed in the movie, inspires his 1987 peers to get into Springsteen even though he started making music in the 70s already.
In the 80s, Bruce Springsteen was era-wise comparable to Queen, The Rolling Stones and Elton John;
He was still successful, popular, active both in making records as well as touring, in the 80s;
But he had started a decade earlier.
And that, made him “uncool”.

Javed sold Bruce Springsteen to his peers, just like Roops had sold it to him.

And in 2019? Here comes the little Russian doll!
The 2019 movie of that story, Blinded By The Light, has inspired a new generation to listen to Bruce Springsteen. 

It illustrates that rock star success can only be eternal if fans tell their stories to others. If we keep writing, and creating, and remastering bootlegs.
If we keep showing up on forums, or whatever it is that is your chosen form of connecting to other fans, and maybe you even do make an effort to draw in new ones too!
And share your love for Springsteen, or, since my work here revolves around Bon Jovi, maybe you make an effort to introduce Bon Jovi to new fans.

But there is a catch.
Just like the maker of Blinded By The Light, wanted to get Bruce Springsteen on board before she would even lift a finger trying to get the film financed, all that art inspired by world famous artists and interpretations of their work that are in my opinion ultimately NECESSARY to sustain your success and let it crossover to younger generations;
That same art, leans dangerously close to the cliff of violating copyrights.

If you try to find Guns N’ Roses concerts on YouTube you will find them only on their official channel. All others will be taken down, by management from the band.
And for all concerts, not just Guns N’Roses, audio and photographic equipment were forbidden at concerts, until the mobile phone became a camera and it became impossible to keep them off the premises.
Books written about artists, to this day, often infuriate the artist who feels their name are being exploited.

When in my opinion the truth is, that if you want to last, if you want to push the bar of immortality and leaving your legacy;
EMBRACE IT.

About two weeks ago I made a tweet, I can’t even remember exactly what it said, and it was more that I felt CALLED to say it – like I could turn my face to the heavens and say “I told them! I did my part!”- somewhere in the lines of Bon Jovi should start thinking of curating their legacy professionally.
Like a museum.

In Pittsburgh there’s the Warhol museum where all his objects are indexed, stored, sometimes displayed depending on what they are.
It is THE SYSTEM that makes museums good at what they do.

If Bon Jovi had a system for storing, archiving, and the reusing, releasing, and displaying their material, not only would it be an absolute walk in the park, to make a Bon Jovi museum (in Asbury Park, perhaps?!)-
but everything that they already have, would start making money.
It would start working for them.

So there are ways to avoid having fans interpret, hoard, and upload your material;
Just get a team of professionals who will do the same thing, but all under one roof, under your command, and because you supply them with all your stuff;
Your team will win.

There even might be a way to avoid people publishing books about your band or about you as an artist;
Just write better official books, publish more photo work.
Do a better job of giving fans what they apparently are dying to spend money on, and make sure that creditcard is thrown at your direction and marginalize what any snooping pop journalist can make covering your life’s work.

I think some of you already know where I am heading with this, the example of the fine line of copyright infringements. Because the hAnD90 channel on YouTube is empty.
This channel regularly uploaded concerts, and since 2020 it used the live premiere function, which meant that Bon Jovi fans could chat with each other while all watching the show.
It resulted in an enthusiastic community.
And now the channel is emptied out, or locked away. 
If you have Instagram you can look for the hAnD90 channel there- the last photo almost 100% sure contains information about why it is currently empty.

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A 1998 cd bootleg. Easily available in some countries, yet quite impossible in others.

But I m betting my Bruce Springsteen & Bon Jovi 1998 bootleg concert cd for it, it has something to do with copyrights one way or the other.
Either from the band themselves, who after decades and decades of encouraging bootleggers to “roll their tapes” have become more unpredictable in what they do or do not allow;
Or even worse, copyright warnings or punishment from YouTube.
These ones are even nastier because you never find out what the problem was exactly.

So I m betting one of those two is the reason the hAnD90 channel is not available now.

And it made me think. Ponder. And ultimately it made me DECIDE. 
But in combination with seeing the movie, about the crucial role fans, books, bootlegs, fan art, plays in bringing the work to new generations-
it also made me see the light.
The thing about the fan art I am creating, that I had not seen.

What I saw for the expression of my fan art, which is Rock Star Yoga, or yoga for Bon Jovi fans, were these two things:

1. It’s not yoga, it is a gospel!

Welcome to Jonny’s church of rock n roll! 
Ever since the first thought of Rock Star Yoga sprung to mind, in 2019, I knew Bon Jovi fans were almost incompatibel by the very nature of who we are, with yoga.
It is no wonder I was in my Bon Jovi fan hiatus when I started yoga and was a yoga teacher, because the two are separate languages.
So I knew Rock Star Yoga was going to be FOR Bon Jovi fans, so they could do yoga too. 
But the hijacking of the radio station in the movie, and the realization the we, in 2021, have an opportunity ( would say responsibility!) to give Bon Jovi to future generations.
And I will start with people who do yoga.

Through Rock Star Yoga I can not just connect Bon Jovi fans to yoga- but also the other way around. I can inspire yoga fans to start listening to Bon Jovi.
And that is exactly what I am going to do. Mission added!

But in that mission, to keep the Bon Jovi legacy alive and to let new people get acquianted with it, we cannot afford to build our house on quicksand…
Which brings me to:

2. It needs to be ours.

In 2019 I named this site Rock Star Yoga Nijmegen, in 2020 I redubbed it Rock Star Writer Nijmegen- but never, did I choose Bon Jovi Yoga.
And my YouTube channel is even safer still: It is not called Rock Star Yoga nor Bon Jovi Yoga, but Suzanne Beenackers.
If I ever get taken down by YouTube, you will know my name.
And therefor, you will know where to find me.

And post-pandemic there will be yoga here in Nijmegen, for Dutch Bon Jovi fans (or yoga fans!) But I will make sure that just like a concert, anybody can join. 
So you can come to see me.
Because you know my name.

And our yoga on YouTube will not contain music – which is not ideal to really rock our yoga. But it does mean that what we build there, cannot be taken away.
Yes, we’ll be on YouTube, and that could take me down. Or “it”, all the way to internet itself, could be taken down.
Same with Twitter; Sure. I could lose the account.
Rock Star Writer on Facebook: Ditto. Could lose it on a bad day, and it could disappear like social media platforms before it.

But they cannot take my name. Ever.
You, seeing my real name every time we do a video, means that if we ever lose each other, you can find me.

They can shut accounts down, but they cannot shut us down. 

For as long as I can, and as often as I can, I therefor promise you, right here and now,
I, Suzanne Beenackers, founded in 1972,  will be there for you. Always.

Just like Asbury Park.

~Suzanne
Rock Star Writer
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new content soon:
Bon Jovi Yoga (English) | Suzanne Beenackers YouTube
or Dutch
abonneer je op Bon Jovi Yoga Nederland

NEW 2021: Art & Popular Culture: World Between Worlds 
NEW 2021: YouTube Rock Your Business
NEW 2021: Daily Bon Jovi Yoga

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You can find my books The Little Mistress Who Turned Into A Baby Koala
and A Boyfriend Like Jon Bongiovi
at the bottom of this page:
https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/rockstarwriter

And So It Begins: Bon Jovi Yoga

Jon-Bon-Jovi-at-Live-Aid-Philadelphia-by-Mark-Weiss-1986-1280x960
Jon Bon Jovi stretching at Live Aid Philadelphia by Mark Weiss 1986

Nothing is as important as passion. 
No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.

Jon Bon Jovi

Or as Katrina Ruth formulated it this morning – yes, I’m quoting this fully aware that I may run the risk of losing you by tossing in a less familiar name:
Katrina Ruth blog 2 November 2021:
“This is about the difference between doing what you do because it is WHAT YOU CAME HERE TO DO.
As opposed to – doing things to get places. To be someone. To be that next level you. To prove something. To GET – ‘there’.”

Which is the most fitting, most to-the-frickin’ point, as well as a very welcome probably 4000 word-long, reminder of what it really is all about.
Do what you came here to do.
So no! When I launch Bon Jovi Yoga it is not to distract you from your purpose, not to let you relax from a life that is unfulfilling, and that you will regret when you’re six feet under.
Although by then it’s probably a little too late for that.

When I say, “Come do my thing, join my thing!” it is not because I want to Suckerberg the attention span right out of your soul, and plaster it over my ego and make money of it.
It is not.

There is a reason I open this blogpost quoting not just Jon Bon Jovi but also Katrina Ruth (and this is her YouTube), the rock star business coach who will change your business, life and beyond of you give her as much as 3 seconds of your time;
There is a reason I do not quote Patanjali.
I do not quote Deepak – do we get we say fucking? let’s say fucking – I do not quote Deepak fucking Chopra, nor a famous yoga teacher – and the last one can’t be quoted because they don’t exist.
There are no yoga teachers so famous that non-yoga doing people know them.
And so far the only yogis who were able to make a name for themselves outside of the yoga community, proved to be sex offenders. That community has been through a lot.

The Tony Robbinses of yoga have all come crashing down from their pedestals so hard, it is no wonder there are no yoga teachers famous enough to quote from. I feel an immature desire to yell: “There are no yoga teachers to quote from BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL IN JAIL!” but that is not true.

But I do think that the exponential rise of yoga from the late 20th century onward, has come at a terrible price and an awareness that we must create safer communities.
That yoga must inspire and empower to live your own life. Never again, must we create a situation where yoga students become dependent on their teachers or their gurus.

I really believe there is not a yoga teacher in 2021 and beyond who will not feel that teaching yoga comes with tremendous responsibility, and that we must, and will, learn from the past.
And what “I” am offering with Bon Jovi Yoga, although the key is of course there is no “I” in this story, what I am creating is a community.
Not a pedestal. And since we’d okay-ed the word fuck: 
I’m not creating a fucking pedestal.

I, WE, have bypassed the trap of both yoga being not that inspiring to people who do not feel drawn to it,
AND the trap of yoga communities revolving around a megalomaniac teacher,
by letting our community revolve around our love for Bon Jovi.
They’re the object of our attention.

So quoting Katrina Ruth – who is an absolute stellar coach to follow if you are interested in taking life by the horns (f.e. on her Facebook) – this week we start our journey of WHAT WE CAME HERE TO DO and not a journey of doing it for whatever.
Not to get a better body, feel more worthy, or to find balance – because our bodies are fine as they are, we are worthy, and I’ll take my chances betting that for us balance does not come from sitting still on a mat.
We need a little bit more fun than that. Make that a lot more!

Bon Jovi Yoga it is.

You will be able to watch BON JOVI YOGA unfold its angel wings on my two YouTube channels both English and Dutch, AND I have two books out, that I have not shown to you but I just noticed there’s a 20% discount this week on the site. I’d be doing you a disservice if I would not mention those today as well.

So hop on the wagon!

Bon Jovi Yoga will start within 24 hours on all of these outlets.

subscribe to -> Daily Bon Jovi Yoga (daily blog):
https://dailybonjoviyoga.com/

subscribe to -> Bon Jovi Yoga English:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXpNMsIFP2U34A0yBKk8PUQ

subscribe to -> Bon Jovi Yoga Nederland:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA81I4RdVvgtGK99T3Io3Ew

And my books, which I have not announced, promoted and hardly ever mentioned in any way, but my books have a 20%  LULU store discount this week using code EARLYBIRD20
Offer valid through November 5
You can find my books The Little Mistress Who Turned Into A Baby Koala and A Boyfriend Like Jon Bongiovi at the bottom of this page: https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/rockstarwriter

I know I owe you a better explanation, and that this explanation of what Bon Jovi Yoga is, or what you’ll be a part of, once you get on the wagon, and get hooked :), was limited, at best.
But we’ve got a lifetime together.
Bon Jovi Yoga really IS here to stay, and we’ll probably be seeing each other more often than you can possibly imagine.

For now suffice to say that, from a very narrow perspective, yoga is my fan art. Like other people draw, or remaster concerts, or write fan fiction;
Same way I create Bon Jovi yoga.
So my socials and my YouTube channels are fan communities, where we do yoga.

There really is no limit to where it ends. I could start teaching classes in Nijmegen, you could visit as a tourist, or I can come to your home town and teach a night of Bon Jovi Yoga there.

But whatever it is, we’ll do it with passion and not for an outcome, but with sense of purpose and belonging.
We do it because that’s what we came here to do. Let me say that again, yelling immaturely.

“We do Bon Jovi Yoga BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT WE FUCKING CAME HERE TO DO.”

~Suzanne
Rock Star Writer
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Channel introduction from summer 2021 – including first plan to start Bon Jovi Yoga as well.

“Susie’s” Nikki Sixx Inspired Confessions

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Nikki Sixx, showing a beautiful angel bearing a cross- tattoo.

{ “Susie” refers to me, Suzanne. I am not the Susie from the book The First 21. } 

The new Nikki Sixx book, The First 21, is one of those books where just like a movie, you get sucked in.
You think you’re going to read it with kind of a helicopter view, because you find the topic interesting or, what used to be the case when I actually read, when you find the writer interesting.
Since me having a thing for male writers ended 7 years ago, I wasn’t really expecting it. And maybe me reading Nikki Sixx is indeed not a part of that.
The writers I used to read were Dutch, they were my age or younger, and none of them were rock stars. 

So for the first time since 2014, I m reading with heart and soul, I’m totally into this.
But the deeper I get into this book, the more I realize that my relationship to Nikki Sixx is rooted in something.
That this is more than a book, a writer, a rock star of even a man I have a crush on.

Looking back, I can see how I’ve been leaning into his topics, into his work, from a very young age. It’s like an invisible thread, going through my life. And from that perspective, this infatuation with his latest book, cannot be called a surprise.

Maybe this is the right place to drop a truth bomb about something I meant to discuss sooner, and I probably will get back to it in future work;
But I think there is one MAJOR factor that Nikki Sixx’ lyrics as well as Bon Jovi lyrics have in common, and that explains why certain people will feel drawn to them. Yet I ve not heard anyone speaking about this.
But they’re Catholic.
The lyrics about God, devil, salvation, praying on the knees, water, redemption, sinning, confessions and- need I go on?
Or point taken?
It’s music that will speak to you if you, your parents, or your grandparents were Catholic.
Maybe protestant, but I think I know enough to determine this as Catholic symbolism.

But aside from that symbolism that resonates with me, there were more signs.
More things I managed to miss, where I now think:
“This thing for Nikki? This has been going on for a very long time….”

And I thought it was a good idea to I share that.
In particular if I m ever going to write about his book The First 21- that you know I did not step in at:
“Oh yes! Nikki Sixx…. he was in Mötley Crüe.”
Since I intend to stick around both as a writer and as a YouTuber, this needs to be cleared up.
This personal, recent and ancient, history of me and Nikki Sixx, needs explaining so that you understand why I am horribly biased.

So. It all “started” in 2019, when after a period of 25 years, I became a Bon Jovi fan again and I met a lot of other fans who were not just into Bon Jovi, but also into Nikki Sixx.
In female fandom, the combination of being into Jon Bon Jovi and Nikki Sixx was actually a pretty common one, and that’s how I came into contact with Nikki Sixx too, in particular with his writing.

I said “started” in 2019, with quotation marks, because then I m not counting me writing out Nikki Sixx’ name in my agenda in the 80s, and me drawing him in pen.
I’m not counting Mötley Crüe practically being spoon fed in the 80s to anyone tuning in to MTV’s Headbangers Ball (which I was), and listening to a Dutch radio show called Vara’s Vuurwerk (which I also was).
In the Netherlands Mötley Crüe never made it big mainstream, but at the same time they were so much part of metal and rock that it was absolutely impossible to miss them if that was your genre (which it was).

I also noticed on Nikki Sixx’s photos as a teen, in The First 21, that he and my first boyfriend had looked alike. A lot. And that boyfriend too, was a bass player.
And in that book The First 21, Nikki Sixx says his first girlfriend’s name was Susie.
They were very shy with each other, and didn’t really know how to make it work or let it evolve. Exactly how my first boyfriend and me, were.
So in the 80s I, Suzanne or “Susie” to some, was dating a guy who played bass and looked like Nikki Sixx. But again, something I did not realize until October 2021, so that does not count either.

Which is why- not counting those Mötley Crüe and Nikki Sixx moments – “it”, the conscious part, started first half of 2019.
After the introduction to Nikki Sixx by other Bon Jovi fans, I started listening to an audio recording of the book The Heroin Diaries, based on his 80s diary.
Nikki Sixx’ The Heroin Diaries, is a book from 2007, that made it mainstream, against all expectations.
For the audio book Nikki Sixx reads it, with actors playing the parts other people have contributed, such as friends, family members, the band and people who toured with the band.
Slash, for example, is a good friend of Nikki, and he is one of the people who contributed to The Heroin Diaries.

The Heroin Diaries has as a subtitle: “A year in the life of a shattered rock star”
And it is based on Nikki’s original diary, from December 1986 to December 1987, when he was addicted to heroin.
It was for the first time since the 80s I was reading something like this, the topic had completely dropped off my radar.
It brought back memories of the 80s, when the topic of heroin addiction was something I read about.

I must have been about 13 or 14 years old.
The first was a German book Christiane F., which has been translated worldwide under different titles but the original one was;
Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (1978)
And the second book, also on teen drug addiction, was a Dutch one, Het Verrotte Leven van Floortje Bloem – Yvonne Keuls (1982)

Next to that I was either personally fascinated with musicians who died of drugs, but I also remember that it was a topic that was covered in our music classes in school. But by then I already knew enough to actually save my mark for a test I had otherwise done poorly.
Our teacher was so impressed with the paragraph I had written on the final question, about rock stars who had died prematurely, where I could even name rock stars that had not been mentioned in the book and I remember I wrote about the context of fame and drug use (probably uncalled for), and he gave me a higher grade.
So obviously, I was already studying this topic, and did not learn about drug use by rock stars, just in school.
But it was definitely “a phase”, as they call it. It was as if I wanted, or even needed, to study it, to understand what it was. Or maybe to protect myself. I was also raised in the “Just Say No” time period, but aside from one Punky Brewster episode I cannot remember that ever hitting mainstream in the Netherlands.
We didn’t have very prominent or explicit drug education in the Netherlands, and soft-drugs are legal here. We only had a campaign to not start smoking as a teen but that was it.
Heroin addiction felt far away.

I think one of the reasons listening to the Heroin Diaries in 2019, made a totally different impression than studying the topic in the 80s, is because now that I am so much older, and can feel how much it costs, how much you need to regulate and be conscious about, in order to be functional;
I am absolutely baffled by the idea of touring, and then drinking and doing drugs too.
But at the time, in the 80s?
The idea of rock stars doing drugs was just as normal as, I don’t know, as professional athletes training.
Or ballet dancers working out 8 hours a day.
All this to illustrate that me studying hard drugs had little to do with me trying to understand the world I was living in, and everything with me being fascinated by a world I was absolutely not living in.
It must have been my way to align with it, or feel if it was something I wanted to pursue.

When now I think, how in the world do you DO all that, the traveling, the touring, the everything, and NOT take excellent care of your health?
Listening to The Heroin Diaries audio in 2019, should have been a wake up call for me, and for anyone struggling career-wise-
that considering the fact that Mötley Crüe, including an addicted to heroin Nikki Sixx, actually TOURED?
We’ve all been called out as underachievers.
That’s how I see it.

But The Heroin Diaries was more than that. In particular the audio.
Because Nikki Sixx is not just a very pleasant narrator, with a beautiful speaking voice, doing a better job recording that book than anyone could have done for him;
But Nikki Sixx is most of all a thinker. And it’s relational.
So the books you read are all about relationships with people, but also relationships to a wide array of topics and situations.
And about HOW he relates.

The writer Nikki Sixx, is first and foremost – and I am sure there is a word for this but since I stopped reading in 2014 don’t ask me! – but he’s what I will call for now, he’s a thinker about relationships.
About whom and what he relates to, and how he relates to them. Or how they relate to each other.

And to then listen to Nikki Sixx, with your headphones, to this 11 hour recording, reading The Heroin Diaries, going through his own rough and ready diary from what may have been the toughest year in his life;
then reading the chapters he wrote around them, putting them in perspective.
Oh man…. you’re gonna fall for Nikki Sixx.

If you listen to Nikki Sixx reading The Heroin Diaries, your entire idea of who he is will change.

On Google Play:
The Heroin Diaries: Ten Year Anniversary Edition: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star

So in 2019 already, I considered myself a fan of his work. Oh – I m skipping the band Sixx AM, but I absolutely adore their music, I left it out for clarity’s sake.
But check them out as well! Sixx A.M. on YouTube

However, what I’ve covered so far, the Catholic roots, studying hard drugs and rock stars at a young age, getting Motley Crue spoon fed, the boyfriend bass player who looked like him, and writing “Nikki Sixx” in my agenda because I thought the name was magical;
Are all futile compared to the biggie.
The one where I realized:
“Fuck.”

Because of circumstances I do not want to get into (and I will not!) Nikki Sixx has become part of my sexual language, my sexuality identity, desires, experiences. All I can say, is that it does not have anything to do with him.
Not with The Heroin Diaries.
Not with The First 21.
Not with Sixx AM.

But that, yeah, like I said, a combination of circumstances, some of choice and some coincidental, his name, became synonymous for sex.

Although the part I did by choice?
Considering the preferences of other female Bon Jovi fans, considering my personal history, and my “thinking, relational” obsession; Considering all those things, maybe me adopting Nikki Sixx as the personification of sex was not so much of a choice.

But an inevitability.

~Suzanne
Rock Star Writer
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The best of album HITS, including the new track The First 21, from SIXX A.M. is on YouTube:

And then the sex goes in here.

booktrailer for The First 21 by Nikki Sixx

Intro.
Voice over, snippet from the first words of Livin’ On A Prayer:
Narrator (Jon Bon Jovi): “Once upon a time, not so long ago”

* insert first tweet Oct 22nd, illustrating Suzanne’s waning faith she’s welcome in Bon Jovi fandom*
(clicking the play icon on the gif pays off)

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Photo from Melissa Coler Twitter @MACSIXX https://twitter.com/MACSIXX/status/1452034362682269696

One of the things I still want to do, is go through my old 80s school agendas and look for what I know is there: Two, maybe more, references to Nikki Sixx.

At least one of them is me “just” writing out his name.
Even as a teen, I understood there was something magical about it.
Where a name usually has some meaning, either to ourselves if we chose it, or to our parents when they gave it;
Calling yourself Nikki Sixx?
Was a whole different ballgame.

The name Nikki Sixx is a work of art in itself. 

This week Nikki Sixx released his fourth book, called The First 21, and it’s about the first 21 years of his life when his name was not yet Nikki Sixx. When he had not yet chosen his name.
You can shop for The First 21 by Nikki Sixx, as well as for the album from his second band Sixx A.M. that was released simultaneously.
“Second band”, yes.
You have until the end of this post, to answer the question what Nikki Sixx’ first band is.

The Sixx A.M. HITS playlist can also be found at the bottom of this post,
and to purchase the book you may also want to check out
this tweet where I already looked up the direct links to buy the book, for four different countries.

News interviews, podcasts, YouTube interviews, zoom connections, studio interviews;
For the past few days there has been an avalanche of Nikki Sixx on my timeline.
Which may explain why I was starting to feel a familiar yet unwelcome restlessness, in my lower belly.
A restlessness that I recognized in the movies Venom (2018) and part 2 (2021).

“Venom”, from the title, is an extraterrestrial entity that has a symbiotic relationship to a human, Eddie Brock. Venom is the wild one, the uncontrolled one. But Venom is also the fascinating one, the unapologetic one, and definitely the funniest of the two.
Everything Venom says is a one liner, he’s a talk show host’s wet dream.

But he is also of course, entirely uncivilized. And a bigger problem than that; His species need nutrients that can only be found in brains. 
If Venom would comply with his host Eddie, and stop biting people’s head off, he, Venom, would become severely malnutritioned and die.
And with that Eddie too, because they inhabit the same body. 

Venom is the stronger one, the enigmatic one, the superhero of the two, and ever since Venom has started living in Eddie’s body and the two started their symbiotic relationship, Eddie’s life has improved in terms of excitement and adventure.
And women absolutely adore him both as Eddie and as Venom.
Since Eddie has Venom in him, he has not had a dull moment, and yet Venom 2 Let There Be Carnage, largely revolves around Eddie’s attempts to get rid of Venom.
And not just because he bites people’s head off, and it requires a lot of effort to limit Venom’s foraging habits to only eating the bad guys, but also because Venom is an extremely disruptive force to live with.

story continues below the trailer, that illustrated how difficult it is to live with Venom:

My inner Venom too, is a disruptive force to live with.
It gets me kicked out of groups.
It gets me slut shamed.
It gets me talked about behind my back.
It gets me blocked on Twitter.
Ghosted.

And yet, of course, it is this feral, untamed side of me, my inner-Venom, that is going to make the biggest contribution. That is going to leave her mark. 

I ve known from the start that my plan to make Bon Jovi yoga videos, was not accommodating her. There was not even a small corner, a small percentage of poorly lit videos “we” would shoot when I was feeling so badly, a normal video would not come out anyway;
Not even that.

My inner Venom was not to interfere when I was making Bon Jovi yoga videos. The name Bon Jovi, associated with inclusive, family appropriate, uplifting music, would be honored.
It would be kept clean.

But since it’s almost three months since I posted my announcement for Bon Jovi yoga, you can see how that is working out.
It isn’t.
And the reason it is not, is because my Venom wants a part.

The “overall inappropriate” part of me, to quote the most explicit complaint I received about that side of me, wants in.
No, let me rephrase:
It wants THE FUCK in. 

But just like Eddie Brock, I wanted to be loved for being the real me, the nice me, and not for this part that felt so entirely over the top.
I fully understood why my inner Venom was too much in particular in mixed, friendly communities like Bon Jovi fandom.

I GOT that.
And I respected them for being clear on their boundaries and keeping the community safe.

It’s just that, well, that side of me is “all” I have to offer.
Without my inner Venom, I am not just plain, but I would also be thoroughly unhappy. Just like Eddie Brock.
Venom is my life force. She makes me come alive, gives me blushes on my cheeks, and turns me into this funny, sexual, and yes inappropriate, woman.

Without my Venom, and without giving her what she needs, I will not just perish and come to nothing.
I will die.

Thinking I could turn myself into a friendly, goodhearted, Bon Jovi yoga teacher was as unrealistic as it was unhealthy and, frankly, undesirable.
If someone else can do that, go for it.
It’s not my path, that much is sure.

So me and my inner-Venom, have made amends and decided we are going to do it together.
We’ll be making Bon Jovi yoga videos where we will make many inappropriate jokes.
And trust me when I say that yoga offers ample opportunity for those.

But next to that, “we”, my inner Venom and me, are going to make Nikki Sixx yoga videos, where my most sexual, most out-there part of my personality, can really shine.
Where my inner Venom gets to take the stage and the leash comes off.
So the most unadulterated, honest, raw, yoga videos will be named after the most unadulterated, honest, raw rock star of them all.
Nikki Sixx.

Ten hours after the tweet where I said that although I am a Bon Jovi fan, but sometimes feel more LA, and less New Jersey, and wanted to be loved for the Venom part of me too;
I made another tweet.

04cde20d6a8c2e8870db315aae380d2e
Nikki Sixx, showing a beautiful angel bearing a cross- tattoo.

This tweet said:
[On] Oct. 22 @SixxAM released their best of called HITS
This album is THE best way to get acquainted with this second band from Nikki Sixx, est 2007

Mild spanking if you don’t know what his first band is.

Oh no, a little harder than that.

The first band from Nikki Sixx is Mötley Crüe.
Bon Jovi yoga will begin this week, on my YouTube
And my first yoga lesson to you, is to never hide who you really are.

The world needs your Venom.
Just like the world needs Nikki Sixx.

Oh no.
A little harder than that.

.
~Suzanne
Rock Star Writer
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The best of album HITS, including the new track The First 21, from SIXX A.M. is on YouTube:

My name is Suzanne Beenackers and I am 32 years late. And 2 Weeks

As I collect these photos for you of a very clearly Rock Star Suzanne, ever since the dawn of time (the 80s), I wonder;
HOW is it possible to lose yourself when you’re over 45?

When I look back I can identify the two biggest threats, the two biggest potential conflicts between my surroundings and what was expected of me on one side;
And who I was and always had been, on the other.

The first was the business world that was waiting for me after graduating from university, which I turned my back on, by simply never showing up.
I didn’t even say: “Hell no!”
I just never showed up, and no one came looking.

And the second one was when I took my yoga trainings and entered the realm of yoga teachers with whom I – where “I” stands for the real me, that chick rolling cigarettes at 16 – had absolutely zero in common with what we wanted out of life (Sex and rock n roll!)
Yet I just dove in head first, became a vegetarian, listened to mantras, yoga-ed my body on a daily basis, and still made it out unharmed.

In fact, as the photo collage shows, in 2015 I started calling my vinyasa power yoga classes, Rockstar Yoga.

It was then still written as one word; “Rockstar”
Because I had ran it by the title of
the Nickelback song.
Which, as I found out in 2019 when I started this website Rock Star Writer, then still called Rock Star Yoga, is not the correct way to spell it.

Just like the catchy yet shallow interpretation of what it means to be a “Rockstar”, the spelling of the Rockstar song was not something you should ever use as a benchmark. 

So how is it possible to have such a great start, effectively navigating your jeans-clad booty around the pitfalls of three decades, and then 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021?
Bam.
Done.
Everything yoga related, anything professional, was stopped and although I still feel very much like a yoga practitioner and a yoga teacher, it doesn’t show.

Late 2020 I ended the lease of the yoga studio, and as of January 1st 2021 I no longer have a business.
Nor do I intend to ever have any one of those again.

Yet despite this:
I am a yoga teacher.

Yet despite this:
I am in business.

I know very well what my professional future looks like.

And yet….
Sometimes I FEAR that I can’t do it.

That the calling I see before me, where I will not just resurrect my own yoga practice and my professional yoga career better than it ever was;
But also revolutionize it as EXACTLY that SEX & ROCK N ROLL thing that we ALL want and need it to be! 

Those are the moments my heart grows cold thinking it’s too late.

That the girl who rolled her own cigarettes managed to get through puberty, college and an entire career as a yoga teacher, ended up empty handed.
And not just because she quit smoking.

I am writing this on a Friday, listening to Nickelback from the albums and concerts around 2007.
The time when the single Rockstar was released.
On a side note, Nickelback was the only highly successful band, who became hated for reasons no one really recalls. Although here is an article that explains why this was their fate.
It wasn’t because they misspelled rock star.

But even more disturbing than listening to Nickelback, I m writing this after yet another two week delay to what I thought was the start of my new life.
It was initially caused by something big and important that I m giving my care and attention (it’s not about me, so I m not going to share what it is), and was then further slowed down by a health issue that seemed to be related to those events but that now appears to be something else entirely.

In fact, the acute yet fairly innocent health issue may have revealed the reason why I ve been waking up sick for months and months on end now.
Why the first hours of my day are spent feeling so ill, that I even check my temperature to see if, in the unlikely case I will get up today, I can’t because I need to self-quarantine.

And then?
Well, then I m not just totally fever free, but totally fine before noon as well. 

So the new health issue that came up, may have revealed the cause of that messed up morning fallout. And it’s something annoying but totally innocent and treatable.
The final test results are due next week. *)

Having all that addressed and sorted out delayed what I considered the start of my new and improved, “on track and on top” life, as well.

Yet there are moments when these extra days of delay, turning into two extra weeks, get to me.

That I think:

“This has been going on since 2018.
You ve lost it Suzanne.
You had diplomas, a career, a business, AND you went to Bon Jovi 2019 coming back fully inspired KNOWING you were going to bring it home TEACHING Rock Star Yoga!

But you didn’t, now did you Suzanne?
You start-stopped, start-stopped, didn’t you Suzanne?

And now it’s this complicated thing that came on your path and that has you occupied, and you wake up sick every morning, but really?
Has this not been going on from way before that?”

Yes, there are moments like that…..
And yet still.

No!
This will happen.
All of it.

Rock Star Yoga, Bon Jovi Yoga, doing it, teaching it, rocking it.
That’s what it’s gonna be, and I m not going to change one long rock n roll hair of it!
AND I’m rebooting my business channel Rock Your Business as well.

Because BOTH yoga and business deserve to be done in a way WE can identify with.
Yes WE, because this is not just about me;
It’s about YOU!

About us.

We, the ones who do not belong in the corporate business world,
not in the yoga world,
and no not even in the normal entrepreneurial world.

We just don’t, and you know it.

Going from hand-rolled cigarettes to frickin’ incense, is a painfully accurate description of how I lost DECADES of my life. 

I sold my soul to mediocrity, and now I can’t even get out of bed in the morning.
I don’t even care what the test results bring up next week;
This shit is as serious as it fucking gets.

It’s called throwing your life away.

And you?
Getting up inspired and taking life by the horns?
Or have you sinned as badly as I have, and cut yourself in half in order to fit in?

It’s time to be whole.
To be fully you.

To stand up and show the world WHO YOU ARE.
WHO WE ARE

Badass motherfuckers.

And you know it. 

.
~Suzanne
Rock Star Writer
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*) The test results are all clear, I m healthy as a horse! So fully in on Purpose and Rockin’ Life it is!

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Bremen, Holland

at 14:55 Bremen, Holland and at 15:25 playing in Holland

2nd night bremen 1995 bonjovi-95bremen1-254x203
cd from the second night, Bon Jovi concert on night 2, 27 May 1995 Bremen, Germany. Just one year ago, the first public recording of night 1 was uploaded on YouTube.

Close to every night, close to every morning – and this condition is a progressive one, which started at the beginning of the pandemic –
I wake up thinking that I don’t know by what, or why;
But that I m done for.

That there is no way in hell my sleep-deprived, feverish body (don’t panic; I never have a fever, it’s often even on the brink of being too low) with the numb feeling of a threatening cold, ever since this goddamn pandemic began, is going to make it through the day.

That I will have to get Covid tested and quarantined, or will soon be too sick to move and better cancel my appointments for the upcoming week since I ll soon be taken out, for anything between two days of migraine or two weeks of being sick.

And yet? I get out of bed anyway.
I more often than not miss out on the first few hours, because I had so little sleep I want to at least try and get  it up to 5 a night… Even if it has to be in the morning.
And sometimes I can catch a few extra hours before I get up, and sometimes not.
Sometimes I stay in bed playing with my phone, and sometimes I get up at 6.30

But regardless what I choose or reluctantly settle for?
By the time it’s 9, 10 o’clock, I m fully healed!
And the whole morning drama is absolutely nothing more than a bad memory, and I can’t believe I fell for it once again.

This silly roller coaster causes that within 24 hours I make the resolution, to share this deplorable condition here, just to get it over with; So that I can then accept it, and move on.

So what, that I apparently have to get my shit done every day in 4 hours less than I used to have?
That’s still pretty good! 

But once, just once; Clear the sheet and put it on this blog…. Get it out. 
Or so I think.

Only to then of course, think a few hours later how absolutely ridiculous that was.
I mean, write about what, right?
I m fine!
More than fine, because my life is coming together for me in such a massively satisfying way. It’s as if everything from my entire life, is falling together like Tetris boxes, and I don’t even have to do anything.
It happens entirely naturally.

So I know that within weeks, this work here too, and my YouTube, and my Dutch yoga, will be rocking like it never rocked before.
I ve also started on a book, and intend to publish one every year.
The first one will be ready within weeks.

Yet still, even after all this Tetris box dropping started behind the scenes;
Almost every morning, I think life has caught up with me, and I m going down.

Until this week, when I started listening to a new upload on the hAnD90 channel:
A remastered audio recording of the first concert night of Bon Jovi in Bremen 1995.
I listened to the recording on repeat for days on end, and it was so energizing I got tons of work done, that generously compensated for any hours I had missed in the morning.

But there was something else; Something that struck a chord, and that illustrated exactly how I had been feeling.
The right vocabulary to use, if I chose to write about it anyway.

Jon Bon Jovi thinks he’s in Bremen, Holland.

Now for those who are not native to Germany or The Netherlands (Holland);
There is no Bremen, Holland.
Bremen is in Germany, where Bon Jovi played 26 and 27 May 1995.
In Holland we have Nijmegen, where Bon Jovi would play on the 28th of May, so immediately after.
After which the band would play 5 more shows in Germany again;
then a couple of other European countries, and then later on in the European leg one more German concert and another Dutch concert, in Rotterdam.

I m not trying to rationalize anything, but 1995 did have a  confusing tour schedule.

So anyway, first night in Bremen it did bite them in the ass, and Jon Bon Jovi made the classic mistake of the lead singer greeting the wrong city or country. 
Or in this case; Correct city, wrong country.

And I thought: “That’s the closest to describing how I feel.”

That feeling of touring, being jet-lagged, moved around the continent, and not knowing where you are or how you’re going to get through?
Since the pandemic I ve been falling prey to that.
And what started as an eerie “I am legend”/ Groundhog day feeling in March 2020;
Has progressed to feeling very sick every morning, and not knowing which way is up.

I feel strong now, as I type this.
And when you start seeing me on YouTube (business channel, Dutch yoga coming, English #dailybonjoviyoga coming) I will feel strong too.

Do not expect me to complain, ever, ever again, I will not allow myself to wallow here.

But just once, I need to say it;

Since Covid, I wake up every day;
In Bremen, Holland.

~Suzanne
Rock Star Writer
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Hey God, These Days (1995)

The Bon Jovi album These Days (1995) starts with a pounding heavy guitar driven intro that cuts open your ribs, exposes your heart, and then drops its message right where it frickin hurts;

Hey God,
I’m just a little man, I got a wife and family

I almost lost my house, I bought into the dream
We’re barely holding on when I’m in way too deep
We’re two paychecks away from living out on the streets

With two more verses and a bridge, “Hey God” delivers three more stories.

These Days is a socially conscious, powerfully honest record that makes its point right from the first song.

Not only should “Hey God” have been These Days’ flag ship single;
It is also the entire These Days album, crushed into one song!

Meanwhile on Wikipedia:

“Hey God” is a song from American rock band Bon Jovi’s sixth studio album, These Days (1995),
released as the album’s fifth and final single on June 24, 1996.

Although it did not chart in the United States, it became a moderate hit in Canada, Finland, Iceland,
the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

.
And after this first paragraph, on a page that will rank high in the category Ultra Short Wiki Pages About Amazing Rock Songs, the author could be explaining WHY this page is so short;

“As with most of the songs on These Days,
“Hey God” is one of Bon Jovi’s darker songs.”

“Bon Jovi’s darker songs”
Is it me or can you also almost hear the sigh in that?
Like a “Who needs that?”.

Worth the extra mile! 2 disc version, Main album has 2 songs extra (14 total) + really great bonus disc

Or maybe the author was a bit bogged down by the lukewarm reception of the album, and he or she had forgotten they had actually liked that album,
and – mind you!- that in Europe we have entire clans of people, and when I say people I mean Real Serious Music Lovers,  who would never have gotten on the Bon Jovi wagon if it were not for the 1995 album These Days;
Maybe they had forgotten what the album had accomplished.

And in all fairness, these people who suddenly recognized the quality of Bon Jovi after listening to These Days, did drop off the wagon pretty quickly.
And yet!
As far as I know them, all have expressed Bon Jovi has earned that place in their heart and extensive vinyl collection, just from that album.

The “darker songs” on These Days did what no other Bon Jovi album had ever done; 
It won the critics’ hearts.

Now that I think of it, this might explain why I myself have been unfairly harsh to this album.
In a 2019 song-by-song Bon Jovi video series for my YouTube, which I am still committed to restore, I even boldly claimed that, in all honesty? 
These Days may be my least favorite Bon Jovi album.

*mike drop*

Which was not just a very unpopular opinion but being a fan of heavy music, being a Bon Jovi fan, and I am also a proud citizen of The Netherlands one of the few countries where the album was well received and probably doubled Bon Jovi’s fan base;
Then WHY was I so harsh towards this strong album?

I never investigated that question too much, also because I was kind of attached to my own antagonistic standpoint here.
But I think now that I m typing this blogpost I inadvertently answered my own question;

It was BECAUSE the serious critics suddenly got on the Bon Jovi wagon.

And mid 90s?
I mean give me a break!

BON_JOVI_THESE+DAYS-52174
press kit/ promotional photo for These Days album

SURE!
Maybe, mid 80s, out of spite for Bon Jovi clearing out your country  of female attention, you refuse to admit the Slippery songs are among the best songs in rock n roll history.
I get it, it was the 80s, and it all went really fast when within 6 months you received a three puncher of three hits that was so tough to take in, you just couldn’t.
I get it.

But the album New Jersey, 18 months after you got your Slippery-hits-ass whooping completed (on a strong strike, I admit) with Wanted Dead Or Alive?
Jon’s award winning record in 1990?
Richie’s blues album in 1991?

Keep The Faith in 1992?

Are you honestly gonna tell me you needed to wait until These Days 1995 before you heard that Bon Jovi was amazing?
I m just not buying it.

I will admit that me still leaning towards claiming These Days is my least favorite Bon Jovi album, is not backed up by facts.

But in hindsight I can see why I just refused to agree with people who were NOT there, in the years when Bon Jovi was being talked down upon as being just another hair metal band.

I can see why I owed it to my teenage heart who had recognized good music when she heard it,
to ignore all the serious music critics when mid-90s they wanted a piece of very tasty pies.
As if the Bon Jovi bakery had recently finally gotten the recipe right.

Girls years younger than the serious music critics had heard it from the get go,
but you were too busy looking down on it!
(and listening to Pink Floyd I imagine)

Okay that was a bit ranty.
But you get the idea.

In a way These Days is for the Bon Jovi catalog what The Last Jedi is for Star Wars fandom;
A work of art that managed to double the fan base, but with two halves that hardly talk to each other.

Unlike all the Bon Jovi albums that had come before it, and I would argue pretty much all the Bon Jovi albums that came after;
These Days did not come to us, in the spirit of union.

It cut us open with the first riffs and in song seven we’re still bleeding on the floor.

I can’t write a love song the way I feel today
And I can’t sing no song of hope, I got nothing to say

I can’t fight the feelings that are buried in my veins
I send this song to you, wherever you are
As my guitar lies bleeding in my arms

My Guitar Lies Bleeding In My Arms
(song 7)

These Days was a raw and honest “WTF God?!” message, that never pretended to be anything it wasn’t.
Least of all a regular Bon Jovi record.

And regardless of how long we’d been in fandom, regardless how old we were at the time that record was released, or regardless if we’d already been born;
We all felt that.

And to this day, 2021, painfully slowly clawing our way out of the pandemic;
We still do.

Hey God,
there’s nights you know I want to scream

These days you’re even harder to believe
I know how busy you must be, but Hey God…

~Suzanne
Rock Star Writer
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It’s too soon to tell | 2020

playlist: album 2020 by Bon Jovi (October 2020)

bon-jovi-do-what-you-can-videoThis morning, when I gave myself YouTube time in bed before I got up to start this first day after my birthday, I watched a video of the restoration of an army lighter, found on the beaches of Normandy.

I think my YouTube channel translated the title of the video, so I have no idea how the video is called where you live, but here it is:
UITERST Zeldzame lichtere restauratie Wereldoorlog 2 D-Day 1944

And watching the video made me so happy!
I had already had an amazing birthday, but to see how even this lighter which was in the poorest of shapes, could be brought back to a shiny, fully functioning lighter, with love, time, and skill?
That made my day. 

It really was the icing on the cake, a reminder that even when things look really bad?
And with certainty beyond saving, beyond repair, beyond giving it any place in our living, breathing daily life because whatever this is or used to be?
It’s definitely useless now.

That even that one particular thing, that you were about to Marie Kondo out of your home, has just a good a chance of becoming the eye catcher of your collection, your turning point from when things went up, or the platform from where your life took off, as any other more shiny, more obvious object.

But I already knew that.
Knowing that you should not be too quick in your verdict, had been the main reason why my birthday had started off on such a high, and why I knew I had nothing to be ashamed off.

That despite that gnawing feeling that haunted me since the start of the pandemic, there were actually no real signs my 2020-2021 had indeed been one big failure.
Quite the opposite, in fact.

Because over the course of the last few weeks everything with regard to my Bon Jovi related blogs, YouTube channel, yoga plans, are coming back to life and are coming together as well!
I even feel inspired to pick up my Dutch yoga channel, and other projects or ideas that I started in 2020, but that I couldn’t bring into fruition or I dropped out of.

All ideas are coming back as shiny and new as that second world war lighter.

But the biggest shift in perspective has been when I started organizing my writing under an alterego, dusting off old diaries I stop-started, and articles I published when I thought I was having the worst year of my life.
When I felt so alone, so disconnected and angry with the rest of humanity who in my eyes were an untrustworthy bunch of motherfuckers who were not taking responsibility for every motherfucking thing they had created before Covid;
And now they were all just a little too keen to throw it all on the virus.

While Jon Bon Jovi was washing dishes for his charity organization, when the first chords of Do What You Can were written, and the band pulled back their 2020 March release of the album 2020, to review it, write more songs, and root it even deeper into being the topical, social conscious record it was already intended to be but that got to a whole new level now, obviously;
When all that constructive work was done by the band I admired, I was contemplating if it was possible to break up with humanity.

If I would become a bitcoin trader, would that mean I would never have to see anybody for my survival, on a day to day basis, ever again?
Was there a way I could stop contributing, stop creating?
And I never had to suppress the desire to destroy all my work as often as I have the past 16 months.

There is an African proverb:
“A child that is not embraced by the village, will burn it down to feel its warmth” 
I didn’t need to burn the village, I could burn my own work and the only thing that kept me from it was knowing I would regret it in the future.

That ultimately, regardless of how my life would go, I would need a pen, a blog, a typewriter, SOMETHING! To let go, to express, and if it would all end up oxidized on a deserted beach I was as fine with that as anything.
I didn’t care.

But I did know not to burn the pen, the paper, the typewriter, and also not the old diaries and my old work which I ve learned are of value just for being there, or for being here in my filing cabinet.
They give off a reassuring, comforting glow.

But yes, it was an incredibly tough year, and my work under that alterego and here too, was a mess. I didn’t expect anything of use to come of it.
And then this week, with a big sigh, I dived in and started going through that work and I found a piece I had written two weeks into the pandemic, late March 2020.
And it blew me away….

Like a series of bombs, a sequence of hardcore raw, emotional, truth calling posts exploded in my head and I saw what I thought had been my absolute worst year, the 16 months of pandemic, which would soon include a whole year between birthdays, and a time in my life where for the very first time ever, I had absolutely nothing positive to say about it, from an artistic perspective;
That this work had a high chance of being the best I ever created.

And it could only have been written in that lonely, cut-offness from the world.

My agenda is filling up with dates again.
Summer 2021, and the new year of my life, is the moment when my life is returning to the way it was and added on top of that are new ways of communicating, new websites, new projects, new ways of artistic communication with the world.
All social nourishment which will mean the months ahead will not have the same energy as 2020-2021. I will not be able to recreate what I did then.

And that’s what I mean when I titled this post Too soon to tell.
I don’t mean that if you went through personal tragedy and hardship, it is too soon to tell that you had a horrible time.
You are allowed to grieve and give yourself time to process, recover and regroup.

But if you, like I did, have a bad feeling about 2020-2021 professionally? Artistically?
In the sense of what you have accomplished? 

Or you have a bad feeling about it, psychologically?
Because you don’t feel like the pandemic has made you more resilient, nor agile, nor that you acquired or learned anything you will fall back on in the future?

Then trust me:
It is too soon to tell.

Maybe “tell” is not the right word. It is too soon to SEE.
Because I can tell you right now;
2020-2021 is not what you think it is, or was.

It might look like a green oxidized chunk of metal.
But after cleaning, polishing, and restoring it,
2020 can light a fire so bright, it will warm you for the rest of your life.  

~Suzanne
Rock Star Writer
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Red Virgin | Live From London

video: at 2:40 the fan who also knew red lipstick is key, in making your mark 

live from london audience red lipstick

There have been many things that messed me up.
Some bad of course. Like breakups that had the side-effect of breaking me, instead of merely putting an end to a relationship.
Or the humiliating experience when I realized that I would never be able to do things, other people can, without wanting to blow something up.
And out of courtesy, I would choose to blow up my own creative work,  I wouldn’t harm anybody not even myself.
But still. Not good for the ego.
.
In my twenties I was beaten several times in a row, in a memory card game, by a four year old.
That was funny, I thought. And not humiliating at all.
But realizing many of the things people commit to, do on a daily basis, allow for, and so on, when I know I would not make it until noon?
Painful.

However, the absolutely most staggering experience of failure is when the downfall and the failure comes from  a HUGE success! 
Something that went really well, and that you looked forward to learning from and fall back on, and that gave you the feeling you had discovered the secret to life, and boom!
Flat on the face!

The experience, the wisdom, the insight you intended to use as the foundation of your very life, bottomed out before you could even sit on it, lean back, and watch your life unfold in its now perfectly aligned order.

To me, one of those experiences was the Bon Jovi concert in 2019.
It was a PEAK experience (I m capitalizing, to emphasize the elements of success)
which I PREPARED in every way I could
(visiting the location, studying maps, knowing the regulations, studying set lists, videos and lyrics, dressing for the occasion, packing my tiny handbag with the precision of a Mount Everest climber)
and then I WALLED OFF all distractions on the day itself.

I was that one fan who did not make any recordings, did not take one selfie, and I did not post anything on social media.
.
Around 10.45 P.M. I made my way out of the park with everybody else. My ears were ringing, my gums were tingling, and I looked at all the people who had also been there attending that same concert, yet looked so different… 
It took a while before I realized they had attended the concert in a “normal” way. Hanging out with friends, making new ones. They had had something to eat at the many food stalls, drank a few beers, had used the bathroom a time or two I imagine.

And tomorrow they would probably go back to work in a job I would not be able to keep on a good day, let alone the day after an open-air concert on the other side of the country.

To illustrate:
My Bon Jovi concert was in the middle of what proved to be not a one, but a three week period where I ignored e-v’ry-thing. Unknowingly even!
But I was just so absorbed by it, that weeks later I had to contact the landlord of my yoga studio because I had not missed one but two monthly payments!
I had the money, but I just had not attended to my finances.
I had not attended, to anything.

The price had been a lot higher than anticipated (I m not even going to try to describe the mental fallout!) but I was super grateful, and determined to milk this experience for everything it had to offer me.
I still reap the benefits of it.
Daily Bon Jovi Yoga is finally taking flight because it has found its new format the past 24 hours, and that idea was born on that day in 2019.

So it’s not that I didn’t know I had gold, just that the concert recipe of success turned out to be non-repeatable.

You can, or perhaps it’s better to say “I can”, PREPARE for PEAK experiences WALLING OFF all you want, in an attempt to then create a unique experience;
It doesn’t work that way.
You can’t reverse engineer your way through life.
Or I can’t.

One of the painful lessons I learned is that just because I enjoyed preparing the f out of my Bon Jovi concert, does not mean that by preparing something I will automatically create something I enjoy.

In recent years I ve had a couple of job interviews for higher level jobs, and the interviews always went really well.
But it made me oh so resentful….
I would not say I started hating them, but I definitely started resenting such a company for having already “taken” hours (I gave them myself, obviously it was not their fault at all) or days of my time, where I got my head around their production process, their money flows, their customers.
Meanwhile my own daily purpose work had suffered, just like my payments to my landlord had suffered when I had all eyes on Bon Jovi. 

Preparing for something the way I did for a Bon Jovi concert is a process that comes at HUGE costs, and that you can’t just copy-paste-repeat in areas of your life where you strive for worldly success.
So my peak experience at Bon Jovi, didn’t really have applicable lessons the way I thought it would because the key element had been my favorite rock band visiting the park next to my house.
And that was the only situation it was going to work.

I remember my mother complimenting me that I knew a forest nearby so well. I had printed maps, combined routes, but what my mother didn’t know was that the interest had not lasted.
“It didn’t stick,” I said. “And unless Jon Bon Jovi is appointed as forester, I am just not that into it.”

I need to be deeply interested in something, in order to prepare, wall off, and create a peak experience around it. And in all likeliness it’s going to take a man I m into, in order for it to get to the level that Bon Jovi concert had.

Although these lessons have revealed themselves since that concert in 2019, I keep learning more.
The concert really is the proverbial well that keeps on giving!

Two things I learned that I want to share with you, are how this has all inspired me to finally get my head around Bon Jovi yoga. That vision I had in 2019 has taken a generous two years and counting, to take flight.
And the other one is about red lipstick, and I m going to save that one for last because that’s the most sexy one.

Okay, I know you now want to skip and move to the final paragraphs!
LOL
Hold on, I ll be quick, don’t worry.

I have (unexpectedly) given up on the idea of teaching Bon Jovi yoga, in a traditional sense of teaching, because I am not doing Bon Jovi yoga for myself. I m hardly doing any yoga, I m practically yoga free.

When you properly teach yoga (I was a teacher for 15+ years) you need to be doing yoga,
you need to be physically familiar with doing the poses,
and have a daily practice.

Honestly, because I have been doing yoga with Bon Jovi albums since 2019, I did expect that would turn into a daily yoga practice again. The sessions I did were fun, but I always dropped out.
A few years into my career as a yoga teacher, I became a writer as well, and that’s when it all started…
Writing is such an introspective profession, being alone on my mat became the last thing I needed.
I craved connection, not solitude. And having a yoga studio and teaching yoga fulfilled that need. And because I taught a lot of classes, it didn’t really matter that I started practicing less.

I am no longer a yoga teacher and before I went all-in on teaching daily Bon Jovi yoga on YouTube, 
I wanted to get back on my mat in private.
Which then did not happen.
And then Bon Jovi yoga on video also did not happen….

But now I ve flipped it around and I have decided to start “teaching” Bon Jovi yoga online anyway!
As a fan, just like you. Not as a yoga teacher.

All my yoga will be in the video, on screen.
I m SHARING what I do.
Instead of secretly yoga-ing my ass off off-screen and then showing up all poised and in control, and very professional; No.

I m going to show up as the hot, sexy, no-longer professional but definitely more fun than ever Daily Bon Jovi  Yoga practitioner, and we can all laugh en enjoy ourselves as we have fun on the mat.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE 
And the first Daily Bon Jovi Yoga video will go up this week! 
It will be called Runaway, and I ll be taking it up from there, going through the entire catalog.

If you are such a big fan that you re now wondering if I ll be going album by album, and do the deep cuts separately?
Sign up!
You’re the ideal viewer for this series, and I mean it.

But no it’s all integrated. Deep cuts will be done within the chronological order of the albums.

I already made a study of 102 lesser known songs, and although YouTube has removed some of them in the complementary playlist I made, I created the list in writing as well, so the groundwork is already done.
102 Hidden Bon Jovi Gems 1985 – 2020
These deep cuts (I think I ll drop the covers, but have not made up my mind) will be incorporated in the series I ll be doing on YouTube. 

One more deep cut paragraph for die-est hardest of fans: 
“Let’s Make It Baby” will be made into a (very sexy I reckon) video for both the New Jersey album as well as These Days. And if you re still with me, and you can immediately “file” this remark in your head and think: “Okay, that makes sense.”
Please sign up because you re so going to love Daily Bon Jovi Yoga on my YouTube!

Remember, as I told you, I m no longer practicing yoga offline, off-screen, so I m practically as new to yoga as you are.
These videos will require zero yoga habit from me, nor from you!
You do not have to be limber or athletic to join. And as it’s on YouTube and created NOW, it’s as much about connection and laughter, as it is about yoga.

So Daily Bon Jovi Yoga. Subscribe HERE. Coming soon.

And then: Lipstick time!

Last year, in a moment of honesty and boldness that I rarely have, I posted a photo and wrote a post about it even I think, about buying condoms and two red lip pencils, to express my faith in restoring my sex life.
And this weekend, I bought new condoms and a mascara called Fear Me, and also a red lipstick. The name was  Red Virgin! 
How could I not fall for that, what an intriguing name.

I had already started with the introductory videos on the channel, wearing red lipstick, and I knew that was the right look for it.
But also: The condom and lip pencil investment early pandemic 2020, did work! 
I did not use all condoms but buying a few new packages and a new 2021 red lipstick this time (I ve also used up one of last year’s red pencils, and am on my second one) seemed like a smart thing to do.
I even took a photo, but unlike last year I do not feel bold enough to post it.

But it did got me thinking about red lipstick, and it brought back memories of the Wembley 1995 dvd (a 90 minute cut of the concert) where a woman with red lipstick plays an important role!
She’s very visible, and a photo of her has been used as a screen shot on YouTube, Vimeo, and during “You Give Love A Bad Name” she is edited in when the lyrics go:

“Paint your smile on your lips
Blood red nails on your fingertips
A school boy’s dream, you act so shy
Your very first kiss was your first kiss goodbye”

Just like me, she prepared for this concert, and she did it well.

She looked so extraordinary, and had such stage presence even though she was part of the crowd.
She could not be ignored. I believe in business success, there is an adage:
“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

The platinum blonde woman, with the red nails and the red lipstick in 1995 Wembley concert was so flamboyant and present in the moment. She could not be ignored.

But what I learned, in those two years since the Bon Jovi concert in 2019, is that the only reason she could do that, and be that, and that we still can’t take our eyes off her 25 years later;
Is because of the man, and the band that was ON stage.
She was in full connection with that energy.

And that’s the takeaway for me: 
I m never going to do yoga at home, any more than that woman in Wembley would dress up like that with nowhere to go.

My YouTube, is because I think we all need that place to go.
A place to shine and to buy red lipstick for.

Come join.
.

~Suzanne
Rock Star Writer
Paypalme

.

LIVE FROM LONDON 

Red Virgin 
is the fifth chapter to
Live from London
Take the stage, rock your life and rule the world”
Click on “Live from London” to read all chapters.

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NEW 2021: Art & Popular Culture: World Between Worlds 
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Exile On Main Street | work like a rock star

It is one of the few Rolling Stones albums I own that was not released when I was alive and aware of it. It is not related to concerts, it’s not one of their ample live albums. Nor is it from my father’s cd collection, which I inherited.
Exile on Main Street.

I have a 2010 double cd edition, and the sole reason I bought it is because the way it came about is illusive, and well documented too. I remember seeing an entire documentary although I have no idea where I saw it, it’s not on YouTube, currently.
The story of this album is what brought me to buy it.

At the time of the recording, The Stones were facing several professional, legal and financial adversities and trauma. They had shifted gears and had started their own record company, but things were far from settled.
The fate of The Stones was standing on the edge of a knife and the recording was a serious business undertaking.

Yet despite of that – or should we conclude “BECAUSE of that”? – at the Villa Nellcôte in the south of France where they were to write and record this album, numerous people stayed and visited, outside the band.
Socializing and fun were as much part of the recording process as writing and recording was.

from The Guardian:
“People appeared, disappeared, no one had a last name, you didn’t know who anybody was,” remembers Robert Greenfield, who was at Nellcôte to interview Keith Richards for Rolling Stone.
“There were 16 people for lunch, and lunch went on for three-and-a-half hours. It was an unparalleled cast of characters.”

Clipboard02There were the people who were with the band, most notably Keith’s partner Anita Pallenberg and their son Marlon. There were fellow musicians, other artists, groupies, technicians, record executives, journalists, and a drug dealer with his entire family.

I’m sure it raised eyebrows even then, but through a 2021 productivity obsessed-lens, the entire scene is downright unthinkable.
And yet, in particular in today’s age, it is so important to realize that chaos and creation always go together.
Chaos and art, always go together.

What lasts through the ages, is what was forged in the heat of something.

One of the things that has been torturing my brain, it’s like a puzzle that doesn’t seem to have an answer, is:
“Where is the art?”

With so many YouTube creators, instagram photographers, online storytellers and offline crafters and handworkers, more than ever before;
WHERE is the ART?!

Statistically speaking, something must have, should have, emerged by now.

And I m going to keep it to fields I know that if something happened there I would have known,
but here we go:
The yoga teacher who is an artist should have emerged.
The blogger who turns out to be the greatest writer of our age, should be known.
The YouTuber who is a performance artist, should be known.

In other words:
The Rolling Stones of our era, should be known.
Yet they are not….

A few weeks ago, I got into a very deep conversation about this, and ever since then the question of two decades of artists missing in action has been on my mind.
And the only solid explanation I had so far, was that the monetizable-ness of these new media has resulted in :
– creations directly being monetized by the creator (f.e. YouTube videos)
– creations supporting services or products that are sold (f.e. writing to sell your product or service)
– creations being shared to create a relationship with your audience

So the creations are very outcome based, whether for dollars or for likes.
And who can blame them, those savvy creators who no longer live hand over fist, but make their own living and absolutely thrive!

From a humanist point of view it’s all good. There has been an artistic revolution where creators can finally live of what they create, either
– from advertising revenue
– selling their art directly,
– by piggybacking selling a product or service onto their art
– or by establishing their own audience, their own fan base.

From the perspective of personal happiness and success, internet has revolutionized art. But, as was on my mind for the past few weeks, it also seems to have taken something from us….
Both collectively, as well as on an individual level.

Because I believe that we have not seen “the real” art, in the mediums I mentioned. 

It’s comparable to the middle ages:
Painters were seen as craftsmen. What woodworkers and leather workers did with wood and leather, they did with paint.
But during the renaissance, painters became artists:
Individual and unique creators.

Modern media is the medieval guild of the artists of today and tomorrow.
And they make a good living there.
The media provide a safe
umbrella, just like the guilds did.

This topic, of the nature of art in relationship to modern media, had been on my mind for a while. And I was done thinking about it.
Until today when I encountered Exile on Main Street again, and noticed the difference in work routine then and now! It was so vastly different to what we are used to.

I think for the ones who are called, it would be a very interesting experiment to test our lives in those artistic rock star circumstances of Villa Nellcôte.
Circumstances under which all our routines are broken, and the only thing that comes out of it, is the thing that was created right there and then.

The thing that was forged in the heat of laughter, music, jokes;
Of excess, drama, tension.
Sex.

Art is not born by creating space for it, in neatly weekly intervals and by planning your days in advance.
It is not born at eight thirty AM on Monday morning.

But because you were without guild, without fans, without support, without structure, in a situation that is as chaotic as it is inspiring.

If you want to make a good living of your art, by all means, structure your life.
You are living in the age where financial freedom for artists is more accessible than ever.

But if you want to discover if there is any art left in you?
If you want to discover if you are an artist or not?

Unleash yourself. Strip away everything that can be stripped away.
Break all pattern, all routines, and say yes to everything and everybody at your doorstep.

And the art will come.

~Suzanne
Rock Star Writer
Paypalme

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NEW 2021: Art & Popular Culture: World Between Worlds 
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NEW 2021: My Main Project: Daily Bon Jovi Yoga

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