I see it is two weeks ago that I broke the news that I saw no way to pick up making reviews about Bon Jovi concerts, on YouTube.
That it took me hours hours and more hours to interpret every frame, the body language, the story behind it; To decipher every word in particular from the in-between songs speeches or the moments I swore we were getting alternative lyrics; Only to then have to simplify and dumb down my findings to a spoken word review that was ideally under 10 minutes.
90% or more of what I had to say about the concert got lost or never made it to the video.
I once wrote a blog post after making the video; A blog post where I shared all the extra information. But this did not make the process, the series, more manageable. In fact it may have been the first moment I realized it was hopeless and that it was never going to be done.
Like the queen in Rumpelstiltskin having to sort out a room filled with straw, reviewing the 1995/1996 tour from Bon Jovi was an impossible assignment that would never be complete. And I was lucky if no one took my firstborn in retaliation for not completing it! I saw no way but to quit.
But maybe the fact that I never made a goodbye video for the channel, and the fact that I kept posting/ adding the link to the YouTube channel on all my blogs, revealed I was not done with the series….. That I didn’t know HOW. But that I still wanted it!
Maybe reviewing Bon Jovi concerts from 1995-1996 was never meant to be one of those projects that end. What if it was allowed to go on for ever?
What if I started all over again with that second night in Wembley, a video for which I had already invested 5 hours or more when I quit, yet I had had nothing to show for regardless of how many times I printed the set list, made notes which speeches to listen into again and so on; What if I started that second night in Wembley all over again; But made reviews about only parts of the video?
For example a five minute review of the first 30 minutes? And a few days after the next 5 minute video about the next 30 minutes?
What if the Bon Jovi concert series 1995-1996 was not a “project”; But a practice? Meaning the aim was to practice listening, watching, reviewing, making a video. And the aim was not, to one day complete it.
So here we are. Two weeks after I swore I would never lay one finger, never review one more 1995 Bon Jovi concert ever again, because the frustration over my own inadequacy to create momentum was eating me alive! And it’s six weeks after the first night in Wembley review.
I’m starting again.
Studying Bon Jovi videos, or audio only, starting back at second night Wembley * And making the first bite-size nugget video, as soon as I have like an A4 of notes or something.
On the evening before Easter, I ask of thee; Do you think it was a coincidence “Livin’ On A Prayer” was Bon Jovi’s finite-no-going-back-now breakthrough? Could it, for example, also have been called “Livin’ On Five Bucks” or “Livin’ On Love”? Or was there a reason it was the song with the word prayer in the title that called on the Lord and touched our hearts?
That neither God, nor you and me, would have felt called if Tommy and Gina had been “Livin’ Hand To Mouth”. Is it possible that in that song a prayer was said? And because of that song a prayer was answered.
Tommy and Gina and Bon Jovi were given all their hearts desired, not because they only had their prayers to live on. But because that’s the only thing that’s gonna work.
I know in that paragraph several more question marks could have been and probably should have been used. But they seemed obsolete. There was no reason to keep putting things in questions, because you get the gist; Of course it’s not a coincidence.
All those who call on a higher power, consistently, will have their prayers answered. Whether you’re Tommy and Gina wishing to get Tommy’s job on the docks back and a nice pay raise for Gina, or Jon Bon Jovi wishing for world fame. The procedure of how prayer works, is explained in several places in the bible. But since this blog is about Bon Jovi, I will happily choose for John! (Jon’s original name is John, with an h)
John 16:24 Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.
Ask and you shall receive. It is as simple as it seems, but in many cases the relationship with God was an aspect of religion. And religion in turn, was an aspect of things like social life, community, parenting. Education. Power structures where religion kept a hierarchy intact. And in questioning the status quo, religion was thrown out by many. As was their relationship with God. And asking and praying, was lost.
By time Bon Jovi was pounding the pavement, as a photo book I own eloquently worded their hard fought rise to fame, by that time hardly anyone grew up religiously. In the Netherlands we got a good social security system, which meant that the task the church does in many countries, which is taking care of people who need help, was pretty much covered by government. So perhaps our secularization has been unintentionally thorough. But in most Western countries, the church lost much of its power and less people called themselves religious.
In the mid-eighties, deregulation of the financial world brought forth a new generation of wealth, but at the same time unemployment for older industries such as steel, was on the rise. In The Netherlands, those who are the age of Jon Bon Jovi meaning born between 1955-1965, have had an incredibly tough time trying to get a job, whether straight from school but also if you went to college. There wasn’t any work.
And it was in that time, when there were no more churches to turn to for meaning and the world was weighed down by unemployment, that Bon Jovi brought the new gospel: Livin’ On A Prayer.
I felt something important had to be decided today! But I was not sure what it was…
Maybe stay offline, fulfill my destiny, purpose, knowing that my ultimate art will be living offline?
I call it “analogue heritage”.
My ultimate art will be to be offline.*
But just like my ultimate “look” will be wearing red lipstick day in day out;
I judged it wasn’t the time.
Red lipstick is very high maintenance; It smudges easily and after a meal you need to reapply.
Every time you ve worn a mouth mask, your carefully applied red lipstick comes out looking like it’s 3 A.M. and you had too much fun.
For the offline bit, my inspiration to create an analogue art project of myself
– in combination with carefully crafted online presence of one hour a day! –
I judged our current state of being Covid grounded and confined, ball and chained to our homes, the absolute worst time to go full in on that.*
If there ever was a time for online social interactions, online inspiration, and yes also for online wasting time with things that ultimately are the digital junk food and empty calories of our lives;
Then now was the time to go all in and binge on being online.
Now was definitely not the time to economize on being online.*
As tempting as it was to fall for the idea of becoming this peaceful hermit in a time when everybody has their mood tied to their news- or Twitter feed.
Which is especially true for the Netherlands.
Did you know no one gets vaccinated here?
It’s as ill-organized as our defenses in second world war.
So I think in 5 years the allied forces will come to save us, because it sure as hell doesn’t look like anything is under control here.
Which is actually quite surprising because in 2008/9, The Netherlands were the first to have everyone vaccinated for swine flu because they had it done by the army.
When late 2020 journalists starting making inquiries why the army wasn’t going to be involved in operation vaccination, it turned out that they initially had been; but then for unknown reasons had been sidelined.
I think now they’re officially at the table again, but it seems almost more symbolic.
Military is not running the show.
It’s time for more realistic expectations. The vaccine is “an absolutely astonishing development”,
but it’s unlikely to completely halt the spread, so we need to think of how we can live with the virus.
The Dutch article states that a high percentage of the population being vaccinated, helps vaccine resistant Covid to spread.
So now YOU have two choices; 1. Either you believe there will be a right way and a wrong way a government can go about this. In the sense that one approach is based on the correct information, and implemented the correct way. And the other is based on the wrong information or executed wrongly.
Or, you make 2021 the year you do what I do, which is try an entirely new approach. It is:
2. The only correct strategy is the one the majority of people believes in.
The first time I formulated this strategy was in the time of the banking crisis. In 2008, the people who had known financial structures had been collapsing, had been expecting not just the collapse of the systems but also social unrest, riots, probably a civil war. They were convinced the collapse of the financial system would have disastrous consequences.
In the years that followed, many people thought it was important not just for the systems to be more sturdy, (they are still nowhere near as tightly regulated as between the great depression early 20th century and Reagan/Thatcher era of deregulation); But they also found it important that normal, previously not-informed people like you and me, had a better sense of the danger of this financial trapeze. This illusion, the non-realness of money and the systems managing it.
It was BECAUSE the public didn’t know, didn’t care, and simply TRUSTED the financial systems to keep working; That they kept on working.
The most dangerous thing you can do is convince people of death, decay, poverty and pending civil war.
We have just had elections in the Netherlands and a very optimistic party that wants to leave as much as possible to the market, has won. Even though their reign has marginalized entire groups, and public housing is in its biggest crisis ever. Homelessness and people living with their parents because there are no houses, is soaring. Yet everybody votes for the party who crashed all our social services, including our entire health-care system and bankrupting tens of thousands of families through a corrupt allowance system. And the number of government-induced bankruptcies is still going up, because of poorly executed Covid relief allowances that now have to be paid back.
With so many financial consequences, why would so many Dutch people still vote for this party?
That is because they refuse to buy into the truth, that it is hopeless. And although I did not vote for that party; I see the power of simply holding on to your belief that you will make it. You believe in the American Dream, the Dutch dream in this case.
Both the voters for this liberal party in the Netherlands, as well as the uninformed public in 2008 who did not understand the apocalyptic proportions of their banking crisis, have contributed or are contributing to the catastrophe not taking place or not taking hold.
As long as there is no apocalyptic banking crisis in the minds of the majority? There is no apocalyptic banking crisis.
As long as there is no worst-since-second-world-war housing crisis in the minds of the majority? There is no worst since second world war housing crisis.
And as long as there is a Covid crisis in the minds of the majority? There is a Covid crisis.
Whether you believe in conspiracy theories, or science. Whether you re in favor of vaccination or not. The moment you give the virus itself your attention, you are contributing to the crisis.
Does this mean you should not go along with the measures? No. That is your social structure. We’re all part of a larger social structure, and it is our responsibility to be aware of the minds and moods of the people around us.
If people around you are afraid to catch the virus, or want you to vaccinate, or they don’t feel safe; That IS your job to know, and act on/ make a decision on how you can or are willing to help.
It is your job to read, and adjust and be an agile responder to your social surroundings. But it is NOT your job to distillate “the” truth.
Truth is what the majority believes.
If the majority believes vaccines play an important part in “going back to normal”, and vaccines are provided? Things will go back to normal. That’s the only thing that matters; What does the majority want? Then affirm that as true (as a leader) and act accordingly.
Fear of the Covid virus is for the majority of people something that is manageable by acknowledging it, and then the accepted or suggested measures are taken on as being helpful. It’s like when a mother sees to a hurt knee (acknowledgement), applies a sticking plaster (measure), and then a little kiss (magic, love). That’s how fear should be managed.
How it should not be managed is starting a discussion if crying or coming in to have the knee attended to is even nessecary; If a sticking plaster is technically the ideal tool/ measure; And leave out the kiss because there is no science backing it up.
For most people, for the majority, their fear (of death, really) can be managed by knowing that they are loved and looked after. And that is really not just the responsibility from the government, but from all of us.
But right now, we’re all yelling and screaming and disagreeing in various degrees about; if it is okay to even come in with the hurt knee, if the knee is technically hurt, if the plaster is good, and no one is giving that kiss (love) to the people who are scared. Even though that is probably the most important part.
So what can we do as individuals? If you’re scared tend to yourself, like a mother to her child. And I think if you look forward to getting vaccinated, take that shot. But if it only makes your more anxious, discuss your options until you find something that feels good and manageable for you.
And if, like me, you’re not scared of the virus at all (nor of getting vaccinated), your job is to stay emphatic to all those people who are emotionally affected by Covid or who have strong feelings about vaccines. And their reasons to be emotionally involved can vary, for example because their own health is not optimal, because of what they believe to be true, because they re scared for their loved ones, or because of their work which maybe ended, is nearly impossible or has become dangerous because of Covid. Your job is to stay open to their stories.
But as far as ourselves? Our minds, our options, our responsibilities even to not make the problem bigger by drawing attention to it, and magnifying it? My suggestion is that you live your life, in full trust that it will end soon. That it will be solved.
So do the things now that you do not want to be bothered with anymore, once the Covid crisis is over. Clear out your house, do your projects that require screen time, or being indoors. Consolidate your life, so that you are in the starting blocks to fly out when Covid is over.
And the other part is: Behave in the way you would when there is no Covid. Don’t postpone Life.
This was sparked when I saw Jon Bon Jovi’s photos in GQ magazine. He looked so sharp. After months of home made live streams and hairdressers not being available, months of seeing him in T-shirt, this professional photo shoot with him in suit, in casual chic, and with the grey hair perfectly styled, were a breath of fresh air. A spark of inspiration.
So dress up, like Jon Bon Jovi. Wear your best clothes, and take good care of yourself. Upgrade the f out of life!
And forget the practicalities.
In my case: Wear red lipstick.
Trusting that going out until 3 A.M. and having too much fun, will one day follow.
Rock Star Writer
* BEING OFFLINE IS MY ART
I seem to have this thing, that whenever I come to the conclusion that something is a terrible idea? I have to do it! So I DID start being offline despite Covid ruling out real life contact.
Just like I started wearing red lipstick despite the face masks.
My project “Being offline is my art” will be posted on daily on Rock Star Writer on Facebook and my personal Twitter account.
Starting Saturday night March 27.
Naturally Subscribe to the blog, to get these posts in your mailbox. You can find the subscription button on this page, probably somewhere on the right.
It was the moment when Jon covers Richie’s eyes, while he is in the middle of a guitar solo, that I realized that I was never going to get this right. “This” being creating Bon Jovi concert reviews.
It had once seemed like a super cool idea.
Before I realized every video takes me ten hours of preparation time, plus the additional three of shooting and typing the box, solving upcoming problems, getting the documentation right. Before my projects started multiplying, my YouTube channels doubled, and so did my blogs. The work under my pen name still shrieking at top of its lungs when I m finally getting around to publishing that. My old YouTube videos, among which my entire yoga legacy, untouched for weeks again.
When Covid ends I never want to spend another minute behind my computer. Fair; I am a writer. Fair; I can’t stop that. Fair; I will write to the day I die. I know all that.
But other than that? There are days I wish for a life when I only have a notebook and a pen. A phone for the occasional Facebook update which I ll type STRAIGHT into the box and never blog. A time when I never touch a computer again.
There are days I swear that after this pandemic, I m going offline to never return.
I have no idea how that will pan out, and what will come true. But the sense of urgency is overwhelming! An overwhelming urgency to curate, save, publish, and store, anything that I do not want to lose. Because when Covid’s over?
I m out!
And the concert reviews did not make it to the short-list of things I m going to keep on. They were driving me insane.
Not only were they a burden time-wise, keeping me from my Noah’s Arc work of saving what should not get lost;.
It was also an inverted Richie Experience.
Where Richie Sambora can still play guitar even when Jon covers his eyes, I could not get “it” right even after I had put in ten hours.
My reviews stayed mediocre at best, even if I had watched the concert registration with my eyes wide open.
And no one to playfully close them for me.
Maybe that was the problem with this series, and this whole entire rotten Covid year; At some point, loneliness just got the better of me.
Rock Star Writer
final video at bottom of this post.
The muses have been consulted!
So new topics/ videos ARE expected at Suzanne Beenackers YouTube
This blogpost was one where I thought: “I can’t do this.” Too flat, weird, off-topic. And besides, I m sure people know how to date Bon Jovi albums! They may not all have stickers on the cases with the release date, but I m sure they’ll manage.
But you see, here is the thing; Maybe you haven’t thought about it. About how your Bon Jovi collection, whether a physical one like mine or playlists on your music account, is such a great and inspiring way to plan your time.
One cd blocks the time you spend on the activity.
The number of albums dictates the number of times you do it.
And the historic order gives it a rhythm and overall structure.
For example: Every month you do fifteen sessions of an activity, listening to every record once.
The activity can be either something fun, like one yoga session per album, which is how I use them.
Or something you value but don’t get around to.
Like work on a project for a minimum duration of one Bon Jovi cd. Which is how I perhaps should be using them! 😅
But I am on God’s planning, since a couple of weeks. No more planning for me. For projects without an external deadline I found out the hard way (three years of having a surplus of notebooks yet time slipping through my fingers!) that the more I plan the less I get done. And that my biggest achievements were done with zero planning.
They were done, however, at the expense of cleaning my house, exercise, seeing daylight, cooking proper meals, showers, and so on. But if there had been a planning? These big achievements would never have gotten done at all.
So I only use planning for things I sometimes don’t allow myself to do or have. Like daylight, and yoga, and cleaning my house and having proper meals. Planning is not to make myself be productive, but to make myself a good life. And then God is in charge of productivity, because who else would you put in charge of that, right?
I heard a guru say that since we would question if something came from God or not, the next best thing to faith, was commitment.
Which I now don’t have to have because I have chosen faith that the right thing will come through!
Such as the urge to write this blogpost, where I was like: “Are you sure this is the topic?” when the idea came through. But I quickly restored myself, because I knew the alternative to doing as I was nudged from inside, or above, was taking responsibility for my own work.
And before you know it you have a content calendar, and every Monday is when you write rambly posts, and on Tuesdays we do the Box Set, on Wednesday we make a YouTube video and so on!
The horror of a planned project! No…. then I d rather just write what comes through.
Today that is: How to use your Bon Jovi cd’s as cool planning tools.
So back to that!
HOW to use your Bon Jovi collection as a time-blocking tool for your projects or your fun things?
If you like the idea of a fixed sequence of the albums then you can choose between earliest album first, most recent album last.
Or you do time machine!
Time machine is part of a Bon Jovi show, when they play Runaway.
Runaway was a song Jon Bon Jovi recorded and he plugged it with a local radio station.
Other radio stations picked it up from there, the band was formed and Bon Jovi was born.
Time machine is the live on stage intro to that song, Runaway.
Jon counts down from the year it is (they have done this on the 2019 tour as well) all the way to 1982.
Then he tells the story of his pitch at the radio station and how he promised the dj that he was a rock n roll star.
If you listen or use the albums in time machine fashion, you start with the most recent one, and then go back in time.
Since the latest album 2020, there are 15 studio albums. A very tempting way I think, to start using them, is dividing them over the days of the week.
Then you listen to the entire collection every week, and the week gets this lovely predictable rhythm to it.
I put them all in time machine order, and then here is your schedule;
Monday 2020 Bon Jovi – 2020 48:08 2016 This House Is Not For Sale (International Deluxe Version) 70:28 2015 Burning Bridges 40:22
Just pick one; 2020 when you re in a mood for current events. This House Is Not For Sale, when you need to be reminded you’re not backing down and are going to crush it this week
And Burning Bridges for highest density of underappreciated brilliant songs.
The album was a contractual obligation and was barely promoted by the band.
Tuesday 2012 What About Now 51:36
2008 The Circle 52:49
Anthems and ballads to get you through your Tuesday on a high.
Wednesday 2007 Lost Highway 49:57
2005 Have A Nice Day 49:40
Country inspired Lost Highway? Or more classical Bon Jovi?
Two vastly different albums to pick from every Wednesday.
Thursday 2002 Bounce 49:10 2000 Crush 57:52
Fans of heavy guitars will throw Bounce on repeat.
And those longing for that nostalgic: “They’re back! They made it!” feel when Bon Jovi returned with It’s My Life, are going to go for Crush.
Friday 1995 These Days 63:55 1992 Keep The Faith 66:10
Two absolute killer albums!
I don’t care how busy you are Friday, but your activity will get done!
Saturday 1988 New Jersey 56:32 1986 Slippery When Wet 43:49
Is this is a musical Do Not Disturb sign or what?
Nothing will stop you from listening to these.
The ninth song on the box set 100.000.000 Bon Jovi fans can’t be wrong (2004).
You are in the premier league of Bon Jovi Fans if you immediately know which era Someday Just Might Be Tonight is from, upon hearing. And on which album it would have been, if it had been used for an album. Instead of not being released until the box set (2004), which has previously unreleased songs on it, from nearly two decades.
And within the premier league, you are at the top if you know which song is the musical twin from Someday Just Might Be Tonight?
I however, do not belong to that category. The era?
Destination Anyway era (solo album Jon Bon Jovi 1997)
Got that one.
The twin song?
Fortunately the answer was given to me, because I couldn’t guess.
But now I m standing by it;
Ugly is the twin song from Someday Just Might Be Tonight
Although there are multiple technical similarities, the biggest “Aha! Found it!” came from how they make me feel. They’re both melancholic songs, but in a weird way. They’re…. I don’t know, “Anthems in Minor”, is what I would call them. With my dangerously limited knowledge of music.
You could imagine both Ugly as well Someday Just Might Be Tonight, having an entirely different feel if played with a heavy guitar, drums, and Jon throwing in some Woah!!!!s.
Like many Bon Jovi songs, Someday Just Might Be Tonight, is filled with messages of hope, and to never give up. But I would have welcomed them to be a little more full-on, because they’re not even making a scratch in the depressed state I am finding myself in. Day after day.
The only thing that keeps me going is absolutely refusing to think about it, going in full denial, and make firm resolutions to really go rock my life after Covid, and never be online again.
I think I m going to make a plan how I can live my life after Covid without ever having to spend one more minute behind my computer! Maybe if I publish all my books (both English and Dutch, and all my accounts); Curate all my videos, and refrain from creating any new online content from the moment Covid is over until death do me pass? So that I have no choice but to ONLY live in the REAL world?!
“We’re having an online meeting.” “I don’t own a computer.”
It would be an art project, of living offline.
Yes… And Woah!
That sounds like an amazing plan.
When I found the photos of my bedroom from when I was 16 years old, I was already, or still, shaky from realizing how little I had known about myself.
And how it had lead me to living the wrong *include heavy swearing* life. When I think of how I am going to make up for decades, I catch myself thinking somewhere along the lines of:
“Louise Hay and Anais Nin were both over 40 before becoming successful.”
Or even: “Nelson Mandela made something out of his life, when he came out of prison.”
After having screwed up the first half of my life; I know I will not allow the second half to go to waste. No way.
Yet, it still boggled me! How had it even been possible to SLEEP THROUGH two decades of working in yoga, an industry based on enlightenment, consciousness, mindfulness?
Out of ALL the industries, how had I managed to not notice how much of a misfit, how much not-me ness, how much stuff that DIRECTLY conflicted with my values, had been part of yoga?
When I had all the overeating, all the non-practicing, all the not being interested in whatever the flying fuck was going on in my industry, to prove it.
“HOW?!” I ask of thee.
Especially because for the first 30 years of my life; I DID NOT make mistakes like that! I came out ready and able, and knowing who I was. And my life was in full alignment of that.
If I had just kept on going, I would not just have rocked at life; I would have been a beacon of inspiration and entertainment. And not a swearing like a sailor, middle-aged woman, who can’t believe she let life slip through her fingers for such a vast period of time.
30! I was THIRTY when I took the wrong turn! Well, almost. I was 29. Not an age where anyone thinks: “Oh, we better watch Suzanne. This is a critical age!” And it was also not an age where I myself was like: “Oh, going on 30! Better watch out, because here’s where many have failed before me!” * frowns eyes and stares intensely and unforeseen future*
Nobody watches out at 30. And neither did I. Although, although! That is not true! I had for years escaped having an office job, and when I caved and gave up on my independence, doing yoga was my escapism.
But then I started getting trained as a yoga teacher, and became that. I thought I had escaped the office job and that teaching yoga would bring me something a normal job didn’t. Only to then wake up 20 years later.
Maybe that is the cruelty of it all; You think you escape the monster of mundane office life, only to end up with another job that wasn’t right.
And yet, before we talk Jon Bon Jovi posters, because I will get to that as well, I have always known for a fact that there was nothing wrong with yoga;
Contrary to something (in my opinion) inherently being wrong with office life. So I can understand why I thought yoga would be good for me, or an improvement of sorts, because yoga is good.
There really is nothing wrong with yoga practitioners, and being a yoga teacher was and is a noble profession.
Which is why it took me so many years to realize that I ve wasted 20 years of my life. Finding photos from 1988 made the message extra raw and unpalatable; It had been all there.
My 1988 bed proves I knew exactly who I was, and that I would rather die than cave. I would back myself up, do or die, my way or the highway.
The two photos with all the posters from Jon Bon Jovi, are of my bedroom in the attic.
They are taken in February, this is about a good year after Bon Jovi became famous in the Netherlands.
So it’s not that long. Yet from the number of posters, and the way they are arranged, you can see I have been collecting and even curating them. The posters I selected for this location, are assorted by size. One poster is double, it’s in the six piece above my head. But because the posters are hung up in a way that is pleasing to the eye, this does not matter.
It’s the perfect mosaic.
A few months later, I took the posters down.
I had started dating, and although I would remain an avid fan, I thought my bedroom should be more neutral. Or adult. Serious.
I know these things, both staying an avid fan and taking the posters down, because I have another photo where the posters are gone.
And I went to the Bon Jovi concert late that year.
My love for Jon Bon Jovi or Bon Jovi, had not changed.
It was purely because I thought that dating involved only showing the pleasant, the datable, love-worthy, side of yourself.
And that the wild, boy-crazy, bathing myself in paper-testosterone version of me, would not be welcomed.
In retrospect, the moment I took those posters down, was the moment I started presenting myself as something I am not.
In the other photo, one I took at a later date, I still have an unmade bed.
But there are no posters.
There is no book.
The photo is uninteresting. I didn’t even bother to scan it.
It’s taken by daylight, the white wall looks even whiter. The unmade bed looks cold and empty.
It’s a proper photo, the daylight one without any Jon Bon Jovi posters hanging on the walls.
The lighting is good, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
Except of course the absence of all the liveliness, the realness, and the authenticity that was captured in the two grainy black and white pictures of a girl’s bed with Jon Bon Jovi covered walls.
I gained boyfriends, I gained a sex life. I gained being adult and grownup.
But at the cost of a wall of Jon Bon Jovi posters.
And the highest price of all;
At the cost of being me.
The first song We Rule The Night is from 1985; The final one Luv Can from 2020.
These are all tracks that were not released on the standard studio albums.
The Making Of
It has been a long lost wish of mine, to create a playlist with all these extra songs.
Today I encountered a playlist from another YouTuber, who had already done all the ground work of collecting all the songs.
With help from a friend, who was comfortable getting a 100+ song list with a line “Is this list complete?” and then come with a coherent answer within seconds (you have no idea how much I appreciate such friends), I added a few more.
And then the gargantuan task began of dating them, and lining them up in chronological order.
I am a purist, and instead of just chucking all the songs onto one list, and moving them around until they were chronological; I wanted to add them, in this chronological order. So that they don’t just line up correctly if you select “ordered manually”, but also if you display them in the order they were added.
For example, if I unexpectedly encountered a 1986 song (Out of Bounds), when I was already adding from the Keep The Faith era (early 90s)? I had to remove all songs from the playlist until I was back in 1986, add the missing song, and then start adding 1987 until Keep the Faith back in.
The most meaty task was dating, marking, somehow systematizing, the 50 songs from the box set: “100.000.000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong” (2004) For which I used the Wikipedia page about the box set, which indicated for every song for which album, or from which year, it was.
However, an unexpected amount of work went into An Evening With Bon Jovi. This VHS/dvd from 1993 was recorded in October 1992. One month before the album Keep The Faith would be released. More or less accidentally I found out, I did not have all (cover) songs from this show noted down, so I went looking for them. Ultimately I found a couple more, which were added to the list. But this has resulted in at least one song being not so much double on the list, but double played in the videos (the video “Fever” also contains other songs). An Evening With Bon Jovi videos are listed separately in the outline, or map, in the playlist below.
Another problem around this show An Evening With Bon Jovi, was related to dating. “The Sole Truth” was dated (1991) but the video had a still/ a photo from 1992 An Evening With Bon Jovi. Which meant I was confused and initially dated it wrongly, until I finally realized my mistake and put The Sole Truth earlier up the list in 1991 instead of 1992.
I think I must have spend an hour getting 1991-1992 straight, and it’s still one of the weaker spots of the list. Maybe that is why with This Left Feels Right (dvd 2004, alternative versions of well known Bon Jovi songs) I was ruthless and threw everything off. I only kept one cover song there, Sylvia’s Mother.
So all in all, like any curated body of work, the old question; “What is part of the collection, and what isn’t?” Reared its long haired rock n roll head. And just like any curator, I made my choices, with which you may or may not agree.
This project, of cataloging the bonus tracks and rare songs, was my most satisfying Bon Jovi project to date.
And in retrospect this playlistis more a framework for work to come, than an end point.
For this website, Rock Star Writer Nijmegen, I am already writing stories about the 50 Box Set songs. And to know that after I have had them, I can continue with the other 52 from the rarities list? That’s inspiring!
So who knows! Maybe one day I will be able to give you an overview, a page, or even a book in print, with 102 Bon Jovi inspired stories.
No doubt, getting lost all over again, in an evening with Bon Jovi.
But then again; Who wouldn’t.
~Suzanne Rock Star Writer
This is the exact list of all 102 songs in the playlist. I will come back to these songs, writing stories about them. Subscribe to this blog to receive these and more.
21 The Sole Truth (New Jersey 1991) “This one should be bold!” I hear you shout, avid Bon Jovi fan! Yes, it should. The only reason I didn’t, was because the quality of the audio (a live recording) is suboptimal.
22 Cadillac Man (Osaka 1991)
Not just a great song, but also with video (image) and both Jon and Richie looking so hot my cat jumped off my lap.
26 The Radio Saved My Life Tonight Not just an amazing song, it’s also very fresh and exciting;
I think Jon Bon Jovi had a cold, altering his voice.
It’s as if your boyfriend plays he’s a different man, you’ve never slept with.
Well the last part would be correct regardless, of course.
52 I Get A Rush
🎵🎶 I like it, I like it, I can’t get enough🎵🎶
🎵🎶 I like it, I like it, yeah I get a rush 🎵🎶
🎵🎶 I like what I like and I like it too much 🎵🎶
🎵🎶 You know what I like, yeah I get a rush 🎵🎶
I m not even going to apologize for liking ALL the songs on this list!
However, if I keep going at this pace, it will be March before I finish. So I m going to be ruthless, and skip a bunch.
A bunch of entire cd’s from the box set.
88 Put the boy back in cowboy
This fan made video just got chosen, as the closer on the bottom of this post! Props for this fan who made this video featuring all the times Jon danced, kissed, or otherwise engaged with a woman on, or in the proximity of a, stage.
Or swayed his hips, in more or, more likely, less innocent fashion.
We need fans like this, who go the extra mile to create something special.
Speaking of fans who go the extra mile;
After starting early today to create this 102 song long playlist, and now this matching blogpost; Watching all this warm Jon-female interaction makes me feel needy and clingy.
And kind of like I m not focusing on the right things in life! I m at 11 hours behind my desk.
Time to start wrapping up this post.
89 Walk Like A Man
A little shy of midnight, after my computer crazy day, I m not going to watch this. But Jon Bon Jovi singing Hallelujah is so incredibly beautiful that it will not just be the best thing you saw in February.
But the best you saw this year.
91 Lonely I get it. You have already cried your way through your box if tissues, didn’t you?
92 This Is Our House
93 Have a little faith in me
2013/ What About Now
94 Into The Echo (Japan Bonus Track)
95 Burn With Me
2015/ Burning Bridges
96 Take Back the Night
2016/ This House Is Not For Sale
97 Touch of Grey
98 Color Me In
100 When We Were Us
102 Luv Can
Best track of the album “2020”; Which was never selected for the official album.
Luv Can was a bonus track for the Japanese album.
But what a song…. Beautiful.
It’s almost midnight. I ve worked on this post and playlist the entire day, and feel a little overworked and exhausted. But as said in the first paragraph it has also been very rewarding to finally get my head around it, and have a structure and starting point for future projects.
Woah!!! We’re halfway there! Or we will be, after I give you this premium pro shot live recording of this first night in Wembley 1995! It s a must see for every fan and beyond, and it will make the rest of this blog post, far more interesting 😉
I reviewed it for my YouTube channel
This is my 10 minute video review -> #21 Wembley 1 st night June 23 | 1995 Bon Jovi Concert Series (Stories) I had so much fun with it! . However! “It” does not mean a balanced, thought through, overview with historical context of this first night of the legendary three Wembley concerts. “It” means: Whatever came to mind, sitting under the tree in my first outdoor video in years, and with my complicated analysis on pretty useless notes in front of me. . So the video turned out fresh and funny, but on the information side it was a bit thin! Aware being punctual and thorough was not its forte, I already announce in the video, I would compensate by writing it out, quite possibly in a blog post.
Which is this. . But if knowing Jon dances like Axl Rose at one point, ladies being snatched from behind the bar, and meme worthy speeches all time-stamped out for you, are all NOT need to know info for you? You can skip the blog and just subscribe to my channel: YouTube channel! Reviewing the 1995 Bon Jovi tour For all your highly entertaining, yet stunningly incomplete Bon Jovi video reviews. . I will not be (double) covering any of the anecdotes from my video review. . And, disclaimer, even this written review is still incomplete and definitely does not do justice to the entire band, as my focus for the video review (hence: my notes) was on Jon Bon Jovi and his interaction with the audience. . Having said all that, let’s start!
“Are you alive out there?!” . Bon Jovi | 1st Night at Wembley Stadium | Fixed Audio! | London 1995
Wembley, London 23 June 1995
Classic 1995 opening, with the “two puncher” Prayer and Bad Name, topping it off with a double layer of Wild in the Streets!
01 Livin’ On A Prayer [0:40]
face paint & eye makeup Jon Bon Jovi:
Striking yellow or orange face paint on the cheeks, and dark eyeliner
02 You Give Love A Bad Name [5:45] 03 Wild In The Streets [9:27]
At [ 14:10 ] Jon jumps off the stage, shakes hands with the audience, puts a cowboy hat on, tosses it back into the audience, snatches a rose, clenches it between his teeth (in between singing his lines), providing excellent photogenic moments!
After Wild In The Streets [15:25] Jon always addresses the audience, and gets them excited for the 2 to 3 hours to come.
Jon indicates how special it is for them to be here, something that he will elaborate on later tonight.
He ends with:
“Fasten your seat belts and let me drive. Take it Hughy.”
Moving right into the bass line (from bass player Hugh McDonald)
of Keep the Faith ->
04 Keep The Faith [15:51]
When I first started watching concerts with other fans, I always wondered why they were referring to “Keep the Faith” as “Jungle”.
But if you start watching at [ 19:36 ] you can hear this “Sympathy for the Devil” like intermezzo, and in fact a cover of that song was played here occasionally!, but you can clearly hear the same jungle noises Mick Jagger makes here, and Jon even sings: “It’s a jungle out there, baby. You ve got to watch your back, and I ve got to watch mine. It’s a jungle out there, mama!” And then dropping onto one knee, for a dramatic pause. And back up just in time at the microphone. . 05 Blood On Blood [23:17]
Blood On Blood never sounded better than with these amazing acoustic openings!
26:43 For those interested: Right here you can see there is a very large distance between crowd and stage, reminiscent of Live Aid, really.
Great showman-ship, when Jon stands tall at the mike!
Singing the legendary words: “Bobby is an uptown layer. And Danny is a medicine man. But me? I m a singer here…”
And the crowd roars: “In a long-haired rock n roll band!!”
06 Always [29:16]
Always is that moment when you realize you’ve just seen the greatest male performer of the 20th century.
And for those who are still in doubt, Jon has Dry County up the sleeve of jacket number 2, the first of the two red leather ones, which you will see later.
07 I’d Die For You [36:59]
In Blood on Blood Jon Bon Jovi had already played the acoustic guitar; But in I’d Die For You, Runaway, and a few more songs in this show, he plays electric.
At [ 37: 15 ] you see Jon and Richie opening the song, playing side by side.
Which brings me to the main unexplained difference between old and new Bon Jovi; Jon plays less guitar during shows. For me, someone who rates music heavily based on the number of electric guitars and HOW HARD they’re being played!, I particularly miss what I will call “bad ass Jon” on electric guitar. But I’d Die For You Wembley 1995? Oh, yeah baby!
27:27 – and up Some jaw-dropping shots of Tico working those drums! Few would pull this off! What an intensity. And at 1:16:30 Tico shows he can even do this, whilst smoking a cigarette!
Okay, okay, okay! How do I say this without shouting? I DON’T! WATCH THIS ONE! OMG! IF ONLY YOU WATCH ONE SONG FROM THIS ENTIRE SHOW LET IT BE DRY COUNTY!!!
The lyrics, the vocals, the dropping on tha knees, my friends! The speech at 59 minutes!
I m somewhere between shouting and being speechless.
11 Lay Your Hands On Me [1:04:42]
Lay Your Hands is when the sermon comes in! Or, as Jon puts it: “Welcome to Jonny’s church of Rock n Roll” It is personally my favorite Bon Jovi song live. And if you don’t get enlightened, redeemed and your soul saved watching this? I don’t know what will!
But even then there’s still the Axl Rose-like swaying, dancing, at 1:12:44 to enjoy.
And a rerun to being saved since the next song is introduced with:
“I think your souls are about to be saved!
Tico, gimme that beat baby!”
Kick-starting their classic 90s two-puncher closer routine of “the main show”: Sleep When I m Dead, and Bad Medicine! Cause they re just getting warmed up, baby!
12 I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead [1:14:28] “Now I gotta know; Are you still ALIVE out there?!”
That’s how Sleep When I m Dead begins, dragging the audience into a teasing game that will last for two Bon Jovi songs, three covers, 22 minutes and four giant blowup dolls!
“Sleep” and “Bad Medicine” together, are like a small concert in and of their own right.
It’s the moment when there are the most fans on stage, two fully functional bars as far as I can see!
At 1:23:25 Jon Bon Jovi goes over to ask the female bartender for a dance, and it’s clearly not scripted, because initially she doesn’t even notice him, and he goes behind the bar, playing the chords to “Sleep” at the same time, before they wildly dance over the stage.
With little acts of theater that involve the entire band, countless musical intermezzos, numerous forms of dancing and waves and waves of heavy ass guitars, there are really no words to describe what an incredible party these two songs are!
~ Jumpin’ Jack Flash [1:19:46] ~ Papa Was A Rolling Stone [1:21:10]
13 Bad Medicine [1:24:49]
Part of their Rock Fest punchline, Bad Medicine is always where the boys take it home. But it has a hidden secret: If he feels like it, then all Jon’s heavy duty driving the ladies craaaazy is done RIGHT HERE! There is an improv moment that Jon can drag out as long as he wants, and when there are no cameras there? No pending PG18 ratings? Oh, then he gives all…..
However, Wembley night one was meant for the dvd which would later become Live From London. Because of audio problems, they eventually chose night 3.
But this show was recorded to be that professional concert registration, so that explains why the sexual atmosphere is not from the level I usually encounter at audio only bootlegs!
But, Jonny would not be Jonny without making the most out of it; And at 1:28:18 You get the whole act, about shaking your ass and becoming rich and famous!
And according to them they had to break it off because of Richie’s mom looking at them!
~ Shout [1:31:35]
Encore 1: 14 Bed Of Roses [1:36:23]
Now I m no fan of Bed of Roses, but it wasn’t until I started my 1995 review series, that I realized that 90’s Bed of Roses? Oh, love that one!
Still not sure why it all makes such a difference, but Richie Sambora’s backing vocals for sure must be one reason why Bed of Roses 1995 was a killer one, to open the encore with.
15 Hey God [1:44:30] 16 Rockin’ All Over The World (w/ Steven Van Zandt) [1:51:26]
Encore 2: 17 Richie Acoustic Guitar Solo [1:57:41]
Opening the second encore with a beautiful guitar song, and I have no doubt guitar playing Bon Jovi fans could tell me exactly which songs/ melodies he’s playing here; This is the time to acknowledge both that Richie Sambora was such an important part of why 80s and 90s Bon Jovi was unprecedented.
And that my reviews, both this written one which was based on the notes I made to make a 10 minute video, as well as my video review and whatever I usually say in those videos;
Do not do him justice. Nor the other band members of Bon Jovi!
My reviews are very Jon-dominated, and I think I can get away with it, since I only make these small videos and I emphasize I’m a normal writer and not knowledgeable on music.
But it’s this guitar solo, right before Wanted Dead or Alive, that makes me realize I really wish I had more musical background, and the right vocabulary to describe it.
Which brings me to the next song, and the only song where even I can hear Richie:
In retrospect, I believe that although Richie does not sing all the time, that in essence? Wanted Dead or Alive is a duet. And also: That there was something incredibly tragic and inauspicious, already written here between the lines of what may be the greatest Bon Jovi song ever. That if paid better attention, the tragedy of Richie leaving the band in 2013, was already weaved in.
For those with ears to hear, the message was clear.
19 Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night (w/ Steven Van Zandt) [2:06:09]
Encore 3: 20 Jon asking audience what to play [2:15:44] 21 Good Guys Don’t Always Wear White [2:17:11]
After three encores filled to the brim with rockers and straight forward partying, we’re dropped back into the drama filled final act of a 2,5 hour show. Jon dances for us one more time. Tico smokes another cigarette. Richie looks more regal than ever; dressed fully in black, with a long coat and hat.
The fans on stage are long gone, the bar is deserted.
And ultimately; Jon throws the microphone stand to the side. Drops on his knees, one final time, for the longest outro ever. Singing, a wordless melody for minutes straight. We hear Ritchie’s guitar, only the sound of strings and the wordless male voice singing about something that has never had vocabulary.
Yet we understood perfectly.
If one of these days I vanish?
Even if you know all my accounts – and trust me, my productivity is so high, you do not want to know all my accounts! but for story’s sake let’s say that you do – and you hear nothing from me?
Not a single post, nor a new video, even my teddy bear no longer posts to my Facebook page, and if you’d have my phone number and Whatsapp me because you want to know if my teddy bear is alright, he would not even respond.
Then it’s possible nothing serious happened, and we’re not in bed with a 10 day fever and a positive Corona test, but that I have embarked on a vision quest to DEMAND my vision to show itself to me!
Although demanding will probably have the opposite effect.
A quest to create so much space, and drop ever more layers of who I once was, so that the vision will take the stage and shine. And rock my world.
Because my vision has been moving in and out of my life for at least 6 years. And every time I try to name it, give it a place, and tie my name to it, it seems to leave.
The thing I am talking about is my vision for (try not to fall asleep as I say this, although I would totally understand) but the thing I m talking about is yoga.
[ you promised to hear me out ]
[ or you didn’t but I m making you ]
I KNOW yoga is alive.
And not just regular yoga that people do to make their lives better. Sure, that is alive too. But that’s not what I m talking about.
I m talking about the very specific yoga, that I have always had in my mind’s eye, and that for the past 6 years I ve called Rock Star Yoga.
That bad ass, rarely spotted, broad shouldered, beer drinking, loud, cool as f, version of yoga?
Oh he/she/it is alive.
Just doesn’t bother to show up consistently, because it leaves that to the living by the rules people. Doesn’t respond well to expectations either, will leave you hanging for however long it takes for you to let go!
Rock Star Yoga cannot be summoned anymore than you could summon Jon Bon Jovi.
So because this entity has moved in and out of my life and vision for so long, I have decided that it’s time to shift to a higher gear, to make just another reference to Jon Bon Jovi.
Speaking of which!
This entire me getting into an existential crisis about my work, disillusioned by a profession I thought I had become, (I was into yoga professionally for 20 years, training years included), resembles Jon Bon Jovi’s soul searching in 1990 when he made Blaze of Glory solo album.
From what I remember, he made a road trip to the West coast, spent days on the set in New Mexico, on the set of Young Guns 2. Made a cameo appearance, wrote the song Blaze of Glory on a napkin, pitched that as the soundtrack, and then wrote a whole album for Young Guns 2.
It was a solo project, without the band. He was now collaborating with guest musicians.
And what had started with a cameo ended with Jon Bon Jovi reinventing his music and himself.
And winning every music award there was to win in 1990.
So, I ve said goodbye to my students, to my yoga business; I no longer play old songs. I m inspired by new things, new influences, but two and a half months after ending the lease of my yoga studio, my plan to reinvent myself has not been as concrete as heading to New Mexico. And I don’t even know WHAT to reinvent!
Am I still a yoga teacher even? Or no? Am I still an independent even though I do not own a business anymore and never want one ever again? Am I a writer?
Am I a performer?
The strongest pull is from yoga. That’s what I was interested in 23 years ago, and that’s what I did for a living for a long time.
But if I want to continue with yoga, even more than Jon Bon Jovi with his career in music, it really IS time to reinvent my craft!
I absolutely cannot go on like this any further.
Teaching yoga has broken me.
Either me and yoga reinvent ourselves, uplevel and start kicking some serious butt.
Or it’s time to leave the remains of the yoga that once was, in the desert of New Mexico and never look back.
So if you can’t find me, I’m with my teddy bear on the back of my bike, and we’re cruising route 66, each with our own thoughts. And I m just going to see where life takes me.
I m gonna hang out with people who have asked me for a one-off gig, and I ll be like; “You know what? I ll do a whole project! This could be fun!”
Although “fun” may not be the right term here.
Because there was one thing, on that bland Wikipedia page about the album Blaze of Glory, that really struck a cord.
A word when I knew: “God damn it…. that’s it. I know that’s it. That’s the thing I am looking for.”