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?
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;
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.
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.
Rock Star Writer
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