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.

61iNw1DFHuL._SX300_SY300_QL70_ML2_
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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All The Things You (n)Ever Wanted To Know About Bon Jovi at Wembley first night 1995

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

Setlist:

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​]

Jungle?
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.

26:55
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!

08 Blaze Of Glory [41:56​]
09 Runaway [47:37​]

10 Dry County [52:42​]

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:

18 Wanted Dead Or Alive [2:00:17​]

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​]

22 This Ain’t A Love Song [2:21:58​]

And so it ends; This Ain’t A Love Song

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. 

This ain’t a love song.

~Suzanne
Rock Star Writer

I m reviewing the 1995 – 1996 tour:
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