Dear Mr Bon Jovi,

I’ve been listening to your popular song ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ and I just wanted to tell you that it’s okay— everything is going to be okay. I’m not like the other fans; I know a thinly veiled autobiographical cry for help when I hear one. A once successful face rocker reduced to playing for scraps as a result of an out of control drinking problem? You don’t have to pretend anymore Jon— is it okay if I call you Jon? You don’t have to pretend, because I’m here now and I’m going to help you.

You might not think that your fans care whether you’re dead or alive Jon, but this fan does. And he wants you alive. Together I’m confident we can get you back to those heady and successful days when your face rocking success rate was an impressive one hundred per cent. Don’t you miss those days Jon? Those glory days where you could see a million faces and rock every single one of them? You’ve never seen my face, but there’s no doubt in my mind that you could still rock it, even now.  The stats speak for themselves.

It’s not too late. Those days can come again, but first we have to take care of some of your issues. Your alcoholism for instance— yes Jonathon, you have a drinking problem. And it’s a dangerous one, because it’s not just your own health you’re risking anymore. If it sounds like I’m being harsh, remember it’s only because I care.

There are more efficient and less harmful ways of telling what day it is than by the bottle of whatever alcoholic beverage it is you’re drinking. Your third album was the number one album for twelve weeks Jon, surely that alone earned you enough in royalties to buy a digital watch that displays both the time and date. I understand that wearing a watch can sometimes be a little uncomfortable, especially when it’s hot but is your current method really a viable alternative?

Because I imagine, Jonathon, that when you ride your motorcycle all night just to get back home that you’re doing so under the influence of alcohol. In fact I know you’re drunk when you ride it, because you seem to under the impression that it’s a horse made of steel. What the fuck are you drinking? This is an incredibly serious issue, which is compounded by the prolonged periods of driving which you undertake, often without sleeping for days.

Do you have any idea how dangerous this is? Not just for you, but other road users who shouldn’t have to share the road with a sleep deprived, intoxicated, self-proclaimed ‘cowboy.’ I’m just living on a prayer that you don’t drive in the rain— on top of all the other dangers the roads become slippery when wet.

Clearly you’re harbouring some sort of death wish, and the misguided view that like Jimi, Janis and Vincent Van Gogh your work will be more appreciated when you’re gone. But you’re not dying young Jon, not on my watch. I’m not just going to sit back and watch yet another successful face rocker have his life cut short by reckless behaviour.

I mean, who’s going to rock our faces with you gone? Have you heard Richie’s solo stuff?!

I don’t want to hear anymore of this nonsense about how you might not make it back. You are Jon, you’re going to make it back with my help. We’ve got each other, and that’s enough. We’ll get you to a dry county and, instead of sleeping when you’re dead, you can rest up there. We’ll make it, I swear. I’ll be there for you.

You might ask yourself why I’m willing to go to so far out of my way to help you. And it’s very simple Jon. It’s because I’m a Bon Jovi fan, and lord I’m going to keep the faith.

Have a nice day,

James D. Irwin 

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James D. Irwin is a British writer based in the Hampshire countryside. His work has appeared online, in print, and on stage. He can be contacted at [email protected]

100 responses to “An Open Letter To Mr Jonathon Bon Jovi”

  1. Greg Olear says:


    But I don’t think he’ll heed your advice, him being a little runaway and all…

    • Thanks Greg.

      Also that was better than the ‘baby you were born to pun’ comment on one of my older posts.

      There’s infinite humo(u)r to be derived from middle of the road New Jersey rockers…

  2. Simone says:

    James, if Jon is sitting there wasted and wounded at his old piano and read this, by God I think he’d ditch the bad medicine he’s been drinking and he’ll want to be Saturday Night again.

    It may not be tomorrow baby, but that’s ok, he ain’t going down he’ll find a way!

  3. Art Edwards says:

    Sometimes I wonder why this guy is still around. Then I look into those dreamy eyes…

  4. dwoz says:

    I mean, who’s going to rock our faces with you gone? Have you heard Richie’s solo stuff?!

    Notwithstanding the fact that a “Ritchie Sambora” sounds like an overly-sugared bar drink that a girl would order, you are DEAD NUTS ON.

    But James, I think you’re a day late and a dollar short. Because “who says you can’t go home (and hitch your tether to a new rising star)?”

    • I’d say that I’m a good twenty-three years too late really…

      Better late than never…

      I’m going to invent a cocktail now, for the sole purpose of calling it a Ritchie Sambora.

      Two parts rum, one part coke, fill to the top with broken dreams of solo success…

  5. Gloria says:

    The digital watch thing – fucking hysterical.

    Jesus, Irwin, you’re funny.

    I never understood that lyric: I tell the days by the bottle that I drink (or whateverthehell is says.) It always made me stop and think, does he only drink whiskey on Mondays? Vodka on Thursday? What is his Sunday liquor?

    This is a beautiful letter to a rock icon, Irwin. You and JBJ, you’ve got each other. And that’s a lot – for love.

    • Thanks Gloria.

      I’m not really sure how you can tell the day by the bottle that you drink. He only does it ‘sometimes’ as well, so it’s not a continuous cycle and so he must at some point find out what day it is before he can resume his dangerous and unorthodox time keeping method…

  6. Rachel Pollon says:

    Great, now I’m worried about Jon Bon Jovi and his drinking problem. As if I don’t have enough people I’m co-de about. 🙂 There was a time when even though we thought — nay knew! — we were way cooler than it, my old roommate Laura and I would blast “Living On A Prayer” in our Boston apartment. I think it was “L.O.A.P.”… it could have been “Dead or Alive.” And it could have been both of us, or it could have been just me. (Sorry for trying to take you down with me, Laura.) Anyway, fun to think about JBJ. He does a lot of groundbreaking charitable stuff now. Maybe he was cooler than I realized. Keep rockin’ our faces with your bad self, Mr. BJ! (Hmmm…)

    • Haha, all the best tracks are on the album with Living on a Prayer and Dead or Alive.

      Bon Jovi is perfect sing-a-long music. Once I went into a bar simply because I heard a covers band inside doing You Give Love a Bad Name.

      I didn’t know he did charity stuff. I guess he’s just a lot less smug about it than Bono.

      Fucking Bono.

      Bono’s face rocking success rate is pathetic.

      Ha! Mr BJ!

      • dwoz says:

        “Bon Jovi is perfect sing-a-long music.”


        One of the sure ways to rocket to the apex in your Acme Superstardom Rocket is to write songs that become cover-band-set staples.

        (from the ancient era:)

        Dead or Alive
        Sweet Home Alabama
        My Sharona
        Mustang Sally
        Take it Easy
        Play that Funky Music, White Boy
        Living On A Prayer

        …ok, now I remember why we used to take drugs.

        • I love and hate Sweet Home Alabama.

          It’s a great, great song, but along with Freebird it distracts from the fact that up until the plae crash Skynyrd were a really, really good band.

          Meanwhile Dead or Alive distracts from the fact that Bon Jovi are really, really quite awful.

          In the best possible way, of course. They’re awful in the way Michael Bay movies are awful.

        • Gloria says:

          See also: any “must sings” at karaoke:

          “Friends in Low Places”
          “Pour Some Sugar on Me”

        • I’m legally required to mention, any time someone brings up Def Leppard, that my dad saw them live before the drummer lost his arm.

          They weren’t any better, apparently.

          Def Leppard are awful. Not in the so-bad-they’re-good way that Bon Jovi are awful, but just terrible.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Careful… You’ll get Richard Cox started….

        • Richard Cox says:

          Hahaha, Slade.

          Irwin, Def Leppard are a truly awful live band. No question about that. They’re terrible because their studio work was constructed by Mutt Lange, and they can’t reproduce it on stage.

          But anyone can see that Bon Jovi’s most famous albums were ripoffs of Def Leppard albums. Slippery When Wet is their Pyromania, and New Jersey is their Hysteria. It’s obvious.

        • I read a huge piece in a magazine once about Def Leppard’s drummer. It’s really quite an inspiring story.

          It’s just a shame the band are so poor.

          I don’t watch many live bands, but I tend not to like bands that can’t reproduce their album stuff live. I mean one of the great things about Led Zeppelin is that they didn’t just record Kashmir, JPJ could fucking pull off two instruments on stage.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Umm. Richrob.
          Shouldn’t that read: Def Leppard are a truly awful band, full stop?
          I think you accidentally included the word ‘live’.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Hi ZaraPotts. That’s not nice.

          Full stop.

        • I don’t think it was an accident…

        • Zara Potts says:

          Hi Richrob.
          Sorry. Full stop.

        • ‘not nice’ is exactly the correct way to refer to Def Leppard’s general sound and one word songs that all sound exactly the same.

          Joe Elliot has an awesome radio show though. Which is weird. Clearly he *has* taste in music…

        • Richard Cox says:

          I love that sound. The things they were able to do without computers is amazing. And mainly I mean the two famous albums, though I also like High and Dry.

          The lyrics are ridiculous. But I like that very structured, multi-layered guitar and vocal sound. Even though Mutt is mostly responsible for it.

          Funny, Joe Elliott annoys me quite a bit. He has a radio show?

        • With music I tend to find the general ‘sound’ the most important thing.

          And I really don’t like Def Leppard’s sound. It doesn’t sound natural… if that makes sense. The reasons they can’t perform studio stuff right live is why I don’t like them. It lacks heart, I think. It all just sounds like uninteresting nonsense.

          Yeah, his show is on Planet Rock. The UK’s only digital classic rock station. He plays some good stuff, and often quite obscure as well…

        • dwoz says:

          I’m not one to tell tales told out of school… but the Def Leppard sound that Mutt got was based on hundreds of takes, comped and layered. The vox are literally 200 tracks.

        • I can believe that.

          Although matching up vocals is tricky.

          I made a film earlier in the year and had to boost the sound by laying down two audio tracks. Get it out of sync and it sounds like a horrendous cacophony of noise. Get it just right and it doesn’t sound like Def Leppard….

        • dwoz says:

          It isn’t really tricky, but there’s tricks to it. At that time, it was all on tape, so there were razor blade edits instead of the digital edits we do now. There was use of the early Fairlight and Synclavier, the two early samplers, etc. A professional tape machine has three heads, a record, a playback, and an erase head. When you’re overdubbing, you monitor through the record head, and as long as you can sing a double to what you’re hearing, it lines up. When you get up into that many doubles, it stops sounding like multiple voices and starts sounding like that sort of zinged-out sound on Pyromania or Hysteria.

        • Okay, it isn’t tricky with fancy equipment.

          The sound editing I was doing was on Windows Movie Maker, the laptop was awkwardly positioned on my lap and National Treasure 2 was on TV.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Well there’s the problem right there. National Treasure 2. If ever there were a list of films that didn’t require a sequel, National Treasure has to be right near the top.

          Also, even if you record your voice one thousand times, if you don’t use compression it’s not going to sound the same. If you hear those backing tracks by themselves they sound odd. It’s only with the lead vocal mixed in does it begin to form that bombastic sound you don’t like. Haha.

        • I’ve never seen the first National Treasure film. I didn’t watch the sequel out of choice. It was a National Holiday so they had a family film on and me and my friend had it on whilst we were both editing are projects the day before the deadline.

          And you know what? I kind of enjoyed it. I quite like bad Nicolas Cage films. They have a certain charisma-less charm to them…

          I quite like Pour Some Sugar On Me. I’ll give Def Leppard that. That’s a catchy song and it doesn’t quite sound like all their other songs.

        • dwoz says:

          Didn’t want to obfuscate the issue by discussing all the crazy stuff they did to the various tracks…cross-sidechaining different vocal groups into 1176’s to make them pump, expansion and gating along with eq to boost the breathyness and detuning a few cents flat/sharp to widen and thicken it, he basically threw the kitchen sink at it.

        • Is this the super-intelligent way of saying


        • Richard Cox says:

          Whitesnake only wish they sounded as good as Def Leppard. Hahaha.

          So, Dwoz, is your real name Mike Shipley?

        • No, Whitesnake wish they sounded as good as Led Zeppelin.

          And in turn Def Leppard only wish their name sounded as cool as Led Zeppelin.

          Lead+zeppelins+mis-spelling= awesome

          Deaf animals+mis-spelling= the opposite of awesome.

        • dwoz says:


          No…I just know some people who worked with him a bit.

        • Joe Daly says:

          You guys need to leave Coxy alone on the Def Leppard thing. Their work with Mutt Lange should be its own solar system- complete with moons and planets and shit. It’s awesome. Joe Eliot has the voice of a goat being kicked in the throat, yet somehow Lange gave him a devastating rock voice that sounds quite tasty over the layers of guitar.

          I wouldn’t walk across the street to see them live, though. I’m happy to buy into the Wonka-esque fantasy world of their studio work.

          Give ’em hell, Coxy!

        • I’d be perfectly happy for Def Leppard to house their entire output in it’s own solar system.

          Because other solar systems are very far away.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Thanks, Joe. I don’t mind taking a beating for this. It’s honestly a rather bizarre argument to have, defending Def Leppard, because of course I can see there is little artistic merit to what they were doing lyrically. Even the “serious” songs are missing any real point. But in the larger context of what the band were trying to do, make fun, melodic studio rock music, they were light years ahead of their peers, other than Queen or Boston.

          That big, produced sound doesn’t appeal to everyone, of course. But there’s a reason a bunch of rock bands were imitating what they were doing in the 80s, including Bon Jovi. In my opinion the only reason Bon Jovi are remembered more fondly than Def Leppard is because they had Jon. He was a sex symbol. He was a personality. And even then, Def Leppard still outsold Bon Jovi in the 80s. They outsold AC/DC, U2, Guns N’ Roses…I don’t know how you can sell that many records and still be that unknown, but they managed it. And yeah, selling a lot of records doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good artistically. But at least they were successful at what they wanted to do, with the talent they had.

          Without Mutt, though, they couldn’t have done it. I think he sang more on their records than even they realize. That guy is a genius. He’s the grandfather of modern music production. Pro Tools ought to be paying him royalties.

        • Richard Cox says:

          This has turned out to be my favorite thread of the day, because after I wrote the above I went searching on Google and found where someone had leaked raw multitrack files from an early version of “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” There are only 21 tracks, which means they’ve been bounced from many more original takes…but still, I dumped them into my multitrack app and it’s pretty ridiculous to be able to rebuild the song this way.

          Although Trent Reznor has been offering NIN raw tracks for free for years now, to give fans the chance to make their own mixes. I think he’s really on the cutting edge of music marketing, along with Radiohead. That’s a whole different discussion, but either way it’s really interesting to listen to these tracks in their native state and see how the final song was arranged and mixed.

        • Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

          I had to know Joe Daly would appear in this discussion before I made it to the end.

          Coxy, I did not know you were TNB’s Def Leppard advocate. Reppin the 80s!

          I’m just here to make sure everyone understands that regardless of what they have to say about anyone who was making spectacular music in the 1980s, Bon Jovi was physically the prettiest, lyrically the sweetest, and therefore the most capable of fucking any underage girl in the state of New Jersey no matter how strict or intimidating her father was. Bon Jovi’s not an icon. He’s a mascot. He’s the dude who rides on your shoulders, men.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          To be honest I feel a little ridiculous savaging Def Leppard whilst at the same time appreciating Bon Jovi.

          Incidentally, Keep the Faith came on the radio just as I logged in to write this.

          I actually respect what they were doing in terms of production etc, I just don’t hearing it. I feel kind of bad about it now, knowing that they were *trying* to sound like that…

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I like ‘thread of the day.’ The comment threads are about 50% of TNB’s awesomeness because after the excellent posts (and silly pieces like this one) you end up with a ton of interesting diverse topics of conversations.

          Also, a lot of jokes about Leppard like, sucks man.

          That sounds like fun, rebuilding songs.

          And an example of internet being both good and bad.

          Bad: I really wish vinyl was still the dominant form of releasing music

          Good: fun, innovative marketing

        • James D. Irwin says:

          Lisa Rae— 80s Bon Jovi was a pretty dude. He kind of looked like a lady, but all the best rock gods did.

          Also it goes back to what Rich was saying about Def Leppard not having a guy like Jon Bon Jovi in the band. Bon Jovi is kind of cool. ’80s cool. It’s not quite the same as timeless, Keith Richards cool, but it’s still cool.

          Tom Selleck is ’80s cool. And Magnum PI is a televisual masterpiece.

        • Joe Daly says:

          Coxy, when they have the next TNB gathering, you and I will simply have to commandeer the sound system and unleash some DL on our colleagues. It may be like turning a light on in a room full of roaches, but we can at least count on us and Lisa Rae to be there.

          James- this thread is, as Ted McCagg might say, is inverse to Sting’s career- it gets better with age. Who would have thought taking the piss from JBJ would yield such a solid consideration of Def Leppard, 80s hair metal production processes, and Tom Selleck?

          LRC- you’re such a rocker. I fucking love the shit out of that. If I ever figure out time travel (oh, I’m fucking working on it- believe that right now), I’m going to go find teenage Lisa Rae Cunningham and take you to a hair metal concert. I’ll need to make sure the time machine would be close by though, as I’ve got a feeling the police wouldn’t be too far behind. Oh, and I’ll make a small investment in Microsoft, too.

        • Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

          I lived in the relatively “trashy” town in my local area in NJ – (I haven’t been back in years but hear it is now populated by McMansions) – we were surrounded by towns who listened to Tom Petty, etc… My town had the 7-12 Jr/Sr High School with the biggest hair, the smokiest bathrooms, the best fistfights and the most thrashing battle of the bands. I turned 14 in 1990, so my hair metal days were coming of age – 7th and 8th grade. It was all such a sexy, spooky secret. I fucking loved it. Yeah, rockers to the core, Daly. TNB theme party: Dirty 80s Rock. I’m so there.

        • Joe Daly says:

          TNB theme party: Dirty 80s Rock. I’m so there.

          I’m still sort of stunned that you threw that out there. I wasn’t ready for so much awesomeness this early in the day.

          I have so many great 80s concert t-shirts that it will be tough picking one for the party. I’ll probably go with my red Motley Crue “Girls, Girls, Girls” one.

          I won’t be able to stop thinking about this party until it happens.

          James Irwin needs to be there. Make it happen, JI!

        • Richard Cox says:

          I think the allure of vinyl is one of those counterculture, look-how-cool-I-am artsy ideas. It’s an aesthetic. Vinyl certainly isn’t a more accurate vehicle to deliver music. If vinyl sounds “cool,” it’s because the diamond stylus introduces a certain type of distortion that is pleasing because it is familiar.

          Listening to vinyl is like watching a black-and-white movie. Like developing photographic prints from film negatives. Like watching analog TV. Like NFL throwback jerseys. A pleasing nod to a bygone era.

          Next you’re gonna tell me you wish you could write your TNB posts on a typewriter.

        • Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

          Hey Joe, maybe I should wear the “Girls, Girls, Girls” t-shirt. Somebody’s gotta do right by reppin the 80s ladies!

        • dwoz says:

          Richard, I don’t think it’s so much about vinyl being better, as it is about how digital can be so much worse.

          The marketing around digital as a platform glossed over a lot of very significant implementation deficiencies that can and do. One of my favorite quotes about the difference:

          “Analog distortion for the most part is like accidentally smearing your burrito with guacamole. Digital distortion is like accidentally smearing your burrito with feces.”

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I’m having to comment a few times in response to this because it’s a pain scrolling up and down to reply. Also the comment might be too long to for TNB to handle…

          Joe— In all honesty given enough beer I’ll rock out to pretty much anything. Even Holst.

          I do like this thread. My posts never used to get very long threads, but recently things have picked up. All it took was hardcore porn and ’80s hair metal.

          And Tom Selleck. Tom Selleck is the olive in the Martini class of popular culture.

          Regarding time travel: you’d have to revisit the whole scenario again almost instantly to prevent something dreadful happening in your future. And even once you’ve worked that out you’ll only get stuck in the fairly distant past…

        • James D. Irwin says:

          Lisa Rae— I like Tom Petty. Your school sounds terrifying. Although I’m a middle class British white kid. And I was unbelievably uncool when I was 14. I’m far from cool now, but then… jesus. I read a lot, never really hung out with anyone and was horrifically unattractive. At some point I became awesome, but I don’t remember how.

          I digress. Smoky bathrooms and fistfights sound cool, but I’d rather have a nice quiet cup of tea…

          Joe— I’m working on it, I’m working on it. I want nothing more than a dirty ’80s rock themed party in California! I spend most days trying to work out a way of raising the funds for such an event…

        • James D. Irwin says:

          Rich— I like the whole experience of vinyl… it also reminds me of when I first got into rock and my dad playing me all of these records which he almost gave away the other day. I managed to save a few. I saved The Wall, not because it’s going to be worth anything but because it’s that vinyl disc that appears in my earliest childhood memory.

          It’s not really a ‘cool’ thing for me. It’s a cross between child-hood nostalgia and a fascination with the ’60s and ’70s. Neither of which are that cool.

          CD is still my preferred choice for music. Better sound quality than digital, and there’s still the physical object to hold and cherish/scratch/smash by accident.

          Also, I really love throwback jerseys. Any nod to by-gone eras really.

          I do kind of want a typewriter, but not as a replacement for Word/laptops. That would be silly.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Re: the Leppard.

          I don’t care what anyone says, there will always be a place for rocking out and just having big dumb fun.

          Case in point:


        • James D. Irwin says:

          Rocking out and big dumb fun are awesome.

          But for my money Leppard just don’t tock hard enough.

  7. Matt says:

    I don’t know if things are all bad for ol’ Johnny boy. I mean, once upon a time he got to make a music video where all he did was make out with Cindy Crawford. Which was pretty much every dude’s dream back in the 90s. Bastard.

  8. Mark Sutz says:

    Can’t say you made me move even an inch closer to Bon Jovi fandom, but you did make me do one thing I never have: spend five minutes with Jon Bon Jovi occupying my thoughts. You should be ashamed. Ha! Good work, Irwin.

    • I think Bon Jovi fans are one of those bands where you’ve got to have a pretty bad taste in music to consider yourself a fan.

      Of course knowing all the words to You Give Love a Bad Name does come in handy if you ever meet a girl who’s favourite band is Bon Jovi and you want to impress her/embarass yourself.

      I can only apologize for making you think of Bon Jovi for five minutes. It was a cruel thing to do, I know. I’m sorry.

        • Seven:

          Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi
          Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi
          Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Bon Jovi.

        • Mark Sutz says:

          You’re a firecracker, man. lol

        • Wanted Dead or Alive came on the radio right as your comment loaded up.


          I think this is a sign…

      • Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

        Um, I have AWESOME taste in music, and I’m a Bon Jovi fan. Die hard.

        Jon Bon’s got 4 kids with his high school sweetheart – he’s been married to the same woman the entire time. At this point in the marriage, he might not be allowed to make out w Cindy anymore.

        And if you really wanna impress the girl/embarrass yourself, go with “I’ll Be There For You.” It blows school dance make-out music out of the water. You’re under the bleachers with that song, James. Or under the boardwalk. Either way, you’re where you wanna be. Trust me.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          You do have an awesome taste in music. Didn’t you say the Black Crowes are your favourite band?

          I fucking love those guys.

          I also genuinely like Bon Jovi. The dude and the band. I have a genuine affection for ’80s rock. I like to think of this as an effectionate homage.

          I forgot that he married his high-school sweet heart and did the incredibly un-rock and roll thing of not fucking anyone else along the way. What a waste of power chords and hair spray…

          I don’t generally use impromptu karaoke versions of ’80s glam metal hits to impress girls, but I’ll keep it in mind. And of course, we don’t have bleachers over here. Maybe behind the cricket pavillion..?

  9. Cynthia Hawkins says:

    My husband very nearly bought me a Richie Sambora Stratocaster, and it was very nearly the biggest mistake of his life. I’d rather string rubberbands around a shoe box.

    Hilarous as always James!

    • Cynthia Hawkins says:

      Um, that’d be *hilarious.” On cold meds. Forgive me.

    • In school once I made a musical instrument kind of like that. Except there were nails hammered into a small wooden board. It made quite a nice sound.

      Unlike that Sambora punk.

      • Cynthia Hawkins says:

        Have you seen It Might Get Loud? In it Jack White makes a guitar out of nails in a board, wire, and a bottle. This all sounds much better than my rubberband shoe box!

        • I haven’t. I really want to though.

          I love Jack White.

          Apparently the other day he got angry at fans for not ‘rocking the fuck out.’

          Something Jon Bon Jovi never has to say to his audience. Because they are always sufficiently rocked. It’s like the audience are a steak, and he’s the master chef.

  10. Joe Daly says:

    I love that you ended with the “Keep the Faith” namecheck. That’s a legit song that was snuffed out way before its time because everybody was sick of JBJ.

    I always thought it was funny that they treated their band like an organized crime family, with oaths of secrecy and prohibitions against sullying the band/family name. Did they forget how low the bar is for rock stars? Hell, Richie Sambora’s coke addiction is the only thing that keeps them from occupying the same genre as the New Kids on the Block.

    But yes, they have rocked the million people whom they have seen.

    My friend used to work in a Starbucks in NJ, where JBJ used to buy his morning coffee. She said he had an inordinately large head. Not in a metaphorical way- physically, he’s got a bison head. Who knew?

    • To be honest what started out as a ‘humorous’ misinterpretation of one Bon Jovi song increasingly just became a fairground for Bon Jovi song title ‘jokes.’

      Several things intrigue me here:

      1. Richie Sambora did something interesting?!

      2. Bon Jovi buys his own coffee?! (presumably so he can ‘irish’ it up before anyone can judge him)

      3. Was the bison-head thing during the big hair days? Because it could be like one of those illusions where it looks bigger because of the hair…

      • Joe Daly says:

        1. Shagged Heather Locklear; became a hopeless cocaine addict. Hmmm… I guess only the first one is interesting.

        2. Who knew, right? Love the use of “Irish” as a verb for polluting a beverage with alcohol.

        3. Oddly, no- it was in his post-big-hair, new-to-acting days. Apparently he’s just got a big melon. Which raises the question:

        Would you rather have one million dollars, or Jon Bon Jovi’s head full of quarters?

        • James D. Irwin says:

          1. If Heather Locklear is the lady I think she is then I don’t really get all the fuss. But cocaine addiction is boring. Even my aunt had been a cocaine addict, and she never felt it necessary to release a substandard solo album.

          2. Is that use of ‘Irish’ not common in the US? Or were you just stating a fact?

          3. A million dollars = $1 for every face rocked. I’m not sure how many quarters you could fit in JBJ’s skull. Probably not more than one million. Do you get to keep the head?

          The question also reminds me that I’m supposed to be in a band called Jane Austen’s Skull. She’s buried in the cathedral near my university, and a few of my friends and I were discussing 1.) how we might rob her grave 2.) uses for her skull.

          But if we ever make it big we’re going to tell journos we got the name from a mark Twain quote which is something like ‘reading Austen makes you want to dig up her bones and smash open her skull with her own shin bone.’

  11. Lorna says:

    This was hilarious. I offer to help save Jon. He needs us and we can’t be going around giving love a bad name, now can we?

  12. Warning: Not for children or the office.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      I didn’t expect that to be so…

      actually porn.

      Awesome picture. It took me a while spot him amongst all that hair.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      Should probably point out to others:

      Justin’s link does contain porn.

      Vaginas, boobs and and every other orifice you can fit a phallic shape into.

      It’s titty-riffic, but not safe for work.

      My advice: InPrivate browsing. That way it’s just a dirty secret between you and TNB…

  13. TammyALlen says:

    Nice sentiments and I think he truly prefers to rock. But I’m of the Jon the actor fanclub. He is a fantastic actor. His music is perfect. It fullfills a perfect niche. It’s brilliant. But for a man to really blossom comfort zones are to be shattered. He has a lot more to give both on screen and on the radio. I believe he has a song in him that will surprise everyone. I believe has a performance that will blow the socks off us all.

    This I write without my tongue in my cheek. It is honest. I suspect Jon will surprise us when we least expect it.

    A James Irwin script?

    • James D. Irwin says:

      I’ve never seen Jon Bon Jovi act.

      But I don’t doubt that he rocks that too.

      Roger Daltrey is pretty good.

      I would gladly cast Bon Jovi in any script I wrote.

      That’s an open invitation Jon…

  14. Simon Smithson says:

    Jim! I have many things to say about this.

    First: This was awesome. I laughed a whole lot of times.

    Second: I’ll stand by Bon Jovi any day of the week. Here is an overlap of two of my favourite things in the whole world:


    Third: Have you ever read any of John Moe’s pop song correspondences over at McSweeney’s?

    Fourth: What exactly is a six-gun lover, and does it have anything to do with having sex with a revolver?

    • James D. Irwin says:

      1. Thanks.

      2. Dead or Alive now always conjures the memory of the video of you and Zara on the road trip. I love Bon Jovi, but only the hits. I don’t think I could listen to more than five Bon Jovi songs in a row. Mostly because I can’t handle that much awesomeness in such a short time frame, but also because it’s no fun if you don’t know the words.

      3. I have not read any of those, no. And I’m not going to, because I’m still very bitter at the way that they (McSweeney’s) rejected an earlier draft of my post before this. Fucking bastards. So now I just don’t visit their site. Ever. Time only heals wounds if you don’t pick at the scab. Luckily I kept the rejection e-mail in case I ever even think for a moment about forgiving them.

      4. Jon Bon Jovi has six penises. That’s what that means. He calls them ‘guns’ as a metaphor. That’s why his head is so big.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      every time I’ve responded to comments on this post the radio has started playing Bon Jovi.

      It’s getting quite freaky now, because it’s not Bon Jovi FM or anything.

      It was Keep the Faith this time.

  15. JM Blaine says:

    Jon Bon
    is not only
    he is a prophet
    as well –
    he has seen a
    million faces
    –more even!–
    & indeed
    has rocked them


    • James D. Irwin says:

      He has seen more than a million faces since those humble beginnings.

      And I’m sure he’ll see a million or more before his time is through.

  16. Ashley Menchaca (NOLAdy) says:

    I hate that I missed all the fun on the comment boards. Damn shitty internet connection!

    I will also say that I am….er….was Bon Jovi fan. Can’t help it. Catchy lyrics.
    Great post, as usual, Irwin. Sorry it took me so long to comment.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      I know what shitty internet is like! I’m offline after tomorrow morning. Only for a few days though as it turns out.

      Thanks for commenting— better late than never!

      Yeah, Bon Jovi might not be a rock and roll Mozart, but he writes pretty catchy stuff. Sometimes the simple stuff is the best.

  17. […] is a prolific writer of letters: to Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bruce Willis, Jon Bon Jovi, and the editor of Porn Watcher’s Weekly.  To date, none of his would-be correspondents have […]

  18. Gloria says:

    I shit you not – “Wanted Dead or Alive” is currently playing on my Pandora station. This is the first time since 1988 that any Bon Jovi song ever has played on any station I’ve listened to. It can’t be a coincidence, man.

    My face is so rocked right now.

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