Bon Jovi – ‘The Rock History’ (Bootleg) – Album Review

I love finding things I hadn’t seen before and 9 times out of 10 it is a bootleg and this one is no different. I really like to buy vinyl bootlegs the best, but I will grab a CD one when the price is right and I am in the mood and both those factors were in place for this find. The Bon Jovi bootleg, called ‘The Rock History’, is a 4 CD set and the price was only $9.99 and since it was used and the place had a special of buy 2 used get 1 for a $1, my daughter and I got to work. Plus, I get 10% off all purchases on top of anything else since I am a frequent customer. All in All, it probably ended up costing around $7.

As you can see, there are a lot of songs on here and though some repeats, there really isn’t that many duplications. I can’t find out much about this set on line, but I was able to determine a couple things. CD 1 and the first two songs on CD 2 are from a radio broadcast of a show Bon Jovi did at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan on December 31, 1988. The rest of CD 2 and all of CD 3 is from another Japanese show and radio broadcast from the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan on January 3, 1991. The final disc, CD 4, is a mixture of a couple interviews and various live performances that I don’t know where they are from.

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Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi Tour 2011 – Tour Program

Welcome to the next Tour Book in the Bon Jovi Tour Book collection…and I only own two so a small collection at the moment. I didn’t start out collecting Tour Books for Bon Jovi, nope. I was only going to collect the Kiss Tour Books. However, life has a funny way of changing things. While out walking around an antique mall, I found my first Tour Book from the New Jersey Tour. It was cheap, so I bought it. This next one, I was out for Record Store Day on August 29, 2020 and after picking out my RSD vinyl and while I was waiting to check out, I saw another Tour Book for Bon Jovi. The price was right and so there you have it. I now have two and now seem to have started a Bon Jovi collection as well.

This Bon Jovi Tour Book is from the Bon Jovi Live Tour in 2011 in support of their sixth greatest hits compilation which is probably 4 too many as how many do you really need.  The tour went from February 9, 2011 until July 31, 2011 and was around 59 shows between North America and Europe.  It was huge success as most of their tours are and it was interesting one in that Richie Sambora would miss part of it due to having to go to rehab for “exhaustion” and alcoholism.  His replacement for part of the tour was Phil X who would end up replacing him in the long run a couple years later.

The band at the time was still the main four guys (Hugh McDonald was still not a full-time member).

  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Richie Sambora
  • Ticco Torres
  • David Bryan

And the typical setlist was pretty impressive at 24 songs… Continue reading “Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi Tour 2011 – Tour Program”

Bon Jovi – The Brotherhood Tour Book (1988-1990)

Back in the late 80’s, Bon Jovi was huge and on one of the longest tours in their history in support of their multi-platinum selling album ‘New Jersey’.  The tour went to Europe, Asia, North America, Europe again, North America again, Australia and even South America.  It hit everywhere and lasted for over 2 years and over 200+ shows.  Sadly,  I don’t think I actually saw that tour and I am not sure how I would’ve missed that tour either.  Maybe I did and I had so much I fun I can’t remember and I lost my ticket stub (I normally keep all my ticket stubs).

Anyway, the tour set list was usually something like this…

  1. Lay Your Hands On Me
  2. I’d Die For You
  3. Wild in the Streets
  4. You Give Love a Bad Name
  5. Homebound Train
  6. Born to be My Baby
  7. Let It Rock
  8. I’ll Be There For You
  9. Blood on Blood
  10. Get Ready
  11. Livin’ on a Prayer
  12. Never Say Goodbye
  13. Runaway
  14. Ride Cowboy Ride
  15. Wanted Dead or Alive
  16. Bad Medicine

I do, however, have the Tour Book. I found at an an Antique Mall here in Charlotte called Sleepy Poet.  It was cheap at only $7 and in great condition, so I grabbed it. Now you get the pleasure of enjoying it page by page.

What is really cool about this one is it has the song lyrics for all the New Jersey songs as well as the flyer for joining the fan club and buying merchandise is still included.  Here are all the pictures, I hope you enjoy… Continue reading “Bon Jovi – The Brotherhood Tour Book (1988-1990)”

My Sunday Song – “Livin’ On A Prayer” – Bon Jovi

For My  Sunday Song #200 and the final in the Bon Jovi set of 10 songs, we are discussing the classic song, “Livin’ On A Prayer”.  The song is off the band’s mulit-platinum selling album ‘Slippery When Wet’.  The song was the second single off the album and the second to go all the way to #1. The song and the album put Bon Jovi in to super star status and nothing would be the same afterwards.

The song was written by Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi with a lot of help from songwriter Desmond Child who was brought in by the record label to help the boys finish the album and work on some songs.  The song is loosely based on Desmond and his girl-friend as she worked in a Diner, but he was a taxi driver and not working at the docks.  It was that Blue Collar feel to the song that made it resonate with so many people.  It was a time when Bon Jovi actually wrote songs that told a story that connected with people and not try to write just to make a hit.

However, after recording it, Jon didn’t really like the song and wanted to leave it off the album.  Richie thought it was great and convinced Jon to re-work the song.  It was much improved by changing the bass line and recording with Hugh McDonald and not Alec John Such.  Funny thing, Hugh would become a band member less than 10 years later (unofficially of course).  Richie also added a talk box to the guitar to give it that extra boost in the same way Peter Frampton used it and made it famous.  The song was turned in to a complete masterpiece.

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My Sunday Song – “Wanted Dead or Alive”

For My Sunday Song # 199, we are going to discuss one of Bon Jovi’s most popular and famous songs, “Wanted Dead or Alive” off the band’s 1986 album ‘Slippery When Wet’.  The song was the third single from this album and the third to crack the Billboard Hot 100 reaching #7.  The band was on a roll and growing to become one of the world’s biggest rock bands thanks in large part to his song.

The song’s title was inspired by old western movies and Jon thought the lifestyle of a band was similar to that of the outlaws in those movies.  Instead of horses, the band takes the tour bus (which is sort of a large steel horse) from town to town and raping and pillaging in each town…okay not really, but they were getting all the chicks and making tons of money performing, just not stealing it.

That whole cowboy vibe is felt in the music using acoustic guitars as well as electric.  There was a western sound with a hard rock edge and when they do play this as full acoustic, it is drenched in that sitting around the campfire feel telling stories of the road (or old west).  Richie Sambora’s guitar playing on this song spectacular and his background vocals mixed with Jon’s vocals takes this song to the next level.  And Richie’s solo is one of the most memorable he has done and how well it fits in with vibe of the song is magical.  Musically, according to Jon Bon Jovi, the song is inspired by Bob Seger’s song “Turn the Page” and if you listen to the song you hear that the slow driving tempo and groove and seriousness of the song and you can see why it was so inspiring.

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My Sunday Song – “Wild is the Wind” by Bon Jovi

For My Sunday Song #197, we are going to go with a song off Bon Jovi’s New Jersey album called “Wild is the Wind”.  The song was from 1988 and it was never released as a single, but it stuck with me and was one of my favorites on the album.  Like a lot of their albums, the deep cuts can sometimes be better than the actual singles and this was one of those for me.  Next to “Blood on Blood” from the New Jersey album, this is one I go to more than others.

This song seems to be an admission of guilt for Jon as he seems to be feeling bad for not being there for his wife.  It is something deeply imbedded in him that drives him to be on the road all the time.  He feels she would probably do better finding someone else that can give her what she needs because he feels he is failing at that task.  And as much as he lived that rock star lifestyle, I would say he failed quite a bit at giving her what she needed.  In the end, we know how the story ends in real life as he and his wife are still together after all these years.

What I loved about the song is something that was a common theme on the New Jersey songs, it was this cowboy spirit drenched in the music style.  It wasn’t a country twang or anything like that, it was mostly in how the acoustic guitar is used in the songs.  There is this restless feeling in the songs.  Musically, it is a cross between a ballad and just a plain old rock song. It has its slow moments, but rocks out in the end with some damn fine guitar work by Mr. Richie Sambora, the backbone of the band.  Tico Torres has some nice drum fills and great moments as well so I don’t want to leave him out.  Jon sings with all his heart and his emotions on his sleeve like he always did back then (now the new stuff feels like is his just going through the motions, but that is another story for another day).

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My Sunday Song – “Something to Believe In” by Bon Jovi

For My Sunday Song #195, we are diving in to the fantastic song “Something to Believe” off the band’s 1995 underrated album ‘These Days’.  This song was never a single and probably one of the best deep cuts they have on any record.  It really spoke to me and to this day, it means a lot.

The song has been considered anti-religious with lines like “I lost all faith in my God, in his religion too”, but the song is really about fighting back and finding that one thing to hold on to and reach for and to believe in.  I know for me, I have struggled a lot in this world.  There were times I had lost my faith and I still struggle with my belief in religion.  Not with God or Jesus, but organized religion. I see the damage it has caused through the centuries, the charlatans out there wanting your money and our the first ones to sin.  The holier-than-thou Church goers that think cast the first stone and our cheating on their spouses.  The churches that hide the child molesting priest.  I could go on and on and talk about the hypocrisy of it all.   But I won’t.  You get where I am coming from.

So how do you find that one thing to believe in?  I don’t know, but dig deep and it just happens.  I believe in my wife and kids.  My brothers and sisters and those that have always been there. I believe in Jesus and God…BUT…in my own way.  As Jon states, “in a world that gives you nothing, we need something to believe in”.  And with what has going on in the world these last couple months, I think this song holds even more meaning.  Hang in there!  We will get through it and come out the other side even better as we always do.

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My Sunday Song – “Bounce” by Bon Jovi

For My Sunday Song #194, I am picking the 2002 song “Bounce” from the album of the same name.  The song was actually released as the fourth single on June 15, 2003 and only reached #39 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Track chart.  The song was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Billy Falcon.

The song is the typical feel good, inspirational track that Bon Jovi started writing after their big return to the scene with their smash hit “It’s My Life” off their 2000 album.  They would repeat that formula over and over ad nauseum.  So, the song isn’t actually one of their best and really nothing special…so why did I pick it.  Actually, it is for the memory it creates.  It isn’t because it was dedicated to the New England Patriot’s head coach Bill Belichick, which it was.  It is filled with lots of sports analogies so I guess it makes sense.

The memory is from when my girls were really young like 5 and 2 years old. They loved this song with all its energy and the whole “bounce chorus”.  It would come on in the car and we would all sing along especially with that catchy chorus.  They would sing as loud as they could on the Bounce lyrics in the chorus.  It was so much fun. They might not remember those moments, but I will never forget.

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My Sunday Song – “Edge of a Broken Heart” by Bon Jovi

For My Sunday Song #193, we are going back in time and checking out “Edge of a Broken Heart”.  A song written for the ‘Slippery When Wet’ album, but didn’t make it.  It is my favorite song to never make a Bon Jovi studio album.  It did wind up on the movie soundtrack to the horrible movie ‘The Disorderlies’ starring the rap group The Fat Boys. The song was never officially released as a single, but did reach #38 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay songs.  The song did wind up on two Bon Jovi albums, the Special Edition version of ‘Crossroads’ and the box set of ‘100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong’.

The song is the typical 80’s hard rock song.  Full of synths, drums, guitar and even Bon Jovi’s use of the voice box. This was back in a time when the band still wrote great songs that told a story you wanted to hear.  It is about a man who is in love with someone, but she is with someone else.  He is standing on the outside of her life waiting to catch her when she is dumped by the guy she is with.  He will be there to save her.

Musically, Richie’s guitar playing is always top notch and he has such a nice tone.  He delivers a great solo and of course, that voice box is classic Bon Jovi.  Jon sounds so young and he can hit this high notes he only wishes he could still hit.  He is able to convey all the emotions needed for the wonderful story he is telling.  You feel for the guy and are rooting he will win the girl in the end.

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RSO (Richie Sambora & Orianthi) – ‘Radio Free America’ – Album Review

Back in 2013, Richie Sambora met Orianthi and sparks flew, apparently.  The two are an item and now they are putting out music for the masses and it is about time. I love Richie’s vocals and his bluesy, rock style plus he can play the guitar (have you heard of Bon Jovi?).  Orianthi is also one helluva a guitar player herself and she can sing with the best of them.  She has played for Michael Jackson and for Alice Cooper as well as her own solo work.  The two together, I was expecting a bluesy rock album with some amazing guitar work.  Did I get that…well…we will see.

After releasing two E.P.’s in 2017 and a couple singles including one double single, we finally get a full album called ‘Radio Free America’ from RSO (it’s there initials, get it!).  Now here is the problem with that…the full album is all 13 songs previously released with those E.P.’s and singles and only 2 new songs.  That is right, only 2 and one is a cover.  So, if you bought the E.P.’s, you aren’t getting much more.  And to make it worse, it is an album of 15 songs in length (over an hour and 7 minutes).  That is pretty long for an album and you know there will be filler…and trust me there is filler.  I heard they recorded 25 songs, I would like to know where those other 10 songs are.

I have reviewed all the E.P.’s and 2 of the singles previously, but we will compile them here again and make it a full length review adding in the singles I haven’t discussed prior.  We might as well jump in and away we go…

With the opening and title track “Making History” Richie & Orianthi are doing what we wanted them to do.  They are rocking out.  The guitars on this one are exceptional with an almost Def Leppardesque sound from around the “Euphoria” era at times (maybe).  The guitar solo is freaking sensational and it is all I ask from these two.  Of course I have one minor negative on the song.  The vocals are missing something whether it is the chemistry or the mix.  Bob Rock is the producer and he does great work, but I am not a fan of them singing simultaneously.  I prefer them to trade back and forth.

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