Make no mistake. When it comes to Bon Jovi, I’m a die-hard. I love the band and I love the man. When Bon Jovi is on television, my phone rings off the hook with friends making certain I don’t miss it. My facebook wall is occasionally littered with Bon Jovi events and if I have control over the car audio, Bon Jovi is going to be there.
Now Rich Bozzett, original band manager (1983-1989), creates the book, Sex, Drugs and Bon Jovi. It’s a bookamentry (okay, I made the word up, but it fits) about the band’s early years. Those crazed 1980s when they were trying to break into the industry and then their rise to the top and the sad break up.
It’s life on the road and we know it wasn’t all glorious because we have the song “Wanted: Dead or Alive” whose lyrics portray a very tired and lackluster life. Everyone starts somewhere and this book takes you on the inside from Bon Jovi being an unknown, through the first performances as an opening act for a few hundred lucky folks into the world of superstardom performing for millions!
Bozzett states that “Jon has never wanted to talk about the early years, but now his fans can finally read–and see through never-before-released photographs–what life on the road was like…As tour manager, I lived with the band and saw it all–from the incredible fan support to how Jon and the band dealt with the drugs, alcohol and sex that were all part of that world.”
I’ve given great thought to this statement and perhaps its the Mother Hen in me, but I remember the 1980s…Jon and the band were always on MTV giving interviews. I also recall the break up between Jon and Dorthea in the mid-1980s, around the release of Slippery When Wet. He dated Diane Lane. There were rumors buzzing that the break up was over infidelities and drugs. Then there’s always the term “rock n roll”.
I enjoyed this book, seeing where the band came from and the events that made their moral compass in their personal life as well as their life as a band. It’s not bread and butter, there’s some grit here. It’s common knowledge there was drug use, but what about the part where Bozzett links the band to one of the nation’s largest cocaine and marijuana drug smuggling operations at the time–resulting in run-ins with airline security and the D.E.A. Is it truth or did someone just want to enjoy the strip searches of Jon?
This book is filled with pictures–both color and black and white. Many of the pictures I have never seen, if you can believe that!
I don’t know that I believe everything written between the covers of Sex, Drug and Bon Jovi. I’m sure there’s a thread of truth in it all. I’m not so enamored that I don’t acknowledge that at 22 years of age, we all tend to make poor choices at one time or many times. Add to this the success factor and you have the makings of life in the fast lane.
If nothing else, this book proves to me that Bon Jovi is one of the hardest-working bands out there. They have survived because they have learned from mistakes. They are real people, to the core, doing what it is they love.
Check the book out for yourself, it’s available at www.sexdrugsandbonjovi.com and can also be purchased at www.amazon.com. You can read the first chapter for free through Amazon if you want to get a feel for it.
I read the book. It was not provided to me, nor did I receive compensation of any kind for this post.