August 19, 1989, Milton Keynes Bowl, New Jersey Tour. Europe, Vixen, Skid Row. I bought the t-shirt & I’m wearing it today as I head off to see Bon Jovi once again. This time it’s June 8, 2013 and the ticket is an early 40th birthday present from my brother. Back then, 24 years ago, I was a kid with a hunger for rock n roll and an eye for a party. Not all that much has changed!
Three years earlier an impressionable young choirboy heard Livin’ on a Prayer for the first time. Until then, I’d grown up listening to dad’s trad. Irish Clancy Brothers & Dubliners records plus the odd bit of the great poetic songwriters & storytellers; Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen etc. I owned three records: Shakin’ Stevens Pink album, Billy Joel An Innocent Man and Madonna’s Like a Virgin. I was primed & ready to find my place musically and that one song, over and above any other, was the one that caught my heart and mind.
It was a simple combination I guess. The lyrics told a story like most of the other stuff I’d grown up on, the video was a bunch of guys having a great time, there were hot chicks involved, and a lung bursting chorus that I’ve never quite been able to properly sing along to! I was hooked.
There was a show on BBC2 called No Limits that played all of this American, middle of the road, storytelling rock and I loved it all. Still do. The magazines that wrote about these bands were Kerrang! and Metal Hammer and for a short while RAW. These mags quickly nudged me to expand my music collection and so Def Leppard, Maiden, Metallica and all of the exciting heavier music that was about then became my thing. I grew my hair long and became the rocker that I remain to this day.
It can all be traced back to that one song. The fact that BJ are still up there, bringing out new music and still filling stadiums is fabulous, they’ve matured as I have but they can still rock out with the best of them. So thanks Jim n Jo for the tix for today. Thanks Jon, Richie et al for the music. I’m still here, still believing in dreams, still Livin’ on a Prayer. And I’ve got the tee shirt to prove it 🙂