Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Review: Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful by Bon Jovi

Here is a summary of Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful from the Harper Collins website:

BON JOVI: WHEN WE WERE BEAUTIFUL is an intimate look at one of America′s most enduringly popular bands after 25 years of hits, fame, tours and troubles. It is the companion to a major documentary to be released in Fall 09 to coincide with the band′s anniversary. The documentary follows the band on their 2008 Lost Highway tour and at home, talking about everything from life on the road and onstage to band members′ own personal crises. 

The book is illustrated with gorgeous new photos and stills from the documentary, providing unprecedented insights into a band that is known for staying away from the media. Archival photographs provide the complete picture of the band′s extraordinary reign at the top of the charts. Jon Bon Jovi is writing an introduction and text throughout the book, and the other band members, including Richie Sambora, are contributing extended captions. This is a unique portrait of rock legends after 25 years together, reflecting on their past as well looking forward to the future.

My Review:
Let me start by saying that if you are a Bon Jovi fan, this is a book that you will want to have on your coffee table.  You can only imagine how tickled pink I was to open this book and find so many full page photographs from the very same concert that I attended in 2008!  This book gives you an honest look into the lives of the band and the path they followed that brought them where they are today.

As they look back at the beginning of their career it seems to me that when they hit it big, they hit it big fast.  Although the stardom I'm sure was fun and exciting for them I think it was also hard having to keep up with such a fast pace.  When they were doing those early tours they didn't even own homes but seemed to just live from hotel to hotel and I can't even imagine that.  I also remember a period of time when you really didn't hear much about Bon Jovi.  This would have been the time when they took a much needed break, and they talk about this time in the book.  It was a tough time for everyone and I think they all seemed to have their own ideas for the future of the band.

It was after this break when Jon approached the members and said that they need to get their minds in order before they can succeed as a band again, and that is when he suggested that they all see a 'shrink'.  Even though they were pretty hesitant about this idea they went through with Jon's suggestion and found it was probably the best thing they could have ever done.  This act put them on a path to better communication and let them realize that they all have different gifts to offer to the band.

Jon shares with us in this book how important it is for him to write songs that move people.  He also shares with us how he wants people to enjoy their songs just as much ten years from now as today.  Here is an excerpt from page 87 that I want to share where Jon talks about his inspiration for the Keep The Faith album that stems from the LA riots after the Rodney King beating:
"Keep the Faith" was a reaction to what we'd witnessed but we intentionally did not get specific.  Hopefully people will understand the power of the lyric and what inspired it but in a year-or ten-it still needs to resonate.  You want things to be timeless and classic.  You want things to be there forever.  So, it's not catering to this generation...it's for all generations.  So we hone the lyric.  We universalize it.

Well I am definitely hoping to see the documentary that this book was made to accompany.  I am probably biased because I have been a Bon Jovi fan since high school in the eighties, but they are still my favorite!  Unfortunately, because of my location I did not have the opportunity to see Bon Jovi live back then.  I wasn't able to go to my first show until a couple of years ago, and I can tell you one thing that I said:  "I will never miss seeing this band again!"  It truly was an amazing concert and if you enjoy their music you will not be disappointed!  They have successfully reached out to all generations because when I looked around that arena I saw ages of people that ranged fifty years.  And I also want to say that they put on the best show that I have ever seen!  I can't wait to see them in concert tonight!

So I think you can tell from my review that I enjoyed this book, and if you enjoy Bon Jovi I think you will also.  So I'm curious-Do you have a favorite Bon Jovi song?  My favorite is from a few years ago-Have a Nice Day!

My Rating: 5/5

Disclosure:  This book was provided to me from Janina from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review.

10 comments:

Kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...

What an AMAZING book!
You know I LOVE Bon Jovi!!!!
BTW, I'm still waiting to hear how much you loved the concert!!

I forgot to add that my favorite Bon Jovi songs are...Livin' on a Prayer (of course), I'll Be There for You and a new favorite Love's The Only Rule.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

LOL - I've been a BonJovi fan since a teen in the 80's! Dear Lord, we are getting old...

Does it mention anything Jon did as an actor or when he owned the Arena Football team?

carolsnotebook said...

Add me to the "loved Bon Jovi in the 80s" list. I haven't really listened to much since then, though.

bermudaonion said...

I've heard of Bon Jovi, but I can't think of a single one of their songs. I'm sure I've heard some of them, but I'm obviously not a big fan. I do like memoirs though, so I might enjoy this.

The Lawver's said...

Great review girl but not surprising! My fav song is "I'll be there for You"...and I also like the duet with Leann Rimes "Till we Ain't strangers anymore"...so HOT HOT HOT!

lilly said...

Lol! You definitely loved the book, but then again how can you not if you're a Bon Jovi fan.

Serena said...

I love Bon Jovi, particularly the older songs!

Tribute Books said...

fan of Bon Jovi,must get the book.

Anna said...

I'll have to get my hands on this one at some point. I've loved Bon Jovi since I was a kid. My favorite songs are their earlier ones. "Wild Is the Wind," "Love Lies," "Only Lonely," and "Silent Night." I haven't listened to much of their newer stuff, I'm sad to stay. Maybe I should start!

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric