Jon Bon Jovi is a man I once thought was the epitome of a Rock god. Everything he did, everything he said, everything he sung had me in a state of unhealthy worship. For my sins I tried to act like him and even, more worryingly I tried to look like him.
Jon Bon Jovi: Fairytale Of New York
Words: Brian Boyle
Jeans were ripped much to my parents dismay, biker jacket with a PLO scarf, topped off with a bandana (which in truth was one of my mothers headscarves) brought the look very near, well in my head anyway. And during the summer holidays whilst free from the shackles of secondary school protocol, I could grow my hair long and go full JBJ.
I even bought the odd girls teen magazine if it had a poster in it and once broke the tuning dial on the record player after spending five hours looking for ‘Livin On A Prayer’ on the radio.
After a while the obsession waned and a more mature respect took over.
I watched as they conquered the universe on The Jersey Syndicate World Tour and took Grunge head on with the ‘Keep The Faith’ and ‘These Days’ albums.
But after that I felt a major creative slide, the albums were not packing the same punch, although there was sporadic genius moments like ‘Have A Nice Day’ and ‘It’s My Life’.
Now politically aware and a very shrewd businessman, but the Bon Jovi experience is a very different one. Gone is the fulcrum that was Richie Sambora and Tico Torres and David Bryan have faded deeper into the background. There was a violin player at one stage, now there is a chancer playing the bleeding bongos.
On the live front they are still a great night out, although the hired guns do most of the heavy vocal lifting. As respected as he is amongst his peers and rightly so, more recently he seems to be losing the run of himself both musically and geographically.
His recent claim that Bono was the subject of threats of violence from Protestant Orangemen when growing up in North Dublin was ill founded bile of Trump proportions, obviously not knowing that the Orange Order are based over 100 miles away and some would say in a different country.
But now he has totally outdone himself in spectacular fashion by callously executing The Pogues/Kirsty MacColl’s 1987 Christmas classic ‘Fairytale Of New York’.
And if you have heard it, I am afraid it was not a bad dream, it’s not April Fools Day and not part of a Comic Relief campaign.
This heinous crime and act of complete lunacy really happened.
And there is absolutely no defending it. The vocals sound like they were sang through a snorkel while dancing on hot coals, the violin grates like it was strung with fishing line and his pronunciation of Galway Bay would be offensive to any self respecting Irishman.
Under no circumstances should he be allowed do anything like this again, otherwise his next reign of terror could be ‘Nessun Dorma’ or even worse ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
Jon Bon Jovi, you are one of the greatest frontmen that music has seen. You have continuously brought joy to millions, and your work for the under privileged in New Jersey with the JBJ Soul Kitchen shows you are one of the good guys.
But this is way out of your jurisdiction. It is now on your CV that you have recorded something worse than Ronan Keating and unless you hop in a DeLorean that will be forever embedded in music history.
We have had enough pain in 2020, so do us a favour Jon, get back on your steel horse, keep givin’ love a bad name and give us doses of your dodgy medicine.
That is what you have been put on earth to do. And maybe look in the mirror and realise that you are not Bruce Springsteen.