Foo Fighters, Jon Bon Jovi Lead Joe Biden ‘I Will Vote’ Concert

If you’re looking for some music tonight (Oct. 25) and are interested in helping out the Democratic campaign, you can catch Foo Fighters, Jon Bon Jovi and an eclectic lineup of artists taking part in the “I Will Vote” fundraiser.

The event, hosted by George Lopez and Ana Navarro, is helping to support the Biden / Harris presidential ticket as well as Democrats across the country.

As stated, Foo Fighters are one of the main acts performing. They state via Twitter, “Music has the power to change the world. So does voting. Join us and many other performers for a concert to support @JoeBiden, @KamalaHarris and Democrats down the ballot. Sign up here: http://joebiden.com/concert.”

The lineup also includes: A$AP Ferg, Sara Bareilles, Aloe Blacc, Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Hudson, Jon Bon Jovi, Cher, Ciara, Darren Criss, Andra Day, Jermaine Dupri, NE-YO, Johnta Austin and Friends, Macy Gray, John Legend, Dave Matthews, P!nk, Ben Platt and more.

Special guests for the event include Joe and Jill Biden, Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff, plus La La Anthony, Jaime Camil, Margaret Cho, Whoopi Goldberg, Armie Hammer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Helen Mirren, Maren Morris, Billy Porter, Amy Schumer, will.i.am, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness and more.

The concert takes place tonight (Oct. 25) at 8PM ET at the joebiden.com/concert website and can be viewed with a donation.

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Richie Sambora Not Counting Out a Return to Bon Jovi

Richie Sambora has said he’s not counting out a return to Bon Jovi, the band he performed with for 30 years before ultimately parting ways with frontman Jon Bon Jovi in 2013.

However, the guitarist noted that it would have to be a “special situation” for him to rejoin the rock group. And recent comments from Mr. Bon Jovi that appeared to paint Sambora in a negative light certainly don’t seem to be helping the case. So what will take to get the two rockers back together?

A change of circumstances might be the likely answer. Even so, when Bon Jovi figuratively leaves the door open for Sambora’s return, the singer still seems to place blame on the guitarist. Like when he said in an interview last month that he wished “Richie had his life together and was still in the band.”

That remark didn’t sit well with the guitarist.

“When people say I don’t have my life together — are you kidding me?” Sambora replied to the Daily Mail last week (Oct. 16). “I’m the happiest dude on the block.”

Elsewhere in the chat, when asked about a possible Bon Jovi reunion, the guitarist said, “It would have to be a special situation for me to go back, but I’m certainly not counting it out. I have no malice toward that band.”

Still, it’s been a long seven years since Sambora last performed with Bon Jovi, save for a one-off guest appearance in 2018. But while Mr. Bon Jovi has alluded to other causes for Sambora’s 2013 departure, the guitarist himself said he just had to get off the road to spend more time with his family.

“Obviously it hurts and you know, breaking up is hard to do,” Sambora explained. “I was in a situation and it was not easy to make that decision to leave the band and the fans. … I was in a dire situation with my family, and I had to make a tough decision and I did and I’m sure people weren’t happy about it.”

All that said, any bad blood between the two could be water under the bridge if the rockers ever reunite. And for Sambora, it seems like a return to Bon Jovi could be a very real possibility.

“We’ve had our ups and downs throughout the years as any married couple have,” the guitarist said of the singer. “Jon and I spent more time together than we spent with our families because him and I wrote the songs.”

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Why Bon Jovi Needed Help After ‘New Jersey’

Jon Bon Jovi explained why it was essential that Bon Jovi “found help” after the success of two career-making albums, Slippery When Wet and New Jersey.

The group found itself suffering from burnout in 1988, but the singer said they made the right decisions to avoid destroying their futures.

“I remember when we were young and Slippery When Wet was our Thriller or Like A Virgin, right?” Bon Jovi told GQ in a recent interview. “I remember us saying we haven’t changed. But everyone around us had. Even our parents looked at us for answers at that point, because we’d become famous. … We were like, ‘That’s fucking weird.’

He noted that “what burned us out after the New Jersey album was having back-to-back huge albums and doing 240-show tours. … I don’t blame the managers, agents and lawyers and stuff that kept us working, because it’s been repeated by every successful band at that point in your career. You either fall backwards and it’s over, or you figure it out and you go forward.

“We found help after New Jersey and [took] a couple of years off to realize that it wasn’t us, it was it. We regrouped and we did Keep the Faith, and we ran on. Guns N’ Roses took 25 years to have another record, right? They went back and fell off the precipice, and we went forward.”

Bon Jovi also recalled getting too close to the world of excess, which he’s tried to avoid all his life. “When I dabbled with having a house in Malibu, Calif., I said, ‘We gotta go,’” he said. “‘It was all around me. And now either those people are dead or divorced, or drug addicts, mental institutions or all kinds of stories, you know? This ain’t for me, it’s gotta go.”

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Why Jon Bon Jovi ‘Won’t Ever Go Back to the City of Buffalo’

There was a time when Jon Bon Jovi was ready to become a permanent fixture in Buffalo, N.Y., but a negative experience – spurred by Donald Trump – led the rocker to vow he’d never set foot in the city again.

It was 2014 when the NFL’s Buffalo Bills were up for sale. Bon Jovi, an ardent football fan, was part of a group bidding to purchase the team. Trump was also eyeing the franchise, but he knew he’d be unable to match the financial might of the rocker and his Toronto-based partners.

As reported by GQ, Trump enlisted the help of Republican strategist Michael Caputo to create a grassroots campaign against Bon Jovi. Their main claim, that the rocker planned to move the team from Buffalo to Canada.

“I can tell you, I swear to you on a stack of Bibles, because I had to have this hardy conversation with the two partners: ‘We’re not gonna get this unless we keep this here,’” Bon Jovi recalled in a 2020 interview, insisting the plan was to always keep the Bills in Buffalo. “I was calling the town councilman, telling him, ‘I’m moving to Buffalo, New York!’”

Trump’s plan worked, to a certain degree. Fans of the team turned against the rocker, with a group called “12th Man Thunder” springing up to host anti-Bon Jovi events. In the end, the musician and his partners would not get the Bills, but neither would Trump. Terry Pegula, a local businessman and owner of the Buffalo Sabres NHL team, purchased the franchise for $1.4 billion.

Bon Jovi still calls the experience “one of the biggest disappointments” of his life. “I won’t ever go back to the city of Buffalo,” the singer asserted. “You will never see my face in Buffalo ever. I have knocked it off the map.”

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How the Events of 2020 Changed Bon Jovi’s ‘2020’ Album: Interview

In March 2019, Bon Jovi headed to Nashville with a collection of songs and an album title: 2020. Jon Bon Jovi figured the title would be cheeky, great for a bumper sticker or T-shirt. But 2020 turned out to be a hell of year, and 2020 evolved into the most thoughtful, topical and passionate LP the band has ever released.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee has never dug as deep into the American experience as he does on 2020. The recently released album features songs about the COVID-19 crisis (“Do What You Can”), veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (“Unbroken”), politics driving divisions (“Blood in the Water”), gun violence (“Lower the Flag”) and the killing of George Floyd (“American Reckoning”).

Jon Bon Jovi spoke to UCR about wanting to bear witness to history and to relate to listeners what’s happening in the streets of cities and small towns across the country.

You had 2020 pretty much wrapped up with a tour in place, then COVID hit. How did tour plans and the album release change because of lockdown? 
When the lockdown happened, I canceled the tour outright because, in my eyes, the idea of postponing a tour and having a promoter hold on to the money for a year or 18 months [didn’t work]. I thought people were going to need money for rent and credit cards. Promoters don’t need to be holding onto that money for a year. It was pretty evident that if we put a record out in March, April or May that people’s attention was going to be elsewhere. It was common sense to postpone the release of the record.

But you didn’t just postpone the record, you swapped out songs. You added “Do What You Can” and then “American Reckoning” following the death of George Floyd, and the tone of the record shifted some. How did “American Reckoning” go from idea to song? 
During the lockdown, I was watching the morning news and I was so taken with the death of George Floyd and his friend talking about him dying and calling out for his mom. My eyes welled up. I went and I worked very hard on “American Reckoning,” and then I realized I could take two songs off the record and really have a different understanding of what 2020 meant as a piece of art, as my presentation to the world.

Watch the Video for Bon Jovi’s ‘American Reckoning’

Have you ever written songs like this before? Have you ever seen something in the world that bothered you and immediately responded to it? I think for a lot Bon Jovi fans, some of these tracks will feel like something new from you. 
I think I have written like this, but as an innocent 21-year-old when I wrote “Runaway” [Bon Jovi’s breakout hit in 1984]. When I was lucky enough to get off the bus and walk 15 blocks to the recording studio, the other kids stayed in the bus station or worked the streets around there. So there was a socially conscious song lyrically, “She’s a little runaway” and “See you out on the streets.” Now, I was 21, so it was a much more innocent lyric, but you can’t completely say I had no knowledge of what was going on around me.

You also came out of a more innocent time and place in America.  
The difference between me and Bono growing up in Dublin is I didn’t have the Orangemen walking through the streets in July. We were living in suburban New Jersey and it wasn’t too bad. In fact, it was pretty good.

How was the New Jersey you grew up in different from the world that your four kids have grown up in?  
When I was born, John Kennedy was the president and he was telling my parents their kids could go to the moon. And when I was of age, Ronald Reagan was the president saying, “Rah rah, we should have two cars in every driveway, and isn’t America wonderful?” I grew up in a different viewpoint – one of optimism and big dreams. My kids grew up at a time when their peers were wondering if the world was going to catch on fire or flood. My hope, my prayer, is that my kids’ generation is the one that says “enough” – that says, “We’re going to be the innovators, the creators, the ones who look past silly differences like color.” I think they’re going to be the ones to do that.

When you were a kid, nobody was worried about school shootings, especially in suburban New Jersey. But you have four kids who have all grown up and gone to school during the epidemic of mass shootings. How did you write “Lower the Flag,” which directly addresses how bad the epidemic is. 
That song came to me on a weekend when I went to bed knowing about [the Aug. 3, 2019, shooting at a Walmart in] El Paso and was moved by it. When I woke up in the morning, there was a shooting in Dayton, Ohio, and I thought, “No no no, it was in El Paso, I went to bed thinking of El Paso.” I came to find out there was another one just in the time while I was sleeping. And if you remember the summer of ‘19, they were coming often. Orlando, El Paso, Vegas – they all seem to be back-to-back-to-back. And the story is between sports and the weather on the news, and it kind of moved me in such a way that we were becoming numb to it. People have empathy, but they could turn off the channel and get on with their lives and not have to address it. But having been in New Jersey for Hurricane Sandy and 9/11, you know when tragedy hits in your backyard, you’re unable to turn off the channel because it’s around you 24/7.

“Blood in the Water” speaks to our age of angry, cruel politics. What are your hopes, not just for the election, but for the tone of politics in the future? 
It’s a scary time in America because of this division and derision. First and foremost, let’s say that 40 percent of Americans didn’t vote [in 2016], which is just wrong. We have the ability to have our voices heard. Whoever you are, we are all equal and your vote really does matter. Whoever you want in that seat, you can have in that seat, go and pick them. With that said, regardless of who’s in, the only thing that I wish would happen is healing, because I’m afraid right now. Families are divided, neighbors and neighborhoods are divided. When one of the candidates says, “That’s a blue state. I’m turning my back on it” or “That’s a red state, I’ll never get elected there.” Christ, how’s that going to endear you to anybody? You got to go out and say, “We’re all in this together.” That’s my hope. That’s my only hope.

Watch the Video for Bon Jovi’s ‘Blood in the Water’

The songs on 2020 are good examples of how your priorities have changed as you’ve grown up.  You’ve become more engaged in social and economic issues. You have plenty of success, you could just sit back and not do any of this charity work.
I’m not that cliche, I never was and I refuse to be now. When we started the Soul Foundation some 15 years ago, it wasn’t what rock stars did to endear themselves to their audience. We started that Foundation because one night, looking out of a hotel room, I saw a man sleeping on the grate to keep warm outside of City Hall in Philadelphia, and I said to my best friend, who was born and raised there, “You’ve got to find me someone working on homelessness issues that can give me some advice on how I can help.” Little did I know that the Michael Jordan of the homeless issue, Sister Mary Scullion and Project Home, were based in Philly. Everything I learned I learned from Sister Mary, and now we have built nearly 1,000 units of affordable housing and we have three JBJ Soul Kitchens. I worked at, and I got a hernia operation out of working at [Laughs], this food bank we funded. This journey has been genuine and it’s been long.

Now that the album is out, have you thought about, when it’s safe to go back on the road, how these new songs will mix into a set list of your old hits? 
If it was up to me I’d have all 10 songs in the show. [Laughs] My audience has been so wonderful and they know that they are always going to hear five or six songs off of a new record. And obviously I want to play “Living on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive” every night, but my fans are accepting of the new records. And while they may not be on Top 40 radio, the albums still always come in at No. 1. We’ve been blessed to stay pretty current for a kind of classic, vintage band. We are in that rarefied air with a handful of guys that I always looked up to who still make No. 1 records and want to write new songs.

Have you thought about doing a few theaters and doing all songs from 2020 in 2021? 
That was my intention. With the last album in 2016 [This House Is Not for Sale], I did a night on Broadway, a night in the West End, a night in Toronto. We did a bunch of theaters for one night only and played the album in its entirety and I could tell the story of the record. That was intended for this one because I enjoyed it so much.

How have you worked to get the album out there when you can’t tour? 
An opportunity arose a month ago to do the iHeartRadio Music Festival. And normally I would have said, “Thanks, I appreciate the support, but not this time,” but said, “Wait a minute, you’re going to take us to a television studio and record just us doing two songs for your show.” They said yes and I said, “Can we have the studio when you’re done?” They said yes, so I told the band to make sure it knew the entire new album because we’re going to capture it on film. So we did, and even if it’s only on social media, at least I will have the opportunity to share the premise of all the songs and the album in its entirety.

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Jon Bon Jovi Wishes Richie Sambora ‘Had His Life Together’

Jon Bon Jovi said he still wished Richie Sambora was a member of Bon Jovi, but argued that there was a positive side to his absence.

The guitarist failed to appear for a tour in 2013, leading to rumors that he’d been fired, although the frontman said his old friend had “quit.” After a period of acrimony the pair settled their differences, although Sambora did not return. He later said he’d been unhappy with how Bon Jovi led the band for many years, while the leader claimed Sambora’s “life choices” had “led him astray.”

Asked in a new interview if there was anything he might have done differently in his career, Bon Jovi told Rock Antenne (via BraveWords): “Very few things – honest to God, very few things. Some things happened that were the catalyst for why other good things happened, you know?” He continued: “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish that Richie had his life together and was still in the band… in a weird way it’s because of his inability to get it together anymore that we went on and wrote This House Is Not For Sale.”

He described the band’s 2016 album as “a very strong record” and suggested that his feelings on Sambora contributed to his ability “to write songs like this.” He added: “Maybe we would have gotten lazy… I don’t know where we would have gone, but through all that pain and heartbreak came this.”

In a separate interview, Bon Jovi reflected that the Superman logo tattoo on his arm had come to represent the experiences his band had lived through over the years. “It’s all worn to shit, but it’s still on my shoulder, yeah,” he told Rolling Stone. “When I got it in 1986, ’87, it was to signify Superman. But, really, it was for Slippery When Wet — I had achieved that superhero moment and if it’s all over after this, we’ve gone to that highest place. Now the ’S’ probably stands for ‘survivor.’ It’s faded, it’s beat-up – I don’t ever want to get it recolored or any of that kind of stuff. But Lord knows, we’ve really survived.

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Bon Jovi Joins Jennifer Nettles for Revamped ‘Do What You Can’

Bon Jovi has again teamed with Jennifer Nettles, frontwoman of the country band Sugarland, this time for an updated version of “Do What You Can.”

The single, originally released by Bon Jovi back in April, details America’s ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. With lyrics discussing social distance, PPE and frontline responders, the song touches on many topics which have become commonplace in 2020 society. Still, “Do What You Can” strikes an uplifting tone, it’s chorus praising the unbreakable human spirit:

“When you can’t do what you do / You do what you can / This ain’t my prayer, it’s just a thought I’m wanting to send / ‘Round here we bend but don’t break / Down here, we all understand / When you can’t do what you do / You do what you can.”

With Nettles in the fold, the updated version of “Do What You Can” boasts a new country twang. The singer trades vocal parts with Jon Bon Jovi, while fiddle and banjo highlight a broadened musical arrangement.

“As I finished the mix and did the video [for the album version], I said, ‘Boy, this song would have such crossover potential,’” Jon Bon Jovi explained to Rolling Stone. “Jennifer was my first choice, and she said yes.”

The music video, featuring a masked Bon Jovi exploring the city if New York, also received an update. Nettles is now added throughout the clip, including a rousing performance high atop a Big Apple building. Watch the video for the new version of “Do What You Can” below.

This isn’t the first time that Bon Jovi and Nettles have collaborated. The two famously teamed in 2006 on the song “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Chart and earned both artists a Grammy Award.

Bon Jovi’s upcoming album 2020 – featuring the original version of “Do What You Can” – is due for release Oct. 2.

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