I remember it clearly, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the first time I heard this song playing on the tape recorder at my friend’s house. I was not even a teenager.
My friend’s older brother tended to listen to rock music and sing along as he listened. My minor childhood crush on him made me pay attention to a lot of the things he did. I thought he was awesome!
But that evening I was distracted from his off-key and frog like croaking which till that day I thought was so cool. The music was good, catchy. The guitaring sounded great. And, the male voice sounding out of the player was something else.
I listened for a while, swept away so completely by it. It took me to another world where I literally saw Tommy wandering around the docks looking for work, while Gina, tired and exhausted waited on tables in a greasy roadside diner. They needed to survive this cold, cruel world together and they were trying their damnedest. It was all so helpless and frustrating, but hey, they were doing it for love.
So of course being an adolescent and all, I fell in love with the whole idea of Tommy and Gina who were Livin’ on a Prayer and not much else. And I fell in love with Jon Bon Jovi.
He will always be my first true love.
My husband accepted that fact better than any of my exes did, and that’s why I married him.
The walls of my bedroom needed no paint because they were plastered with Bon Jovi posters. I had one life-sized one of Jon himself, from head to toes, all tight leather, boots, leopard print scarf and long dirty blond hair. I’d blow him a kiss when I left for school, I’d come back home, slot in the tape of my favorite New Jersey album and hum along to Blood on Blood while I did my homework, I developed a thing for blue eyes and dirty blond hair which I eventually outgrew. I also developed a love for boots which has lasted till now.
In my house it’s a well known fact that if my mood’s off, it will return to cheerful very quickly if Bon Jovi is playing on the stereo.
The huz ruthlessly exploits that weakness of mine.
He has also taught my children to exploit it.
The boys from Jersey are also one of my greatest influences and inspirations when I write. And especially if I write a deep, dark and complicated character with severe emotional issues and a pathetically heartbreaking love life.
In the playlist today are a few of my favourite Bon Jovi songs from way back when.
Classics. For the lyrics, for Jon’s amazing vocals, and not to mention the incredible Richie Sambora on guitar.
If you have a favourite Bon Jovi song (or many) let me know, and I’ll blow you lots of kisses.