Jon Bon Jovi is a survivor in an entertainment industry where fame is far more fleeting today than it was in the 1960s, ‘70s or even the 80s, Had Zsa Zsa Gabor passed away twenty years ago it would have been more than a footnote and headline on Yahoo – the woman who fought the “Queen from Outer Space” missed more ink due to her longevity. Bon Jovi has somehow stayed relevant decades after his bursting onto the scene and author Bryan Reesman goes to great lengths to show the reasons why.
This gorgeous coffee table picture book gives an objective look at the rise to stardom, and tells it in a way that is both compelling and easy to absorb. With headlines and paragraphs in bold large print to emphasize key elements of “the Story,” publisher Sterling (a division of Barnes and Noble) has issued for fans of the iconic rocker something worth holding on to. When David Dalton issued his 1972 Janis (on Janis Joplin,) and 1971’s Rolling Stones: An Unauthorized Biography in Words and Pictures they were the first of their kind, huge tomes devoted to these magical artists who broke down the barriers, creating a path for future generations to follow. Reesman goes even further with information on the plethora of Bon Jovi tribute bands flourishing on a scene where even groups like Foreigner, Journey and the Guess Who no longer have key members from the days of their hit recordings. Those acts have become the tributes to what they were, while Bon Jovi remains the voice that actually appeared on the recordings. Something noted by Burton Cummings of the Guess Who in Boston when he performed with Peter Cetera of Chicago on the Esplanade.
The photographs are dynamic, especially posters from the early days, and by highlighting each album with its producers, engineers and tracks makes this a superb reference book for those who have a passion for rock and roll history. The two hundred and eight pages are jam packed with information which Reesman compiles in a sort of “extended liner notes” format, which is what appreciation societies relish. Reesman wrote liners for Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and AC/DC, so that experience works to the advantage of Bon Jovi: The Story.
Bryan Reesman will be appearing at Carroll’s Restaurant, Medford on Wednesday afternoon/early evening 5:30 – 7:30 PM December 21 to discuss his book on public access television program Visual Radio. It’s part of a new series at Carroll’s featuring authors. Total Patriots writer Bob Hyldburg is scheduled for the third Wednesday in January, the 18th with more to follow. For more information contact Carroll’s Restaurant at 781 395 3344.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.