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2003-01-28 3:40 a.m.

Recently, a concerned reader posted in my guestbook and asked why I never wrote about him. He posted that his name was Jon Bon Jovi; he left his web address as

Of course, I seriously doubt that Jon Bon Jovi reads my web page. But, it doesn't matter if that person is the real Bon Jovi or not because he has a point. I just don't write about Jon Bon Jovi anymore. This might be because I have never written about Bon Jovi before.

So today I will write about Bon Jovi.

When I was younger, I used to go to a lot of concerts with my mom. She always told me how much she loved music. But, in hindsight it seems that more than anything she just loved concerts. She never listened to recorded music, but she bought concert tickets almost weekly. Before the age of 12 I had seen Metallica, Van Halen, Santana, The Rolling Stones, Prince and the Revolution, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman, and countless others.

So, it seemed like a normal weekend to find myself at the Oakland Coliseum or the Shoreline Ampitheater, smashed into a crowded ocean of thousands of drunk people—all of them at least double my age.

On one Friday night in 1987 (or was it 1986? 1988?), my mom took me to see Cinderella and Bon Jovi at the Shoreline Ampitheater. We even had pretty good seats—this was back when it was still possible for the average person to get acceptable seats for concerts without coughing up hundreds of dollars to scalpers.

I loved concerts. This was a time in my life when music was mystical, magical. There did not yet exist words in my vocabulary to describe music's profound effect on my young feelings and thoughts. But, this was an especially important concert for me for two reasons. First of all, Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet album was one of the first 10 or 15 records I owned. So, the songs on it made a big impression on me. Cinderella's Night Songs was the first actual CD I ever owned. My father bought it for me for Christmas.

The most spectacular image in my fading memory of this evening was when Jon Bon Jovi attached himself to a cable and soared out over the audience. I knew it was just a cable, but it seemed like he was flying—like the woman dressed as Tinkerbell flew across the sky at Disneyland. He landed on a mini–stage right by our seats. He sang a verse of a song from there and then flew back. I think my mom commented on his butt. That was the sort of thing my mom was always doing.

Aside from that I don't remember much about the concert except that the bands were great, they played all my favorite songs, and everyone had really big hair. I never understood really big hair, even when it was all the rage. And, I remember looking at all the fluffy, towering spires of feathered hair and wondering what it was that these people knew that I was not privy to. Luckily, all the big hair became extinct before I could find out. Whew.

The next day, I got to come back to the Shoreline to see another concert. Two of my favorite bands of all time were playing together: The Beastie Boys were opening for Run DMC. What a strange change of pace from the previous night's huge hair, tight jeans, Bon Jovi hard rock experience!

So, let it never be said again that I don't write about Bon Jovi.