Destination Anywhere: The Day I Met Jon Bon Jovi on National Television

I kept sneaking glances at my cell phone one morning during my college journalism class. There was no way I could concentrate as I awaited a call from my best friend as she was interning on  the Last Call with Carson Daly TV show. The guest that day was Jon Bon Jovi—our favorite musician—and there was a tiny chance that we would become part of the show. Our secret was out.

Once the producers heard that my friend and I were super Bon Jovi fans, they asked us to gather all our memorabilia and bring it to the studio. That included an album of photos I took at each concert I snuck my camera into the venue. Except the photos weren’t of the band. They were the backs of people’s heads. Turns out it’s not too easy to take photos of your favorite band on stage when you’re a short high schooler or college student. Each time I dropped off a roll of film to get developed, we waited with anticipation to see all the “amazing” shots I got from the front of the pit. But we were crushed each time the photos came back black from the stage lights.

The worst were the times we actually met Jon and took photos with him. I swear, my camera was cursed. The middle of the night my friend’s parents took us to New York City (perk of living in New Jersey) to watch Jon film the “Midnight in Chelsea” music video for his solo album, Destination Anywhere. The time we met him in broad daylight outside the David Letterman show. All core moments of our lives at the time and not one photo came out!

 

Jon Bon Jovi holding my photo album on Last Call with Carson Daly

The Last Call producers liked this story and invited us to be a part of the segment. When I got the phone call, I left class and rushed on a bus to NYC wearing an outfit I regret to this day but for some reason thought I should look fancy to go on TV. Note: leave the sheer bellbottom shirts hanging in your closet.

Oh. My. Gosh. Our dreams were coming true!

The day was magical. Although the segment poked fun at our fandom, something beyond our wildest dreams happened. My friend and I were put behind a barricade and during the episode, Carson quizzed us on Bon Jovi questions. Then, Carson and Jon laughed over my photo album as they flipped through the photos. And finally, we got called up on stage to meet Jon and get our coveted picture with him. As part of the joke, Carson used a Polaroid camera and cut our heads off the picture. But by the end, I left with a kiss from Jon on my cheek and a cherished photo to frame.

As I watch the new documentary, Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story, on Hulu, I’m taken back to those days when I dreamed big. My love of music started the day I found the Bon Jovi Crossroads tape in my mom’s car. This was a band from my home state of NJ that made it big by chasing their dreams and that inspired me.

 

I didn't even realize this happened until I watched it on TV!

I had a rough life growing up, but listening to music and going to concerts was my escape. It transported me to a place where my worries didn’t exist. I dreamed of working with the bands I loved and being part of their stories. I wanted to be on the teams that brought music to the people and helped bring joy to their lives.

Back in high school when I was an editor at the school newspaper, I made the theme of the last issue our senior year “Never Say Goodbye” after Bon Jovi. Eventually, I started my own indie music PR firm. It was called Audio Crush PR and my slogan was “Bringing You Love at First Listen.” I had already been running a music ‘zine and interviewing bands (I did go back to that journalism class). One column was even named “Wild in the Streets” after a Bon Jovi song. But there’s nothing like helping other dreamers (the bands) accomplish their dreams and spreading the word about music I loved to change the lives of fans.

There’s a Fortune Cookie message taped to my laptop for decades now that says “inspiring others towards happiness brings you happiness.” And that’s part of my life’s purpose.

Bon Jovi started it all for me. Today, I play Bon Jovi songs for my kids and even tracked down the YouTube segment of Last Call. I want them to know Bon Jovi’s story of how the band went from teenage dreamers in New Jersey to being able to live their passions. It can happen for them, too.

Bon Jovi shares an important lesson for us all. “It’s My Life” and if you have a dream, you can go “Destination Anywhere.”

 

Bon Jovi shares an important lesson for us all. “It’s My Life” and if you have a dream, you can go “Destination Anywhere.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *