BECAUSE WE CAN Tour Notes MAY 2013

And will return on June 6th to a Sold Out Crowd in Copenhagen, Denmark.

BON JOVI returned to Europe and unveiled the most extraordinary, state-of-the-art, never-before-seen concert production!

“BECAUSE WE CAN – The Tour” kicked off in early February in North America. After three months of sold-out, high-energy shows in the U.S. and Canada, the band was ready to head overseas and to some of the biggest stages in the world. Bon Jovi creative and production teams went into overdrive, envisioning then creating a custom stage bigger and more technologically advanced than ever attempted before.

Meet “SOFIA”


Awestruck, the band first witnessed the collective vision come-to-life upon arrival in Sofia, Bulgaria. Christened “Sofia” by Jon Bon Jovi (in honor of the city in which she would make her debut,) the intricate staging is the band’s very own traveling work of art, inspired by the American made 1959 Buick Electra 225. It’s a one-of-a-kind multi-media experience for concertgoers and a technological triumph for the touring industry.

Strip away the lights, screens, massive classic car… and the heart of the show is Rock & Roll.

MAY 13: SOFIA, BULGARIA / The first show of the European leg also marks the first time the band has ever performed there.

“Bon Jovi’s concert at Stadium Vassil Levski was a hurricane of emotions, sound, lights and extraordinary stage design.” (Source: ”24 Hours” / “24 Chasa”)

“Exciting, energetic, emotional, epic.. simply unique! Words are not enough to describe last night’s event…” (Source: )

MAY 17: VIENNA, AUSTRIA / The “City Of Music,” where a sea of fans gathered at RACE COURSE KRIOUS for the rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza.

“The stage in the form of a gigantic classic car seems just right for a band that shatters all superlatives. Bon Jovi still mobilizes the masses – 55,000 fans at the show!” (Source: – THM-MEDIA)
MAY 18: MUNICH, GERMANY / On stage at the OLYMPIC STADIUM before 62,000 concertgoers, “I saw the reactions of the fans in the crowd and said, you see, this is precisely what we were thinking when we wrote this song [‘WHAT ABOUT NOW’.]” –Jon Bon Jovi

“Bon Jovi returned the favor with a three-hour concert sound…they moved the fans to dance, and touched hearts…” (Source:

MAY 21: OSLO, NORWAY / Bon Jovi returns to Scandinavia and delivers a fan-friendly, hit-laden show.

Festive Crowd Courtship: “Bon Jovi delivers music their fans know and gives the fan base exactly what they want… Jon Bon Jovi still makes a good frontman, keeping the pace fast and the sweat flowing…” [Source: AFTENPOSTEN]
MAY 22: BERGEN, NORWAY / Braving less-than-summery temperatures, Bon Jovi heats up the frigid Norway night with sizzling rock ‘n’ roll fun.

“Jon Bon Jovi had to work against the wind in Bergen, but was hot in the end…
People come to a Bon Jovi concert with a completely different approach. It’s called a party.” [Source:]
MAY 24: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN / BON JOVI returned to the OLYMPIC STADIUM for a three-hour rollercoaster ride through three decades of hits with Jon Bon Jovi at the wheel.

“Tonight Bon Jovi shows that they are an extremely tight and spot-on live band, especially during the encores with the unusual but powerful choice “Dry County” and the always massive “Livin’ On A Prayer.” [Source: Expressen Evening Paper (]
MAY 26: TAMPERE, FINLAND / BON JOVI wrapped up their Scandinavian run of dates (and all of their May shows in Europe) with a sold-out performance at RATINA STADIUM.

“Mega-hit ‘Always’ blew up the arena once and for all. People inside and outside the venue sang, danced, hugged, cried and held each other’s hands. A similar sense of unity is rarely seen in the city on Sunday night” (Source:
With a body of work as vast as Bon Jovi’s to choose from, fans were treated to live shows featuring all of the band’s biggest hits and some rarer tracks (“These Days” and “Hey God,” plus new tracks “What’s Left Of Me” and “I’m With You.”) As huge fans of music themselves, Bon Jovi are known for their wide array of rock ‘n’ roll covers; this time out, the band added more classic songs to their repertoire, including the Rolling Stones’ “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” and Ray Charles’ “What I Say” during their nightly jukebox-themed segment. Expect the ever-expanding set list to include more surprises in the weeks and months to come.
BON JOVI will return to Europe for another month of massive shows including 3 more shows in Germany, the band’s return to Hyde Park in London, their debut at iconic Slane Castle, and many more!

See you down the road! For more information on Bon Jovi BECAUSE WE CAN – The Tour please visit


WWWB book cover

Published in 2009 as the companion piece to the documentary film WHEN WE WERE BEAUTIFUL, I was integral to every aspect of this project’s completion.

I edited band members’ essays (and collaborated on writing Richie Sambora’s.)  I took 800+ pages of interview transcripts and created a 25,000 word book that wove first-person accounts into a compelling storyline.

I sourced and identified photos and ephemera to be utilized within the book, and crafted the captions, credits and details to flesh out the story.   Working directly with the publisher, editor and Harper Collins’ design team we created a coffee-table book that debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list at #15.


Personal Essay – WHEN WE WERE BEAUTIFUL Book

A few years back, we started writing a “proper” band biography. The publishers wanted a tell-all and we were determined to tell nothing. No one was saying a word so we scrapped the idea. But in a way, that says all you need to know about this band.

Through the movie and this book, we’re finally inviting people to witness the relationships between the band members and between the public and the songs Jon and I have written. The connection people feel to our songwriting is part of what has kept us relevant over so many years. I feel so privileged to be a part of the soundtrack of people’s lives.

The relationship between Jon, Tico, David and me is a very special bond. It began as we fought to build a career and navigate the ever-changing waters of the music business together. It grew as we each battled our mutual and personal angels and demons. At different times, we each were there to pick each other up, lend an ear or shoulder to lean on. We’ve spent more time together than with our families and that definitively makes us a family.

Jon and I find ourselves closer than ever now; it’s an anomaly the record business has never seen before. That Mick & Keith thing? It was a power struggle that never happened to us. We’re tighter now, after twenty-six years of brotherhood and friendship.

Every night, I walk onto the stage, look over my shoulder and see Tico and Dave. I’m proud as hell to know I’m playing with the best musicians, my brothers. Jon, in my opinion, on any given night, is the best front man in the business. I have such mad respect and love for all my band mates. It is truly an honor.

I feel an enormous responsibility to the band, and especially the fans who come to see us from city to city, country to country and all over the world. Every night, I give one hundred percent of my heart on stage. I’m grateful for that opportunity. I thank you.

I’m excited, not just about the new album but about the future of Bon Jovi. We plan to maintain the integrity and dignity of our songwriting and record making process and the journey will continue, searching for the evolution of what the band will be.

– Richie

JEN FOSTER – Artist Biography – 2008


If Jen Foster’s music and lyrics sound familiar it’s because her songs are about you. In sharing her emotions and life struggles, Jen Foster’s songs and stories give voice to your own and the shared experiences that connect us with one another.

Foster speaks in a vocabulary of direct and honest words and in a tenor equal parts strong and tender which resonates with the listener. She speaks because this is who she is and what she was meant to do.

“Making music has always been this churning need in me,” Foster confesses. Willing to wear her heart on her lyrics and bare her soul in her songs, she says, “I feel as if I’m compelled to share myself. I need to make music and to connect with people.”

The critically-acclaimed, award-winning* singer/songwriter/guitarist has released a four-song sampler CD as the appetizer to the highly anticipated, full-length album due this Spring. Foster has spent the past several months in a Nashville recording studio working on her upcoming third album which aims to tighten the bond with listeners through her frank and sincere storytelling. A blend of sounds ranging from soft, lazy-day melodies to more raucous guitar-driven tracks, the forthcoming new collection includes two compositions, “Closer To Nowhere” and “Venice Beach,” both of which have garnered nominations in the International Songwriters Competition and have been embraced by Foster’s fan base.

“I’ve always had this inner drive, this feeling that I needed to communicate with an audience, a sense of destiny that I had something to say.” Yet Foster fundamentally knows that her message is better left discovered than preached. “I want to touch my audience with my music but I prefer a subtle approach. I want to invite and embrace people, not isolate them. ”

Growing up in the suburbs of Dallas, Foster followed her own muse and felt a bit of an outsider until she began to express those feelings through song. After graduating from a small all-girl Catholic high school, foster left her native Texas for Los Angeles, where she attended Whittier College. Her musical education came through the recordings of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles and she developed her live presence while playing at clubs and coffee houses throughout the L.A. region. Lo and behold, Foster realized she wasn’t an outsider after all. Her songs resonated with fans who’d shared similar experiences and feelings and a community of fans emerged connected by her message and no longer alone.
Fosters sophomore CD, 2006’s ‘The Underdogs’, was a heartfelt collection of award-winning songs that weaved messages of love, tolerance, isolation and redemption while blending musical elements of pop, gospel and alternative rock. Foster gave voice to these universal themes through her direct, honest lyrics and melancholic, melodic compositions. The album’s producer, Jeff Trott (Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks) admits, “Most songwriters hide behind oblique imagery; Jen revels in baring her heart.”

Foster’s debut CD, 2003’s ‘Everybody’s Girl’ was met with a warm reception and positive reviews, praising her no-frills, unfiltered lyrics.

With the release of both album’s, Foster’s fostered the belief that her songs come to life and are best shared in a live setting. She builds her fan base the old-fashioned way… on the road. .Foster has performed in clubs and at festivals from coast to coast over the years, headlining and opening for artists as diverse as Sophie B. Hawkins, Lisa Loeb and Crash Test .

Foster’s concert performances are renowned for their exuberance and spontaneity. On stage, Foster’s raw energy and genuine rapport with her fans is mirrored through their interaction and kinship with her through the music. “I love touring and performing and actually witnessing that connection happen. That moment on stage when you realize you’ve moved someone… it’s real and it’s magic.”

Foster intends to take to the road right away to promote the new CD, part of a full schedule of efforts underway to get her music to the masses. In addition to the hats she wears as songwriter and touring artist, she’s a full-time hands-on member of the team marketing, promoting and developing her music. Noticing the outdated practices of the shape-shifting music business changing rapidly, Foster, in part inspired by the Ani DeFranco’s Righteous Babe business model, created her own label and is intrinsically involved in every decision that affects her music and her career.

“I’ve created a fairly unique situation. I’ve built a team of people I trust and have been running my own independent record label,” Foster proudly notes. “ I think it’s an accomplishment as a strong woman running her own business but also in starting a business and aiming to accomplish the same goals by working outside the standard record industry framework.”
When questioned about potential criticism that art and commerce shouldn’t mix, Foster considers that notion antiquated. Noting that the old rules of the music business no longer apply, Foster explains, “Once upon a time, people would dismiss this dynamic saying art and commerce shouldn’t merge. Leave the music to the artists and the business unrecognizable and changing so rapidly – and the future, especially for me as an artist, is a big unknown.”

Clearly infused with inspiration and passion discussing the label’s vision, Foster believes “with all the ideas we can employ to get my music into the hands and ears and hearts of new listeners, this has become a very imaginative challenge. What was business is now absolutely a creative outlet to explore and discover unique ways of exposing your art to the public.”

“I am a songwriter and an artist and I need to share myself and my message. And I’ll do whatever I need to do to make sure I reach as many people as I can.”

JON BON JOVI – BIOGRAPHY – MasterCard 2008

MasterCard Roots of Rock Promotion
As edited by ILENE SCHREIBMAN 6-23-08
Best known as the voice of the eponymous band BON JOVI, JON BON JOVI is a singer, songwriter, musician, actor, sports owner and philanthropist.

Born John Francis Bongiovi, and raised in blue-collar Sayreville, New Jersey, Bon Jovi began guitar lessons like millions of other thirteen year old kids but it didn’t take long for this kid to begin focusing all his energy on the pursuit of his long-term career goal: to be not just a musician but to be a rock and roll star. Jon believed he could make a living making music just like his heroes did playing regularly at some well-known and other not so well known New Jersey bars, clubs and school dances jon listened and learned.

After graduating high school, Jon worked at a recording studio in New york City.’ running errands, sweeping floors and making coffee for the artists and producers recording in the facility. At night, Jon would work on original material in the empty studios, recruiting whatever musicians were willing to help the young upstart.

After submitting countless demo tapes to record labels across the country with no luck. It took a little creative thinking and a new route to do what is now a part of rock legend. Jon showed up at the new, NY studios of radio station WAPP. Because they were just on the air and didn’t even have a receptionist on duty Jon was able to meet some of the staff of the now defunct station. He played his demo for the D.J. who was impressed enough to ask that they include the song “Runaway” on their upcoming compilation LP of homegrown talent. Reluctantly, Jon said yes. The track received local airplay and before long, affiliate stations in major markets nationwide were playing it too. Now, instead of Jon soliciting the record labels, the labels rushed to find out who the unknown star was behind the hit song. In the summer of 1983 Jon signed with Mercury Records.

One slight problem: Jon didn’t actually have a band! So he called his old friend, and former band mate keyboardist David Bryan and enlisted Franke & the Knockouts drummer Tico Torres through bassist Alec John Such. With a close friend on guitar,Dave Sabo, soon to be guitarist and founding member of Skid Row Jon had a “temporary” lineup to get through a run of promo shows. After one of these gigs, Richie Sambora, a local guitar whiz, told Jon that he should be the guitarist and the two should work together. The two hit it off and complimented each others style as writers and as performers.
In 1984, Mercury Records released the debut album, BON JOVI. 7800 FAHRENHEIT followed a year later but it was the band’s third record, 1986’s SLIPPERY WHEN WET which was the big breakthrough. The album produced two #1 Songs (“You Give Love A Bad Name” and “Livin’ On A Prayer,” making Bon Jovi the only rock band with back-to-back #1 hits) plus the rock anthem “Wanted Dead or Alive,” and holds the record for the hard rock album with the most weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200. SLIPPERY WHEN WET remains one of the best-selling rock albums of all time, having sold in excess of 40 Million copies worldwide

The follow-up album, 1988’s NEW JERSEY was a monster hit as well, charting more Top 10 singles (5, including the #1 hits “Bad Medicine” and “I’ll Be There For You”) than any other rock album and selling more than 18 million copies worldwide It was also the first and only rock record by a Western band released in the former Soviet Union on the state-owned label, Melodiya.

By 1989, six short years after they had met Bon Jovi had emerged a household name, and not just in New Jersey. They were global superstars headlining concerts in arenas and stadiums all around the world. They were all over the radio, the television and concerts everywhere were sold out.

Through the 90’s Bon Jovi were still a force of nature whether it was Jon’s solo success with Blaze of Glory ,the Academy Award nominated Number one record Or the bands biggest selling Single “Always “ that helped fuel the 18 million Bon Jovi fans to buy the band Greatest hits Volume 1 collection “Cross Roads” . Jon insists it’s a simple formula that’s worked for them: “We never chased fashions or fads. We’ve always been true to who we are.”

The band continued to release albums and tour throughout the 90’s and managed to grow even more popular with the release of 2000’s CRUSH, featuring the smash single “It’s My Life.” With Crush, a new Generation of Bon Jovi fan came aboard and once again the band answered the call releasing 2002’s Bounce, a live album, One wild Night , a box set of never released songs ,aptly titled !00,000,000 million Bon Jovi fans can’t be wrong and the Grammy Award winning album, Have a nice day.
Taking home the trophy in 2006 for Best Country Collaboration for “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” featuring Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. This was a special song for all involved as Bon Jovi became the first rock band to reach #1 on the Hot Country chart. . To date, Bon Jovi’s career sales have topped 120 million albums worldwide .
Known for dynamic live performances, Bon Jovi have played more than 2,500 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 32 million fans around the globe. Even after a quarter-century, the road warriors show no signs of slowing down.

In 2007, Bon Jovi’s 10th studio album, LOST HIGHWAY, debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard charts, and shot to #1 in Australia, Japan, Europe, and Canada. The LOST HIGHWAY WORLD TOUR wraps up July 15 in NYC and will be named the highest grossing tour of the year by Pollstar and Billboard. “

In 2004, Jon Bon Jovi became co-owner of the Arena Football League’s (AFL) Philadelphia Soul franchise. The goal for the team was to create winners on and off the field. Believing he could utilize the team as a tool to help others, Jon has made helping the Philadelphia community the cornerstone of the team’s identity. Everything the Soul organization does includes an element of charitable effort. To date, Jon Bon Jovi and the Philadelphia Soul have funneled more than $5 Million to local charities and organizations. Bon Jovi explains his Robin Hood approach saying, “I wanted to take all the money we made and give it back, and utilize it in ways that would positively affect the community.”

In partnership with Habitat For Humanity, Jon, the band and the football team funded the renovation of six homes in Philadelphia and the video for the song “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” documents the build. In September 2005, just after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast region, Jon Bon Jovi surprised Oprah Winfrey on air by handing her a check from the band for $1 Million dollars and partenered with Oprah’s Angel network and Habitat for Humanity building 28 new houses that now stand on Bon Jovi Boulevard in Houma, LA.

In October 2006, Jon Bon Jovi and the Philadelphia Soul announced the launch of the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness and combating issues which force families and individuals into economic despair. The Soul Foundation (along with partners such as Project H.O.M.E., HelpUSA and Saturn) has quarterbacked the renovation of 15 historically significant row homes in North Philly, and made possible builds in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Pikes Peak, Detroit and South Africa. Jon’s leadership has raised the money to finance affordable rental housing in Newark, NJ. and helped build a recovery-based housing project in Philly with beds reserved for veterans.

At the end of the day, Jon Bon Jovi is still just the kid with a guitar who dreamed of playing music. Jon and his wife of almost 20 years, Dorothea have four children and still consider New Jersey home.

Over the past 25 years, Bon Jovi have continued to create new music and attract new generations of fans as their music continues to connect with audiences of all ages around the world. Bon Jovi truly are ‘The People’s Band.”

“My biography is only half-written,” Jon Bon Jovi advises with a knowing smile. “This was just the opening act.”



• 100,000,000 BON JOVI FANS CAN’T BE WRONG… is released INTERNATIONALLY on NOV. 15TH.

• 100,000,000 BON JOVI FANS CAN’T BE WRONG… is released in the USA & CANADA on NOV 16TH.

• Release Dates may be later in some regions of the world where production issues will delay the box set’s release, including JAPAN (Release Date TBC)

• This is not your typical box set. In fact, it’s a “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX” SET – whereas most box sets are a repackaging of a band’s catalogue or a collection of an artist’s greatest hits with a few rarities thrown in, 100,000,000 BON JOVI FANS CAN’T BE WRONG… is comprised mostly of music that has never been released! It’s THE GREATEST HITS YOU NEVER HEARD!!!

• 100,000,000 BON JOVI FANS CAN’T BE WRONG… includes fifty (50) songs divided amongst FOUR (4) CDs & Each of the CDs is sequenced like a regular album; this is not a chronological collection of songs.

• 38 of the songs have NEVER BEEN RELEASED BEFORE! For one reason or another, they did not make the album they were written/recorded for and ended up in the band’s vaults.

• The other 12 songs have seen the light of day before – either as a song on a movie soundtrack or as a b-side on a single somewhere in the world or performed live.

• There is no single going to radio.

• There is a 10 SONG SAMPLER going to radio and retail to promote the upcoming box set. The following songs will be included on that sampler:

• Several Tracks off this sampler have been designated as exclusive downloads on several different online music providers; please visit beginning October 26th for information about where you can download these songs before the box set comes out in November.

• No tour is planned in support of 100,000,000 BON JOVI FANS CAN’T BE WRONG…

• For more information, please visit the band’s official website:
F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions) about

As the 100,000,000 mark in sales was approaching and as the band was nearing the 20th anniversary of the release of the debut album, it was time to take a step back and celebrate those milestones while giving the longtime fans a THANK YOU. It was time for the band to go into the vaults and unearth some hidden treasures that until now have not been shared with the fans.

100,000,000 BON JOVI FANS CAN’T BE WRONG… is not your typical box set. It’s not a repackaging of the band’s previous albums. It’s not an elaborate greatest hits collection with some remixes and rarities thrown in for good measure. This is truly a ‘premiere collection’ – it’s the premiere of most of the material! It’s the GREATEST HITS YOU’VE NEVER HEARD!

Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora as songwriters, and BON JOVI as a band, are very prolific. Typically, when they set out to work on an album, they can write as many as 30 to 40 songs for one project – eventually through the writing process, demo process, recording and mixing process narrowing it down to the songs that will make the final album (as well as any bonus tracks in some markets.) Then, some songs that didn’t make the final album cut will be used a “b-sides” – additional tracks released on singles around the world. But not every fan in the world has access to the b-sides… and then not every song that doesn’t make the album becomes a b-side. Many were relegated to the Bon Jovi vault (literally under the band’s recording studios) and sat there… until it was time to go through them all to put together this unique project.

The band’s close friend and longtime recording engineer, OBIE O’BRIEN, went through the vaults – he unearthed songs even the band didn’t remember. He presented his findings to the band and the band decided what songs would ultimately make the box set and ultimately not be included. There was minimal work done on some of the tracks in order to clean them up a little bit but, for the most part, Obie and the band opted to keep the never-before-released tracks the way he found them. They’re not perfect; they captured a moment in time and in the band’s history. The vibe was more important than perfection.

There are a dozen songs that have been previously released that are included in this box set. Some of them were tracks that until now were on movie soundtracks and never on a proper Bon Jovi album. Some were used as b-sides in various parts of the world. And some have been performed but never seen a real release from the band… While many fans who have been following the band for a long time have their favorite b-sides and may wonder why they weren’t included in this project, the truth is there are too many Bon Jovi b-sides to choose from! So many fans have so many favorites, these chosen are just a selection of the band’s b-sides. Plus, even the b-sides that you *think* you might know have been changed slightly for this compilation. (For example, the song ‘Real Life’ is remixed and the song ‘Lonely At The Top’ sounds much different than the version the band released as a b-side in 1995.)

This collection is made up of four (4) CDs with a total of 50 songs. Each CD was specifically sequenced so it had its own beginning, middle and end. Rather than list the songs chronologically, each CD was organized in a way that the listener could enjoy it start to finish as if it were a regular album… and then put another new CD in.

The BONUS DVD is primarily interview footage. The band gathered together in Los Angeles in August to listen to the box set together for the first time. Their responses, their recollections, their commentary was captured. A month later, Jon Bon Jovi sat down with a home video camera in the band’s NJ studio and talked about the project as well. Finally, there is behind-the-scenes footage. While some of it is from the now-unavailable Access All Areas DVD that had documented the band’s 1988/1989 New Jersey tour, there is personal footage taken from on the road over the years that has never been seen by anyone but the band and their familes/friends. Yes, there are easter eggs! There is a photo gallery as well. This BONUS DVD was put together as something special for the fans.

The collectors’ booklet is 64-pages. It’s full of photos – from throughout the years and many of which are from the band members’ personal collections. It also contains other content provided by the band members. Most unique though is the band’s desire to have the fans involved in the project. Bon Jovi invited fans all over the world to send their ‘testimonials’ to – an email address opened up just to accept emails from Bon Jovi fans who wanted to share their thoughts and memories and feelings about the band and what the music has meant to them. Thousands upon thousands of emails flooded in and many were chosen to be included inside the booklet. Those chosen represent Bon Jovi fans of all parts of the globe, different ages, races, sexes, religions, backgrounds and languages (even some of the imperfect English has been left as it was sent; we didn’t want to sanitize the words of someone trying to share his/her feeling in their native tongue.) We also don’t want to give away too much about what’s inside the booklet – why spoil the surprise when fans open it the first time!

No. There’s no tour planned in support of the “think outside the box” set… there will be limited promotional activities however. More news as it is available.

The band is about to complete the work on a new studio album slated for release in Spring of 2005. They have been recording in New Jersey and Los Angeles with John Shanks. More information on that as it is available, as well as future touring plans beyond that.

For more information on 100,000,000 BON JOVI FANS CAN’T BE WRONG… and all things BON JOVI related, please visit the band’s official website ( – it ‘s being updated as we near the release of the box set and will continue to keep fans up to date on all things in the Bon Jovi world over the coming months.





First off, I’d like to thank the board and the members of the
Songwriters Hall of Fame for this honor. I am so grateful.

I’d like to acknowledge the other songwriters and artists
being inducted and celebrated here tonight as well.

I know how much your music has impacted the lives of so many people around the world, because I know how much they’ve impacted MY life.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your music and lyrics.
We are all part of a small community.

We come from different musical genres,
We draw influence from different sources and
We approach the art of songwriting in different ways,
Yet, I believe we are all just writing ONE SONG.

That one song which connects with that one listener.

That one song which connects all people to each other.

That one song which speaks to what all of us share in common.

That one song which speaks for us when we can’t find the words.

That one song which reminds us we are part of something bigger than ourselves. A shared soul.

Music is the universal language.

And we get to create new additions to its rich vocabulary, as our one song travels around the world and across generations.


Knowing a song I have written has become part of the soundtrack of someone’s life is an honor.

But there are people to acknowledge who have helped make that possible by guiding my career along.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with so many talented writers and musicians.

I’d especially like to thank my friends Desmond Child and Richie Supa for their unwavering support and creative spark.

Thank you to John Titta – “The Pope” – who has been a loyal friend in the business and beyond.

Thank you to Marty Bandier
the Universal Music Publishing family
Michael Guido
Mario Testani and Rosemarie Passerino

Thank you to the Bon Jovi team
the Vector team
the managers, agents and publishers over
the years who have helped with
my band and solo endeavors

Thank you to Denise
My friends and my family
Finally, the band – Tico, David, Hughie and Jon…

THANK YOU doesn’t begin to do justice.

The very first time I saw Jon Bon Jovi perform, I knew he was the real deal. He had “it.” I flat out told him we should work together. I’d never done or said anything so bold before and, truth be told, he thought I was out of my mind. But it worked.

All these years later, I don’t question it.
I don’t know if it was fate, karma, destiny…
but it was meant to be.

Jon’s vision, drive, determination and leadership have made Bon Jovi the juggernaut it is.

Whether it’s in the writing room, the studio or on stage, I’m awed by his talent.

By having Jon as my partner for 26 years, I’ve been inspired and challenged and become a better musician and artist.

By being blessed with Jon as my friend for 26 years, I’ve learned the meaning of trust, loyalty and brotherhood.
And my life is richer for it.
Thank you, my brother.

And thank you all again for this honor.

Keep adding to that One Universal Song.


April 21, 2009
JON BON JOVI’s remarks upon the acceptance of award
Thank You, Kenneth and Maria – for your friendship, your kind introduction and the incredible work you both do for so many.

• Mario Batali and his wife, Susi
• Julie Panebianco

I’d also like to thank Dr. Lucy Cabrera and everyone at the Foodbank of New York City for this very gracious honor.

Truth be told, when asked, I was reluctant to accept this award. I felt guilty being praised for doing what brings me so much personal satisfaction.

But then I heard that nearly 300,000 meals were served across these 5 boroughs every day. At first I thought it had to be a typo. So I called, I asked and I was humbled.

After going to the Bronx to see the Foodbank and it’s massive operation and then heading to the Community Kitchen of Harlem, where people have lined up along a city block for a meal, I thought, “How can I not lend a hand? How can I not be a part of this?”

Like so many of you here tonight, my interest and involvement in charity work has evolved over the years. There are so many needs in the world, yet so little time and even fewer resources. Early on, much of my focus seemed unfocused, but it has since become the cornerstone of my continual learning. Let me explain.

In 2003, I became the co-owner of an Arena Football League team called The Philadelphia Soul. I approached sport ownership in a unique way that would bring together community and philanthropy. We would be a role model for role models, a team united as men of character, not “characters.” From the Soul’s inception, I didn’t care if you liked football; I didn’t care if you liked Bon Jovi. I knew by creating an environment that was both family-friendly and affordable, we’d connect the Soul to the community through our focus on public service. Don’t get me wrong; as important as winning was on the field, the impact we made off the field mattered every bit as much.

The team’s philanthropic vision was the launching pad for The Philadelphia Soul Foundation. Our mission has been to help combat the issues that force families and individuals into economic despair, to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness. And although I’m very proud of the work we’ve done so far, we know there’s a lot more work to be done.

Just a few years ago, I would speak about the need to increase the minimum wage, citing the difference between a $5.15 an hour and a $10.00 an hour job as the determining factor between the quantity and quality of food you could place on your table.

We spoke of the pride of home ownership and of sweat equity. We made a point of explaining that job training and service providing was the difference between a hand out and a hand up.

I could not have imagined a fast forward to 2009 where we find ourselves in a major recession with tales of economic misery no one has seen since the Great Depression.

People who never imagined facing homelessness and hunger find themselves in need.

This is no longer about just a minimum wage.
This is no longer someone else’s problem.

Traditionally hardworking, blue collar, even white collar, families can’t make ends meet.

At times like these, the problem seems overwhelming. Still, many people want to help; some just don’t know how (or who) to help. It can be hard to imagine one person making a difference in the face of such challenges but here’s just one statistic that blew me away:

• Every year, more than 15,000 hours are donated to the Foodbank by volunteers.

THAT is just one example of individuals making a difference.

The number of volunteers across America is growing. In trying times, Americans are here for each other. It is what I have often referred to as “The Power of WE.”

There are those who say I have a romantic view of the world but I truly believe that people want to do good and want to help others. Perhaps there is a silver lining in these troubled times – it is the motivation to see beyond ourselves, the opportunity to look beyond our differences, and truly make a difference. It is time to be each other’s keeper.

To quote President Clinton, “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”

Eliminating homelessness and eradicating hunger — these are issues we don’t need to wait for scientists to cure. We’re not looking for that magic pill. All it takes is time, money, and the desire to facilitate change. And the results are tangible, even if they sometimes seem small.

Let me leave you with this…
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we partnered with Oprah’s Angel Network to build 28 houses in Houma, Louisiana. What the Angel Network’s approach taught me was that it didn’t matter if your donation paid for the entire house or just the placemat and napkins. That placemat completed the dining room table where a family would eat a meal together, turning that house into a home and that street into a neighborhood.

Maybe I am that romantic but I think – no, I know – that with “The Power of We,” we are witness to a revolution. There is a domino effect that is going to lead us to something great. And we are here, not just to see history, but to make history together, one soul at a time.

Thank you for this evening and this honor.

SAMBORA – Tribute To LES PAUL – 2009

Richie Sambora – November 19, 2009

I could tell you about Les Paul, the innovator, the visionary, the vanguard or Les Paul, the musician, the guitarist, the artist.
I could tell you about his place in musical, and American pop culture, history; the instruments he’s responsible for creating; and the impact he’s had on the music industry and upon those of us, past, present and future, who make music. But I want to tell you about Les Paul, my friend.

More than anything, I considered Les a dear friend. I first met Les in 1988. We were in the studio, working on what would become the New Jersey album. And I was beat up, exhausted, having a hard time getting all the guitar work done. But the band took a break to celebrate my 29th birthday. Imagine my shock when Les Paul (Les Paul!) walked into my house. He handed me a white guitar with gold pickups he’d strung for me himself and told me, “Son, here’s a sword – now go cut through that shit.”

From that moment on, Les Paul, the man, became an ever-present part of my life. He’s attended our concerts and shared in our celebrations; I’ve been honored to share in his as well, be it a birthday party or a black-tie induction ceremony. Les became a source of encouragement, insight and inspiration to me. Over the years, I had the honor to join him on stage, jamming in small clubs and large venues, sharing our love of guitar and creating magical moments together. I feel so privileged to have experienced my time with Les.

Les had a bit of the vampire in him; he slept during the day and stayed awake all night. Sometimes, at the oddest hours, he’d ring me up just to chat. He was funny. He was sweet. He was timeless. There was a father-son element to our friendship, and a mentor-student relationship as well but mostly, we shared a bond through music that defied age and time.

Les loved music, loved the craft of making music and the craftsmanship it took to make the instruments. Anyone who has ever and will ever pick up a guitar, cradle it and create music has been forever influenced by this man.

Les was lucky enough to have lived long enough to realize his undeniable role in music history. He was able to bask in the much deserved accolades and praise but did so with such humility and grace that, more than anything else, it is the deep love and respect those of us who knew him had for him that will remain the truest testament to his legend.

Les Paul’s legacy is that of a gifted musician, selfless teacher, gentle soul and beloved man – goals I can only aspire to reach as an artist and a man.

They say you should never meet your heroes. I’m forever grateful I did. My life has been blessed because I called Les Paul my friend.


OCTOBER 5, 2006
– Announcement of JBJ as Habitat for Humanity International Ambassador

And, of course, PRESIDENT CLINTON…

Thank you all for coming.
First I’d like to share with you who we are and why we are all here.

In 2003 I became the co-owner of the Arena Football League’s PHILADELPHIA SOUL (along with my partner, Craig Spencer.)

From the inception of our franchise, the mission was to use the team as a way to give back to the community. Each season our directive to the staff has been to find the LOCAL CAUSES, the Father Flanagan’s, if you will… help us find the ones who fell through the cracks.
Nothing was too big and no one was too small.
Our desire was simply to help those in need.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND, our team is not making money – and any money we do make, we give away. But I’m very proud to say that as we head into our fourth season, we have been able to give away more than 2 MILLION DOLLARS to local causes in the name of BON JOVI and THE PHILADELPHIA SOUL.

We may have started small but we thought big.
Whether it was a playground for the Northern Home for Children, beds for Covenant House, or starting a helpline for kids… the Soul were always there.

Today we’re proud to announce the creation of the Philadelphia Soul Foundation – the natural extension of the team’s philanthropic work.

In the last year and a half, the Soul and I — along with the band — have become very involved with Habitat for Humanity. Between Houma, Louisiana and here in Philadelphia, we will have given 34 families a place they could call home.

I spend a lot of time here in Philadelphia. One night while I was looking out of my hotel window I saw a homeless man sleeping in front of City Hall.
I wanted to help him.
I wanted to fix that.

Now I realize the homeless problem is immense.
And I realize that no one has all the answers.
I needed help.
That’s how I came to meet SISTER MARY SCULLION and PROJECT H.O.M.E.

It was Sister Mary who educated me about the need to provide not only shelter to the homeless but education and job training – it was all about breaking the cycle. Sister Mary opened my eyes and taught me to look at all the problems that combine together to form the bigger issue that is homelessness.

For example – job training — you can’t even get a job working as a cashier at the local superstore without basic computer skills. Agencies like Project H.O.M.E. provide that job training that can take someone from a minimum wage job to just a $10.00 per hour job.

And if you don’t think that sounds like much of a difference – think again.
$5.00 per hour… $40.00 per day… $200.00 per week…

That’s the difference in the quality and quantity of food you are able to feed your children.

That’s the difference in being able to pay the electric bill or the phone bill –
Because heat, electricity and phone service are not luxuries – they are basic necessities.

Habitat for Humanity’s work speaks for itself – you’ve seen it.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the Tsunami, for example, Habitat was there – rebuilding lives. And that’s just in response to disaster. In Habitat’s 30 year history, they’ve built more than 200,000 homes… and dreams, by offering families a chance to be first-time homeowners.

The program’s successes are undeniable. But if you’re eligible for a Habitat home, you’re already at the top of the statistical heap.
What about those who can’t think about making rent or even having a warm place to sleep at night?

That is where Project H.O.M.E. shines. By offering job training, education and social services, Project H.O.M.E. empowers individuals to break the cycle of homelessness. They can put them on the path to home ownership.

How do we bridge the purpose of Habitat with the PROMISE of Project H.O.M.E. ?

Well, this is why we’re here.
What you see behind us is a new beginning.

For the first time, Habitat For Humanity has partnered with a local provider.
Together with support from our partners at SATURN, we are reconstructing these 15 row homes.

This will be the new model.

Here we have local service providers, Habitat for Humanity, and corporate America all working together to rebuild communities.

It is my sincere desire to see these people BECOME their community.
They become the homeowners and business owners and investors in their own future, reshaping their own neighborhood.
We can’t let neighborhood become a thing of the past.

The Arena Football League is about ACCESSIBILITY and AFFORDABILITY
That is what the SOUL is about.
That’s what this partnership is about.
We want to invite you to join our team.

The greatest social good is assisting individuals to take responsibility for themselves.
Together we can make a difference.
One soul at a time.

Thank you…

Introduction of President William Jefferson Clinton
Immediately following Jon Bon Jovi’s address to the crowd; he introduced Bill Clinton:

I haven’t opened for anyone in a long time.

But in my eyes, this man is the biggest rock star in the world.

He was our President for eight years… though some of his most inspiring work has been since he’s left office.

With the creation of the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, he has brought together the world’s brightest minds, leaders of industry and problem-solvers to identify the most pressing issues facing the world today. The mission is not only to eradicate poverty here in the US and worldwide, but create a global community of shared benefits, responsibilities and values… This year’s summit alone raised $7.3 Billion in commitments to tackle these challenges..


Truth is, this is the man who inspired me to become involved in philanthropy. His work makes me want to continue to do more.

And most of all… he never hesitates to help a friend.

It’s my honor to introduce the 42nd President of the United States… and my friend, Bill Clinton.