Deep Inside Jon Bon Jovi
February 23, 2005 9:14 AM   Subscribe

Deep inside the poetic stylings of John Bon Jovi. To begin, I'd like to look at the opening verses of "Bed of Roses". You may think you understand the meaning behind this poem - that John Bon Jovi likes a lady, and is upset about it. This is just a sign of the brilliant, interweaving complexity of Bon Jovi. You can love the poem at that level, and many have, but let's go... inside.[Coral Link - In case the other doesn't work]
posted by KevinSkomsvold (23 comments total)

 
"Ironclad fist" is important and relevant, and we shall come back to it. It is in no sense about wanking. Note also the ambiguity of the phrasing here - he may be waking up with an ironclad fist and subsequently French kissing the morning, or he may be French kissing the morning using an ironclad fist. This may sound rude, but is not - rather, it is a metaphor for punching in the mouth, reminding us that he may have a piano, but he is also one tough hombre.

Oh yeah. World-class criticism, this is.
posted by ChrisTN at 9:23 AM on February 23, 2005


Meta-BORING
posted by j.p. Hung at 9:26 AM on February 23, 2005


You guys mockingly calling it world-class criticism do know it's a joke, right?
posted by kyrademon at 9:28 AM on February 23, 2005


You guys mockingly calling it world-class criticism do know it's a joke, right?

Depends. Did you know that I was joking?
posted by ChrisTN at 9:32 AM on February 23, 2005


Oh come now j.p. I expect better snarkery from a fellow Zappa fan!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:38 AM on February 23, 2005


Does the knowledge, in the mind of the reader, that you may have been joking affect the "meaning" of the "text", i.e. the erstwhile joke? Or does the fundamentally subjective nature of the smartass-reader relationship imply that the attainment of humour, and thus jokeness, can only come when both you and the reader know you are joking? Consider, then, the text of the comment as analgous to the probability wave in Schroedinger's famous cat thought-experiment: Either we laugh or we do not, either the cat is alive or not, yet until the text is read, both are true.

Also, Jon Bon Jovi isn't even the greatest guitar player in Bon Jovi, let alone rock n' roll.
posted by arto at 9:42 AM on February 23, 2005


Whereas T.S. Eliot took the entire Wasteland to bring together the devotional language of the High Christian Church and the epic language of the Vedas, John Bon Jovi merges Catholicism and Eastern mysticism in a single couplet, and nearly made it rhyme. Think on.

Come on now-- that's brilliant.
posted by jokeefe at 9:43 AM on February 23, 2005


I, for one, am glad that in the daunting face of continued redundancy and irrelevance, people bravely continue to write sarcastic psuedo-deconstructions of 80's (maybe early 90's, don't remember. was this the "young guns 2" one?) pop culture ephemera. This LiveJournal entry is both Important and Original, and I for one am going to print it out and tape it over the TV during my normal evening two-hour VH1 nostalgia-gasm session.

Also, it's spelled "Jon."
posted by Swampjazz! at 9:53 AM on February 23, 2005


Does the knowledge, in the mind of the reader, that you may have been joking affect the "meaning" of the "text"...


*wakes up in a cold sweat* It's that nightmare where I'm back in film school again...
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:59 AM on February 23, 2005


Also, Jon Bon Jovi isn't even the greatest guitar player in Bon Jovi, let alone rock n' roll.

That's why he's sitting at the piano.

As someone who had a big fat crush on Jon Bon Jovi from ages ten to fifteen, I think this is rather funny. I mean, uh, who wouldn't love this?
posted by tracicle at 11:43 AM on February 23, 2005


That's why he's sitting at the piano.
posted by tracicle at 11:43 AM PST on February 23 [!]


come on folks, try to keep up!
posted by nequalsone at 11:57 AM on February 23, 2005


Just to correct a few misapprehensions:

1) The John/Jon question. This is a tricky one. Clearly the public face is Jon, but the private man is John - John Francis Biongiovi, to be precise. So, when his lovely partner Dorothea Hurley calls him "Jon" in the kitchen or even the bedroom of their also lovely home, she actually spells it "John". As such, I think this is probably a judgement call or, if you'd prefer, a judgment call.

2) Young Guns 2. The album, which also gave its eponymous track to the titles of the film, was "Blaze of Glory". A song, by the way, which possesses a level of mythopoeic complexity that would make someone familiar with JBJ only through the comparatively minor Propertian whimsy of "Bed of Roses" fill his or her kecks (or, if you'd prefer, pants). "Bed of Roses", conversely, was from the album "Keep the Faith".

Where "Blaze of Glory" was scorchingly nihilistic, "Keep the Faith" affirms a commitment ultimately to living and to life itself. In the chorus of the title track, Bon Jovi tells us that he and we are going to live through the rain. To be honest, I had never before hearing this imagined that rain was as a general rule anything other than non-fatal, but I imagine that the point is that the rain will extinguish the blaze of glory, meaning that he will no longer be on fire and will therefore live. It's quite beautiful, really.

Offtopic, the Island Records site has a three meg chunk of flash without which it is impossible to navigate the Bon Jovi discography. This suggests to me that Island Records sort of hates itself for what it has become.
posted by tannhauser at 11:59 AM on February 23, 2005


That's why he's sitting at the piano.
posted by tracicle at 11:43 AM PST on February 23 [!]

come on folks, try to keep up!


You misquoted. It should be:

That's why he's sitting at the piano.
posted by tracicle at 4:43 AM JST on February 24 [!]


I live in your future.
posted by Bugbread at 12:08 PM on February 23, 2005


The John/Jon question. This is a tricky one. Clearly the public face is Jon, but the private man is John - John Francis Biongiovi, to be precise. So, when his lovely partner Dorothea Hurley calls him "Jon" in the kitchen or even the bedroom of their also lovely home, she actually spells it "John"

As someone given the "Jon" at birth who has had to put up with years of people spelling it "John," I have to wonder why soeone would willingly choose the h-less version and the annoyances that go along with it.

My first concert was the Scorpions back in 1985, and Bon Jovi was the opening act. Due to the very different audiences (Scorps apealling primarily to the male Euro-Metal guitar axis, BJ to the teenage female Tiger Beat in leather pants crowd) Bon Jovi got booed. It was OK enough as pop-rock fluff goes (and I'll admit that I always like "Wanted:Dead Or Alive" and "I'll Be There For You," as radio music) but I never would've guessed that he'd become as huge as he is and for this long. I know people (mostly females) who ordinarily dig stuff like Nuetral Milk Hotel and Arcade Fire who are abslout nuts for Bon Jovi. Nice hair can take you far, I guess.
posted by jonmc at 12:14 PM on February 23, 2005


The Bon Jovi in me, spelled it correctly in the post title but incorrectly in the post. My apologies.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:21 PM on February 23, 2005


lol :')
posted by nola at 12:22 PM on February 23, 2005


Mildly amusing idea, somewhat hackneyed execution. Could've been improved immeasurably if the deconstructed song was "It's My Life," the chorus of which is truly the pinnacle achievement of Bon Jovi's oeuvre:

My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said
I did it my way
I just wanna live while I'm alive
It's my life


Here, in rapid succession, we have: a massively overused aphorism; then a clumsy appropriation not just of Frank Sinatra's signature line but of his name, which has been turned into an overfamiliar diminutive ("Frankie") as if to suggest that the narrator hung out with and perhaps gave playful noogies to Ol' Blue Eyes with considerable frequency; then - the piece de resistence - a tautology that loops back on itself at least twice, like some cheesy-power-ballad-lyrical Moebius Strip.

Anyway, it was all worth it for tannhauser's brilliant reading of the self-loathing subtext of the Island Records website. Well played!
posted by gompa at 12:32 PM on February 23, 2005


I thought Tannhauser's interpretation was pretty damn funny, myself.
posted by Bugbread at 12:36 PM on February 23, 2005


Being the heavy metal fan that I am, I'm not supposed to admit this...

I think Bon Jovi is a terrific rock n' roll songwriter and in concert the band is one of the greatest you'll ever see. It's damn near a communal experience.

All this is funny nevertheless :)

It's only rock n' roll!
posted by kmartino at 12:56 PM on February 23, 2005


I thought Tannhauser's interpretation was pretty damn funny, myself.

That was my point. No irony intended.
posted by gompa at 1:13 PM on February 23, 2005


Just to give you some indication of how slow I am, I hadn't realized until just now that the author himself Tannhauser, was a MetaFilter member and has commented in this thread. I must be in some time warp where I'm constantly behind an hour. /covering ass.

With that said, Tann that was awesome. I love deconstructions and had a good laugh.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:53 PM on February 23, 2005


Richie Sambora. He's the shit. John Bon Jovi is the shovel. With a metal hand.


Can't....stop...laughing...
posted by Miss Beth at 2:23 PM on February 23, 2005


I'm actually slightly humbled by this. Bit of a Metafilter novice, and certainly wasn't expecting a) to be linked and b) for people actually to like it. Thanks, everyone.

I've also now become slightly obsessed with the Island flash navigation - would it be against the rules to start a thread on uses of Flash that express clear and venomous hatred for the visitor?
posted by tannhauser at 11:22 PM on February 23, 2005


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