Every Friday, national arts reporter Geoff Edgers hosts the Washington Post’s first Instagram Live show from his barn in Massachusetts. He has interviewed comedian Lewis Black, singer Annie Lennox and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, among others.
Recently, Edgers chatted with musician Jon Bon Jovi. Here are excerpts from their conversation.
Q: I’m not going to lie, your hair is quite spectacular as you know. I tried to match it today, but I don’t think I did.
A: Because you used a comb or a brush or took a shower or something.
Q: I took a shower. Yeah.
A: It’s all downhill from there.
Q: what should I have done?
A: Get out of bed.
Q: Will your last album (released last fall) still be called “2020”, even before all of this happened?
A: Yes it was. It took on a much deeper meaning when we went into the studio with what was, in retrospect, really the first batch of songs. But in March 2019, when we started the recording process, I said to the guys, “I would like to call the album ‘Bon Jovi 2020’ for two reasons. The first is that I believe that at the moment I have a very clear vision of what I want the band to be and to sound. And second, the kindness of having a campaign sticker. He was going to sell a bunch of T-shirts. But it took on a whole new meaning over the year, and even when I shot the record, the events of this year caused me to delay the release and eventually write a few more songs and edit the ones. that were relevant. It was a time capsule and I was witnessing history.
Q: “Do What You Can” and “American Reckoning,” which you wrote after George Floyd’s death, are central pieces of the record. And they didn’t exist before.
A: Yeah. That’s right, and thank you for noticing. This brought the record to an even deeper perspective, hence the title more logical. And for me to no longer think of it as a bumper sticker, but as a moment in time when, as I said, I witnessed history.
Q: There is a photo of you on your Instagram page supporting Joe Biden. Some of the comments read, “I was a fan until you approved a socialist.” “You know some of your main fans are Republicans.” How did it develop and did you concern yourself with separating your career from personal political convictions?
A: Of course. I’ll give you a little history, going back to 1992 when Bill Clinton asked me to do things with and for him. I didn’t get involved at the time because I don’t think I was really ready for it. But in 1996, I really, really was. Our foundation, the JBJ Soul Foundation, has been active for fifteen years now. I have built homes from coast to coast, nearly a thousand affordable housing units. I have these three community restaurants. We opened an emergency pop-up food bank that provided all food to seven pantries for four months during the height of the pandemic on eastern Long Island. President (Barack) Obama had appointed me to his Council for Community Solutions, so I was also very active with them. I also campaigned a lot with Al Gore. But all of that doesn’t mean I don’t like Republicans, because I like them. I have been friendly with several of them over the years. Chris Christie and I became good friends for quite a while in New Jersey. I’m just trying to help people.
Q: So you don’t worry about alienating the fans?
A: When I’m on stage, I never preach politics. I would never use this as my soap box. If in private life I do something like campaigning for a candidate or working in one of our kitchens or building homes for those in need, that’s who I am. So again, you …
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