| Jon Bon Jovi at a concert. (AP/PTI)
Barcelona, Nov. 13 (Reuters): At the ripe old age of 40, Jon Bon Jovi just can’t believe his luck — album sales are heading for 100 million and fans show no signs of wearying of one of the world’s most enduring supergroups. The rock veteran shows every sign of growing old with a twinkle in his eye. For Bon Jovi impishly admitted that the big attraction at this year’s MTV Music Awards in Barcelona is seeing what outfit raunchy pop diva Christina Aguilera would be sporting on pop’s big night.
Both will be performing before a television audience of up to one billion people around the world at Thursday night’s awards and Bon Jovi, speaking to Reuters Television on the eve of the ceremony, said that crossing the Atlantic was well worth his while when it came to record industry love-ins.
“Most of the European awards are fun. The American ones are uptight and boring,” said the singer celebrating a career that shows no signs of flagging after the critical acclaim that has greeted the band’s latest album, “Bounce”.
In addition to the day job leading one of the world’s top rock bands for the last 20 years, Bon Jovi has carved out a career in acting, ranging from the 1995 movie Moonlight and Valentino to a string of appearances in the Ally McBeal show on television before it folded.
The band’s album sales have now topped 95 million and, with the 100 million milestone now in sight, he said of the latest album: “I am very pleased with the reaction to it. To be still here after all these years is great and I don’t even know how to dance.”
He had no doubt which was the most achievable ambition when asked which he would prefer — getting off with Christina Aguilera or selling 100 million albums. “Reaching 100 million is much more likely,” he said ruefully.
On the cover of her latest album “Stripped”, the sultry singer appears naked from the waist up. As one admiring American critic wrote: “A couple of strategically placed hair extensions are the only thing standing between her and a guest spot on the next ‘Girls Gone Wild’ video.”
Bon Jovi, the handsome lead singer in one of rock music’s longest-lasting supergroups, was full of admiration for her obvious charms.
But it was all light-hearted stuff, a rock idol playing up his image in a hedonistic world of excess where rock icons are so often surrounded by eager groupies.
Adoring fans may throw their bras and panties on stage when he is performing but this is a man who has been married to his wife Dorothea since 1989.
Dorothea certainly helps to keep his mind on his priorities. She has a black belt in karate and once famously told him that if he strayed from the marital path “OK, go ahead. But as soon as you’re done, I’ll be the one with the kids and I’ll be the one shagging Tom Cruise.”
Bon Jovi argues that “trying to seduce an audience is the basis of rock ’n’ roll”. But the love affair is confined to the stage. “All I do now is talk and look,” he says.
So how then does marriage fit in with the wild image of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll' Bon Jovi had no doubts about his priorities, saying simply but confidently of his marriage: “It works.”