Not all rock stars want to change the world. Some just want to have fun. But some, like Jon Bon Jovi, decide to make a little difference after they grow up. After all, when Jon was a little boy, all he wanted to was to play the guitar and pick up chicks. He wasn’t interested in anything else other than girls and music. This got to a point that his high school teachers let him pass with the condition that he’d just keep up his mouth shut.
Years later, this strictly rock n’ roll attitude was especially reflected in the song “Blame it on the love of rock’ n’ roll” (from the album Keep the Faith, 1992). The song talks about the love of music in young boys and how doctors, teachers, preachers or even parents won’t be able to stop him (or other boys) from realizing their dreams.
For a long time, all Jon and his band Bon Jovi (where the majority of lyrics are written by Jon), were interested in was rock’ n roll and the fun themes that came along with the territory: love, women, parties and dreams. Sure, the band would occasionally get a little pessimistic and write about faith (and loss of it) in life love and/or God, but in general, Bon Jovi had been a happy-go-lucky band. And basically until the end of the 90s, Jon’s other main interest had been acting.
However in the 21st century, Jon became more and more involved in environmental causes as well as politics. In 2000, his candidate of choice was Al Gore. In 2004, he openly supported John Kerry. Both candidates lost to George W. Bush. Jon was really depressed about the results of both elections as he believes the world would have been a better place if Bush hadn’t won at all.
While Jon claims to have lost interest in politics (due to having lost both times), he wrote the album Have a Nice Day (which features the titular song Have a Nice Day) to remind people that you can’t just give up because you lost. He believes that a nation should stick together. Apparently, Americans loved the message as the album entered the Billboard 200 at number 2. Jon’s sense of community was also reflected on the song Who Says You Can’t Go Home, which was co-written with lead guitarist Richie Samobra. A country version for the song was also recorded, featuring vocals of the country singer Jennifer Nettles. The duet version reached number 1 at the Country Charts, which is not just a first for Bon Jovi but for any rock band. A born and bred New Jersey inhabitant, he had no objections for his song to be used for tourism efforts. However the song also reflected Jon’s efforts to help people that who lost their homes due to Hurricane Katrina.
Jon’s humanitarian work also includes environmental issues. When asked about all his relatively recent humanitarian efforts and enthusiasm, he half-jokes that he is just making up for all the damage his band caused the Ozone layer, due to the massive amount of hair spray they used in the 80s.
As for Jon’s efforts being publicly noticed, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Monmouth University. And in 2008, he was elected into the 2008 New Jersey Hall of Fame for his services to Arts, Entertainment, and Philanthropy. He should keep up the good work but shouldn’t neglect his band either. After all he is a rocker at heart.