Saturday, January 29, 2011

Remember When...

So earlier I posted the For Sale notice for Jon's childhood home.  AND I neglected to thank Rike for sending me the link for that, so sorry Rike, and THANKS!!!!

Well, RutPop thought it'd be neat to revisit the 1989 article from the MTV Giveaway contest.  I think so too.

Here's the article, from the NYTimes archives:

Fan's Prize: Bon Jovi's Jersey Roots
By WAYNE KING, Special to the New York Times
Published: March 28, 1989

SAYREVILLE, N.J.— When Jon Bongiovi was a tyke, 3 or 4 years old, growing up in a pleasant subdivision here, his mother, Carol, used to dress him up "like a little doll," as she put it, for little performances.

"I would hold him in front of a mirror and dance with him," Mrs. Bongiovi recalled recently. "And then I would get him to stand up, and I'd applaud and show him how to stand up and take a bow."

These days, Jon, his name streamlined to Bon Jovi, is still taking bows, though his image as one of the world's biggest rock stars tends more toward black leather and sweat. But his mother is still very much part of the act: with the help of MTV, the rock video network, she is preparing to give away the family home to a fan of Mr. Bon Jovi, whose latest album is "New Jersey."

Jon Bon Jovi now lives in much more upscale Rumson, N.J., a street or two away from Bruce Springsteen, a fellow New Jersey native. But Mr. Bon Jovi is helping to give away his boyhood home on Robin Hood Drive here. 'Finer Things in Life'

"This isn't just a house, man, it's the place where I grew up!" he says in a promotional spot for the MTV giveaway. "It's my boyhood home, man. This is the place where I learned about the finer things in life. Like rock 'n' roll. And women." Viewers can enter the drawing for the house by calling a number that is scheduled to be shown on the network tonight.

A fairly typical four-bedroom colonial in Sayreville, a Middlesex County borough of 34,000, the Bongiovi home of 24 years is now something of a mecca for fans. That has been fine with Mrs. Bongiovi, who is president of the Bon Jovi Fan Club, but it has also been a bit of a pain in the neck. When Jon is in town, the street can become a mob scene. The police have been called.

Mrs. Bongiovi enjoyed the attention, but as her husband, John, a hairdresser, approached retirement, they bought a new house in another town to get some privacy. She is hoping they have a few months of peace before they are discovered.

"If I have a garage sale, I'm having it by appointment only," she said. Bar or Boardwalk

The Bongiovis had intended to rent the house to friends. But MTV promoters were looking for what Abbey Konowitch, vice president for programming, called "a piece of New Jersey" to give away as a tie-in to Mr. Bon Jovi's album.

"We talked about giving away a bar, a piece of the Boardwalk in Asbury Park, something tangible that would say New Jersey and would give some additional notoriety to the region," she said.

They even considered the house of Danny Paranella, who was Mr. Bon Jovi's guitar teacher and whose house on Mr. Bon Jovi's very own street was for sale.

Enter 14-year-old Matthew Bongiovi, Jon's youngest brother, who suggested that MTV buy their house and give it away.

Neither party will discuss specific finances, except to say that the network paid "fair market value" for the house, which Mrs. Bongiovi said was appraised for a little under $300,000. The winner will also get $10,000 for local property taxes.

Mr. Paranella's house, alas, is still for sale, at about $200,000.

Meanwhile, another Sayreville resident, James Robinson, a former assistant recreation director for the city who hired Jon for occasional local appearances, is proposing a Sayreville Hall of Fame. The top candidate is Mr. Bon Jovi.

"In spite of his fame, he's clean, he's wholesome, he's God-fearing," said Mr. Robinson, who felt constrained to add, "I'm not saying the guys in the band are saints, but they're not bad guys."

Mr. Bon Jovi did raise some local headlines this month when he and three friends were arrested in Manhattan after sneaking onto the ice of Wollman Rink in Central Park early one morning. But he crusades against drugs, and as a promoter of his home state, he has powerful defenders.

In his State of the State Message this year, Governor Thomas H. Kean irked some Sayreville residents when talking about the intricacies of liability insurance, he light-heartedly remarked, "Insurance is even more arcane than the law, quantum physics or why teen-agers listen to Bon Jovi."

Assemblyman Alan Karcher, who represents Sayreville, took that as something of a civic slander. On March 2, he rose in the Assembly to defend the singer. "Teen-agers listen to Bon Jovi because they're great." he said, and suggested that the Governor's values were askew.

"Jon thought enough of his home state to call his latest album 'New Jersey.' We all complan when some star makes fun of New Jersey. Here we've got a superstar who's proud of his home state, and the Governor is criticizing him."
~ Hath


Rike January 29, 2011 at 12:07 PM  

here is a video from that MTV house give away

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