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Picture of the Week

Picture of the Week

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Richie Sambora: new Bon Jovi album The Circle "rocks hard"

Found this on the net......from

Bon Jovi went to Nashville for 2007's country-tinged Lost Highway album and the result was mega-platinum: the record debuted at number one in the US - a first for the band. But on their upcoming release, The Circle (due out 10 November), the Jersey hitmakers are "back to rocking," says Richie Sambora.

"It was great dipping our toes in different waters," says the guitarist. "Jon [Bon Jovi] and I loved working with all these Nashville cats on Lost Highway, and that music definitely came through us in a natural way. We went down there with a couple of notepads and some guitars and magic just happened.

"But the last thing we want to do is try to Xerox something till it becomes a pale imitation of the original. So when Jon called me up last year and said it was time to start writing, the first thing we asked ourselves was, 'What do we feel like doing? And rocking was the answer."

Fruitful writing sessions
Sambora describes the writing sessions between Bon Jovi and himself as "extremely easy, prolific and probably the most fun we've ever had creatively. I went to Jon's house with nothing and before you knew it we had something like 28 songs. Hey, when you're on a roll, you're on a roll. You don't question it, you just keep going till you're done."

Describing their demoing process, Sambora says bluntly, "We don't. Meaning, we don't do these elaborate sketches of songs with this part and that part. It's a time-waster." Instead, the duo "just grab two acoustic guitars, sit down in front of our old-school cassette record or an iPhone and we play the songs.

"We're of the belief that you can't polish bullshit," he says. "You have to remember, Jon and I have been doing this for 25 years. We know when we have something great and when we have something sub-par.

"To us, when we write a song, we knock it out and then we bring it to the band. When you go into a studio and you press 'Record,' that's a different story. That's when you start sprinkling all the fairy dust on the tracks. But that should come only after you have something that's unbreakable."
Guitars, guitars, guitars!

To record The Circle, Bon Jovi reunited with producer-songwriter John Shanks, who the band worked with on Have A Nice Day and half of Lost Highway. "John's an amazing producer, writer, you name it," Sambora enthuses. "I can't say enough good things about him. And he knows his guitars, too - that always helps."

Sambora admits he can't remember all the guitars he used on the new album, but a few come to mind. "I got a '58 Explorer which sounds excellent. Then I also used a Duesenberg, a Les Paul Jr with P-90s, a '59 and a '68 Les Paul. Plus, there were a couple of my old Teles and some of John Shanks's Strats. All good stuff."

The first single from The Circle, We Weren't Born To Follow, has been blowing up at radio, but Sambora reveals that the version currently being spun will ultimately differ from what fans can expect to hear on the album.

"When I recorded the solo to that song, I played a very melodic, kind of Beatles-esque break. That was the mood I was in. As soon as the song got leaked to radio, people went crazy, sending e-mails and Twittering and everything: 'We love the song, but what's with that solo? We want a rippin', burnin' Richie Sambora solo.

"So I said to Jon, 'Hey, do you want me to change it? We got time. And Jon was like, 'Sure. Go lay down another solo and we'll drop it in the song on the album.' So that's what I did - I cut it yesterday, in fact. It's a monster."

But does the guitarist mind having fans, in effect, 'produce' part of a song? "Nah!" he says, with a laugh. "When I played sessions, it was all about serving the song. Sometimes you have to test things out and see what works. I'm totally cool about the whole thing. And I guarantee that when people hear the new solo, they'll be stoked. Ask and you shall receive."

Monday, September 14, 2009

R.I.P. Patrick Swayze

Today seems to be about twenty. This time it is twenty months. That's how long Patrick Swayze knew he had pancreatic cancer. That's nineteen months longer than my husband knew before he too succumbed to that awful disease.

Many people will be mourning the passing of Patrick and I will be one of them, some of his movies are classics. The line "nobody ever puts Baby in a corner" is one that pretty much everyone knows. I loved his movies from Red Dawn that his co-star was his wife Lisa Niemi to Road House, Ghost, which was a special favorite of mine and my husband's, and everything inbetween. To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar was a great movie that was so very funny and then there was North and South, the mini-series on television. All of them showed his versatility and talent.

Not one of them showed the strength and grit that he must have had as a person to withstand that disease as long as he did. I know from close personal experience it is horribly painful. Having seen what this disease does to a loved one, my heart goes out to Lisa and to their friends and family. It's not pretty, it doesn't discriminate and there is currently no cure.

Quoting the National Cancer Institute:

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect and diagnose for the following reasons:

There aren’t any noticeable signs or symptoms in the early stages of pancreatic cancer.

The signs of pancreatic cancer, when present, are like the signs of many other illnesses.

The pancreas is hidden behind other organs such as the stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and bile ducts.

I don't know what symptoms led to Patrick's diagnosis that gave him 20 months, but for my husband we had no idea until they did surgery for what the doctors believed was operable, curable liver cancer. Once they opened him up, that's when they discovered pancreatic cancer and less than a month later he lost the battle. A battle that I have to say in all honesty was very difficult to watch as that horrible, deadly disease caused him untold pain and discomfort for those short weeks. It was a blessing that he went so quickly.

My heart bleeds for the Swazye family and any others facing this deadly killer. My only wish is that because of what Mr. Swazye, Michael Landon, Luciano Pavarotti, Gene Upshaw, Jack Benny (also had lung cance) and my husband faced, that the National Cancer Society and those others researching cures for cancer will find one for this monster.

R.I.P Patrick Swayze.

Musings caused by Jon and Dorothea strolling in NYC

I got this picture in my Google alerts and had to comment on it. First, I don't know how any one man can look that good with a scruffy face, but he pulls it off beautifully. And those of you that know me, know I'm sitting here with drool running down my chin at the whole scruff thing......

Secondly, the caption with the picture set my brain into musing mode ... "Rock legend Jon Bon Jovi strolls in New York City with his wife of twenty years Dorothea Hurley. The couple have four children -- Stephanie Rose, 16, Jesse James, 14, Jacob Hurley, 7, and Romeo Jon, 5. "

Twenty years. They've been married 20 years. Now that was no surprise to me back in April when they celebrated their 20th, but today it hit me that 20 years ago I was already a fan and had been for a couple years (I didn't discover them until LOAP was on MTV and I got a good look at the lead guitarist, which later gave way to those blue eyes and the charisma that is Jon and is probably the basis of why I sway between them). At that point in my life I'd already graduated college, moved to Florida and was a married woman myself.

Sixteen years ago. They had Stephanie Rose on May 31st and a friend of mine at the time was pregnant with her first child, with a due date within days of Stephanie's. It was also 16 years ago that I finally saw Bon Jovi live for the first time in Tampa on my mother's birthday (she did forgive me for that, eventually). Keep the Faith tour. There's something about that band live that hooks you for good and insinuates itself into the fabric of your being.

Fourteen years ago. Jesse James was born on February 19th, same day as my late brother's birthday. These Days came out in the stores and it is in the top three of my favorite records the guys ever released. The best review I've ever read of that album came from Anthony Kuzminski, it's well worth the read. He puts into words all of the feelings I've had about that particular work of art and would never be able to manage.

Seven years ago. Jacob Hurley was born on May 7th. Jon did a stint on Ally McBeal. My husband passed away and Bounce brought me out of my stupor. I joined the Street Team, Backstage and met a lot of awesome women that have since become some of my closest friends. The words "count me out, count me in, I'll be bouncing back again" were my mantra during that time and my cat Bounce came into my life via friends that knew I needed something to remind me to keep bouncing. She does, everyday.

Five years ago. Romeo Jon joined the world on March 29th. By that time I was bouncing with vigor. I'd attended a small number of concerts, no where near the number some of my friends have seen and I'll never approach that number. Still five years ago, was when HAND was released, during which tour I met some of those friends in person at Giants Stadium. One of which moved to Florida from Scotland recently, married and on Saturday is having the ceremony for friends and family that didn't attend the quicky, spur of the moment wedding on July 4th.

Today. We're all waiting for The Circle to come out, tour dates to be announced and looking forward to what the next twenty years brings with it. I wouldn't change one moment of it (except losing my best friend and husband) and Jon Bon Jovi still looks as handsome and sexy as he did back in the late 80s when I first fell in lust with him. As for Dorothea, she's probably the luckiest woman alive, although, I don't think I'd want to deal with her husband's legendary temper.


The generous Goddess Hathor has compiled a Directory of FF for all of us devoted to the genre.

If you have a story that's not listed, she'd be happy to add it!

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