Jon Bon Jovi took actions that showed class to make sure a Vancouver concert took place, after being initially cancelled, in spite of a conflict-filled year for the band. His group and management were forced to scramble to ensure fans holding tickets get a show to attend at least somewhere on Saturday, a gig which was planned to coincide with the release of Bon Jovi’s latest album, Burning Bridges, this weekend.
Normally, concert gets cancelled because of band issues, illnesses or low-ticket sales. This situation was very different. The planned Bon Jovi concert this weekend in the Canadian city’s Stanley Park was cancelled after complications with promoter Paper Rain Performances, which filed bankruptcy this week. That left the band rushing to find a new venue (Rogers Arena), figure out what to do with existing tickets given the new layout, arrange for staging equipment, and within a few days of the planned performance.
Bon Jovi acknowledged the “stressful” week involved in discovering the pieces weren’t in place for the Sydney Park gig. “What started out as just an invitation to go and perform in a park that I liked, and a summertime kind of block party feel, unfortunately turned into something rather messy for a lot of folks,” he told reporters backstage at the Rogers Arena.
“When it all fell apart, my initial reaction was it’s too bad, make sure everybody gets their refunds,” he admitted, but then the group and its touring management took over and called Rogers Arena. “God Bless them for coming to help and the Tourism Board. We made it happen.”
“Integrity matters,” Bon Jovi noted. “If you give your word to somebody I think you should do the very best you can to follow through on that word,” he commented when someone inquired why it was so important to him that the concert take place.
The problems between the rock group’s management and Paper Rain began when the promoter announced earlier this week that the show had been axed due to low ticket sales. Their statement read: “We requested a postponement of the concert as we needed more time to sell it out. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the artist’s management could not agree on a postponement.”
Bon Jovi’s team countered that the cancellation was because Paper Rain had not paid vendors or acquired the appropriate staging equipment. The City of Vancouver added that the promoter did not have the required permits for the park performance. A couple of days later, Paper Rain announced their bankruptcy filing.
Really Burning Bridges
The new album Burning Bridges is appropriately named. This song compilation, the group’s 14th studio-made record, represents a beginning and an end.
It is the first made without founding guitarist and songwriting collaborator Richie Sambora. Last fall, Bon Jovi told a reporter that the guitarist had officially left the band.
The album also marks the end (and fulfills the contractual commitment) of the band’s relationship with Mercury Records. One listen to the album makes it clear that the parting was acrimonious in much the same way Graham Parker and the Rumour sang about Mercury Poisoning. The Bon Jovi song We Don’t Run includes the lines “I’m not afraid of burning bridges ’cause I know they’re gonna light my way. Like a phoenix, from the ashes, welcome to the future, it’s a new day.” Additionally, the title track, which ends the album, offers a musical FU: “After 30 years of loyalty, they let you dig the grave. Now maybe you can learn to sing or strum along. Well, I’ll give you half the publishing; you’re why I wrote this song.”
Bon Jovi was on Mercury approximately 32 years. They sold 21.8 million albums on the label in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. Five albums and four singles hit number 1 during that time.
The scathing lyrics and split with Sambora illustrate the group’s sentiments when they sing, on the new album, “Nothing is forever, when tomorrow’s calling.” After a conflict-filled year and big changes, no wonder Jon Bon Jovi wanted to take action and show they are a class act and play the Vancouver concert. They did not want to burn bridges with fans.
Written and edited by Dyanne Weiss
Billboard: Jon Bon Jovi Concert Canceled in Vancouver: Read the Band’s Statement
Billboard: Bon Jovi Severs Ties With Longtime Label
Denver Post: Bon Jovi says he didn’t want to disappoint Vancouver fans
Newsday: Jon Bon Jovi plays Vancouver concert after scrambling when promoter files bankruptcy
U.S. News & World Report: Halfway there: Jon Bon Jovi’s Vancouver show is back on after original concert cancelled
Photo courtesy of Rosana Prada’s Flickr page – Creative Commons license