Today, I boldly step forward and publicly proclaim that I love Bon Jovi. I admit a touch of embarrassment that my junior high obsession never quite resolved.
My embarrassment usually causes me to hide this fact except with close friends. Even then, some friends tease me, good naturedly of course, about my continued infatuation with an “80s Big Hair Band.”
So, why on earth at this point am I confessing my love affair with this rock group?
Last month, I rocked out at my seventh Bon Jovi concert. My husband, bless him, supports my love of the band and treated me to floor tickets.
Approaching the doors to the concert, I noticed the wide range of ages represented in the crowd. Children, wide-eyed with excitement at their first concert, streamed in with their parents along with teens, twenty-somethings, and on up to those in their sixties.
Bon Jovi began making music 25 years ago. The song, “Runaway,” created the breakthrough the band needed to seal a record deal. Their album, Slippery When Wet, featured the songs that made them rock stars,”Livin’ on A Prayer” and “You Give Love a Bad Name.”
These songs topped the charts in the late 1980s, the peak of the Big Hair Rock Band Era, and Bon Jovi fit the image perfectly. However, as the Big Hair Era faded away, Bon Jovi found staying power.
The band tweaked their image as society evolved what it wanted and desired from music. Long hair became dated; the boys got hair cuts.
Outrageous outfits fell out of fashion; the boys traded in for jeans and t-shirts. Their fans aged; their songs reflected personal growth and maturity. Music began to blend different genres; Bon Jovi partnered with country music stars to create crossover hits.
Their music reflects their journey from fitting into the hottest music genre of the 1980s to a group that is comfortable with who they are and what they offer.
Maybe it’s this down-to-earth approach that appeals to fans of all ages. From a coaching perspective, fans identify with the message of personal growth and change.
As teens, we desire to fit in and blend with the crowd. As we mature, we value our uniqueness and become comfortable in our own skin. We evolve as individuals, adapt to change, reflect on where we have been, and design where we want to go.
Bon Jovi fans hear the band follow this process in their song lyrics, which provides comfort, inspiration, and motivation.
From a business perspective, Bon Jovi keeps its finger on the pulse of the music business. They know what their fans want. They adapt their music to fit the popular sound but keep their brand the same. They always identify their roots, the New Jersey boys next door, in their music. Time after time, they deliver quality products, slightly repackaged to fit what the fans want.
As the band launched into “Livin’ on a Prayer,” I lowered myself into my seat as the rest of the arena stood. My husband leaned over to ask if I felt ok.
I felt fantastic!! I simply stopped to marvel and enjoy the power of a band and its music. 15,000 people sang the lyrics at the top of their voices as Bon Jovi supplied only the music.
Thanks to good business practices and a willingness to share their own personal growth, a band that could have fallen into obscurity with the rest of the Big Hair Bands of the 80s continues to carve out their place in rock and roll history.
PS If any representative from Bon Jovi would like to contact me about my insights and engage in further discussion, I’ll be by my phone. (I know, I am crossing my fantasies again but a girl’s gotta dream!)
Suzette Langley, Life Coach, MSW, author and speaker, assists people in creating lives they love to live through improving their health, fitness, time/stress management, and work-life balance.
Suzette moves clients from possibility to reality through goal setting and action evaluation. She offers individual/group coaching, corporate trainings, workshops, and a free monthly newsletter through Passion for Life Coaching. She can be found at http://www.suzettelangley.com