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Bon Jovi on Las Vegas, celebrity and ‘Living on a Prayer’

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Jon Bon Jovi has seen a million faces. And as the song goes, he has rocked them all.

That’s fine with the New Jersey rocker who is happy to rewind to the beginning to remember how far he has come in life. “I started out as a gofer or coffee boy at a local recording studio,” he recalled. “I guess that we made it.” Some 130 million album sales and sold-out auditoriums later, plus a recent induction into the Rock &Roll Hall of Fame, provide proof positive.

Bon Jovi rolls into the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday with his “This House is Not For Sale” tour. He will be without longtime mate Richie Sambora who has left the band. “What was then was then … what is now is now. I love him to death,” he said.

Married to high school sweetheart Dorothea for 27 years (“She’s the glue”), he spends his free time providing meals for the poor. “You might even find me washing the dishes,” he says.

RJ: What is your favorite way to spend a Sunday?

Bon Jovi: My ideal Sunday runs from September till the beginning of February. Football season! Breakfast consists of picking at what I’m going to make for game day snacks.

Do you remember the first time you came to Las Vegas and your impressions of the city?

I have loads of memories in Vegas. I’ve raced cars and done simulated sky diving. I loved seeing the Tyson-Bruno fight. I’ve done several videos in Vegas. I’ve even driven cross-country and drove into Vegas on a motorcycle. I also got married at Graceland Chapel in 1989.

What do you like to do when you’re in Vegas?

I’m up for anything … almost.

You’re at T-Mobile on the 17th. Is there one classic Bon Jovi song you love to sing?

At this point, there are so many songs to choose from. We’ve been making No. 1 records for 35 years and are blessed with a catalog that allows us to play a wide variety of hits as well as album cuts. It’s pretty hard to say which song is the greatest hit, but “Living on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive” will probably be mentioned in my obituary … in 50 years!

How did it feel to be inducted into the Rock &Roll Hall of Fame?

It’s an amazing honor if you consider how few bands are actually in the Hall of Fame. Compare that to how many bands in garages all over the world have ever dreamt of that kind of success.

You’ve said “fame is a bitch,” but you’ve always handled it well. How do you continue to live under the radar?

Fame isn’t the reason we ever wanted to make music. It’s just a byproduct of it.


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