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After all these years, what still excites or drives you to perform? Frederick Do, Riverside, CA
Songwriting is key to all of it for me. Recording comes second. And if in fact your idea comes to fruitionboth through the writing process and then the recording processyou want to go out and share it with as many people as possible. That is what drives me to tour again.
Do you ever disagree with Richie Sambora over the creative process? T. Hyland, West Islip, NY
In truth, the answer is no. I think we all share the same creative vision. Each of our contributions are equal, though some of them aren't as highlighted. Richie and I may have creative discussions, but truly never had an argument about a direction in the songwriting or recording process.
Bon Jovi as a band has gone through so many changes over the yearsthere was more of a country flavor with this last album. How do you guys change like that? Eric R. Bower, Hagerstown, MD
We remain successful by remaining true to who we were. Never was there a time when trends came and we decided to jump on anyone else's bandwagon. In retrospect, that's probably what differentiates us from a lot of our peers. When we grew as a band, we did it naturally, without having a rapper when rap was in fashion, or pretending to be from Seattle when grunge was in fashion or trying to dance like a boy band when boy bands were in fashion. We just grew up and grew in public, and fortunately 100 million people came along for the ride.
Are any of your children musically inclined? How would you feel if someday they wanted to start their own rock band? Rosemary Moock, Philadelphia
They're starting to show some inclinations. I've never pushed it on them because, I want to let them find it out on their own timelike I did. If they ever chose music as a living, I would encourage it as a source of great pleasure and as something that will never let you down. Playing a musical instrument is something that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It can be a good friend to you.
Do you ever get tired of hearing and singing your more famous songs? Priya Gupta, Burr Ridge, IL
No I don't. The day that this becomes nostalgic or a reunion tour, I will walk away. As much as I do enjoy playing Living on a Prayer or Wanted Dead or Alive every night, I wouldn't feel good about performing them every night if I didn't write Who Says You Can't Go Home and have a number one single on the last album. I wouldn't want to just talk about yesterday.
You've been happily married for a long time. I'm getting married next year. What's the key to having a successful marriage? Joey Paez in Clifton, NJ
Find an independent womanwho loves you for you and will be your best friend. I got it right the first time and was very, very lucky.
If you had the ability to cure any one social ill, what would it be and why? Debra Lightner Riverdale, NJ
In this, the richest country in the history of the world, I think not addressing poverty, domestically, is the one issue that I would really like to point a finger at. Community service as it pertains to affordable housing is what I'm really focused on. Volunteerism in your community is something that is really rewarding and I find it has given me more personal satisfaction than any accolade that my profession brings me. You never know, the people that you're helping may be the next leaders of the free world. It's always great to give someone the opportunity to have a hand up.
Is it true that you now drive an energy efficient car, after all those great sports cars you've had? Debi Dodson, Chattanooga, TN
I certainly do. I have a Toyota Hybrid, among other cars.
If you could write your own headstone what would it read? Treise Kearney, County Down, North Ireland
Never bored. Never boring. [Laughs]
What do you think of your concert performances being broadcast on You Tube by people that went to the show? Susan Smith, Haltom City, TX
I enjoy it. I am just as enamored as anyone else is with You Tube. Though I wish I could navigate it as well as my own teenagers.
What do you aim for in life nowadays? Daniela Igreja, Lisbon, Portugal
Anything that I have cared to try in my life, I already did. Some things worked out. Some things did not. But I have always said of myself, I would never be a ‘coulda shoulda woulda' kind of guy. So I think the only thing I would like to have for the next twenty years is continued longevity, health and family.
You've become such a successful and multidimensional businessman over the years. Have you considered writing a book that discusses your business style and philosophy? I'd buy it! Sharon Seaman, Las Vegas
I considered it. I even went as far as to get the check, but we sent it back [to the publishers]. When I started to read the pages, they were looking for dirt and the cliché and I am not interested in that. I could give the next generation some great advice, not that they would take it. I have to qualify that answer by saying, I wouldn't have taken it at their age. Each of us has to carve our own path based on experience.
What is the proudest moment in your career? Lucia Romagnano, Chicago
That is tough. From the time you play guitar as a teenager in a garage, you think each little milestone is the be all and end all. From the time you played at that block dance, to the time you played at a nightclub, to the day you got a record deal, to the day you had a number-one album, to the day you played ten nights at the local arena. It continued to get bigger and better and continued to be more fulfilling. I don't use these road makers to pat myself on the back. They are all just anther asterisk in the book somewhere. To me the story is just not going to be told for another thirty years. I think a career is a marathon and 25 years on is when you start talking about a body of work and about having an influence and a voice in the community. That is when I even will be able to look back and say this was a good year, this was a bad year, this is why this happened. I still think it is premature.
I know you're a fairly private person, but if a movie was to be made about your life, what would the title be and who would play you? Sandra Bell, Miami, FL
Someone jokingly already told us it was going to be (Ben) Affleck and (Matt) Damon. That is going to be me and Richie. [Laughs]