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Bon Jovi: Still there for you

Fri., Oct. 4, 2013

Jon Bon Jovi and keyboard player David Bryan, right, will land at the Spokane Arena on Sunday night. (Associated Press)
Jon Bon Jovi and keyboard player David Bryan, right, will land at the Spokane Arena on Sunday night. (Associated Press)

Hit-making rockers Bon Jovi continue to draw in fans

Bon Jovi has had so many successful albums and singles in their long career that they could quit at any moment and still leave behind quite a legacy.

But they keep releasing new material and continue racking up hits, and the name of their current tour – “Because We Can” – might explain why they haven’t thrown in the towel. Unlike most of the bands from their era, Bon Jovi refuses to be stamped with an expiration date.

The band’s last three albums, including their newest “What About Now,” have all reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and many of their ’80s singles – “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “I’ll Be There for You,” “Bad Medicine” – are staples of modern arena rock.

“We’ve always called ourselves a ‘current classic,’ ” said David Bryan, keyboard player for Bon Jovi. “We strive to keep making new records and being current on the radio. We play songs from the new record and the songs that everybody loves to hear, including us.”

Bon Jovi’s never been completely absent from mainstream radio. Smash singles like the ballad “Always” and the inescapable “It’s My Life” kept the group relevant through the ’90s and early 2000s, and their current tour, which has made its way through Europe and Latin America before landing in Spokane on Sunday night, has already grossed more than $140 million.

“It’s really fun to get out there and play in front of people,” Bryan said. “It’s a great escape for everybody for the couple hours that we play.”

Bryan, who recently won three Tony Awards for co-writing the Broadway musical “Memphis,” is one of Bon Jovi’s founding members. He says the band’s constant work schedule has, after so many years on the road and in the studio, become second nature to them.

“It’s just what we do,” he said. “Jon and I have been playing together since 1978, when I was 16  1/2 with my driver’s permit. It’s been a long time. We worked like madmen, and we got lucky.”

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