Blue-collar bards: Bon Jovi vs. Bruce
When it comes to 80s rock, give it to us loud, hard and hirsute. That's my motto. And that's why I challenged Times pop music critic and podcast co-host Sean Daly to another blog battle that will surely shake him to the base of his plastic-lacquered wig.
This week's challenge: Who's the ultimate 80s East Coast rocker -- Bon Jovi or Bruce Springsteen? Truth be told, Daly wanted to blog battle over best Spandau Ballet song -- he goes crazy for "Gold" -- but I talked him out of it. Instead, it's the Melee at the Meadowlands.
Sadly, this one isn't going to be a contest. But with both acts coming to Tampa Bay next year (Bruce on April 21 and Bon Jovi on April 27), I consider it a public service to mop up the St. Pete Times Forum with Sean's hairless rump. He'll still be fighting with drunken, sullen townies after that over-testosteroned 'Steen show while I'm celebrating Jersey style as Ritchie Sambora brings me on stage to play guitar on Bad Medicine. ("I got all the symptoms count 'em 1,2,3!")
Read Sean's argument here. (Warning: He'll promise you heaven but put you through hell. So just take my hand, we'll make it, I swear...)
TOP 5 REASONS BON JOVI PREVAILS OVER SPRINGSTEEN:
5. I CAN UNDERSTAND JON BON JOVI: He sings a song, I hear the words, my head auto-bobs and if I've had enough alcohol, I might even sing along. When a Springsteen tune comes on, I immediately have to look up the lyrics so I can read along. Come on, Boss! Articulate! It's okay to look like a car mechanic. Just don't sing like one.
4. SPRINGSTEEN SONGS ARE DEPRESSING: Dude, we get it. Being broke sucks. Same with being a washed-up baseball pitcher. Or, say, being the former husband of a supermodel (ouch!). With that level of constant depression, it occurs to me that the Boss was "grunge" -- right down to his ratty flannel-wear -- long before the whole Seattle scene popped up like a cold sore on the music industry. And the only cool thing about grunge is that it's been dead and buried since the early 90s.
3. JON IS A MAN OF THE PEOPLE: He owns an Arena Football team. He hangs out on American Idol. He shows up to play a tune or two before the start of a Nascar race. He shaves. He's NOT doing a cover of "Froggie Went A-Courtin'." And unlike Springsteen, nobody confuses Bon Jovi with John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. (Brruuuuce! Sing "On The Dark Side!")
2. CHICKS DIG BON JOVI: Part of being a rock star is looking the part. Jon Bon Jovi could sing about a herpes sore and the ladies would swoon. He winks and the first 10 rows of the crowd pass out, including Mr. Daly (if he's not in between bites of his fish burrito). Jon's so good-looking that I'm pretty sure Springsteen dresses as Bon Jovi for Halloween. (Or at least Patti Scialfa asks him to.)
1. A BON JOVI SHOW IS ALL ABOUT FUN: Sean can talk all he wants about surviving a steamy afternoon in New Orleans, listening to Springsteen with Katrina survivors. (Did you know Bon Jovi donated $1-million to build Habitat for Humanity homes in Louisiana? That's class.) Bottom line: I don't like a heaping serving of depression at concerts. Give me an audience of Aqua-Net-soused, blue eye-shadowed sweeties in torn-up jeans jumping up and down for two hours and flashing their ta-ta's. Two hours later, they're racing home next to you, ready to fantasize about Jon during some post-concert nookie.
And I'm totally cool with that.
So who wins the blog battle? Sean with his sullen Springsteen? Or Jon Bon Jovi, hot sex and the American way?