Tune in for the Bon Jovi stories.
Be wowed by Irving Azoff’s skills as host.
This Sirius XM Volume series is a result of a coin flip, in negotiations for music rights Irving said he’d do it if he lost, and he did, and ergo this initial session recorded at his house on the eve of the Pollstar conference with him, Jon, Rob Light and Judd Apatow.
The funniest story is the one where Bon Jovi asks Howard Stern to induct his band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dedicated Sternophiles have heard Howard’s version, but the inside iteration is so much better. Jon’s bugging Howard to connect in person and Stern is caught between wanting to come through and not wanting to get together at all. Furthermore, he’s worried what this is about, is Jon sick or something? The ultimate rendezvous happens outside Howard’s shrink’s office, by the side door. Where the two men converse astride their respective rides like a Mafia meeting.
And then Irving e-mails Stern and tells him the gig is in Cleveland!
We love these inside stories, we drool over them, and we think we know them…
But there’s so much left unsaid.
Meanwhile, in one fell swoop Jon Bon Jovi rehabilitates his image, become human, scrapes away all the b.s. of the past decades. He’s mortal, with insecurities. He talks about feeling infallible at the Super Bowl during the height of his fame, when he’s sitting in the stands and Garth Brooks punts and he’s asked to sing the National Anthem. He says SURE! But he wonders if he’d do it today. He wonders where that kid WENT!
That’s why we listen to people’s stories, for the humanity, to feel connected, to know we’re not the only one confounded by this thing called life.
And Jon talks about the Gorillaz being the biggest band in his household. Giving the U.K. act a bigger plug than they’ve ever gotten stateside, almost makes you want to fire up their music and see what it’s all about.
And when he talks about giving away 80,000 free meals at his Soul Kitchens, how there are no prices and you can either volunteer or pay what you want, you feel warm towards him, he’s not trading on his good works, he’s just doing what he feels in his heart.
Not that he’s as dynamic as Irving…
Thinking on your feet ain’t easy. Public speaking ain’t easy. Being a host means you not only have to talk, but guide the conversation.
And with no preparation Irving’s a pro. Evidencing his intelligence and humor and if you don’t know the man, you’ll be exposed to his truth, this is not Orson Welles in “The Muppet Movie,” an imposing holier-than-thou behemoth, but someone friendly and smart who you want to hang out with, someone who can laugh at himself while revealing truth.
Most people don’t get the chance. This is how Irving really is. I’m not saying he can’t explode, that’s a club in his bag, but you win more when you’re friends and you create a win-win, aware, of course, of what your advantages are.
As for Judd Apatow…he’s outmatched by the music people. Judd is almost an afterthought, but when he brings up Warren Zevon…
He asks Warren about writing music for his film, but says he’s got to wait for the studio’s notes. NOTES? WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ NOTES!
That’s why classic rock was. That’s why it sustained. They wrestled the power from the labels, from the suits, and they didn’t give it back until MTV made it all about image and the money eclipsed the art. That’s a rock star, someone who has to do it his way.
And Rob Light adds color, giving insight into how live has gone from second class citizen to dominant player, because of the raw connection, because it reminds you who you were and forever more shall be, but the glue here is…
You’d listen to him talk to ANYBODY! He’s more dynamic than Bon Jovi, even though it’s Jon who sings to stadiums.
And that comes up too, the power of the stage. The love, the feedback, being able to manipulate people. The influence.
That’s the power of rock and roll.
And Irving won’t denigrate the new acts.
But he’s wistful about the old ones. And everybody agrees, their kids stream the classic rock.
And unlike a movie, unlike standup, you get on stage and sing your greatest hits and…
The audience is no longer livin’ on a prayer, they’ve taken the bad medicine and are thrilled you’re there for them.
So lay your hands on Sirius XM’s Volume channel.
You’re gonna dig this.