Jon Bon Jovi denies that he's a skinflint
Forbes Magazine has taken a look at the financial might of the Bon Jovi machine, speaking to its leader Jon Bon Jovi about accusations that he and his band are "penny pinching".
The magazine found that the structure of Bon Jovi's tours means that they maximise revenue in pretty obvious ways. At arenas like Montreal's 21,500-capacity Bell Center, the in-theround setup lets the band sell up to 5,500 more tickets than a traditional arena stage would. Wherever possible Bon Jovi plays consecutive nights at the same venue to cut back on setup and strike costs. By playing 12 shows in 19 days at London's O2 arena the band saved $300,000.
But it seems that the band have an unfair advantage over many of their contemporaries, as it turns out that their audience (in the US anyway), on average, earns more than most other touring acts.
The band's U.S. fans sport an average household income of $78,989, slightly higher than the mean for the 350 music groups tracked by research firm NPD's Brand Link database. The economic difference between Bon Jovi's fans and those of, say, Justin Bieber ($71,389) or Metallica ($71,089) means that the band sell more VIP packages, merchandise and other associated items at every single show.
And the fact that the band run things themselves also helps. In 1992 an increasingly ambitious Jon Bon Jovi took the group's business into his own hands, forming Bon Jovi Management with longtime tour manager Paul Korzilius - and dismissed manager Doc McGhee. "It just got to a point where I said, 'I can't pay you 20% of the gross, and I can't see this vision,'" Bon Jovi says. "My peers wanted to be on the cover of Circus. I wanted to be on the cover of Time."
And those "penny pinching" accusations?
"It wasn't some conscious decision to be penny-pinching. I think it's just wise to be efficient," says Bon Jovi. "I know big bands where each of them has personal assistants on the road, each of them has a security guard. We don't have a security guard. Take your own friggin' bags!"
In the article, which you can read HERE, Jon Bon Jovi also revealed that one of his band's other revenue streams - the computer game franchise Rock Band on which you can play several of the band's songs - is not for him. The 49- year-old singer's wife and kids recently convinced him to give the popular videogame a try. So he picked up the microphone and launched into a rendition of his classic "Wanted Dead or Alive," backed by family on virtual guitars and drums. He never made it through the song.
"I failed--it buzzed me down," Bon Jovi admits over lunch in Manhattan. "So I stood up off the couch and I said, 'All right, goddamn it, press play.' They did it again, I failed again, and I said, 'Everybody's going to bed. That's the end of this. Turn that s**t off.'"