Jackson, Laura-Jon Bon Jovi-The Biography (Book review)

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: Aug, 2022
Released: 2010, Piatkus/ Little Brown
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: JP

Laura Jackson is a popular and well-regarded British author and television personality. She has written any number of rock biographies including books about Brian May, Freddie Mercury, Stephen Tyler and Mr. Jon Bon Jovi.

In our quest to review every book about Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, and occasionally I’ll come across a book that I want to read/review to fill a gap in our archive. I came across this paperback in a used bookstore in a little town in southern Alberta for a few bucks and it gave me something easy to read while I was bored in my hotel after working on the road. The 250-page paperback has a few colour pictures on glossy plates in the middle. For the record I’m reviewing the updated 2010 pressing, with the original version came out in 2003.

Let’s be blunt, much like the Tyler biography by Jackson that I reviewed for this site back in 2013, this is a total fluff piece. This is not a hard-hitting biography or deep examination of the rocker. This is one of those simple, non-challenging pieces that is designed to make money and gets churned out for mass consumption. I’m not blaming Jackson, her writing is simple, effective, and non-offensive. I’m sure she was well compensated to cover yet another major rock star. It is likely aimed for a youth market as it is sanitized and safe. Jackson at times writes the story like she is the president of the Bon Jovi fan club at worse or a publicist’s press-release at best. I nearly gagged when she wrote, “ Beneath his famously handsome looks he is a natural born survivor with the kind of grit which has taken him and his band to where they are today, still energizing millions on their world-wide Bounce tour, retaining their faithful following and attracting new devotees every day.” (p.142/plate)

Let’s look at the positive. Bon Jovi (the man) is an interesting, and admittedly talented character and with his massive success there are obvious reasons why he is a pop-culture hero. I busted out some old Bon Jovi albums while reading this and I had fun and learned quite a bit. I think many people enjoy a glimpse into lives of celebrities. I refer to him as a celebrity because he has transcended his hard rock roots, moving seamlessly into acting, charity work, and other projects. The book drifts back and forth between Bon Jovi, the man, and Bon Jovi the band, but it is clear who the book is about.

Highlights of his biography include his extra curricular activities.  I’m not a big pop-culture guy I never knew he was in TV shows such as Ally McBeal, The West Wing and Sex In The City.  I also had forgotten (or didn’t know in the first place) that he has acted in at least six films and supports various charities.  He has also held lavish and expensive political  fundraisers for people like Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Barrack Obama.  The book also touched on his ownership of an AFL professional football team, the Philadelphia Soul. He is a busy and generous man by any standard.

I have no problem with Bon Jovi. Normally, Metal-Rules.com doesn’t have much to do with Bon Jovi these days but his melodic hard rock gets a pass based on his impressive history. JON BON JOVI-THE BIOGRAPHY is an easy summer read, for fans only.