(L-R: LAMP Interim Executive Director Shannon Murray, Jon Bon Jovi, LA Times columnist Steve Lopez, KPCC’s John Rabe. I know it’s blurry. I didn’t take the picture.)
If you’re a big Bon Jovi fan, you know that Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation does a lot for homeless people. If you’re a former 1980s DJ who played Bon Jovi back then but wasn’t really into their music all that much, it might come as a surprise.
I’m in the latter camp, and now my eyes are open. The LA Times’ Steve Lopez (read his Skid Row stories here) got me invited to Jon’s tour of LAMP Monday afternoon. (Bon Jovi is in SoCal for the band’s big concert tour, and plays Staples Center Thursday.) Turns out Bon Jovi has been seriously working on the issue for years, since a day he saw a homeless man asleep in front of Philly’s city hall and said to himself, “I can do something about this.”
We’ll have audio of the tour later this week on Morning Edition and All Thing Considered, and then much more this weekend on Off-Ramp.
(Of this photo, Steve Lopez said, “While I am several years older than Jon, it’s interesting that we have exactly the same hair.”)
For the fans: JBJ is a really good looking 48-year old (DOB: 3/2/1962). Medium height, good hair, lean like Montgomery Clift, but with better arms. And best of all, smart and well-spoken. Here he is outside LAMP:
What I also liked: he wouldn’t sign some non-homeless jerk’s guitar, which was obviously destined for e-Bay, but he gladly and graciously signed autographs for homeless guys.
(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)