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December 10, 2004


BON JOVI were honored with the AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS Lifetime Merit Award back in LA last month. What you do know is that Jon spoke on behalf of the band when accepting the awards (and you can go to the VIDEOS section of the 100,000,000 BON JOVI FANS CAN'T BE WRONG... page of this website to view the entire AMA segment featuring Bon Jovi's career retrospective reel, their performance and the speech.) What you probably don't know is that the thank you speech Jon gave was an abbreviated one... Jon actually had written a longer speech but since there is only so much time for thanks yous during a live awards telecast, he edited the speech down to what you saw/heard him deliver during the show. Jon however gave us the full-length speech to share with you here at www.bonjovi.com

So, in the coming days, we'll add the AP Sports Editors speech to the news section... and then both the AP Sports Speech and the full-length AMA speech will go up on the JON bio page in the band section as well (along with speeches from Monmouth University and Oxford University.) In the meantime, here's the unedited version of the original American Music Awards speech written by Jon Bon Jovi:

Los Angeles, CA / November 14, 2004

In the fall of 1977, I was just another sophomore at St. Joseph's High School in New Jersey. It was an all boys school, I might add. I wasn't doing particularly well in my first semester. Things weren't going as smoothly as it had just the year prior. To tell you the truth, I was on the verge of failing everything but gym.

So, one day I got called down to the office by one of the brothers ・these men who were not quite priests but were a lot closer to God than I'd ever been. We both knew the drill. He asked me what I wanted to do with my life. What were my interests? What were my career plans? I tried to make small talk, all the while reassuring him that I would get those grades up and focus on the big picture.

He didn't fall for it. Not a single word. You see, I was 15 years old and was having a hard time telling the man of the cloth that over the summer I had found the two greatest things in the world. They were gonna teach me things I never dreamed of. Take me places I only heard of. Show me a piece of heaven that could make this sinner want to pray.

One was girls. This was God's greatest gift to the world.

The other was the guitar.

The guitar gave me hope.
It gave me courage.
It gave me faith.
It gave me a dream.

I went on trying to please my case. I looked that man in the eye and said, "Brother Richard, this isn't working for me. I checked the curriculum and there aren't the courses I need. You see, Brother Richard, I want to be a rock 'n' roll star."

He thoughtfully said that I should play the guitar. In fact, he played the guitar. He thought I should do it like he did ・as a hobby.

But saving baseball cards was a hobby. Building model cars was a hobby. Playing in a band was not a hobby ・it was my life. I went back to public school and it's there that I want to thank the first people on my list.

My parents. Thanks Mom and Dad. You were good enough to let your kids dream. I know you're real proud tonight.

I want to thank Dorothea who puts up with me. Loved me when it was easy and loved me more when it was hard. Thank you. I love you.

I want to thank so many others tonight but don't want to take too much time.

Jerry Edelstein, who is like a father and a friend and has always been the voice of reason.

Cheryl Alper. Ilene Schreibman who always has my back. And Paul Korzilius. Paul, your selfless dedication to my dream is so appreciated, you'll never know. We've been through so much and it's not over yet.

Bill Harper, Joy Derdiger, Rob Light, Chris Dalston, Bugzee Hougdahl, Rocky Holman, Mike Rew, Scott Casey・all the crew who have been with us through the years and to all those who have served the band so well, I thank you.

Obie O'Brien. You're the one who reminds me it's still worth the fight. You're a real friend. I thank you.

Where would I be if I didn't thank the band?
Alec Such ・thank you for your dedication.
To Hugh McDonald, the best bass player any band could hope for, I thank you.
David Bryan ・we've gone from the basement and the bars together since we were 16 years old. Big Ed's smiling tonight.
Tico Torres ・the grown up of the band. Tico said to me once, "You know I must love you ・I've been staring at your ass for 20 years." Thanks for pushing me, pulling me and keeping the big beat going.
And of course, Richie Sambora. I'm honored to call you my friend. We've done so much together. Always looking out for each other. You are truly my right arm. I thank you.

I have to give a shout to our kids.
The Baby Hector, Colton, Gabby, Lily, Ava, Stephanie, Jesse, Jake and Romeo ・our greatest hits.

And finally to our fans・the reason we're still here is because you believe. Even when I couldn't, you gave me the chance to dream.

May all your dreams take you where you want to go and may all your wishes come true.

Posted by riesambo at December 10, 2004 10:03 AM