BON JOVI PLAYS DUMBO

Action!: On Oct. 27, Bon Jovi set up a stage in DUMBO's Empire-Fulton Ferry State park for the filming of the video for their song "Welcome to Wherever You Are," from their new album "Have a Nice Day."
The Brooklyn Papers / Tom Callan

After selling over 100 million albums worldwide,
performing more than 2,500 concerts in 50 countries before more
than 32 million people, rock gods Bon Jovi finally invaded DUMBO.



To be more precise, on Thursday, Oct. 27, the musicians sang
and played along to the recording of their song "Welcome
to Wherever You Are," on a stage in Empire-Fulton Ferry
State Park for the filming of a music video directed by the legendary
Wayne Isham.



On his way from the band’s trailers to the stage built on the
edge of the East River, lead singer-guitarist Jon Bon Jovi told
GO Brooklyn that the band has been collaborating with Isham –
voted MTV’s "All Time Video Director" in 2001, according
to the Web site businesswire.com – for "22 years, on all
the big hits."



(And after two decades in the business, the band’s list of hits
– "It’s My Life," "Living on a Prayer," and
"Wanted, Dead or Alive" – is longer than ever.)



The group’s reason for setting the video in DUMBO was to be near
"this piece of architectural art" said Jon, gesturing
to the Brooklyn Bridge that loomed above the uncovered stage.



As the sun began to set, Jon and fellow bandmembers – guitarist
Richie Sambora, keyboard player David Bryan and drummer Tico
Torres – gamely braved the cold winds on the exposed outcropping,
with Bryan warming his hands in his pockets between takes. They
saved their enthusiasm for the camera – mounted on an enormous
boom – which would swoop over the 30 members of the film crew
and delighted spectators. (The unpublicized shoot attracted state
park employees and local police officers who requested autographs
from the obliging bandmembers.)



The DUMBO video shoot wasn’t the band’s first visit to the neighborhood.
Like Jon Bon Jovi’s solo album "Destination Anywhere,"
the liner notes of the "Have a Nice Day" CD feature
photographs taken in Brooklyn.



"It’s a great place to be, I’m not here enough," said
Jon.



Sambora likened the surroundings to his father’s hometown of
Bayonne, New Jersey.



"It feels comfortable being here," said Sambora. "It’s
all good."



The guitarist co-wrote the song "Welcome to Wherever You
Are" with Jon and producer John Shanks.



"I’m in love with the song," he told GO Brooklyn in
an exclusive interview.



"The lyrics are particularly important, about everybody,
everywhere," said Sambora, looking very much like a rock
star with his mirrored sunglasses, long earring and perfectly
white smile. "It’s about being non-judgmental. It’s a very
East Coast attitude: live and let live. Its about being regular
people.



"And you know what? Life isn’t getting any easier. That’s
my take on the song anyway."



While the band initially lip-synced the recorded song’s lyrics,
they could soon be heard singing along: "When everybody’s
in and you’re left out/And you feel you’re drowning in the shadow
of a doubt/ Everyone’s a miracle in their own way/ Just listen
to yourself, not what other people say."



Manhattan actress Tracy Ransome had a walk-on role in the video.
Although she had been with the crew since 6:30 am, she was still
smiling.



"It was an exciting day for me," said Ransome. "I
thought the song was inspiring. It hit me, as someone striving
with my acting career, to keep on going after my dream."




"Welcome to Wherever You Are" is from the band’s ninth
studio album, "Have a Nice Day" (Island Records), which
was released on Sept. 20. It entered the Billboard 200 Albums
chart at number 2, with the first week’s sales at 201,881 units,
according to Island Records.



"The excellence of what we’re doing is such that this could
be the apex of our career," said Sambora. "Who knows?"



After their DUMBO shoot, the band kicked off its world tour on
Nov. 2 – the band’s first since 2003 – which sold an unprecedented
502,000 tickets in its first weekend of sales in North America
and Europe, according to the tour’s promoter AEG Live/Concerts
West.



For more information about the Bon Jovi tour, visit www.aeglinve.com/bonjovi
or www.bonjovi.com.


More from Around New York

>