Tag Archives: bon jovi

Music and Politics: Elections Can Hit Some High Notes

Last year, my wife and I decided we were going to go see the Foo Fighters perform at a concert outside of Pittsburgh.  I’ve been a fan of the band and their lead singer Dave Grohl for many years and I told my wife I was looking forward to finally seeing them live.  But as I was saying this, I realized I actually had seen Dave Grohl perform live once before.

I flashed back to a scene in 2004 and recalled the streets of Madison, Wisconsin being filled with more than 80,000 people, many of whom were college students.  The event was a campaign rally for Presidential hopeful John Kerry, who was battling George W. Bush for the nation’s top office.  The Secret Service had assigned me to a campaign “advance jump team” meaning I bounced around from city to city in advance of a candidate’s visit to help make security preparations, and then assist in coordinating protection during the event.  This particular event was a challenge due to the large crowd and outdoor venue, but the local authorities worked with us to create a safe environment.

This event stands out in my mind, because prior to Senator Kerry taking the stage, two musical acts were going to perform.  The first was an acoustic performance by none other than Dave Grohl, who was supporting Kerry’s run for the White House.

music

I’m not 100% certain, but I believe he played “Times Like These” and “My Hero” before moving aside for the next musician.  Please forgive me for not remembering every detail, but you have to remember I was a little preoccupied with making sure nobody tried to kill John Kerry.  However, I do remember thinking that Grohl sounded great and the crowd certainly loved the performance.

Grohl then stepped aside for some guy named Bruce Springsteen, who was also supporting the John Kerry / John Edwards ticket.  While I can’t remember much about Springsteen’s performance (Hey, I was busy!), I do remember what happened once he left the stage.  The Boss walked down the street and shook hands with the college students as he made he way toward his tour bus.  Some students who were lined up in front of their own fraternity house asked Springsteen if he wanted to come in and have a beer.  He shrugged and proceeded to move past a barricade, entered the frat house, and had a drink with the students.  I’m guessing that’s not a moment those guys will forget.

After the event in Madison, I bounced around to several other locations before ending up in Boston, Massachusetts on election night.  There, I heard Jon Bon Jovi playing an acoustic set for the pro-Kerry / Edwards crowd.  In spite of the musical firepower possessed by the democrats in 2004, George W. Bush won the election which set up an Inauguration celebration in January 2005.  I don’t recall where I was for George W. Bush’s second Inauguration, but I do remember being posted next to the stage during President Bush’s first Inauguration concert in 2001, and I can say it was a little surreal to see Wayne Newton and Ricky Martin perform within minutes of each other.  We were all Livin La Vida Loca that day.  (Sorry, had to work that into the post somehow)

Musicians playing a role in politics is nothing new and Presidents and Presidential candidates continue to recognize the power of music.  Some understand music is a way to connect with younger generations.  Some see the incorporation of musicians into political events as a way to increase attendance.  Some simply want to see Wayne Newton dance.

The moral of this story is simple.  If you ever, EVER have a chance to ask Bruce Springsteen to have a beer with you — ASK HIM!

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com
http://www.hensley-books.com
https://www.facebook.com/hensleybooks
https://www.goodreads.com/JJHensley
Twitter @JJHensleyauthor

Watch for my new book, BOLT ACTION REMEDY, in 2017!

AVAILABLE NOW!

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

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What 80’s Music Can Teach Us About Distance Running

My iPod is about 90% filled with modern rock songs.  That means that during most of my long runs I’m plugging along to Godsmack, Digital Summer, Seether, and various other bands that create fast-paced music that keeps my adrenaline pumping.  Then there is the other 10% of my music library.

On any given run I can be charging up a hill or battling through the heat while listening to the final notes of a new release and then I’m suddenly and violently thrown into a strange land of hairspray and spandex.  The mental journey into this strange time period in which MTV showed music videos and pay phones were seen on street corners is tumultuous, unsettling, and… delightful.

But why not the 90’s?  I liked the 90’s and I liked the music at the time.  I had a Nirvana cassette (yes, cassette).  I blasted Alice In Chains out the windows of my incredibly cool 4 cylinder propelled Ford.  I bought into the 90’s – I really did.  So, why the hell is it that when I’m on a long run I’m being reminded to consume calories by Duran Duran singing Hungry Like a Wolf?

wolves

I think I have the answer.  It’s because 80’s bands can teach us everything we need to know about distance running.  Everything!  Let’s take a look at the evidence.

 

The Band: Bon Jovi

The Lesson:  Hit the street running (Runaway), watch your footing (Slippery When Wet), and realize the pain is good for you (Bad Medicine).  And you can achieve greatness anywhere – even New Jersey.

 

The Band:  Poison

The Lesson:  Give it everything you go, because it may not last long.  There will come a time when you may no longer be able to run and you’ve lost your Unskinny Bob.  Take the temporary setbacks in stride because every rose has its thorn.

rose

The Band:  Aerosmith

The Lesson:  Costume races are okay.  Sometimes Dude Looks Like a Lady.

 

The Band:  Def Leppard

The Lesson:  You can overcome pretty much anything.  If you think that hamstring is bothering you, try having your guitarist die and drummer lose an arm.  Suck it up, you’ll be fine.

 

The Band:  RATT

The Lesson: Track workouts that go Round and Round can be tiresome, but pay big dividends.

 

The Band:  Winger

The Lesson:  Sometimes you are in the right place in the right time for a fleeting moment.  Don’t get cocky.

 

The Band:  Europe

The Lesson:  Some lessons can’t be forgotten no matter how hard you try.

crying woman

The Band:  Skid Row

The Lesson:  Regardless of your age, no matter how many days you stuff yourself into a shirt and tie, and despite the fact the closest you’ve ever come to getting your mug shot taken is looking at the bulletin board at the post office, somewhere deep inside we are still a Youth Gone Wild.

child

You see?  Little did you know, these guys were actually distance running geniuses.  Big hair sporting, leather pants wearing, cocaine fueled, distance running geniuses.

So feel no shame when you are hitting Mile 9 and The Bullet Boys are keeping you company.  Take Vixen out for some interval training.  Let Cinderella take you down that Gypsy Road.  You aren’t living in the past.  You’re learning from endurance philosophers like no others.

Maybe the age of music videos and phone booths should have stuck around.  We could all use less reality TV and Clark Kent desperately needs somewhere to put on the suit.

phone booth

How does music affect your running?  Or, do you Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode shout-out)?

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com
http://www.hensley-books.com
https://www.facebook.com/hensleybooks
https://www.goodreads.com/JJHensley
Twitter @JJHensleyauthor

Watch for my new book, BOLT ACTION REMEDY, in 2017!

AVAILABLE NOW!

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology