Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rock Girl Chronicles by Darryl Owens, Features Reporter, Philly Post.

If anyone would have asked Trina Logan a year ago what she would be doing at the Philly Post, her answer most likely would have been either answering phones or digging up dirt on some rising political star.

Instead, she’s exchanged her editorial assistant’s cap for a reporter’s notebook, touring with one of the world’s hottest acts, chronicling it all Rolling Stone Magazine.

Sound like dream? Not a chance.

While the band is on a mini- break of sorts due to an apparent safety issue that has hampered the band’s triumphant return to their home state of New Jersey, Trina has decided to spend her spare time not only going back to work for the Philly Post in a music reporting role but also still profile well-known bands such as Skid Row and Bad Company.

Preparing for life back on the road, now that the safety issue has been cleared up with the exception of some final paperwork, Trina becomes the interviewee as I sit down to talk to her at Jon Bon Jovi’s house in Rumson, New Jersey about all things Bon Jovi and non-Jovi.
(Q) Trina, how is life treating you?

(A) Busy, but good. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

(Q). I was hoping that because the band is kind of on a mini-vacation, you would have gotten one also.

(A). (laughing). Actually, I haven’t. Jon has been so great to let me stay here for a bit and work while they have been waiting for an outcome. It’s kind of been a day-to-day thing.

(Q). So, the rock star is also a fantastic host?

(A) Yes, he’s a very gracious host. He had a spare bedroom converted into a home office for me. There’s a fax, typewriter, separate phone line, you name it.

(Q). Wow, he is some host.

(A). He’s that and then some. He and the guys have become most than just subjects for my pieces, all of them, especially Jon, have become some of my closest friends.

(Q).Speaking of friends, I hear one of our mutual friends, Kendall, is now a part of the Bon Jovi team.

(A). (squeals). Yes, she is! I grew up with Kendall and actually it was all Richie and I think Jon. I think Richie found out that she has a degree in accounting, and when the tour accountant had to leave suddenly, I believe, He, Jon and Paul Korzilius stepped in. That’s all I really know about it. I was floored then I saw her come through the door.

(Q). It must have made your day when you saw her.

(A) It did. She’s here also until we go back on the road. It’s definitely feels good to have your friends with you when you’re going through this kind of journey. It’s a piece of home. I know how far I’ve come when I see her. We’ve been through a lot together.

(Q). How is the band doing? Have they been taking it easy?

(A). Dear God, are you kidding me? This is one of the hardest working bands in the business. They’ve been busy. Jon makes me tired with all the stuff he does.

(Q). Are you able to tell us anything? Or are the rumors true about what goes into the inner circle, stays in the inner circle.

(A). (laughs). No, that is true. But, there are a couple of things that I am allowed to talk about. One of them is that they’ve been and literally are right now in the studio, writing a bunch of stuff.

(Q). That’s great. I do have to ask because people saw Richie a couple of weeks ago in New York City, is it true that Richie got a solo deal?

(A). Yes, it is! My first profile back that everyone will see in next month’s Rolling Stone is in fact with Richie. Everyone is so happy for him.

(Q).That’s fantastic. Have you heard some of his songs? How different are they from what he does with Bon Jovi?

(A). It’s has a bluesy vibe to it. Although there are a couple cool rock tracks that I hope make that album like ‘Ballad of Youth’ and ‘Rosie.’ Actually, Darryl I was listening to one of the tracks before you came in called, ‘Father Time.’

(Q.) Oh okay, I heard part of that when I walked in. That was fantastic.

(A). Richie’s a talented performer in his own right and I can’t wait for everyone to hear what he can do. In fact, all of the guys are some of the best artists I’ve ever heard. David’s a tremendous keyboardist and songwriter. Tico has been a part of some great bands over the years and is second to none on those drums. Alec also is has been a part of some great bands before Bon Jovi. All of them hold the keys into making Bon Jovi the success they are.

(Q). What does Jon think of Richie doing his own thing?

(A). He’s ecstatic! They are brothers. Not blood, but in every sense of the word. Jon is in a really good place now with his success, his life. He wants Richie to have just as much success and happiness in his life that he has. Jon threw him a dinner party of sorts for him when we heard he got his deal. Only close friends and family, but it was a lot of fun. Jon, I think even may have helped him write one of the songs, ‘Rosie’? I could be wrong. But that song is one of my favorites I’ve heard so far from the demos. I hope that makes the cut.

(Q). Will Jon do his own thing one day?

(A). (Shrugs) I don’t know. I hope so. He’s got so much more to offer than we what we see of him each and every night when he’s part of the Bon Jovi machine. He’s got a sense of humor and charm that I wish people could see. He is truly one of the most gracious people that I have ever known. In my heart, I’d like to say yes, but ultimately it’s up to him.

(Q.) Okay, now here come some of the questions I’m getting from your fans in Philly. They want to know that if the rumors are true about both Richie and Jon being newly single.

(A). Well, hmmm. I guess. That is something you’ll have to ask the two of them about.

(Q). Pleading the fifth
(A). (nods). Yes, I’m a part of the inner circle now. My lips are sealed. (hahaha). Seriously, not my news to tell, that’s their business.

(Q). People in New York saw Kendall with Richie holding hands so that’s where the questions are coming from.

(A). Gotcha. Well, you’d have to ask them. Too personal for me to get into.

(Q) What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen so far?

(A) (Laughs hard). I think it was in Ohio… Yeah, it was in Cleveland. The show was over and we were all getting on the bus after the show when we saw five naked women just sitting there asking the guys and me to party with them.

(Q) Oh no!

(A) Oh yes. I couldn’t make up some of the stuff that has happened on this tour so far. Let’s just say that what went on that bus, stayed on the bus. And no, I didn’t participate. I was working. I had a deadline.

(Q). The joys of Rock and Roll.

(A). Boys will be boys. But they’re sweet boys. Crazy, but there are five of the greatest guys you’ll ever meet.

(Q). So glad you’re diaries are showing that. Up until this point, we only saw one side of Jon and the rest of the guys.

(A). Good. I’m glad that it’s working. Jon will be also. He thanks everyone by the way for supporting them for over the years, he wanted me to let all of you know that. He also thanks the fans for their friendship. I thank you all for reading the diaries. They’re a lot of fun and it’s been an honor for me writing them for Rolling Stone.

I think it’s important that everyone sees that besides Jon, there’s more to Bon Jovi that what’s on MTV or on the radio. When he and I talked about doing this, it is what we wanted to come through. So if you notice, a lot of the diaries have nothing to do with Jon. I talk a lot with the fans and the people who work with them and get their reactions to different things we’ve all seen and then bring it to the band.

(Q). What does the band think of the diaries?

(A). They’re enjoying them. Jon calls them his jury. He knows what is working and what’s not onstage based on the diaries. I have tried to tell him to not go by them and just enjoy them. But I think he uses it them as a gauge regardless of what I say.

(Q). Name one thing that people may not know about Jon, Richie or another band member.

(A). Hmmmm. Let’s see. David got into Julliard before Jon formed the band. What else? Oh, Richie was named after a used car dealership.

(Q). What!

(A.) True. He is named after a used-car lot. Richie auto sales. I don’t even think Jon knows that one. Kendall and I nearly fell out of our chairs the other night when he told us that one.

(Q) And Mr. Bon Jovi.

(A). Oh this will come up in another story. I’m so blackmailing him. He will hate me for this, but his first recording wasn’t Runaway. He sang on some Christmas compilation for R2D2 from Star Wars.

(Q.) (Daryl laughs hard). Really?

(A). Really. I tell him it was experience. He sounds great. And I did tease him a bit when I first heard it, but he was really young and just starting out.

(Q) Watch everyone now in the middle of summer go out and try to find this record now.

(A). Yep. They will. Run fast everyone. I should tell him that I want a split of his royalty check for hawking that for him.

(Q). Before the guys head back on the road in a couple of weeks, I understand that the band will be putting on a benefit performance.

(A). Yes. We’re so thrilled about this. Jon’s mom Carol was actually quite instrumental in this. She and Jon have a mutual friend in a pastor she met. Over the last couple of months, the parish’s soup kitchen has gotten quite low, and Father Bob, had asked Carol if Jon and the band could help give aware to their situation and help out locally. Jon was more than happy to help. So were the other guys. I’m on board as well.

(Q). This benefit will help the local soup kitchen, but it’s more than that right?

(A). Right. Also, this performance will also benefit the local chapters of Covenant House and Habitat for Humanity. Jon’s assistant Juanita earlier this summer became the proud foster mother of a little guy that has become close to all of us named Toby.
Toby has changed all of us for the better. He has taught us all more than we could have ever taught him in the last few weeks.
Jon wanted to be a foster parent to him, but couldn’t because of his schedule which is crazy, but I guess a determining factor in how they select a family.

(Q). So Toby lives here too?

(A). Yes. He has his own room, a neighborhood full of friends and he’ll be starting school in a few weeks. The Bon Jovi house is currently at full capacity.

(Q). So the Rock star is a daddy of sorts?

(A). Kind of. He’s found balance. All of us have. Toby taught us all that. It’s difficult to have everything, but if you take in every day as if you seeing it for the first time, it puts what’s important into perspective. Jon wants to pass on what all of us learned over the last few weeks to others. It’s time to give back. Pay it forward.

(Q). Where will the benefit be held?

(A). Here at Casa Bon Jovi. I think Juanita has a death wish.

(Q). Can anyone come to this benefit?

(A). If they can spend the money, yes. However, if you have the money and because of the limited-seating, the people who get selected will be picked by lottery.

(Q). How much are tickets?

(A). $5,000 a person. But keep in mind it’s for a great cause. It’s an entire evening filled with dinner, a lot of alcohol, a concert and a meet and greet. Most of all, it’s benefitting 3 charities. The guys and I refuse to take a single penny.

(Q). Thanks Trina.

(A). Thanks everyone. See ya back on the road.