Perusing my dear wife’s copy of Now! celebrity magazine this weekend, I alighted upon a Q&A session with one Mr Jon Bon Jovi. A couple of his responses piqued my interest. Alas, it’s not available online, and nor do I have the magazine with me, so you’ll have to rely on my memory…
First thing was his answer to the following question:
“If you could choose five musicians, living or dead, to make the ultimate band, who would you choose?”
Remember, this is the ultimate band we’re talking about. You can choose the best musicians ever.
Here’s who Mr BJ chose for the first four:
All geniuses in their own way. I don’t know how pleasant a band with four guitarists and no bass player would be, but then again John occasionally tinkled the ivories, and Jimi was a dab hand at the kazoo, and it’s all about bucking convention: who am I to question the man who wrote “I need a respirator cause I’m running out of breath / You’re an all night generator wrapped in stockings and a dress”?
So anyway, we finally come to Jon’s choice of drummer.
For the drummer, Jon chooses…
Now I know that Bono is something of a polymath. He writes songs. He sings them. He makes political rants. He does a bit of primitive painting. He owns a hotel. He raises money for Africa. He may also be able to thump a couple of tubs in rhythm.
But he’s not known for his drumming prowess.
Perhaps JBJ got mixed up with bongo drum.
The second thing that caught my attention was JBJ’s response to the question: “what is your favourite city?”
“I love Dublin,” the great man replied. "Whenever I visit, it’s always a religious experience for me.
“Every gas station attendant is a poet.”
I am not quite sure which Dublin Mr BJ has been visiting. Perhaps he was visiting the “other” Dublin - the one that you get to by taking a steam train from Darby O’Gill and the Little People via the Quiet Man - and he might indeed have had his petrol pumped by doggerel-spouting WB Yeatses, his windscreen made sparkling clean by lyricising Brendan Behans, while smartly besuited James Joyces bitch-slapped Oscar Wildes over who gets to empty Mr BJ’s ashtray.
Or perhaps not.
Despite the flattering image Mr BJ paints of the city in which I reside, I need to point one crucial fact to him: in the real Dublin, there are no gas station attendants - they’re all self service.
If, of course, by “gas station attendant” Mr BJ means the person behind the counter, well, I don’t know how to break this to him, but with very few exceptions at all, every gas station attendant in Dublin is Chinese.
Now, they may of course be Chinese poets, and they may indeed be very good, but I get the impression JBJ doesn’t speak any Chinese dialects.
On the offchance that the person behind the counter is in fact a native Irish person, the typical lyrical response I find my ears being tickled with is such postmodern haiku-form verse as:
Which pump? Pump five yeah?
That’ll be thirty euro.
Thanks very much, bud.
Well OK, maybe JBJ does have a point here. Note the similarities with JBJ’s own remarkable:
I’m a devil on the run
A six gun lover
A candle in the wind
I guess it takes a poet to recognise one.