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Backstage With Bon Jovi

The band Bon Jovi has been rocking for more than two decades, and the boys have definitely not lost a step with a new smash that's flying up the charts.

The Early Show's Dave Price got a chance to hang out at the unofficial kickoff of their "Have A Nice Day" tour at the Nokia Theater in New York City.

"Have A Nice Day" may sound like something the Partridge family would say, but Jon Bon Jovi says the message can be taken in different ways.

"You can take it literally," he says. "Or the way it's taken here, 'have a nice day' - end of conversation. That's really the point of the song. In order to not seem on a moral high ground, the best way to say is you have a difference of opinion is to end the conversation. We all can live in the world together. Tolerance: Christians, Muslims, Jews, Mets fans, Yankee fans, everybody should get along. It doesn't mean I have to argue with you, and it doesn't mean I have to have the moral high ground. It's just, have a nice day."

And that is just what he said as he greeted the fans in a thick New Jersey accent before performing the title song.

The smirking smiley face on the CD cover reflects the band's message. The album is Jon Bon Jovi's first of new material since 2002's "Bounce," and it is the band's ninth career album of original studio material.

Bob Dylan is credited as the inspiration for the blistering anthem "Last Man Standing," who represents the last link to a vision of rock 'n' roll meant not to merely entertain people but to change their lives.

"When Johnny Cash died," Jon Bon Jovi says, "I picked up my guitar and got the idea that Bob Dylan was the last man standing, the last of the real gods. It was for Dylan, Cash, Lennon, Elvis — that's what I was thinking."


Although Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Alice Cooper, and Aerosmith are his biggest influences, Jon Bon Jovi says lately he has been listening to Ashlee Simpson's new record.

"Jon produced it. He did a very nice job, actually," notes Richie Sambora. Currently, Sambora says he has been listening to Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me To The Moon."

Asked what is the secret behind the band's longevity, Jon Bon Jovi says, "We've had all the ebbs and flows of any real career. Trust me. We've been at the highest highs and pretty low lows. But that said, we always stay true to who we were. We didn't jump on fads and fashions."

So where is the dirt? "Next year," says David Bryan."We're doing it all next year. Rehab…"

A lot of bands stay in the headlines even when they're not doing music with publicity of one form or another. But Bon Jovi goes back into private life.

"We're about the music," Sambora notes. "We know everything about each other. We're very close family members."

Now than the Bon Jovi "Have A Nice Day" tour officially begins in the United States this November, the band says it is going to be hard to be away from family.

"Obviously, you're going to miss the school play," says Sambora, who has one daughter with actress Heather Locklear. "My daughter scored her first goal in soccer, which you know, if you miss that, it pulls at your heart strings. The upside is we have an extraordinary life."

Bryan notes what they do is "playing not working."

In 2003, the band released "This Left Feels Right," an acoustic/eclectic reworking of their biggest hits. The band's most recent release was November 2004's "100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong," which was a box set of archived Bon Jovi material.

As they prepare to shoot their next video for the single, "Who Says You Can't Go Home," the band will use only part of the allocated budget. They will donate the rest to Habitat for Humanity.

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