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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Bon Jovi Fan Club Proves Itself To Be Morally Bankrupt

Bon Jovi Fan Club Proves Itself To Be Morally Bankrupt
By Anthony Kuzminski
{Photo Credit}

Fan clubs should exist for one reason; to serve your most loyal and ardent supporters. Throughout the 1980’s and most of the 1990’s, this is what most fan clubs did. They offered special listening parties, access to the best seats at concerts, exclusive interviews, rare live recordings and extra goodies only a die-hard fan would appreciate. Somewhere in the last few years, these clubs stopped serving the most loyal fans and often turned into another profit piece of ever expanding empires. One of the clubs that has continued to exceed expectations is Pearl Jam’s Ten Club. For $20 a year, you get access to concert tickets, a news magazine that is published a few times a year and every Christmas and an exclusive 45 RPM record with two rare songs on it. Pearl Jam makes their fans feel like family. This was highlighted in August 2007 when Pearl Jam was headlining the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago. As a special treat to their most dedicated fans, they did a fan club only show at the Vic Theater in Chicago. The $75 ticket price was spot on and the band delivered with a set that made the most cynical and crazed fan wet their pants. No hits were performed and this show was done as a “thank you” to the fans. Most recently Fall Out Boy ventured out on a club tour in support of their new record. This is a band that performed in arenas in 2006 and 2007. They easily could charge $100 for these intimate venues, but they are not. The average ticket price is around $35 and their hometown show in Chicago was $10. Yes, that is not a typo-“ten dollars”. I only wish Bon Jovi felt the same way about their fans the way acts like Pearl Jam and Fall Out Boy do.

In recent years, a lot has been written about Bon Jovi’s fan club, Backstage with Jon Bon Jovi. In the early days, it was an inner sanctum where interviews, exclusive pictures and information were delved out first. It was never the best fan club on the planet, but it always put the fans first. Somewhere along the line, someone realized how loyal, zealous and steadfast these fans were and decided to take advantage of them. Jon Bon Jovi’s brother, Matt, took over the fan club in late 2006 and since then, fans who were always dedicated and unswerving have decided to turn the back on the fan club because of their business practices. The fan club has become a cash cow for Matt where money comes first and the fan comes last. The most disgusting display of greed I witnessed was this past July when the band performed at Madison Square Garden for $305 a ticket. If that price wasn’t enough, the fan club seats came with a $75 handling fee. That’s right, face value for tickets was $305 and the fan club added $75 onto every ticket. The biggest insult was when members collected their tickets and found they were twenty-five and thirty rows back on the floor after they had been advertised to be in the first twenty rows. The members realized they could have bought tickets they were given during the general on-sale for less. Needless to say, this was one of those rare instances where Ticketmaster proved to be a better alternative. Anytime you have a business model where Ticketmaster provides a better and cheaper service, it’s time to shut your doors.

With membership in the Bon Jovi fan club diminishing as a result of above practices, they needed to do something dramatic to get people back into the club, which they did. A fan-club member’s only concert has been announced for February 23, 2009 “somewhere in Central New Jersey”. The full press release is below. I am not a member of the fan club but numerous fans emailed it to me in hopes I would publish it:

Happy Thanksgiving to our Backstage JBJ Family!
We are still working out all the final details for our members only show, but we are happy to announce a few things about it!

The show will be February 23rd, 2009 at 7pm and will be held in Central New Jersey (the location is to be announced). Tickets for this general admission show will be standing room only and will be limited to active members only. BackstageJBJ.com will be the ONLY PLACE you can get tickets for this show!

At the concert, we will be having a special contest as well as an auction featuring items from the Lost Highway Tour! The on sale date for the tickets will be Saturday, December 6th, 2008 at 10 am Eastern Time and tickets will be $275.00 US Each.
We will have more details about the show this coming week!


$275? Seriously? In a day and age where it has become apparent that greed ran our economy into the gutter, this band is asking fans to fork over $275 before Christmas for this show? Why does it have to be $275 (it was reduced at a later date to $250)? If Pearl Jam can do it and rent out a major concert venue in Chicago and charge their fans $75, why can’t Bon Jovi? On top of that, you have to spend $50 to re-join the fan club? If they sell 1,000 tickets, that will reap a gross of $300,000.00. If they bring in 2,000 or 3,000, well, you do the math; they could potentially clear one-million dollars. There is a concert for Philadelphia Soul season ticket holders two days later so it is not as if they are dusting off their equipment specifically for this show. The money has been spent on crew and transportation already. What was once a fan club about offering assistance to the most devoted has turned into an elitist organization where “he/she who has the most money wins”? I find it morally incomprehensible in light of the recent economic turmoil that anyone would have the gall to charge this much for a concert, even if it is only for fan club members. However, the events that led up to and after this announcement is flat out jarring, so let’s break them down:

1. A Fan Club only concert is semi-announced in October in an effort to increase membership.

2. Tactic number-one fails and Matt B extends board memberships one month (which costs him nothing).

3. A concert is announced for February 23rd, but few other details are given.

4. Tickets are priced at $275, plus the $50 membership fee (Total cost to fan club member=$325).

5. Due to constant complaining on the boards the price is lowered to $250 and with a tag line of “some of the proceeds” going to Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation. Total cost to the fan is still $300.

6. Another modification is added that each member can buy two tickets, instead of one per member (much to the chagrin of certain members who bought two memberships in the weeks leading up to this announcement).

7. How much money is going to charity? $1 or $100, no specifics have been provided to fans leaving many wondering is Matt will still pocket the majority of the proceeds.

8. On Friday December 5th, it is announced that Bon Jovi, the band, will NOT be appearing at the event.

9. Tickets go on sale on Saturday December 6th to little fanfare and there is still no venue announcement. All that has been provided to members is that it will take place somewhere in “Central New Jersey”

10. Emails go out to old members informing them that tickets are still available as of Tuesday December 9th with still no mention of the venue.

A year ago these tickets would have been long gone even in a depressed economy. So what the hell happened? First off, when you charge a $75 handling charge for Madison Square Garden tickets and put fans in the rows further back than advertised, it leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Matt has continually promised new contests and improvements to the fan club, but none have happened to date. Plus, many fans are upset that this is a Jon Bon Jovi show and not a full-band one. I can see both sides of the coin. However, if Mick Jagger performed without the Rolling Stones he wouldn’t charge the same price as the Stones. This is a situation where Backstage with Jon Bon Jovi has become the Ford of fan clubs. The man running it has his head in the clouds and believes that is a severely depressed economy, $300 (including the membership fee) is a deal for a one-off concert with Jon Bon Jovi and hired musicians. It’s like offering Ford employees a 10% discount of SUV’s in lieu Christmas bonus while they expect the taxpayers to bail them out. Fans are blindly devoted to their favorite artists and it takes a lot to piss them off and Backstage with Jon Bon Jovi has left many wondering why they fell in love with the band in the first place as they feel it’s not about being a fan anymore and all about lining the Matt’s wallet. I’ve had a number of fans email me disappointed with the band’s business practices the last few years- the country album, the $300 tickets, but none has been as vehement as the ones about the fan clubs. Plus, despite the business practices, I think fans are willing to forgive a band of Bon Jovi’s size on certain things (ex. marketing an album, showing up on American Idol, having a ticket price that is a little over $100, etc.). However, based on correspondence I have received, the one item that Bon Jovi may have lost fans over is the way they have been treated by the fan club. If Matt were the CEO of a company he would be fired; numbers are down, customers are pissed, he has failed on all promises, no one believes anything he says and loyal customers have left vowing to never return again (which is something that will haunt the band on future albums and tours).

Jon Bon Jovi probably does not want to be bothered with a show like this, but it involves the well being of a family member and he is stepping up and performing, for which I respect him For the record, I do not blame the band or their management for this as I believe they are completely unaware of how unhappy people are since Matt took over the fan club. However, I wish he realized how many faithful fans have been so alienated that they may never buy another Bon Jovi record ever again. When I was speaking to one fan (who makes a healthy six-figures annually), their attitude was “I’ll never buy another record or DVD by them again, I’m paid for seven albums in my MSG service fee of $75”. In regards to the ticket price, even if the entire first two albums were to be performed top to bottom, it still wouldn’t be worth it to me. Plus the fact they mention that the show is standing room only makes me think that they will sell as many tickets as possible to give them the best profit possible. This is why they have not announced a venue. Matt has most likely penciled in the date at a number of venues so in case sales are less than expected, he can rent out a cheaper place. However, if he sells every ticket, he can rent a larger place. I normally wouldn’t have an issue with this, but the fact they are being deceitful is what’s disappointing. It’s like finding out a partner you believed was cheating on you isn’t, but merely wants to watch the game at a bar with his friends. Be honest and you can’t go wrong, just tell everyone that venue is pending ticket sales.

Tickets should be priced under $100 as it will still turn a profit for whoever reaps the rewards. I have seen a lot of greed in the music industry in the last few years, but this has reached new heights, especially in light of the world’s recent economic downturn. The irony is that it is the middle class and blue-collared fans that elevated Bon Jovi to immense heights in the 1980’s, stood by them in the 90’s and resurrected them in the 00’s, however just like they did last fall in Newark, their ticket prices are alienating the very people to whom they owe their success. In the end, it all comes down to one ideal that keeps running through my head time and time again whenever I see ticket prices; “How much money does one need?” In short, I’m sick and tired of making multi-millionaires into multi-gazillionaires. This is the prime reason I have stopped attending any shows where the ticket price exceeds $100. In short, I’ve come to learn that it’s not worth it and judging by the number of empty seats I’ve seen at arena shows in recent months, others feel that way as well. The hardest thing for someone in the music industry to do is to find highly devoted and loyal fans. These are the people who stand by you during lean years when musical styles change and allow artists to record experimental solo projects they otherwise never would be able to do. Time and time again (and Bon Jovi are not the only guilty ones) bands are choosing the easy money over fan loyalty and service. Instead of catering to the core and rolling out the red carpet to maintain their loyalty, they are extending their hand waiting for a few crisp $100 bills to be handed over before they let you across the roped barrier. All I want to know is: when did fan loyalty become about money?

Anthony Kuzminski is a Chicago based writer and Special Features Editor for the antiMusic Network and his daily writings can be read at The Screen Door and can be contacted at thescreendoor AT gmail DOT com.



Bon Jovi - "Rich Man Living In A Poor Man's House"

246 comments:

1 – 200 of 246   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

I am a member of said club and you have got it spot on I have been a fan for 25 years what a kick in the teeth.

Mack Arillo said...

Excellent work, Tony. Hope this article gets some more exposure. I'll spread the word.

TaraLeigh said...

I'm one of those crazy FC members that's going to this.

I can understand the bitterness, I've certainly felt it toward the fc on more than one occasion.

Jon Bon Jovi used to have one of the best FC's out there (I know you mentioned not in your opinion, but it was relatively up there.) and as always, I come late to the party. I joined in 2005 just as Mrs. B was making her exit.

I got to do one camp out and saw one 2nd row show (Albany, NY Dec '05 *sigh*)and was amazed at how amazing the shows can be.

Matt's current handling of the FC is deplorable.

Even worse--I've heard on more than one occasion that he doesn't even give a crap when we complain.

I know Jon wants the FC to stay in the family, but I honestly think he should have given the job to a FAN. Then maybe it wouldn't have fallen into this disarray.

I'll be attending the show--I knew ahead of time I was spending too much for it, but an intimate show with Jon stripped down is a dream show for me and I couldn't quite stop myself from buying the ticket.

I hope to God, at least Jon gives us this show--something back to make up for the mockery Matt's made of his good name. (The FC is in Jon's name, not the band)

If I get kicked in the teeth again, I too will be forced to back away from the FC.

I'll hate it. I love this band so very much--the charisma, the performances and the music--there's nothing quite like a Jovi show.

But I'd rather give my money to a scalper and know where my seat is at this point, than the 15th row I got in Boston.

There was a time that we were never further back than 10th row.

I really miss those days.

I may be naive about this JBJ & Friends show, but I'm going to hope something good will come of it. The idea of the cover songs and people that could show up is enormous.

I just hope Jon actually gives something back to us--the ones that are sometimes a little too rabid, but almost always well intentioned.


Tara

Anonymous said...

I am in this fan club and you hit the nail right on the head.

readon said...

GREAT read Tony! You touched upon everything that MOST people feel except the ones that are drinking the coolaid. THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Wow Tony! Have i ever told you that knowing how much you use to care about Jovi's music, it really is nice having someone who does 'get it' convey the disheartening feelings so many of us have been having over there. The ones of us still there anyways. You know there will always be ones that will never see any wrong that's being done and will take up for the 'Brotherhood' come any bumpy nights we may have, but it has evolved into something ugly. When a diehard fan starts to feel like the the only thing nourishing an artist's soul to want to make music is the almighty dollar, that music so loved takes on a whole different feel and meaning with it. Taints it...

I hope this gets to JBJ's eyes, and his heart if he still happens to have one in there somewhere.

Sabina said...

How did I know we'd agree on this one? I'm still disappointed as hell over what's become of the fan club.

As much as I'd love to see a stripped down show of all non-hit songs, I personally cannot justify the cost. I know others can and I don't fault them or judge them for that - to each his/her own. But I'm still so disappointed by the fact that the powers that be at Backstage with Jon Bon Jovi feel it's ok to continually rip off the fans.

Miriam said...

Spot on. I was a member of this fanclub for 12 years (fan since 1986) but didn't renew this year because of the way we are treated.

We used to get tickets at face value, Europe got early entry for nothing. Even when the fanclub went completely online we got a letter from Jon every 3 months which used to be in the magazine until Matt took over. Small things, but those were the things that kept people in the club. I (and I know a lot of others) feel like the members are nothing more than a very easy to use ATM.

In 2 years things changed from fan first to money first. Jon knows very well what is going on and what his brother is charging.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting what so many of us are thinking. It is very sad as a member who has been around since the beginning to see where things have gone.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I so agree with this article. I have been a fan since day one. ButI can not see spending the money it requires to go to a concert these days. What are these people thinking? Why are we making these guys richer to live in a 26 million dollar home in New york while people have to work an extra shift of work, or overtime just to get two hours of entertainmnet. This is why I won't support sports either! No wonder teens these days do drugs, they can't afford to do anything else!(THATS ANOTHER SOAP BOX)

Anonymous said...

I am a member of this fan club and everything you said in your article is so accurate! You put into words the frustrations and resentments many of the fan club members are feeling. This used to be the best fan club! The fans were always appreciated and offered only the best. Bon Jovi fans were the most loyal fans around. We loved the music and we really appreciated the respect given to us by the fan club. Why wouldn't we be loyal?? We respected the band and the band respected us. Not anymore. Now...it's pretty obvious we are being used for our money and that is a huge slap in the face! While Matt is responsible for the fan club, I believe that Jon knows exactly what is going on in his fan club! Did he forget where he came from and who got him there? It sure looks like it.

Anonymous said...

tony, you would be interested to know that your article garnered a lot og interest on the fc messageboard....that is until admin came in after about an hour and deleted it without addressing ANYTHING...just further evidence that they care NOTHING about their fanbase!

JBJBounce said...

I too am a member over there and don't fault those that are going for doing so. Even if I was able to go, I wouldn't. I refuse to support the greed that has become the fanclub and wish with every ounce of my being that I hadn't renewed my membership. I got fan club benefits and second row seats twice and early entry and right up against the barrier at Giants once because of Mrs. B's version of the fanclub. Since Matt took over, I've gotten better seats through Ticketmaster to shows. I love the band, I love the music, however, the way things are going I'll buy the CDs or download them, but I can't see me paying their prices again.

Ruth Ann said...

Truer words have never been spoken! You hit the nail on the head Anthohny. This FC has become on disappointment after another since Matt has taken over. Jon really needs to get a business person to run it because Matt is only out for the almighty dollar. And unfortunately, us fans are the ones who are getting screwed over time and time again.

So much for a "Fan Club Only" show since you can buy two tickets and the second one doesn't have to be for a FC member.

I refuse to go to the show myself do to the ridiculous price. But, for those going, I hope it is everything you want it to be!

I'm still kicking myself for spending the $50 to renew my membership.

Anonymous said...

Well the way things have been going lately, the FC should be renamed to "Bendover for Jon Bon Jovi" since basically we're all getting screwed.

JerzyJovi (Lori) said...

Spot on, Anthony - as usual when it comes to all things Bon Jovi. As a member of the FC, I agree with everything that has been said
but I would like to add that it is just not Matt's fault - Jon's name is on everything Bon Jovi and none of the current FC shenanigans are happening without his knowledge. You know when I noticed the tide turning - when JBJ practically choked on his half-assed Thank You to the Fan Club the last night of Giants at the end of the HAND tour - I couldn't believe it. I fully believe he thinks that we are sheep with credit cards and will spend ANYTHING to see him and pathetically, he is partially right. If everyone had united and made a stand and REFUSED to pay the exorbitant ticket prices, we might of had a chance of turning things around, but alas, the tickets sold and the tone was set. Now, the mindset of the FC is let's see how much we can get - it's sickening. And, I too, have been told that Matt could give a rat's ass if we complain. What a damn shame - the one thing I do just for me - the one thing that I really had fun participating in is now beyond reach. I could pay for a FC ticket, but I won't simply on principal. I've been screwed for too long without getting kissed first.

Anonymous said...

LMAO at the above comment! Great article Anthony. And as a member of this fanclub, you couldn't have been more spot on with what has been going on in the past few years. It's quite a shame.

Anonymous said...

Just for clarification, I was LMAO at the comment before Lori's about the "Bendover for Jon Bon Jovi". Classic.

Anonymous said...

Tony thank you! We actually need exposure like this and hopefully one day it will get to regular media, because as a member of the FC I personally feel, like being in a dictatorship, where regardless of how many times we are lied to, taken advantage of, etc... the way the concerns or discontents are dealt with is by deleting each and every one of those threads, and posting "scolding" messages.

Fan club members are just money making tools, no more no less. And if you see so many anonymous comments, it's because after the scolding comes the banning from the club.

Oh yeah! How lucky we are the Bon Jovi FC members.

Thanks! Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

I loved every single word. Get the word out. We are all tired of being banned and scared of what we can say on the FC before big bad Matt comes and deletes us! Thanks and make sure Rolling Stone gets a copy.

Anonymous said...

I'm another disappointed ex fan club member that did not & will NEVER rejoin again. What a joke to have to pay more money for a concert ticket, after we've already paid $50 to belong to a club where we get nothing. You can't even post on the fan club forum because you get continually attacked by other members who act like they personally know Jon & his family. Things were better (but not perfect) when Mrs. B ran them in all honesty. At least we got some meet & greets back then & the magazines were fun to get. Things were more organized back then. Matt's all out to line his pockets as long as he can while his brother is still in demand. While I still have the floor, so to speak, I'd like to say that during this last tour a friend of a friend had purchased a fan club ticket for a show in another state. This fan ended up being diagnosed with cancer & was undergoing cancer treatments & was advised not to travel. She tried several times to contact the fan club to see if she could have her ticket refunded or to be able to sell it to someone else to recoup her losses but no one ever answered her. They were there on the spot to grab her money when she was purchasing a ticket but then when her health prevented her from traveling, she got ignored. That was really cold. I just heard about this recently in fact & it made me even happier that I didn't renew! Furthermore, I think charging $275 for a concert for fan club members is just insulting, especially in today's hard times. I'm glad I didn't renew & I never intend to either. My fan club membership can now be purchased by someone who doesn't know any better & think they're going to get something in return for their $50. Unfortunately they won't know until it's too late, that they won't even get an ounce of respect for that amount of money. I'm done with it. Go screw someone else Matt!

Anonymous said...

JerseyJovi ( Lori)- You said it well! Jon does what he does because he wants to help his brother. He could care less about the FC and the members. It is all a struggle for him. He thinks he no longer needs us. And for those that do not see it WAKE UP!

Anonymous said...

Tony, the only thing your piece is missing is the fact that Matt has contests and prizes and never delievers to the winner!

Anonymous said...

how sad for matt that his only claim to fame is having a famous brother....maybe that is where he gets this god complex from....since his BROTHER is famous it gives him the right to act like a jacka*** to HIS BROTHERS fans....very sad indeed!!

Anonymous said...

We are sick and tired of being screwed! We need help! Nothing will change as long as everything keeps being under wraps.

Help us get the word out, only public shame and humiliation might have some effect on the greedy Matt Bongiovi.

And if Jon's name is also dragged though the mud, be it! He is doing nothing for us either. The "so called" FC only members concert. What a joke! So exclusive that I could take my dog as long as I buy a ticket.

Furious!!!

jovimomdonna said...

I am one of those fans that, after getting 20th row in Greensboro last time, has decided my $50 a year is better spent taking my chances on Ticketmaster.... I LOVED being a part of BSWJBJ for 10+ years.... MrsB made sure we were taken care of always.... whether it be chatting with us as a friend or phone calls to chk up or sitting outside on a patio for a smoke break... or giving us the best deals and opportunities around... now after not renewing at the end of the LH tour.. I received an email from Matt(BSwJBJ) asking me to come back..... and receive 3 FREE months.... I'm not.. I made some amazing friends and memories and for that I am grateful but until WE become a priority again TM is more loyal to me...

Anonymous said...

There were people who were sat in FC seats at MSG behind the cameras and the lights ( which were there for the filming of documentary). Matt was no where to be found that night. They paid $75 over face, in the next floor section, which was row 25 ( not 1-20) and had to stare at a camera man's head all night! Come on Matt be fair! Where does Jon think that is right?

Anonymous said...

THERE HAVE BEEN NUMEROUS THREADS POSTED ON BSWJBJ.COM CONCERNING THIS ARTICAL AND THEY HAVE ALL BEEN REMOVED...IT IS A TOTAL JOKE!!!

Anonymous said...

They are banning people fron the fan club for posting this article on the bswjbj site!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Matt has to be the rudest person I have ever met...he knows nothing about running this fan club. I met him at a philly soul fan club event that was horriable with a lot of promises broken. He is all about the money. Jon was also rude that night and given the way matt had it set up, who could blame him. It was a joke and was a nice chuck of change also. I am regretting the Bon Jovi Tattoo I got two years ago. I have been a memember since the begining but I am not renewing.

Anonymous said...

Unreal!

Today the FC must have a person deleting thread after thread, that has anything to do with this article and opinions of agreement.

Now because obviously is not enough to make it stop, (more keep being open), members are starting to be banned.

Down with the tyrant!

Anonymous said...

You have totally hit this on the head...

I love Bon Jovi.. Have since 1983! But this new regime in leadership for the FC is really ticking me off. They just banned a good friend for posting the link to this blog post.

I hope you do some follow up on this... the world really does need to know.

I think it is time for the UNOFFICIAL club to start....

Anonymous said...

There is only one way to stop it. Do not renew your memberships. Do not purchase the tickets for the fan club concert. They've already lowered the price due to ticket sales being slow. Just don't BUY into supporting an organization that is only out for your money now. I'm sure they laugh all the way to the bank for each fan club member that joins!

What a joke that those fan club members which are posting a link to this on the fan club site are being banned & the thread is being immediately deleted! Sounds like Matt can't stand the heat! It's FREEDOM OF SPEECH in the U.S. Matt!! Sounds like a sore loser to me!

Anonymous said...

You nailed it Anthony. I've been a Bon Jovi fan for 22 years and am so disappointed at what's happened to the FC. I attended my last BJ concert last year and bought my last album unless something changes in their organization. I can't help but think Jon is unaware of most of this mess, although since it's his name he should make it his business to be aware. Thank you for writing this article.

Nancy W said...

Kudos for this post! I for one was getting disillusioned w/ the FC even before Matt took over--starting with their for-profit auctions (look! You can get a pair of Jon's concert pants and you know he doesn't wear underwear. Do I hear $3000?) A band that for two decades claimed to be "for the people" has, in the past five years, found one way after another to take more of those hard-earned dollars out of Tommy and Gina's pockets.

But then Matt took over the fan club and it just spiraled downhill. The last tour I paid $260 each for tickets in the 26th row. Two tours earlier I paid $75 for second row center. Don't get me wrong... I have no one but myself to blame, but it almost became comical--I felt like a battered wife who kept coming back for more.

I can no longer sing the praises of this band the way I used to. It's still a good show (not great IMO because it's scarcely changed the past few tours), but the combination of the absurdly high ticket prices and the fact that the fan club was given to Matt to pay for his lifestyle is just too much. You think they'd be embarrassed but hey, there are those over-the-top faithful who WILL pay the $$ that apparently make up for the loss of the rest of us.

kenobi on a prayer said...

Never been a member of this fan club (and never will be) but thanks for posting this Tony. You said it much better than I did or could have on my blog. To be honest, I've sometimes made fun of Backstagers being blind... but they are loyal fans and don't deserve the shit they've had to contend with.

Anonymous said...

Ohhh Tony, you are my hero!! I was in the original fan club when it was the Secret Society and it was great! Then they turned it into Backstage with Bon Jovi. His mom did a great job and they provided a real newsletter in the mail. Plus we all received special treatment back then as loyal fans. It all went downhill when it became "Backstage with JON Bon Jovi". That made me so pissed off I wanted to scream. It was then and there that I knew we were on a slippery slope to hell. And when the mailings stopped and it was strictly online, I parted ways with the fanclub. It offered me nothing. Just a password to a chat room. Big f'n deal. They police it like it's a communist country, so why would you post in there anyway?? I feel bad for the band as a whole. Matt is a screw up and will run the club into the ground. I personally will never join it again. I can buy a better seat from a scalper on the street for less than what they charge. I'm just tickled pink that this is out there for everyone to read. I'll make sure this gets to everyone I know in the record business. I particularly hope it gets to the boys in the band. Enough is enough. I am one of the many laid off people in this county and I will most certainly spend my money more wisely than on some dumb show with Jon. Like my mortgage! He's become so boring now though it's sad. Where is the guy that had fun on stage?? Oh that's right, he was just a poor kid from New Jersey back then....maybe some day soon he will be poor again if this keeps up....thanks for letting us vent!! You wrote this commentary better than I could have myself. A loyal Sambora fan....

aussie said...

I hereby nominate Anthony Kuzminski as the right sort of person to run Backstage!!

Brilliant article and straight from the heart of a fan.

Anonymous said...

Spot on article. I've been waiting for an article like this. You are the perfect person to write it!

Cheri

Aussiejovimum said...

as an ex member of the fan club, I applaud your wonderful writing, and whole heartedly agree with everything you said. Bravo. Now we angry ex fans need to get it out into the world in what ever way we can, so that everyone knows that we aren't happy.

Well done

Bon Jovi Barcelona said...

Many fans are upset, but this concert doesn't mean that there's not going to be a free one in the future, isn't it?

I belive in Bon Jovi and we truly belive that things will be solved.

Anonymous said...

Jon and Matt sat at Thanksgiving dinner a devised a plan to make Matt more money to pay his bills. Jon would SUCK it up and play for the "animal" fans he has( for his little brother). They then went into Jon's closest and laughed how they are going to auction off USED underwear and or CRAP he doesnt't wear anymore...to the people who would pay for anything because they are "like Mikey" ( from the old cereal commercial - he will eat anything)- Well the Fc members they will BUY ANYTHING!

When will it stop??? When you all do not renew and or buy anything from them... and that will never happen! So keep lining Matt's pockets and getting ripped off!

Anonymous said...

The philanthropist wants to look good in society's eyes and NO LONGER wants to be a Rock Star! Watch any old interviews and then a new one and tell me I am not right!!!!!?????

Susanna said...

I'm someone who met my husband, believe it or not, via the BWJBJ fan club. Back in those days when they still sent the newsletter in the post and published fans addresses on the back cover, so we could write to each other (oh! the pen and paper years).

I had lots of pen pals back then and ended up marrying one (been married 9 years!). If it wasn't for this fan club I wouldn't be married to this man now. We are doing OK but not OK enough to afford these prices. In fact, soon after we got married, we stopped renewing our memberships because we couldn't afford having two memberships under one roof. (I've kept asking them for family memeberships as I am sure there are whole families who love the band and cannot possibly have one membership each. Maybe adjust the price for families?)

Would I like to be a member? again? YES. This fan club means a lot to me for obvious reasons, but not the way it's managed today. It's very shocking.

There is no way I am going to pay $50 to access a chat room or fan message boards. I can find fans to chat to anywhere online and made lots of new friends recently. If I want to know latest news about Bon Jovi just need to sign up for a "google alert". The fan club needs to REALLY connect to the fans on an emotional level. Somehow.

By all means, power to the people who can afford all the "fan club trips" and shows like the one coming in February. It's people who cannot afford it but love the band too much to be able to say "no" that I worry about. People who will charge the expense on their credit cards and then struggle to pay it back.

It's not a show for Tommy and Gina. They made the band but cannot afford a ticket now.

Very sad. I actually bought a few albums I did not like (Crush, Bounce and This Left Feels Right) but with the coming one I will be a bit more critical and keep my money if it doesn't resonate with me.

Matt is giving Jon Bon Jovi a bad name and I hope Jon realises this and if he indeed has realised it, but went along with it, I hope he is in time to fix it. Even if a portion goes to charity it doesn't "fix" the problem that a lot of fans might struggle to make the money back that they spent on this.

I was so glad I got to see Bon Jovi this year in Rock in Rio (Lisbon, Portugal). There were no special allocated places. No fan club involved. I find the "Side Stage Experience" quite deplorable ($700 to go on stage for 3 songs). When I first went on stage I won a competition and had to prove I was a true fan. Not that I wealthy enough to deserve my place.

I could go on, and on, and on.

I still love the band. I grew up with their music but this whole affair is raising lots of issues for all of us. And it's not Tico, David and Richie that are to blame. It's Jon: the man I've always admired.

Anonymous said...

I love the comparison of a battered wife going back for more. That is exactly right!

Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much for writing this. The amount of money those loyal fans pumped into the Lost Highway tour. Travelling, tickets, merchandise you would think as a thankyou and in the current economic 'Tommy and Gina' times, Jon and the WHOLE band could put on a show with reasonable ticket prices or god forbid for free. It's funny the whole band are able to turn up the corporate gigs. Nothing surprises me anymore with this fanclub. JBK

Anonymous said...

excellent stuff as usual Tony,when will the blind sheep (usually american) on backstage who only love Jon for his cute ass wake up and smell the coffee.seems like Matt can't get a proper job,maybe he should be made a victim of the recession like many of us.Jon just about still has my admiration but it's hanging by a thread.

Anonymous said...

I am also a fan club member but don't think I'm renewing next time around - the price continues to go up and you get nothing! I could not even get tickets the last time around because there was a computer problem! It's a shame to see this happen.

Anonymous said...

For all of you that have admiration for Jon PLEASE! The man knows exactly what is going on with everything. Including the TM auctions and Matt or AEG selling FC tickets on Ticket exchange. YES your FC tickets that belong to the FANS are sold on Ticket Exchange to make a BIG PROFIT for either the promoter, Matt or Jon. Those seats belong to the FC members NOT to line the GREEDY GREEDY pockets of Jon and Matt. We just want back the seats we had!

ann said...

its so true and so sad
i realy hope some one wil read this and safe the fanclub i love my jovi family there has to be done something

Susanna said...

Ann, people here are saying messages linking to this article are being deleted on the BWJBJ forum. So they know what is going on in here. I hope Jon Bon Jovi himself has paid a visit to this blog.

ann said...

hi susanna i know i know some one is even banned by posting this but its to true i am a member myself and stil am trying to keep the faith that things wil get better its so sad me to some one had to wake up
i saw the changes i saw it al its so so sad big hug to you susanna and thanks for you comment :) ann forgive my english its not that well my is dutchy ;)

Anonymous said...

The FC show was announced on Friday the day after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving must have been fun watching Matt convince Jon to do this. Then walk into his closet and pick the crap that he no longer wants, to auction off to the ONLY people who will buy it.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I am a member of the fan club and I agree with every single word you just said.
I hope deep in my heart that not only Matt Bongiovi but JON BON JOVI can take the time to read this because our love and devotion to the band is costing us SO MUCH!
I can never afford to go on a show like this...for me this is not a special show for the fan club members but a big slap on the faces of those who love and follow this band... ever since Matt started to run this fanclub few people are happy. They don't offer ANYTHING to us and that have been said many times on the FC board. On the last tour those North American package tickets were A BIG JOKE!!! I mean come on we already pay membership we should be able to get first row tickets and to go up on stage ANYWAY! And instead we have to buy the damn packages who was also offer to people that are NOT on the fan club only for a even bigger price. I should not renew my membership I should not travel around to see them anymore...it's sad VERY sad. Thank You!

Angela said...

Fantastic blog... said something that I have felt for a good while now and have turned my back in disgust at - so much so that I didn't realise that other people felt the same way as I never even bother looking at anything Bon Jovi related anymore - thats how disgusted I am. I looked at tickets for the last Dublin concert, myself and my husband usually follow the guys round the UK gigs, but the price for the 2 of us for membership and then the Dublin fan club tickets, was the same as it would have cost us the previous time around to do Dublin and Glasgow (including travel)... its all about the money now sadly, and we're just average people trying to make our way through life on reasonable wages - always thought Bon Jovi was on our side... obviously not. They will never get another penny from me.

Anonymous said...

It all comes back to this, you fans who say you are pissed but are STILL going, are contributing to this entire mess. Your words mean nothing if you are still willing to shell out whatever they ask. You try to justify it but that just tells Matt that he can do what he wants and fans will still pay, no matter how much they might bitch about it.

ann said...

thats not true more than 10000 fans left already becourse of this and
some are stil hoping for an miricle
and hope something good wil come out of this

Anonymous said...

The fan club totally S*cks these days. All money hungry. And not only have I shown my distaste in Bon Jovi by not rejoining the fan club, and not buying Lost Highway or any other upcoming album they may release, I'm also sick and tired of all the WannaBe Tribute bands out there. They aren't going to have many fans because people are hating Bon Jovi more and more.

Anonymous said...

I think that one difference btw this Fc and others is that others are truly BAND FCs - this was changed fromt that, to be a Jon fanclub first and foremost. Therein, the fans that are not only or primarily Jon fans, get shafted. (well - it seems we all do)

Anonymous said...

I've been a fan club member for 12 years and for the first time I have decided not to renew. It is PATHETIC how Matt is running the club and how he is disrespecting the fans. Only an idiot would renew after taking into account the fan club is nothing more than a bunch of ticket scalpers. I have bought fan club tix for shows in the past and have been bitterly disappointed with the seats. Last year I bought 3 tix from Ticketmaster and HAD BETTER SEATS. I decided there and then not to renew my membership because the only thing I was paying for was a message board.... a CENSORED message board that does not allow freedom of speech. The promise of contests never even materalized. NONE of what was promised was delivered.

WHoever said that to renew would feel like a battered wife going back for more couldn't be more true. They trade on fans hoping that if they didn't renew that something just might happen. They can play that game on the vulnerable (I'm sorry to say that some fans ARE. They're so misguided and deluded that they always believe something WILL happen) but I am not going to be one of the gullible anymore.

SOmething else that irks me is the notion that some fans believe jon doesn't have anything to do with the fanclub. If his name is in the title of the fanclub he has everything to do with it, including making decisions in how its run, making money, hiring and firing people.

Anonymous said...

Your article says it all. I'm a member of Backstage myself and have met some good friends there and really enjoy talking to people, but this FC Concert is very disappointing. First of all, the price is ridiculous, second the entire band not being there is enough reason for me not to go. To me if you are in someone's Fan Club you want to see that group, not "Friends". I've been with them since 1986, the band Bon Jovi, not the man Jon Bon Jovi. I felt lowering the price from $275.00 to $250.00 was a huge disrespect to the rest of the band in my opinion, like they were only worth a $25.00 discount when it was decided it would be Jon & Friends. And let me add, I bought tickets through Stub Hub for the Atlanta show and was 6th Row, compared to 18th row through Fan Club tickets. Makes me ask myself why am I doing this? Only reason I have right now is because of the friends I've made. I really hope Matt gets the boot or has to go by some new rules soon! Jon is losing the fans that made him who he is. It's really sad.

RockinRacer said...

I too am a fan club member and have been disappointed with the whole Fan Club only concert. What you said in your blog is 100% true. The very sad truth of what the fan club has become. When the concert was announced I couldn't wait for the details. Then once the details came I just wanted to cry. With the show being on a weekday and already having plans to go to the Soul Celebration on the 25th there's no way I could take more time off from work. Then with the sale date of the tickets being before Christmas I couldn't buy them anyway. Plus they are wicked expensive then add in it's only Jon and general admission. Just not worth the price to me anyway. I love Jon, but there's just something when he's with HIS band that can't be duplicated with anyone else. They are magic when performing together. I know Matt has seen this blog and I hope he takes it to heart and makes some serious changes or there won't be any members to keep this fan club going.

Anonymous said...

You have echoed my sentiments exactly. And from reading the comments, many others as well. Ever since Matt took over I have felt that "Fan Club" was not the correct title any longer...it has just become a glorified ticket broker. But Bon Jovi shouldn't be singled out, since the same has been happening in the music business for so many well established acts. Look at what Madonna or the Rolling Stones charge for a top ticket. I love Bon Jovi & will probably continue to buy their albums and go see a show, but have resigned myself to the fact that front seats are not an option for me any longer. What I won't do is renew my FC membership...I refuse to put one more dollar in Matt's greedy pocket. And that includes eating at his restaurant.

Anonymous said...

I am a current member of BSWJBJ and have been a loyal Bon Jovi fan since 1986. I’m also very disheartened by the current attitude and actions of BSWJBJ. And, for the record, I was not a loyal fan of 20+ years mostly based on a nice butt and a great smile! I’ve always admired Jon for his talent, his intelligence, his professionalism, and the simple fact that he acknowledged and appeared to truly appreciate Bon Jovi fans. I think every member of the band is extremely accomplished, and I have amazing memories from Bon Jovi concerts. So many of their songs speak to me and have helped me through difficult times…

Deleting the negative posts on BSWJBJ and not addressing fans’ concerns is only going to alienate more people, and possibly garner national attention. I have a difficult time believing that Jon would just stand silent and allow his younger brother to destroy his reputation. Maybe Jon has become so famous, wealthy and overcommitted that he simply doesn’t want to deal with our concerns and figures he’ll just attract new fans. (Realistically, that’s probably going to get harder as he’s approaching 50!). Or, maybe he does think we’re all stupid sheep who worship him unconditionally and will pay anything to be in his presence. I really, really hope that’s not true!

I had the same thought that Tara did – a true fan would be much better suited to run BSWJBJ. And, like many others have said, I have too much self-respect to maintain my level of loyalty with no acknowledgment of the problems with BSWJBJ. How can any genuine relationship survive without mutual respect??

Anonymous said...

I've been a fan since Crush album, and a die-hard fan for 2,5 years and i will love them always-no matter what, but I do agree with you with everything that you said. Since Matt is the CEO of FC it really sucks. I wanted to join BWJBJ for Christmas, but now, after this "Jersey case" I deffa won't join it, maybe when Matt won't be CEO of FC anymore.
I wasn't shocked that FC decided that this show will be in Jersey, although few months ago they said it will be somewhere in Europe, but I was shocked when I saw ticket price... it's really too much!! I wouldn't pay $275 too see Bon Jovi and The Rolling Stones together on the stage-no way!!!! It's way too much, for any band... but fans are guilty for that cause even when the ticket price for MSG show was $305 they sold out the whole stadium, and now they think that they can always put so high ticket costs. But then again, I don't blame the band, not even Jon, cause, you said it well, they probably don't know how unhappy their fans are. That's why, me and my friend are working on European fan club and our mission is to show Matt and co. how angry we are on him and his work cause BWJBJ is mostly turened to American fans!!! So far we have around 200 members and if you wanna join here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=6458&post=26481&uid=52665157109#/group.php?gid=52665157109&ref=mf

thank you Tony for this amazing article!!! Rocketh on!!!

Jen said...

I was a member of Backstage when it was Backstage with Bon Jovi. I still have every issue in plastic in a folder, from the time they started until the very last actual newsletter. I went on the first couple of fan club trips and remember standing behind Jon for a group picture and the security telling us just to pose not grab the guys. I bent down and asked him if I could hug him. He stood up, turned around and put his arms around me and got bitched at for holding up the line. haha
I loved it. I still love Jon and the band. I was sad when Jon's mom changed it to Backstage with Jon Bon Jovi, but none of the other guys were showing up for interviews for her or anything and Richie had his own fan club so she changed it. Didn't matter it was still awesome.
Then it changed. She left and Matt took over and the newsletters stopped. My membership ran out this month, but I was locked out of the boards over 2 months ago, because I was close to being up and hadn't renewed yet. I won't either.
I hate the way it is now, but I don't think it's the band's fault. We Bon Jovi fans got more access to them than MOST bands give their fans and the fact that Jon still does any fc club stuff makes me love him more, because the other guys won't. It's not like they were told DO NOT SHOW UP. But the prices are too high and the fans are no longer treated like family but instead like money.
I miss how it was and would rather remember that than be in it now. I will still buy albums and love the band. My son (he's the same age as Jon's youngest) and I saw Jon shopping a week or so ago and he was very sweet and not at all rude or rushed.
I blame the business of Bon Jovi, and maybe Matt, but not the band. Maybe I'm naive or maybe I'm right. Either way it needs to be fixed.

Maryann said...

I'm not at all surprised that ppl support Tony's blog entry, I emailed him to the email he has in the profile with my support but I can certainly say YES FINALLY, here too. It's sad but it has to be said. The truth hurts big time.

I decided to speak up with my wallet this time and not renew. My membership ran out on Nov. 1st and I have no intention of returning unless this fc starts acting like a FANCLUB again and not like treating it's members like ATMs. I'm sorry BWJBJ but you've taken enough of my money!

I'll still be supporting Jovi, Jon may know full well what's going on etc...but as long as Jovi writes music I love I'll buy their music. I'll also see them in concert but probably not "touring" like I've done in the past, the prices the band is charging for concerts these days is too steep.

r n r rene gade said...

T:

After all's been said & done -- and I do not agree w/JBJ's business practices, which lack consideration for his fanbase -- isn't the onus (again, with all that's now known and still going down after all these years), now on the fans?

Really, if someone keeps ripping you off, why return for more?

To put his bluntly, if diehard fans complain and changes are made by the band, then why bother if the experience is that awful and one's being exploited?

Because, after a while, and a short while, at that, one may hold JBJ in contempt, but may also call his gluttons for punishment "stupid" for asking for some more.

Anonymous said...

I'm an old member sincer 1987. Yes, I agree with all comments in this blog!

And yes, I still love the band! This is not theirs fault!
Jon, speak with your brother, money is not everything ... important is a big fan loyality all the years.
And not all of fans are rich! But they LOVE THE BAND!

Anonymous said...

I too WAS a long time member of this FC and I LONG for the days when Mrs B ran it.
I did not renew my membership and will NOT renew as long as Matt is running the show.
Jon better wake up or he will be reliving the These Days Tour.

sambotiff1 said...

As long time member of this fan club I have to say your article is spot on!! I live in the Uk and went to 9 concerts in europe this year and i was disgusted at te way fan club members were treated by the staff employed to care for and help us. I love the band.... HATE the fan club.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with the article.
Apparently people who have posted it on backstage have been banned from the message board which tells you everything about how it is run. They cannot take criticism and they do no address the issues people have with the FC.
Even before Matt took over I had issues about the money side of things. We have been paying a $50 subscription for next to nothing in return apart from use of the message board! They hold auctions of Jons' 2nd hand-clothes at fan club events which raised more funds for the fan club and not for charity which is disgusting. Mrs B was also known to sell pictures of Jon which SHE had signed (not Jon)at these events! So IMO Mrs B started the culture of making as much money as possible from the fans and Matt just took over the baton!

Anonymous said...

I think people have different levels of tolerance or some fans KTF more than others, but at one point enough is enough.

I'm still a member of this mess of a club, I was looking forward to the for members ONLY concert, I would have gone even with Jon and Friends, just to have a different type of show, although WAY TOO FAR, of what a unique event could have been with the whole band.

When at the very last minute it was clarified that it was going to be for members "and guests", it felt like another slap on the face, what is left for us the paying members?

No better seats, more expensive and worse than at Ticketmaster.
A message board where only the sheep can post without fear to be banned.
Announcements that mysteriously change after tickets are bought, so what you thought you were paying for is not longer the case.
Broken promises of contests, chats, etc.. we are not even allowed to have our own fricking icons, for crying out loud!

Oh!

FC members are getting emails today with the title...

This Just in!!

Guess what? We are invited to buy tickets for Jon Bon Jovi and Friends exclusive event!!

Isn't this a riot!

Anonymous said...

Well this is one fanclub "only" show that isn't going to sell out, I guess this is the first "fc trip" that wasn't sold out within 4 hours (tickets are still on sale since last Saturday). Capacity of the venue is 2200 and even when the second tickets doesn't have to be a member there won't be (or at least I hope so) at least 1100 fc members buying tickets.

Anonymous said...

I've been a Bon Jovi fan since 1986, and was a member of the fan club for 12 years. I have no intention of rejoining the fan club whilst Matt Bongiovi is involved with it.

For the first year of Matt's management a lot of fans were making excuses for him, and saying he should be given the benefit of the doubt because he'd only just taken over... yet Matt has been involved with the fan club and the band's ticketing arrangements for YEARS. If he wanted to, he could also ask his Mom for advice -- so he's never had any excuse for not being able to at least continue in the vein that Mrs B did.

Things were badly-managed in the first year and showed no signs of improvement by September 2007, in fact things only got worse, so when my membership expired in November 2007, I voted with my wallet and didn't renew. Many of my friends did renew (some of them now regret doing so), and rather than taking advantage of the fan club allowing members to buy tickets for non-member guests for shows, I bought all my tickets through Ticketmaster instead, and went to less than half of the number of shows I'd normally go to on a tour. All the fan club now understands is MONEY. Complaining has no effect at all. In order for them to understand how unhappy we are, we HAVE to STOP renewing (which a lot have done, incidentally) and STOP buying what they sell. Nothing else will work.

I find it so sad that the fans who used to support the band no matter what, who would automatically renew their fan club memberships even when the band wasn't touring (so the only perk was the message board/chat room), and who would go to as many shows as they could afford, are slowly walking away from the fan club, and, if things continue, the band itself.

Anonymous said...

I'm Italian, i received my membership some days ago(i bought it last june!)....i'm regretting it! Not only I travel all around europe to see their concerts because they don't come in italy but also i should pay more to see something that should be one of my rights as a member!!!!!
I hope the band is going to do something otherwise I'll get really disappointed. I've always been ready to do everything for them, I've been a fan since KTF album and i really love them! But if I'm ready to do everything for them i expect they give me some "gifts<" back! and the gift that I'm talking about is only RESPECT!
Simona from Rome

Anonymous said...

I am so in agreement with your article!! You hit the nail on the head, as you always do with anyone you write reviews about.

I didn't renew my membership with Backstage in November. I'd had enough of all the bickering over on that site, as well as the censoring of anyone's opinions about anything Jovi related!

Their concert ticket prices are outrageous now, and the fan club is just a joke. I agree with alot of the comments everyone has made in this blog. It's disheartening being a fan for over 20 years and it comes down this this...money!

I'm done with Jovi. I'll devote all my energy and money for shows to Keith Urban who totally appreciates his fans and puts on a fantastic concert at a reasonable cost!!!

Anonymous said...

And the plot thickens...

Now that it has been announced, that the FC Private event is going to take place at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, where Jon and Richie met (some Bon Jovi landmark), it has inmediately come to mind the recent Mastercard contest, Roots of Rock, using their card or entering every day on line, you could win the chance to meet and see your favorite rock star, Jon ("just Jon") being one of them in concert at the place where they started...

Umm.. is this just a coincidence? Is this FC concert really for the fans, or because JBJ had a deal with Mastercard?

I for one would love to know.

SammyJ1020 said...

I am not a FC member, but am a large supporter of the band and very much enjoy their talents. The 'FC stigma' was just not something I have ever been interested in.
All that aside, I must say, that the same sort of 'cheap shot' to the fans was also quite apparent during this past year's "I Love This Town" music video contest. I lost a lot of respect for the entire operation when certain things were promised and never delivered to the winners.
In their opening advertisements, the winning video makers were promised a face to face meeting with the band, an opportunity to be on-stage for three songs, front row tickets to the show, and their video played on large screens during that particular song. Not too shabby if you ask me. Once again, the band amazed me.
So, there I go, out to make my masterpiece. I did, and it won, needless to say I was pretty damn excited. When I got to the show and met Mr. Suit who gave me my tickets, I was informed that there would be no face to face meeting (which was really the one thing that drew competitive video makers to this contest). Apparently the bad could not afford 2 minutes to shake my hand. When I looked at my tickets, I noticed that I was in section 107, row 9, seats 16 and 17: about a mile from the front row.
I felt deceived and used, extremely disappointed and saddened. Fortunately I was awarded the on-stage experience (which was really side-stage) but very cool regardless. Myself and my friend were up there for three songs at the start of the show and on our way back to our seats in the south forty, we decided we weren't going to take this and ended up sneaking back and forth with each on-stage group. We ended up getting on-stage for 12 songs instead of three, props to us and our civil disobediance, but I found in unfortunate that we had to do that.
You just don't treat a contest winner like that: awarding seats in the grandma section and expecting us to fall all over ourselves swooning and being grateful.
It seems this pirate behavior has continued and I just don't understand why. How unfortunate.

Condemned to be a fan regardless,

Sam

Anonymous said...

I was a very Loyal memeber , but unfortunatly due to Jons rudeness to me personally a few years ago and the disgusting way us fans are treated, i am longer a Fan Club Member, and really dont see me being one in the near future, this saddens me a great deal.

Anonymous said...

I read your comments and almost felt a sense of relief. The BSWJBJ debacle and why my membership won't be renewed was addressed in almost every way. However, the biggest slap in the face for me, as a member, was the band's dismal and almost laughable performance at a waterfront festival this past summer in the small Canadian refinery town I grew up in. I can imagine, whoever booked them into this venue suffered! But the fans suffered MORE. My closest friend who is a HUGE fan and brought me to see Bon Jovi for the first time was almost in tears. She said they look embarrassed to even be there, and their performance showed it BIG TIME, leaving 3 songs early with no apolgies. Maybe it's time JBJ took some of the blame for the fan club disaster. When you join a fan club you're telling the artists they are a very special part of your life. When the artist doesn't seem to care about the treatment of their most loyal fans, the ones who ALWAYS buy their music, the fans become a moot point. The one good thing I will say about this fan club is all the wonderful women I met at concerts who remain my friends to this day. As for me, I'm BON JOVIED OUT!

Anonymous said...

I whole hartedly agree with everyone
I am a current fc member and im so disapointed after being a fan for 25 years and an fc member for around 20 years i will no longer be treated like SHIT
i am not a sheep and i refuse to line matts pockets
i have sincerely had enough

Anonymous said...

This is a great article. I am not a BJ fan club member, or even a fan really, but this situation is very sad to see for me. What I can't get over is the fact that so many people on here refuse to blame Jon or the band for this problem. Are you kidding me? This is 100% their fault. This club is their business. It represents them. They have complete control over it and probably approve everything that is going on. You are nuts to think the band doesn't know about any of this or that the band gives a shit about you.

I also wouldn't expect prices to drop anytime soon due to the announcement that there probably won't be a AFL season this year and the league might be folding.

Susanna said...

I don't hold the band responsible because the backstage is "Backstage with Jon Bon Jovi", so it's about Jon. And, the band is not even involved in the controversial "member only" show.

Plus, Jon is considered "the boss" and he controls and decides everything. I cannot believe that Matt made any decisions without his brother's approval. So, yes, personally I think Jon should step up and take responsibility.

How he will handle this situation (if at all) I don't know. From the responses here it seems a lot of damage was done. Can it be repaired? I don't know.

I do know that if the the show sells out it'll show Jon that people will pay anything to see him and things will just stay as they are.

I don't think people here want Bon Jovi to end as a result of this big scandal (let's face it, it's a scandal). How can he repair it? Is it possible I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to stop being so naive to think that this is only Matt's doing. Bon Jovi is well aware of what their ticket prices are and the kind of revenue they are bringing in. I am angry at myself for renewing my membership thinking it would be different. For me personally, the worst part of it is how they pull at your heart strings saying that certain proceeds will go to charity. I think Jon's philanthropic efforts should be commended but why do loyal Bon Jovi fans have to fund the Soul Foundation. If I want to donate money to charity, I would like to decide where it goes. Not that the Soul Foundation isn't doing great work but I rather give my $250 to a children's hospital to give sick children a chance at life or some other cause nearer and dearer to my heart. The sad fact of the matter is that we have put Bon Jovi primarily Jon on a pedastal since the band's inception because we treasured their music and believed that they were always going to be a band of the people. That ideal has been lost and the reality is that true, loyal Bon Jovi fans are being used to fund all the band members and their families various projects, charities, hobbies, etc. so they don't have to tap into their multi-million dollar bank accounts to do it. I am heartbroken over all that has transpired over the past few years. I guess 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans CAN Be Wrong.

Anonymous said...

I, also, did not renew membership when it expired back in February 08. I had been a loyal follower for many years, too, and was completely upset with the way Matt ran the FC into the ground. I also find it hard to believe that Jon knows nothing of what is going on...that is just people's way of justifying to themselves what is going on. Jon is and always has been completely aware of everything that goes on with the band. The sad part about the whole thing is is that there are still those fans out there who will pay any price to see them - that is why they keep doing what they do. When the fans stop joining the club and paying those outrageous prices they might realize we are serious about this issue.

Anonymous said...

Finally the word free ( Soul free concert) was in the same sentence as Bon Jovi, and now the AFL is suspending the season. Let's see how Jon handles this situation. Tickets were free to all season ticket holders, well there are no ticket season holders...that should sell more FC ONLY concert tickets ( considering it will be the only concert available).

Anonymous said...

and let's not forget the bargain price of $3000 for 3 front row seats.....been there, done that and it didn't cost me anywhere near that much....

Susanna said...

Ouch! It keeps getting messier.

But, at the end of the day, people will get their credit cards out and pay for the concert. It'll sell our I'm sure.

It's better be good because by February the credit card statements will have arrived and some fans may be feeling a bit cranky. Except for the ones who can REALLY afford to be there, of course.

Anonymous said...

I love this! I got TWO emails from Backstage in one day, begging me to spend some of my hard-earned money on unnecessary items that will profit Matt & Jon even further. Hasn't anyone ever told them that two email pitches in one day is an industry no-no? You'd think they at least coordinate the email sendout schedule. But wait! That would mean taking the $ signs out of their eyes in order to see things more clearly.

If I was to buy everything that they asked me to, it would add up as follows:

- FC concert ticket: $250
- Fan Club Membership: $50
- T-shirt: $30
- Hoodie: $50
- Sweatshirt blanket (what?): $50
- Onesie: $20
- Kids t-shirt: $30
- Hat: $30
- Mug: $20
- Keychain: $10

Total: Way too much!

And even if I just bought one $10 keychain, I have to pay $37 USD in shipping, just because I outside the US! Where are these products shipped from? Heaven?!

A very merry Chri$tma$ to you, the brothers Bongiovi.

Anonymous said...

Thank you everyone for all your comments, there is much more dirt to be dug up than I thought.

One thing is missing... where are the advocates of the FC, where are the "sheep"? No comments will be deleted here if in favor, or people banned, like it's going on the club message boards right now, so how is that they are not defending it?

I have the answer to this.... because there is NOTHING to defend!

Anonymous said...

http://www.bonjovionline.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=BJT115

By the way does anyone have $ 1,700to lend me to pay for this necklace? GREED!

Anonymous said...

Here here Tony....couldn't have said it better!! I am a FC member,and had a great time during the previous tour when JBJ's mother was still running the fan club. This last tour I gave them the benefit of the doubt and stayed in the FC, bought FC tix to shows etc. As the tour went on I got more and more annoyed, and by the time it was over....I was over too. If the band themselves don't know how bad Matt is treating us, it doesn't say good things about their organization. Matt is a greedy idiot, and knows NOTHING about how to treat his brother's band's fans.

Anonymous said...

There is one active thread on Backstage that hasn't been deleted yet. A brave soul posted the link to this post, and yep there are a few defendants, saying this kind of stuff:

"I read more than I thought I would...it's the same old stuff from Anthony...Matt is the devil, the Pearl Jam fanclub is perfect. Anthony's disgust and anger is misplaced it should not be directed at Matt. Matt is merely carrying out what he is told to do by BJM which means Paul K and Jon."

Oh aren't I the devil for posting this!! Hee hee.

Anonymous said...

Wow -- this is really sad. Remember way back when Jon fired everyone because the whole band business had become such a machine? Remember his depression?

They are supplying the demand for as long as the demand is going at these prices. One thing I do know -- all of these entertainers who are huge cash cows are not only making money for themselves. They are also answering to someone else and as long as they are raking in the cash they will be wanting their share.

I have been a fan since the beginning. I have a lot of very fun memories of Bon Jovi. We all remember the good ol' days. I hope when the band thinks about those days they have warm memories also.

Anonymous said...

Now Jon ( if it really is Jon) appears on the FC boards to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and give two paragraphs on a thread. After the disaster of last night and this article. GIRLS COME BACK IT'S ME JON!!! It's all good now for the "MIKEY'S",sheep, and battered wives that are FC members.

Meghan said...

Great article - you definitely presented your point in a way that wasn't attacking but offered a good commentary on the situation.

I used to be a member of the fan club, I think in 2001-2003. I liked getting the magazines in the mail a lot and I still have them all saved. When I heard the magazines were going to be discontinued, I cancelled. I think the cost was about $35/yr back then.

One thing that makes me really mad is that I used to love posting on the Backstage w/JBJ message board and I made a lot of connections with other fans there. Then all of a sudden you could only post there if you paid the $45 or whatever...that really made me angry, why have to pay for the use of a message board??! It's not like it costs them $$$.

Anonymous said...

some thoughts:
- "morally bankrupt"... that's it in a nutshell
- if you don't think Big Momma wasn't making a profit before Baby Brother you're beyond naive
- Matt isn't bright enough to be the devil behind all of this. If you think this is all him you're naive but if you think Matt is only "doing as he's told," you're really dumb too. ooh, big bad nameless faceless bjm to blame! and if you think jon doesn't have a clue what's going on? its you who doesn't have a clue.
- the fan club was never perfect. it was old school, mom & pop and to be honest, corny. and people fawned all over the mother because she gave birth to a rock star. and there was a shitload of crazies and online message board wars between bullies and their victims that had to have been embarassing (not just to the band but to civil adults) but there was at least some sort of attempt to make it seem like it was about the fans and it was a family vibe. now?

they don't even bother to pretend it's anything other than a blatant cash grab. supply & demand works so long as people are willing to pay. i'm just glad my credit card was refunded for the aborted american xs membership at the band's official website (which also by the way sucks)

Anonymous said...

All it takes is a few words from Jon on a thread on the Fan Club boards and everything is good again in OZ...Jon is the wizard behind the curtain.
" Thanks Jon for the update. Happy Holidays to you and your family" BARF! Thanks Tony for being Dorothy and pulling back the curtain.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure jon knows whats going on. he's just as money hungry as matt. Jon has said several times that he LOVES money. also, i agree with whoever said how much of bj's profits go to charity....10 cents or 10 dollars? they will never say. jon bon jovi donated 250 000 to oprah (with the other 3 members donating the same amount it equalled a million dollars) and jon is made out to be some hero for saving the victims of katrina. so jon donated 250 000 dollars to build new homes in new orleans, while he purchased a 26 million dollar penthouse in NYC that same year. that 26 million, which seems to be pocket change for jon, could have rebuilt All of new orleans!! and then you have people like shakira, who is not as rich and famous as bon jovi, donating 40 million to charity. I'm sorry, but I will never join the BJ fan club or go to one of their shows simply because they are all a bunch of greedy,money hungry,a-holes.

Anonymous said...

So glad that someone posted my exact thoughts. Jon (or someone) posts a Merry Christmas letter on Backstage and the people go nuts and all is forgiven. It's just amazing to me. You can be a fan without being a sheep. Jon probably turned to Matt and said "see, all I have to do is throw them some crumbs and they're happy as pigs in $hit." Then they laugh all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

There is a post at 6:24, that says that Matt does know NOTHING about treating the fans.

Sorry... I have to disagree, he knows how to treat some very well, THOSE that follow him like puppy dogs and if his wife wasn't around would even kiss his ass (literally). I guess because when they can't do it to Jon...

I've seen that myself in more than one occasion.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Well said and completely accurate! I was a fan club member for a few years until I saw the greed that ran rampant there and I will add that it didn't begin with Matt. I had a bad taste in my mouth when Mommy Dearest ran the club and I gave it one shot when Matt took over under the misguided delusion that perhaps Jon had realized his mother was a consummate rip off artist and had installed Matt for corrective action. Unfortunately, the apple didn't fall far from the tree and Jon just learned over the years how to screw people even better. I still love the music, but I won't call myself a fan any longer. For shame, Jon, for shame! What a disappointment you turned out to be...even if you correct things now, it's too late as your motives will always be suspect. The decrease in membership and loss of revenue will get your attention because money talks, but the only way I'd become a fan again is if Jon himself made a formal apology to the fans for the mistreatment and neglect he's allowed. At least it is gratifying to see that no one here is trying to defend such shameless behavior. Thanks to the author of this Blog for publicizing this travesty-as someone so eloquently said, like Dorothy pulling back the curtain to reveal the wizard...

Anonymous said...

I was coming to post about the coincidental letter from Jon that has been posted today in the FC boards, I see it's old news, but I have to say that although the "sheep" are happy as can be and saying... you see, all is good, that it not accurate that "everyone" bought this poor attempt to shut us up. I've read quite a few post of people in that regard, not everything is back to the way it was before yesterday. The fight goes on.

Anonymous said...

I've been a diehard fan of Bon Jovi since 1985 and I used to be an original fan club member back when Mrs B ran the club. I loved it, I still have all my stuff, I love all the home made stuff, the fan newsletters etc. As a teenager back then I used to spend every cent I had on them.

I travelled a 40,000 kilometre round trip to see them this year, it was worth the money, I got great tickets in Europe.

I gave up on the fan club a while ago, not like it used to be.

It's sad!

Anonymous said...

I am the one that posted about OZ and the wizard. I am glad that others feel the same. It disgust me to read that thread. When I read on the boards all the " Thank you's" to Jon for writing 2 paragraphs that were clearly thrown together( maybe not even by him) to "shut the sheep up", I needed to go to bed because it is clear that all "the man" has to do is make nicey nice to some of these women and all the beating up and abusing are forgotten. Nothing is better ... you still are paying over face for tickets, you still do not get what you use to for ( $35 not $50), your seats are still somewhere in the 1st 25 rows, TM and TE get better seats then you do, the FC ONLY concert is for Friends and Family, and there is no respect. So maybe you all should think twice before kissing " that mans" ass. He doesn't need us to make him feel better by wishing him a happy holidays - he owes it to his fans to THANK US - for making the band what it is today, with all the money we have spend for tickets.

Anonymous said...

The first thing I thought when I saw the letter thats ment to be from Jon doubt that very much. And the sheep all saying thank you Jon. ffs thank him for what ripping you off no end, and him telling you to smile as it cost nothing hes an asshole.

JerzyJovi (Lori) said...

A Christmas letter from JBJ the day after the sh!t hit the fan? Insult us some more, please !! Are they kidding? A hint to another CD in 2009? Well, I hope Jonny has some time over the Holidays to read what's being written here. He's got a problem and as CEO of all things Bon Jovi, he better fix it or else there won't be so many butts in the seats as outlined in the newest Billboard headline - Bon Jovi Scores Top Grossing 2008 tour - yea, no kidding. Oh, there are some happy sheep over at Backstage, but not as many as those on the other side of the fence. Some of the sheep bathe in the eternal sunshine of Bon Jovi - well, maybe they should ask Santa for sunglasses so they can start to see what's really going on a little clearer.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those "sheep" everyone is referring to on the message boards. While I have been extremely disatisfied with the way the fan club has been run since Matt took over and very vocal about it. We have been used for our money and I don't question that. I also love the band (not as much as I used to) and I love their music. Many of us in the fan club have hung around to see if anything would change before we left and were officially "done" with Bon Jovi. We are looking for our concerns to be addressed. This letter from Jon is a step (very small step) in the right direction. I'm not stupid and things may never change in which case I am officially "done' with Bon Jovi, but I am hoping that possibly our voices were heard. Some of you posting are obviously way beyond the hope for change and are officially done with band and I respect your opinion and understand the reasons behind it! I will not be taken advantage of anymore but I am not a sheep. I thanked someone with the hopes that maybe his head is back in the game.

Susanna said...

I've been a fan for 18 years and my husband for 23 years. I went to 7 concerts in all those years. Yes, I'd like to have gone to more but not dozens and dozens (even if money allowed).

So in short, I buy the CD's and go to the odd concert and love to meet other fans. I never attempted to stay in the front row - I am not interested. And it's because of that I consider myself a real fan. But if what they want is the kind of fan that goes to a million concerts and spend millions of dollars on them (ok perhaps slight exaggeration) then it's not me and maybe I should move on.

Shame, because I've always appreciated, respected and admired them. They should remember that the "sheeps" (like some of you called the die-hard fans) are the minority and them alone won't be able to support the band's status in the music industry or financially.

I want the songs, I want the gigs. The rest to me is just unnecessary. I hope they focus on the music from now on.

Anonymous said...

I think the government needs to step in BAILOUT the Fan club!

Anonymous said...

LOL That bailout post was funny. Just what I needed this morning!

Anonymous said...

If you see the events in Starland Ballroom, the place where the FC concert is gonna be, you can see the prices between $20 and $30, and this concert costs $250...
Can you see the diference??
And we can read Jon (we think he is) talking about the "world crisis" and what about our pockets...what do you think?
But anyway I'm a BJ fan, It's too much time been a fan and listening their music, I hope this situation will get better.

J.J. Murray said...

I've seen this first-hand with Aerosmith's fan club, AF1, which I've been a member of since 1985. It used to be awesome. From the late 80's to the mid 90's, you used to be able to go on travel packages which included 2-3 shows (great seats), full band meet & greet, sound check, cool swag, hotels, and ground transportation. This was for around $600 to $800. Now that same money gets you a "Velvet Rope" package which just gets you a single ticket and a bcakstage tour. I did a few of the travel packages back in the day. I'd rather burn a pile of money than do a Velvet Rope "experience."

These days, I only stay an AF1 member because it enables me to buy 2 tickets which are usually in the first 10 rows because of my seniority in the club. I see the band once per tour whereas I used to see them 5 or more times per tour. With ticket prices these days, I just can't afford to.

J.J.

Anne said...

I agree with a lot you wrote.
But I don't agree with your point that you don't blame Jon or the management because they are unaware of the situation.

In the beginning of the fanclub Matt was asked by members who really runs the fanclub. He told them that Bon Jovi Management runs the fanclub and he leads it in their name.

I'm pretty sure that BJM and especially Jon are totally aware of the situation and nothing in this fanclub would happen without the knowledge and the acceptance of Jon and BJM.
Jon wanted his mother to leave the fanclub because he wanted the control and he wouldn't give the control out of hand to his brother.
Jon's the one to blame. No one else!

Anonymous said...

I've been a fan for years, but only a fan club member for the past 2 years. My membership expired last month and I won't be renewing. Why?....it ain't worth $50 to have access to a message board, because I have yet to ever get anything else out of this fan club except a message board. And even then, if you voice your opinion and say something "bad" about Jon or the band, your thread gets deleted. What ever happend to free speech?

I was also mad that during my 2 years in the club, we got ONE letter from Jon. Just ONE! Sheesh. I heard Jon just posted a letter to the members just this week. My guess is to calm everyone down since they all have their undies in a bundle. Couldn't we have gotten some special things only a members get? For $50, we should have all received a members-only t-shirt or something.

I even remembered a fan-club only sale this past year in which we were allowed to get 2 fan club tickets. Then, within 1 hour of the online sale, they switched it to only 1 ticket per member. What a kick in the a$$ I tell ya.

All feelings aside, I still love Jon and the band and hope to see them in concert, but some things really need to change. Jon, Richie, David & Tico have all the money in the world they are ever going to need.....how about lower ticket prices, membership prices, and making the fan club about the fans. Without us, they are nothing!

Susanna said...

Here's an idea. Anyone in the USA who cannot afford the ticket just sit outside the venue with a "Tommy" (if you're a man) and "Gina" t-shirts (if woman).

People talk. They ignore. And all carries on as usual.

Call me naive; I don't think Jon is greedy. He doesn't need more money surely. He's just completly out of touch perhaps.

ann said...

hi susanna
that would be something :) meby he wakes up i stil love the music live for me sound so magicel forgive me english its not that well
ill keep the faith i saw the turning around the way they put the line up in europe matt did not want to know annything about it at first than he saw what happend and went allong with it oh i realy hope something goodwill come out of this xx ann

Anonymous said...

I am so pleased people are noticing how greedy Bon jovi are. I first saw them headline Donnington in 87 with support from Dio Metallica Anthrax and Cinderella ticket price for that event was £30. Since then I am a Metallica fan and their recent gig at the O2 Uk cost just £5. I did see Jovi at Wembley gold circle which cost £85. Their tickets just go up year on year and although I love them to bits I only see them every other year as I feel they are ripping their fans off and I personally feel sold out Bon Jovi I have never joined their fan club since being only 14 at the time it started I couldn't afford it as well as the gigs. I remember interviews with Jon saying "I just want to be part of the fans" and how much he loves us all if so why rip us off so much.
Come on Jon please do something about it, you have so much and some fans have so little and would die to see you but can't afford to.

Maryann said...

LOL the shit hits the fan and after several deleting and bannings (from what I read on this blog ppl got banned for linking to Tony's blog entry) and slow sales of this "FC only concert" JBJ sends the fc a letter?

Doesn't look like it's helping much when it comes to the amount of members cos it's STILL going down fairly steadily. Last time I checked (non members can check that) they were down to 9709, it usually go up during the day only to drop down again the next day.

So now they got the letter from JBJ...now I'm just waiting for the "scolding letter" from admin that usually comes after alot of complaining, basically scolding members for being disrespectful and rude agains the staff....lol.

Sue said...

Well that settle's it....I LOVE, LOVE,LOVE BON JOVI!!!! And have been pondering if I should join the BSWBJ fan club, and because I'm from Canada I was also wondering what benefit I would get doing so..Clearly not much.....So thank you for making my mind up for me and keep up the good work....

Anonymous said...

Why am I not surprised at the people on the fan club site who don't understand why so many are cynical about the fact that a Christmas letter from Jon happened to show up right now? "But he always does a Christmas letter!" Yeah so, you still don't think the timing of this was strange? I wish I could live in a dream world everyday. LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

And if JBJ thinks I'm gonna pay $50 now that he's personally written a (forced) letter to the fan club, he's gotta be kidding. It's just a touch base letter, nothing new in it, just an update to keep the sheep happy and fed for a while and maybe a few new sheep will think it means he writes to the fanclub all the time?!! LMAO!! Like hell he does! Save your money peeps!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not in the fan club, but I had the chance to spend time with people working with the tour this year on several occasions. I heard on good authority (straight from the mouth of someone you all seem to dislike) that the fan club will be more commercialized in the coming 18 months. To me that means less personal, more corporate, less about the fans, more about money, but I could be wrong. If you think it's all about the money now, you may want to make your opinions known right now and not renew, because it sounds like it may get worse. I believe you're right - one or two people don't seem to send a message, but once the cash stops flowing as freely it might. I feel for you guys honestly, especially with all you've been put through recently. I don't think it's Jon, but for your sake I hope he takes his time off the road to spend a little time researching how his name is being used.

Anonymous said...

Is it sad that I'm on Backstage enough to know what blonds you mean? LOL Thanks for making me nearly spit out my coffee :D The twin sunshine girls.

Anonymous said...

For the person that said the FC is going commercial - I doubt it was ever a choice until now. Do you think we can pay more then $375 - 1500 a ticket? Do you think our seats could get worse then 25th row? No one has ever mentioned that we NEVER know where our seats are until the day of the show. Being commercial would give us the opportunity to get our tickets from TM and KNOW where our seats are the minute the sale goes through, instead of allow the FC to sell their inventory( that is given to them by the promoter) on TE and then give us what is left in the end. Where does any other FC make you buy tickets and not tell you where your seats are?

So PLEASE do not threaten us with the FC going commercial because it can not get any worse, any more expensive, and or offer any worse seats!

kari said...

Right on Tony! Personally I'm boycotting the band because they haven't played my hometown in almost 20 years. YEP, Jon can come into N'awlins, win his Soul Championship but say screw you New Orleans at the same time b/c the band refuses to play here. I took out a small student loan to hit 10 cities on the Have A Nice Day Tour, however until they come back to New Orleans, I'm DONE! Very well written article Tony! I'm not contributing any more money to the Jovi camp so Jon can donate it to the Democratic party either (DOH, did I just open up another can of worms?)

Anonymous said...

Now they are the cash kings with the biggest tour of the year. Show a little appreciation and thanks to the people who made it possible for you to HAVE the biggest tour!

Susanna said...

I still say that American fans (well, from NJ and surrounding States perhaps) who cannot afford the concert should show their disappointment by standing outside the venue while the band...er...Jon & Friends are playing and wear t-shirts saying "Tommy" (for the boys), "Gina" (for the girls).

Anonymous said...

There would be no favoritism or ass kissing if the fan club went commercial. You would not hear a fan club rep. say to a pretty girl on line getting her tickets " Oh I saw your name on the list I took care of you, you will like your 4th row seats". That is exactly what I heard at ticket pick up.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony. Thank you for your article. I am no longer a member fo the fan club, I let it lapse last month after deciding that 2 years was long enough to allow Matt to get his act together.

Matt is a greedy spoiled little boy who never had to work for anything in his life. It's all been handed to him; he wouldn't know what to do if he actually had to work a real job. He runs off the fact that he is Jon Bon Jovi's brother, big deal, that is ALL you are and all you will ever be.

And for all of you blind followers, wake up. Jon Bon Jovi knows exactly what is going on and has absolutely no problem with it. There is not a thing that goes on with anything baring his name that he is not aware of. He just doesn't care and hasn't for a long time.

The pitiful letter that suddenly appeared a day after the sh!t hit the fan with this article on the message boards??? It would of been better if it hadn't appeared at all. It was insulting and a bore and did nothing to make anything right. There is nothing at this point that can be done to make everything ok outside of Matt leaving the club for good. If this was the only option they had of keeping the fan club open, it should of been closed when Mrs B retired.

Thank you Anthony for writing this article. And for those members who are still sticking to their guns and speaking their minds, ignore the sheep, keep on and hopefully one day a change will come.

Where once it was about fan loyalty it is now all about who has the fatter wallet and that is very sad to see.

Anonymous said...

I have been a fan of Bon Jovi (the whole band) since Runaway came out and I have seen him several times when he comes to my area, I even stayed overnight to see him play at a Soul game. The price of his tickets is just plain robbery, if we are going to keep being screwed atleast give us a kiss. I did not renew my membership,and I song until it goes back to being about the fans that made the poor jersey boy what he has became. Thanks to Anthony for printing what we have thought.
From: Sweetmelissa

Anonymous said...

Tony, thank you for writing what most people think and feel. After reading all these comments I am amazed by the complete agreement everyone is in. Is there anyone out there that does not agree? Those that think Jon is in the dark are sadly mistaken. He is a control freak. If it has his name on it, he is in complete control. Someone please post what is the benefit of the $50 fc membership fee, because I can not think of a thing.

Anonymous said...

The myspace page for bswjbj has the damn advertisement for the "fan club" show as it's default picture!!!! So all they are really doing is scalping tickets for $50 over face value(ticket price + fc membership).I know many bands sell their fan club tix and add the option of becoming a fc member at that time, but that is for regular shows. This was billed or, should i say BAITED, as fc ONLY show. Now it's a "you can ONLY BUY tix by buying access to the merchandise section of the site" show.

Jay Amabile said...

i just read this and it makes me sick

Anonymous said...

First, I actually really did spit my soda when I read about the smirkini girls, (the permanent rays of sunshine), that was a good one and soooo true! I know both of them, you'll get to see them front row if the MSG DVD ever sees the light of day.

Then, I'm unfortunately a "sheep" till my membership expires, meanwhile getting nasty PMs about my rude posts against the FC and expecting to be banned one of these days (what I would consider as a job well done, LOL).

I agree that nothing will change, till they loose at least half of the members, but the problem is that for every one of us that leaves, there are more suckers to take our place, it's one unending cycle.

When I complained about the terrible placement of our FC seats at a concert, one of those smirkini butt kissers, told me that actually some people on her row (18 or whatever) were very happy with their tickets, because before they only had them in the rafters, that all depends on how you perceive things, right!

People... this should get to the press, if we expect something to actually change.

Anonymous said...

I as well have been a fan for as long as the band has been around. I also did not renew my membership this year. My money will stay in my pocket.
I will always love Bon Jovi music and leave the fanclub with alot of great memories and great seats before Matt came along.

Matt hope you are happy - you have made alot of fans pissed!!!!! Keep your chat room and message board. I dont need it

Diana said...

Been a fan for god knows how long.
Bought every CD (even the not so good ones).
Went to too many concerts to count.
Bought even more t-shirts and sweat shirts and....
Paid a premium to get FC tickets in "the first 20 rows" and ended up in Row 27 where short little me couldn't see anything. This was after waiting in the FC line for nearly 2 hours for these "premium" tickets. When I went back to the FC table to ask about my row 27 seats, I saw tickets being exchanged from one envelope to another to accomodate some very attractive girls. Me (not so much attractive anymore) was told to "deal with it". I sent several letters to Matt and the boys asking for the money paid over and above face value to be refunded as I did not get the seats that were advertised. I was ignored. My posts were repeatedly deleted. My story is but one of many.

I DID NOT renew my membership and the entire experience with the Matt version of the FC has left a bad taste in my mouth about the entire band. I just don't care and thats a shame because I used to thoroughly enjoy the music.

The constant e-mails that I keep getting about all the "special" events and shows--all bull and insulting as hell.

Thanks Anthony for helping many of us get out the frustration.

Sloan D. said...

Another thing that I have noticed about concert ticket sales in general, but especially for Bon Jovi, is that Ticketmaster is doing some "funny business" as well. It's extremely hard to get through when tickets go on sale, then they say they are "sold out" but yet they have them for "auction" on their site - wtf? That's just another way for them to get more money for the tickets, and who knows, maybe the bands are in on it too??

I've been a BJ fan since the beginning, and I stopped being a member of the club when Matt took over and made it online and for more money. That certainly did not make sense to me. Before we would get the nice quarterly booklet and sometimes a guitar pick, sticker, or some other thing with it. I ALWAYS looked forward to getting that in the mail, and membership was only $20 back then. Now, you get nothing substantial, only online crap and for more money! I said NO WAY, they are not taking advantage of me! I really hope JON doesn't know what's going on, but I have a feeling he does, which makes me sad :(

Anonymous said...

Regarding ticket sales at Ticketmaster.

I don't know if there is some "business" between the promoters and TM, that's why more and more "premium" tickets go to the auctions, VIP tickets and Ticket Exchange. That the promoter/band is trying to get what otherwise the scalpers will, to a point I could understand.

What I know is that, how many and location of FC tickets, is something included in the contract Jon signs himself.

Do I need to say more?

Anonymous said...

I see some of you have referred to the Smirkini Girls. I know there are more than just the two mentioned, so I hope that y'all don't lump the others in as a generalization. I happen to know a couple of other "Smirkini Girls" and they are just as pissed off and outraged at the FC and FC management as we all are.

P.S. Glad you enjoyed my earlier post about renaming the FC to BENDOVER FOR JON BON JOVI! I thought it would be a rather appropriate name.

Anonymous said...

The latest!

The "commercialization" has started already.

In each section of the FC message board, the advertisement to buy merchandise for holiday presents has been posted. THIS had never happen before, we only got emails, now the boards also have Spam!

They must be really hurting for money.

Oh! And Jonny boy is not selling out the concert yet. Almost a week since it went on sale. This must be another first in Jovi history.

Thanks everyone that is saying enough is enough with your wallets!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bon Jovi, for sticking it up to us the loyal fans once more.

210.6 millions we forked out, so you can get the top honors as highest grossing band for 2008.

So in return, Mr. Jon Bon Jovi himself is kind enough to give the FC a concert... for the mere $250.00 a ticket.

Thank you so much for the nice gesture Mr Bon Jovi but, thanks NO thanks.

Anonymous said...

The ONLY reason Bon jovi won the "tour" award is being Bruce ONLY charge $100 a ticket. Maybe Jon should appreciate his fans the way bruce does.

Anonymous said...

Tony a great article and investigation would be to find out where the Ticket exchange tickets REALLY come from. Do they really belong to the Fan Club members, and Matt sells them on there for a big profit and then gives the FC members whatever he doesn't sell? TM gets a piece of the profit so they could care less , but JON GIVE US BACK OUR SEATS! I think that would actually make many FC members happy. I for one think that is the most important thing of being a FC member. Everything else is insignicant!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the band and the music. Watchng what has gone on in the past 2 years with Matt, AEG, and ticketmaster has really given me a bad taste in my mouth. Something that always brought such pleasure is now a disappointment in my life. Unless I see that Jon starts caring for the fans rather then using them for their money, I will not be back for the next tour. If you would have told me that I could have felt that today 2 years ago I would have told you no way. It is very sad!

Anonymous said...

The following definition is from Wikipedia and seems to be appropriate here:

"Selling out" refers to the compromising of one's integrity, morality and principles in exchange for money, 'success' (however defined) or other personal gain. It is commonly associated with attempts to increase mass appeal or acceptability to mainstream society. A person who does this, as opposed to continuing along his or her original path, is labelled a sellout and typically disregarded. Selling out is often seen as fickle; gaining success at the price of lost credibility.

This is why the loyal fans from the 80s are so disappointed and angry right now.

Anonymous said...

The 6:31 comment says that if fc members would get their seats back, just that would make the majority satisfied.

I agree, most fans don't care if there is a letter here or there, or even ever use the message board for posting, tickets is what they want, that's why membership during tour years is over double.

But with this trend FC tickets are going to start to be offered 2 for 1 in some markets.

Sadly the ones sold by TM will still sell, and those front rows full with rich women and their bored to death husband.

The Tommy and Gina of today, Mr and Mrs Rockefeller.

Anonymous said...

By commercial, I only meant that there would be more hands in the pot that needed paid. I'm not implying that Matt is leaving the fan club.

Katherine Aaron said...

Maybe I should be anon like 90% of you.
I just read through all of this and as a Bon Jovi fan who has never been disappointed I have to say it is your own damn fault.
I love the band and the music and Bon Jovi puts on a fucking awesome show.
The fc was never my kind of thing, I don't need to be a "special" fan or have "special" access. No one made you join in the first place or made you keep paying your dues.
If you meet any of the band they don't look at you and say "are you in the fan club?" and then treat you accordingly.
Bon Jovi IS a business. Every single thing done by Jon, Richie, Tico, Dave, Hugh, and even Alec is part of their JOB.
If you don't like the fc don't join. Simple.

Dina said...

I can't believe I sat here and read all of the comments, but every one of you is absolutely right! As much as I want to think Jon knows nothing about this, I am sure he does...as much as I hate to admit it.

I unfortunately rejoined the fan club back in Novermber, but I doubt I will ever again. I can get better tickets from somewhere else for the same amount of money. Really, there is nothing special about the fan club anymore and not worth my money. It is sad that the more money you have, the better seats you get, but hopefully that changes at some point in the future.

Susanna said...

Katherine raised a good point, even though I wouldn't necessarily have chosen those words.

First of all, if anyone's to blame if we dig really deep into the matter, are the fans who have been forking out the money to obtain "special" treatment. In the old days I was a member for the magazine, for the pen pals, and the crazy teen pride of "belonging" to the so called "family". Then I joined to have access to the pitch because I am not very good with crowds and you get breathing space there (and can see the show a lot better, of course). But I never ran or attempted to be in the front row.

I always wanted to meet Jon (not so sure about this now) but the only situation where I'd meet him would be if I bumped into him or won a competition. I wouldn't pay a silly amount, or money I don't have, to be near the band. (Problem is some people do have it; but are they enough to sustain the band's current status? Remains to be seen).

And it's probably a chore for Jon anyway to meet fans and pose for the photograph. Or write a Christmas letter to the dear DEAR fans. But...hey...part of the job and it sure pays off.

I'd only get sone respect back for the man if he announced some serious changes to the fan club or completly decided he did not need one. Decide that he wants to be about the music and the gigs. That's the band I want to see. And that is why the concert in Portugal was so awesome for fans and non-fans (it was a rock festival and not part of the tour, as such). If you wanted to be nearer you arrived earlier. And everyone got a good feel of the band and no one felt excluded due to monetary differences.

Claire said...

Katherine,

I respect your opinion, and Bon Jovi does put on a great show. But, don't you think that businesses should have certain ethical standards and are required to deliver on their promises? The disgruntled FC members (for ex. people who were lied to and ripped off at MSG) have a right to some kind of recourse - or at least have the right to complain.

If this is the way Bon Jovi keeps running its business, the loyal CUSTOMERS/FANS are going to disappear.

Anonymous said...

Katherine, like you said you are not in the fc and this article and these comments ARE ABOUT THE FC. You do not knwo what happens there,and if you do you are not involved so it's noe of your damn business. So fuck you, keep your wprthless opinion to yourself. Oh, and the reason why many of stay anonymous is because the fc will ban us for negative comments and keep our money.....we don;t want to get fucked AGAIN!!!!!

ANTHONY KUZMINSKI said...

Some food for thought:
http://the-screen-door.blogspot.com/2008/12/know-your-fans.html

Anonymous said...

- concert ticket prices were always among the most reasonable; then AEG took over as the promoter for the entire tour and prices skyrocketed.
- fan club was far from perfect then new fan club figurehead and it shitspirals downward
- who knows if anything on this blog will have any affect or any backlash but it is an awakening, rude for some. there seem to be a lot of seismic shifts and changes going on and we're being used to finance them.

Anonymous said...

One of my comments above was that the photo contest winners were never given their prizes - well low in behold what happens on the FC threads this morning " Poll who will WIN the PHoto contest". Oh they are reading this... and read on Matt and JON... HEAR and READ our complaints because they are REAL! You can not edit this blog. Democracy exist here unlike your pay $50 to be delete board!

Anonymous said...

I bought tickets to the fan club concert, and now I'm feeling a little stupid and seriously questioning my judgment! I can afford the ticket price, but it is kind of ridiculous on principle. Instead of being excited about Bon Jovi having the biggest tour of the year, I'm somewhat annoyed!

I've been a Bon Jovi fan since I was 12 years old (I'm now 35 with my own family). Bon Jovi has always been a huge part of my life... But, now I'm being forced to admit that somethimg has felt wrong for a while. The last concert tour I really felt great about was Bounce. I saw the band in Tampa, and the crowd was crazy. They came out for a 2nd encore and played "Never Say Goodbye." It was magical, and I guess I've been hanging on and hoping for the magic to return...

If Jon has actually sold out for greed, there is no more magic in Bon Jovi. I feel like I could be losing a good friend.

ANTHONY KUZMINSKI said...

Lots of people have been emailing me asking me about other artists that I can recommend. I can recommend one that I believe Bon Jovi fans just won't like but will love: BUTCH WALKER.

See my post from yesterday and here is a link:

http://the-screen-door.blogspot.com/2008/12/bon-jovi-fans-looking-for-alternative.html

Rachel Snyder said...

I saw this article through a Facebook link, and reading it made me glad that I never joined that fanclub nor make a habit of placing celebrities on a pedestal. I have loved the band's music ever since I first heard "Livin' on a Prayer" back when I was first getting into popular music. I finally saw them live at Central Park last summer, and it was without a doubt the highlight of my year. However, the only reason I was able to go was that it was free. I'm a college student, living off of grants and my dad's life insurance. I couldn't afford even the most inexpensive tickets to any of their other shows, and to think that fan club members are being charged such exorbitant prices is ridiculous.

I'm struck reading through your comments (yes, I read ALL of them!) that not a single person has chimed in to defend the club. And I agree with everybody else who find it hard to believe none of the bandmembers are aware of what's going on. You can pretend to be a nice guy in interviews even if you're really a douche when the press goes away, but you can't fake smart. Jon is clearly a very intelligent person, so if he truly has no awareness of what's going on he's being very irresponsible. I think it's much more likely that he knows exactly how things are being run and simply doesn't respect the fans enough to address it. I hope that's not the case, and of course I have no idea what gets said between the bandmembers and others they work with. But it strikes me as extremely unlikely that all of this has happened without his knowing consent.

As long as they keep making good albums (and for the record, I LOVED Lost Highway), I'll purchase them, because that decision is about the quality of the songs and not the personalities involved. But I would never consider joining a fan club under such circumstances.

Thanks for an excellent, well-written and thoughtful piece.

Susanna said...

I just sampled Butch Walker. Not bad.

But to me the alternative to Bon Jovi has been Matchbox20. I know they're not around much despite the recent greatest hits but I totally love the music and the simplicity of Rob Thomas. They put on a show with little effort. The music and Rob's voice stand for themselves.

In fact, I'd never heard of them and it was at a Bon Jovi show that my husband and I discovered the band. We went out the next day and bought all CDs. In 9 years I never got fed up with their music (and occasionally I do go off Bon Jovi).

Rachel Snyder said...

PS-Just wanted to add, you just got yourself another regular reader.

Susanna said...

Rachel, you rock! Very wise post. I really loved reading it.

All the best.

Anonymous said...

Well I am still an F/C member but am thoroughly disappointed with how we are being treated, ticket prices & timing of events. Who with any debt in this world, could afford $250 right before Christmas & then pay the $$ for travel to get there. I could go, but I have a sneaking suspicion the show will be a big disappointment. They will get an hour long show, tops.

I stay because I like the people I meet there. It's personal choice to pay the prices or not. I did also witness the 'pretty girl gets good seats' fiasco. What a joke!! Trust, me she wasn't that pretty but she lip-locked the f/c rep & got the good seat. Took the ticket right out of someone else's envelope & gave it to her. That ticket probably belonged to someone standing in the line up outside the venue.

I've spoken to Matt a few times over the Lost Highway tour & he gives the impression of being arogant & full of himself. He does not care about the fans but let's be real about who is to blame for the lousy treatment of the fan club members. The band's manager, Paul Korzilius, is responsible. He selects the tickets that goes to the f/c members. That bit of news was shared with f/c members in the summer while standing in horrendous hot weather waiting for our tickets. That jerk made us wait 6 hours longer than anyone should have. For the record, there was maybe 30 people on the line. It wasn't like he had to get alot of tickets sorted out. Bottom line is, Paul K is the one who doesn't care about the fans.

As far as JBJ knowing what's going on. I think he knows somethings but I can assure you, he doesn't know alot of what is happening. He doesn't cruise the board anymore because he trusts Matt when Matt says "alls good bro". Let's face it, Matt couldn't herd cows to the barn, let alone run a fan club. His own restaurant is floundering so what made Jon think he could run the f/c.

I agree, JBJ should let a true fan run the club & I intend to send in my resume for the job. If JBJ wants to continue to be successful & be back on top, he better loosen those wallet clasps & kiss ass to the fans because they deserve it!!

Anonymous said...

" the pretty girl gets the better seats" is the reason why we should get our tickets in a TM fashion, where you are just a computer looking for tickets. First come first serve. No one knows your name ,what you look like, or who you know.

If Paul K is in charge of our FC seats ,then he is the guilty party selling them on Ticket Exchange. Does Matt answer to him? TE has rows 1-20 - The fan no longer matters. $$$ does! Tickets go to the highest bidder, which aren't Tommy and Gina's.

Someone posted that they think the FC seats are sold on TE and then whatever is left they give to the FC members on the day of the show. It all makes sense now. There is no doubt that that is what happens. WHY DO THEY WAIT UNTIL THE DAY OF THE SHOW TO TELL YOU WHERE YOUR SEATS ARE? I do not know any other fan club that does that. What abuse! How disgusting! An investigation is in order! The greed needs to be uncovered. Legal or unlegal - it is abuse to the fans.

Anonymous said...

I too believe the "pretty girl gets the best seats"....cuz I saw it first hand. Question for those fans...have you ever seen an ugly, overweight chick in the side stage? I haven't. While waiting for the concert to start in Milwaukee, this blonde bimbo with fake tits and an indoor tan walked near the "staff", and they instantly pulled her aside and gave her a wristband to come up on the side stage. Funny thing is this....when she went up there, she never returned, because she was allowed to hang in the front row. Hmmmm.....People like me (pretty but heavy) will never get an opportunity like that.

Oh, and I'm not renewing my membership this year....Matt can kiss me where the sun don't shine!!

Rachel Snyder said...

Sorry for the multiple posts...Reading through all of this felt familiar, and it took me a few minutes to realize why. It sounds oddly similar to the way first Tribune Company and now Sam Zell have been treating Cub fans. First they start scalping their own tickets, then Zell takes over and threatens to sell Wrigley Field naming rights. All to further line the pockets by taking cash from people who have considerably less of it than they do.

And Susanna...thanks for such a nice post!

Anonymous said...

I actually think Jon is arrogant. He sure sits up high on his horse.

Whatever happened to the meet n' greets? Gone.

If fan club members get tickets through the fan club, I feel each person should have an opportunity to meet Jon after the concert, if only for a brief few seconds. Can't he take an hour out of his schedule for something like this?

And I heard how the Soul event went when Jon was to meet those fans in a box. He pretty much ran through one door and out the other and so many were left feeling gutted. Here they thought they could get an autograph & pic, but Matt kept telling everyone "no pictures". Ppppffttttt whatever.

I blame Jon for the way the fan club is being handled. He needs to get involved!!!!

Anonymous said...

you asked if you have ever seen a ugly chick on side bar...yeah me! I am far from skinny and not beautiful...don't have a 42 24 36 measurements so Yeah I have seen ugly girls on side bar all 200 pounds of her. Been on there twice.

I am tired of all the whining and no one doing anything about it. If you feel this bad get off your butts and do something instead of posting on a web site or any board that you feel you should whine on.

If you feel like you have been screwed get off your butt and file a class action lawsuite. From the looks of the post on here you got like over 25 to file. I am sure there is some lawyer in some city that would love to sue Jon Bon Jovi!

No one said I will kill you if you don't join my fanclub. You did it of your own free will. No one twisted your arm when many members begged the fanclub to handle the tickets. So they became a broker. You don't pay face value from a broker...you pay what they tell you, that you have to pay to get these tickets. Or you could be like my friend who stood in line at the venue, third in line, to be told when you get to the booth that the only thing available is behind the stage... but low and behold less that 15 minutes from the first sale of tickets well over 100 tickets are on stubhub and other brokers.

I have been a member for over 20 years back when it was Backstage with BON JOVI. Yes I am still a member and yes I have a ticket for the concert in February.

Of all you kaveching... how many shows did you see on the Lost Highway tour? i saw one. The one that ment the most to me right here where I live. I could have gone to others, but I had responsibilities and I didn't go on a web site and complain whine and kavech about it. i paid the fan club sat in my second row seat, did my side bar stage experience, reached my hand out to him and the guy behind me reached over me and grabbed his hand. I did touch is foot LOL.

But back to this article, I have never in my life seen so many whiny people. If your object for writing this was to stir up a hornets nest of trouble... will you succeded. 169 comments so far... now isn't that exciting? Not!

Anonymous said...

this is a good place to vent but c'mon - let's be reasonable.
if you want to blame paul k for the fan club bullshit, go ahead but then you have to credit him for everything that came before matt also because you're not actually naive enough to believe mrs. b was sitting in a box office choosing seats are you? so, if paul k is really the devil in all this how did he suddenly come to power? he just woke up one morning and starting dictating what Jon would do? that sounds off.

and let's be honest who told you matt just followed directions and bjm runs the fan club? was it matt? trying to sound apologetic and contrite (and weasel out of taking responsibility for anything?) consider the source and when that info was shared b4 you take to heart. it's all big time rock star by proxy when baby bro gets to bask in jon's spotlight (just like mom did) as head of the fan club because some people get off on the relative thing. but he can't take the heat so get outta the kitchen. and not the one in your restaurant either cause i'm not funding that.

meet and greets haven't been done in forever. isn't that why they told us they started doing the fan pits? which was always free? now it's a paid privilege and that sucks. but demanding that the band stay after ever show to meet fans is a rude sense is entitlement -- if that's not what they promise us when we sign up, i shouldn't expect anything more.

i was in that box at the soul game and some of my fellow fan club members follow directions as well as a toddler after 3 pounds of candy corn and a jug of Hi-C. it was chaos - poorly planned, poorly executed, poorly handled. by matt. and whose brilliant idea was it to do it on opening day? as if jon wasn't going to be pulled in a zillion directions. stupid stupid stupid. they think it's easy to run a fan club. they think us fans are stupid enough to just blindly go along with everything.

something weird is going down with the band. with the man. with the tours. the fan club. big shifts and changes. and i don't like how it feels - and I don't like how I feel as a fan anymore.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this article Anthony. It is spot on.

I've been a fan since '86 and a FC member for over 10 years. I renewed last year for 2 years. I am embarassed to be a member of this fan club and doubt that I will renew again.

I had to pick up FC tickets at the FC table a few times this tour and the FC staff were simply rude pigs!

I bought 7-8 FC tickets this tour and never got a decent ticket. I won't buy tour tickets through them again. I was lucky compared to some though. After the MSG show, I read on the board about a European fan who travelled to NYC for the MSG shows and when he/she turned up to pick up the $380 FC ticket for the final show of the tour, he/she was told sorry, we do not have a ticket for you! Despite the fan showing the FC staff the payment receipt for the overpriced tickets, the FC staff said, "you have two choices, go to the TM box office over there and see if you can buy a ticket (the show was pretty much a sell out) or go catch a flight home!" This is just a disgrace!

And for the FC defenders who say "if you don't like it don't join", do you think your 1 ticket a tour will keep the FC and the band alive? lol. That whole attitude makes me laugh because there will not be an FC without members you fool.

This whole FC debacle makes me sad and I hope Jon fixes it before it is too late!

Anonymous said...

I was never one for fan clubs anyway, but am disgusted and saddened by what I've read here. Well done Anthony for exposing it. As for me, the tide turned for JBJ at the final show at Wembley Stadium before they tore the two famous towers down. We paid over the odds for rubbish seats, but I thought we'd be able to enjoy it from the video screens. However, the video people had obviously been briefed NOT to show anyone else in the band except Jon. I was so pissed off that I couldn't get my Richie fix that I went to the bar instead. But Jon or Matt won't give a monkey's about any of this because they're laughing all the way to the bank and beyond.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see these many comments. I had posted in total agreement with Anthony, the first day, this is just mind boggling.

I've just read on the FC message boards, (yes I'm still till my membership expires one of those suckers), that a few changes are happening, things that should have been taken care of months ago. Oh! And a very coincidental letter from Jon himself. OK.. I still don't buy that more significant changes will occur but, it's a start.

What it got me is that according to many there, those posting here under Anonymous are plain and simple cowards.

Sorry, but if in our own message board, we would be allowed to convey our concerns, disagreement and complains and when pertaining to personal issues, have a customer service that actually does something about it, we wouldn't be here, still why the anonymous? Well... Because we know for a fact, that we will be banned from the club, with no refund, and why we even care if we are so upset and plan in no renewing?

Well... I don't know about any of you, but me,! I'm going to get to use till the last penny I paid, even if just to "spy" on the sheep, and bring to the open whatever other dirt resurfaces.

Maryann said...

Why is it that asap ppl speak UP against the fc or the band but choses to remain anonymous cos they CAN be, that ppl are calling them cowards etc? Sure I'd love to see less anonymous ppl too but hey I'm not gonna call them cowards.

I read that the fc members are calling FELLOW FANS and even fellow fc members cowards? Who gave them the right to use that kinda namecalling about fellow fans and fc members even on a board where many fans no longer have access to and thus can't defend themselves on that board?

Why is it that fans has to turn on one another instead of joining together to GET the changes we all feel is ovedue in how the fc is run we're at each other's throats. That's sad. Very sad. We're all fans, we're NOT trying to destroy the band or the fc for that matter but we want something to CHANGE for the better! Why is that so hard for some ppl to understand?

I find calling fellow fans and fc members cowards just cos they post under anonymous to be silly and immature. If they want to stick up for the fc then well COME ON here then, give us YOUR opinion why you love this club so much, give us a name too if you will or post anonymously but don't go calling fellow fans and even fc members cowards cos they're JUST voicing/venting their opinions and frustrations! That's disrespectful IMO.

Jennifer said...

My name is JENNIFER - I am one of those "Bug Eyed Smirkini Girls".

I believe that you are all entitled to your own opinion. I also believe that you have the right to stay "Anonymous" in order to avoid losing your memberships, among other reasons.

The only thing that I have a problem with is that some of the "Anonymous" posters personally attacked ME and my best friend.

Say what you will about a company/organization. That is your right. What is NOT your right is to personally attack an individual.

The comments that were made were PERSONAL ATTACKS and were NOT TRUE.

Everyone has a right to their opinion. Personally attacking others because they do not agree with those opinions is crossing the line.

Anonymous said...

The saddest thing about this is that now the first few rows of most concerts are filled with people who don't even know the words to a Bon Jovi song! Since Matt took over, I went to 3 concerts and for the majority of those shows the people in front of me (my closest seat was in row 7)sat on their butts for then entire show. This is also due to the fact that the fan club members can now buy 2 FC seats and the FC member drags someone along who knows couldn't care less about the show. One show I was at I got stuck with two idiots next to me (the girl was a fan, but the guy was only a fan of the girl he was with). You all know how much room there is between the rows on the main floor and throughout the entire show the guy kept trying to squeeze between the girl and the row in front of her to grind up against her and kept bumping into me all night long. When it was only the FC members sitting next to me, I knew they were going to enjoy the show as much as I did and never had to worry about that kind of thing. Plus, it used to be like a big family reunion meeting up with the rest of the FC and you always knew the people sitting around you. Nowdays, we are spread all over the floor and the idiots who work the venues won't even let you out of your seat between performers to say hi to a friend.

Guess Bon Jovi would rather have the hot girls in the front seats than the true fans who have supported them over the years.

It also kills me the way everyone is fawning over the letter from Jon. Puleezee! Does anyone really think he goes on the boards and is going to read your personal response to his post?? If you do, I have some swamp land I'd like to sell you.....

Anonymous said...

oh great - and the grandeur that is the bswjbj message board has now oozed onto this site.
i can't imagine the fan club isn't an embarassment when its dismissed as a bunch of overly hyped up catty women infighting and bickering online. and y'all have selective memory if you didn't think there were definite favorites and power plays before the matt era.
anthony wrote a blog about a real issue; the rest of this garbage should stay on the site you paid to post it on.

Missy said...

Normally I wouldn't waste my time responding to such complete and utter bullshit, but I just can't let it slide.

The two blondes people are referring to - they are two of the sweetest, funniest, most thoughtful, WONDERFUL women (ESPECIALLY in the circle of Jovi fans) out there. And the reason they can be often seen with the crew is really no one's business, but if you took a second to actually talk to them instead of judging them, you'd know why instead of assuming things and spreading rumors.

FYI: They actually do PAY for the tickets they get, and they get the FC seats everyone else gets (wherever they may be) so what perks are they getting from all this so called ass kissing? Or is it only when there is a DVD being filmed that they get placed in the front row? Give me a friggin' break already. Sorry it's so hard to believe that they would spend their own hard earned money on concert tickets, but it's true. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter what the truth is, people will make up their own bullshit stories anyway.

Someone that would make up such ignorant lies is only showing what an ugly person they are on the inside. And I love that it's all ANONYMOUS! Typical! Jealousy obviously brings out the worst in people. Seeing two attractive woman having fun at shows, traveling the world - probably doing all the things you wish you could be doing - it's hard for some people to accept, so they feel better about themselves by trashing other people. Maybe if some of you had your own life, you wouldn't feel the need to be so cruel to other people.

And the only things I have to say about Jon Bon Jovi are:

Habitat for Humanity, HELP USA, the Memorial Sloan Kettering cancer center, the Make a Wish Foundation, Stand Up for a Cure, Elevate Hope Foundation (for abused and abandoned children), Live Earth, the Philadelphia Soul Foundation, etc - sorry, if that's not enough, that's all I could I think of off the top of my head.

As for the the FC, if you don't like it, take your $50 and go donate to one of the above causes. You'll feel much better about yourself, and you'll have helped someone out. Everyone wins.

Baaaaaaah, baaaaaaaah, baaaaaaaaaah -I have to go now - my fellow sheep are calling me back to the barn! It's really too bad for most of you, the barn is a fun place to be - the never ending bitching, whining and complaining stays in the outhouse.

ANTHONY KUZMINSKI said...

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

http://the-screen-door.blogspot.com/2008/12/r-e-s-p-e-c-t.html

Take a moment and read the lead post from today 12/13.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the views expressed in the original blog since it is simply one person's opinion of a situation.
The comments that followed are a different story however. I bekieve people have every right to express their opinion about the organization, how the business of the FC is done and to a certain extent the prices charged.

What they do not have a right to do IMO, is personally attack individual members, accuse people of "getting" favors when they have no idea what the facts and reality of those situations are.

The "blondes" happen to be friends of mine and both of them love watching the band live, and choose to spend their money traveling and seeing shows during tour years. Much like the Hogettes In Washington, the Dog Pound in Cleveland, the Cheesehead fanatics in green Bay and the Black Hole Monsters in Oakland who travel to wherever their teams are playing. This is what the "blondes" do, it's their thing. I know this because well I run into them alot at shows, because like them, it's my thing.
People can say we are all crazy we spend too much money on the band etc.... but I have friends that spend as much or more on the Pats, Celtics and Red sox every season and no one accuses them of getting favors or special treatment from their teams. They pay for their tickets and so do the "blondes". Lynn

Anonymous said...

I know that people who attend a lot of shows and get to know the crew sometimes have a few "freebies"; like they are called to have the "side stage experience" for free now and again. I know it to be true and that doesn't bother me as much as the "side experience" existing in first place, in the format it is today.

The_Mad_Brit_Granny said...

I hate to say it, but I told you so! You paid the high prices for shows on the last tour and guess what? Up go those prices again.

I left the fc on principle and don't regret it. I don't miss the bitching, I don't miss the backstabbing and I certainly don't miss being screwed halfway to Christmas by a bunch of multimillionaires who pay more in tax than I will ever see in this lifetime. Come to think of it, I don't miss the abusive/threatening pm's from management, either.

Jon and Matt can shove the fc where the sun don't shine as far as I'm concerned. If the rate at which the membership is falling continues, they'll be folding part way through next year. And will there be any refund of membership fees? Will there hell as like!

Keep up the good work, Tony!

Susanna said...

I wonder if anyone knows how many members the FC has today? When I joined many moons ago I was number 27,000 something I believe. But I heard the numbers are quite low nowadays. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

the the anonymous poster, you are simply an ass, the way you talk about the fanclub and people in it. Go to hell and lose the membership cause we don't want you here. As far and talking about that women, shame on you, you wish you could be as beautiful as her. I've seen her at several shows she is very beautiful and god bless her that she has a rockin bod, I for one don't care cause I am confident with myself and not angry at her for being a beauty, god gave it to her and let her flant it. you are an ass.

jovi1222 said...

I agree with the newest Anonymous poster leave the fanclub alone it has it flaws but most are happy, and don't talk bull on some girl you don't even know.

Anonymous said...

In response to Susanna.

Membership as to 11/29 9757. Today 9737. The "trick" is not working.

I have to agree that the object of the comments should focus on adding "facts" in agreement with Tony's articles.

Personal attacks against individual members of the club have no bearing here. You, because you have witnessed (as well as I have) that some bimbos have preference at times, is one thing, generalize but not single out any one.

And to the ones that keep saying that the FC boards are a happy place where everyone gets along.. oh wow! what a discovery! Each time something negative is posted, the magic delete button is pushes, no wonder why all posts are of the happiest nature.

Bull! Wake up!

Anonymous said...

this is just silly; a solid blog about a legitimate problem within the bon jovi fan club and its complete lack of morals and business ethics... turns into, well, just another sniping thread most often found on the bswjbj boards.

leave the personal attacks alone. it goes for the people starting them and crapping up this site... and the fan clubbers rushing over to this site to raise arms against the people being mean. it's all stupid.

the fan club was always like family? bullshit? that's just a euphamism for unprofessional. it was unprofessional from day one with a bunch of sycophants bowing before the mother. and fans complaining about the handful of chosen special fans she let run amuk and abuse other members... so the mother is gone. are her stormtroopers gone too? or are they just replaced by a new batch of 'favorites' that Matt acknowledges now? it's all the same, only the names will change...

we can toss around legitimate complaints and ideas about how the fan club is being run and how it should be improved but unless we the fan club community get our act together and behave like civilized people, no wonder we get treated with so little respect by the band. maybe the fan club should have been shut down as planned.

Anonymous said...

Someone posted that the FC boards are a happier place or something of that nature.

It looks like after the "clean up" that's the truth unfortunately, nothing but happy posts.

Many threads that would point out discontent or negativity of any kind have been systematically deleted one by one. Those memebers that started them or agreed, tired of pushing their luck with no avail, seem to quiet down, nobody wants to listen.

A pity, because even threads that could have been used as feedback for the FC, to understand why the tickets to this very special concert are not selling as usual, (someone made a poll to that effect, reasons why you are not going, like timing, location, price, etc..) has also been deleted, so..

Here the comments will end soon as well, nothing will change, everyone happy in Joviland, more money for them, more new members to replace those leaving..

Bottom line, thank you Anthony for your very truthful article.

Anonymous said...

I've been a long time fan of these guys and a FC member for almost 2 years now. I just recently renew and I am seriously regretting that decision. I have made many wonderful friends there because we get along and we all share something in common-we love the band. I have been labeled as one of the "complainers" because I have stuck up for what I believe in. I believe as many do, we are being taken advantage of. I truly believe Matt doesn't give a shit about the fans. And for those who think Jon has no clue what's going on, open your eyes people! He is a smart business man. He is in no way stupid or naive. He knows EXACTLY what is going on in the fanclub. And if you think any differently, then I'm sorry but your living in a fantasy world. That even hurts me to have to write that because I like Jon (even though that's starting to change very fast). The thread deletions need to stop. This place has turned into an effin' dictatorship and I refuse to have any of it anymore. I'll love the band forever, but as far as this fanclub goes, they've lost one membership for good. I can play that game too. They can kiss my $50 goodbye

Martina said...

Thank you, Anthony, for this great article you wrote.
I agree with everything but couldn't find as good words. I was a Bon Jovi fan for 25 years. When my friends turned away from Bon Jovi in the early 90s I was still a fan. When the next turned away with Crush and all that follows I was still a fan.
I loved Have a nice day. But with Lost Highway I lost my favourite band. Not because of the album or the music. But because of the way they treated the fans, the way the fanclub goes. Selling the good seats for 1000s of dollars instead of enjoying the show with the loyalst fans up front.

I'm a member of 7 other fanclubs. Some of them multi platinum music artists. And I never experienced such a rip off in other fanclubs than Backstage with JBJ.
I had some meet and greets with other artists - for free.
I had some opportunities for intimate fanclub events and music shows of other artists - for free.

Maybe it's because that other artists understand that a fanclub can be your loyal fanbase you can trust on. They will follow you. And a fanclub is the opportunity to give back to the fans.
For Bon Jovi a fanclub is nothing but a cash cow.

It's all about the money. Sad but true.

Because of the way Bon Jovi are treating their fans (and don't tell me Mr. control Jon Bon Jovi has no idea what's going on... that's nothing but a lame excuse)
because of the way the fanclub is going - I'm gone.

I'll follow some other musicians in the future and don't care about Bon Jovi any more.

Anonymous said...

If the fan club was a place where you could get exclusive material, such as live concerts, cd's, interviews, etc I think it'd be worth it. But a fan club aimed at those who worship JBJ and are willing to pay whatever amount that's asked of them just to have a closer glimpse of the man... PLEASE.

JBJ may not know this, but some (majority) fans do have a brain and would like to be treated with a bit more respect (and yes I do think he is gorgeous).

When you have a fan club that's about the music first then count me in and I'll gladly pay the $50 and whatever extras for worthwile band material.

richiesambora said...

Well, as I'm living in Europe I cannot say much about the fc in the US.
I renewed my membership a couple of weeks ago because I can't complain about what I got from the fc so far.
I've been to a lot of BJ-concerts. In the beginning I was always somewhere in the back of the pit because for a good spot you have to run fast (which I can't).
Since I joined the fc I've usually made it to front row or at least 2nd row.
Okay, without the help of some fans who organized "the list" it wouldn't have been like that.
I think before the first european-show this year Matt didn't really care about the entrance. But he accepted & "supported" the list.
The fc-tickets for europe have been kind of face-value (some where even cheaper).
Okay, we also had these absurd vip-packages. But they didn't sell that good over here.

I have to admit that I bought a ticket for the concert in february.
I don't expect it to be the best concert ever. But as the Star Ballroom is a small venue it's going to be kind of special. I gonna miss Richie but I'm curious about the announced "friends".

What I'd like to know is how much money of the ticketprice is going to be donated. But I guess we'll never know.

btw, most of you complain about the high prices of fc-tickets (not only for this concert), merchandise and other stuff you can buy at the fc.
But who's to blame for that?
I'd say its the fans that are willing to pay these high prices.

Somebody complained about an item being sold for 1700$. But in the next line of her post she asked if somebody would lend her that money.
Okay it was a kind of joke. But this also shows: if she had the money left she would buy that item.

And how many fans by tickets from brokers which are more expensive than the tickets of the fc?

one last thing about the deleted post at the fc-forum:
if it was your one forum and somebody is saying bad things about you, wouldn't you delete posts like that too?.....

One last thing: I'm not blind and know that there are several things that should be changed at the fc.
But no matter what there's always going to be people who find something to complain about.
Best example: if they only sell 1 ticket per member, many want at least 2 tickets available per member. Right now it's the other way round

Anonymous said...

Interesting that those that admit going to Jon's concert, are also finding "something" good in the FC.

And most members don't complain about the 2 tickets per member, no need to go back to just 1, but when one of those 2 go to a NON member, is when many think is not right, why should those people get the same tickets we do without paying any dues?

Of course... when given the poll before the tour, it was 1 or 2 and nothing else.

Maryann said...

The prices for fc tix in Europe for the LH tour were reasonable for the German shows if I am not mistaken but in several places they where quite abit higher than the face value price. Also Matt did NOT support the list everywhere, in Norway he said to me "this is the OLD SHIT, and we still gotta deal with this old shit, I don't want to deal with this shit anymore". I got the impression that he feels the queuing is stupid and ppl should go inside regardless what order and just show up to pick up the tix then get in line wherever and walk in when the fc was let inside. That said when he told me this he wasn't mean or anything, he just said it as a matter of fact. No numbered list, no fan organized list period. I got the impression that he basically hates this list thing and wants to see it gone.

I did tell him this though "But the numbers ARE important for those who camped out or came early in the morning, this is what we Europeans do..we queue!" He agreed with me there but then he said "the numbers are irrelevant to those coming now though!" I had to agree with him on that part. So up to a certain "amount" on that list it's pretty much irrelevant as to where you end up in the fc line.

Still I think he wants to do away with the list thing completely and isn't too keen on having fans organizing this even though he probably appreciated it at some of the shows here in Europe. I dunno why he thinks this way or if he's aware of how things actually WORK over here. Cos with no organized list at all..it's all mayhem with ppl pushing in when we all go inside the venue.

Hey we PAID for this "privilege" so why can't we make it even easier and more organized for us? It's not like THEY gotta do that work, the fans do! So honestly why he feels like this about our list organization is beyond me, it's not like it's "extra work" for them, it's just more organized.

Anonymous said...

Wait, wait... so Matt is in Europe supposedly repping the fan club while the band is on tour. yet he has no handle on how the fan club works in Europe and what the day of show traditions have been forever? Why is he even there then? doesn't seem like he had some brilliant scheme to replace the tried and true numbered list. this is like amateur hour run amuk.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that this was an interesting read from the article and to all the reply's. I agree with most of what was replied to in regards to the article.

What I would like to add is that the blame shouldn't be on Matt Bongiovi - it's Jon Bon Jovi's fan club and he is accountable. Like any organisation the owner is responsible for their business, and that is what BSWJBJ is - Jon's company.

I believe that Jon should stop being so precious and go back before SWW and remember and empathise with the JBJ back then – as a fan of music himself what would he want for his $$$!

Anonymous said...

I too am a FC member and to be honest was quite happy to pay the cost of the ticket for the Lost Highway tour - i just really really wanted to be somewhere other than the nosebleed section as i had been for all the other concerts.
Now this FC members concert - i renewed my membership because of the concert - not in my wildest dreams thinking the tickets would be that much.
I think the sad thing is that Matt is now running a business and in order to run a business the complaints and concerns of the customers have to be addressed - nothing is addressed - just deleted. They have to read at least some of the posts before they delete,so they know the feelings of the majority.
I was also annoyed that we are supposed to get exclusive information at backstage and yet the concert has been advertised elsewhere in order to boost membership - i thought the rule was that you couldnt post outside of the board - someone should remind Matt about that

Anonymous said...

So long as people are willing to pay, the message the fan club (jon, matt, bjm, whoever) receives is that business as usual is aok.
unless someone resets their moral compass, nothing will change, regardless of all our complaining, legit or not.
i truly wish they would get a clue. but i've lost faith that anything will change. more likely they'll get fed up and close the whole thing down. and then launch a new fan organization. because it's easier to do as they please and take the money from the willing than to work hard and build something worth the money of everyone.

Anonymous said...

"unless someone resets their moral compass, nothing will change"...says it all. What started this latest anger at the club??? The outrageous price for the fan club concert that so many were looking forward to. A fan club concert is supposed to be a "thank you for your support" event but instead is being used to make more money. They have forgotten what it is to be middle class (or struggling). To ask fans to pay $250 per ticket plus travel costs is a slap in the face to loyal fans who have supported every tour over many, many years.

Cherie

Anonymous said...

Nothing will change, unfortunately.

Why if everyone in the FC is so happy, just go and read the message board over there.

Someone started a thread about what fans would be looking forward in the next tour.

Many replies pointed out reasonable prices and get away from the VIP packages, etc...

Immediately others had to post, that with their high technology stages, big crews, etc... it's understandable that they charge so much and prices won 't change!

WTH! since when we go to concerts to see their technology, give us the band in a bare stage (with a big screen behind), and we'll be as happy as ever.

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