My Bon Jovi Connection

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george-payas-singer-1999

I don’t believe in fate and i’m quite a logical thinking person……but this part of my life……is a bit of a weird story.

I remember when I was young, many moons ago, my favourite bands were AC/DC and Iron Maiden, depending on my mood at the time. Then one day I heard Bon Jovi. There were big guitars, but the songs were always so catchy with a great vocal……and I just loved it! During the next few years I not only enjoyed Bon Jovi’s music, but Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora became my song writing teachers.

The more time I spent watching the band’s videos, reading articles, watching live shows, the more respect I gained for their ability and work ethic. It also became obvious that JBJ was my kind of person, not in a hero worship kind of way, I just had a similar mindset and style. Friends and family are important to me, as is the world I live in, as are today’s issues and the desire to help those less fortunate than me.

Back in 1999, I was in a new country rock band playing my own songs. It was going okay, someone heard some of my songs and sent them to a friend at a record label. The record company wanted to pay me for a big name country artist to record a couple of my songs. I said no because I wanted to keep them for my self. If i could go back in time i would slap myself. As it happens, I’m actually thinking of re-recording a version of one of those songs, ‘That tonight’ for my next album. If you want to check out the original version, download it for free – no strings attached. 

Anyways, I remember i would think about the future and all i ever wanted was to be a singer in a rock band. Of course, I didn’t just want to be a singer in a band, I wanted to be in a band just like Bon Jovi. I even said this out loud to myself one day while watching a video of the guys on tour. Without thinking about it, had I just made a wish? Now, I don’t believe in fate or anything like that, but life can be strange sometimes. I had never even considered it before, but one day a friend of mine suggested something which kind of made my wish come true.

I remember sitting in the beer garden of a London pub one summer (it was actually a nice day and it wasn’t raining…..no really). The band was good, but it was hard getting good gigs and playing to good sized crowds. I was feeling a bit down thinking about how different from Bon Jovi this actually was. We were killing time before we were due on stage, and my drummer said “you should do a Bon Jovi tribute band.” I never gave my subconscious wish a second thought until much later, on the day I decided to take a break from the tribute scene.

At that point, I wanted to concentrate on my own songs, be creative and simply be me, even if it meant writing and performing songs just for myself. Looking back on what I had experienced as a tribute artist, I thought to myself “You know what?….I’ve performed on radio and TV in several countries, I’ve performed live for audiences of thousands in over 20 countries…..I guess I was in a band like Bon Jovi.”  Maybe i should have been more precise when making that wish!

Over the years there have been other strange connections to Bon Jovi, such as recording an album of songs i co-wrote, which was produced by Tony Bongiovi, JBJ’s cousin and producer of the first Bon Jovi album, as well as many others by legendary rock bands. These days I’m focused on my own music, but the Bon Jovi connection is naturally never far.

If you like the music you’ve heard so far, you might also consider checking out ‘Just like in the movies’. It’s my latest album and it’s full of catchy, melodic rock tunes that I like to think Jon and Richie would approve of!    🙂

Thanks for reading,

George

 

 

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