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Jon Bon Jovi Returns to Movie Music with ‘Stand Up Guys’

Jon Bon Jovi
John W. Ferguson, Getty Images

When you’ve been making albums as long as Jon Bon Jovi, some are bound to stand out more than others. Case in point: 1990’s ‘Blaze of Glory,’ the soundtrack to ‘Young Guns II’ that went double platinum and earned him an Oscar nomination — but which had apparently slipped his mind completely until recently.

Bon Jovi relayed the story to the Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview to promote his return to film music for the soundtrack of ‘Stand Up Guys,’ an upcoming comedy starring Al Pacino and Christopher Walken. Looking for something to do after Bon Jovi finished its most recent tour in 2011, he recalled, “I called my manager and I said, ‘I’d forgotten, but a long time ago I wrote this movie soundtrack. Do you have any great scripts out there?'”

By the end of the week, Bon Jovi had read the script and written a song — a fast turnaround aided by the nature of the work. “Fortunately, for me, in the process of writing for movies — specifically for movies — I’m able to channel those characters,” he explained. “I’m able to take those words and make them my own. I’m able to even, you know, grab a line or two, so that you can see what on the screen came from the page came through my pen, and I’m able to then relay it back to you in a song.”

One reason writing for characters might speed the process for Bon Jovi is that, as he put it, “I live a very, very normal life. It’s a fallacy that you have the big entourage and that you live that kind of a lifestyle where you don’t know what a gallon of milks cost. It’s not what made me. And maybe that’s part of the success, is that we never fell victim to that. I stayed at home. I still have the first wife — I got it right the first time — and it’s never gonna change… It’s not a big deal.”

And of course, some characters prove more popular than others — like Tommy and Gina, protagonists who have popped up a couple of times in the Bon Jovi songbook. As he told THR, “Tommy and Gina were born in a world of fiction, but based in a world of truth.” Saying they were based on “close friends” whose “lives were already going in a much, much different direction,” he recalled thinking, “‘Wow, if I had to change direction because of these kinds of decisions, what would happen to me?’ Anyway, that’s again a part of who we are, where we come from, why we do what we do.”

‘Stand Up Guys’ is scheduled to arrive in theaters on January 11, 2013 — and fans can look forward to hearing a full album’s worth of new music from Jon and his namesake band on their next album, ‘What About Now,’ set to arrive sometime in March.

Next: Classic Rock at the Movies

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