Fortunately for those who think of Bon Jovi when they hear the words “New Orleans Jazz and Heritage,” our Jersey boy will once again perform in New Orleans! This year, he will take stage on the first Saturday of Jazz Fest – APRIL 30, 2011!
I spontaneously built the International Special Sacred Shrine of Jon Bon Jovi in 2009. Read The Untold Story to understand this process.
When 2010 arrived, I was not sure whether or not I should build the shrine. After reading The Guestbook during what I can only refer to as a dark night of the soul (filled with second guessing and suspicion as to whether the shrine would appear redundant and pathetic), I decided to deliberately rebuild the shrine even though JBJ did not perform at the festival in 2010. In 2009, he filled in for Aretha Franklin when she canceled, so I was not sure if he would ever return to our crescent city.
I ended up with mixed feelings about the 2010 shrine. While I was happy to set up the shrine again, the absence of Bon Jovi fans left me feeling a bit lonely. The lonely part would not have bothered me that much, except that I ended up having to defend the shrine and Jon Bon Jovi when guests who were staying in the neighborhood criticized me because I did not build a shrine to Bret Michaels (he’d been hospitalized for a stroke) or to Simon and Garfunkel (they performed at the festival).
At one point, I actually left the shrine (and my own home) to wander the neighborhood because my neighbor’s guests did not understand the concept of not being a spiritual tramp.
A spiritual tramp would build a shrine to Simon and Garfunkel or anyone else included in the 2010 line up. A spiritual tramp would build a shrine to anyone just to get attention. A spiritual tramp would not understand the irony of the shrine to JBJ. A spiritual tramp would probably not tear-up when she remembered the happiest moment of her romantic life.
It was with deep regret that I realized I would not be able to cope with hostility toward the shrine if I were to set it up during Jazz Fest 2011. Building a shrine is hard work, dealing with crowds during a major festival while not drinking is hard work, living in New Orleans is hard work, as is being a fan of JBJ with a mother from New Jersey. I did not think I had it in me this year, so I resigned myself to thinking I would hit the classifieds and move to a different neighborhood because I would be too sad to have another Jazz Fest here with either a) no Bon Jovi Shrine or b) a shrine and obnoxious attitudes towards it.
This has weighed heavily on my soul because I love my neighborhood, and my cat and dog love it here too. I was actually thinking of leaving town during Jazz Fest if I could not get my act together in order to move. Love does terrible things to people, and the shrine helped me to live here during Jazz Fest with a broken heart. Also, because I don’t drink, sometimes I need a creative outlet when everyone else is acting crazy. But here I am again justifying the existence of the shrine, when I should not have to.
I’m like that though. I spend a lot of time in my head justifying actions I shouldn’t have to justify and shrines I shouldn’t have to build. I could explain how much I dislike crowds and going into the festival and explain that building a shrine to JBJ three blocks away from The Fairgrounds does not seem absurd when compared to paying 45 – 60 dollars and following a long list of Jazz Fest RULES while wandering from one stage to another listening to musicians who have nothing to do with New Orleans or Jazz and Heritage. I could explain that some people who do not live in New Orleans claim to love it here, but eccentricity makes them uncomfortable, so when confronted by anything that does not fit their idea of “safe New Orleans eccentricity” complete with a straw hat and tribal print dress and Pearl Jam T-shirt, they insult the locals and their shrines. I could learn not to care.
But I was having trouble trying not to care about the shrine.
So, it was with great relief and joy that I read the 2011 Jazz and Heritage Festival schedule this morning and recognized a miracle in action: Jon Bon Jovi will once again perform at the festival.
I recognize the moral, social, and creative obligations I must meet as the only guardian of The International Special Sacred Shrine of Jon Bon Jovi. So it looks like I won’t have to move.
Oddly, the chalk I used to write on the chalkboard in the image below has not washed off.
Free Aqua Net Hairspray awaits.
Jazz Fest 2011 Schedule at NOLA.com!