I have a long history with Bon Jovi. I started in radio back in 1983 when I was a junior in high school around the same time that "Runaway" was released. I bugged our program director to death until he finally allowed me to play the song. Little did I know that I would meet them 10 years later.

It was March of 1993 and Bon Jovi was playing in Oakland. I worked for a rock station in Monterey, California and somehow we managed to get a truckload of tickets to giveaway. Bon Jovi's hit at the time was "Bed of Roses" so we decided we would giveaway tickets to listeners that brought us roses. The grand prize winner would be allowed backstage to present them to the band in Oakland.

If you look at the picture from that show, you can see that I'm kneeling next to our winner. For some reason, no one in the band wanted to talk to us radio people, but they were definitely interested in talking to our winner who looked like Jennifer Lopez. Go figure.

23 years later, there are only a handful of things I remember about that experience. First, Jon Bon Jovi is a really short dude. Even with the cowboy boots he was wearing, I towered over him and I don't tower over anything. Second, I had someone tell me before the show that Jon was a huge Elvis fan and sure enough, he walked in wearing a jacket with "Elvis Connection" on it which you can also see in the pic above. Finally, everyone in the band was very nice and spent lots of time talking to us losers.

Thanks to radio, I've had the chance to meet a ton of bands over the years. My favorite part is taking listeners behind the curtain to see what their favorite artists are really like. Next time, I hope the person doesn't look like Jennifer Lopez so the rest of us can have some more conversation time.