I first met Jon Bon Jovi on his first tour to the UK. I had been to a pub in Chelsea and as I hurried to the tube station we literally bumped into each other. What with the rigours of touring and living the life of an international rock star Jon had lost a little weight. In fact, he was so slight, our collision knocked him off his feet. I gave him a hand to stand up.
"Sorry about that, mate, didn't see you coming - in a hurry for the last tube" I said as I pulled Jon to his feet. He looked really familiar, but I couldn't quite place him - not being a fan of heavy metal I had no idea how famous Jon Bon Jovi was.
"Hey, man no problem. My fault, my fault," Jon's like that - always taking the blame for other people's fuck ups. He coughed loudly then asked me when the last tube was.
"Hmm, we're in Chelsea. I think it's midnight. Yeah, definitely midnight in Chelsea" I said.
Jon coughed again and looked at his watch, one of the latest Casio digitals with a built-in calculator. He hit the light button and announced "Damn! Looks like I've made you miss it. Man, I'm really sorry."
"Forget about it. I can always catch a night bus, there'll be one in ten minutes" Jon's deferential style was addictive.
"No man, I can't let you do that," he said "I'm about to hook up with my crew - I can give you a ride home" As he said that the longest limo I have ever seen pulled up beside us. Tico Torres poked his head out of one of the sun-roofs and called out to Jon: "Hey man! Ready to party?" Jon looked at me and cocked his head in the international sign for "Are you coming or what?"
"Umm, I don't know" Jon was still a stranger and I'd been in London long enough to know that the only stranger you ever get into a car with drives an early 90s Japanese family sedan, speaks very little English, pretends to get lost on the way to Acton and charges you twenty five quid for the privilege. But it was late so I thought "What the hell!"
"Can you drop me at the Esso Station in North Acton?"
"Sure man, wherever you want to go" Jon says man a lot. And he was still coughing too.
We got in the fourth door. There were two bench seats facing each other, both occupied by two women of ample cleavage who appeared to be identical twins. There was a drinks cabinet attached to the door on the opposite side of the car.
Jon started to introduce me to the girls then said "Hell, man we haven't even introduced ourselves to each other: I'm Jon Bon Jovi" Then it clicked. I'd had that damn "You give love a bad name" in my head for most of the previous month. I told him my name and Jon introduced Candi and Mandi. Apparently Jon was "collaborating" with them on songs for the next Bon Jovi album.
"Hey man, you thirsty?" asked Jon, pointing at the drinks cabinet. Never one to turn down a free sherry I said sure, I'd have a drink.
It turned out the Bonge (as he insisted I called him) fancied himself as a bit of a cocktail maker. I mentioned since I was a New Zealander it had been mandatory for me to work behind a bar for some of my time in London. I offered to make him a drink that would clear up his dodgy couch. I promised it would be the best tasting medicine he had ever tried.
Jon told me to be his guest. I poured the contents of a few spirits into a shaker, added some ice and some peppermint schnapps for taste. After a good shake I poured the mixture into a glass and told Jon to down it in one. The Bonge coughed once more, picked up the glass and chopped the drink.
Candi and Mandi looked at Jon to see if he was OK. He put down his glass, touched his neck and grinned "Damn man! That was bad medicine! Thanks!" The twins beamed at me, obviously impressed with my cocktail making prowess.
"Least I can do Bonge, after all, one good turn deserves another".
The ride to North Acton was over quickly, but before I got out, Jon wrote my name and number down and promised to "be in touch soon". I shook his hand and said goodbye.
"Never say goodbye, man" Jon replied, "never say goodbye".
Candi and Mandi waved goodbye to Jon Bon Jovi's limo while I bought three packs of Walkers crisps and a large bottle of water at the Esso station. As I handed over my money, I couldn't help wondering if I'd actually see Jon again - little did I know it would be quite soon...
Continued in Chapter Two - The Jon Bon Jovi Detective Agency