Jon Bon Jovi couldn’t have written a record like ‘2020’ when he was younger.
The 58-year-old Bon Jovi frontman has tackled subjects including Black Lives Matter, the coronavirus pandemic, fake news and mass shootings on the group’s latest album and he admitted he’s finally in a place to do so because he has “grown up and evolved”.
He said: “I’ve grown up and evolved. I wouldn’t have written about this in the mid-Eighties because my focus at 21 to 25 was to be a successful singer in a rock and roll band. As 30 comes, then 40 and 50, life starts to change.
“If I was attempting to write a topical record and call it 2020, I had to include a Covid song and, in light of George Floyd’s death, I had to write about that as well.”
A track on the album, ‘American Reckoning’, explores the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing at the hands of police officers after Jon felt “crushed” by the story, but he admitted he needed to be “very careful” when writing the song because of his own “white privilege”.
He told The Sun newspaper: “I couldn’t believe that this was in close-up, on film, with the audio, as a big, strong man cried out for his mom with his dying breaths.
“If that didn’t move you as a human, I question who you are and where is your soul?
“I was crushed watching that and it took me back to my notebook. I was very careful with the song, to make sure that I got it right, and I wanted to say something from my heart.
“But I had to be very aware of what I was singing because I realised that I’m probably the poster boy of white privilege.
“I’m old, I’m white, I’m wealthy and I’m a celebrity, so the chances of a run-in with the police are slim, you know what I mean?
“I’ve never had to have ‘the talk’ with my children. It has never crossed my mind.
“At least now these things are being discussed in the open, honestly, and with more volume than ever before. I can only pray that we can get beyond the colour of a person’s skin.”
The album also features a personal moment in ‘Story Of Love’ which the ‘Always’ hitmaker – who has three sons with wife Dorothea – hopes fans can relate to.
He said: “I’m writing about my family and I hope you think it’s about your family too.
“I couldn’t have written a song like that at 24. But when you think about mortality, your own kids and your parents getting older, there’s a time and a place for it. I’m there now.”