When you find an album or an artist, you never purposely go looking for it, not one that will impact your life that’s for sure. “Have a Nice Day” did just that and it started me on a journey towards the music that I love today.
My parents are great lovers of music, especially my mother. She loves everything from Glen Millar to Marilyn Manson to Frank Sinatra to David Guetta and many more mad combinations. I started paying attention to music a lot more when I got to 13. Rock music always hit a bit more of a stride with me except maybe 90s dance tracks from the likes of Hadaway, Sash and other horrendous 90s bands. With Linkin Park, Korn, Aerosmith, The Offspring and Green Day rolling around the house, I started taking more notice of music. Thanks to my grandparents and dad having Sky/Virgin (NTL at the time), I found music channels such as MTV, Kerrang and VH1 and was immediately captivated. They played a lot of music videos of the great rock bands of the 80s and the first video I saw was “Living on a Prayer”. From that a love (more of a teenage obsession) of Bon Jovi grew and that year (2015), Bon Jovi brought out a new album.
The “Have a Nice Day” single was released on 8th August 2005, with the album of the same name being released 20th September 2005. That image of the smirking face is one that’ll stay with me for the rest of my life. At the time of its release, I didn’t have any money to buy the album so I had to wait until I got money for my birthday to grab it all for myself. At Christmas the school made a trip to the Metro Centre in Gateshead and the only thing I wanted was the album. I headed straight to HMV and spent all my money on it.
From this album, the title track obviously grabbed my attention. “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”, got to number five in the UK charts but their duet with Jennifer Nettles, got the track to number one on the US Billboard Hot Country tracks chart. I love both versions to be honest and it is great when played live. “Welcome to Wherever You Are” from the minute it starts has always pulled a string on my heart. It is uplifting and when in doubt of yourself, it is a great track to make you both cry and smile. “Story of My Life”, “I Am”, “Bells of Freedom” and bonus tracks such as “Unbreakable” and “Dirty Little Secret” are all outstanding and amazing. I just fell completely and utterly in love with this album!
I played it on repeat, constantly. Everyday after school I’d run upstairs and pressed play on my CD player and listened to it all the way through, learning it word for word. The only track I skipped was “Wildflower”, looking back at it now, sadly that track was a taste of what was to come from Bon Jovi in years to come. A lot of the songs are typical rock tracks with some emotional lyrics that did touch a nerve with my emotional state at the time. When the family became homeless, living in a shelter with convicts and addicts, we couldn’t take much. I had to take my Walkman and my CD.
Thanks to discovering Bon Jovi, I went back and looked at their history. When Bon Jovi started, all of these other amazing bands were out there and I loved them too! Most of them I still do! “Have a Nice Day” was for me, the last album I felt that Bon Jovi were still a rock band. Yes I have seen them twice since, once with Richie Sambora (thank the lord) and once with Phil X (handsome man, great guitarist but not quite the same). I am yet to feel the same love, adoration and appreciation for the band and an album like I did with this one.
Over the years my love for Bon Jovi has wavered due to the lack of rock tracks and albums they have produced. I’ve not bought an album since “What About Now” but I have listened via Spotify. My love for the “Have a Nice Day” album will never change, the lyrics hit a certain spot at a difficult moment in my life and I needed music more than ever, just to escape and believe I was somewhere else with anyone else. My teenage crush of Bon Jovi and Jon will never change, my ultimate wish is to hopefully speak to Jon someday, a girl can have dreams right?
Watch the video for “Have a Nice Day” on YouTube and stream the whole album via Spotify to listen to your hearts content. I hope it helps and touches someone’s soul as much as it did mine.