The great Italian political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli wrote that power is not given, “it is seized.” With that thought in mind, Jon Bon Jovi seems to be seizing the spotlight as the new Chief Musical Lion of the Hamptons. He now joins Paul McCartney and Billy Joel, high above all other musicians. In less than a decade, Bon Jovi (53) has moved into that position by thrusting himself, his name, his celebrity, whole-heartedly into all things Hamptons.
He is always ready to entertain guests at other people’s parties with a song or two. He poses with genuine smiles for photographers to capture the “money shot” to promote causes or charity events. But most of all, he has totally embraced the savoir faire lifestyle of the East End while still being proud of his Perth Amboy, NJ roots, where he was born (John Francis Bongiovi Jr.) on March 12, 1962. However, he now summers in his mansion in the Lily Pond section of East Hampton Village off the ocean with his wife of 26 years, Dorothea, and his three sons and daughter.
Within his accumulated wealth (estimated to be between $300 and $500 million) is a man who funds soup kitchens. A new endeavor in the Hamptons is an electric bus system called the “Free Bus,” to ferry folks from the beaches to town for free. When the East Hampton service started, Bon Jovi was one of the first to jump on. Kyle White, the driver that day said, “he was really cool, and he loved it.”
Years back, he gave an invitation only benefit concert at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, with the audience being a who’s who of the Hamptons. Steven Spielberg and Jerry Seinfeld had tables, as did Ron Perlman. He even gives a sort of annual 4th of July mini concert at the Blue Parrott, a trendy East Hampton Tex-Mex place he is part owner of. Just last August on a Friday night, he closed the place for a private party for Bill Murray and his movie “Rock the Kasbah,” hosted by Jimmy Buffet, with a guest list including Bill Clinton, Bruce Willis, Paul McCartney, John Mellecamp, Bruce Springsteen, and somehow Rudy Giuliani. Variety covered the event noting, “Jon Bon Jovi worked the room, conversing with all the guests.”
So take notice next summer, when you read about the great parties of the Hamptons, Jon Bon Jovi’s name will be mentioned first, the way Jack Nicholson was back in his Hollywood heyday.