December 11, 2008

McSweeney's: Bon Jovi's Preconcert Prayer Circle

I find almost everything Dan Kennedy writes hilarious and this piece for McSweeney's is no exception (your tendency to laugh will greatly increase if you have a rudimentary knowledge of Bon Jovi as a result of coming of age in their heyday and an intimate knowledge of prayer circles as a result of much of the aforementioned coming of age taking place in the milieu of church youth groups):
Dear God, thank you for this opportunity to be together tonight and to bring people together with our music. Thank you for surrounding us with each other. You really gave us an awesome guitarist, God. We appreciate you taking the time to do that back in 1983, when you had so much stuff on your desk. I remember that the musical Annie was closing on Broadway that year; it was in basically every single newspaper in the city every day, it seemed like. And I remember thinking that maybe the only prayers about arts and entertainment that you would be listening to would be that cast's prayer circles before they went on each night, but you tuned them out and instead focused on steering this man named Richie Sambora toward me here on Earth because you knew it was more important that I get a rippin' guitar player early on so I could form this band and we could start making our way to the top. The U.S. Embassy in Beirut was bombed that year, too, so I know you had tons of stuff going on and were really busy, so I'm just sayin' I appreciate your making kick-ass lead guitar a priority in '83. You didn't have to do that, but you did. 
. . . . .

Give us the strength to deliver to the fans out there in the seats tonight. I know there's a lot of stuff going wrong in the world again. Guess what, though: there's always going to be stuff going wrong in the world. I need you focused on the Bon Jovi show at the Wachovia Center in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, USA, Earth. I need you focused on our set list, and I need you focused on making sure the couple of hiccups we had in sound check today don't become issues onstage tonight. Again, I know the stuff's really hitting the fan down here and you're probably getting slammed with more prayers than ever, but for the next 75 nights we've got shows and I'm asking you to put tuning in to our preshow prayer circle at the top of your list. That's why we're doubling up our power and signal by being in a circle like this and by holding hands to basically make one giant person beaming one huge consolidated prayer up to you—we'll do what we have to do to get heard and to cut through the clutter of individual prayers.

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