Kendra Meinert column: A 'Dear Jon' letter of a different sort

6:49 PM, Oct. 16, 2013  |  Comments
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Dear Jon,

In some ways, I feel like this letter has been nearly 25 years in the making. That's when I started, rather accidentally, my career as an entertainment writer. I'm pretty sure if I dug around for my embarrassingly geeky meet-the-new-reporter column that ran back at my first job out of college, there was a mention somewhere of you.

You see you've always been my journalism equivalent of the "If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would it be?'' question. If I could interview anyone, who would it be? You.

I've had the good fortune to talk to some personal favorites over the years - Bob Hope, Lyle Lovett, Jimmy Fallon, Joan Rivers, Rick Springfield, Bill Cosby, John Mellencamp - but never you.

We go way back. There's still a beat-up copy of 1985's "7800 Fahrenheit'' on cassette rattling around in my basement. I know you've long since moved on, but me, I still like a sentimental trip down "Tokyo Road''every now and again. Those were good times.

You don't remember - and to be honest, it was the '80s, so it's fuzzy for all of us - but we've met before. I think it was somewhere around the height of the "Slippery When Wet'' craziness. You were playing the old Met Center in Bloomington, Minn., back when your hair was big and mine was bigger.

It's a long story, involving a denim mini, a gravel parking lot, a bloody knee and a friend who worked in the building as a Minnesota North Stars intern at that time, but somehow we ended up backstage after the show so someone with a first aid kit could slap on a wad of gauze to stop the bleeding. And then ... you and Richie and your entourage walked right by us in the corridor. It was during your whole duster jackets phase. Remember?

My friend and I still laugh about that "One Wild Night'' (sorry, couldn't help myself) in what is now a Mall of America parking lot and IKEA store.

Some people outgrow the bands of their youth. Others never really get over them. You know how everyone has a band that's "their band''? Yours.

There's been perhaps a dozen or so concerts over the years - Marcus Amphitheater, Miller Park, Alliant Energy Center, Xcel Center, Target Center. You've been as close as across the street stumping for a presidential candidate on the lawn of the Brown County Courthouse. And now next Tuesday, the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon.

It's destiny, right?

That's what I said to my very first editor back in Minnesota when the concert announcement was made. She and I have had a long-running thing about our pursuit to someday each cross our ultimate celebrity interview off our career bucket lists. For her, it's always been interviewing all four of The Monkees. She has Davy and Micky in the bag, but Peter keeps giving her the brush-off and Mike isn't much for talking Monkees since he's gone solo.

So, 30 years into your career and nearly as long into mine, Bon Jovi's first Green Bay concert looked like my chance to pull ahead.

But as it often is with relationships, timing is everything. It turned out it was David, who was available to do the phone interview.


Until the next 25 years,



Dana Erlandson has been added as the opener for Saturday's BoDeans concert at the Meyer Theatre.

Big Mouth & The Power Tool Horns and Steve March Torme will headline the Big Bash at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Riverside Ballroom. The Whiskey Sours open. The Halloween party, hosted by 91.1 The Avenue, also includes a costume contest. Tickets are $70 a pair at (877) 508-9191 or

Z-Man is playing a post-Bon
Jovi gig at 10 p.m. Tuesday at Green Bay Distillery. Bring your ticket stub from the Resch Center concert that night for a free beer. At 8 p.m. Saturday, former Packer Gilbert Brown will be at the bar signing autographs for a nominal fee. You can also pick yourself up a mini "Gravedigger'' shovel for $40.


Fiddle player Ryan Joseph, who tours in country great Alan Jackson's band, will host a free clinic and presentation from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday at Heid Music, 2201 S. Oneida St., Ashwaubenon. Call (920) 498-2228 for reservations.

Rock N Roll Land, 504 S. Military Ave., is celebrating its second anniversary through Saturday with - what else? - specials and all kinds of music. Red Light Saints, the Fox Valley band heading out this weekend on a national tour with Faster Pussycat, play in the music store today, followed by indie act Tyler Tolman & The Sticks on Friday and "hip rock rap 'n' roll'' from Harvey Brown on Saturday. Gigs start at 6 p.m. and are free and all-ages.

It's time for the annual fall record convention from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Ramada Plaza Green Bay. Music collectors with stacks of vinyl, CDs, DVDs or concert memorabilia can rent a table by calling (920) 562-1050. Those looking to browse the offerings pay a $2 admission.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
579 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
862 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
1025 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
1278 votes

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Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports