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Welcome, welcome to armchair expert I'm Derek Shepard, I'm joined by miniature mouse squeaks, squeaks Week.


Are you ready? Yeah, I'm a cowboy on this steel horse. I ride and I'm wonted.


Well, dead, dead or alive. Oh, wow. I've seen a million, but you got to keep going and I'll rock tomorrow.


That's right. Jon Bon Jovi's here. I cannot believe. Oh, Jon Bon Jovi's here.


I grew up listening to J fantasizing in my bedroom about oh, what a day for you, Bunz.


Best buns in the biz. We talked about nearly everything with the only thing I regret is I didn't ask him what his bun routine was to have him back on.


OK, just for that, like a five minute interview.


Now, as you guys know, Jon Bon Jovi is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, philanthropist and actor. Bon Jovi is best known as the founder and front man of the Grammy Award winning rock band Bon Jovi.


John has released 15 studio albums with his band to date and has sold over a hundred and thirty million albums worldwide. He has a new album out right now called 20-20. I think everyone could remember that title quite easily. Please enjoy Jon Bon Jovi.


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He's in our chat. Holy shit, dude. Wow. Well, not really exciting.


I got to tell you, we interview a lot of people is very, very exciting. First of all, you're fucking gorgeous.


My face is fucking insane.


Oh, I'm glad you guys have been drinking.


Doesn't it kind of look like Matt Damon, like I said? Yeah. So Monica's main crushes in life are Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and you. And she thinks her some blend, some carry over with you and Damon. I see it a little bit.


OK, I don't mind that. You know, I remember when people would ask who should play you in the movie?


I'd say Angelina Jolie, you know, because, you know, I don't know who does the duck lips better, me or her. But, you know. But you've got Damon go in there, so that's all. Yeah.


Yeah. Well, you're in really high company, I'd say. I mean, like I'm at. Yeah.


You know, what's interesting is you've been at it for so long, but you started so young that it's in my mind and I know and Monika's as well. It's a little deceptive. Like I got to say, I was like, oh, he's only 58.


You've just been doing it for 30 years. But also you're still young. It's kind of. Yeah, you know, I'm saying I do.


I had a record deal when I was 21. Has the same record deal. No kidding. Yeah. I've been with the same label since I'm 21 years old. And yeah, I mean, it's crazy to think that I've been doing this longer than I wasn't doing this, you know.


Yeah. That's a weird moment, isn't it.


You know, when you're making records, was it 37 years now? That's a long, long time with the same label. It's amazing.


I'm going to ask you a really gross question I want you to be honest about. So I am around one hundred thousand as famous as you, but nevertheless, I'm a little bit famous and it's now been about, I think, seventeen years of it. And this is so gross to admit to you, but I'm going to say it when I look back in my life, I think I've always been famous.


Is that the grossest thing you ever heard? It's like I actually don't remember. Not you know, it's only been.


Yes, well, I remember I remember not being famous, but I think that the one thing that well, you know, when you're so young, your scale of what famous is also was much different.


Oh, big time. Big time. So you thought you were big if you were playing in a bar, you know. Yeah. You're big at the high school dance. So your levels of what famous is change every step along the way. I remember playing in a bar because you're playing your own music. And this is in 1980. I'm just graduating high school. So my eyes, we were already big because we were playing were the original bands played?


I didn't go to my prom. I was opening for Southside Johnny somewhere in Freehold, New Jersey. So I thought that was big.


Every step along the way, you still couldn't pay the bills, but you thought that was big, you know? Yeah. And then, you know, you keep going until you get to a place where you can finally say, well, I guess, you know, now I sort of made it, but you didn't really make it the other eighteen steps along the way.


You just thought you did well, the ignorances, the gift. So, yes. So when I look back in my memory and I think of how famous I thought I was, was great on that TV show, it allowed me to walk in and audition for a movie like you better believe you're going to give me this back in America.


Exactly. You know, it's that kind of I wish you know, I wish we still all had those stones, you know.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now I just have doubt now. Yeah. I don't know. I don't know if I can act anymore. Right, exactly.


Now you're full of doubt. Yeah. Now you're like, oh, I don't think I can do it. I don't think I can handle it anymore.


Yeah. When you're young you're bulletproof and your sense of will is so big I can just will this to happen and and yeah it will.


You know, it's crazy.


Now growing up in New Jersey, first of all, I love you on Stern. You're always the greatest interview. I think it's adorable. You guys are so close. And I loved hearing him bitch about inducting you into the Hall of Fame for six months, leading up to is like every every episode. He lamented that when you would hear that would make you laugh or did you start feeling guilty?


A little of both, because I do know him so well. If you know I mean, you know that the guy that's off Mike is completely different than the one on the mike. And the back story is and I'm sure you've heard it, but it is true. When I called him on the phone and I said, I have to come over to your house to see you today, you know, at first he thinks, are you OK? And then it was like, you're not coming to my house.


And I'm like, Oh, I am coming to your house. So when are you going to get there?


Long story short, we finally negotiated the deal and he said, you have to meet me at this location and be in the back seat of my car, because when I come out, I'm going to tell the driver to keep rolling. So this was like a mob meeting. He's got his driver in a car. I got a driver and a car. I tell his driver to get out of the car and there's no R in that area. Get out of the car and I get in the car and then he comes in the back seat.


This is real. This happened in the back.


Everything I'm telling you, when he closes the door in the back seat of his car and I tell him what it's all about and I says in Ostergaard, you're my first and only choice. And he said, I've been asked a whole lot of times by a whole lot of people, but you're the only one I can't turn down. I'm in. I said thank you very much. It was an emotional little moment. I got out of the car to leave and I went home and I called my manager.


And if you know anything in the music business, Irving Azoff, you know that name is. I Don't. He's a legendary legendary manager. And he says he said, yes, no problem. He said, absolutely, yes. He goes, did you tell him it's in Cleveland?


I go, No, no, that's it. That's what I pay you for.


And I think that's where the rubber met the road in this whole thing. Occurred to him that he was going to be flying to Cleveland.


It all he had to sleep in a hotel in Cleveland. It scarred him.


But I told him, I said, Howard, you don't got to bring a passport to come to Cleveland. Right. There's no immigration line. You'll stand standing for hours. Now, could this be true? Because I only read Wikipedia. I only have two little kids, so I learned so much time. But is it possible that your mother was actually a Marine and a Playboy bunny? Is that apocryphal or is that real?


No, it's true. It's true. No kidding. Yeah. My folks met in the Marine Corps. She was like right out of the poster, you know, the whole I want you. And then when the club opened in New York, she was one of the very first bunnies. Yeah.


Like a cocktail waitress, cocktail waitress, not the big magazines, but cocktail waitress in the era of Sinatra and the whole thing, early sixties. So she was married to my dad. I was born and she was working there. Yeah.


And so, yeah, she must have nightly come home and told your dad like, oh my God, Sinatra did this and Dean Martin did that. I did. Yeah.


I'm sure the stories were much better than I'd ever heard. But, you know, in truth, you know, you see those pictures and I might be a rock and roll star, but I got a feeling that the entire 60s parenting experience was much different than mine or yours.


Yeah, there's an article I reference all the time that was in The New York Times where they actually broke down. How much time fifties, sixties housewife spent with the children in today's working mother is spending more time with her kids than a housewife of the 50s and 60s.


And so that just gives you a sense of like what kind of supervision we had, which was absent.


You know, the parental line was come home when the street lights go on and, you know, chances of I don't know about your dad, but mine ever coming to a game that I was playing and forget that, you know, they drove with a six pack on the front seat while they were driving there, smoking and drinking in those big cars that could have fit eight people at any time.


You know, the big front seat, big backseat.


And, you know, it's a whole different time. What memories?


And we're here. We're here and we are here. That is the one good thing.


Yeah. Yeah. Now, what kind of kid were you in? Junior high because your music starts around thirteen. I guess. So that's junior high. Were you popular? Were you likeable? Were you athletic? Were you always fucking good looking?


No. When I was thirteen ish, that's when you really just put down the broomstick and tried to learn to play. But by the time I could even pretend to play was more like sixteen and I'd have a little backyard band and play at the block dance and the dance. The high school wildly popular.


No, because it was a very small clique of kids who played music and not athletic, because by the time he picked up a guitar, I was done with athletics like I'd played up until, you know, thirteen, fourteen. And then you found music and then that was the end of that. So my idea of going to high school was just beg to get out.


I knew I had another path. Even then, my three best buddies joined the Navy and I got the call and I busted the guy's balls on the phone. I said, Does the uniform come in any different colors? Can I wear this straight leg pin?


You know, and there was no way I was interested in going to the service. But the only way out for my three pals in this wonderful little, you know, blue collar town that we lived in was to join. But even at that early age, I knew what I was going to do.


Yeah. The people I knew, friends of mine growing up who got really good at guitar, it's a lot of time in your bedroom by yourself. So to me, there was always a really high parallel with dudes that were probably inclined just towards depression and that they felt safe in that room and they would prefer to put in that time. In that room by themselves, have you seen that parallel at all? I didn't know that I had that I wasn't afraid of going out and messing up in the backyard and screaming into a microphone.


I think I gravitated towards singing more because no one else wanted to do it. And B, I knew everybody else is becoming a better guitar player than I was.


So I was always the second to third guy, you know, to be playing the guitar as well as they were. But interesting as my youngest son is starting to play and he goes to the damn thing five times a day and would rather sit in his room than go out and just be with his buddies. So I don't know that it's depression as much as it's just like I found a new key to the universe and I know what it can do.


You know, that's the thing. It's not depression as much as once in a while. You think of that thing as the Harry Potter's wand, you know? Yeah.


I don't know.


For me, pursuing something creative and other friends of mine who are creative and also the kind of great sense of control, if you have very little control as a young person and you can master something and you can do something other people can't, you can make this thing have a predictable outcome. There is some comfort in that. It's like a way to grab a bit of control and execute. There's something rewarding, I think, about that when you're younger.


Well, it certainly gave me focus. You know, I could tell you that at 16, 17, 18, walking everyday to high school with the bass player in the band. And I knew what I was going to do. We're going to go down to Asbury Park. I'm going to play in this bar. We're going to go here and I'm going to rehearse this band like crazy. And this is, you know, how I'm going to grow.


By the time I was 18, I stopped playing other people's music at 18. Already I saw there was only one road and that was if you didn't start writing your own or at least being in an original band, the cover band circuit wasn't the future. So even by 18, I was done. I knew it would happen.


Who played a role at that point? Inspiration wise, there was a neighbor of man across the street, young hip guy, you know, much older than me and me, but younger than my parents, married younger kids.


And he played in a lounge band. He played, you know, weddings and lounges. So I went over there having met him through my mom, he was willing to teach me a couple of chords on the guitar. And the first time he tried to show me it's not easy, you know, and write home. And I didn't practice. I didn't practice enough. So I went back a second week. I said, yeah, show me again.


I'm working hard at it. And he shows me again. And then I come back and I don't practice. And I show up the third time and he curses me out. He says, Don't waste my fucking time. He says, you know, if you're going to do this, you're going to do it. And if you're not going to do it, just don't waste my time. See you later. And the lesson was over probably the greatest thing that ever happened, because now I was scared stiff and I wanted to do it.


And so when I came back the fourth week, I started to develop those calluses and I tried really hard to learn how to play the House of the Rising Sun. And and we were chipped away at the stone.


So the guy his name was Al Perrineau, and he passed away up in that moment in time. He took on the other kid across the street from him and a little kid from down the block who was a couple of years younger. That younger kid was a kid named Snake Serbo from a band called Skid Row. No fucking way.


And so he took me and Snake and we both made records.


And the third kid went and became a lawyer and, you know, got his life together.


But he took two kids who didn't have anything else to do. And, you know, we both ended up making records.


Now, you're incredibly charitable and we're going to get into all that. You're really philanthropic. I mean, is it things like that where you go like, oh, shit, I guess I too wouldn't be here without this generous stranger?


Absolutely. You know, thank God that our Perrineau, you know, live next door and he's past now. Twenty five years ago, we used to have this very we still do. If you tour with the band and you do two consecutive world tours, you don't miss any legs of it. So it's very hard to get one. You get what is in essence are Elvis TCBY and it's a little Superman logo made of diamonds. It's only this big and it has the slippery when wet logo on it.


And I made them back in the Slippery album for the closest band party. Anyhow, when Al passed mine went in the coffin, you know, like these, these things are, you know, very special to the very few people who get them in the organization. They never changed. You know, they could have been all big bling by now. But there's this little thing. He was that important in my life.


How many have you given out of those, you know? Yeah, about a hundred and twenty in the last one hundred and thirty. Maybe in thirty five years.


So there are a hundred and twenty people who have been with you around the world twice and never showed up sick. Right. It's a big deal in our little world to earn one. This is already getting at what I'm curious about, which is the sustainability of your thing, I'm so interested in when Howard interviews musicians because there's so many predictable pitfalls, right?


I mean, there's so many people to come to the exact same stuff. And it's like it's ego and identity and youth and all this stuff.


And something is silly and could seem insignificant is that it's just a statement which is like, yeah, we're rock stars, but you fucking punch your time clock, you're dependable, you show up. There's an element to it that I just dig. You know, I'm sure there's a million little things you did along the way that created the sustainability. Oh, yeah.


Look, there's always another guy that's right outside that door waiting for your job. As you knew, acting or singing or doing podcasts is no matter what it is, there's always another guy that's hungrier. We're going to outwork you. So in order to achieve success, you could get there and have one record or one movie. You can get lucky when you start sticking around after 20 years.


Then I'm going to pay attention. When you're here for nearly 40, then you've got my respect and attention. So this is not an easy job. No, it's not easy. Let me back up. I love wanted. My favorite line in the song is I've seen a million faces and I rocked them all. It's the only Bragge I've ever fuckin loved because what a gift to rock someone is.


You should say it man.


I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it. OK, what we experience on a zero percent level is we perform for about 5000 people. We do live shows.


It's so exhilarating.


And then you leave and you go to this hotel room and you're like, wait, I was awesome a second ago and now I'm alone.


And it is a very interesting thing to navigate. And I just wonder for you is you being like in Tokyo, I imagine at some arena and there just isn't going to be a high that competes with that. And then you're back in the hotel room. And I just wonder, like, what strategies did you develop over the years to manage that?


I think a part of it was just what you said, that challenge of the roar of the crowd, the ringing still in your ears. Are you do a runner. So you get in the car sweating, you get back to the hotel, and then it's just you and the ringing. So what are you supposed to do?


You know, you're not going to pace around your room for three or four more hours. You have to find things to calm yourself down. So whether we go to the bar or what have you, we would do that for many years. But as I got older, to be honest with you, as hard as I work, it became harder. Oh, really?


The physicality like your voice, keeping it in sharp and all that. Yeah. Just last scene. Would you go on like vocal rest on tour as you got older and stuff? I never understood vocal rest.


I think he got I personally believe in using it, but warming up, warming down, not drinking, you know, those kinds of things because it is a muscle. At the end of the day, up until fifty I was bulletproof. After fifty, it became hard work.


Aha. OK, you're going to give us advice whether you want to or not. It's going to happen to things in addition to just the impressiveness of the longevity of the actual band.


How did you not get into trouble publicly at any point that I'm aware of with women or drugs? How does one do that in your occupation? Why are you different? What is it?


I didn't get caught. And that's that's the most honest answer I have. I was never a fan of drugs.


So fortunately for me, that was never appealing. I think I had a bad experience smoking weed at like thirteen or so and it just scared me off with drugs, thank God. So I never went down that road. And when my guys did and I watched what it did to lives like theirs or guys around me, it was pretty much an easy decision to make. You know, I never hated myself enough to keep doing that. Yeah, OK.


Because he's from New Jersey and you must love him. Like, what was Springsteen's relevance in your life, if any, during all this time? Because he has just now made like a perfect album and he's done all these other things and he's from New Jersey. Was he somebody that you admired?


Of course, sure. Beyond words. I was just with him Sunday.


Oh, no shit. Yeah. We get together and play each other our new records and stuff, you know, and he's Bruce, you know, everybody knows that he's the man. First time I met him was while he was in that difficulty between born to run and darkness on the edge of town. And I was a little kid. I was playing in a bar and he was in the back of this bar, which was connected to like an athletic club.


So I couldn't have been but seventeen years old. And there's pictures then short time after that, but right in the same era, he jumps up on stage with me and I'm still in high school. No.


Right, listen. I don't know that there's any connection between you two. I'm just thinking you're both from New Jersey and I can't believe that that's why. Wow. So the first time that I got to play with him, he jumped up and sang and is pictured. I'm still in high school, so imagine me.


I'm going back to high school the next day.


And kids are like, you know, last night I had a six pack and I was parked in the back of the mud pits over here and making out with Jane and what you do.


Yeah, me and Bruce Springsteen went down to Asbury Park, but that's what I'm saying.


By the time I was in high school, Southside, Johnny was producing demos of a band that I was in called The Rest.


And there was always a chance you'd be meeting one of the Dukes or one of the E Street Band around, because there were so many of them and there were so few bars down there that were playing original music. So it made the impossible seem very possible, you know, because on my walls would be the posters of Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith and Skinner and the Queen and all that kind of circus magazine. Yeah, but those guys were 25 miles away, a decade plus older than you making records.


And so it made them seem like, you know, the impossible were real.


Yeah. You had to see someone in 3D that you look up to and recognize, oh, real dude, I'm out there and they're writing songs about the places where you live and the things that you do.


All of it made it very real. And so my parents, God bless them, you know, like I said, 16, 17, 18, they would say if you were in a bar, at least we knew where you were. Right. And the drinking age was 18.


So that, too, helped immensely because, you know, you could sneak in at 16, 17 and say, yeah, I'm 18.


And if you remember, Yds didn't have pictures on them or a paper or of paper. So I typed it up on a piece of paper. Yeah, you could just easily slide it right in your typewriter and change exactly what you did.


I how about Billy Joel? Is he in the studio now? Billy was out here on Long Island. And when you're from New Jersey, you think you need a passport to go to Long Island.


We never knew Long Island. Really? No, no.


Because you'd have to come to Manhattan to go out to the island. The shadow of the city was foreboding enough when I was on a homegrown record of a radio station out of New York City. Twisted Sister was on this homegrown talent record, a band called Xebra, who got signed to Atlantic Records. But I had written Runaway and that was the hit song on this home grown record.


But we'd never the two things never met. I never knew any of those people.


But musically. Did you like Billy? Sure, absolutely. Billy Joel was huge by that point and kind of the Jay-Z of New York at that point. Right.


He was writing all about New York. Yeah, he was New York guy. Remember, I was much younger, but Billy was Long Island, Bruce's New Jersey, like Bruce was New Jersey and Bob Seeger was Detroit.


Oh, you don't have to tell me, girl. I'm from fucking Detroit. Oh, there you go, Ziggs.




So what if, if and when you grew up, you would have picked Bob over Bruce? Well, my father, he felt like Billy Joel was his soul mate, Billy. So my whole childhood when Billy would have would go to rehab, my dad would go to rehab.


He was the Billy Joel of Detroit. So Billy for me, yeah, holds a real every weekend I was at his house. It was the stranger on the fuckin phonograph. Pop it on.


You know, it's weird for me now, like, if somebody will say I'm a Billy guy, why can't you like Bruce to, you know, or people come up to me, go, yeah, I only like Bruce. I go, well, what did I do?


It's like, it's not it's not exclusive.


You could like Bruce and Billy and me and Bob and Tom Petty and go down the line. People get like, so I'm in this camper.


That can't be why they're tribal.


Right? I find it particularly weird. I'm super into cars and motorcycles, so I'll like post something about a car I love.


Fuck that Chevy is like, no, no, there's about eighty thousand awesome cars that don't has to pick this. Any tribe like I like Ducati, I also like Harley. I just happen to emotionally connect with the Ducati.


I don't know. Yeah. Aimen, you open about did you have surgery or something. Yesterday. Yesterday. And what was it for. Because I think you ride motorcycles. Right. Yeah, but not like you young man.


OK, no I haven't ridden any of my bikes in many years.


I sort of gave it up, but not for any other reason. I just with four kids I stopped. Thanks.


Not even with you know, I'm sorry. I hope your accident.


You're recovering. You're feeling all right. Yeah. I had sixteen years of sobriety and the pills got the best. To me, and then I had to come out about the pills, so we're dealing with that over here, but we're coming out the other side and we're just going to fucking start over is what we're going to do. And that's all right.


It's a good thing. Yes, it's so yeah. That was so my surgery. The surgery was fine. It was the pills that weren't so great.


Oh, yeah. Sorry about that.


No, I don't put that on your lap, but I'm just going to be honest with you. Thank you. Mine was we started a food bank over this covid. You know, we have these community restaurants and then the need out on Long Island was for ultimately a food bank. And so we provided the food to seven pantries over the summer. So you can imagine the scale of it. And my wife and I and a couple of people that we could let in were the ones unloading these tractor trailers and then loading these trucks to give the food to the pantries.


At first I thought I was being cute and saying this is my workout until I realized my stomach really hurts, my stomach really hurts, my stomach really hurts.


And I tore the belly button pretty bad to the point.


Oh, so you you got a hernia? Oh yeah. I got a legit hernia and so I tore it pretty bad and I had I can't sing right now. I can't work out. I can't do all.


Isn't it fucking depressing. It's so bad for me. It's the exercise. Like I could care less about the initial pain and the surgery. It's like I just can't not work out for a month. I might mentally I'll just unravel.


Well I'm in day two and I couldn't sing, I couldn't shower and I'm just not going to be fun. You look fantastic. Yeah. No one would ever know you're twelve hours out of surgery, I'll tell you that. Yeah. Stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare. We are supported by sleep number now as more places reopen and we safely enjoy fall activities, quality sleep is more important than ever. Not only is it a natural immunity booster, it also helps with energy and recovery.


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That's really good. I'm above 80.


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OK, I want to talk about the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. Yeah, well, let me back up first. I read about you a hundred and thirty million albums, and I go, that's bonkers.


That can't even happen ever again. Good for you. That you did it exactly when you did.


Yeah. You performed for over 40 million fans in 50 countries. Bonkers. Right. But then I start reading about the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. It's like equally insane stuff. You guys since 2006 have provided seven hundred units of affordable housing in 11 different states. You've built 77 homes and gave them to previously homeless veterans. Right. In some partnership with Walter Reed. Yeah. And then in nine years ago, you open up the Soul Kitchen in Red Bank and then a second one in Toms River and you served over 100000 meals.


I want to know what's driving you.


Any one of those numbers, you could be like, I'm good, 130 million, 40 million. I'm done. It's time for me to be fed 100000 people. I've put however many families and houses.


What's in the furnace, what keeps you so engaged? I think it's a bit of it is Catholic guilt, to be honest.


But a part of it is just because we know how.


So we do. When I started the foundation, I had a partner in an arena football team many, many years ago and I loved it and it was fun. And I thought with my marketing hat on, how do I ingratiate myself to the community? And I said, be more philanthropic than anybody. And so we took some money out of our pockets. My partner, Craig and I, and we gave it to a bunch of charities. And then when I found focus one night when I was in this hotel and I was looking down at a man sleeping on a great to keep warm outside of City Hall, and I said, there's the focus, it's homelessness.


And I asked my best friend Obie to find me someone in Philadelphia who could teach me about the issue. Little did I know that the Michael Jordan of the issue is a nun by the name of Sister Mary Scullion. Everybody knows Sister Mary that's in this area. So he goes to meet Sister Mary on my behalf and says, I work for Jon Bon Jovi. She goes, Yeah, yeah. He says no for real. He wants to come and talk to you.


I got to pause for one second. The notion that a nun knows that's like that's where it's like, oh, God, yeah. Everyone knows me. A nun, a nun.


She wasn't she wasn't impressed, but she knew that. But she knew. And so I went down to meet Sister Mary.


And why we hit it off was and I said, I'm not being a wise ass sister, Mary, but what would it cost to refurbish this block, not just the one row home that you're pitching me on?


The point is, if we do a block, we could do a neighborhood. If we do a neighborhood, we could change some lives.


So her and I hit it off some fifteen years ago. And we've been close as can be ever since. And she's now on our board.


And we started this foundation and out of that building houses with her, the economic downturn happened. And it was Dorothea who said to me, now we've got to feed the people in the houses. And she's a stream of consciousness, developed this idea of a restaurant that just didn't exist anywhere. And the idea was empowering people, not a soup kitchen. So don't think like that. It's a beautiful bistro with silverware and China and a menu and gorgeous food on the menu, but there's no prices.


So if you guys came and wanted to effect change directly, you leave 20 bucks. It pays for your meal. It pays for someone who's next to you. If you're in need, you volunteer. And then by bussing the table, washing a dish, working in the garden, you've earned your meal.


So now you feel good about.


Well, yeah, yeah, you have purpose.


And since and industry, we take no government money, so there's nothing institutional about it. There's no plastic trays in processed food and soda pop or booze.


You know, we're coming there to feed a family and hopefully volunteer and then move on. So that was the first one. The second one after Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey. And we know that much more under our roof. We take a food pantry, a food bank, a service provider, a culinary program. And then we're the flagship tenant, if you will. And then all of that's under one roof because we realized that those people in need of those services, it's not like they can jump in the Range Rover and drive out to the service provider, come back, go to the food pantry.


So they're all under one roof that we were able to provide.


Then we realized that there were kids on college campuses with food insecurity. So Rutgers University, we opened our third one and we're feeding college kids and Rutgers at Newark. Embrace the concept. God bless them. But then covid hit. So now they closed their doors and we'll. Eventually reopened, but right now, kids can't go to the restaurant on the college campus, then covid really cripples the country.


But out on eastern Long Island, where we often spent our summers, we knew that the need was dire. And so that's when we opened our first food bank. And there was a wonderful family, the Rubenstein family, who owned this family entertainment complex. But they can't use it. You know, they can't let people go bowling and play mini golf. So they give us the place. And so I provide all the food we pay for everything. We bring it all in from New Jersey.


So nobody thinks we're taking anything from anyone in Long Island. And we are able to provide for five months now the food to the food pantries who then get it to the 25000 people that we've met. And so it's been wonderful, you know, and I got a souvenir out of the deal. And now we're back in the city putting our kids back in school.


The souvenir being the hernia, a nice hernia operation.


Well, look, there's more shameful ways to get an injury. Yeah, yeah. There's a due to my meeting the other day who came in limping, and he is fifty eight and he goes, I can't believe I'm going to tell you guys this, but this is a sex injury.


Just, just have a normal sex. I blew out my ankle and I'm like, that's the best age related story of my life. Yeah. Can't even have sex without getting demoralizing. Yeah.


Now having done that work, I think anyone that endeavors to what you've done and have accomplished, it's really easy for the identity to really get anchored in that and having your identity anchored in this other area. I'm sure being a father has got to be the number one. And then, you know, having effected this change, that's just a whole different sliver of an identity, isn't it? And one that kind of feels like it has substance.


Yeah, yeah. It certainly didn't add to anything under the header of cliche. Cool. Oh, go start a food bank and a bunch of restaurants and you know, and do that. In fact it was foreign to anyone that would bring it up to. But that makes us my wife and I uniquely us is that we do this and I like that. And to be defined just by being in a rock band would be awful to me. And I think I even thought that way when I was young.


It's what I do. It's not who I am. Right. There's always been so much more for me, although there are days when I think about am I lying to myself or not?


Because, you know, you say, all right, it's over, walk away, OK? What am I going to do? This is what I thought I do. So even like not being able to tour this year, cancelling the tour outright, postponing a record, I couldn't not write songs. I think I could honestly tell you that I could not perform again. I really could tell you I'd be OK with that. It's not my burning desire, but to make a record and to be excited about writing a song that comes to fruition on a record, then you want to share in that order that I think I'd want to continue to do.


But the identity that comes with that, you know, I'm sort of in the middle like it's good because I get to talk to you and I get to go on TV shows and, you know, all the kind of fun stuff that comes with being me. And the downside is I don't really look forward to go back to that hotel room ever again.


Yeah, well, and I'd imagine the other cycle you get stuck in, I certainly did in movies, which is like I go away on a location, I'm gone for three months. It's my own little bubble. I love that little bubble. And then I miss home. But then I'm home and I'm like, I got to get myself back in that bubble.


I'm almost never happy either. Plays And so I'm like happy about plays and also unhappy in both places.


Sure, sure. Sure. That's natural. That's everybody. That's everybody. It's not like I want to give it up just because. Oh, I can't bear being away from home.


No, I could bear being away from them as soon as I was, you know, they're in the bubble. I would relent and I'd be OK. I'm cool. I'm happy to be here between now and getting into that bubble. I'd be bitching and moaning all the time.


But nowadays, because it was taken away from all of us at the same time, I don't know, in a year from now, I'm going to think one of two different ways. I can't wait to play again or I might be done forever. Yeah, I just don't know. I don't know. We'll see.


Well, don't you think you and I were brainwashed in that you bust your ass. Yeah. Save your money and then you retire. And it's this blueprint that's in my mind. And then so often I think I'll retire from this terrible job of saying sentences in front of a camera. Like what? What are you acting? You know, I'm not in a factory in Detroit and. Peers of mine in the industry, we talk about retiring, and I just think it's like this blueprint that got installed that sometimes I think maybe I should challenge, maybe I should embrace.


I'm not sure. I think everyone feels the same way. At least I do. I'm with you on that because I don't know which way I honest to God, I don't know which way. It's like, am I going to be great doing it because it's what I need in my bones, the way I needed it in my bones.


I don't know right now. Yeah, that's fair. Yeah, it is fair. It's just an interesting time in my life that I'm going I don't know what I'd do in retirement. I don't want to retire in order to fill in the blank. That's not the motivation at all. And it's not because we're not still selling out everywhere, because I always said when I'm on the where are they now? Tour, I'm out.


Right, right, right, right. So that's not it either.


I would love to see you prance out on Dancing with the Stars season.


When you meet someone, you'd have your hands and shit. I want to see it. Oh, the masked singer and all the rest.


Yeah. Oh, you know, I'm out. It's OK. OK, let's talk about your new album.


Your new album is called Twenty Twenty. Yeah. And you've described it as being about life, love, lost and everything in between. So the whole gamut. But you added two songs late into it and I wonder just how you make that decision, if you like. Oh, do we have time to do this? Just how does that come about?


It's a very topical record. When I first come up with the title and we were recording now, what I could look back and say were the first batch of songs. For the record, I came out of the bathroom in Nashville and I said to the guys, I got the title twenty twenty. I said, if nothing else, it's a tongue in cheek political campaign and who knows what's going to happen a year from now with politics. And so is a great T-shirt.


That was it. But then I started to write topical songs because of everything that's going on around us. And I turned in that record and it had a good amount of substance that was, in fact topical. But if you're going to claim to write that topical record and be a witness to history, and then history happens right under our feet with covid and then the death of George Floyd, you have to to open up the can again and get under the hood.


And so I did. And I fine tuned several of the existing songs to make them even more clear.


And I sat down and wrote Do what you can about the whole covid thing.


And then I wrote American Reckoning, and I really went out on the limb because of white privilege.


And, you know, who am I to to be talking about this kind of stuff and then resubmit the record. And I'm very, very proud of it.


I'm happy for you genuinely. And I have to imagine for you you want to give people a song they get married to. You want to give people an experience at a concert where they they hit a ten. Naturally.


I have to imagine most of your career you've been like, why would I alienate half the people? Certainly it wasn't as bad back then as it is now.


But was that ever part of your analysis?


Like, I've got a different thing I want to spread and I want to keep it as open to as many people as possible?


Well, that would be an obvious answer, especially when I was a younger guy, when you had single minded focus, which was simply to make records and entertain people. You know, I would often bring up an example.


So Bono's probably right at my age. He's a couple of months older. I think his upbringing was obviously very different than mine. I never had the Orangemen walking through my neighborhood and saying, you know, get the Catholic kid and beat him up. You know, I didn't have any of that kind of turmoil in suburban New Jersey when you had a wonderful middle class upbringing with two hardworking parents. So, of course, you're writing the happy anthemic song, although runaway, really, if you think about it, had a social consciousness to it.


Talking about the girl is on the street corner. Well, I was lucky enough to get off the bus and walk ten blocks to the recording studio. Is the gopher in? I was aware of the world around me, but I chose not to get involved and I don't blame myself. I was 21 years old and that's all I had to live for.


Yeah, also very defendable. Like, here's my point on politics. I have very strong political opinions, but there are many people that are outspoken. Right? So if I don't do this thing I would like to do, it's OK. Bill Maher is doing it. So there's part of me that's like everyone's got a little bubble. They're going to specialize. And you don't have to you don't have to be in every bubble. And I think that's a little bit defendable, which is people need a reprieve.


And so and they deserve a reprieve.


You know, there's going to be some trouble for me on this record because I have evolved. You know, I'm not sitting here dying my hair blonde, you know, and pretending to be twenty five. I'm fifty eight years old and you know what I stand for. But now we're the record is defensible is that if you really listen closely to every song, it doesn't take sides. Yeah. And put a witness to history. I don't take sides.


I know what my opinions are and so do you, but I don't take sides. There's a song on this record called Lower the Flag.


And I was just appalled that two shootings happened on a Saturday night and Sunday morning. So when I woke up to the second one, I couldn't believe that the reporter was saying and we'll be right back with the weather and sports. And you're thinking, wow, are we that numb? So I had to sit down and write that song, but never once do I say guns are bad. Bullets are bad because people really believe in their Second Amendment rights.


And I understand that.


So all I ask in the song is if this happened to a family member, how would you feel?


And I wrote the song. So, you know, I'm just trying to have a conversation about how would you feel?


You're asking for empathy, like go ahead for five minutes and just think, here was my discovery of white privilege.


I fucking hated that term the first time I heard it, because all I heard was that what I got was handed to me and I immediately start building on my defense. But the fuck it was. I moved to California with nothing. I did this. I did this. No one no one knocked on my door and said, here you go. So I'm most defensive. And then slowly it occurred to me I walked around L.A. with drugs on me for 12 years.


I got pulled over many times, drunk with drugs on me. If I'm black, I would have been pulled over about 100 times more and then I would have been prosecuted and that jury would have found me guilty and that judge would have given me a different sentence. And so for the first time was like I would have been in prison. I'm not here. I'm black. I had the same life, did the same thing. I'm in prison.


That's almost inarguable. So that was my breakthrough of like, oh, yeah, I've had many struggles, but the color of my skin has not been one of those struggles. Correct.


And hopefully millions of us learned that story, too. And I certainly made sure that I learned it. And that is true. You and I are very lucky. And now I realize even more so why.


I have to imagine, too, that you have the same desire that I do, which is I most most want more than anything, is that people could start chatting again, that the sides weren't opposite. That, to me, is more heartbreaking. Most of the single issues I care about, sure, there's a couple that are above that. But for me, I'm really discouraged. Even while you're describing your charity, which could only be taken as something wonderfully positive, I was thinking, God, in this day and age, someone thinks that's political, just helping people, that that would be a political statement.


Does that occur to you? And is that isn't that not annoying, that wearing a mask is a political decision?


Well, isn't that something that's become politicized, taking a knee?


If you remember, Colin Kaepernick took it out of racial injustice and police brutality had nothing to do with the flag. The NFL lost the narrative and never got it back. And now three years later, now they said, I'm sorry, you're right. But I remember the day that they lost the narrative. And I remember that day that they decided not to get it back. And it turned into something that was really a problem. And it ruined a man's livelihood and it alienated fans.


And, you know, it's the game that I love and the business that I loved. And I remember how it happened. So it's a bitch that people aren't talking. Maybe the greatest thing that can come out of these last four years is that we realize it's time to start talking. Or God forbid, if I'm talking to you in December and it's not the United States that we recognize anymore, that decision will have been made by the electorate. And the American dream lasted for a nice run and a real nice run.


Don't whatever you do, do not. What what's the name of that documentary we just watched on Netflix? Social dramas, social dilemma. Have you watched this yet?


No, I haven't seen that. You're going to walk into the room and just think for about an hour afterwards. Yeah, yeah. We are powerless over an algorithm that's much smarter than we are. And it's singular goal is to put us in tribes'.


Well, you know, here comes the north and south again. Here comes, you know, it's crazy, crazy. It's crazy, crazy. And count on it happening. The question is, is to what degree? Yeah. Yeah.


You know, regardless of the outcome, there's going to be some civil unrest. The question is, is the civil unrest turned into civil war? Does it turn into red versus blue, me versus you? I don't know. And I pray not.


Yeah, me too. Well, I am glad that you are in a position now that you can do whatever you want. I think of all the things people maybe daydream about your life. The things that would be satisfying are probably a little underwhelming when you're actually. And I would imagine having the freedom for you to lead with your ethics is awesome. It's a gift that we all have and so it's up to each and every individual to make that worth gold, you know, to make that ethics and that moral compass worth gold.


And we can and I'm not opposed to the opposite sides. I'm really honest to God, open to listening, but don't lead with hate, you know, just lead with some compassion. And I'm more than willing to sit down and talk about it.


And how about some just humility? That could be a singular goal both sides have, which is like, yeah, we all got opinions. We're all certain they're dead. Right. We're all you know, we're all geniuses. But maybe just a bit of humility and some open ears.


All right. Yeah, well, Jon Bon Jovi, you fucking rule. I hope you say hi to my wife when you see you're at Howard's house.


Thanks, you guys.


Where can people go to help support your foundation, the JDBC Jayco Foundation, Doug Jabe Jr. Soul Foundation dot org. So go there. Also check out twenty twenty. We watched the video today for doing what you can, which was really cool. Was like Vanilla Sky to see New York like that.


I guess cool is not the right word, but very weird experience. What you walk through New York like that is pretty wild.


Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. The video came the records. Great. October 2nd.


October 2nd. All right, man. Great. Great talking with you. Thank you, brother. You get inducted to something else. How come I don't care. I'll fly and thanks, but thanks, Mark. All right. Nice to meet you. And you.


Thanks for letting me stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare.


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And now my favorite part of the show, the fact check with my soulmate Monica Padman. Will you introduce everyone to who's here? Oh, we're started. Oh, Graybar. Oh, my gosh. OK, so this is the most special fact check we've ever die because we have a very special guest.


My son is here.


The prodigal son has returned.


Best friend Aaron Weekley is here on the couch. I can't get enough of that California son. I can't stay away from that son man here.


And we thought it'd be really fun for the armchair is to get a peek behind the curtain.


Although you have you have complained in the past, rightly so, that sometimes our jokes end up getting very exclusionary.


OK, let me be clear, because I've never complained. You've asked is it sometimes hard when we're doing like our thing? And I say yes, yeah. But I've never outwardly complained because I love it. It's such a special connection.


I would never be like, I don't like that you guys take these dumb trips, mental trips. Yes.


So the current one, there's two current ones that have developed just since he arrived on Saturday, which is we're watching a long way round and long way up that Ewan McGregor motorcycle documentary that we're obsessed with.


And we want to do the same thing, but we can't do the same things that we would be posers.


So we're going to do a show called All Terrain, where we probably drive a sweet convertible across California. Then when you get to the desert and we drive raiser's through the desert and then we get to the Rocky Mountains and we get on snowmobiles and drive like 300 miles on snowmobiles anyways, you know, then we're in fan boat in the Everglades and we're going to cross every kind of train in every kind of vehicle. And we decided the show would not be complete if we don't fly a jet.


And we thought you might get a little upset. Yeah, I got to sign off on that.


But we also sort of we kept the jet at 40 miles per hour. Yes. This is our Haak is that we know we could survive a 40 mile an hour plane crash. So it's either that or the other plan is we just take off. We think we could take off in a jet without any instruction.


What if it blows up like the space shuttle Challenger? Well, good news. Our plan is to eject. Soon as we're airborne, we're going to pull the eject button in. The canopy will blow up, and then we'll get shot into the air and then will parachute down. So we will have flown a jet, but we know we can't land one.


No, no.


Seems like an enormous source to get it to 40 cruise. Maybe in our initial thought was give it up for liftoff. We don't know if we could do it before they get up in the air and we'd be in a jet, would be hauling ass, and then we just immediately eject. And it's so frightening with I will be giving each other thumbs up in the air as we're floating down in our respective parachutes.


And this is what you guys have done your whole life.


You sit around and come up with Stu Dupa thing. Yeah, playing the other one is Aaron. I was suggesting Aaron should get a C Pap machine and we've been laughing so hard for four days about their gasoline powered and that you put them in your bedroom and you run out of gas in the middle.


And again, this isn't funny to anyone, but that's what's cute. Yeah. And then even Gaga got mad at us.


Kristen's mom, Chris, is bombs in town. And I went and I went into the kitchen and she goes, Are you all done giggling?


And I go, no, there's going to be another two weeks of it just to get everyone's expectations right. But we had the funnest day on Sunday. We went to the beach.


It was lovely. I forgot that there's a beach out here. So did I know we never go to the beach.


That's one true thing about many Los Angeles Lenos. Most people don't go to the beach.


Yeah, but we got in the ocean and we were in there for like forty five minutes the first time and then a full hour plus the second time.


Once Charlie and Matt and Ryan arrived and they were surfing and we can't do that. So we were just singing really loud and screaming tidal wave.


Oh yeah.


There's nothing better. I got a little bummed out when they said we're going to the beach this afternoon.


Yes. I immediately thought, OK, I'll do whatever.


Yeah, but this sucks and you know, because I think being super hot. Yeah. Traffic park, traffic by the ocean, the water socks.


I love legs but I've always hated the ocean.


We're like, man.


Yeah, well your legs are also deceiving. Your lakes are oceans true.


They're the best coast is the best go. Well, I've never been more wrong. The parking was easy. We have. Barillas to stay in the shade. I will say I packed all my stuff to go to the beach. I put my water bottle in. I had a bottle of wine. I had a towel, my hat.


I walked all the way to the car and I said, nope, yeah, no, I am not going to drive 45 minutes to the beach today.


I'm going to go inside to make a soup.


I just want to tell one quick plan that I think will also help summarize Aaron tonight, which is I'm going to go home with him next week. Yeah, next week.


I'm going to go home with him for a week with the sole goal of going to the cider mill, because Aaron and I never miss a trip to the cider mill around Halloween, but Aaron and I are both very allergic to be.


So what happens is we drive. It's always an hour and 20 minutes to get from Detroit to Deal Cider Mill. We get there and we're in search of hot cinnamon doughnuts in ninety nine times out of one hundred. They're not hot.


No, they've been turned off for days.


And so we get our cinnamon doughnuts and we beg them to microwave on which grounds. And then we get our big jug of apple cider, which just gives both of us diarrhea.


Twenty minutes and then we sit outside of deals, four tops five minutes because we're both allergic to bees in the bees swarm us. And then one of us goes, let's get the fuck out of here. We've never been there for a longer than five minutes, but we go every year and I'm flying home specifically just to go there for five minutes.


And we were thinking maybe this year we would just fly by and and there's something very enjoyable about unenjoyable.


Yes, that's absolutely right. Interesting.


I don't have anything like that. You know, we were on vacation a couple of months ago in Sedona. In Sedona. Yeah. And we got to this one water hole, I guess, as we swim.


How to swim, how can we get there? And everyone's like trying to get to the spa and we're walking through and everyone's falling down because the rocks are covered in moss and cutting their legs and it hurts.


And I have my Jordans, so I'm trying to not get those wet.


And I was like, this is not fun. This is not fun. Like struggling is not fun. I really enjoy it. I know you left out the part.


It always loved it. Yeah, everyone was miserable.


And it was so wonderful that half of the people enjoyed it and half the people did it. And I think it's like, how much of an adventure are you. Yeah. And I'm zero.


A pattern of canonizes. We love to go do things without any preparation. So we've taken many road trips and we don't have anything when we get there. And we've just slept in the grass many places. And again, I don't know, I like that, but I, I like it more than I like planning and packing.


I mean, yeah, I, I think there's something about us doing a show with no preparation that would be fantastic, although I don't think anybody will allow us to do it.


So we got to hire people to prepare. Well that's all right. That's better. We only have one rule is that we will not receive instruction on how to operate anything.


Yeah, especially the Jets, specifically the Jets. But, you know, one time Aaron got a motorcycle, we were eighteen or nineteen, I guess not an ideal road trip motorcycle, kind of a small motorcycle.


We're both very large.


And we decided, let's drive this motorcycle to Austin, Texas, from Detroit. And so we put two milk crates on the back of it.


That was our entire stuff. We brought in half of it with cigarettes and we started driving.


And it was I think the milk crates were specifically for when we left, got out of the Michigan border. We can throw our helmets in there.


That's no there with no helmet. You're right. You're right. That's why they were put on the machine.


But we're definitely over four hundred and forty combined pounds at that point on this little motorcycle.


And we just start writing and it's miserable right out of the gate. It's so miserable.


But we don't want to let one another down.


And this is the only time in my life where it was actually more miserable to be driving it than being passenger. So we both actually wanted to be passenger because the driver would block some of the wind. Our rule was you had to drive out a tank of gas, which is about one hundred miles. And it was it was intolerable.


And we got all the way to St. Louis and I don't know who said it first, but one of us was like, I can't do. Yeah, very few of us in the yeah. Yeah. We were there and said, yeah, well I was the passenger. Well, no. Driver and passenger, yeah, that's where most of the truck crying, so we turn the motorbike around and then as soon as we both knew we weren't having to go all the way to Texas, we got a pretty good mood.


And then we were like, let's get off the highway. And so we started taking all these country roads through Indiana and then it got kind of nice.


And then we we found someone to buy a case of beer at like a party store. And then we just found a green field and we pulled the motorcycle into the field and we just laid down and started drinking beer.


We had, again, no bedding or anything. You slept there. And this is the honest to God truth.


We're sitting there drinking some beer and then all of a sudden there's an enormous ding, ding, ding, beigbeder, Minoff.


There's an enormous ball of fire about a half mile away from us coming out of a jet engine.


Yes, yes. Ding, ding, ding. And we realize we set up camp about a half mile from a drag race track.


Oh, wow. And there was a guy in a jet dragster fucking putting the afterburners on stuff. And then we were like, oh, we were so excited. We were like, we had the best seat in the House.


And then we just went to sleep in the wet grass and we woke up super wet and we just didn't care.


Oh. Oh, my God. It was a really good trip. Aaron Crise seventy five. Yeah, but it was a good trip.


I'm happy that your parents let you guys do these adventure. Yeah. My mom loves Erin, if not the same amount as me, maybe even a little bit more. I told you she used to come in and we would be snuggling and for many years she thought we were gay in a relationship.


Yeah, yeah. She didn't care.


She but she was like, yeah, OK, they're they're dating. I guess you're right. But we just both wanted dad wanted but we wanted some male affection and we gave it to each other.


I mean you guys are still very affectionate. Each other.


I like it. We kissed last night on our AA meeting. Oh yeah.


We were doing our Zoome meeting and people get turned around. Yeah.


Yeah. That Arenda here. Really sweet thing. And I just want to give them a kiss after.


What is your first memory of each other.


Oh it's we both know it. My sixth grade, sixth grade bathroom at me were junior high. DAX was a new kid to our school halfway through the year and somehow I had lost my way between fifth sixth grade and I was kind of cool in fifth grade and the sixth grade new school. New kids. Yeah.


And I was scared and I hated my life. Yeah, they came in to the bathroom and I had seen him because he was fucking cool.


Oh yeah. Oh my. Like everyone's first impression. Oh cool. You had such a cool haircut and oh buddy came in and he said Are you Aaron Weekly. And I was like Oh oh no you like.


I thought oh that's that's all anyone did. Yes. My only thought anyway. Oh yeah.


So why didn't you say are you my best friend.


Well the whole reason I was searching for Aaron Weekly is that my I had spent half of sixth grade at another junior high and my best friend there was Kevin Gwen. And so when Kevin knew I was moving to Milford, he said, Find Aaron Weekly.


That was my best friend in fifth grade. So I was very excited to meet Aaron. But again, he wasn't exactly.


Is Kevin as so were you like are you Aaron? We are you you can't be Aaron weekly. Are you sitting there with a load of. So there was really no connection.


I just said, are you Aaron Weekly? And you said yes. And then I thought things were going to take off from there and they just didn't they didn't know.


And then sixth grade ended and then first day of seventh grade, we happened to be sitting next to each other in Mr. Nelson's social studies class.


And then really quickly, we started drawing the Balzac cowboy people really that are young.


That's where it started. So we spent most of that class drawing these Walzak cowboys to each other and laughing a lot. Mr Nelson liked us, thank God. So he had some sort of spot for us.


Yeah, I think gaggle. Yes, he was a confident man, he wasn't threatened by it, but he was threatened by your friend.


Oh, oh, oh. But then Aaron really came out of his shell and he became the coolest guy in school and everyone to be like him, right? Yeah, it was a real 180 topsy turvy.


It was like one of those movies where the girl is ugly because she has glasses on and they'll hold her and the nose matches up and let his hair down and was like, what the fuck?


Cool student school's been here the whole time, hiding in plain sight because you think you have the confidence because now you had a best friend.


Sure. Before I came out of the shells, I remember I had a girlfriend named Bob, like dating a girl.




In defense of her, her name was Roberta, but she went by Bobby, but we called her for sure.


She was like, oh, I tell tell Monica about the first time I ever came over to your house to play.


You're like, come over and let's play hockey, bring your ice skates. Oh, we go out to put our skates on. Yeah. And someone immediately wants to fight me.


Yeah. Yeah. I don't want to see you or you want to fight. No, I want nothing to do with it. This kid Josh who I don't know because I've never been in this neighborhood. I had fought him a few times already. You know, it was just something you had to do was just something you and I didn't want to fight him.


And I said to Aaron, I don't I don't know if I want to fight this guy now because I fought him a few times. You can totally win.


Yeah, I was like, OK, then the deal I brokered I don't know if you remember this, I go, I'll fight you, but we got to take our skates off because I don't want to get my throat slashed.


That was smart. I'm glad you did that. But again, I wish I could see a video of this because everyone pauses, everyone's excited to see a fight.


And I'm just my first time in the neighborhood and and then everyone pauses while we take our hockey skates off, which takes a long time. And then we don't have shoes with us. Oh, barefoot. Yeah.


Anyways, the fight lasted seven seconds.


Within seven seconds I had him pinned down and I was on top of him, even though he picked the fight with me and he was calling me every name you can imagine.


That was our first time hanging out.


Oh wow. You guys, you guys, you old boys.


All we really want to do is snuggle Kotomi. Yeah. Snuggling and then having to fight because it's just what you do.


Yeah, I there's no way I could have been a guest in his neighborhood and then not.


No, there was a way there was a gun and I don't think there was so many years later Josh who was our age.


But already at that point we were in seventh grade and he was in fifth.


He had already flunked twice. He's an unhappy guy. I guess I now have compassion for him. Yeah.


Clearly, things aren't going great for Josh.


So we go way to high school, right? Yeah. My sister rides the bus to elementary in the junior high, rode the same bus. So Josh is now in eighth grade and my sister is like a fourth grader, a third grader.


And Josh calls her a cunt on the bus. Yes. Says you're effing cunt. And a fourth grade. Yes, he was a great guy. Oh.


So my sister comes home and she is crying and she tells me this and Aaron is there and we're fifteen.


And we just get in my mom's car and we drive straight to Josh's house. We fly up in the driveway. You don't have a license. We bang on his door because I don't know who came in the door, his sister or somebody.


And we're like, Where's Josh?


And she's like, he's not here. He hasn't been here in a while.


So that mission's over.


And then I got my license like two months later, and it was roughly on my brother's like the first week I have my license and I'm driving my little sister to her, like, cheerleading practice or something.


And by God, Josh is walking down the road.


So I pull the car over, I get out of the car, I walk straight up to him, I punch him right in the face.


He falls on the ground and he goes, where did you do that? And in that moment, I think I've punched the wrong person.


I haven't seen them in three years.


And I get totally panicked that I've just hit a stranger and I go, You're Josh, right? And he goes, You're OK.


And I go, Don't ever talk to my sister again. And then I got in the car. Carly was very happy.


Yeah, we grew up on different planet. We I think so. Go back. Yeah, I feel bad. There's no way he was happy also.


Like I, I hate the part where he was mean to Carly and wanted to fight everyone but but I also I'm imagining a person walking down the street totally.


Where and someone just comes up and punches them in the face like, well, if you're 16 like that, if you're 16 and you tell a 10 year old she's a cunt, I'm sorry, but in my world, you deserve to get blasted, probably.


And you don't deserve to know what's coming.


No, but I've said this on here a bunch of times. I met Aaron and I thought, whatever I am, it's right, because this person's also that person.


And I don't really care if everyone else isn't that I know he is. And I now want to be this person. I know I am. Yeah. And I really don't think I that would have happened to me if I didn't meet Aaron. I, I don't think so either.


Well, Aaron, thanks for this podcast. Yes, we do. We wouldn't have met nothing.


What have I. But I feel the exact same way, although we already kind of talked about it. That's got me out of my shell.


Yeah. But it was also, yeah, I felt like it was a life saving moment and that I didn't give a fuck who thought, what about him? And I there was like, dare I say love at first sight.


You should dare. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.


You don't get very many of those in life. You know, some people I don't know ever get it. So it's very special.


Yeah. And we've also dipped in and out of each other's lives at different times.


And that's an important thing for people to hear from you. Just because they've lost touch with someone important doesn't mean they will find them again.


The saddest thing in the world, we used to get drunk and read it and cry is we'd always save a full page in our yearbook for one another.


And so the seventh grade entry at the end of the year is like we love each other so much.


And then by the end of eighth grade, Aaron's getting a little more daring than I am as far as being a bad boy.


And so we're starting to, like, grow apart a little bit and we know I'm going to move to another high school. Right. So the eighth grade page is so sad. It's really sad.


Like, well, it's like we know we're kind of being honest about it. Yeah, I remember. I can think of some of the sentences Dex wrote, and I was like, I love you so much. Please know that a 15 minute high is worth a one million dollar a year baseball.


Oh contract and give you the game. You're already worried about your career now?


I have a son in eighth grade. Yeah. Like I yeah, he has friends but I don't I think that doesn't happen too often. Yeah. Where two boys express their feelings as much as we did I yeah.


I hope we're living in a time now where that's getting more acceptable. Yeah. And the boys can be more openly affectionate in each other's yearbooks and stuff.


It's really interesting when I hear that I was well intentioned, but also it's already one of my character defects coming out, which is like I'm basically telling him how he should be and he's already feeling bad that he's doing things. And I'm now amplifying that. And I'm kind of taking this position of I know what's best for all around.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. I really I really like that. But yeah, yeah.


When you're feeling bad and scared and you're making bad decisions and making bad decisions because you don't believe in yourself, and then so the way probably to help isn't be like you're going to lose everything.


I don't know. I just 15 minutes I did I didn't ever read the sentences and read it and that tone. Oh good. Yeah. I don't know.


I only read it as if you were worried about I was worried about you. I loved you.


And then ninth and tenth grade we kind of grew apart and then Aaron ended up getting sober. I feel like that's how we started hanging again. And then so we would go to these meetings together and then we, then we got back in love and we were sober together all of twelfth grade.


And we took all these crazy road trips and we lived in the car and then we graduated high school together.


And then we live in the car for like six months and drove around the country. And then I moved here.


And that was a hurdle. But also I wasn't too big of a hurdle.


Every time I went home, I spent every single day with Arron. I'd spend the whole summer there. And then I got sober at twenty nine and Aaron didn't quite the opposite pedal to the metal.


So that caused a little bit of some friction.


Yeah, well just I will say inherence defense. Whenever I came home he like pretty got his shit together and he'll meet me at every restaurant we get to hang out and everything, but it's just clear from way different trajectories. And I'm also like super want him to be sober with me. And I also don't want to be luxury.


But anyways, now Aaron's sober and I the greatest thing ever allowed to say that we are very much alive. I'm very proud to be sober now.


Almost eleven months in our last episode with Ali Raisman, you said, I always use the attraction approach and I don't ever like tell someone they need to get sober. I've only done it once. And then I cut where you said I did a. My childhood best friend, because I knew everyone knew it would be Aaron and I didn't know what to say that, so I cut that. But yes, so you you helped Aaron.


I called him and said, I think it's time probably to go to treatment and anything I can do to help, I'll do it to my great delight in shock.


He said, I think so too.


I did not think it was ever going to happen. It worked out that way this time.


And then Aaron went a couple of weeks ago when DAX told you were you like, oh, my God, we just can't get on the same day.


Oh, God, how I felt. Well, of course, my first thought was worried.


Yes. And then right away, I. I mean, Jesus, we are so human. And I thought, I mean, understanding how our brains work being addicts. Yeah. It wasn't like the most surprising thing in the world, right? It is.


I think I shared one of my many reasons I gave myself to not be honest about it was like, I can't do this now. I'm like, Aaron's finally back to my life and Aaron's finally on this road. And now if I collapse, is that going to impact him? Yeah, yeah, yeah. But what's so awesome is all that happened was like it just flipped. So I was like, all right, I'll come see. I'll come be with you.


So he now he's the elder and I'm going to ask him to sponsor. Right. Well, I think we should come back on to just talk about the tour we're all going to take.


OK, yeah, I'm Big Brown and just put an earmark in that.


But just know that we are all going on tour. Yes. There's no performance. Just we'll be on tour and we're going to where Waylon Jennings shirts every day and we're going to have merch.


But it's not for anything. No.


And we're going to set up shop in like many come and goes across the country, just all gas stations. And we'll make sure we announce every time we're going to be somewhere on tour. But don't expect a show or anything because we can't play and selling T-shirts.


Yeah, possibly. You can watch me sleep in my sleep.


Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. This is so lovely. I'm so glad you join that. I'm so happy to pop these headphones on and be when I was I have been so nervous if you would ever ask me to sit down with you. Yeah. In recent years. But God damn it, you did it. I love it. So what are the facts. Oh yeah.


I forgot. OK, well we've three facts and I'll just blow through. OK, sorry djangirov.


Sorry he was awesome.


But let's just say that and what I didn't really get to tell him, I mean it wasn't, I didn't get to, I felt like I shouldn't tell him that he was definitely one of my top three boys. But any posters. Oh tons of posters even in the Monacan Jess Love Boys picture that we took artwork that we took. I used my real old cutouts and there's a few of them are Bon Jovi.


Oh, really? Oh, I loved him in my childhood. Best friend Gina were obsessed with him. She introduced him to me and we would go to his concerts and we were just like these two little girls and Bon Jovi concert.


What kind of feelings did you have there? Sexual. Sexual. Oh, yeah, that's right.


Yeah, he was and still is so hot. Yeah.


He's a sex machine. He is a he's like a sex God. OK, so his manager is Irving Azoff and he said he's legendary and we didn't know him. So just a few few bands. Ario Speedwagon. Sure. Dan Fogelberg, the Eagles.


Oh come on.


I know he also produced some movies, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. White Urban Cowboy.


Oh, Jack Frost above the rim. No, too OK. He said when he would sneak into bars, Yds didn't have photos on them. So according to my research, oh, photo I.D. appeared in 1870.


Oh well, OK.


And it said it did not become widely used until the early twentieth century. Oh ok. Well nope. Still OK.


Yeah, OK. Well before the photographs became part of passports and other ID documents such as driver's licenses, all of which came to be referred to as photo IDs, but he was definitely alive during photo I.D..


OK, well, I'm sorry. Well, so John drove he was sneaking into bars. I, I don't know if you remember of tax, but as a teenager, I had I got a paper ID. I'm waiting for a regular I.D. and we just took a pencil and wrote that year and I went to Kroger, but it was still a grocery store.


It was your. Was it?


No, I mean, you get you get a paper temporary before they process that photo, you know, photo I.D. and I bought many of cases of trysting, OK, but they were sending you a photo ID.


So I was like in the interim, this is what I had. Oh, wow.


That's interesting. And also, I'm six months older than Arun's, so the second I turned twenty one, I gave him my license and instead mine was lost and got another one. So we would both be DAX Shepard going into places that happened to me.


So in college I had a fake I.D. too.


But before I got one, I was still in high school. I was 17. Oh. And we went to Athens, my college town, to visit for a weekend. And so we knew we could only get into the 18 and up bar. Right.


But I wasn't even 18. Uh huh. So I had to use we passed back Cowley's I.D., very white girl, very Caucasian.


Caucasoid do not look alike. And it worked.


People just like.


Yeah, yeah.


And I had a paper I.D. I never had what you did where you get like most people had their sister's I.D. and no one looked like me.


So I couldn't do that. So I had a paper one and it was really good. And it got me all the way through college. And I was two weeks from graduating and it got taken.


Oh, really? At what bar? I think it was called Boar's Head.


Oh, right. Yeah.


Do you know how many times I bought beer and I had to explain to the person that my mom named me DACs because it was out of those books, you know, and it was a really hard idea to have when your name is DACs and I was living in Georgia. Oh. And like in the mountains and white county and which was an actual dry county. But right outside there were about the beer. Everyone knew your fucking they have DACs while I live in Georgia anois name, right.


Oh yeah. Everyone wanted to know. Yeah but you got sick of it in a hurry.


So many cab rides of all the girls trying to memorize all the parts on the ID.


All right. Birthday and where they're from in case they got ass because they're always somebody a friend of a friend.


Yeah. Well you know, this really silly thing that happened to Aaron and I from I guess seventeen until twenty five, we don't look that much alike, do you think?


No. No. Right. Yeah, we got asked.


I'm saying once every three days if you were brothers, not brothers. Twins, we're twins. People constantly asked if we were twins. That's crazy. Maybe they just felt it.


I think we were so similar in how we talked and everything, but yeah. Yeah, yeah, we loved it. OK, last fact, he thought Bono was the same age, maybe a few months older. Jon Bon Jovi JJ is born in nineteen sixty two and Bono was born in nineteen sixty so two years.


So John Immler. Jon Bon Jovi is older.


OK, two years. Yeah. Well I feel very flattered that that big dog came on our side.


It was a real full circle moment for me as well.


Aaron, we love you. I love you. I love you. Love you. Bye bye.