Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bon Jovi -- "Wanted Dead or Alive" (1986)

I'm a cowboy
On a steel horse I ride

Jon Bon Jovi is so full of crap that it's a 100% lock that his eyes are brown.

In this song, he would have you believe that he's just a humble rock-and-roll journeyman, slogging from town to town in hopes of eking out enough money to keep body and soul together and put gas in the tour bus.  He's sleep-deprived and lonely, but it's all worth it:

I been everywhere, and I'm standing tall
I've seen a million faces and I've rocked 'em all!

If you watch the official music video for "Wanted Dead or Alive," you can see that Jon Bon Jovi and his bandmates spend a lot more time riding big-ass chartered jets than steel horses:

I, on the other hand, spend a lot of time riding steel horses that aren't contributing to global warming by burning up a couple of tons of aviation fuel every hour.  My steel horses are powered not by fossil fuel, but rather by two magnificently sculpted (albeit somewhat hairy) thighs.

Here's one of my steel horses -- my battered, 20-year-old Mongoose "Rockadile" mountain bike:

And here's the steel (or perhaps aluminum) horse I rented when I was in Rochester, Minnesota last month:

I was in Rochester to help my parents navigate the Mayo Clinic.  On our first day there, they had eleven appointments over a nine-hour period -- we didn't even have time for lunch.  But on our second day, we were done by noon.  After lunch, I dropped them back at our hotel so they could rest up, while I went in search of a bike ride.

Rochester is not a large city -- it has a population of just over 100,000 souls -- but it has an extensive system of paved hiking-biking trails: 85+ miles.  In addition, the southern terminus of the 12.5-mile-long Douglas State Trail is in Rochester.

I began my ride at Silver Lake, a small freshwater lake just north of downtown Rochester.  The municipal electric utility uses Silver Lake for cooling its boiler water, so it never freezes -- even in the brutal Minnesota winters.  The warm water attracts a large flock of Canada geese, who hang out at Silver Lake year round:

You can rent paddleboats with supplemental electric motors at Silver Lake:

You can also rent bikes.  The selection is very limited -- especially for a strapping lad like yours truly.  I saddled up just about every bike they had, hoping to find one with a large enough frame to fit me.  I eventually found the Mongoose hybrid depicted above.  It was smaller than what I needed, but if I raised the seat well above the warning line printed on the seat post, it was acceptable. 

The Rochester trail system is unusually well-marked:

After riding west several miles on the city trails -- most of which bordered busy streets -- I finally hit the Douglas State Trail.   It occupies a section of the abandoned right-of-way of the Chicago Great Western Railway, which once linked Chicago with Minneapolis-St. Paul, Des Moines, Omaha, and Kansas City.  Minutes later, I had left the city far behind and was riding through the rich Minnesota farmland. 

The Douglas State Trail requires passes if you want to ride a real horse on it, or if you want to use it for cross-country skiing:

Horseback riders not only need a special permit to ride the trail, but also have to get off and walk over this bridge:

Fortunately for me, the People's Republic of Minnesota doesn't require a permit or charge a fee for bikers to ride on the trail.

Here's an old railway mile post that still stands (barely) adjacent to the old railroad right-of-way.  Looks like it was 136 miles to somewhere from where I was:

On my way back to Silver Lake, I rode along Cascade Creek, which flows through a residential neighborhood in Rochester:

After riding roughly 22 miles, I was ready for a quick visit to the 63 Club for another pint of Grain Belt before joining my parents for dinner -- carryout pizza at our hotel:

Jon Bon Jovi started life off in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, as John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.  He was the son of a barber and a former Playboy Bunny (both of whom had been Marines).  

Jon was a music-obsessed kid, and was playing clubs by the time he was 16.  The first song he recorded, "R2-D2, We Wish You a Merry Christmas," was released on the 1980 album, Christmas in the Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album:  

(That was really bad, wasn't it?)

Bon Jovi was a hugely successful band, so Jon has been rolling in the dough for years.  Today, he's just another ex-bad boy rocker who has sold out and become part of the establishment.  He's campaigned and raised money for the Democrats in the last four Presidential elections, and has also attached his lips firmly to the backsides of local politicians -- especially former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, a filthy-rich Wall Street type who was the CEO of MF Global, a financial derivatives broker that went bankrupt in 2011, sticking its customers with $1.6 billion in losses.  

Corzine really didn't need Bon Jovi's money -- he's the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, and made a cool $400 million when the firm went public.  He spent about $130 million of that on his successful 2000 Senate and 2005 gubernatorial campaigns and on his unsuccessful 2009 re-election campaign.

President Obama campaigning for Corzine
By the way, it looks like Corzine won't be criminally prosecuted even though he knew or should have known that the company was illegally using client funds in a desperate attempt to stay solvent.   The Wall Street Journal recently wondered if Corzine was given a get-out-of-jail-free card by the Justice Department because he was a major fundraiser for the campaign of President Obama, who once referred to him as "our Wall Street guy.")  

Here's "Wanted Dead or Alive."  (It's a great song, but I still say the guy is full of crap.)

Click here to buy the song from Amazon:

No comments:

Post a Comment