Posts Tagged ‘Bon Jovi’

Forget ‘The Situation’: In The Wake Of Reality Hits Like ‘Jersey Shore,’ Oxygen Has A Special On Real New Jersey-Bred Celebrities

July 8, 2010

Oxygen is doing a special on celebs that really are from New Jersey, not the upstarts of Jersey Shore

Jersey is hot.

No, we’re not talking about the thermometer hitting 105 degrees in Newark this week.

We’re talking about the much-hyped flood of reality shows set in the state, namely “Jersey Shore,” “Jerseylicious,” “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” and “Jersey Couture.”

Jersey girl and Jersey defender that we are, we’ve often noted that the much-maligned Garden State was/is the home of talented folks. We’re not talking about The Situation. And, no offense, we’re not talking about Tracy and Olivia on “Jerseylicious.”

We’re talking about talent like Jack Nicholson and Martha Stewart, people beyond famous native sons like Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi.

Well, Oxygen announced Thursday that it was doing a special on exactly that topic. It’s called “25IEST: Jersey Celebs” and will air July 20, after the finale of “Jersey Couture.”

The list from our NewJerseyNewsroom.com editor of Hollywood’s Jersey-born A list includes Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis, Danny DeVito,
Susan Sarandon, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Kirsten Dunst, James Gandolfini, Ed Harris, Queen Latifah, Ray Liotta, Jay Mohr,
Joe Pesci, John Travolta, Christina Ricci, Whitney Houston, Piper Perabo and Brooke Shields.

Here is the Oxygen press release. Jersey haters, read it and weep.

ARE YOU FROM JERSEY?

OXYGEN MEDIA UNCOVERS HOLLYWOOD’S JERSEY ROOTS WITH

“25IEST: JERSEY CELEBS” PREMIERES TUESDAY, JULY 20 AT 11PM ET/PT

One Hour Special Featuring Ann Hathaway, Wendy Williams and Martha Stewart Follows Season Finale of Original Series “Jersey Couture” at 10pm ET/PT

New York, NY – July 8, 2010 – Oxygen counts down Jersey’s Top 25 celebrities who were either born in, raised in, or have lived in the hottest of states when Oxygen’s “25iest: Jersey Celebs” premieres on Tuesday, July 20 at 11pm ET/PT. The one-hour special follows the season finale of original series of “Jersey Couture,” featuring the Scalis (New Jersey’s “First Family of Fashion”).

Viewers will be surprised when the special reveals which celebs embody the classic Jersey attributes of brashness and bling, and which go against the stereotype. From typical Jerseyites like Wendy Williams and Bruce Springsteen to surprise Jerseyites like Martha Stewart and Anne Hathaway, “25iest: Jersey Celebs” will have you rethinking what’s great about the Garden State.

“Oxygen’s 25iest” is a series of fast-paced pop-culture filled countdown specials of today’s hottest people and trends. Whether it’s the “25iest Bad Girls Gone Good,” the “25iest Celeb-U-Tots,” or the “25iest Hollywood’s Most Outrageous Celebrity Gifts,” Oxygen lists the favorites with added trivia and gossip.

At least Tracy and Olivia, of the hit Jerseylicious, are really from Jersey

And during the season finale of “Jersey Couture,” Chrissy, Kim and Diane realize that they have different visions for the future of Diane and Co. And Chrissy is forced to contemplate her place in the business.

“Oxygen’s 25iest: Jersey Celebs” is executive produced by Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato and Tom Campbell of World of Wonder Productions and Gabriel Rotello served as co-executive producer from World of Wonder.

“Jersey Couture” is produced by Magilla Entertainment with Brian Flanagan and Matthew Ostrom serving as executive producers. Laura Palumbo Johnson and Jacqueline Cardillo Garofano are co-executive producers.

Just A ‘Jerseylicious” Thursday In Jersey: Chatting With Briella, Olivia’s Roommate, And Getting A Cut From The Wife Of A Cover Band’s Bon Jovi

June 4, 2010

We had to take care of important business yesterday: Getting those unsightly grey hairs to disappear and trying to get our mop of curls under control. We love our sister Karen’s hair, so we went to her salon, where Briella Calafiore of “Jerseylicous” is a stylist and colorist.

Blonde Briella, first seen in the opening of the premiere episode of “Jerseylicious” sharing disco fries in a diner with Olivia Sharpe Blois, works at the Fusion Spa and Salon on Route 46 in Denville, N.J.

She was in yesterday, busy working on two pretty blondes who came in. You never got to see Briella practice her craft on “Jerseylicious,” since she doesn’t work at ther Gatsby Salon, but we did yesterday. Briella, who was Olivia’s roommate and caused some fireworks with Tracy DiMarco last season on the reality show, is quite talented.

While we were getting our single process done, sitting by a sink, we watched Briella do the hair of a long-haired blonde teen who goes to our alma mater, Parsippany Hills High School. The young lady was going to a prom that night, and Briella did long curls on the back of her hair, and then pulled up the front. It looked great.

Then we were intrigued to see Briella put in long blonde extensions on another women, advising her about how to take care of them. They look pretty dramatic on the client, and we would never guess she was wearing extensions. But we’ll think twcie now about envying any woman with perfect long hair, since it most likely isn’t hers.

We got our hair done by someone who knows the trials and tribulations of having curly hair like us, because she has it, stylist/colorist Michelle Parks. The salon was recently trained in cutting curly hair using the technique that the well-known Manhattan salon Oiudad, which has made curls its speciality, uses, Michelle told us.

She did a great cut, but it will take us a bit of time to get used to going back to our darker hair. Every hairdresser says we should go darker, not blonder, so maybe its wise advice. Maybe it’s best to play up that dark Latina thang, rather than trying to be the tow-haired woman that we are not. But we’re not giving up our highlights.

And since this is Jersey, there had to be a Bon Jovi connection. Michelle’s husband is the lead singer in the premier Bon Jovi tribute band, Slippery When Wet. In fact, Jon Bon Jovi once said that he had heard that Slippery When Wet was the best of the Bon Jovi cover bands, because the singer — Michelle’s hubby — could hit all the high notes.

Michelle does her husband’s hair a la Jon in the height of the era of the hair bands. We told her that we and Karen had met some of the guys, and that we interviewed Jon and Richie Sambora, for two stories we did for NewJerseyNewsroom.com on the group and their documentary, which aired on Showtime.

Back to Briella. “Jerseylicious” was a hit for the Style Network and will be returning for a second season. Briella will be back for Season 2, she told us as we were getting our hair washed.

Happy Anniversary: We Got Laid Off Exactly One Year Ago, Jan. 26, And Have Lived To Talk About The Joys Of Being Pink-Slipped

January 27, 2010

This is the only blog I’ll ever write in the first person here. I debated all day whether to write it, but I must.

Last January was the biggest month for layoffs last year, I’ve read. And I, and several close colleagues, were among those who were pink-slipped. The three boxes, with 16 years of memories, that I packed up that week are still sitting near the door inside my condo. Reed Business Information, my ex-employer, paid for the shipping.

Being laid off has its rewards, like getting free margaritas and meeting Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora

I guess there are a lot of people who are a lot more resilient than I am, but I took it hard. It’s tough when you’ve been getting in work by 7:15 a.m., and leaving at 6 p.m. or later, working on weekends, working on vacations, to screech down to zero miles an hour.

For several months, I could not eat. For several months, I could not sleep. For several months, I literally could not smile. For several months, I could not laugh. For several months, I could not listen to music. For several months, I did not have one minute of happiness. No exaggeration.

I saw “Up In The Air” recently — which features folk who were laid off in real life in the movie as actors — expressing their anger at being fired. I almost wish I had thrown everything off the table like some of those people, instead of acting “professional.” But what goes around comes around. The HR guy who gave me my bad news was himself laid off recently.

You know those cliches you hear about, about finding out who your real friends are? Those cliches are true. You don’t hear a peep from your good “friends” at work. The PR people who loved you at upfront parties don’t return your phone calls. The cable network presidents who always seemed to enjoy chatting with you when you were employed are curt during phone calls. Some idiot asked one of my laid-off compadres how they where enjoying their “vacation.”

People — and I’ve interviewed them in my new incarnation — have survived real challenges and tragedies, like cancer or losing a loved one. What about the people in Haiti? So boo-hoo for me being upset about not having a job. Big deal. Don’t whine. But like I said, it hit me hard. At one point, I even feared I could never write a story again.

New Jersey became the new Hollywood for reality TV, and I wrote about the trend and the shows, like Jersey Shore

But my family and true friends pulled me through, and this is my thank-you note to them. You guys know who you are, in Parsippany, Whippany, Staten Island, Wyckoff and Westfield, and Vermont.

And the tide turned for me.

When I filed my first major story after my layoff, for a startup Web site, the editor said it was the cleanest story he ever read.

A very kind PR executive at a local hospital chain gave me a break, and let me do volunteer work for her department. Several of my press releases got placement, in papers including The Star-Ledger. I had the honor of interviewing people who wept as they told me how the hospital had saved their lives. I loved writing their stories.

Bon Jovi released a new album, and Showtime aired a documentary on them. I got to go a screening, where they served margaritas (my favorite), and I later interviewed the band. It became another story that generated a lot of Web traffic.

All of a sudden New Jersey, of all places, became a mecca for reality TV shows like “Jersey Shore.” And I was able to write stories about the shows, and about the trend. They were among the Web site’s Top-10 viewed stories.

Who wouldn't want to write about Kurt Sutter, creator and showrunner of FX's Sons of Anarchy?

I got back on the cable-network PR radar, and was able to interview and write about Kurt Sutter, creator of one of my favorite shows, FX “Sons of Anarchy.” Hey, he’s from Jersey.

I realized I still had my reporting chops when a got nice exclusive for TVNewscheck. It felt great.

Cablevision, with 900,000 customers in New Jersey, and Food Network got in a fight. Another story for me.

I posted a note on my bulletin board shortly after I was pink-slipped. It’s a quote from Western author Louis L’Amour: “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.”

It turned out to be true. Without my layoff, I would never have been able to tell the tales of those who were saved by the hospital, and I would not have met the great women in the PR department there.

I would not have sat down and eaten in a soup kitchen, as I did as part of my research for a series on the Salvation Army. The people eating there, some homeless, were so kind. Seeing me as a newcomer, and not knowing I was a reporter, one came over and welcomed me.

I launched my home shopping blog when Suzanne Somers moved from HSN to ShopNBC

I wouldn’t have had the nerve to start a blog, on home shopping, timed to coincide with Suzanne Somers’ move to ShopNBC from HSN, a seismic shift in that little world. In only five months, people in the home-shopping industry tell me Homeshoppingista is now a must-read for them.

I have had to think long and hard about what I want to do.

On “Southland” — right now airing on my TV, and on TNT — one character says, “You’re a cop because you don’t know how not to be one.”

I’m a writer because I don’t know how not to be one.

Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora, The Homeshoppingista Chat At ‘When We Were Beautful’ Party: We Jersey Folk Speak The Same Language

October 23, 2009
Sambora, Torres and The Homeshoppingista

The Homeshoppingista and Sambora

Here it is, our first photo download! And what a download it is, a shot of Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora and The Homeshoppingista. The man in the middle in the background is drummer Tico Torres.

OK, we know it’s just the back of our head, but that’s the best sister Karen could do at the party after Showtime’s screening of “Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful.” It airs Saturday.

Richie, a fellow Jersey person, looks fascinated by our question, doesn’t he? Heather Locklear and Denise Richards have nothing on us (sure).

To read his frank comments to us about the film, check out our story on NewJerseyNewsroom.com.

But here is one Sambora quote from that story, about the rock-star life.

“Everybody kind of looks at us like we’re exempt from human tragedy or whatever goes on in people’s lives,” Sambora told us. “That’s not true. We’re just regular guys. Because when we go home, we f–king take the garbage out just like everybody else.”

We have to run. We’re late for our volunteer work for the PR department of a big hospital chain, where we are writing about serious life-and-death issues.

Lisa, we have the “When We Were Beautiful” DVD for you. We’re on our way.

These Jersey Boys Are Still Looking Good To Us: Bon Jovi Documentary ‘When We Were Beautiful’ Airs Saturday On Showtime

October 22, 2009

We don’t want to keep you hanging. We filed our story on the screening of “Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful,” which we attended Wednesday night. Showtime will air the documentary Saturday.

At the after-party in Tribeca, we snagged a few quotes from our Jersey boys, band leader Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. We have to shout out the cliche that everyone says when they see a star in person: The band members were shorter than we expected, and Richie was very thin. But they looked good, and Richie was great.

The first story on NewJerseyNewsroom.com includes the chats with the band members and an interview with the director, Phil Griffin.

We also did a second story focusing on the film itself, which is a behind-the-scenes look at Bon Jovi’s 2008 Lost Highway World Tour.

We’re still waiting for a download of our photo with Richie.

We Partied With Jersey Boys Bon Jovi, And Now We’re Paying For It

October 22, 2009

We apologize, but new home shopping posts will be late today. We spent Wednesday night at a screening of a Showtime documentary on our fellow Jerseyites Bon Jovi.

At the after-party, we briefly interviewed Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. We caught the director Phil Griffin at the theater.

It was a late evening, and now we are transcribing our interviews for a story on the documentary, “When We Were Beautiful,” for NewJerseyNewsroom.com.

Showtime knows how to do a screening. Tequila maker Hornitos sponsored the event, serving all kinds of tequila drinks, so the crowd was liquored up when they went in to watch the film. We have a small bottle of Hornitos, which we copped at the after-party, sitting on our kitchen table.

Sister Karen came with us, and we all shared a cab with Ira from Brooklyn to go to the party in Tribeca.

We’re hoping to be able to download a photo Karen took of us and Sambora on the blog, so you can finally see what we look like.

Bon Jovi is on a promotion blitz for its new CD, “The Circle.”

From QVC To FX: Shameless Self-Promotion Of Our Interview With Kurt Sutter, Creator of TV’s Edgy ‘Sons of Anarchy’

October 19, 2009

We told you that home shopping is one of our guilty pleasures, but great TV programming is also one of our passions. And FX is one of our favorite networks, and its drama “Sons of Anarchy” is one of our favorite shows.

Today our interview with Kurt Sutter, a fellow New Jersey native and the creator/producer of  “Sons,” is on NewJerseyNewsroom.com. It’s a Web site, started by former Star-Ledger reporters, that we have been writing for while looking for a full-time gig.

Some may think it strange that we can turn from the safe haven of QVC to FX, home of some of TV’s most risk-taking shows. But we’re interested in many aspects of pop culture. That’s how we roll.

If you don’t like sex, nudity and violence on TV, don’t tune to “Sons of Anarchy.” But we do, and that’s part of the reason we watch the show. But we’re also drawn because it’s a compelling drama. The lead, Charlie Hunnam, is pretty easy on the eyes, too.

“Sons” is about an outlaw motorcycle club in California, with elements of “Hamlet.” Sutter, who is from Clark, N.J., also has a small role in the show as jailed Sons of Anarchy member Big Otto. Sutter’s wife, actress Katey Sagal, plays the tough matriarch of the club, Gemma.

We also have a second story on how Sutter feels about the business of TV up on NewJerseyNewroom.com.

Although Sutter is no fan of New Jersey, like many natives who have gone on to bigger and better things, he is proud of his blue-collar roots and work ethic.

We’ve heard another Jersey guy, actor James Gandolfini of “The Sopranos,” make the exact same comments about his background and its impact on his career.

And need we state the obvious: Bruce Springsteen.

We’re cut from that same Jersey blue-collar cloth.

Sutter may not talk up Jersey, but it’s like being a lapsed Catholic. You may try to shake off the religion, but it sticks with you. So does Jersey. Sutter was down to earth and nice, not a Hollywood prima donna.

Right now we’re working on a story on a Bon Jovi documentary that will air on Showtime.

In that doc, Tico Torres articulates his thoughts about what it means to be from the Tri-State area when he talks about Bon Jovi.

“We’re going to fight to make it the best band, the best music and the best show possible,” he says. “That’s inherent in our upbringing. That’s a Jersey-New York signature. You’ll find it with anybody from that area.”