David Bergman went on tour with Bon Jovi every night for four years and the result is Work, a beautiful and insightful coffee table book. Bon Jovi fans, this one’s definitely for you. Bergman shot more than 800,000 images at more than 200 concerts during “The Circle” and “What About Now” tours. The best of those frames are here, in a 210-page hardcover book that could also be used as a bulletproof vest, weighing in at almost five pounds.
Look. Although I’m not the biggest Bon Jovi fan, I do remember being one in younger years, and I LOVE to read or view anything that smacks of a rockumentary. And this does. The images are grouped into five “work” themes (Get to Work, This Ain’t Work, Hard Work, etc.) and illuminate varying aspects of life on the road. The takeaway? Bon Jovi – the man, the band, and the crew – is a badass operation that understands and appreciates the love of its fans worldwide and would do anything to make ‘em smile. Honestly, not to get all gushy, but this really is a delightful book. Kudos to David Bergman for his honest and poignant photos. They remind the reader that legendary bands get that way by working their butts off and caring about the quality of their craft.
May I now reiterate that this book is slam-dunk Christmas present for the Bon Jovi fan in your life?
The eye candy in this book is immense, whether it’s Jon ripping his shirt off or a crazed fan in Montreal desperately clawing for him. Hilarious and kinda scary.
All the band members get their glory shots. There’s Richie in Oklahoma, throwing his head back, eyes closed, riffing on his double neck Telecaster like only he can. There’s David flashing his pearly whites in Toronto while rocking keyboards like the Tony-award winning composer that he is. Tico is featured annihilating the skins and painting at home in Florida. It’s cool.
But it’s not all about looking good. You’ll see Jon in great pain in Helsinki after tearing up his left meniscus. Did a single concert get canceled, despite surgery? Hell no. There’s a great shot of Jon’s private room under the stage, where he mentally resets next to a picture of Sinatra. You’ll see a batch of personal photos taken by Jon, who started to pick Bergman’s brain about photography as the tours went on.
From Edinburgh to Tokyo to Fresno, the band gives its fans the hits, the energy, and the love every night. You’ll see it here, through the lens of an empathetic photographer with a keen eye for what’s normally unseen.
Favorite moments: Jon walking an Australian fan down the aisle in Vegas, contemplating a Lambeau Leap, and shaking a doctor’s hand from a hospital bed in Dublin. WORK is like an episode of “Behind the Music” without the commercials. Gotta have it.