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Bon Jovi fans span generations

Rock and roll used to be a symbol of everything parents thought was wrong about teenagers. But for Keri Davidson,…

By Jacqueline Ronson , in Feature story Life , on April 3, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Kathy Davidson with Keri, 3. Kathy is pregnant with Lisa, and wears a 1995 Bon Jovi tour shirt. Source: Kathy Davidson

Rock and roll used to be a symbol of everything parents thought was wrong about teenagers. But for Keri Davidson, 17, a common interest in 80s rock music brings her and her mom closer together.

“It’s pretty much the only thing we have in common.”

Keri and her mom Kathy Davidson, 40, both love Bon Jovi.

Once a symbol of rebellion, rock music is now mainstream. Teenagers actually like the music that came out of their parents’ generation, and this could be a reason for less perceived inter-generational conflict, according to a 2009 report from the Pew Research Center.

Kathy could never share music with her parents the way she does with her daughters Keri and Lisa.

“Thinking of the music my parents listened to, I don’t like it at all,” said Kathy.

She fell in love with Bon Jovi at age 13 when she first saw him on television in 1983. The band’s good looks earned the adoration of Kathy and her girl friends.

“We used to get the Teen Beat magazines and we used to cut all the pictures out and put them on the wall,” she said.

Delaney Cowling, Angela Cowling, Kathy Davidson, Sidney Cowling and Lisa Davidson wait outside the Rogers Arena in Vancouver for a Bon Jovi concert, March 25 2011
Delaney Cowling, Angela Cowling, Kathy Davidson, Sidney Cowling and Lisa Davidson wait for the Bon Jovi concert

Mother-daughter teams

Kathy was pregnant with Lisa, now 14, when she saw her first Bon Jovi concert in 1995. She still has the ticket stub.

Kathy took Lisa to her first Bon Jovi concert Friday at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

The mostly female line up outside the venue was peppered with mother-daughter teams. One daughter admitted that she only came because her mom bought her a ticket.

Others had clearly surpassed their mothers as fanatics. Delaney Cowling, 16, has all the band’s CDs, including their solo projects and a signed CD she earned by advertising for the band as part of the Bon Jovi Street Team.

“Anything you want to know about them, she knows it,” said Delaney’s mom Angela Cowling.

Delaney’s sister Sidney Cowling, 14, couldn’t wait for the show.

Angela, Delaney and Sidney would return the next night to do it all over again.

That evening in Victoria, Tami Tate, 45, tweeted about her plans to come for Saturday night’s performance.

“Off to YVR tomorrow to take my 74 year old Mom to Bon Jovi. Bucket list item for my mom. How cool is that? I want to be like that at 74!!”

Related: Grandma at the Bon Jovi show

‘This guy is really hot’

Kathy introduced her daughters to Bon Jovi a few years ago when she showed them an old VHS from the 1989 New Jersey Tour.

“I said to the girls, ‘you gotta watch this, this guy is really hot!’”, Kathy said. “They just got hooked after that.”

Now Keri seeks out Bon Jovi music, information and merchandise, just like her mom did 27 years ago.

“I look for shirts and CDs, and anything i can get my hands on.”

Sidney Cowling, 14, made a countdown chain leading up to the Vancouver concert. Source: Angela Cowling

Keri said she likes sharing her love for Bon Jovi with her mom, but she doesn’t follow her parents’ music taste blindly.

“I like heavy metal bands and they don’t. They think it’s too loud and angry.”

She said her friends are into popular artists like Rihanna and Nicky Minaj, but she prefers to listen to her dad’s old music collection on the record player she got for her 16th birthday.

Kathy said she enjoys reliving her teenage years through her daughters.

“It takes you back to that time again, and you feel like you’re doing it all over again.”

And while Kathy said that the band has only gotten better with age, she admits that her renewed interest in Bon Jovi is really about having fun with her daughters.

“I just really enjoy spending that time with them and having them be excited about something that I was just as excited about.”

She said her girls are mostly interested in going to the concerts because they think Bon Jovi is hot. That was all that counted when she was 16, too.

“They probably don’t care who they’re with. But one day they’ll realize. One day when they’re older and they have their kids, they’ll see it.”


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