Bon Jovi inspires the songs of 'Stand Up Guys"

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One of the most influential music artists of the past quarter century, a GRAMMY® winner, Golden Globe winner, humanitarian and an inductee into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Bon Jovi had his first film music writing assignment more than two decades ago with director Geoff Murphy's western "Young Guns II," and captured an Academy Award® nomination and won the Golden Globe for his original song "Blaze of Glory." For “Stand Up Guys” he immersed himself in the script and wrote “Not Running Anymore” and “Old Habits Die Hard.”

With the message of friendship and loyalty between the characters of Val and Doc, singer/songwriter/musician Jon Bon Jovi was eager to write for “Stand Up Guys.” “After reading the script, I was really taken by the ideas of trust and the brotherhood of these two guys. These are underlying themes in a lot of my songs.”

“Whenever I’m writing a song, as I did with ‘Not Running Anymore,’ I put myself in the place of the character, in this case Al Pacino’s character, Val, who for twenty-eight years has never said a word about what led to his jail sentence,” Bon Jovi says. “He is the quintessential ‘stand up guy,’ he didn’t betray his friends. They went on and lived a life without him, but he was always not far away from their hearts.”

Bon Jovi the actor was able to put himself in the character’s shoes as he was writing the songs for the film. “When Val goes to confession and the priest says, ‘No hail Mary's are going to save you this time,’ there it was, I just put myself in the confessional booth in the first line of the lyrics. ‘Bless me Father, I have sinned …’”

The inspiration for “Old Habits Die Hard” also came directly from the dialogue in the film. “On page one, scene one, when I first sat down with my guitar and started to come up with melodies, it was stream of consciousness. But again, I wanted to be in the character and in the moment.” And there’s a line of dialogue that would not typically be a song lyric,” says Bon Jovi, “but it’s the first line of the song  -- ‘You look like shit,’ ‘So do you, my brother’ – now I’ve got these two brothers, pals talking to each other, and we take off from there.”

Director Fisher Stevens is admittedly obsessed with music. “The music is one of my favorite things about this movie,” Stevens says. “We have Muddy Waters, Baby Huey and Charles Bradley who’s a 70 year old singer who has just been rediscovered. He’s amazing. Then there’s this guy, I don’t know if anyone has ever heard of him, named Jon Bon Jovi,” Steven’s laughs. “Jon came up with some great stuff. His songs are great and he’s a nice dude, too.”

"Stand Up Guys" is released and distributed by CrystalSky Multimedia.

Showing on May 15. Nationwide!

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