Alec John Such

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jb

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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I am a new fan of Bon Jovi and wanted to know about Alec John Such.

What happened to him?

Why was he booted?

Did he also grow up in Jersey with the other guys?

Is he still around?

What is he doing?

Just Wondering...

Sassy

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Aug 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/9/00
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The spoils of rock: Ex-Bon Jovi bassist is putting it all on the auction
block
Published in the Asbury Park Press 5/14/00

By KELLY-JANE COTTER
MUSIC WRITER

THE COLTS NECK HOME OF ALEC JOHN SUCH is like a museum.

Each room of the enormous house on Laird Road holds a well-kept collection,
often reflecting the 14 years Such spent as bassist for Bon Jovi.

In a spare bedroom behind the laundry room, some 50 bass guitars stand at
attention -- a pink paisley guitar, an emerald green guitar, a translucent
guitar, a guitar shaped like a '50s-style Chevy, even a basic black number
that Such used before he was famous.

Memorabilia from Bon Jovi's arena days in the '80s, including posters,
photos, tour jackets,trophies and about 100 gold and platinum records, are
on display in the living room. Amplifiers nearly fill the garage.

The collections go beyond rock 'n' roll paraphernalia.

Rare and commemorative coins are piled like a pirate's treasure. Among other
things, Such owns antique Siamese and Russian jewelry, comic books,
sculptures by Erte and D.H. Chipari, a dozen guns and art by Peter Max and
South Amboy-based artist Wayne Turback.

And everything must go. "I made my money during the era of 'He who dies with
the most toys wins,'" Such said. "That's how the '80s were. But you grow out
of that, you really do."

On Saturday, Such will put nearly everything he owns on the auction block.

"This is not a distress sale," said Stephan J. Miranti, the auctioneer in
charge of the sale and a friend of Such. "He's not broke."

Still, many people would shudder at the thought of strangers clambering
through their yard in search of a bargain, even if it's a garage sale, let
alone an estate auction. Miranti knows that many people associate auctions
with bad news, which is why, during a visit to Such's house, he emphasized
several times that the musician is not in financial trouble. The very term
"estate auction" smacks of death or bankruptcy -- and loneliness.

"I always thought I'd have kids," Such said. "That's half the reason I
bought all this stuff. But you can't predict or control what happens to
you."

Such lives alone in his lavishly furnished house, which has two master
bedrooms, several smaller bedrooms and a phenomenal finished basement with a
blackjack table, a pool table, slot machines from Las Vegas casinos, video
games and a wet bar modeled after the one on "Cheers."

"I used to have some good parties here," he said.

He has been divorced for 17 years, but is on good terms with his ex-wife,
who has "custody" of their 19-year-old cat, Tiffany. He dotes on his other
cat, Max. When Such couldn't find Max, who was ranging somewhere on the
property, he handed a bullhorn to Muranti and asked him to call the cat so a
photographer could take a picture of Such with his cat.

Muranti made a few half-hearted calls through the bullhorn from the deck,
never venturing into the yard, before returning to the living room. "He
hates my cat," Such said, still scanning the yard from a window. "I love my
pets, but some people aren't animal people."

On a tour of the house -- which will be included in the auction via sealed
bids -- Muranti pointed out the big-ticket items such as the 11-foot
chandelier that dangles in the foyer. "I paid $20,000 for that," Such said,
moving briskly past the chandelier to point out a shelf of photos: an
autographed photo of "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno, a picture of Such posing
with Vice President Al Gore ("Even though I can't stand his politics," Such
said), several of Such's nieces and one of his mother, Helen, in Italy.

"I don't know where in Italy that was taken but it was while we were on
tour," Such said. "My mother would come with us on tour so she could travel
everywhere. She wasn't too pleased when I retired."

Such's father died a long time ago and Such seems very close to and
protective of his mother. Examples of her needlework hang throughout the
house, an odd juxtaposition with the other art work. A tattoo on Such's left
shoulder replicates a needlepoint picture of a wizard made by his mom.

"Of course, I'm saving all her work," he said.

He's also saving a cimbalom, a Hungarian instrument similar to a dulcimer,
handmade by his paternal grandfather and played by his father. Of his own
musical career, he only wants to save photos he took of the band on various
tours and a trophy awarded by the T.J. Martell Foundation, honoring the
band's work with autistic children.

"This is a celebrity auction, a high-profile estate," Muranti said. "That
makes it different from most auctions I handle. And Alec has a lot of
different things. He's eccentric."

Among the oddities up for auction are a hand-held chrome ice maker from
about 1900, a miniature Singer sewing machine from about the same time, a
telephone from 1936, a cash register from 1930, a miniature player saxophone
(which operates with a roll, like a player piano) and a coin-operated "Flash
Gordon Rocket Ship" children's ride from 1951.

He also is selling several classic cars.

"Yeah, it makes me sad to see some of this stuff go," Such said, as he drove
his sleek, 1953 MG through his rural neighborhood. The car, one of several
for sale, is a beauty, and Such takes delight in its pristine condition. On
a sunny afternoon's drive, he turned on the windshield wipers as if
demonstrating a parlor trick, smiling as the old-fashioned blades stretched
and retracted like the legs of a cricket.

The two-passenger car sped past the horse farms and mansions that make Colts
Neck so pretty and prestigious and so elegantly silent. Such, who grew up in
a tight-knit Hungarian neighborhood in Perth Amboy, bought his house in
Colts Neck in 1988.

"Colts Neck is nice," he said, "but there's nothing to do. There's no
activity. You don't see people anywhere. I would just come home and do
nothing. I even got into the habit of cooking for myself and I don't want to
do that. I want to go out to eat, I want to get out and meet people."

Physical setbacks

Such itches for mobility and action. This part of his personality was sorely
tested within a year after he retired from Bon Jovi in 1994. Such said a
drunk driver smashed into his car in Marlboro, shattering his hip. Recovery
was agonizing, physically and mentally.

"It took them an hour to get me out of the car," Such recalled. "I was on my
back for six months after surgery. It was about the worst thing to happen to
me in my life."

Five years later, he occasionally needs to walk with a cane. The size of his
house, with all its stairs, has become unmanageable.

"I want to sell all this and buy a new motor home and a boat and just go
traveling," he said. "I don't miss being in a band; I don't want any of
that. I want to meet people and if they don't believe I was in Bon Jovi, I
won't care. I don't think I've picked up a guitar since I left the band. I
don't have calluses on my fingers anymore. I'd bleed if I played now."

Bon Jovi the band is undisputedly led by Jon Bon Jovi, the singer and front
man who grew up in working-class Sayreville and now lives in a riverfront
estate in the most plush section of Middletown. (The rest of the band also
maintained ties to New Jersey -- Tico Torres, the drummer, lives in Colts
Neck; Richie Sambora, guitarist, and David Bryan, keyboardist, also have
homes in the area).

But Alec John Such played a key role in forming Bon Jovi the band. Such and
Sambora played together in an earlier band called Message; Such and Torres
traveled in the same circles.

In the early '80s, Such managed the Hunka Bunka Ballroom in Sayreville, then
known as the Jernee Mill Inn. He booked Jon Bon Jovi & The Wild Ones and saw
potential. He brought Sambora and Torres into the fold; Bon Jovi brought
Bryan, with whom he had played in a band called Atlantic City Expressway.

The rest, as they say, is history. Bon Jovi became the most successful of
the many "hair bands" of the '80s that bridged the gap between pop and heavy
metal. The band's 1986 album on Polygram/Mercury, "Slippery When Wet," sold
in the multi-millions and earned Bon Jovi an international following,
especially in Asia, that has not abated. Commercial success continued with
"New Jersey" in 1988, "Keep the Faith" in 1992 and the greatest-hits album
"Cross Road" in 1994.

Bon Jovi survived the dominance of modern rock in the early '90s and now
seems poised for another comeback. The band's album, "Crush," is due for
release June 13. Bon Jovi will begin its world tour in July in Japan,
followed by dates in Europe in August and September. The band played a
sold-out preview gig last month at Tradewinds in Sea Bright.

Meanwhile, Jon Bon Jovi played a supporting role in the hit thriller
"U-571." He has even regained his status as a teen idol -- no small feat for
a 38-year-old father of two in the era of boy groups -- with young women
calling area radio stations to request his songs, describing him as a
"hottie."

The wild one One of the band's early publicity photos -- available at the
auction -- features "Teen Beat"-style snippets of biography about each
musician on the back: "Known as the wild one in the group, Alec enjoys his
cars and motorcycles when he's not on tour."

"The record company used to lie about my age," Such said. "I was 31 when I
joined. I was a good 10 years older than the rest of the band. My sister
eventually got really mad because the papers would describe her as my older
sister when really she was younger."

The age difference has since caught up with Such and his former bandmates.
Such, now 48, said it was the main reason he left the band in 1994.

"When I was 43, I started to get burned out," he said. "It felt like work
and I didn't want to work. The reason I got into a band to begin with is
because I didn't want to work."

Jon Bon Jovi, on the other hand, seems compelled to work. In an interview
with the Press in February, Bon Jovi talked about his band's new music,
about an Internet project that let fans watch as the band recorded the album
and about his movie career.

"I do have a lot going on and I've been like this in the past," Bon Jovi
said. "I don't know if it's something I need to do or what. Last week, I was
in two different studios in L.A., while fitting in rehearsals for a new
movie, and I caught the red-eye home and all I could think was 'Man, I can't
wait to get a break.'"

After Such left the band, Bon Jovi compared the situation to Bill Wyman's
departure from The Rolling Stones. "I look on it as being like the Bill
Wyman thing," Bon Jovi told the Press in 1994. "They just grew in different
directions. It's understandable ... just because I want to continue making
records doesn't mean everyone else has to."

Bon Jovi then took a cue from The Rolling Stones and brought in Hugh
McDonald as a hired gun, rather than as a bandmate. "There's no ill feeling
on mine or the band's part," Bon Jovi told the Press at the time, "and as
far as I'm concerned, Alec was the only bass player who was part of Bon
Jovi."

There are signs of hurt feelings on Such's part. When asked about his
bandmates' reactions to his retirement, Such said, "I think Jon didn't care
because he didn't have to pay a percentage to the new guy. He does care
about those things."

Not surprisingly, Such said he did not like the 1995 Bon Jovi album "These
Days," which was the first one made without him. But he does not disparage
McDonald. "Hughie's great," Such said. "We have no animosity. If anything, I
feel sorry for him that he doesn't get recognition."

And time and distance have mellowed whatever friction existed between Such
and Jon Bon Jovi. "I keep in touch with everyone but Jon," Such said. "We
had a few little rifts between us, but when I heard this new record, I
wanted to call him. I think it's really good."

After the auction, Such said he plans to start traveling. His first stops:
Pensacola and Corpus Christi. But he does not plan to abandon New Jersey.
He's keeping his second home in Waretown and he bought his mother a house in
Brick, which will always draw him back.

"When you first make a lot of money, you spend a lot," he said. "Then you go
through that 'Am I good enough to be making all this money?' and 'Do I
deserve it?' phase."

"I think I'm past all the pitfalls," he said. "At one time, I needed to see
those platinum records on the wall to prove my worth. I don't anymore."

The public auction of the estate of Bon Jovi bassist Alec John Such begins
at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at 29 Laird Road, Colts Neck. Previews are 9 a.m. to
5 p.m. today, noon to 8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday. For more
information, call (732) 708-0948.

Published on May 14, 2000


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A dyslexic, agnostic insomniac is one
who lies awake at night wondering
if there really is a dog...
jb <jo...@jetmax.com> wrote in message news:8ms8tj$55p$1...@bob.news.rcn.net...

LASTSHOUT

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Aug 10, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/10/00
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Alec couldn't pull his weight in the band.. He screwed up too many times live..
And then he went out and gave a lengthy interview to a magazine, sort of
digging up the dirt that wasn't meant to be uncovered..
Jon fired him.. He opened up a Harley Davidson shoppe in New Jersey.. He still
gets money from the Jovi powerhouse, because they're still under contract, The
new guy isn't even in the booklet.. Jovi has to sign a new deal..


Mac

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Aug 12, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/12/00
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the new guy which you refer to is Huey McDonald who was the original bassist
for the band, and was playing on Runaway from the first album

Just thought you'd like to know.

Mac.

LASTSHOUT <last...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20000809222740...@ng-ce1.aol.com...

stevebe...@gmail.com

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Jan 24, 2019, 3:26:14 PM1/24/19
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I was at the auction and bought many things I sold his mtv award for big money and still have one of his good records if anyone intrested message me and let me know
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