By Liz Tracy
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While his influence is most evident in underground acts like the Roots and Little Brother, his subtlety and odd chord structures are echoed in the more cerebral work of the Neptunes; it surprised no one when Pharrell Williams confessed last year that Dilla was his favorite producer. It's an opinion that many share, and Dilla's passing leaves an instant void in the hip-hop universe. Sam ChennaultLivin' on Good Hair
Our love for Bon Jovi runs deep. Back in '87, we knew the exact length of Jon's teased tresses (18 inches) and had identified his high school sweetheart (what kind of stupid name is Dorothea?) as our archnemesis. When he married her, we cried for three full days.
But until last week, it never occurred to us that some people love Mr. New Jersey for his music."When I was 13," 29-year-old rocker Adam Jasonexplains, calling from the cell phone store where he works, "I heard 'You Give Love a Bad Name' on the radio and I flipped out. I grabbed a tennis racket and started playing air guitar. My mom was like, 'What are you, retarded?' They've been my favorite band to this day."
Eventually, Jason picked up a real guitar and started writing songs. On his MySpace page, he describes his band the eponymous Adam Jason Band as "straightforward rock 'n' roll" that "deftly intertwines the commercial sensibilities of Bon Jovi and Def Leppard." Two months ago, he got the smiley-face logo from Bon Jovi's latest album, Have a Nice Day, tattooed on his wrist. And when he heard that Bon Jovi was holding a contest to find an opening band in each city it played, he knew his destiny was at hand.
Jason went on to beat 100 or so other acts to play the BankAtlantic Center on Friday, February 10. He got the congratulatory call just 48 hours before he was to go onstage. No problem: He rounded up the guys he'd been playing with ("The band has only been together for a week"), gelled up his highlighted hair, and belted out five polished rock songs.
"It was the most awesome experience of my life," Jason says. "Every kid dreams of playing in an arena." Usually, he just plays for however many people are hanging out in the Bull Bar in Delray Beach. Despite the blaze of glory, Jason's rock-star ambitions are still modest. "Something might happen," he says, "but the reality is, I'm here selling phones."
And Jason's take on his fave band? "We met them as they were walking to the stage," he says. "They were really nice. They just congratulated us and took a picture." Ah, let 'em go, Adam you're far more our speed these days. Now come over this way so we can measure your hair. Deirdra Funcheon