If you like the music of Bon Jovi then you’ll want to be at the Yorkton Exhibition Friday.
That evening the grandstand will be jumping with the music of the famous rock band thanks to the musical efforts of Bed of Roses, one of the best known Bon Jovi tribute bands.
The Winnipeg-based band highlights Darryl Clayton as Jon Bon Jovi, who is joined on stage by Eugene Romaniuk as Richie Sambora, Trevor Uruski as David Bryan, Scott Byown as Tico Torres, and Glen Davies as Hugh Macdonald.
The band started in 2004.
“It was my vision and concept after opening for a tribute band in Winnipeg in 2003,” said Clayton. “All current members had played previously with each other in different cover bands around Winnipeg over the years.”
Clayton said Bed of Roses was designed as a Bon Jovi tribute band from the beginning.
“I was told on a few occasions how much my voice resembles Jon Bon Jovi,” he said simply.
For Clayton his career has always seemed tied to Bon Jovi.
“I was playing in a cover band in 2003 and my band opened for a Bon Jovi tribute band from Toronto, they do not play anymore,” he explained. “Anyway after our set the singer from that project came to me and said ‘you have more of a Jovi thing going on than I do’. Right then and there I started thinking maybe I should get into the tribute world.
“I was getting bored being in a bar band any way.
“The next week I gave my notice to the band I was in and started forming Bed of Roses.
“I chose the name Bed of Roses after the song of the same name. I started thinking about logos and how we could hand out roses while we played that song.”
From the core idea it was a case of bringing a band together.
“I contacted some musicians that I had played with over the years to see if they would join me in this endeavour.
“Some thought I was nuts leaving a successful cover band to start a new project from scratch.
“Trevor Uruski was one of the first people I called and he said yes and has been with me for almost 15 years now.
“The rest of the band has evolved over the years to become what we are now. It is a great thing to be playing music with your friends in a successful tribute project.”
But there is pressure trying to mimic a band as well-known as Bon Jovi.
“The most difficult part is trying to get the music and vocals pristine and maintain it,” said Clayton. “With member changes over the years you have to adjust to what they bring to the table.”
So is it frustrating always performing as essentially someone else?
“I would not call this frustrating at all,” said Clayton, adding they find time for their own music too. “Everybody writes their own music and does it on their own time.”
Ultimately, being on the road as BoR, has remained fun.
“The camaraderie between us, going to new places and performing that we would not go to otherwise,” said Clayton, noting they have played in Bermuda, Las Vegas, Florida, El Salvador, all over Canada and the US.
But, have they met the band they pay tribute to each time BoR is on the stage.
“Bon Jovi is aware of us for two reasons; one, I met Jon at a meet and greet for fan club members in New Jersey a few years ago. I mentioned to him about what we do and asked him what he thought about tribute bands. He said to me that some of them are better than we are (meaning the original band),” said Clayton.
“Secondly, about five years ago, bass player Hugh Macdonald saw a video of us online and enjoyed our representation so much he invited us to play his 60th birthday party in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“Since then whenever Bon Jovi has played in Winnipeg we text Hugh and join the band for a beverage after the show. He is the most famous person I have in my cell phone!”
Clayton said there are numerous stories he could tell.
“I could write a novel about our tribute band exploits, and I will after I retire,” he said.
Maybe the Yorkton Exhibition show will warrant mention in the book.
“We’re looking forward to being at the Yorkton Ex and bringing a stellar 90-min show to the great folks in Yorkton,” said Clayton.