TOKYO - It might seem a bit odd to head off on an international tour when your lead guitarist is nursing a broken arm and you've got a hit called "Who Says You Can't Go Home" on the charts.
But, hey, this is Bon Jovi.
"We're working the world with a new record," lead singer Jon Bon Jovi said in an interview Friday in Tokyo, where the band was to kick off a series of six concerts. "We've been out touring for six months. We've got four more to go. This is great."
It's profitable, too - their "Have a Nice Day" tour has pulled in more than $1.2 million, making it the most lucrative tour going right now.
But it hasn't exactly been easy.
Guitarist Richie Sambora fell in his Los Angeles home and fractured his left arm in two places last month. Bon Jovi said Sambora will be able to play the Japan dates, but he may have to cradle the guitar sitting down, and has been experimenting with putting the strap over his other shoulder.
"We'll see how it goes," Bon Jovi said. He added that after Japan, the band has three weeks off before heading on to Europe. "That will give him some more time to heal."
The upcoming European leg has had some glitches as well.
Bon Jovi had to change the venue for two live shows in Britain this summer because of delays in construction of the new national stadium at Wembley. The rock band's June 10-11 concerts will be held at nearby Milton Keynes Bowl.
Problems aside, Bon Jovi, who turned 44 last month, said the tour marks something of a turning point.
"I don't need to make records, I don't need to tour," he said. "I'm not chasing anybody anymore. I'm not chasing anything. That's what you do in your youth."
But he acknowledged that staying fresh can be a challenge.
"It's a matter of doing it on a level that you've grown accustomed to, while you're also contributing in a relevant way, a new way, bringing in new generations of fans," he said. "It's been 22 years of making records and I must have been to Japan 25 times or more. There's not too many things in the world I haven't seen.
"Am I going to be doing this when I'm 88? I don't know."
Lest anyone accuse Bon Jovi of being past their peak, however, he noted that along with the sellout crowds on the tour stops, his latest hit, "Who Says You Can't Go Home," a duet with Jennifer Nettles, is No. 3 on U.S. country music charts.
"This isn't nostalgia. This isn't a reunion tour," he said. "This is the continuation of a career - a big one and a long one."
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