MASSACHUSETTS – When Bon Jovi can’t do it, you don’t have to be livin’ on a prayer.
The Massachusetts based Bon Jovi tribute band, Living On A Bad Name can give you a seamlessly replicated performance with their raw talent and rocking dynamic, just like their namesake.
Now an internationally renowned tribute band, Living On A Bad Name was selected to replace Bon Jovi after having to back out of a major performance at the Great New York State Fair in 2013, a true testament to the band’s uncanny likeness to all things Bon Jovi.
“After a national search by the NY Agriculture Department who handles the talent selection and someone in Bon Jovi management, they chose our band to perform in their place,” said lead vocalist of Living On A Bad Name and Massachusetts radio personality, Ken Pittman.
This career milestone allowed their immense talent to shine and from there, their popularity skyrocketed.
“We went from playing from southern New Hampshire to Newport, Rhode Island and today, we’re international. We’re getting invites to Korea later this year, we’ve played in the Caribbean, Florida, 19 states now,” Pittman explained.
But this now successful tribute band was much of a coincidental happening that almost didn’t come to be.
A “child of the 80’s,” Ken Pittman grew up jamming out on his air guitar in his room to Bon Jovi and all the rock stars of his time.
As he and his talent grew, he joined different neighborhood bands and eventually even bands that traveled in a much larger radius before he put his music on hold to pursue a criminal justice and radio career.
Until, he got a call from the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra asking his participation in a rock ‘n’ roll theme fundraiser with other members of the media where he got his first taste of performing Bon Jovi tributes.
“That performance was supposed to be a one time thing but we were lent a superstar guitarist, Ethan Brosh. After that show Ethan said, ‘boy, I think we would be great doing some Bon Jovi tribute music,’” Pittman explained.
And at first, Pittman declined the offer.
“Then I realized, this is going to be almost impossible to get a better guitarist ever in my life. Why not have a little fun?” he said.
From that moment, Pittman and his son, Keith, and Brosh formed Living On A Bad Name, adding the final pieces of the puzzle a couple years later.
Today, the band rocks on at shows throughout the year in different places, soon to be returning to the Syracuse area for a performance at Sharkey’s Bar and Grill in Liverpool.
“We are very grateful for the greater Syracuse area,” Pittman said. “They were so receptive of us and we know that area really likes their rock ‘n’ roll so we’re grateful for the opportunity.”
On Friday, (Feb 17) the band will make the trek to Liverpool to put on a show from 6-11 p.m. at Sharkey’s Bar and Grill.
Guests can expect an energetic, rocking performance from the five man band, each with their own impressive resumé.
On keyboards, Scott Poole brings his immense musical education expertise to the group as a Berklee College of Music graduate, the world’s largest independent music school and the premier institution for the study of contemporary music.
John Miker, financial analyst by day transforms to a rocking bass player complete with denim and leather when performing with the band.
Originally from West Virginia, Miker still has a strong southern accent.
“He is a veteran recording artist and a great bass player and sings lead in other bands,” Pittman said.
Keith, Pittman’s son, will rock the drums the way he has since he was four years old.
“Keith ended up being a world champion percussionist with his high school drum line,” Pittman said.
Taking after his late grandfather who was a former Boston College marching band director, Keith picked up on percussion in marching band just the same despite never having the chance to meet his grandfather.
And from there, he never looked back, Pittman said.
Ethan Brosh on guitar is who Pittman describes as the band’s “feature player.”
“He’s a world class guitar player, world renowned, he teaches at Berklee College of Music, and yet he’s a very humble guy,” Pittman said.
Brosh graduated two four years programs, guitar and songwriting, in one three year period and then began tackling what is now an impressive resumé.
To date, Brosh has played with the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen for a 21 city tour, Joe Lynn Turner from Rainbow, Michael Schenker from the Scorpions, Vanilla Fudge, Mike Mangini, Greg Howe, Rihanna, and was even a finalist for Megadeth, to name a few.
“He’s gotten exposure that is great but still deserves more,” Pittman said. “He’s just a tremendous, shredding guitarist, an absolute genius. If you listen to his instrumental original music, I’d put him right up there with (Joe) Satriani or Vinnie Vincent, it’s incredibly written,” Pittman proclaimed.
So confident in his incredible talent, Pittman feels it’s only a matter of time before Brosh is forced to leave the group for a new opportunity.
“I’m just very proud that Ethan (Brosh) is keeping that kind of shredding metal alive today, he’s one of the most important new guitar players and so we are just enjoying having him in our Bon Jovi band right now because we know sooner or later he’s going to take off,” he said.
As for himself, Pittman has retired his air guitar from earlier years and has taken the lead vocalist role of the band with a remarkable resemblance to Jon Bon Jovi himself.
Together, the group follows the lead of their notable agent, John Pettigrass with hopes to someday return to the Great NYS Fair.
“John Pettigrass is from the Syracuse area and we feel like we’re in the best of hands. Nobody, and I mean nobody knows the business better. So another link to Syracuse is our John Pettigrass who we think is the very best,” Pittman said.
But first, Living On A Bad Name will make it to Liverpool for a rocking fun time.
“We’re very happy to come, we hear great things about Sharkey’s so we’re looking forward to it,” he said.