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David Bryan at the Memphis launch event (Photo: Helen Maybanks)

David Bryan at the Memphis launch event (Photo: Helen Maybanks)

Video: David Bryan on Memphis

First Published 30 October 2014, Last Updated 3 November 2014

Bon Jovi’s David Bryan tells us why Memphis The Musical’s story inspired him to swap rock for musical theatre and how he feels about bringing the hit show to London.

Sightings of bona fide rock stars in Theatreland are rare. Queen’s Brian May used to take to the stage of We Will Rock You for special occasions, and The Kinks’ Ray Davies has just brought his story to the stage in Sunny Afternoon, but the accepted perception of musical theatre as jazz hands, chorus lines and perfect white teeth seems to clash with the hard-drinking, leather-wearing, guitar-thrashing imagined world of rock.

Yet here I am at the Shaftesbury Theatre chatting to the gratifyingly leather-jacket sporting Bryan, who has spent the last 30 years touring the world, playing songs including Living On A Prayer, You Give Love A Bad Name and Always to millions of rock fans.

How did he end up providing music and co-writing lyrics for West End show Memphis The Musical? The story goes that Bryan was so inspired by Joe DiPietro’s script that, when given the chance to showcase his ideas he started work in the middle of the night and by the early morning had created a fully produced version of Music Of My Soul to send to his writing colleague.

Find out more about Bryan’s passion for the production and the music of Memphis, what his life with Bon Jovi has brought to the show and what he thinks of London leads Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly in our video interview at the top of the page.

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