On December 19, the Internet was set ablaze with shocking news: Rocker, actor, philanthropist, and arena-football enthusiast Jon Bon Jovi had suddenly died! What began as a suggestion on Twitter quickly escalated into a huge story, as reporters and well-wishers gathered around the hospital where Bon Jovi had supposedly lost his grip on life.
But just as quickly, the news was outed as a hoax, and Bon Jovi himself cheekily posted a new photograph of himself on Facebook, very much alive, holding a sign that read, “Heaven looks an awful lot like New Jersey.”
Now the originator of the hoax is facing a tremendous backlash from fans. In a conversation with the Asbury Park Press, Jeffery Goho noted that he tweeted about Bon Jovi’s death out of frustration that the singer had spent so much time away from the band pursuing other interests.
“All I heard was ‘Bon Jovi this,’ ‘Bon Jovi’s starting a restaurant.’ What was the latest one? The Advil commercial?” Goho said. “It was like, ‘Jeez, [Bon Jovi] was a household name due to the music, not the business.’ So I’m not proud of it. I’m getting a lot of backlash from it, but as stupid as it sounds, that’s how it started.”
Goho, who performs in a metal band called Minutia, noted that his Twitter account was inundated with responses once it turned out that JBJ still walked among us, and most have been overwhelmingly negative. Still, the experience did teach him to see Bon Jovi in a new light. “After reading everyone’s responses I realized that his endeavors, his business endeavors, have actually made the tristate area prosper,” Goho told the APP. “Hence more musicians have more available places to go, more people to play to, and I was quite wrong.”
Of course, Goho likely helped himself (and Minutia) along the way. “I’m not going to lie – I’ve also gotten some fans out of this,” he said.
It’s entirely possible that Bon Jovi could take legal action against Goho, though considering what a sense of humor he’s had about his own fake death, such actions seem unlikely. And while Goho may not be a fan of New Year’s Eve, he should know that it has only been two years since the last Bon Jovi album (2009’s Circle), and the death rumor peaked in popularity while JBJ was performing on stage. So he may be diversifying, but he’s still swaying with the date who brought him to the dance.