Jon Bon Jovi and Dina Martina are two of our country's leading drag queens. They're performers who have faced unique challenges and prospered. Since 1984, the schlock New Jersey hair rock of Bon Jovi has sold 130 million albums worldwide. You know, "Shot through the heart, you're to blame, you give love a bad name," whether you want to or not. Dina Martina, famous Bryman College sorceress, will be midway through a run of shows at New York's Laurie Beechman Theatre when this column appears in print. Martina has keen insight into the mind and world of Jon Bon Jovi—she met him in Kauai during the shooting of Ivan Reitman's film Six Days, Seven Nights starring Harrison Ford and Anne Heche. (Heche had just gone public with her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres.) More recently, Bon Jovi was a runner-up on RuPaul's Drag Race. I met Martina at the Sephora across from Westlake Center, where she was browsing the eye shadows. She had on huge red sunglasses and some sort of green cap. We spoke briefly about the Bon Jovi show and then went up the street and got a table at Cyber-Dogs.
What's Jon Bon Jovi like? Did you two bond in Kauai over being higher-profile drag queens? I think Jon Bon Jovi is probably a nice man altogether. Compared to the other nincompoops out there playing music professionally from that era. Those boys from Mötley Crüe don't seem like nice people. The drummer Tommy Lee made sex tapes and wasn't nice to his wife from Baywatch. Oh yes, you could say I bonded with Bon Jovi [laughs]. I was a fan before they were big—my best friend Barbara is from New Jersey where they're from. We called her Babs Jovi.
What were you doing in Kauai? My second husband, Steve, and I had our honeymoon there.
Since the 1986 multiplatinum Slippery When Wet, Bon Jovi has gone on to tirelessly fight for drag queen rights. I remember he did that Christmas song with Cindy Crawford where they kissed heavily in the video, almost the entire time. I think that's the benefit you're talking about. Jon was so good-looking there. But it was also strange because I think he and Cindy Crawford were both married to other people.
Let's do a "Dina Martina Guide to the Phases of Bon Jovi." First we have the spandex poodle phase of "Runaway." They look like poodles in spandex. Especially the bass player. I read that this song is about the three weeks Jon Bon Jovi and Ellen DeGeneres spent together on Kauai after Heche and DeGeneres broke up. Even though in the video, it looks like it's about a girl exposed to nuclear radiation, who is daddy's little girl, who is a rebel, who dances with the band. Oh, and fire comes out of her eyes. My friend Barbara hated that video. The nuclear part is confusing, and the girl's outfits are god-awful. That came out around the time fax machines were invented. I hate to break it to you, but the poodle look was in. These tough guys spent hours and hours on their hair. I think Ellen DeGeneres is from New Jersey, so I could see she and Jon getting together. I saw that Harrison Ford and Anne Heche movie in the theater and liked it even though it got horrible reviews.
Cowboy phase: "You Give Love a Bad Name." Bon Jovi are from New Jersey, how can they be cowboys? Fake cowboys are everywhere. There were two at Sephora wearing incredibly expensive boots. That song is about one of Jon's early relationships that soured. So sour he wrote a song about it [laughs]. Personally, I don't think you should talk bad about exes.
Bon Jovi did an album in 2007 called Lost Highway, combining influences from butt rock and country. These are the worst sounds ever made by humans. I'm actually a fan of country music. I die for Kenny Rogers and Waylon Jennings and Dolly Parton. She needs to stop having surgeries, though. She was beautiful before.
Native American/lipstick lesbo phase: "Blaze of Glory." Jon looks great as a woman wearing a vest with no shirt and a Native American chest plate, but it's bad cultural appropriation. I'd say, yes, that's cultural appropriating. I still can't believe there's a professional football team in the NFL that calls itself the Bears. That's terrible. Jon would make a beautiful woman; he's beautiful [laughs]. A lot of people did the vest with no shirt underneath. Jon Bon Jovi just did it better.
And Ellen was so not into Jon's lipstick lesbian look. Is that why they broke it off? I don't know if he and Ellen were really an official couple. What do you mean by lipstick lesbian?
Also, in the video, what's with the abandoned drive-in theater on top of a butte that no one can get to? Is this a metaphor for the isolation he feels as a lipstick lesbian who's going through a cheesy Native American phase? Wait, is that a butte or a bluff? I think it's actually a mesa. Steve and I spent some time in the Southwest. It's a metaphor for something, but I don't know if it has anything to do with lesbianism. That song was for a western movie, Young Guns. With Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen, before he went crazy. Lou Diamond Phillips was so nice with long hair. I saw it in the theater, too.
Every note Jon Bon Jovi sings has that I'm so handsome, I'm tortured by it vibe. Are we supposed to believe he's really tortured? He's an entertainer. He sure entertained me. You must not like him.
The Bon Jovi logo is a knife going through a heart. The knife has wings. They could pay any 10th grader in the country $20 to do a better logo than that. You really have it out for Bon Jovi, don't you?
Then we get into the love life of Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora. First he was married to Heather Locklear. Then he dated Denise Richards. I've always liked Denise Richards. She deserves to be happy. I like Denise Richards, too. Hopefully she can find a nice man to settle down with, one who has a yacht and property. Like a Dodi Fayed. She has lots of money herself. Men don't like that. Heather Locklear has been married to everybody [laughs], so maybe that one was partly her fault. I wouldn't want any of my guy friends to date her.
Apparently, Sambora left Bon Jovi recently for "personal reasons." People online say it's because he fell off the wagon. Other people say he was jealous of Jon, and jealous of Charlie Sheen because Sheen told Rolling Stone that he still wanted to have sex with Denise Richards. All these men have very large egos. I don't think Richie has anything to worry about with Charlie Sheen. That man is a skunk. S-K-U-N-K.
Wait a second, I figured it out: Jon Bon Jovi is Ellen DeGeneres. They're the same person. Think about it, have you ever seen them in the same place? And for the song "Runaway," Ellen and Jon weren't having a fling, they were battling to see which side of the personality would win. Clearly, Ellen won. I have no idea what you're talking about. I thought we were talking about Denise Richards.
As Dina Martina, famous drag queen, do you look up to Jon Bon Jovi? Has he paved the way for other drag queens? Dina Martina? My name is Tammy [pauses]. I'm not a drag queen. My first husband's last name was Martinez. [At this point, she takes off her glasses and cap, and she is definitely not Dina Martina. She is some other random lady.]
So you came here with me and talked this whole time for no reason? I thought you said my name! You said you were from the paper, doing a Bon Jovi story. I've been a Bon Jovi fan for years, seen them five times. I'll be at the Tacoma Dome.
But what about all the stuff with Ellen DeGeneres and Kauai? I asked if you bonded with Jon Bon Jovi as drag queens. I guess I didn't hear the drag queen part. I have been to Kauai, with my second husband, Steve. Do you want to interview me about that? Thanks for the hot dog.
Let's stick to Bon Jovi. So why'd Jon drop the H out of his name? Is J-O-N sexier? They all do that. Pat Benatar was a fake name. Do you think Dr. Seuss was Dr. Seuss's real name?
Dr. Seuss was a pen name. But you get my point. I've also heard that Emilio Estevez isn't nice to his wives, either. He was married to Paula Abdul. You know Charlie Sheen is his brother. You could interview me about the Estevezes, too.