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8th March 1998

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Lask week’s cover girl Dhanusha wore an outfit designed by Inspirations. Her hair and make-up were done by Purnima Abeyratne and she was photographed for the Mirror Magazine by Anuruddha Madawattegedera

Our Man in LondonJovi: The New Nostradamus?

By Afdhel Aziz

I would like to forego my usual pointless ramblings about London today, in order to share with you a matter of far greater import. Read on if you dare, gentle reader , as I your fearless investigative reporter with a vivid imagination, investigates the mysterious link between Diana's death and one long haired rock and roller.

Flashback. It is the day after Diana's death. The TV is endlessly showing a blonde, blue eyed icon with perfect teeth, endless sex appeal and the adoration of millions.

One of those people has spent their fair share of time in the back seats of limousines, sipping champagne in private jets and disembarking to the strobing flashbulbs of international paparazzi. Breathless housewives and gawky teenagers alike from Des Moines to Jakarta have flipped through magazines desperate for more information about this icon who has been in our public consciousness for over a decade now. In short, we are watching MTV and the Artist of the Month is Jon Bon Jovi. Irony apart, I can't help but be fascinated by the contrast between the relentlessly glitzy crash-bang MTV approach ( not a single report on Diana in the three hours I watch) and the sombre antics of the newscasters on BBC and CNN , who thrash around in cannibalistic circles , hungry for fresh information. First , as always, they turn to the press , interviewing print journalists with only the most tenuous connection to the whole tragedy.

Then unbelievably they turn to their own kind, television watching television for possibly the first time in history. We are faced with the surrealism of watching CNN who are in turn broadcasting the BBC - the sombre message that was telecast to Britain in the early hours of Sunday morning. To paraphrase the immortal words of another rocker, Bruce Springsteen, there's twenty seven channels and they're all showing the same damn thing. But I digress. What made me sit bolt upright and watch the screen closely was when Jon came on the screen in his new video "Midnight in Chelsea" from the album "Destination Anywhere".

Maybe it was the Diana overdose sprawled all over the other channels - but goddammit, it sounded like Bon Jovi was singing about Diana . After all , where the hell is her palace located in ? That's right. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. My curiosity is aroused. Two days, I pick up a copy of the album and turn to the lyrics. Now Bon Jovi's lyrics have long been the object of some ridicule in my book. For a long time, it seemed like he was playing Spin the Bottle with a select group of macho motifs . Hence a typical Bon lyric would probably go like this : I've got a sixgun for my pillow an old beer can for my bed, I got a bottle of Jack Daniel's for my teddy bear and a Harley Davidson parked near my head" Or words to that effect. It must be admitted his songwriting has improved considerably in the last couple of years but I never anticipated anything like this. Here's what I found.

The first verse can be taken as a reading of the traumatic part of Diana's marriage , if you were highly prejudiced against the royal family and Prince Charles in particular. To wit: "It takes a little bit of getting used to the old man with the whiskey stains lost the night forgot his name his poor wife will sleep alone again and it ain't hard to understand why she's holding onto her own hand"

So far, possessed of a Nostradamian vagueness as predictions go. But now, here comes the kicker, the crunch, the one that really gave me spineshiver. The second verse: "I've seen a lone Sloan Ranger drive seems her chauffeur took a dive and sold her secrets to the Sun and later in a magazine I finally figured what it means to be a saint not a queen" Whoa there !! This video was already well into heavy rotation by the time of the car crash. Does this reveal hitherto undiscovered psychic powers on the part of the new leading man ????

My god, we could be talking about the new Edgar Cayce here ! Maybe it was the haircut.

The next verse is the final kick in the teeth , the coup de grace, the big kahuna .... " Two lustful lovers catch a spark and chase their shadows in the dark Someone's getting off tonight of a big red bus that's packed so tight It disappears in a trail of light somewhere, someone's dreaming baby it's all right two lustful lovers ? Dodi and Diana a spark ? The flash of a stalkarozzi's camera? "Chasing shadows in the dark ?" The mad chase through the streets of Paris , that ended in someone "getting off"....stepping off this mortal coil. Unfortunately , the next line is one that makes my theory falls gasping to the floor : Dodi and Di weren't in a big red bus, they were in a sleek black Mercedes. But you can imagine it disappearing in a trail of light, into that fateful tunnel.

And so we move on to the strangely elegiac chorus, what could almost be the inner thoughts of a bitter but sweet heroine to billions, sick of being idolised and canonised. Asleep in her bed at the palace, you wonder if she ever felt this way: "It's midnight in Chelsea, midnight in Chelsea no-one's asking me for favours no-one's looking for a savior they're too busy saving me " All too surreal to be true ?

One final verse and then I will lay this hypothesis to rest. Reports filtering through gossip columns in Europe indicate that Diana - shock/horror - may have been pregnant with Dodi's lovechild when she died. All probably entertaining balderdash of course, the sort of salacious detail that crops up in celebrity deaths, like the rumour that Elvis died on a toilet seat or that Marilyn Monroe was loaded with drugs when she passed away. Transport yourself if you will back to the borough of Chelsea for this final dreamprayer , the wishes that spring to mind before the death of a princess: " It's morning when I go to sleep in the distant dawn a church bell rings another day is coming on a baby's born, an old man dies somewhere young lovers kiss goodbye" A lovechild of a princess and a man who is heir to one of the largest fortunes in the Western world - if his "old man dies."

You could go on for days dissecting the rest of the lyrics , from the lines "No-one's pinned their dreams on me/ No-one's asking me to bleed ", denial if ever there was denial . But I prefer to end with the far more memorable lines : "I leave my soul and just move on and wish that I was there to sing this song" Enough said. You be the judge.

More Mirror Magazine * Veteran's night at the grammys * Portrait of an artist

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