More than a decade ago, I met Bon Jovi’s drummer Tico Torres poolside at the chic One&Only Ocean Club in The Bahamas. It was one of those days one tends to remember: Palm trees swaying, cocktails flowing, celebrities chatting. And from the moment we met, it was nonstop laughter. As Cubans, we were trading jokes and telling stories—things our people do quite well, thank you very much—and the small group that had assembled around us seemed genuinely captivated by our mojito-infused chatter. It was a good day.
Tico Torres is a lot of things—impressive things—but at his core, he’s a Jersey tough guy who’s a great father and a damn good friend. Lest anyone forget, he also happens to be a revered rock ’n’ roll superstar as well as a globally celebrated artist who’s been married a time or two to ridiculously gorgeous women (see Eva Herzigova), enjoys frequent rounds of golf and has been known to fire up a fine cigar now and again. To paraphrase Bon Jovi’s smash hit: It’s his life. No doubt.
HudsonMOD caught up with Señor Torres and asked him if he would answer ten things we wanted to know right now. He said yes. And we laughed a lot. Again.
What does New Jersey mean to you?
I was born in Manhattan at St. Vincent’s Hospital so when we moved to Jersey when I was a kid, that meant we would have trees and grass. It was great.
What has been the happiest moment in your life?
We didn’t grow up with much of anything and I remember the first air conditioner my family purchased and how crazy happy I was. We used to place ice cubes in front of a fan to cool off so the new a/c was unbelievable.
What does luxury mean to you?
Luxury means the freedom to travel the world and gain incredible perspective and appreciate how fortunate all of us are to live in the US.
Would you rather be a rock star, celebrated artist or golf junkie? Choose one.
Celebrated artist. Art transcends all ages and barriers. Music is segregated by genre whereas art is much more expressive and universal.
Describe your perfect day.
Breakfast with my son before taking him to school, play a round of golf, pick up my son at school and play with him before dinner, paint and enjoy a good cigar.
How Cuban are you?
Very. I grew up in a completely Cuban household where only Spanish was spoken. I would love to go back to Cuba.
What have you ever learned the hard way?
Not to be afraid. Fear isn’t real; it’s an emotion. That took me a long time to learn.
Tell me a secret.
I’ve never told anyone this story but a few years back Bon Jovi was the headliner of the Royal Variety Show with Queen Elizabeth in attendance and in the receiving line after the show, the queen leaned in to me and said, “I watched you and I can’t believe you weren’t tired playing the drums.” Everyone just looked at me in shock that the queen of England was actually speaking to me. I loved it.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would that be?
The way we’re killing the Earth. It’s shameful. I’m trying to do what I can but I think it has to become a priority for all of us.
Is Bon Jovi ever retiring?
I don’t know. I don’t think so. Bon Jovi has been extraordinarily blessed for 29 years. As a band, we’re stable; we’re brothers, actually—I liken it to being in a sexless marriage [Laughs].