Bon Jovi

  • Rock band formed in 1983 from Sayreville New Jersey. Members of the band were Jon Bon Jovi (frontman, lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Richie Sambora (lead guitar, backing vocals), Alec John Such (bass guitar, backing vocals), David Bryan (keyboards, backing vocals) and Tico Torres (drums).
  • Jon Bon Jovi began playing the guitar and keyboards at the age of 13, and joined a band called Raze. Over the next 7 years, he joined or formed other bands – Atlantic City Expressway, John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones, and The Rest.
  • In 1982, he made demos and sent them to record companies, but did not generate any interest. The next year, he wrote and sang jingles for a New York radio station. One of the songs he had recorded was Runaway, and he convinced the station DJs to play it. It caught on, and other stations in major markets began to play it too.
  • In 1983, it was apparent that Jon Bon Jovi needed a band, as it seemed likely that a record company may want to sign him. He knew David Bryan from his Atlantic City Expressway days, and he asked Bryan if he’d like to join his band. Bryan subsequently suggested Alec John Such and Tico Torres for the band. Finally, Richie Sambora was asked to join when Bon Jovi heard him perform.
  • After performing at various venues in 1983, they were signed to a record deal. Needing to name the band, they reluctantly went with Bon Jovi, though they preferred the name Johnny Electric.
  • Bon Jovi’s first 2 albums had modest success – the self titled Bon Jovi and their second offering, 7800° Fahrenheit. A few songs charted – notably Runaway. More importantly, the band toured to support the albums, refining their stage presence. Over the years, they’ve earned a reputation of a fabulous live rock band.
  • Their breakthrough album was released in 1986 – Slippery When Wet. The album hit #1 and remained there for 8 weeks. The singles You Give Love a Bad Name and Livin’ On a Prayer both topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album is their biggest seller, with over 12 million copies sold in the U.S. and 28 million worldwide.
  • Their follow up album in 1988, New Jersey, also was a mega success, with 7 million copies sold in the U.S. and 18 million worldwide. Five singles were in the top 10, with Bad Medicine and I’ll Be There for You peaking at #1. The album was the first to be released legally in the U.S.S.R., and the band was the first to be officially sanctioned by the Soviet government to perform there.
  • Non-stop touring took its toll on the band, and they went on hiatus until 1992. Refreshed and under new management, they released Keep the Faith in 1992. They continued to release albums, in 1995, 2000, 2002 and 2005. These albums were big sellers, thanks to their loyal fans, though overall sales were less than their earlier work. The only single to crack the top 10 was the power ballad Always. 
  • Their 2000 song It’s My Life has become a classic rock staple. It is unique in that there have been few rock bands from the 80s that have been able to have a hit in the 00s.
  • Their most recent albums – Lost Highway (2007), The Circle (2009), What About Now (2013) and This House Is Not For Sale (2016) – all hit #1 on the album chart, showing that they continue to be popular with their fans. While the albums charted well, overall sales were modest.
  • Bon Jovi has won numerous awards, including 1 Grammy award for Who Says You Can’t Go Home, with Jennifer Nettles, which won the award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 2007. They have performed over 2,700 concerts before over 34 million fans. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
  • Seeing them perform in concert, I can attest to the fact that 30+ years into their career, Bon Jovi continues to put on a kick-ass concert. Here they are in their 80s hairband days – their video for Livin’ On a Prayer. If you’re 40 years old or older – enjoy the flashback. If you’re younger – watch how your parents used to rock & roll! Or…how they still do!

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