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Bon Jovi has been making music together for more than 20 years and they show no signs of stopping. Their beginnings were somewhat backwards, but their fame has been long lasting. The have released ten original albums, one live album, one collector's set and two greatest hits albums, one with a twist. They have a fan base that encompasses 3 generations and are looking forward to inspiring a fourth.
In 1983, Jon was working for $50.00 a week at the Power Station Recording studio in New York City. He was a "Gofer"; running errands, fetching coffee, sweeping floors, etc and was working on his own music on his down time. Late at night, using other musicians that he recruited, he would record his own songs.
Jon took his demo to various people in the music business. He was approached by a DJ from WAPP, a local radio station in New York, who was making an album of local artists. He wanted to include one of Jon's songs, Runaway on the album. Although reluctant at first, he did allow the radio to put the song of their album.
Runaway was given lots and lots of airplay and was picked up by radio stations all over the country. WAPP wanted Jon to perform, but at this point, he did not have a band. Runaway was one of those songs he had recorded late a night. Jon called on his long time friend, David Rashbaum (who would later change his last name to Bryan), Tico Torres (who was playing with Frankie and the Knockouts) and Jersey Bassist, Alec John Such. For the guitar, Jon asked a friend from the neighborhood. This band played the promotional shows. After one of the shows, a guitarist approached Jon stating that he should be the guitarist for this band. Jon was impressed by his attitude and after hearing him play, his talent. Jon hired the guitarist, Richie Sambora and this would be the face of the band for more than 10 years.
The record companies came looking for Jon and the band and they signed with Mercury. They encouraged Jon to drop the "h" from John and de-ethicize his last name. Jon Bon Jovi and Bon Jovi were born. He had also been approached by Doc McGhee, a manager, promising to make Bon Jovi the biggest band in the world. He had the band opening for ZZ Top at Madison Square Garden before they released their 1st album, Bon Jovi. The second single from this album She Don't Know Me is the only song that appears on a Bon Jovi album that does not have Jon credited as a writer. This song was part of the Mercury deal.
Runaway hit the top 40 and MTV played the video as Bon Jovi made their debut on American Bandstand. Bon Jovi began a world tour opening for KISS and the Scorpions.
In December of 1984, the band came home from the tour and began working on their next album. In April of 1985, 7800 Fahrenheit was released. This album had three singles released, In & Out of Love, Only Lonely and Silent Night with videos. The album did not do as well as hope in terms of sale. The band went back on tour, supporting RATT. They also made appearances at the Monsters of Rock concerts in England. Jon had a solo appearance at the very first Farm Aid concert.
By the end of the year, Jon and Richie were ready to begin work on the 3rd album. In April 1986, the band moved to Vancouver to finish the album. Several months later Slippery When Wet was ready and was released in June. The first single You Give Love a Bad Name was the band first #1 single on the billboards chart. The second single Livin' on a Prayer went #1 as well. The third single, Wanted Dead or Alive went to #7, but it is the most recognizable hit from the band still today and is know as their anthem. When the album was released, they were opening up for .38 Special: by the end of the year, they were headlining arenas all over the country. This album spent 94 weeks on the Billboard Chart, 8 of those at #1.
Jon's good looks made him a great cover boy for the band and the chosen decoration for many teenagers' walls, lockers etc. The band having sold out shows and mega success went back into the studio right away to prove that this was not a fluke. Their released their 4th album, New Jersey in October 1998. The first single, Bad Medicine spent 2 weeks at #1. The follow up singles, Born to Be My Baby, I'll Be There for You (also hit #1) and Living in Sin all hit the top 10. Living in Sin's original video was banned from the MTV airwaves for being to risqué, but was re-edited and played.
They toured through 1989 and 1990, playing over 150 shows. They participate in the Moscow Music Peace Festival and were the 1st American band to have their album (New Jersey) released on the (Moscow)state owned record label.
The band was physically, mentally and emotionally worn out after 16 months of touring and concerts. The band members finally went home, without any clear plans for the future.
Both Jon (Blaze of Glory) and Richie (Strangers in Town) released solo projects and the future of this band was very unclear. Jon was becoming more disillusioned with the music business and unhappy with the status quo. In 1991, he fired the band's management, business advisors and agents. Jon had decided that there was a future for Bon Jovi and took over the management of the band himself. He re-grouped the band and headed back to the studios.
In 1992, Keep the Faith was released. This album was critically acclaimed and had morphed into the changing music scene without losing their sound. The band's image changed as well. Gone was the trappings of the 80's scene with the spandex and big hair and the new look was a no frills attitude. Keep the Faith and Bed of Roses (top ten hit) were the two released singles from this album. I Believe and Dry County are the fan favorites from this album.
In 1993, the band released a greatest hits album, Crossroads. Included in this album among the band's greatest hits were two new songs, Someday I'll be a Saturday Night and Always (a monster ballad that spent 32 weeks on the charts and became one of their biggest hits).
It was at this time that the band and Alec John Such decided to part ways. The 4 remaining band members decided that the new bass player would not be an "Official" band member out of respect for Alec and his contributions. He would never be officially replaced in the band. The band brought in Hugh McDonald to handle the bass duties. They began touring (1995)with the new look of Bon Jovi. During this tour, These Days was released and was critically acclaimed. The single, This Ain't a Love Song was a worldwide hit.
After this tour, the band agreed to a 2-year hiatus to pursue outside interests.
Jon (Destination Anywhere), Richie (Undiscovered Soul) and David (Under a Full Moon) all released solo albums. Tico was recognized as a painter and sculptor. David was also working in the theater and Jon was working as an actor.
In 1999, the band members (minus David due to an injury) meet at the former Power Station studio to work on the song Real Life for the movie EDTV. It would be a year later before they got back together for the next album.
In 2000, they released Crush and its 1st single, It's My Life was a hit. Crush debuted on the US billboard Chart at #9 and spawned two additional single, Thank You for Loving Me and Say it isn't So. They received 2 Grammy nominations, Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance by a Duo/Group for It's My Life. The video for It's My Life won a VH-1 award for favorite video. They toured through the world for the next few years.
In 2001 while on tour, they released One Wild Night: Live 1985-2001, this was their first live album. This album sold more than 2 million copies and the band received a VH-1 award for the Hottest Live Show in 2002.
Once the tours were completed in 2001, the band planned a short break before heading into the studio. However, the world changed that September. Jon, Richie and the band participate in several fund raising events and tributes for the families to honor those who had lost their lives at the World Trade Center.
In March of 2002, they entered the recording studio to record their 8th Album, Bounce. This was a reference to NYC and the US ability to Bounce back after the attacks but also to the band's ability to bounce back over the years.
Bounce was kicked off when the band was asked by the National Football League to help celebrate the beginning of their season and play for the opening show. They also played during the game at Giant's Stadium. On Thanksgiving 2002, they played during half time at Ford Field in Detroit. They played at the 2003 Super bowl in San Diego.
Bounce was released in October 2002 and debut at #2 on the US Billboard Chart. They began the tour in 2003 in Japan and ended at Giant's Stadium with a 2 night sold out show.
In August 2003, they entered the studios to create This Left Feels Right: Greatest Hits……..With a Twist. The band had deconstructed their songs, stripped them down to the acoustic cores and then rebuilt them. They did not tour with this album, but did two intimate concerts at the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City in November. They decided that 2004 would be a non-album year and non-touring year. They released a DVD of this concert.
Tico became a father and work on his baby clothing line. David continued to work on his musical theatre projects, Memphis debuted. Jon launched the Philadelphia Soul, an arena football league as a part owner, campaigned for John Kerry and welcomed a child.
Most of the year was spent creating the long awaited box set, 100,000,000 Fans Can't Be Wrong. They decided to clean out their closets and find those gems that had been previously unreleased. The box set included 50 songs, 38 never before released and the remaining 12 were rarities (soundtracks, demos or as foreign b-side).
In 2005, Have a Nice Day was released and the band began a tour which lasted them into 2006. The album landed at #2 on the billboard chart after the 1st week of sales. Bon Jovi included Who Says You Can't Go Home Again a duet with Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles and they became the first Rock band to have a #1 song on the country charts. In February 2006 at the Daytona 500, Bon Jovi performed It's My Life, Have a Nice Day and Who Say You Can't Go Home Again(for which Jennifer Nettles joined them on stage). This was their 1st time performing at a NASCAR event.
In 2007, they released Lost Highway, a predominantly country album. The tour began in June 2007 and will last them into 2008. The singles from this album are (You want to)Make a Memory, Lost Highway and the duet with Leann Rimes Till We ain't Strangers Anymore.
--Jon Bon Jovi--
Birthday: March 2nd, 1962
Instruments: Vocals, Guitar, Primary Songwriter
Influences: Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith
Hometown: Sayreville, NJ
Now lives in: New Jersey
Family : Wife Dorothea Hurley (married April 29, 1989) and children Stephanie Rose (b. 1993), Jesse James (b. 1995), Jacob Hurley (b. 2002) and Romeo Jon (b. 2004).
Birthday: July 11th, 1959
Instruments: Guitar, Vocals, Primary Songwriter
Influences: Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, The Beatles
Hometown: Woodbridge, NJ
Now lives in: California (Homes in Los Angeles and Laguna Beach)
Family: Ex-wife Heather Locklear (Married December 17, 1994) and daughter Ava Elizabeth (b.1997).
Birthday: February 7th, 1962
Instruments: Keyboards, Vocals
Influences: Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin
Hometown: Edison, NJ
Now lives in: New Jersey
Family: Wife April McLean (married August 25, 1990) and children: Colton (b. 1994), Gabrielle (b.1994) and TygerLily (b. 2000).
Birthday: October 7th, 1953
Instruments: Drums, Percussion
Influences: John Coltrane, Elvin Jones, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles
Hometown: New York, NY
Now lives in: Florida
Family: Wife Alejandra (married September 24, 2001), and son Hector Jr. (b. 2004)moreless
- Trivia & Quotes
Jon Bon Jovi: To have had a couple of songs, like Wanted, Livin' on a Prayer or It's My Life, that um have stood the test of time is the closest thing to immortality that we'll ever experience.
Jon Bon Jovi: (About having to live with Richie after Crossroads) There's going to be no living with Richie now. He's used to having a cute blond girl going up to him an just doing this (Jon starts swinging his hips. If you think I'm doing that to you, you're crazy!
Jon Bon Jovi: You got to get music out there however you can. Radio is getting smaller and smaller; the record business is getting smaller and smaller. There are things that are fantastic, like the Internet; it's tough because it's created something none of us knew 10 years ago, and you have to learn to roll with those punches. But it's not the way it used to be; it's not the record business that I grew up in.
Jon: I started every show in the audience on that last tour and it's good, because as we play these bigger and bigger and bigger and multiple nights at football stadiums, sometimes it's hard to see the people. Let alone touch them. So it was an idea that I'd get out there among the crowd and play Last Man Standing and let the folks in the back have the front-row seats for the first song. We've always been about inclusion with our audience, and I think that's probably another facet to our success.
Jon Bon Jovi: (About Lost Highway) You know, it's not about having to prove anything any more. I think we feel that less and less with each album - we know what we've achieved. But it's important to experiment. Without experimentation there wouldn't be growth, and you risk becoming something of a nostalgia act, trying to repeat past successes.
In 2007, Bon Jovi was listed at #18 in Forbes magazine's Celebrity 100.
As of 2006, Bon Jovi has performed in more than 50 countries, in front of an excess of 32 million people with more than 2,500 concerts.
In September, 2005, Bon Jovi gave a donation of one million dollars to Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network. The money was to assist the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. This was the highest donation that the charity had received to date. The check was presented on air and no one at the Oprah show knew about the band’s donation.
Who Says You Can't Go Home was featured in the commercials for the 2006 "Visit New Jersey" campaign.
Bon Jovi's live performance from Dublin, Ireland during the Bounce tour is featured as part of the 2003 Duracell commercial campaign.