Frozen in the collective memory as poodle-haired pretend cowboys, Bon Jovi released their self-titled debut album in 1984.
They went on to play over 2,000 shows in 47 countries to an estimated 31 million people.
In October 1986, their third album, Slippery When Wet, stayed at #1 in the US for eight weeks and became one of the biggest-selling US rock albums of the decade.
Recorded with Bruce Fairbairn in Vancouver, the album was packed with infectious sing-a-long pop-rock anthems like You Give Love A Bad Name (their first UK hit) and Livin’ On A Prayer – songs which crossed them over from a male-dominated metal audience to the pop girl crowd, miraculously without alienating either side.
The band test-marketed the songs on the LP by playing demo versions to kids in a pizza parlour across the street from their studio to ensure their songs had a gritty integrity.
In 2001, Jon Bon Jovi was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from New Jersey’s Monmouth University.
In 2013, 30 years after they formed, the band marked their anniversary with the release of a new album – What About Now – which brought together everything that honks to high heaven about latter-day Bon Jovi: the ingratiating yet forgettable soft-focus anthems that contain less beef than your average Findus product (Because I Can and the title track); the cloying ballads that couldn’t locate their own balls even with a satnav (Amen, Thick Of Thieves); and the over-earnest ‘socially conscious’ concept involving a soldier, a stripper and some other vaguely defined caricatures that positively scream “Take me seriously you fuckers! I know Barack Obama!!”
Jon Bon Jovi’s mother, Carol Sharkey, was one of the first Playboy bunnies.
“If you want to torture me, you’d tie me down and force me to watch our first five videos”
Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi (John Bongiovi)
Alec John Such