Bon Jovi have been a rock ‘n’ roll staple for three decades now. Fans may disagree about the best phase of the band’s career — and even the overall merits of the band itself — but the fact remains that Bon Jovi have had remarkable stamina, even with the official departure of guitarist, and Jon Bon Jovi‘s main songwriting partner, Richie Sambora. But how much do you really know about the band? Dig deep into our list of Facts You May Not Know About Bon Jovi.
Jon Bon Jovi honed his musical chops while working at New York’s Power Station Studio, which was co-owned by his cousin Tony Bongiovi. While there, he recorded his first professional track: ‘R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas,’ which was released on the ‘Star Wars’-themed album ‘Christmas in the Stars.’
Bon Jovi’s early signature song ‘Runaway’ was recorded with a pickup band nicknamed the All Star Review, which consisted of musicians who were hanging out in the studio, including Scandal drummer Frankie LaRocka, future Bon Jovi bass player Hugh McDonald and E Street Band legend Roy Bittan.
Bon Jovi were originally going to be called Johnny Electric, until a wise friend suggested they follow Van Halen’s example and take their leader’s last name as their own.
The title of Bon Jovi’s second album, ‘7800 Fahrenheit,’ was inspired by Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ named after the temperature at which books catch fire. ‘7800 Fahrenheit’ is the melting point of most rocks.
Bon Jovi almost gave their first No. 1 single, ’You Give Love a Bad Name,’ to Canadian rockers Loverboy before cowriters Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora came to their senses and kept it for themselves.
Bon Jovi’s fourth album, 1988’s ‘New Jersey’ (named after their home state), was the first rock album released in the pre-Glasnost U.S.S.R.
‘In These Arms,’ from 1992’s ‘Keep the Faith,’ was cowritten by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and keyboard player David Bryan, who loved the song so much that he re-recorded it twice: as an instrumental for his 1995 solo debut, ‘On a Full Moon,’ and with vocals for his next solo outing, 2000’s ‘Lunar Eclipse.’
Jon Bon Jovi’s forays into acting are widely known, as are Richie Sambora’s solo projects. Even keyboardist David Bryan snagged headlines with his hit Broadway musical ‘Memphis.’ But drummer Tico Torres’ side gig as a painter has flown under the mainstream radar, even though he’s exhibited and sold his art continuously over the past 20 years.
After former bassist Alec John Such left the band in 1994, he’s maintained a low profile, splitting his time between his New York City motorcycle store and managing bands, including the Chicago-based 7th Heaven, which Styx guitarist James ‘JY’ Young helped manage.
After bassist Alec John Such’s exit, Bon Jovi returned with a more mature and slightly cynical outlook on 1995’s ‘These Days,’ which was produced by British veteran Peter Collins, best known for his work with prog bands like Rush, Queensryche and Dream Theater.
While most American fans known Bon Jovi from their No. 1 ’80s albums ‘Slippery When Wet’ and ‘New Jersey,’ throughout Europe, Australia and Japan they’re most famous for 2000’s ‘Crush,’ which sold nearly twice as many copies overseas.
Before he made a bid for the Buffalo Bills, Jon Bon Jovi owned the Arena Football League team the Philadelphia Soul, even shooting a video with Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway in 2005.
In 2013, guitarist Richie Sambora busked undercover at New York’s Chelsea Market to collect funds for the MusiCares charity.
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