8 Little-Known Facts About Bon Jovi
Love ’em or hate ’em, there’s no denying the success of those big-hair rockers from North Jersey, Bon Jovi. Led by singer Jon Bon Jovi and guitarist Richie Sambora, the band has sold more than 100 million albums and has had a touring schedule that makes them one of the hardest-working groups in show business history. Sambora turns 55 this month, so we thought we’d look back and share a few little-known facts about the band.
1. Jon Bon Jovi always dreamt about a career in acting. His first role was in the movie Young Guns 2, starring Kiefer Sutherland. Bon Jovi was on camera for two seconds.
2. Bon Jovi’s first professional recording was singing lead on the “R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas” track on the very forgettable Christmas in the Stars album.
3. In 1982, Sambora auditioned for the rock band Kiss, as they sought a replacement for guitarist Ace Frehley.
4. Speaking of Sambora, the guitar god admits to still taking lessons.
5. Keyboardist David Bryan was studying music at the Juilliard School (he previously was studying medicine) when Bon Jovi convinced his to quit and join the band.
6. “Livin’ on a Prayer,” the band’s breakout hit (along with “You Give Love a Bad Name”), almost didn’t make it onto the seminal Slippery When Wet. The band tweaked the song, and then knew they had a hit.
7. Jon and Richie performed an acoustic version of “Livin’ on a Prayer” on the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards show. That performance, along with a mellow version of “Wanted Dead or Alive,” was so popular it spawned a resurgence in acoustic music, and led to the MTV Unplugged series.
8. In “Livin’ on a Prayer,” Jon sings about the lives of Tommy and Gina. Tommy and Gina lived on, in the band’s 2000 hit, “It’s My Life.”