Book Bon Jovi for a Private Performance

After ushering in the era of pop-metal with their 1986 blockbuster Slippery When Wet and its hit singles “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” and “Living on a Prayer,” Bon Jovi wound up transcending the big-haired ’80s, withstanding changes in style and sound to become one of the biggest American rock bands of their time — selling over 120 million albums worldwide and sustaining their popularity well into the new millennium.

Bon Jovi took their name from lead singer Jon Bon Jovi (born Jon Bongiovi), who spent his adolescence playing in local Jersey bands with David Bryan. Jon’s cousin Tony Bongiovi owned the celebrated New York recording studio the Power Station and Jon spent many hours there, working as a janitor and recording demos after hours. One of those demos, “Runaway,” became a hit on local New Jersey radio and led to the formation of Bon Jovi the band, as Jon and Bryan were supported by guitarist Dave Sabo, bassist Alec John Such, and drummer Tico Torres.

Bon Jovi released their eponymous debut album in 1984, generating a Top 40 hit with the original version of “Runaway.” The following year, 7800° Fahrenheit was released and went gold, all serving as a prelude to the band’s 1986 breakthrough, Slippery When Wet. Paul Stanley had given Jon and Richie the phone number of professional songwriter Desmond Child, and together they wrote two of the album’s biggest hits in Richie’s parents’ basement.

The following year, Bon Jovi reunited to record their fifth album, Keep the Faith, which was released in the fall of 1992. A greatest-hits album called Cross Road appeared in 1994 and yielded another Top Ten ballad, “Always.” Around the same time, bassist Alec John Such left the band; Hugh McDonald, who appeared on Bon Jovi recordings stretching back as far as “Runaway,” became his unofficial replacement and featured prominently on the band’s next album.

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