Jovi - Biography
Bon Jovi is a rock band from
New Jersey, USA that sold more than 100 million albums in the 1980s,
1990s and 2000s and played live concerts
in major cities in Asia, Europe, Australia, Canada and South
America, in addition to a large number of cities in the USA. Bon
Jovi have sometimes been classified as Hair metal - sometimes even
regarded as the form's prime shapers - but have proved much more
durable than most groups so labeled. It has been a band which
inspired lots of today's bands, and also created the "Unplugged"
style of performing on a MTV award show.
Jon Bon Jovi -
- lead guitar
Tico Torres -
David Bryan -
- bass guitar (although not classed as an 'official' member, Hugh
has plaed bass on Bon Jovi's albums since 1995 and joins them on
Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi (John
Bongiovi) began to play piano and guitar at thirteen, using
John songs. At that same age, Bongiovi founded his first band,
called Raze. At 16 Jon met David
Bryan (David Bryan Rashbaum) in high school (Sayreville War Memorial
High School ) and founded an R&B cover band with him named Atlantic
City Expressway. They played at New Jersey clubs, even though they
were minors. Still in his teens, Jon played in the band
Jon Bon Jovi and the Wild Ones,
playing New Jersey clubs like the Fast Lane and opening for known
acts in the area.
By the summer of 1982, out of
school and working part-time - including in a shoe store - Jon
finally got a job at the Power Station Studios, a New York recording
facility where his cousin, Tony Bongiovi, was the co-owner. Jon made
several demos (including one produced by Billy Squier) and sent them
out to many record companies - but failed to make an impact.
At nineteen, Jon had his first
recording experience, singing the song "R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry
Christmas" by Meco Monardo and
Daniel Oriolo on a Star Wars Christmas album, "Christmas in the
Stars", produced by Tony Bongiovi at
the Power Station and released on the RSO label.
In 1983, a local radio station,
WAPT, had a contest to search for the best unsigned band. Jon used
studio musicians to play on the track "Runaway" (which was written
in 1980). After it won the contest, it quickly became a popular song
in the New York City area in the summer of 1983. The studio
musicians who helped Jon to record "Runaway" were known as "The
All Star Review" and they were Tim
Pierce (guitar), Roy Bittan (keyboards), Frankie LaRocka
(drums) and Hugh McDonald (bass).
Jon desperately needed a band. The
members of Bon Jovi had crossed paths in these early days, but the
current lineup didn't come together until March of 1983 after
"Runaway" which hit No.39 on the singles chart. Jon gave Dave a
call, who in turn called Alec John Such and Tico Torres.
A succession of guitarists
(including Dave Sabo, who went on to
Skid Row) followed, until Richie Sambora signed on. Alec talked Jon
into letting Richie show what he could do, and Jon loved it. Before
joining Bon Jovi, Richie had toured with Joe Cocker, played with a
group called Mercy and had just been called up to audition for KISS.
He also played in the album "Lessons" with the band Message, that
has been recently rereleased in CD through Long Island Records.
Tico Torres was also an experienced
musician by then. He had jammed with Miles Davis and played live
with the Marvelettes and Chuck Berry. He had played on about 26
records and had just recorded his third album with
Frankie and the Knockouts (a Jersey
band with hit singles in the early 1980s).
David Bryan was a natural recruit.
He had quit the band he and Jon founded to go to college, then quit
college to go to Juilliard School, the famous classical music
At one show, where they opened for
Scandal, the band caught the attention of record exec Derek Shulman,
who signed them to PolyGram.
The debut album came out on January
21, 1984. The album went gold (sales of over 500,000) and was also
released in the UK. The guys found themselves opening for ZZ Top at
the Madison Square Garden (before their first album had been
released), Scorpions and KISS (in Europe).
Their third album, Slippery When
Wet, shot the band to superstar status around the world with
hits such as "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Livin' On A Prayer", and
"Wanted Dead or Alive". The album has sold in excess of twelve
million copies since its release in late 1986. On the tour that
followed, Jon began having vocal difficulties. The extremely high
notes and unrelenting schedule threatened to damage his voice
permanently. With the help of a vocal coach, he made it through the
tour. Jon has tended to sing slightly lower since then.
Alec John Such left the band in the
early 1990s. While he has not been officially replaced, Hugh
McDonald has handled studio and live bass duties since then.
Bon Jovi's Official
Music Bios A-Z
Free Music Tools
Artists & Bands Gallery