Bon Jovi – Featured ArtistPermalink
Posted by Sean Duffy @ 10:55 am
Saturday, 22 December 2012
Coming up, very shortly on Rock & Pop Radio, at 11am GMT, for a two hour stint is Bon Jovi! We will be repeating the show tonight at 8pm, and then we will do it all over again on Sunday!
Bon Jovi is an American rock band from Sayreville, New Jersey. Formed in 1983, Bon Jovi consists of lead singer and namesake Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.), guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres. The band’s lineup has remained mostly static during their history, the only exception being the departure of bass player Alec John Such in 1994, who was unofficially replaced by Hugh McDonald.
The band achieved widespread recognition with their third album, Slippery When Wet, released in 1986. Their fourth album New Jersey, which was released in 1988, became just as successful as its predecessor. Bon Jovi went onto achieve thirteen U.S. Top 40 hits between 1986–1995, including four number-ones with “You Give Love a Bad Name”, “Livin’ on a Prayer”, “Bad Medicine”, and “I’ll Be There for You”. Other Top 10 hits included “Wanted Dead or Alive”, “Bed of Roses” and “Always”. Their 2000 single “It’s My Life”, successfully introduced the band to a younger audience. Bon Jovi has been known to use different styles in their music, which has included country for their 2007 album Lost Highway which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, as did their next album, The Circle, in 2009. Their latest album, What About Now, will be released in 2013.
Throughout their career, the band have released eleven studio albums, three compilation albums and one live album, and have sold 130 million records worldwide. They have performed more than 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 35 million fans. Bon Jovi was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006.The band was also honored with the Award of Merit at the American Music Awards in 2004, and as songwriters and collaborators, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.
Jon Bon Jovi began playing piano and guitar in 1975, at the age of 13, with his first band ‘Raze’. At 16, Bon Jovi met David Bryan and formed a band called Atlantic City Expressway. Still in his teens, Bon Jovi played in the band “John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones,” playing local clubs like “The Fast Lane,” and opening for known acts in the area. By 1980, he formed another band, “The Rest”, and opened up for New Jersey acts such as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
By mid-1982, out of school and working part-time at a women’s shoe store, Jon Bon Jovi took a job at the Power Station Studios, a Manhattan recording facility where his cousin Tony Bongiovi was co-owner. Bon Jovi made several demos—including one produced by Billy Squier—and sent them to record companies, though failing to make an impact. His first professional recording was as lead vocals in “R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” which was part of the Christmas in the Stars album which his cousin co-produced.
Bon Jovi visited local radio station WAPP 103.5FM “The Apple” in Lake Success, New York. He spoke directly to the promotion director, John Lassman, who accepted the song “Runaway” for inclusion on the station’s compilation album of local homegrown talent. Bon Jovi was initially reluctant, but eventually gave them the song, on which Bon Jovi had used studio musicians to play on the track. The studio musicians who helped record “Runaway”—known as The All Star Review—were guitarist Tim Pierce, keyboardist Roy Bittan, drummer Frankie LaRocka, and bassist Hugh McDonald.
The song began to get airplay in the New York area, then other sister stations in major markets picked up the song. In March 1983, Bon Jovi called David Bryan, who in turn called bassist Alec John Such (b. Alec John Such, November 14, 1952, Yonkers, New York, USA) ex-Phantom’s Opera and an experienced drummer named Tico Torres. Tapped to play lead guitar was Bon Jovi’s neighbor, Dave Sabo (a.k.a. The Snake)—who later formed the group Skid Row. Sabo was eventually replaced by Richie Sambora (b. Richard Stephen Sambora, July 11, 1959, Perth Amboy, New Jersey, USA). Before joining the group, Sambora had toured with Joe Cocker, played with a group called Mercy and had been called up to audition for Kiss. He also played on the album Lessons with the band Message, which was re-released on CD through Long Island Records in 1995. Message was originally signed to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records label, although the album was never released.
Tico Torres was also an experienced musician, having recorded and played live with Phantom’s Opera, The Marvelettes, and Chuck Berry. He appeared on 26 records and had recently recorded with Franke and the Knockouts, a Jersey band with hit singles during the early 1980s.
David Bryan had quit the band that he and Bon Jovi had founded in order to study medicine. While in college, he realized that he wanted to pursue music full-time, and was accepted to Juilliard School, a New York music school. When Bon Jovi called his friend and said that he was putting together a band, and a record deal looked likely, Bryan followed Bon Jovi’s lead and gave up his studies.
Once the band began playing showcases and opening for local talent, they caught the attention of record executive Derek Shulman, who signed them to Mercury Records and who was part of the PolyGram company. Because Jon Bon Jovi wanted a group name, Pamela Maher, a friend of Richard Fischer and an employee of Doc McGhee, suggested they call themselves Bon Jovi, following the example of the other famous two-word bands such as Van Halen. This name was chosen instead of the original idea of Johnny Electric. Pamela’s suggestion of the name was met with little enthusiasm, but two years later they hit the charts under that name.
With the help of their new manager Doc McGhee they recorded the band’s debut album, Bon Jovi, which was released on January 21, 1984. The album included the band’s first hit single, “Runaway”, reaching top forty on the Billboard Hot 100. The album peaked at number forty-three on the Billboard 200 album chart. And the group found themselves opening for Scorpions in U.S. and for Kiss in Europe.
In 1985, Bon Jovi’s second album 7800° Fahrenheit was released. The band released three singles “Only Lonely”, “In and Out of Love” and the ballad “Silent Night”. The album peaked at number thirty seven on Billboard 200 and certified Gold by RIAA. While the album did not do as well as they’d hoped in terms of sales, it allowed Bon Jovi to get out on the road touring again. In May 1985, Bon Jovi headlined venues in Japan and Europe. At the end of the European tour, the band began a six-month run of U.S. tourdates supporting Ratt. In the midst of that tour they managed to make appearances at the Texas Jam and Castle Donington’s Monsters of Rock concerts in England. Jon Bon Jovi also did a solo appearance at the very first Farm Aid in 1985.Powered by Disqus
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