Dry County Archives: Bon Jovi Facts
Everything about Jon Bon Jovi
Translated by Erik (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jon Bon Jovi's real name is John Frank Bongiovi. He was born on 2 March 1962 in Sayreville, New Jersey, born as the son of a hairdresser (!) and a Playboy bunny (!!). Nowadays Jo(h)n is, from is fashionable boots up to his nicely styled hair, about 1 meter and 78 centimeters tall. The color of his eyes always stayed the same: blue.
Our main character was never afraid to take the initiative. As a young boy he held a job at the record studio of his cousin Tony Bongiovi, but in between washing and mopping he had the oppurtunity to make some recordings. One of those songs, the happy sing-along tune "Runaway" (with a borrowed intro from Billy Joel -'All for Leyna' -, that should be mentioned too some time) found it's way to a collection album filled with local Rock and turned out to be the most requested songs on the local radio stations in no time.
The above mentioned situation resulted in the contract offer of the Mercury record company to the curly head entrepreneur. With a band that he arranged himself, consisting of David Bryan (a highschool buddy that was born on 7 February 1962 as David Rashbaum), guitarist Richie Sambora (11 July 1959), bassist Alec John Such (14 November 1956) and drummer Tico Torres (7 October 1953), they made the debut album "Bon Jovi" in 1984. A record filled with easy listening powerpop with the emphasis on easy sing-along choruses, with a nice guitar solo every now and then ("Roulette"). Extra contributions came from star-guitarist Aldo Nova en the -later to be- Rainbow drummer Chuck Burgi. And in no-time the band was opening for Kiss in Europe. Four years earlier the same thing happened to Iron Maiden and we all know how that band did after that. World-fame couldn't get away from Bon Jovi anymore! Tracklist:'Runaway / Roulette / She don't know me / Shot through the heart / Love Lies / Breakout / Burning for love / Come back / Get Ready'. The first band that Jon was ever part of had the beautiful name Atlantic City Expressway. Supposedly the 17 year old singer/gitarist was practically playing in the doorway of the emergency exit during his debut performance at the loca Stone Pmy Club. This because he was only 17 at the time while the minumum age was 18 for the club the A.C.E played at. In case of a police-check Jon would be out the back door in no-time! In his school school days Jon Bongiovi hang out day and night with his big buddy, Dave Sabo, a guy with the exact same interests. The two made an agreement for live: if one of the two would ever reach the top as a musician, then he'd do everything to get the other one there too. And they kept their word. Jon reached the top first, but didn't feel to big to come down again and take his friend by the hand and guide him to success. Sabo's band was put under the management of the Bon Jovi's and played together with them on stage. Now, many years later, Dave Sabo's band turned out to be a world-act too. The name of the band? Skid Row!
The logo on the inner record cover of the debut album was designed by Jon's four year younger brother Anthony Michael Bongiovi. We haven't seen that logo again after that.
At one point in time Jon auditioned for the movie "Footloose". Not him , but the well-known actor Kevin Bacon got the part. Jon didn't make his movie debut until 1991 in the western 'Young Guns II'. The performance isn't overly impressive; within several minutes he gets killed.
Jon's favorite drink is called 'Muff Dive' which is a mix of Vodka, peach brandy and 'vossebessensap'. <<<*Note from Erik: this is the first time I don't know the translation for a word in one of the facts. Vossebessensap is some sort of berry juice. Litteraly translated it's fox-berry-juicy. I have have never heard of it in Dutch nor can I think of anything in English that might be it. Last time I checked berry's don't grow on foxes so that's unliklely to be the translation :-) *>>>
When Jon started to make milions he made a remarkable decision: he bought four houses at once! One for himself and his newly wed wife Dorothea and one for his parents, while brothers Anthony and Mat both got an apartment. "We are Americans of Italian descent", Bongiovi said, "so our family ties are very strong. That's why I wanted to share my success with the ones I care for".
Jon, even more serious: "If there is something we have in common within the band it's our believe in God. I went to catholic school myself and that influenced me tremendously. Well, it doesn't hurt to believe in something."
About a man with the status of Jon Bon Jovi of course the wildest rumors are going around. When the, used-to-be-long-hair, singer showed up with a shorter haircut one day, the pulp press (so not us!) saw a wonderful opportunity to make up a story. They wrote that Jon burned his hair at a Bruce Springsteen bbq party! "Complete nonsense!" Jon Said. "I just wanted something different." Those who want to see Jon Bon Jovi from up close - and who doesn't, girls? should go to the Piccadilly circus in the center of London. But don't lean on him with a cigarette becaus he will melt. The artist in the Rock circus are made out of wax.
Jon is not only active as singer, guitar player, model and actor he also seems do be doing well being a producer. When Bon Jovi quit playing for a while (after the exhausting New Jersey tour) Jon lead the recording of 'Blood on the bricks', an album of friend and guitarist Aldo Nova. On this side of the ocean we mainly know him from his tight panther suits and the controversial words "Ritchie Blackmore is a bad guitar player."
Jon Bon Jovi is a good human being. Not all the songs that he writes he keeps for himself. 'Sometimes it's a bitch' (appropriate?) went to Fleetwood Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks, while the duo Hall & Oates were made happy with the song 'So Close'.
Jon purposely didn't work with Richie on 'Stranger in this town', Richie Sambora's solo record . And that while the other band members did show up in the studio. Jon: "I purposely didn't work with Richie, because it would wind up sounding like a Bon Jovi record anyhow, this time with Richie's voice. I felt it had to be his record. He also needed to feel what it is like to work on a record alone. And because of it, he's a lot more self-confident now."
Bon Jovi likes being in Holland. Jon tells us why. "In Holland at least they treat you like a normal human being. Of course, as a rockband you sometimes feel the need for screaming fans outside your hotel door, but it's also nice to just talk to someone. And in Holland we can do that."
Little joke from Jon. "Still bus loads of people arrive to my house. I always tell to go a little further down the road, to Bruce Springsteen, but they keep coming..."
Recently Jon did a photo session for the cover of a Japanse guitar magazine. "Strange", he thought, "because I'm certainly not the world's best guitar player. But Tico told me: 'It doesn't matter that you only know three chords. As longs as you compose hit singles that sell millions, there is nothing wrong withyou'."
The secret of Bon Jovi's success? Jon: "I wish I knew, then I would have sold the formula and I wouldn't have to work as hard anymore. May be it's a matter of keep on going. You either love us or you don't, but we will keep on going until the people that originally didn't like us will change their opinion about us."
As a really generous gesture Jon decided to put the house he grew up in for an MTV competition. "To make one of my fans happy", was the motivation. He was really angry when he found out the winner immediately put the house up for sale.
"What's going to be the kids name?" was the most heard question that Jon had to listen to when his wife was pregnant. At one point he was so sick of it that he said:"No matter if it's going to be a boy or a girl, we will call it little Elvis!". Mid '93 the baby was born and was named Stephanie Rose Bongiovi.
For a while now, Jon has been married to his highschool sweetheart Dorothea Hurley. The secret to their marriage? Jon reveals a small part of the secret: "Dorothea is not really bothered when I go of the sly sometimes, that's just part of the Rock&Roll life."
The guitar player that Jon admires most is... Richie Sambora. "He's a guitar miracle, Bon Jovi couldn't do without him. He gets amazing sounds out of his instrument, it almost seems like he uses twenty fingers.
Jon has a secret passion that he gives in to almost every day. Sadomasochism? Cocaine? Animal sex? No, the singer/guitarist loves cartoons! We hear from reliable sources that his favorite paper hero is Uncle Scrooge. Probably because he can best identigy himself with this rich duck..
Jon Bon Jovi and the pecunia. "Money is not important in my life. As a kid I never had money. The first years that I made music, I didn't make anything either. What kept me going was pride: I played my own songs. The firsts two records didn't bring in any money either. That started with the third record. And then all of a sudden I had so much, that again it wasn't important anymore.
Jon doesn't collect stamps, Jon collects cars. "I have a Ferrari, a Camero, two Corvettes a couple Jeeps, a Mustang Shelby and a unique Lincoln Premier from 1957."
"I was never a big heavy metal fan," Jon says now. "We got that label because, at one point in time, we opened for Kiss and the Scorpions. No, we make pop music. Just like Alice Cooper."
For Jon Bon Jovi Aerosmith, a band that he knows from the times that he cleaned the studio of his cousin, still stands on a pedestal. "I would love it if I could be half as long half as cool."
Jon, self-confident: "As soon as I'm afraid of the bands that open for us I don't deserve to be a star anymore".
Jon, even more self-confident: "There a lot of panties thrown on stage during our shows. But trust me: panties are better than bottles!"
"The philosophy of this band," according to Jon, "has always been: staying down to earth." Which is strange since Jon made a habit out of it for years to float above the audience on a cable during concerts.
Jon, down to earth: "I know I will never be recognized as an important figure in Rock music. I always stayed to normal for that."
Jon: "I like being in Amsterdam, even though the hookers are getting uglier."
Sometimes you hear these things that make you tired, very very tired. Look at Jon Bon Jovi, a relatively good looking guy. He is jealous of the sexual attraction that his pal Richie Sambora has. Jon: "Richie's sexlife is on the border of the unreal. He's the Warren Beaty of Rock. In a next life I want to come back as Richie."
Jon passionately hates the former Go Go's singer Belinda Carlisle. "That bitch just copied our song 'Livin' on a prayer and turned it in to a overly sweet, nagging song: 'Heaven is a place on earth'. When I tried to point that out to her one day, the bitch just laughed at me".
Jon, reflecting his thoughts: "The moment you sign a record contract you're in debt. You sign an IOU that takes you years to pay back."