Bon Jovi Biography
Bon Jovi Biography
Bon Jovi is an American rock band from Sayreville, New Jersey. Fronted by lead singer and namesake Jon Bon Jovi , Bon Jovi formed in 1983 with guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan, bassist Alec John Such and drummer Tico Torres. Other than the departure of Alec John Such in 1994 and replaced by Hugh McDonald, the lineup has remained the same for the past 26 years. After two moderately successful albums in 1984 and 1985, the band scored big with Slippery When Wet (1986) and New Jersey (1988), which launched the band into global super stardom.
After non-stop touring, the band went on hiatus after the New Jersey Tour in 1990, during which time Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora both released successful solo albums. In 1992, the band returned with the album Keep the Faith and has since created successful albums throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Their latest album, The Circle, is set to be released on the 10th of November, 2009.
Throughout their career, the band has released ten studio albums, two compilation albums and one live album; and have sold over 120 million albums worldwide. They have performed more than 2,600 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 34 million fans. In 2006 Bon Jovi were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, and in 2004 they were ranked number 14 in Q magazine’s 50 Greatest Bands of All Time. The band was also honored with the Award Of Merit at the American Music Awards in 2004. As songwriters and collaborators, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.
John Bon Jovi
Founding member John Bon Jovi began to play piano and guitar at thirteen with his first band, called Raze. He was enrolled in an all-boys Catholic school, St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, New Jersey, but left to attend public school at Sayreville War Memorial High School. At sixteen, Bon Jovi met David Bryan (b. David Bryan Rashbaum, 7 February, 1962, Edison, New Jersey, USA) and formed a 12-piece cover band named Atlantic City Expressway after the New Jersey highway. They played at New Jersey clubs, even though they were minors. 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 mid-1982, out of school and working part-time in a women’s shoe store, Bon Jovi took a job at the Power Station Studios, a Manhattan recording facility where his cousin, Tony Bongiovi, was a co-owner. Bon Jovi made several demos (including one produced by Billy Squier) and sent them out to many record companies, but failed to make an impact.
Bon Jovi visited the 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 possible inclusion on the station’s compilation album of local homegrown talent. Lassman, along with program director Dave Hamilton and music director/afternoon DJ Chip Hobart listened to and loved the song, deciding to include it on the album. Bon Jovi was initially reluctant but eventually gave them the song on which Bon Jovi had used studio musicians to play on the track “Runaway” (originally written in 1980). The studio musicians who helped record “Runaway” were known as The All Star Review. They 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. November 14, 1951, Perth Amboy, New Jersey, USA), ex-Phantom’s Opera and an experienced drummer named Tico Torres (b. Hector Samuel Juan Torres, October 7, 1953, New York City, New York, USA).
Tapped to play lead guitar was Bon Jovi’s neighbor, Dave Sabo (a.k.a. The Snake) (b. David Michael Sabo, September 16, 1964, North Brunswick, New Jersey, USA), 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 he and Bon Jovi founded in order to study medicine. While in college, he realized he wanted to pursue music full-time and was accepted to Juilliard School, the New York music school. When Bon Jovi called his friend and said he was putting together a band and a record deal looked likely, Bryan followed Bon Jovi’s lead and gave up his studies.
The Bon Jovi lineup, which remained stable for a decade, was:
Jon Bon Jovi (lead vocals, rhythm guitar)
Richie Sambora (lead guitar, backing vocals)
David Bryan (keyboard, backing vocals)
Tico Torres (drums, percussion)
Alec John Such (bass guitar, backing vocals)
Early years (1982–1985)
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, part of the PolyGram company. Because Jon Bon Jovi wanted a group name, Pamela Maher a friend of Richard Fischer, an employee of Doc McGhee, suggested they call themselves Bon Jovi, following the example of the other famous two word band Van Halen. This name was chosen instead of the original idea of Johny 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, was released on January 21, 1984. The album included the band’s first hit single, “Runaway”. The group found themselves opening for ZZ Top at Madison Square Garden (before their first album had been released), and for Scorpions and Kiss in the US and Europe. They also made an appearance on the popular television program American Bandstand.
In 1985, Bon Jovi’s second album 7800° Fahrenheit was released. 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 April and May 1985, Bon Jovi headlined venues in Europe and Japan. In May, the band began a 6-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 Donnington’s Monsters of Rock concerts in England. Jon Bon Jovi also did a solo appearance at the very first Farm Aid in 1985.
Slippery When Wet (1986–1987)
In April 1986, Bon Jovi moved to Vancouver to record their third album. Six months of studio work resulted in Slippery When Wet. The album, produced by Bruce Fairbairn and mixed by Bob Rock, was released in August 1986 and became Bon Jovi’s breakthrough album. The first single, “You Give Love a Bad Name”, became the band’s first #1 single on the U.S. Billboard charts. The follow-up single, “Livin’ on a Prayer” hit #1 as well, spending four weeks at the top position, both co-written with a young virtually unknown songwriter named Desmond Child whose songwriting talents were recommended by KISS frontman, Paul Stanley. The songwriting partnership of Jon Bon Jovi/ Richie Sambora/ Desmond Child has continued to the present day. “Wanted Dead or Alive” was the album’s third single and still remains to this day, the Bon Jovi “National Anthem”.
MTV wholeheartedly embraced Bon Jovi, whose camera-friendly good looks and live concert videos helped catapult the band into superstardom. With the overwhelming success of Slippery When Wet Bon Jovi had become the worldwide musical superstars they had been dreaming of. Slippery When Wet holds the record for the most weeks for a hard rock album at #1 in United States. The album spent 8 weeks at #1 on Billboard 200. By 2009, Slippery When Wet had become one of the best selling albums of all time with global sales of 25 million. In the United States, it received a Diamond Certification for selling 12 million copies.
In 1987, Slippery When Wet was named the top selling album of the year by Billboard and “Livin’ On A Prayer” won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Stage Performance. The band also won an award for Best Pop/Rock Band at the American Music Awards and an award for Best Rock Group at the People’s Choice Awards.
When Slippery When Wet was released in August 1986, Bon Jovi was the support act for 38 Special. By the end of 1986, Bon Jovi were well into six months of headline dates in arenas across America. In August 1987, the band headlined England’s “Monsters of Rock” festival. During their set Dee Snider, Bruce Dickinson and Paul Stanley joined the band to perform “We’re an American Band”. The band ended the year having headlined 130 shows in the “Tour Without End”, grossing $28,400,000.
Jon Bon Jovi was asked what all this astronomical success meant, to which he answered, “Everything is bigger, and it moves twice as fast. You’re recognized twice as often. This is bigger, the whole world gets bigger. You have to sell more records, be huger. You get smarter and you understand the business a little more, so it’s more responsibility. You understand it now, and you want to make sure everything goes right“.
Following the group’s success, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were asked to assist in producing Cher’s ‘comeback’ self-titled album in 1987. Jon and Richie co-wrote and sang backing vocals on Cher’s single We All Sleep Alone and also produced several other tracks on the album, later going on to co-produce Cher’s multi-platinum album Heart of Stone in 1989.
New Jersey (1988–1990)
The Jersey Syndicate Tour 1988-1990
Determined to prove that the success of “Slippery When Wet” was not a fluke, Bon Jovi released their fourth effort New Jersey in September 1988. The resulting album was a commercial hit. New Jersey spent four consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboad 200 and sold over 7 million copies only in United States.
New Jersey also holds the record for the hard rock album to spawn the most Top 10 singles, with five singles charting on the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart in United States. “Bad Medicine” and the ballad “I’ll Be There for You”, both of hit #1 on Billboard Hot 100. The album’s three other singles (“Born to Be My Baby”, “Lay Your Hands on Me”, and “Living in Sin”) reached the Top 10 and were huge hits on MTV. Bon Jovi even made the news when the video for “Living In Sin” was banned by MTV for being too risqué. After that it was re-edited and MTV aired put it in heavy rotation.
“I’ll Be There for You” (1988)
30 second sample of the Hot 100 #1 hit, “I’ll Be There for You” by Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi mounted another huge worldwide tour that continued throughout 1989 and 1990. They visited more than 22 countries and performed more than 232 shows before it was all over. The personal highpoint for the band was their June 11, 1989 sell-out homecoming at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. In August 1989, the band headed to Russia for the Moscow Music Peace Festival. Bon Jovi were the first band officially sanctioned by the Russian government to perform in Russia and New Jersey was released on the state-owned record label, Melodiya, a privilege no Western artist had ever been granted before. Monsters of Rock festival was cancelled in 1989 because of the deaths of two fans during the Guns N’ Roses performance in 1988. It was replaced with another rock festival which took place in Milton Keynes with Bon Jovi headlining.
Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora performed on the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards. Armed only with acoustic guitars, they performed “Livin’ On A Prayer” and “Wanted Dead Or Alive”. The response from those who witnessed the performance, both live at the awards and at home on television, was instantaneous and enthusiastic. This performance has generally been acknowledged as the inspirational spark that led to the MTV Unplugged series and the catalyst for the subsequent popularity of the unplugged movement in popular music.
The non-stop touring was taking its toll on the band. By the end of the New Jersey tour, Bon Jovi had 16 months of concerts under their belt and the band members were exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. Finally, following the last tour date in Mexico, and without any clear plans for their future, the band members just went home.
Solo albums (1990–1992)
Between 1990 and 1992, the band members went their separate ways. The exhaustion of recording both Slippery When Wet and New Jersey back to back with highly paced world tours after each album took its toll on the band. The band have since stated that there were few if any goodbyes between them at the end of the New Jersey tour. During the time they took off from the scene, the band retreated to their own interests and showed no desire for making another album.
Jon Bon Jovi recorded a solo album, a soundtrack to the movie Young Guns II more commonly known as Blaze of Glory. Having been originally approached by his friend Emilio Estevez to lend “Wanted Dead Or Alive” as the theme song for his upcoming Billy The Kid sequel, Jon Bon Jovi ended up composing an all new theme song for the film’s soundtrack and delivering his first solo album.
Released in 1990, the album featured high profile guests such as Elton John, Little Richard and Jeff Beck. The album fared well commercially and received positive reviews. The title track, “Blaze of Glory” hit #1 in United States. That year “Blaze of Glory” won an award for Best Pop/Rock Single at the American Music Awards and awarded a Golden Globe, as well. The song also earned Jon Bon Jovi an Academy Award nomination and a Grammy nomination.
Sambora, with the help of Tico Torres and David Bryan, released a solo album entitled Stranger In This Town, in 1991. The album featured Eric Clapton on the song “Mr. Bluesman”. David Bryan recorded a soundtrack for the horror movie The Netherworld, which was the brighter part of that year after he was hospitalized with an illness caused by a South American parasite. Alec John Such took a fall off of his motorcycle which injured his bass-playing hand, forcing him to develop a whole new way to hold and play his instrument.
Disillusioned with the music business, despite all his success, and unhappy with the status quo, in 1991 Jon Bon Jovi fired his management, business advisers, and agents. He also fired long time manager, Doc McGhee. Jon took on the quarterbacking responsibilities himself by closing ranks and creating Bon Jovi Management.
In October 1991 the band went to a Caribbean island of St. Thomas to discuss plans for future. They managed to resolve their differences by allowing each member to speak about his feelings without interruption from each other. Upon resolving their issues, they headed back into the Vancouver Little Mountain studios with Bob Rock to work on the band’s fifth album in January 1992.
Keep the Faith (1992–1993)
Bon Jovi 1992
Keep the Faith was released in November 1992. To promote Keep The Faith they returned to their roots playing a few dates at the small New Jersey clubs where all began. The band appeared on MTV Unplugged in late 1992 but that was different from the other episodes of MTV Unplugged series. The performance captures Bon Jovi in an intimate, “in the round” experience, performing acoustic and electric renditions of classic hits (Bon Jovi and non-Bon Jovi tracks) and new material from Keep the Faith. The concert was released commercially in 1993 as Keep the Faith: An Evening with Bon Jovi.
Keep The Faith spun six hit singles internationally and sold over nine million copies world wide. As Bon Jovi’s sound morphed itself to work in the 90s music scene, their image changed, as well. The media focused far too much attention on Jon Bon Jovi’s hair. When Jon Bon Jovi cut his hair he made headlines on CNN. The album’s title track was its first release, followed by the ballad “Bed of Roses” which was a major Top 10 hit in United States.
To mark the beginning of the band’s next phase Bon Jovi embarked on an extensive international tour, visiting countries the band had never seen before and headlining stadiums in America, Europe, Asia and Australia. They visited 38 countries and performed 177 shows on the Keep The Faith tour.
Cross Road & These Days (1994-1996)
In early 1994, “Good Guys Don’t Always Wear White” was apeared on the soundtrack to the motion picture The Cowboy Way. The band also performed the song at the MTV Movie Awards but the song never released as a single. In October 1994, Bon Jovi released a ‘greatest hits’ album titled Cross Road, with two new tracks: “Always” and “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night”. The first single off of the album, “Always”, was a massive hit. “Always” hit the #1 across Europe and spent six months on the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in United States. The single sold three million copies world wide and became Bon Jovi’s one of the biggest hits. With the album Cross Road, Bon Jovi’s album sales soared all around the world. That year Bon Jovi won an award for Best Selling Rock Band at the World Music Awards.
That same year, bassist Alec John Such left the band, the first lineup change since Bon Jovi began. Hugh McDonald (b. Hugh John McDonald, , 1950, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), who was the bassist on “Runaway,” unofficially replaced Such as bassist, with rumours that he had also recorded bass on previous albums. Jon Bon Jovi said, regarding the departure of Such: “Of course it hurts. But I learned to accept and respect it. The fact that I’m a workaholic, studio in, studio out, stage on, stage off, want to be dealing with music day and night, doesn’t mean everyone else has to adjust to that pace. Alec wanted to quit for a while now, so it didn’t come as a complete surprise.”
“This Ain’t a Love Song” (1995)
30 second sample from “This Ain’t a Love Song” by Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi’s sixth studio album, These Days, was released in June 1995. This was the first album Bon Jovi released after the firing of bassist Alec John Such. Critics responded to These Days much as they had to Keep The Faith, noting that the band had continued to mature lyrically and explore different styles of music, while keeping the music undeniably Bon Jovi. Jon Bon Jovi has stated that even though the album was their darkest, the band was in a very happy place at the time. “This Ain’t a Love Song” was the first single off the album and with an exotic video filmed in Thailand, the ballad emerged as another worldwide hit for the band. That year the band earned a BRIT Award for best international band and also won a MTV Europe Music Award for Best Rock.
The world tour that kicked off in India took the band though Asia, Europe, Australia and the South America before the band’s first-ever shows in South Africa. A career highpoint came in June 1995 when Bon Jovi sold out three-nights at London’s historical Wembley Stadium in London, England. With film crews in tow, the concerts were documented for Bon Jovi: Live From London, a Grammy-nominated video of their record-breaking appearance. Bon Jovi visited 35 countries and performed 126 shows on These Days tour.
Following the overwhelming success of the These Days Tour, the members of Bon Jovi went their separate ways. But unlike the period following the New Jersey tour, tainted with uncertainty, this hiatus was a conscious group decision. The members of Bon Jovi agreed to a self-imposed two-year sabbatical from the band.
Jon Bon Jovi had been bitten by the acting bug. He landed lead roles in couple of movies. While he was free between filming different movies, Jon wrote what would become his second solo album, 1997′s Destination Anywhere. A short movie of the same name was recorded around the record’s release, based entirely on the songs from the record and starring Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon and Whoopi Goldberg.
Tico Torres used the opportunity further pursue his painting while David Bryan started writing and composing various musicals. In 1998, Richie Sambora released his second solo outing called Undiscovered Soul.
Bon Jovi reunited in 1999 to record the song “Real Life” for the movie EdTV minus Bryan who was recovering from an accident which nearly severed his finger. In 1999 Bon Jovi was ready to release a new album Sex Sells, the album was suspended and three of more than thirty songs written were used for Crush (in Real Life videoclip you can see some posters of this album).
Crush and One Wild Night (2000–2001)
Bon Jovi 2000
After a nearly three-year hiatus, during which several band members worked on independent projects, Bon Jovi regrouped in 1999 to begin work on their next studio album. In June 2000, Crush was released as the band’s seventh studio album. The first single “It’s My Life” was noted as one of the group’s most successful releases in a decade and most importantly, becoming a symbol of the band’s longevity as they prevailed through many different changes in the mainstream rock scene with admirable success. The album sold over eight million copies worldwide and helped introduce them to a new, younger fan base. That year the band received two Grammy nominations for Best Rock Album Crush and Best Rock Performance by Duo/Group “It’s My Life”. The video for “It’s My Life” won the My VH1 Music Awards for “My Favorite Video”. VH1 also featured the band on the episodes of Behind The Music in 2000.
Bon Jovi played stadiums in Japan and Europe over the summer of 2000 including two sold-out concerts at London’s historic Wembley Stadium, becoming the last ever concerts held at the legendary venue before its demolition. That summer the band played to more than one million fans in less than 30 shows. Upon their return to the U.S. the band did a sold-out arena tour in the Fall of 2000, followed in the Spring of 2001 with a sold-out arena–amphitheatre run of dates in America. They revisited stadiums in Japan and Europe before one more lap of shed dates in America. Bon Jovi sold out two homecoming concerts at New Jersey’s Giants Stadium. Concerts were not only fulfilling career and personal highlights for the band but the broadcast broke ratings records for the VH-1 network.
While on tour, Bon Jovi released a collection of live performances from throughout their career in an album entitled One Wild Night: Live 1985-2001. This was Bon Jovi’s first-ever live album. The songs were culled from archives of recorded material the band had been collecting from their earliest days on the road right through the current tour.
The band awarded for “Hottest Live Show” at the 2001 My VH1 Music Awards At this awards show, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora surprised a live theatre full of attendees and a live television audience with a beautiful rendition of “Here Comes The Sun” as a tribute to George Harrison.
When the Crush and One Wild Night tours were complete, the members of the band had anticipated a brief vacation before work would begin on the band’s 8th studio album. But on September 11, the world changed. Within days of the terrorist attacks, Jon and Richie had filmed Public Service Announcements for the Red Cross, recorded “America The Beautiful” for the NFL and performed as part of the historic A Tribute To Heroes live telethon. One month later, the band participated at two Monmouth County Alliance of Neighbors concerts in Red Bank, NJ to raise funds for the families close the band’s hometowns, which were affected by the World Trade Center disaster. And on October 21 2001, Bon Jovi performed at the monumental Concert For New York at Madison Square Garden, raising relief funds and honoring those who worked to save lives during the terror.
Bounce & This Left Feels Right (2002-2004)
In spring 2002, the group entered the studio to begin recording their eighth studio album, the title, Bounce was a reference not only to New York City’s and the United States’ ability to bounce back from the World Trade Center attacks as a nation but, it also referred to Bon Jovi, the band’s ability to bounce back again and again, over the years. Bounce represented a return to Bon Jovi’s “roots” with Richie Sambora playing heavily distorted guitars, gravelly vocals by Jon, keyboard effects and piano’s by David Bryan and booming drums by Tico Torres. Jon Bon Jovi noted that “Bounce” was mainly a “Jon and Richie album”. However, this return to a more “classic Bon Jovi” sound, while a relief to some fans, also brought out some critics that accused the band of being too “formulaic”, a criticism that had been leveled at the band in the past.
The first single off the album “Everyday”, nominated at the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The band went on the Bounce Tour for this album, during which they made history as the last band to play Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia before it was torn down. Following the end of the Bounce Tour in August 2003, Bon Jovi embarked on a project; originally intending to produce an album consisting of live acoustic performances, the band ended up rewriting, re-recording and reinventing 12 of their biggest hits in a new and much different light. This Left Feels Right was released in November 2003.
The following year, the band released a box set entitled 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong, the title being an homage to Elvis Presley’s 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong. The set consisted of four CDs packed with 38 unreleased and 12 rare tracks, as well as a DVD. The box set marked the sales of 100 million Bon Jovi albums and also commemorated the 20th anniversary of the release of the band’s first record in 1984.
In November 2004, Bon Jovi was honored with the Award for Merit at the American Music Awards, where they performed a sneak preview of an unfinished song, “Have a Nice Day”.
Have A Nice Day (2005–2006)
Bon Jovi participated in Live 8 on July 2, 2005, where they debuted the full, final version of “Have a Nice Day”, alongside “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “It’s My Life”. Bon Jovi’s ninth studio album, Have a Nice Day, was released in September 2005. “Have A Nice Day”, the first single off the album. The second single, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”, was released in the U.S. in early 2006. In the U.S., a duet version of “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” with country singer Jennifer Nettles of the band Sugarland was released, and in May 2006, Bon Jovi became the first Rock & Roll Band to have a #1 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Chart. On February 11, 2007, Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles won the Grammy Award, for “Best Country Collaboration with Vocals” for “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”. The band also won an award for Best Rock Song at the People’s Choice Awards with “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.”
Soon after the release of Have A Nice Day, the band started gearing up for the new 2005-2006 worldwide Have A Nice Day Tour. This tour, being shorter than previous ones with only seventy-five shows originally planned, took the band to numerous stages and stadiums throughout the world. The tour was a significant commercial success, as the group played to 2,002,000 fans, and the tour grossed a total $191 million. The tour was the third-highest-grossing tour of 2006 taking in just over $131 million, just behind The Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang World Tour and Madonna’s Confessions Tour”. On November 14, 2006, Bon Jovi were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame alongside James Brown and Led Zeppelin.
Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora in Dublin 2006.
Lost Highway (2007–2008)
In June 2007, Bon Jovi released their tenth studio album, Lost Highway. The album influences the band’s rock sound with that of country music following the success of a country version of the band’s 2006 single “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”, a duet with Jennifer Nettles.
To promote the new album, Bon Jovi made several television appearances, including the 6th annual CMT Awards in Nashville, American Idol, and MTV Unplugged, as well as playing at the Live Earth concert at Giants Stadium. They also performed ten promotional gigs in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Japan. As part of the ‘tour’, Bon Jovi were the first group to perform at London’s new O2 Arena (formerly the Millennium Dome) when it opened to the public on June 24, 2007. The 23,000-seater stadium sold out within 30 minutes of tickets being released.. Reviews for the CD were not very strong. Rolling Stone said “This was a very weak effort. To be honest, this has been a terrible band for the last 3 albums.”
Lost Highway topped the charts in United States, Japan, Australia, Europe, and Canada. The album was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album and the albums first single “(You Want to) Make a Memory” was nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 2008 Grammy Awards. The albums third single “Till We Ain’t Strangers Anymore” won the CMT Music Award for the Collaborative Video of the Year in 2008. Presenter LeAnn Rimes accepted the award on behalf of the band, as Bon Jovi was not at the awards ceremony. The song was also nominated for the Academy of Country Music Award for Vocal Event of the Year.
In October 2007 the band announced the Lost Highway Tour. Starting with the 10 shows to open the brand new, Newark, New Jersey Prudential Center, the band toured Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and then Europe, finishing in the summer. In early December 2007 the band took time off from their Canadian tour to become the first ever American band to headline the Royal Variety Performance in Liverpool, England, performing in front of the Queen herself. While the band was on tour in Australia, Bon Jovi have landed eight albums in ARIA Charts in the wake of their first tour in 12 years.
The tour was the highest grossing tour of 2008 in Billboard’s rankings, with ticket sales of $210.6 million, reported from November 14,2007 through Nov.11,2008. In all, 2,157,675 tickets were sold during 2008. Combined with $16.4 million in 2007 from the Newark shows, making a combined gross of $227 million in ticket sales. In Pollstar’s calculus for North America, the Lost Highway Tour had the fifth-highest gross for 2008 at $70.4 million.
The Circle (2009-Present)
In April 2009 Phil Griffin’s documentary on the band, “When We Were Beautiful,” debuted at the Tribeca film festival, chronicling Bon Jovi’s ups and downs over 25 years and following the band on their latest Lost Highway tour.
In June 2009, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame and they recorded a cover of the song “Stand By Me” with Iranian singer Andy Madadian, to show solidarity for the victims of violence in Iran. Parts of the song were sung in Farsi Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame.
With the assistance of producer and writer John Shanks, the band began writing and recording new material soon after the end of the highly successful Lost Highway tour. The album is aimed to be released November 10 with John Shanks confirming the first single was released to radio August 17, and is called “We Weren’t Born To Follow”. The song talks of tough economic times. The album title, as confirmed by long time friend and mixer Obie O’Brien, is to be named The Circle. The single was released on radio stations in the United States from Aug 18, 2009.
Jon Bon Jovi – vocals, guitar, percussion, harmonica (1983-present)
Richie Sambora – guitar, backing vocals (1983-present)
David Bryan – keyboards, backing vocals (1983-present)
Tico Torres – drums, percussion (1983-present)
Hugh McDonald – bass guitar, backing vocals (November 1994-present)
Bobby Bandiera – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2003-present – live only)
Jeff Kazee – organ, additional keyboards, backing vocals (2003-2006 – live only)
Everett Bradley – percussion, backing vocals (2003-2006 – occasional live)
Lorenza Ponce – violin, backing vocals (2006-2007 – live)
Alec John Such – bass guitar, backing vocals (1983-1994,2001) Ex-Phantom’s Opera
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