Bon Jovi biography (1983-1996)
by Dafydd Rees and Luke Crampton
( detailed and based on the band's discography )
Jon Bon Jovi (vocals); Richie Sambora (guitar); David Bryan (keyboards); Alec Jon Such (bass); Tico Torres (drums)
Mar The band is formed in Sayreville, NJ, by Bon Jovi (b. John Francis Bongiovi Jr., Mar. 2, 1962, Sayreville), his mother Carol, an ex-Playboy bunny and his father a hairdresser, and Bryan (b. David Bryin Rashbaum, Feb. 7, 1962, New York, NY), who have played together in high scool and later in local coverversion bands at local venues, including the Stone Pony and Asbury Prk's Fast Lane. They recruit Sambora (b.July 11, 1959, Woodbridge, NJ) and Such (b. Nov. 14, 1956, Yonkers, NY) ex-Phantom's Opera, who have disbanded their own club act Message in1982, and Torres (b. Hector Torres, Oct. 7, 1953, New York), whose musical pat has included stints with Franke & Knockouts and performances in strip bars. Bon Jovi, who after leaving high scool, has swept the floor for his cousin Tony Bongiovi who was working at the Record Plant, New York, where Bon Jovi subsequently cuts a demo (including the self-penned Runaway ), has already played ina number of bands, including ten-piece R & B group the Rest ( who at one point supported Hall & Oates, Bon Jovi missing his senior prom in order to do so), the Wild Ones, Johnny & the Lechers , the Raze and Atlantic City Expressway, who opened forBruc Springsteen, the Asbury Jukes and Squeeze, among others.
July  The band signs toPhonogram's Mercury label and begins building a solid live reputation on the hard rock circuit (including future slots opening for Z.Z.Top). Recording for its debut album will get underway in the fall.
Apr Runaway , the track first recorded by Bon Jovi as a solo effort, which has won inclusion on radio station WDHA's complication album of unsigned acts, becomes the band's debut chart single, making US #39, while Bon Jovi is released, set to reach US #43 and UK #71.
July  She Don't Know Me makes US #48.
Oct During the band's first UK tour, one perfrmance is broadcast by BBC Radio 1.
May  7800° Fahrenheit reaches UK #28, and will make US #37, becoming the group's first gold album.
 The extracted Only Lonely peaks at US #54.
Aug  In And Out Of Love peaks atUS #69.
 Hardest Part Is The Night is their UK Singles chart debut, spending a week at #68.
Sept Their major UK chart breakthrough is the hardrocking but melodic You Give Love A Bad Name , which reaches UK #14.
 The band opens for .38 Special at the Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls,NY, duringa US tour.
Oct  Slippery When Wet , recorded at little Mountain Studios, Vancouver, BC, Canada, with producer Bruce Fairbairn, begins an eight-week stay at US #1 and will go on to sell eight million domestic copies by the end of 1987, oneof the biggest-selling rock albums of the decade. It also hits UK #6.
Nov  You Give Love A Bad Name penned by Bon Jovi and Sambora with songwriter Desmond Child, tops the US chart, becoming their first million-selling single worldwide.
Dec Living On A Prayer , written in similar style by the same team, hits UK #4, while Bon Jovi re-charts at US #77.
Jan Slippery Wen Wet returns to US #1, where it will log a further seven weeks.
Feb  Livin' On A Prayer tops the US chart, where it will stay for three weeks.
 7800° Fahrenheit is certified platinum by the RIAA.
Apr Cowboy-analogized rock ballad Wanted Dead Or Alive hits UK #13.
June  Wanted Dead Or Alive hits US #7.
Aug  Bon Jovi headlines a bill featuring Antthrax, Dio, Cinderella and W.A.S.P., at the annual "Monsters Of Rock" festival, at Castle Donington, Leics., climaxing a year in which it has become the most popular heavy-rock band in the world, as Never Say Goodbye reaches UK#21.
Sept [11 ] Livin' On A Prayer wins the Best Stage Performance categor at the fourth annual MTV Video Music Awards held, at the Universal Amphitheatre, Universl City, CA.
Dec The group ends the year having played 130 shows in the "Tour Without End", grossing $28,400,000.
Jan  They win the Favorite Band,Duo Or Group, Pop/Rock category, at the 15th annual American Music Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles.
Apr  their "Breakout" video is certified multiplatinum (100,000 sales) by RIAA.
 The group's manager, Doc McGee, is convicted on drug offenses arising from the 1982 seizure of nearly 40,000lb, of marijuana, smuggled into North Carolina from Colombia. He is sentenced to a five-year suspended prison term extensive community service and a $15.000 fine. He will, however, continue to manage the band.
Oct  Their fourth Mercury-released album New Jersey hits UK #1, as the extracted single Bad Medicine reaches UK #17.
 New Jersey begins a four-week tenure atop the US chart. Rpeating the multi-platinum, radio-ready rock formula of the last album, it once again been helmed by Fairbairn at the Little Mountain Studios.
Nov  Bad Medicine , once again writen by the trio of Bon Jovi, Sambora and Child, also tops the US survey.
Dec  Similary-penned Born To Be My Baby reaches UK #22.
Feb [18 ] Born To Be My Baby hits US #3.
Mar Bon Jovi is charged with trespassing after being caught on ice at New york City's Wollman Skating Rink at 3:30 a.m. with girlfriend Dorothea Hurley and another couple.
 At a Meadowlands, East Rutherford, NJ, homecoming concert, the Mayor of Sayreville hands the group the keys to the city, in honor of Bon Jovi Day.
 MTV (US) launches a contest to give away Jon's Bon Jovi childhood home in Sayreville.
Apr  Bon Jovi marries childhood sweetheart Hurley on steps of the Graceland Chapel, Las Vegas, NV, in presence of Reverend George Colton.
May  Obligatory rock ballad, the Bon Jovi/Sambora composition I'll Be There For You reaches UK #18.
 I'll Be There For You tops US chart.
"Slippery When Wet" video is certified multiplatinum (for 200,000 units) by the RIAA.
June Sambora begins a romantic liaison with Cher announcing that "(she's) very cool".
July  David F. Pearsall, 18, of Manchester, NH, is charged with theft and released on $1,000 bail, after allegedly stealing Sambora's $2,000 white Kramer guitar at a July 8th concert at Riverrfront Park.
 Lay Your Hands On Me hits US #7.
Aug  New Jersey is released in the USSR. Bon Jovi is paid the maximum allowable license fee, $9,600, from the Russian record company, Melodia.
[12-13] The group headlines the Moscow Music Peace Festivalat Lenin Stadium, with Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue, the Scorpions, Cinderella, Skid Row, Drum Madness and Russian talent Gorky Park, Nuance, CCCP and Brigada S. All proceeds go to progammes that fight drug and alcohol abuse in both US and USSR.
 The band headlines a bill, which includes Europe, Vixen and Skid Row, at the Milton Keynes Bowl, Milton Keynes, Bucks., with Aerosmith's Steve Tyler and Joe Perry joining them for an encore of Walk This Way.
Sept  Lay Your Hands On Me reaches UK #18.
 Bon Jovi and Sambora perform Wanted Dead Or Alive at the sixth annual MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Universal Amphitheatre, Universal City. Their acoustic rendition, in sharp contrast to the group's traditional hard-rocking electric style, gives the cable network's executives the idea of launching a number of acoustic-only showcases, which wil evolve into the much-lauded "MTV Unplugged" series of the 90's.
Dec Bon Jovi contributes to the hard-rock complication album Stairway To Heaven/Highway To Hell, produced by Fairbairn, for the Make A Difference Foundation - Rockers Against Drug And Alcohol Abuse, with Skid Row, the Scorpions and others.
 Living In Sin hits US #9.
 Living In Sin makes UK #35.
Feb At the end of another massive global trek, Bon Jovi's 16-month, 237-date world tour ends.
Mar  Their "New Jersey" video reaches the RIAA-certified 100,000 sales mark.
Apr Bon Jovi and Bobby Bandiera play at one of three benefits for eight-year-old Tishna Rollo, daughter of producer/engineer John Rollo, who is battling Wilm's Tumor disease, at the StoePony, Asbury Park. Sambora's solo The Wind Cries Mary is featured in the Andrew Dice Clay movie "The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane".
July Movie "Young Guns II", in which Jon Bon Jovi makes a cameo appearence, having also written its main theme, Blaze Of Glory, and thefilm's entire soundtrack - with contributions from Little Richard, Jeff Beck and Elton John - premiers in US theaters. During a sabbatical from the group, he also writes with Aldo Nova and tours with Southside Johnny. (Aldo Nova is the first signing to Jon Bon Jovi's recently-created Jambco label, which also sign rock veteran Billy Falcon.)
Aug  Balze Of Glory/Young Guns II hits UK #2.
Sept  Blaze Of Glory , Jon Bon Jovi's first solo success, hits US #1, aided by amountain-top-located promotion clip, heavily rotated on MTV, having already made UK #13. Its parent album Blaze Of Glory/Young Guns II hits US #3 in only its third week of release.
Nov  Bon Jovi is honored with the Silver Clef Award at the third annual Nordoff-Robbins Therapy Centre lunch, at the Roseland Ballroom, New York.
 Miracle , from "Young Guns II" makes UK #29.
Dec  Miracle reaches US #12.
 For its first gig of the year, the group reassembles for a charity concert to benefit the Monmouth County Arts Council and Holmdel's Sisters of the Good Shepherd at the Count Basie Theatre, ed Bank, NJ.
 They perform at an MTV-broadcast New Year's Eve bash at the Tokyo Dome, Japan, with Cinderella, the London Quireboys and Skid Row in support, beginning a 15-date overseas tour.
Jan  Blaze Of Glory wins Best Original Song at Golden Globe film awards.
 Blaze Of Glory win the Favorite Pop/Rock Single category at the 18th annual American Music Awards, at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles.
Mar  Jon Bon Jovi performs the Oscar-nominated Blaze Of Glory at the 63rd annual Academy Awards.
July  He performs at WHTZ's eight birthday party in New York, with Mariah Carey, the Black Crowes and Debbie Gibson.
Sept  The Band is presented with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard trophy at the eight annual MTV Video Music Awards, held again at the Universal Amphiheatre.
 Sambora's Ballad Of Youth enters the US chart, set to reach #63 (having already peaked at UK #59), while his Mercury-released debut album, Stranger In this Town has peaked at US #36 the week previously (and UK #20 on the 14th).
Dec  Dirung an end-of-year US solo tour, Sambora guests on NBC-TV's "Late Night With David Letterman".
Jan  Two Rooms: Celebrating The Songs Of Elton John And Bernie Taupin, including Jon Bon Jovi's rendition of Levon , reaches US #18.
Feb Having finally split from McGhee, the band is now self-managed by BJM, based in Red Bank.
May  Sambora performs at KISS Radio's 13th anniversary concert at the Great Woods Center for the Performong Arts, Mansfield, MA, also staged to benefit the Genesis Fund, while Bryan comletes the score to the forthcoming movie "Netherworld".
June Jon Bon Jovi contributes vocals to Yeah , alongside a multi-star vocal cast, a cut on Eddia Murphy's forthcoming R&B album Love's Alright .
Aug The band regroups to begin its first recording sessions in nearly five years, returning to its favored Little Mountain Studios.
Oct  They play an unscheduled gig, the first of three, at the After Gold Rush club, Tempe, AZ, in fron of a sellout crowd of 980, to promote their new album.
[24 ] Keep The Faith bows at its US peak, #5.
The group tapes its MTV "Unplugged"concert, set for broadcast on the 29th.
Nov  The band helps MTV Europe celebrate its fifth anniversary with a party at the House Of Commons.
 Bob Rock-produced Keep The Faith enters the UK chart at #1.
 Keep The Faith debuts at its US peak, #5.
 Keep The Faith reaches US #29.
Dec  The band plays two shoes at the Count Basie Theatre, rd Bank, to benefit storm relief efforts in Monmouth County.
Jan  The group guests on NBC-TV's "Saturday Night Live".
 Bed Of Roses reaches UK #13.
 During last minute squabbles between NBC-TV executives and Garth Brooks, which jeopardize the country star's planned performance of the US national anthem at Superbowl XXVII, held at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA, NBC producers approach audience member Jon Bon Jovi in his seat, asking him to stand in as a last minute replacement. bon Jovi agrees, but the crisis is resolved and Brooks signs as scheduled.
Feb  The group begins a six-month world tour at Colisee de Quebec City, PQ, Canada, set to end on August 8th at the Merriweather Post Paviliion, Columbia, MD.
Mar  Bed Of Roses hits US #10, where it will stay for six weeks.
 The Paul Rodgers-assembled Tribute To Muddy Waters , to which Sambora has contributed fret work, is released on Victory Music.
May  Bon Jovi's In These Arms hits UK #9, set to reach US #27 on June .
Aug [14 ] I'll Sleep When I'm Dead debuts at its US #97 peak and reaches UK#17.
Sep t Bon Jovi performs at the Milton Keynes Bowl, Milton Keynes, Bucks.
Oct  I Believe reaches UK#11.
Dec  The group plays its annual Christmas concert at the Count Basie Theatre before a sellout crowd.
 It appears on CBS-TV's "Late Show With David Letterman".
Feb Jon Bon Jovi performs I'll Sleep When I'm Dead with Dina Caroll at the 13th annual BRIT Awards held at London's Alexandra Palace.
Ap r Dry Country hits UK #9.
Oc t Rock ballad Always hits UK #2
 The RIAA confirms US sales of two million copies for Keep The Faith.
 Crossroads , a 14-track greatest hits collection, enters the UK chart at #1.
 The group appears on the "Late Show With David Letterman" without Such, who decided to leave the band.
Nov  Crossroads debuts at its US #8 peak.
 The RIAA certifies multi-platinum sales of New Jersey (six million).
Dec  The band takes part in the Z100 Acoustic Christmas event at New York's Madison Square Garden before a sellout crowd of 17,719, with Weezer, Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls, Sheryl Crow, Hole and Toad The Wet Sprocket.
 Bon Jovi performs at the Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA, raising $50,000 for the Greater Boston Food Bank and the KISS Cancer Fund. New England Patriots quarterbacks Drew Bledsoe and Scott Zolak sing backup vocals on You Give Love A Bad Name .
 Always hits US #4.
 Sambora and actress Heather Locklear marry in Red Bank, NJ, before flying to Paris, France for a formal wedding on the 17th at the American Cathedral Episcopal Church with family and friends.
 Their cover of the seasonal chestnut Please Come Home For Christmas debuts at its UK #7 peak.
Feb  "Crossroad: The Video" is certified gold by the RIAA.
 The group is once agai the music guest on "Saturday Night Live".
Mar  Someday I'll Be Saturday Night hits UK #7.
Apr  Always is confirmed platinum by the RIAA.
 Jon Bon Jovi performs at the sixth annual Carnegie Hall benefit for the Rainforest Foundation.
May  The group appears at the seventh annual World Music Awards at the Sporting Club in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
 Dozens of fans are injured when 1,000 fans without tickets force their way into Bon Jovi concert in Jakarta, Indonesia. A riot ensues.
 The RIAA certifies multi-platinum sales (two million) of Bon Jovi.
June  This Ain't A Love Song hits UK #6.
[23-25] During current UK dates, Bon Jovi plays, Bon Jovi plays ar Wembley Stadium, Wembley, Middx. (During the group's stay in London, they will busk on the South Bank for around 500 fans.)
July  The band's first new studio effort in nearly three years, These Days enters UK chart at #1, the same day it plays the first of two shows in Paris, supporting the Rolling Stones.
 A planned concert at the 100,000 capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia is cancelled because of the crisis in Chechnya.
 These Days bows at its US #9 peak.
[21-23] The group begins a North American tour with three sellout dates at the Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NJ.
Aug  The RIAA certifies sales of three million copies of Crossroads .
 This Ain't A Love Song reaches US #14.
 These Days is certified platinum by RIAA.
Sept  The band performs Imagine and, with Eric Burdon , It's My Life and We Gotta Get Out Of This Place , at the inaugural Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Cleveland Stadium, Cleveland, OH.
 Blaze Of Glory is ratified platinum by the RIAA.
Oct  Something For The Pain hits UK #8 and peaks at US #76.
 The RIAA certifies that the group's most successful album Slippery When Wet has reached the 12 million sales plateau.
Nov  Following a tip-off from a government staff member who had heard he was going to be a guest DJ, Jon Bon Jovi is banned from playing records on Chris Evans' BBC 1FM show on the 21st, because the terms of his work permit do not allow him to be a DJ. He will still be interviewed on the program.
 The group collects the Best Rock Act trophy and performs at the second annual MTV Europe Music Awards, held in Paris.
[25 ] Lie To Me bows at its UK #10 peak.
 Jon Bon Jovi's solo album Blaze Of Glory is RIAA-certified for two millions sales.
Dec  Lie To Me , coupled with Something For The Pain, peaks at US #88.
Jan Following a succesful acting role in "Moonlight And Valentino", Jon Bon Jovi begins filming "The Leading Man" in England.
Feb  Bon Jovi is named Best International Group at the 1996 BRIT Awards held at London's Earl's Court Exhibition Center.
Mar  These Days hits UK #7.
July  The Group plays the first of three UK dates on its continuing "These Days" world tour at the Milton Keynes Bowl. The 22-date European leg of the tour is sponsored by Volkswagen, who simultaneously sell three "Bon Jovi Golf" models at 26,500 Deutsche Marks.