Jon Bon Jovi has been actively present in the music scene for 40 years. A lot has happened, good and bad, but the band pulled through and stuck together. Except for Richie Sambora but we’ll get to that one later. Anyways, the group is recognized as the nice guys of rock and roll being that there were no major downfalls between them or anyone else. Since their careers stretch back to the 80s, let’s see what they had to bring to the table worth mentioning.
John Bon Jovi actually owns the band
Yes, it’s true, the frontman, John Francis Bongiovi Jr., is also the owner of the whole group while everyone else is considered to be the hired employees. He has the power to make decisions about the music, media conferences, costs, profits and to solely negotiate with music companies. This might sound unfair, but the band managed to survive changes in the industry for more than four decades, so they must be doing something right. Bon Jovi once said that the fact that he’s the owner makes things less complicated and less stressful when it comes to the decision-making process. Having only one boss must be a recipe for success.
JBJ Soul Kitchen is a chain of restaurants where people in need eat for free
In 2011 Jon Bon Jovi opened his first community kitchen in his home state of New Jersey. The idea behind it is to provide healthy, nutritious meals to everyone in need. Homeless people, kids from poor communities, students living on ramen noodles, and everyone else can stop by any day and get a freshly cooked meal. If you’re not in dire straits, you can still stop by, have lunch and leave some cash behind to support the cause. On average, about 50% of people pay for their meal, while the other half enjoy the food without having to pay a dime. There are no prices written on the menus, so it’s totally up to you to leave a buck or two if you can.
So far, three restaurants have been opened to much delight from people coming from both sides of the tracks. If someone’s unable to get to the kitchen, they do online orders and home deliveries. Many celebrities own bars, hotels, and restaurants, but none are giving away anything for free – except JBJ.
The cause of the fallout with Richie Sambora
In 2013, Sambora, the guitarist, and songwriter left the band for good. Jon and Richie were the backbone of the band writing songs together but underneath it all, the anger was simmering. The truth is, the two of them have very different personalities. Richie accused Jon many times of being uptight and too serious, while Bon Jovi said that Sambora was clinging to the days when bad behavior was a thing, and since they’re getting older, it’s unacceptable.
Rumor has it that Sambora relapsed on the booze again, and needed to straighten himself up. This infuriated Bon Jovi, and the departure was inevitable. The official version is that Richie needed to spend more time with his daughter Ava that he has with an ex-wife Heather Locklear who’s been fighting her own addictions.
In a recent interview for German media, Jon Bon Jovi said: “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish that Richie had his life together and was still in the band”. This annoyed the hell out of Sambora who consistently denies that he had an addiction problem, and the true reason for leaving the band was one of the family matters.
Despite the bickering, Richie Sambora showed up when the band was admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. That was the first and the last time the group played together so far.
“You Give Love A Bad Name” almost slipped from JBJ
Now, this song has a history. First, Desmond Child wrote the song for Bonnie Tyler by the name of “If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man) and it was released in June 1986. The song went unnoticed by the critics and the audience alike. Desmond Child got annoyed that it didn’t turn out well, so he re-wrote the song with Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora giving it the well-known name as it stands today. However, Bon Jovi wasn’t so convinced that it was a good song since it flopped once before and contemplated giving it away to the Canadian band “Loverboy”. Luckily, in the end, the band recorded the song without any expectations for their “Slippery When Wet” album.
“You Give Love A Bad Name” turned out to be their first number one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. In 2009 it was named the 20th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.
Jon Bon Jovi says “Lost Highway” is not a country album
To everyone’s surprise in 2007 Jon Bon Jovi recorded a country album “Lost Highway”. Or did they? The songs sure sound like the Bible-belt music, but the members say that it was mislabeled. At the time, the guitarist Richie Sambora said about the new sound: “It’s a Nashville-oriented kind of record. Nashville is the Hollywood of music”. Right, Nashville is all about Rock and Roll, not country music. Whatever you might think about the album, it actually was a very successful one. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, becoming their first one ever to reach first place on the chart. The album was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2008 Grammy Awards.