It’s their life — and you can read all about it.
Bon Jovi fans who have been clamoring for a new biography of the rockin’ Jersey boys have got their wish. Newsday contributor Bryan Reesman’s “Bon Jovi: The Story” (Sterling, $27.95) arrives Tuesday, Nov. 1, and it comes jam-packed with dozens of photos, interviews and stories about the “Slippery When Wet” album cover, Jon Bon Jovi’s acting career and more.
From the times when band members were living on a prayer to the group’s glory days, here are some choice nuggets from the book.
WHO’S THE BOSS? Jon Bon Jovi’s first band, Atlantic City Expressway, was formed in 1978. During a Jan. 9, 1980 gig at Fast Lane in Asbury Park, they were joined on stage by a surprise guest — Bruce Springsteen. Bon Jovi recalled going to high school the next day and asking his friends what they did last night. Their response was that they watched “Dallas.” His comeback was “I jammed with Bruce Springsteen.”
MADE IN JAPAN Bon Jovi didn’t become superstars in the United States until their “Slippery When Wet” went platinum in 1986. But in Japan, the group was already almost as big as Godzilla thanks to their success at the four-date Super Rock ’84 stadium tour. Jon Bon Jovi told MTV’s Mark Goodman that during the tour, band members had to dress incognito because more than 1,000 fans would be waiting for them at their hotel.
‘BAD NAME’ CHANGE The group’s smash “You Give Love a Bad Name” was a reworking of a dance track for Bonnie Tyler titled “If You Were a Woman (and I Was a Man)” which had flopped.
A MOVIE STAR IS BORN Jon Bon Jovi studied with renowned acting teacher Harold Guskin in the early 1990s. “He beat me up a lot,” Bon Jovi said of the experience. The hard work paid off with roles in the films “Moonlight and Valentino” and “Pay It Forward” as well as a nine-episode run on Fox’s “Ally McBeal.”
‘SLIPPERY’ SLOPE The original cover art for “Slippery When Wet,” which was pulled as the album was being pressed, featured a busty young woman in a wet T-shirt. Record exec Derek Shulman, who thought the cover looked like an ad for a porn site, was the one who had the pressing stopped. The iconic replacement cover was born when Jon Bon Jovi got the idea to grab a garbage bag, spray it with water and write “Slippery When Wet” on it.