Jon Bon Jovi turned 50 today, and to celebrate, here are 13 fun facts worth remembering:
1. Jon Bon Jovi was nominated for an Oscar for penning “Blaze of Glory” for Young Guns II. As Young Guns II writer John Fusco told EW on the movie’s 20th anniversary, he used Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” as “mood music” while writing the first Young Guns because it captured the contemporary rock & roll cowboy feel he was going for in his telling of the Billy the Kid story. Fusco told star Emilio Estevez that on a research road trip, and Estevez asked his pal Jon Bon Jovi if they could use “Wanted” over the end credits of the first movie, but Jon thought the song was too contemporary — the steel horse he rides is the band’s tour bus — and said he’d rather write something new. That never happened, but the seed was planted. Jon became a fan of the original Brat Pack Western after its release and borrowed Estevez’s script for the sequel. One day, he just showed up on the Galisteo, N.M., set of Young Guns II, acoustic guitar in hand, and Estevez introduced him to Fusco and said Jon had something he wanted to show him. They went into Estevez’s trailer, and Jon played “Blaze of Glory,” singing the lyrics from a crumpled sheet of notebook paper. Later that night, as Bon Jovi, Estevez, and Fusco sat around celebrating, Estevez convinced Jon to film a cameo in the dramatic prison break scene. Watch him perform the song at the Oscars below.
2. According to a 2010 poll, Jon Bon Jovi playing the maracas, as he does on “Keep the Faith” live, is “always sexy.” Or so said 89 percent of readers.
3. He sometimes picks a woman from the crowd to bring on stage and dance with during “Bed of Roses.”
4. This steamy, well-written piece of Jon Bon Jovi fan fiction exists. Or, you know, a friend told me.
5. Amy Poehler loves Jon Bon Jovi.
6. As did the Demarco Brothers.
7. NBC may have all clips of that classic interview Triumph the Insult Comic Dog did with Bon Jovi (“Finally, a role that requires you to suck!”) removed from the Internet, but you can still find some outtakes.
8. He’s been on Inside the Actors Studio. Presumably, discussing this.
9. The band’s official online store used to sell “Slippery When Wet” thongs, but is now out of stock. Is that not being able to keep up with the demand? (I’ve been at a Bon Jovi concert in which they had to convert some of the men’s restrooms to ladies’ rooms.) Or taste?
10. He wore a leather suit to sing opposite Luciano Pavarotti.
11. His wife is probably more badass than him. An excerpt from a 1992 EW feature:
The talk turns to his wife, Dorothea Hurley, 30, who was his high school sweetheart, and won’t be interviewed or photographed, but who comes off as more exotic than Cher. Hurley is the New Jersey women’s green-belt karate champ, fourth-ranked nationally, a ”little petite 5-foot-6 maniac,” as Bon Jovi describes her, who won’t let him watch her compete. ”She’s very independent,” he says, his eyes shining with pride, ”very f—ing independent. Her musical tastes are very alternative, she thinks radio and MTV are bulls—.”
Wait! So she wouldn’t normally listen to his kind of music?
”Never! Couldn’t care less! Her favorite is Elvis Costello. When Elvis covered my song ‘Bad Medicine,’ then she was impressed. Hey, f— what she thought. I was impressed!”
12. Still, in 2000, it was Jon who threatened to beat up an EW writer.
When it’s semi-seriously suggested that collaborating with Swedish teen-pop star maker Max Martin — who did minimal, uncredited production work on ”It’s My Life” — might have been a hedge against Top 40 failure, Jon doesn’t exactly turn the other cheek. ”You know what? You’re wasting your time going there,” he snaps. ”If this is what you’re going to write your article about, you’re jerking yourself off. You’re really wasting your time, your breath, and my energy. The guy just came in and put some loops and synthesizer stuff on a demo, and he was brilliant at it. He didn’t write the chord progression or the lyrics or anything to do with that. I’m going to remember this, because if you [write] about it I’m going to hunt you down.” Later, Jon mentions that the ”Say It Isn’t So” video is being shot by Wayne Isham, who directed videos for most of the band’s ’80s hits, and this reporter cracks wise about how Isham also lensed ‘N Sync’s latest video clip. Oops! I did it again. ”I’m gonna beat the f— out of you,” Jon says, icily. ”And it’s gonna be easy.”
13. That feature ended with the line, “All right, we’ll admit it: Bon Jovi kicks ass. Now please don’t hurt us.”