Jon Bon Jovi maintains that he had serious doubts about Bon Jovi‘s 1986 signature tine — “Livin’ On A Prayer.” Bon Jovi co-wrote the tune with bandmate Richie Sambora and noted songwriter Desmond Child — and maintains its success took him by surprise.
In a new interview with The Irish Times, he said, “That song, God bless it. But, my God, who knew? Not us, I can assure you. It was created on a day when none of us had any ideas. We just had a conversation, and it came out of that. I’m sure happy my name’s on it!”
He went on to recall, “I remember walking out of the room with Richie and I said, ‘Eh, it’s okay. Maybe we should just put it on a movie soundtrack.’ Richie looked at me and said, ‘You’re an idiot. It’s really good.’ I said, ‘I just don’t know where it’s going.’ But it didn’t have that boom-boom-boom bassline yet, so it sounded more like the Clash.”
Back in 2019 during his “Runaway To Paradise” fan cruises onboard the Norwegian Pearl, Bon Jovi took part in Q&A and shed light on his decision to stay with the song — rather than act on his initial instincts: “Ultimately, the song was so unique. It didn’t sound like anything. Y’know, ‘Runaway’ had eight notes, like a lot of songs on the radio at the time. Even ‘(You Give Love A) Bad Name’ was reminiscent of other songs that were on the radio. ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ didn’t sound like anything. So, I was sort of indifferent. I thought, ‘Well, it’s different, but is it a rock song? Is it us?’ Granted, we wrote it on acoustic guitars, so there was no drum beat or anything. There was no bass line.”
- Bon Jovi‘s “Livin’ On A Prayer” was pulled as the second single from the mega-platinum Slippery When Wet collection.
- The track, which also topped the charts following the album’s lead off single, “You Give Love A Bad Name,” sold a whopping 800,000 copies the U.S. alone and in 2013 was officially certified triple platinum.
- A tally in June 2020 saw the video racking in over 600 million YouTube views.
CHECK IT OUT: Jon Bon Jovi & Richie Sambora in 1992 performing “Livin’ On A Prayer” acoustically on MTV’s Most Wanted: