Formation (1978–1983) Jon Bon Jovi began playing piano and guitar in 1975, at the age of 13, with his first band 'Raze'. At 16, Bon Jovi met David Bryan and formed a band called "Atlantic City Expressway". Still in his teens, Bon Jovi played in the band "John Bongiovi and the Wild Ones," playing local clubs like "The Fast Lane," and opening for known acts in the area. By 1980, he formed another band, "The Rest", and opened up for New Jersey acts such as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. By mid-1982, out of school and working part-time at a women's shoe store, Jon Bon Jovi took a job at the Power Station Studios, a Manhattan recording facility where his cousin Tony Bongiovi was co-owner. Bon Jovi made several demos—including one produced by Billy Squier—and sent them to record companies, though failing to make an impact. His first professional recording was as lead vocals in "R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas," which was part of the Christmas in the Stars album which his cousin co-produced. In 1983, a then-unknown Bon Jovi visited a local radio station WAPP 103.5FM "The Apple" in Lake Success, New York, and wrote and sang the jingles for the station. He spoke with DJ Chip Hobart and to the promotion director, John Lassman, who suggested Bon Jovi let WAPP include the song "Runaway" on the station's compilation album of local homegrown talent. Bon Jovi was reluctant, but eventually gave them the song, on which Bon Jovi had used studio musicians to play on the track "Runaway" (which was written in 1982). WAPP worked with WOR-TV (now WWOR-TV) in nearby Secaucus, NJ on a music video show, Rock 9 Videos, for a short time in 1984. The studio musicians who helped record "Runaway"—known as The All Star Review—were guitarist Tim Pierce, keyboardist Roy Bittan, drummer Frankie LaRocka, and bassist Hugh McDonald.
Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora on stage The song began to get airplay in the New York area, then other sister stations in major markets picked up the song. In March 1983, Bon Jovi called David Bryan, who in turn called bassist Alec John Such and an experienced drummer named Tico Torres, both formerly of the band Phantom's Opera. Tapped to play lead guitar was Bon Jovi's neighbor, Dave Sabo ("The Snake"), though he never officially joined the band. He and Jon promised each other that whoever made it first, would help out the other. Sabo later went on to form the group Skid Row. Jon saw and was impressed with hometown guitarist Richie Sambora who was recommended by fellow bassist Alec John Such and drummer Tico Torres. Sambora had toured with Joe Cocker, played with a group called Mercy and had been called up to audition for Kiss. He also played on the album Lessons with the band Message which, was re-released on CD through Long Island Records in 1995 and fellow bassist Alec John Such was also the bassist for the band. Message was originally signed to Led Zeppelin's Swan Song Records label, although the album was never released. Tico Torres was also an experienced musician, having recorded and played live with Phantom's Opera, The Marvelettes, and Chuck Berry. He appeared on 26 records and had recently recorded with Franke and the Knockouts, a Jersey band with hit singles during the early 1980s. David Bryan had quit the band that he and Bon Jovi had founded in order to study medicine. While in college, he realized that he wanted to pursue music full-time, and was accepted to Juilliard School, a New York music school. When Bon Jovi called his friend and said that he was putting together a band, and a record deal looked likely, Bryan followed Bon Jovi's lead and gave up his studies. Bon Jovi and 7800° Fahrenheit (1984–1985) Once the band began playing showcases and opening for local talent, they caught the attention of record executive Derek Shulman, who signed them to Mercury Records and who was part of the PolyGram company. Because Jon Bon Jovi wanted a group name, Pamela Maher, a friend of Richard Fischer and an employee of Doc McGhee, suggested they call themselves Bon Jovi, following the example of the other famous two-word bands such as Van Halen. This name was chosen instead of the original idea of Johnny Electric. Pamela's suggestion of the name was met with little enthusiasm, but two years later they hit the charts under that name. With the help of their new manager Doc McGhee they recorded the band's debut album, Bon Jovi, which was released on January 21, 1984. The album included the band's first hit single, "Runaway", reaching top forty on the Billboard Hot 100. The album peaked at number forty-three on the Billboard 200 album chart. The group soon found itself opening for Scorpions in U.S. and for Kiss in Europe. In 1985, Bon Jovi's second album 7800° Fahrenheit was released. The band released three singles "Only Lonely", "In and Out of Love" and the ballad "Silent Night". The album peaked at number thirty seven on Billboard 200 and certified Gold by RIAA. While the album did not do as well as they'd hoped in terms of sales, it allowed Bon Jovi to get out on the road touring again. In May 1985, Bon Jovi headlined venues in Japan and Europe. At the end of the European tour, the band began a six-month run of U.S. tour dates supporting Ratt. In the midst of that tour they managed to make appearances at the Texas Jam and Castle Donington's Monsters of Rock concerts in England. The band also performed at the very first Farm Aid in 1985.
Such a story of success. One of my friends was a great guitar player and a huge fan of Bon Jovi. He's in drug rehab, it's been a year already. I've got no idea how people keep messing up with it even though articles like this addictionresource.com/drugs/cocaine/ are everywhere on the internet.