Jon Bon Jovi reveals the story behind Livin' on a Prayer: "We didn't always have a key change"

23 April 2024, 15:37

Jon Bon Jovi speaks to Gold
Jon Bon Jovi speaks to Gold. Picture: Global

By Tom Eames

Jon Bon Jovi is undoubtedly one of the greatest rock frontmen of all time.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Bon Jovi's charismatic lead singer is back in the public eye with the upcoming release of the new documentary Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story, which charts the history of the legendary band.

The film looks back on the band's 40-year history, while also seeing how Jon dealt with the vocal issues that could have threatened his career.

Gold's James Bassam caught up with both Jon Bon Jovi and the series' director Gotham Chopra to hear all about the making of the special project.

Jon also opened up about how his voice is doing now, the story behind his biggest hit, and his upcoming album Forever.

Talking about making 'Livin' on a Prayer' back in 1986, he said: "Well, certainly on the day that we wrote it, I absolutely positively thought, 'Yeah, it's good. It's fine. Who cares?' It's just another good song to put on the [album].

Jon Bon Jovi reveals the story behind Livin' on a Prayer: "We didn't always have a key change"

"It was when we went to rehearsal that it took on a life of its own because we were aware that we needed to develop a line and we were thinking of 'sugar pie, honey bunch', and like Motown, stuff like that. And so we knew it was in mind.

"But on the day we wrote it on a stand-up piano and an acoustic guitar. Although the lyrics and the melodies were intact, we left there with that.

"I would venture to say, and I have two other witnesses that would have to corroborate this, I don't know that we had the key change on the day. I think that came during the practice, during the pre-production, during the rehearsal.

"I don't see how we could have said, 'And then it should be a key change'. I think that probably came in that same rehearsal when we worked up that bass line. And Tiko came in and you went, 'Oh, there's something unique here'.

Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story (Official Trailer)

"But a young man at 24 would say, 'Of course, we should go to the key change'. The 62-year-old sits there and goes, 'No, don't do the key change!'."

On how his voice is doing at the moment, Jon said: "I wouldn't say 'we're good', but we're getting there. What you see in the film was shot a year and two years ago.

"So I'm well on the road to recovery. I've had this massive reconstructive surgery, which was a surprise to me, but I'm well down the road to recovery."

Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story is available on Disney+ from April 26 in the UK.

Last Played Songs