Bon Jovi fans have learned how close the band were to spiking what would become one of the biggest smash hits of the ’80s.
During a Q&A sesh aboard the Norwegian Pearl for Jon Bon’s four-day ‘Runaway to Paradise’ cruise, he said he nearly scrapped it from 1986’s Slippery When Wet album.
“Ultimately, the song was so unique,” Bon Jovi told the audience.
“It didn’t sound like anything. You 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?”
The track was composed by Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and long-time songwriting collaborator Desmond Child.
“Granted, we wrote it on acoustic guitars, so there was no drum beat or anything,” Bon Jovi added.
“There was no bass line.”
Obvs it wasn’t until those elements were completed did it completely come together.
His only regret over the song? That key change… which continues to be a particular challenge during every show.
“I want you to know, every night for 36 years,” Bon Jovi said, laughing.