I’d like to take this important timely moment in history to remember the first sexy band with a Bon in its name to come from a hard-working, middle class background that wasn’t afraid of pop, metal, guitar wankery, Jersey soul, and synths: BON JOVI.
25 years ago, a man originally named at birth, John Bongiovi Jr., wrote some post-impressionistic pop-metal hits with his new band pal, Richard Steven Sambora, for what would become BON JOVI’s 3rd full length release and global breakout, Slippery When Wet. They had a little help from pop-meets-fake-metal hit maker, Desmond Child. Altogether, they managed to paint a picture that rivaled Bruce Springsteen’s idea of New Jersey, painting a picture with songs which longed for hot, passionate nights with sexy, dangerous women who give love a bad name.
The women that Jon sings about are no different than the single ones Justin Vernon of Bon Iver sings about. One thing separates New Jersey’s Bon from Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s Bon: Orgasmic, female moans. The intro to Social Disease serves up the first orgasm I heard in life come from a woman’s mouth. I was in seventh grade. Thank you, Bon Jovi. The intro to Social Disease plays a very important role for many younglings entering their teenage years in the 80s. Cassettes rewind, play, rewind, play, repeat—who actually remembers the song? I do, and it fucking rocks.
What follows Social Disease are timeless hits that emo-kids couldn’t hold their Hot Pockets purchased lipstick to, let alone a cigarette lighter. Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” is the official right of passage for rockers on an anti-cool run. Look at these songs: Let it Rock, You Give Love A (Mother-Fucking) Bad Name, Livin’ On A Prayer, Wanted Dead Or Alive and Never Say Goodbye took the little band from Jersey that could ride hard on a steel horse (metaphor for “tour bus,” ladies) into the 90s.
Before we pronounce Bon Iver’s Bon Iver as the Bon of all Bon Bons, genuflect and whisper to the person next to you (or yourself), “Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet, mmm yes.”