Jon Bon Jovi turned 50 today, and to celebrate, here are 13 fun facts worth remembering:
1. Jon Bon Jovi was nominated for an Oscar for penning “Blaze of Glory” for Young Guns II. As Young Guns II writer John Fusco told EW on the movie’s 20th anniversary, he used Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” as “mood music” while writing the first Young Guns because it captured the contemporary rock & roll cowboy feel he was going for in his telling of the Billy the Kid story. Fusco told star Emilio Estevez that on a research road trip, and Estevez asked his pal Jon Bon Jovi if they could use “Wanted” over the end credits of the first movie, but Jon thought the song was too contemporary — the steel horse he rides is the band’s tour bus — and said he’d rather write something new. That never happened, but the seed was planted. Jon became a fan of the original Brat Pack Western after its release and borrowed Estevez’s script for the sequel. One day, he just showed up on the Galisteo, N.M., set of Young Guns II, acoustic guitar in hand, and Estevez introduced him to Fusco and said Jon had something he wanted to show him. They went into Estevez’s trailer, and Jon played “Blaze of Glory,” singing the lyrics from a crumpled sheet of notebook paper. Later that night, as Bon Jovi, Estevez, and Fusco sat around celebrating, Estevez convinced Jon to film a cameo in the dramatic prison break scene. Watch him perform the song at the Oscars below.
2. According to a 2010 poll, Jon Bon Jovi playing the maracas, as he does on “Keep the Faith” live, is “always sexy.” Or so said 89 percent of readers.
3. He sometimes picks a woman from the crowd to bring on stage and dance with during “Bed of Roses.”
4. This steamy, well-written piece of Jon Bon Jovi fan fiction exists. Or, you know, a friend told me.
5. Amy Poehler loves Jon Bon Jovi.
6. As did the Demarco Brothers.
7. NBC may have all clips of that classic interview Triumph the Insult Comic Dog did with Bon Jovi (“Finally, a role that requires you to suck!”) removed from the Internet, but you can still find some outtakes.
8. He’s been on Inside the Actors Studio. Presumably, discussing this.
9. The band’s official online store used to sell “Slippery When Wet” thongs, but is now out of stock. Is that not being able to keep up with the demand? (I’ve been at a Bon Jovi concert in which they had to convert some of the men’s restrooms to ladies’ rooms.) Or taste?
10. He wore a leather suit to sing opposite Luciano Pavarotti.
11. His wife is probably more badass than him. An excerpt from a 1992 EW feature:
12. Still, in 2000, it was Jon who threatened to beat up an EW writer.
13. That feature ended with the line, “All right, we’ll admit it: Bon Jovi kicks ass. Now please don’t hurt us.”