The first two Bon Jovi albums (Bon Jovi in 1984, 7800° Fahrenheit in 1985) earned some airplay and got them gigs opening for The Scorpions and Kiss. They honed their skills by playing live as much as they could, so when they broke through with their third album, Slippery When Wet, they knew what they were doing on stage.
Jon Bon Jovi (real name: John Francis Bongiovi) used to be a janitor at the recording studio his cousin owned. Before forming the band, he used that studio to sing lead on "R2D2 I Wish You A Merry Christmas," a song from a Christmas-themed Star Wars album called Christmas In The Stars released in 1980.
Until he left the group in 2013, Sambora was the main songwriter along with Jon Bon Jovi, but they got considerable help from Desmond Child, who worked on every album from Slippery When Wet in 1986 through What About Now in 2013. Child, whose Bon Jovi co-writes include "You Give Love A Bad Name" and "Livin' On A Prayer," has also written for Aerosmith, Kiss, and Ricky Martin. Richie Sambora and Tico Torres helped out Child with his 1991 solo album Discipline, appearing on the title track and "According To The Gospel Of Love."
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