Who Were The Founding Members Of Bon Jovi?

According to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Bon Jovi has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide. With songs such as "You Give Love a Bad Name" and "Livin' on a Prayer," the band is known for fusing elements of rock, pop, and metal (via AllMusic). As Biography explains, Bon Jovi is the brainchild of Jon Bon Jovi. Born John Francis Bongiovi Jr., the New Jersey native always had aspirations to become a rock star. In 1980, he recorded a demo titled "Runaway," and the song quickly became a hit on local radio stations.

Bon Jovi, however, did not have a band; the singer used studio musicians to record the demo. Realizing that he needed his own group, Kids Britannica states that Bon Jovi was officially formed in 1983. He subsequently recruited his friend and keyboardist, David Bryan. AllMusic reports that they added guitarist Dave Sabo, drummer Tico Torres, and bassist Alec John Such into the mix. That same year, the band signed onto Mercury Records, and in 1984, they released their self-titled album. By this point, Sabo had been replaced by Richie Sambora.

In 1985, Bon Jovi released their sophomore album "7800° Fahrenheit" (per Biography). The following year, their third album, "Slippery When Wet," cemented the band as rock legends. Although they went on hiatus in 1989, Bon Jovi returned in the '90s with their albums "Keep the Faith" and "Cross Road." In 1994, founding member Such left the band after over 10 years. Despite this, Bon Jovi has continued to flourish through the decades. Their latest album, "Bon Jovi 2020," was released in 2020.

Jon Bon Jovi

Prior to forming the band that shares his name, Jon Bon Jovi was an average teen from Jersey (via Biography). By all accounts, he spent much of his early youth performing in various bands and perfecting his showmanship skills (per Kids Britannica). According to AllMusic, his cousin owned a studio in New York. Ultimately, this allowed him to record "Runaway," the demo that launched his career and led to the formation of Bon Jovi. Since their debut in 1983, the band has released hit after hit and performed nearly 3,000 concerts (via the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame).

In 2009, Bon Jovi told NPR that at the start of his career, he lived with his parents. Even as the band released two hit albums, CNBC reports that he didn't have the finances to move out, and neither did his bandmates. As he put it to NPR, "The money wasn't that quick." In fact, the band's now iconic song, "You Give Love a Bad Name," was actually produced at Bon Jovi's childhood home. He, however, has no regrets and credits his parent's support for his successful career.

In 2009, Bon Jovi was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of fame, and in 2018, the band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Besides music, Bon Jovi has had a successful acting career and previously starred in "Ally McBeal." Per Hollywood Life, he has been married to Dorothea Hurley since 1989, and the couple has four children together.

David Bryan

Per Biography, David Bryan met his future bandmate Jon Bon Jovi in high school. Before the formation of Bon Jovi, the pair had their own band called Atlantic City Expressway. Bryan, however, learned to play the piano when he was 7 (via David Bryan). Hailing from Edison, New Jersey, his plan was to study music at Julliard. When Bon Jovi called to let him know that the band had been offered a record deal, Bryan decided against going to college. Ultimately, the decision paid off as he has an estimated net worth of $120 million. With Bon Jovi, Music Theatre International reports that he has co-written numerous songs, including "In These Arms."

He released two solo albums, "On a Full Moon" and "Lunar Eclipse," in 1995 and 2000, respectively. Beyond being a rock star, Bryan is also a Broadway composer (per WCMY). According to Musical World, he discovered his love for musical theatre while recovering from an accident that gravely injured his finger and threatened to end his career. In 2010, he won three Tony Awards for the musical " Memphis." Deadline writes that Bryan is also known for his work on "Diana: The Musical." The film was later released on Netflix, and The Guardian states that in 2022, it won a slew of Razzies, including one for worst picture.

Dave Sabo

For unknown reasons, Dave Sabo, Bon Jovi's original guitarist, was replaced by Richie Sambora before the band recorded their debut album (per AllMusic). As Last.fm explains, Sabo and Jon Bon Jovi had been long-time friends. Despite Sabo's departure, the pair had made a deal — whoever made it big first would help the other in the music industry. In 1986, Sabo formed Skid Row, a heavy metal band. At this point in time, Bon Jovi was one of the biggest acts in the world. Just as promised, Bon Jovi aided Skid Row in nabbing a deal with Atlantic Records in 1988.

Per Ultimate Classic Rock, the band was also Bon Jovi's opening act during their "New Jersey Syndicate Tour" in the late 1980s. In 2016, Sebastian Bach, Skid Row's lead singer, revealed in his memoir "18 and Life on Skid Row" that Bon Jovi had bullied him on the tour, resulting in a years-long rivalry (per the New York Post). Nevertheless, Bach has gone on to say that he feels thankful and "indebted" to Bon Jovi. In a 2000 interview with Metal Sludge, Sabo reiterated this sentiment. He stated, "We've healed all the old wounds and fessed up to all of our mistakes and put it behind us."

Alec John Such

Born in Yonkers, New York, The Guardian writes that Alec John Such (seen above on the right) was working at a concert venue in New Jersey before becoming Bon Jovi's bassist. In fact, he had previously booked one of Bon Jovi's early bands at the Hunka Bunka Ballroom. Moreover, he and Richie Sambora had been in a band called the Message, and he was a childhood friend of Tico Torres. At Such's suggestion, the two joined Bon Jovi. Such was a member of Bon Jovi between 1983 and 1994. Upon his departure, he was replaced by Hugh McDonald (per Kids Britannica)

According to the Daily Mirror, he cited "burnout" as the reason for leaving. Such was 10-years-older than the rest of his bandmates, and ultimately, their fast-paced lifestyle took a toll on him. As he explained it, "It felt like work, and I didn't want to work." In 2018, Such joined the band when they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

On June 5, 2022, CNN reported that Alec John Such had died at the age of 70. Bon Jovi released a statement on his Twitter that read, "Alec was always wild and full of life. Today these special memories bring a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. We will miss him dearly."

Tico Torres

According to Sound Royalties, Tico Torres (seen above on the left) began playing the drums back in 1967 when he was just 14. He cites the Beatles and Joe Morello as "huge influences." As explained by Deadline, Torres was brought to Bon Jovi by Alec John Such, a childhood friend. However, Drummerworld writes that Torres was a seasoned musician by then. Before joining Bon Jovi in 1983, he had worked with Pat Benatar, Chuck Berry, Stevie Nicks, and more. Even so, Torres has stated that his "absolute favorite" tours have been with Bon Jovi. Besides drumming, he is also an acclaimed artist and has displayed his work in various shows in New York, Florida, and England.

In September 2013, Torres had an emergency appendectomy in Mexico City while Bon Jovi was on tour (per Billboard). Ultimately, this led the band to reschedule concerts in Mexico, Chile, and Argentina. Days later, Today reported that he had undergone emergency gallbladder surgery. As he recuperated, drummer Rich Scannella was his temporary replacement for a few shows in South America. Torres eventually returned to the stage with Bon Jovi in October of that year. In a 2019 interview with Sound Royalties, he stated that his best advice for drummers was to "keep at it and never quit."