Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi Band in the 1980s
Credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Most people that fancy Bon Jovi probably went through high school in the eighties. I, on the other hand, went through high school in the ’00s – and that’s when I was at the height of my fandom.

The Backstory of Bon Jovi and Me

There was ZERO recollection of hearing Bon Jovi in my childhood. My dad was a classic rocker and by the time they hit the scene, he moved towards the classic bands doing soft rock. My other musical influence, my brother Todd, was into grunge or metal (whatever you want to call that early ’90s stuff).

During the late ’90s and early ’00s, VH1 had a thing going where they would showcase old videos and/or highlight previous acts. This was a combination of the I Love the (insert decade) specials or Behind the Music documentaries. I was in the discovery phase and sampled all types of genres and artists. Napster was a thing (for a few years), so a poor high school kid had easy access to any music – without the worry of blowing his allowance.

This has to be where Bon Jovi was discovered.

Eric Hersey Senior Year Contrarian

Bon Jovi released Crush in 2000 and Bounce in 2002. Although I think Crush was the better album, they must have been playing a lot of Bon Jovi in 2002 – from all albums. I took a liking to his music – newer and especially classic. In 2002, most of the senior boys and girls were listening to 50-cent and rap artists. I took the contrarian approach and adapted Bon Jovi from the ’80s as my go-to music. This fit right in line with my love for Journey and Boston (both adapted during senior year).

Tech Prep and Video Projects

There are some videos out there (who knows where) that prove my love for hair metal. Martins Ferry High School had a 3rd and 4th-period video tech prep class. This seemed like a fun class. You play on Adobe Premiere, shoot videos, but most of the time listen to music in the A/V room.

During football season, the tech prep class always made a video promoting the Martins Ferry vs. Bellaire game. As a collaborative effort, the idea to make a John Carpenter Halloween spoof came up. I ended up directing the majority of the project and had the most pull when it came to having music included. You better believe you heard some “Shot Through the Heart” as a car raced off.

Not only did I use Bon Jovi for clips in the student film, but I also had “It’s My Life” as my theme song for my weekly segments on the school news. One of the digital artists created a nice Flash graphic of me as my intro. I don’t have any of these videos in my possession, but I would love to see if it exists somewhere in the universe.

Blow and Torn Jeans

My good friend Matt McCabe had us watch the movie Blow, starring Johnny Depp, one Saturday morning. The soundtrack was great – but more importantly – I loved the long-hair look of Johnny Depp. I remember Matty growing out of his hair because of this movie. I also stopped going to the barber. Matty ended up cutting his hair, where I let it grow. By senior year, I had long hair and acquired my ‘look’.

Jon Bon Jovi, at this time, had longer hair but not hair metal style. This was the look I ended up going for. My girlfriend (now my wife) would flat iron my hair and even convinced me to get blonde highlights. The goal was to look like 2002 Jon Bon Jovi. Of course, the only thing that remotely looked like him was the hair.

To add to my ‘personal style’, I had a friend that was on the wealthier end. His parents would buy him designer jeans and expensive clothes. He, on the other hand, would sell them to his friends for cash. He monkied around with design by shredding up some jeans. I always thought they looked great and spent some of my money on his custom hand-me-down clothing.

By the end of senior year, I was the only one rocking long hair and shredded jeans.

Backporch Singing

There are very few moments in life where I actually sang ‘solo’ in front of people. Lauren and I met in the summer of 2002. I will save the entire dramatic story for another day, but it would be safe to say that Bon Jovi was the soundtrack of our early relationship.

We sat on her steps and she asked if I would sing her a song. I was full of piss and vinegar then, so I actually did. Even though I don’t have a singing voice, I tried “Born to Be My Baby”. She still brings it up to this day.

Not sure if it was a good memory or she is still haunted by my inability to hit high notes (or carry a tune).

Bon Jovi Now vs. Bon Jovi Rank In 2007

I was still hungover in 2007 from my High School Bon Jovi love. Granted, Bon Jovi released a decent amount of work since and most of it was pretty mediocre. I am not a country fan – so most of Lost Highway was garbage. This was truly a ‘phase’ band and I imagine will continue to fall in rankings over the years.

Check out where they rank on my current list.

Bon Jovi Metrics

By The Numbers



A Deep Dive Into the Current Score

I feel that if I was hearing a lot of these songs for the first time, we might see more 3-stars compared to 4-stars. I don’t think you can ever erase your memories or how you felt when you first listened to these songs – so Bon Jovi had nostalgia on their side.

You can probably name the 5-star songs and I can’t imagine the common fan would argue. In the future, maybe these 3-stars will drop to 2-star songs. A lot of the music doesn’t hold up, but you can not deny me “Livin’ on a Prayer”.

Bon Jovi Podcasts for Reference

Lumpy & Sasquatch – This podcast was recorded by this ‘odd’ duo before Bon Jovi was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There is a slight gimmick to the show, but Lumpy and Sasquatch did make this an enjoyable listen with games and puns.

Oprah’s Master Class: The Podcast – I have lived for many years and have avoided Oprah and her content for all of those years, except now. I was pleasantly surprised by this concise interview with Jon Bon Jovi. It moved from topic to topic and within 30-minutes I got the whole story. Good job Oprah.

Your Favorite Band Sucks – A favorite of mine and yours – this show is a comedy podcast that rips Bon Jovi apart for thirty-minutes. I’ve listened to many of these episodes and I think they were relatively nice to Bon Jovi compared to other groups.

Why I Hate This Album – Not only did I listen to a podcast about how Bon Jovi Sucks, I listened to why the album Slippery When Wet sucked. In all actuality, the hosts didn’t really crap on this album very much. I do enjoy these album-by-album review podcasts and I would sample more from this podcast.

Podder Than Hell – The concept of this podcast is to review all of the ‘rockin’ Bon Jovi songs. The several hosts went back and forth reviewing song after song. They talked about some deep cuts and probably love Bon Jovi more than I do – which is great considering the last two podcasts I listened to talked about how much they sucked.

Bon Jovi Videos for Reference

Ultimate Albums: Slippery When Wet – (YouTube) Since this is one of my favorite albums by the band, this was an enjoyable watch. This program was just like your “Classic Albums” show on AXS TV, but it was classic VH1.

Bon Jovi in the Movies

Sorry, but I don’t want to watch a ton of movies featuring Bon Jovi. Instead, you can check out Jon Bon Jovi’s IMDb page or this nifty Ranker page for Jon Bon Jovi.

The Battle of Bon Jovi Albums

It wasn’t much of a surprise that I would love Slippery When Wet the most. I was shocked that Lost Highway wasn’t a 0%, but one good/great song on the album will save it. It seems about right – the earlier the album, the better score.

Slippery When Wet254.55%
Bon Jovi177.78%
New Jersey150.00%
Keep the Faith50.00%
The Circle41.67%
Burning Bridges40.00%
Lost Highway33.33%
What About Now33.33%
This House Is Not for Sale33.33%
These Days25.00%
Have a Nice Day25.00%
7800° Fahrenheit10.00%

The Greatest Hit from Bon Jovi

Paragraph about tournament and thoughts.

Previous Greatest Hit and Tournament Outcome

“Livin’ on a Prayer”

Although there were several great songs, “Livin’ on a Prayer” seems to be in its own hemisphere. This is the song that I think of and probably everyone thinks of when they hear Bon Jovi. It’s their anthem and also their best.


Bon Jovi was the greatest band in my mind for a short period of time. Many of the artists and bands I have reviewed weren’t phases but actual bands I loved. After relistening, Bon Jovi was a phase. They did produce some hits and I do like a lot of their stuff, they just can’t compete with some of the other bands I enjoy.


November 6, 2019

Bon Jovi is likely to release more music in the future. When that happens, I will rank. Hopefully, it’s more like Slippery When Wet and not Lost Highway.