Like an American Def Leppard with a Bruce Springsteen fixation, Bon Jovi used good hooks, pumped-up production and stadium-sized passion to forge the pop-metal alloy that made them one of the dominant mainstream rock bands of the Eighties.
As a working-class teenager, John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. (born March 2nd, 1962 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey) showed little interest in school, preferring to sing with his friend David Bryan Rashbaum in local bands. Cousin Tony Bongiovi, owner of New York City's Power Station recording studio, let Bon Jovi sweep floors there and record demos with such musicians as Aldo Nova and members of Springsteen's E Street Band.
The nucleus of the Bon Jovi band — Rashbaum on keyboards, Dave Sabo on guitar, Alec John Such on bass and Tico Torres on drums — played clubs to support local radio play for their demo. PolyGram won a record label bidding war (reportedly signing only John Bongiovi, with the rest of the band as his employees) and had the Italian-American Bongiovi de-ethnicize his name to Jon Bon Jovi (keyboardist Rashbaum dropped his surname, becoming simply David Bryan). After seeing Bon Jovi at a New Jersey club, guitarist Richie Sambora auditioned and replaced Sabo (later of Skid Row).