Jon Bon Jovi can’t even go to a private wedding without being put to work. The Bon Jovi frontman was pressured into singing at a Miami wedding where he was a guest. Jon was cajoled into joining the wedding band — a jazz quintet — by singer Lourdes Valentin. The Miami jazz singer told WPLG Local 10 News that she was unsure ahead of time if Jon Bon Jovi would sing with her.
“It was amazing,” Valentin said of her impromptu duet with Jon. “I wasn’t sure whether he was going to sing or not, but was so excited when he did.”
Video of the event showed Jon Bon Jovi looking visibly annoyed as Valentin brought her microphone over to him as she began to sing the chorus of his 1986 hit song, “Livin’ On a Prayer.” Jon, who was wearing a suit and seated at a table at the reception, appeared uncomfortable as the singer tried to get him to join in for the jazz rendition of the hit song he co-wrote more than 30 years ago.
Jon Bon Jovi finally succumbed to the pressure and grabbed the microphone from Valentin. Bon Jovi wasn’t accompanied by Richie Sambora’s guitar for the awkward performance, but he was accompanied by a trumpet solo. You can see Jon Bon Jovi being pressured into doing the performance in the video below.
According to the Associated Press, Valentin said she knew Jon Bon Jovi would be a guest at the wedding, so she prepared to have “Livin’ On a Prayer” on her playlist. Lourdes also revealed that before the reception, Jon specifically told her he didn’t want to sing. The wedding singer added that she was “very surprised” when the rock legend decided to “grace us with his talent.”
“Livin’ On a Prayer” is one of Bon Jovi’s biggest hits, but the rocker has never performed it as a jazz song. In an interview posted by Radio.com, Jon Bon Jovi revealed that the characters in the song, Tommy and Gina, are relatable to the band’s fans.
“A lot of people related to this song as if they were these two people,” Jon said.
Bon Jovi also revealed that the classic rock characters are referred to in two follow-up songs: “Born to Be My Baby,” from the 1988 album New Jersey, and “It’s My Life” from 2000’s Crush.
On this day in 1987, Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer" was No. 1. pic.twitter.com/pMp1Ys33fe— IntelliShopUSA (@intellishop) February 18, 2016
The famous rock anthem was written with the help of famed songwriter Desmond Child. In an interview posted by the Tennessean, Child talked about Bon Jovi’s signature song about a working class couple who struggle to make ends meet as they vow to “hold on to what we’ve got.”
“I think that each person, there was something autobiographical,” Child said of the Bon Jovi hit. “For Jon with his relationship with (wife) Dorothea, because they were high school sweethearts. In my case, I had a girlfriend that I started my first band (with)… she worked as a waitress at a place called Once Upon a Stove. They called her Gina because she reminded them of Gina Lollobrigida. So we started the song off with Johnny and Gina because Johnny was my original name. And (Jon) said, ‘I can’t be singing about Johnny. My name’s Johnny.’ It was like, ‘OK… Tommy then. Tommy and Gina.’ And that’s where Tommy and Gina were born.”
Child also dished that the Bon Jovi song is a national anthem — in Bon Jovi’s home state, anyway.
“I think Gov. (Chris) Christie is going to actually make it the anthem of New Jersey,” Child said. “It’s also the No. 1 song played at the end of the night at strip joints in New Jersey.”
And, apparently, it’s a popular wedding song, too.
[Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images]