“The bigger the star, the nicer the person”: The most important lesson Jon Bon Jovi learned from the Rolling Stones

“The bigger stars would take a moment to say, ‘How’s that demo going?’ That stayed with me.”

[L-R] Jon Bon Jovi and Keith Richards

Credit: Getty Images

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Jon Bon Jovi is one of the biggest names in rock, and January marked 40 years since the release of his band’s debut album.

At 62, he’s on his way to becoming one of rock’s elder statesmen, but back when he was starting out, he was learning what he could from some of the biggest names of the era, as he explains in a new interview with People.

Before Bon Jovi got their big break, their frontman was working as a go-fer at the Power Station, a recording studio in New York City, where he’d come into contact with some huge names.

He says, “The biggest thing I learned there was the bigger the star, the nicer the person. It was the Rolling Stones who would hold the door open for you when you were coming in with the burgers and the coffee.”

While he explains that he wasn’t “rubbing elbows” with the Stones, exactly, “while you were sweeping the floor or parking their car, you would observe. The bigger stars would take a moment to say, ‘How’s that demo going?’ That stayed with me.”

Over the course of a few years, Bon Jovi went from errand boy to rock star himself, and puts his success down to his willingness to outwork.  I think that’s what it came down to,” he says. “I definitely wasn’t the best at anything. I was just the hardest working, and it was nothing more than the desire to get better every day.”

And, Bon Jovi and his bandmates are looking back at their journey in the new docuseries Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story, which is set to stream on Hulu from 26 April. The four-part series takes a look behind the scenes at the band’s rise and success, as well as tougher parts of their history like substance abuse and the acrimonious departure of Richie Sambora in 2013.

Bon Jovi also looks at the vocal cord issues he’s had in recent years, which almost forced him into retirement. He says, “The thing that gave me so much pleasure had been taken away. Joy is something you got to work at, right? Happiness is what you make it. It’s not about seizing the day anymore. I think it’s about embracing the day. I don’t have to punch it in the face anymore, now I just give it a hug, and that’s a good place to be.”


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