Few acts in the 1980s surpassed Bon Jovi in record sales or MTV exposure. New Jersey's favorite sons - next to Bruce Springsteen, of course - have sold over 120 million records in the course of a career that has lasted nearly three decades. Their namesake, Jon Bon Jovi, once worked as a janitor at the famed New York recording studio The Power Station. While there, he recorded demos with members of the E Street Band and Aldo Nova, including one for "Runaway." A smash hit in the Garden State, "Runaway" sparked major-label interest; in the end, Polygram/Mercury won the fierce bidding war, and when Richie Sambora replaced Dave "Snake" Sabo on guitar, the lineup that would produce the blockbuster LP Slippery When Wet. The biggest-selling record of 1987, Slippery When Wet yielded the driving, working-class anthems "Livin' on a Prayer" and "You Give Love a Bad Name." 1988's New Jersey followed a similar formula: radio-friendly songs, big production values and Jon Bon Jovi's good looks. All of it added up to massive, arena-rock success for these Jersey boys, who've slightly changed their sound over the years while never losing sight of what it was that won the masses over. Images of the photogenic Jon Bon Jovi - whether from magazines and fanzines, promotional glossies or live shots - are still in abundance and highly collectible. Of course authentic autographed items are always in demand, as are other Bon Jovi memorabilia items from the glory days of the '80s.
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