The Story Behind “Livin’ on a Prayer”

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Desmond Child revealed Monday night that one of his biggest hits almost didn’t see the light of day. Child was at the 35th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards and was talking about some of his biggest hits including “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Bad Medicine,” “Born to Be My Baby” and “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

Bon Jovi

When it comes to” Livin on a Preyer,” he explained that he and Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora had to beg Jon Bon Jovi to record the song.

When they played the song to Jon originally, Jon’s response was luke warm at best, saying: “He said, ‘Y’know, I’m not really feeling it. I’d like to rock a little harder on this record before I do something sentimental like that.”

Child went on to say: “And we just literally, kinda half-joking but half not, got on our hands and knees and begged him to record it and put it on the record…and that just made all the difference in the world.” 

Sambora on the other hand knew the track was a hit, saying: “I was driving in a cab back with Jon, and he went, “Eh, that’s gonna be a good movie soundtrack.” I went, “Dude…this is maybe the best song we ever wrote, so far.”

Sambora has his own theory as to why the track was, and still is a huge song, saying: “Everybody has been in that situation where you’re out on your butt and you’re tryin’ to make it through.”

As a side note, Child laughed and explained: “The original lyric I came up with was “‘Richie needs a new boat for his dock.’ Didn’t make it, did it?” 

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