This was the song that kickstarted the "Unplugged" craze. At the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora performed this with just their acoustic guitars, giving the network the idea for the "Unplugged" series.
This is about the lonely life of a rock star. Bon Jovi sings about performing to lots of people who all blend together after a while.
The video was in black and white. They didn't have color TV in the old west.
The producers of Young Guns II wanted to use this in the movie, but Jon didn't think it fit lyrically, since the song is not about a literal cowboy. He met with the movie executives and played some songs on acoustic guitar, one of them being "Blaze Of Glory," which was used in the movie.
Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora wrote this in the basement of Sambora's mother's house. They wrote it in one day, it came easily because it was about their actual experiences touring.
The music is based on the acoustic guitar riff Sambora came up with. It is one of the first things many new guitarists try to play.
Sambora was trying to write something acoustic because there was very little acoustic guitar on the radio at the time.
The lyrics were based on the early days of the band, when they would play anywhere people would listen. Jon Bon Jovi came up with the cowboy idea.
"Six string on my back" refers to the guitar, "steel horse" is the tour bus. This song was written during a time when Jon had just broken up with his long time girlfriend. Good news - they got back together and got married. (thanks, john - Cleveland, OH)
The band was having trouble recording this in the studio, so their producer had them take a break and enjoy some wine at a nearby restaurant. When they returned, they nailed it on their first take.
"Wanted Dead Or Alive" was going to be the album title. The cover was going to have the cowboy theme, and they even went through a photo shoot in a mine shaft dressed in old West outfits. One night after a recording session, they went to a strip club and realized they were taking it too seriously. The strip club had a shower near the stage where the dancers performed, which gave them the idea for the title "Slippery When Wet."