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Wanted Dead Or Alive by Bon Jovi

Album: Slippery When WetReleased: 1986Charted:
7
13
  • This started 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."
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Comments: 19

I hate Jon Bon Jovi. My dad went to high school with him, and says he was a real dick. I can't help loving the music . . . I just don't like the guy personally from what I've heard. @ Caitlin down there- Did Chris Daughtry really do this? It must've been good. You know what's funny, the bands Daughtry and Bon Jovi are both named after their lead singers. (panda) i just realized that!Ivy - Springfield, Ne
The "guitar part sounding like Led Zepplin" comment makes considerable sense, as Richie Sambora absolutely idolized Jimmy Page (Zep's Lead Guitarist) trying to emulate and even improve on riffs JP taught him.Jeffrey - Vancouver, Wa
The Discovery Channels' hit show "Deadliest Catch" brought back this 80's hit and continues to spread to generations of fans of both the show and the group!Jesse - Dalhart, Tx
It sounded amazing when Dean Sangit on Supernatual (my favorite Tv show!)!!!Kassi - Rosenberg, Tx
I love this song, it's one of my favorites. But everytime I hear it, I think of the TV show Supernatural where on the finale for season 3 the two main characters, Sam and Dean Winchester, sing along with this song while driving. it's so hilarious and just made me love this song that much more!Jessica - Raleigh, Nc
The "steel horse" in this song is definitely a tour bus. Jon has said so himself.Lee-ann - Perth, Australia
a steel horse is def. a reference to a motorcycleHunter - Cincinnati, Oh
I love the guitar solo in this, almost as good as the dry county soloJessica - Oxford, United Kingdom
LOVE THIS SONG ( Jensen Ackles playing Dean Winchester on Supernatural Sings it way better. He sang it on the episode "No Rest For The Wicked" the season ending of the third season. His brother on the show Sam sang backup.) Bon sings it good too thoughSarah - La, Ca
My husband said the "steel horse" is a motorcycle, not a tour bus.Camille - Toronto, Oh
This song sounds so easy and fun to play on my guitar. I'd like to learn how to play it. If I had a band, all of us members would probably be "Wanted Dead or Alive". Ha-ha.Andrew - Birmingham, United States
in the music video, a lot of the senses are from the city of Pittsburgh. like the inside the tunnel, coming out of the tunnel, when a bunch of people are behind glass door that was the mellon arena. thay are all fomr the city of PittsburghKevin - Pittsburgh, Pa
this is the theme song for "Deadlest Catch"Kelsi - I-town(ionia, Mi
American Idol 5 contestant Chris Daughtry performed and recorded a version of Wanted Dead or Alive. His version can be found on the season's album.Caitlin - A City, Nc
I Love Bon Jovi, This is probarly their song everJennifer - Scarsdale, Ny
great song witha great guitar solo. if only all songs were like thisJoe Bobson - Madrid, Spain
Actually, Jon gained inspiration from Thin Lizzy's "Cowboy Song" when writing this song.Oscar - Stockholm, Sweden
This is awesome solo in wanted or aliveMagnus - Selfoss, Iceland
Doesn't the guitar part during the verses sound like Led Zeppelin's Thank you?Matt H. - Niantic, Ct