Like most Skid Row songs, this was written by their bass player, Rachel Bolan, and guitarist, Dave Sabo. They founded the band in 1986 and added Bach as lead singer about a year later. Sabo was in Bon Jovi when that band was just starting out, so when he formed Skid Row, his good buddy Jon Bon Jovi did everything he could to see them succeed. Skid Row signed with Bon Jovi's manager, and as soon as their self-titled debut album was released, they joined Bon Jovi as the opening act on their New Jersey Syndicate tour.
"Youth Gone Wild" stalled at #99 in America, but their next single, "18 And Life
," took off, climbing to #4 and earning lots of airplay on radio and MTV. Skid Row hit the sweet spot of hair metal, with broad appeal but also authenticity. The album ended up selling 5 million copies, earning Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora a big payday because the band was signed to their publishing company.
Sebastian Bach saw Skid Row as more Slayer than Poison though, and their next album, Slave To The Grind
, veered away from pop trappings and didn't produce any hits despite selling over 2 million copies. It went downhill from there: They released just one more album with Bach as lead singer (Subhuman Race
, 1995) and never regained their glory.