Those songs ‘are my babies’

Jon Bon Jovi has “no desire” to join the trend of artists selling off their music catalogs.

Many well-known entertainers — Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Kiss, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber — have collected huge paydays in recent years by selling the rights to their songs, including royalties they would be paid when their music is used or listened to. On the list is Bon Jovi’s former songwriting partner, Richie Sambora, who exited the band in 2013 and sold his catalog in 2020, including his copyrights to hits that he co-wrote with the frontman (like “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive”). While Bon Jovi has no drama with Sambora, he does not have plans to follow suit in selling his songs.

“I have no desire,” Bon Jovi tells Yahoo Entertainment. “Our catalog has done nothing but go up [in value] exponentially. I know matter of factly it’s really exploded to like 15-year highs, and the record” — referring to the 40-year-old band’s 16th studio album, Forever, dropping on June 7 — “is not even out yet.” (“Legendary,” the album’s first single, hit the top 10 on Billboard’s Hard Rock Streaming Songs chart when it was released last month.)

“This House Is Not For Sale” singer, who Forbes estimated to be worth over $410 million in 2016, continues, “So I have no need to or desire to. Those are my babies.”

Several of those “babies” — including “Livin’ on a Prayer” — have hit a billion streams on YouTube and Spotify in recent years. Ahead of the April 26 release of the band’s new doc, Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story, which debuted at No. 1 on Hulu, the song, originally released in 1986, returned to the top 10 on Billboard’s Hard Rock Streaming Songs chart.

Thank You, Goodnight looks at the band’s 40-year journey, including its post-Sambora rebuild. The Jersey-born band currently includes original members Bon Jovi, David Bryan and Tico Torres, along with bassist Hugh McDonald, guitarist John Shanks, guitarist Phil X and percussionist Everett Bradley.

Featuring prominently in the four-part series, directed by Gotham Chopra, are Bon Jovi’s vocal cord issues, which led him to consider retiring. It shows how he tried to do everything he could holistically to improve his situation — lasers, acupuncture, vitamins, collagen, exercise — but underwent vocal fold medialization surgery in the summer of 2022, which was a success.

“Just to disarm anyone, I’m very capable of singing again,” Bon Jovi says. “But our bar that we hold is that I want to be able to do two and a half hours a night, four nights a week.

“So the band’s rehearsing on a monthly basis,” he continues. “We’ll work hard for a couple days in a row, as though it’s a tour date. We’re getting closer and closer to that. The surgery was a success. It’s just not quite 100% yet, but it’ll get there.”

So where does that leave a “Forever” Tour”? “The only thing that we can collectively promise is that we need to be the best that we can be before that consideration,” he says. “But everyone’s very optimistic.”

Bon Jovi revealed earlier this year that the band turned down a residency at the Sphere Las Vegas, which would have followed U2’s big debut. While Bon Jovi did see U2 perform at the venue, which boasts cutting-edge technology, bringing together music and a grand visual spectacle, he says a residency isn’t for them right now.

“I guess there are some benefits to that,” he says. “I remember when we opened The 02 in London and the Prudential Center” in Newark, both of which opened in 2007. “You’re doing 10, 15 nights in one venue and it gets nice. You can leave your shoes there at night. That’s not bad.”

Bon Jovi continues: “But for me personally, the desert isn’t all that appealing — to be out in Vegas for a long period of time. And the Sphere is otherworldly. That’s a serious commitment. So, for me, not at this time.”

He’d certainly be tempted by something closer to home — like in his home state of New Jersey.​​

“Yeah, the old Meadowlands Arena,” he says of the venue they first rocked out in 1987 on the “Slippery When Wet Tour.” In the doc, the band returned there — the venue has been closed to the public for years, but still stands — to rehearse for a potential 40th-anniversary tour. Bon Jovi said in the doc, that he’d play there again in a heartbeat — and if they booked a week of concerts, he’d sell out the venue for sure.

“No doubt about it,” he says with a smile. “You think it’s the place that time forgot because inside it’s just as you remember it. It’s still in great shape.”

Wherever he ends up onstage next, he promises to bring it — at 102% and nothing less. Being in a rock band was all he dreamed of as a big-haired teen — and being able to do it today, despite some bumps in the road, is a dream.

“It’s a miracle … that we can sit here and talk to you 40 years later,” he says, “and we’ve got a hit record out, and [it’s] still consistent in what we do. It’s nothing short of a miracle.”

Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story is now streaming on Hulu.

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