Dear Jon Bon Jovi,
Just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for everything. You put out Slippery When Wet in 1986 and it was the first tape I ever bought. I didn’t know I’d like it. Truthfully, I didn’t even know any of the songs when I bought it. I bought it because Heidi Anderson liked it. Heidi was in 6th grade and I liked Heidi.
I distinctly remember her asking me one day in Mr. Lee’s class if I knew the words to “You Give Love a Bad Name” because she was speaking with a friend and wanted to know. I had to tell her I didn’t know. I wouldn’t make that mistake again. So I went out that afternoon and bought it and played it, and played it, and played it. I ended up really liking it. “You Give Love A Bad Name”, “Livin’ On A Prayer”, “Dead or Alive”- I played the hell out of all of them on this new boom box I had won in a raffle. I couldn’t get enough of that album. Heidi who! (sorry Heidi) Slippery When Wet started me on a music buying frenzy- I started in classic rock and then kept expanding. There were the record stores like Strawberries, and Coconuts, and Record Town and the others that I constantly went to. And there was Columbia House the music buying club where I could buy ten albums for a penny and then likely default on the rest of the club membership. I bought and bought and bought. I bought so much that I eventually just got a job at a record store and kept on buying, now at a discount. I liked music at the record store so much that I started DJ’ing parties with a friend on the weekends. I liked playing the music so much at parties that we started a DJ company.
I DJ’d right through high school and college. I’d work pretty much every weekend. By then I liked another girl. Her name was Tara. I don’t remember if she liked Bon Jovi. But it doesn’t really matter. What I DO remember is she didn’t really like me. Her love was like Bad Medicine (couldn’t resist). In any case, one Saturday I came back from DJ’ing a party and went to a friend’s room to drown my sorrows about Tara and how she wouldn’t give me the time of day. And it was in that fateful moment that I met my future wife Gloria. Tara who! (sorry Tara) It was 20 years ago this December when I met Gloria. I was smitten. We dated for seven years and then got married.
We have two great kids, Alicia and Andreya and one of the first lullabies I would ever sing them at night was “Livin’ On A Prayer.” I’ve come full circle and I still play a mean and proud air guitar anytime one of those Bon Jovi songs comes on the radio.
So you see, I owe it all to Bon Jovi:
If I hadn’t bought Slippery When Wet, I wouldn’t have gone on a music buying frenzy.
If I hadn’t gone on a music buying frenzy, I wouldn’t have gotten that record store job.
If I didn’t get the record store job, I wouldn’t have started the DJ company.
If I didn’t start the DJ company, I wouldn’t have been working late that Saturday night.
If I hadn’t been working late that Saturday night, I wouldn’t have met my future wife.
No wife would have meant no wedding.
No wedding would have meant no marriage.
No marriage would have meant no kids.
No kids would have meant a whole lot of free time to pursue passions like buying music but I wouldn’t have had that passion to buy music if I hadn’t gone and bought Slippery When Wet when it first came out just so I could impress a girl. And somewhere, I still have that original copy on tape of Slippery When Wet. I will always have a soft spot for Bon Jovi and the music played on that dusty, old boom box long ago.
Thank you Bon Jovi for everything