JON BON JOVI Addresses His Recent Vocal Issues: 'If I Can't Be Great, I'm Out'

February 8, 2024

BON JOVI frontman Jon Bon Jovi addressed his recent vocal issues during a question-and-answer session at this week's Pollstar Live! conference, where he received the "Milestone" award for his band's 40th anniversary.

The 62-year-old rocker, who has never been known as a particularly technical singer, received scathing reviews for his performances during BON JOVI's 2022 U.S. tour. The trek was in support of the album "2020", which was released in October of that year.

"I've had it become public knowledge now, but I've had major reconstructive surgery in my vocal cords, and I never had anything like this ever," Jon said at Pollstar Live! when asked about his vocal problems. "So it's been a difficult road, but I found a doctor in Philadelphia who did something called a medialization [a procedure in which the paralyzed vocal fold (vocal cord) is pushed to the middle so that the functioning vocal fold can close properly to regain normal vocal function and swallowing ability] because one of my cords was literally atrophied. Sometimes people get nodules; that's a pretty common place. Sometimes deviated septums and things that they've done take its toll on the cords. The only thing that's ever been up my nose has been my finger. And so it was very difficult this last decade to have to contend with something that was out of my control, which was … the strong [vocal cord] was literally taking what was left of the weak one. So they put a plastic implant in it for the last almost two years now. I've been in this rehab, getting it back together, but I'm getting very close. Friday night [at the MusiCares 'Person Of The Year' gala] was my first live performance in two years. The new record's done. So now I just wanna get back to two and a half hours a night, four nights a week, before I'm gonna go out there on the road again. But I'm confident in my doctor."

Jon was also asked about BON JOVI's future plans, which include the release of the upcoming Hulu docuseries titled "Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story". He said: "My health has been the first and foremost topic of discussion, but I'm well on the road to recovery there. If I can't be great, I'm out. And I think that the documentary that we're about to put out addresses all of that. It's called 'Thank You, Goodnight' for a reason. And we'll determine what happens there. But we do have this incredible four-part doc to celebrate the 40th. We have a brand new record that I'm very excited about. And the hope is that I get to go out and celebrate it this time, because I'm so excited by it. But if I can't do it at the level at which I've become accustomed, then there's no harm in that. There's no foul there."

In his review of BON JOVI's April 3, 2022 concert at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Ross Raihala of the Pioneer Press called Jon's vocals "shockingly poor," adding that Bon Jovi "struggled throughout the two-plus-hour show. He wasn't just butchering the older stuff, which the band now plays in a lower key, but the fresh material as well… Quite frankly, it felt like he had forgotten how to sing."

Théoden Janes of The Charlotte Observer was a bit kinder in his assessment of Jon's voice at the fourth concert on the tour, which came to Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on April 8, 2022. In his review of the performance, Janes wrote: "Throughout the band's rendition of 2004 promo single 'The Radio Saved My Life Tonight', it felt like [Jon] was searching for the right note and only finding it 60 to 70% of the time. During every chorus of megahit 'You Give Love A Bad Name', he seemed to unintentionally be singing a little behind the beat, and on top of that, there wasn't much punch to his vocals — yet he inexplicably seemed somewhat out of breath in spots. On another big anthem — 'It's My Life' — he once again was quite clearly veering into and out of key. And those were just three out of the first five songs."

Kevin Coffey reviewed BON JOVI's tour kick-off concert for Omaha World-Herald and noted that "[Jon's] voice's heft, which carried choruses of songs like 'Livin' On a Prayer' and 'It's My Life' is now reedy. He sounds thin. There's not a lot of tone in his voice. He can't quite hit the notes… Luckily for Jon Bon Jovi, he had the help of six additional musicians and their considerable vocal abilities to keep him afloat."

Over an illustrious career spanning more than four decades since itsformation in 1983, BON JOVI has earned their place among global rock royalty and was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as well as the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. With over 130 million albums sold worldwide, and extensive catalog of hit anthems, thousands of concerts performed in more than 50 countries for more than 35 million fans, and ticket grosses well over $1 billion around the world in the last decade alone, BON JOVI is the consummate rock and roll band.

Released via Island Records, "2020" was once again co-produced by John Shanks and Jon Bon Jovi. The record featured the entire BON JOVI touring band consisting of keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, bassist Hugh McDonald, guitarist Phil X, percussionist Everett Bradley, and guitarist John Shanks.

Jon in LA for the Pollstar interviews

Jon speaking at the @Pollstar live conference at the fairmount century plaza in LA - Feb 7, 2024 #pollstarlive
Credit: artistascreativos_aci on IG

Posted by Bon Jovi Updates on Wednesday, February 7, 2024

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