Jon Bon Jovi’s dad ‘threatened to kill’ Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach

Jon Bon Jovi’s dad ‘threatened to kill’ Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach

In 1986, 18-year-old Sebastian Bach sang rock classics at the wedding of rock photographer Mark Weiss.

Among the attendees were the parents of Jon Bon Jovi, whose “Slippery When Wet” album had just made him a star. And Bach was about to taste stardom, too.

According to Bach’s new memoir, “18 and Life on Skid Row,” Bon Jovi’s parents liked Bach and thought he’d be perfect for a band they knew their son’s friend Dave “The Snake” Sabo was trying to form.

Sabo snapped up Bach, who became the frontman of Skid Row, a band he would eventually lead to fame.

But according to Bach, that night also began a peculiar relationship between him and Bon Jovi, at first a friend and mentor who turned bitter rival.

When Skid Row signed with Atlantic Records, Bon Jovi and his wife invited Bach’s wife and son to stay in their home, and Bon Jovi gave Bach some of his old stage clothes — “He literally gave me the shirt off his back,” Bach writes. But when Skid Row opened for Bon Jovi’s 1989 tour, their success with hits like “18 and Life” and “I Remember You” caused relations to sour.

After Skid Row’s T-shirts began outselling Bon Jovi’s, the headliners suddenly took issue with Bach’s swearing on stage. Bach was “summoned into Jon’s room,” where, Bach writes, “he stared me down and said the words, ‘I’ll f—ing own you.’ ”

While pranking among touring rock bands was not uncommon, Bon Jovi’s road crew tormented Bach in a more hostile and sinister way.

The singer was headed to the stage at Rupp Arena in Kentucky when he was grabbed from behind by three members of Bon Jovi’s road crew, who secured his hands and “poured a vat of freezing cold ice milk over my head,” just as Skid Row’s intro music started to play.

Bach — wet, shaking and furious — ran on stage. He had his roadies get two cartons of eggs, and he hurled them at Bon Jovi’s smirking security crew. He also took verbal shots at his mentor in between songs, making fun of his name.

“What was wild,” Bach writes, “was that the crowd was on my side.”

As he left the stage, his tour manager said, “Hey Sebastian — I think we got a problem here.”

“We saw about 60 people coming toward us,” Bach writes. “Leading the pack was Jon Bon Jovi himself. Flanking him, side to side, was his dad and his brother Tony. Behind them was the full Bon Jovi road crew.” According to Bach, an incensed Bon Jovi said, “I heard what you said on my stage, motherf—er,” and then he threw a punch, which Bach ducked.

Bon Jovi’s crew grabbed Bach, marched him to his dressing room and threw him against a concrete wall. Bon Jovi’s brother, Tony, screamed at him, “You called my brother Bon Blow Me? On our own stage?” The singer’s father also got some digs in.

“Bon Jovi Senior pointed in my face as I was held against the wall,” Bach writes. “He said, ‘I’ll f—ing kill you,’ or something like that.”

After more screaming and threats, the hostility faded, and no more punches were thrown. Bach and Bon Jovi would later trade insults in the press, but Bach never forgot the singer’s initial assistance. At a London hotel bar with Axl Rose in 2006, Bach realized Bon Jovi was there.

Wary, Bach approached him, and the two hugged like old friends. “Jon took a chance on me and our band,” Bach writes. “I will always be indebted to him for that.”


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