The Bon Jovi single, “Wanted Dead or Alive,” was released in March of 1987. In the song, Jon Bon Jovi makes many claims. They range from relatable, “Times when you’re alone, all you do is think,” to the rock star lifestyle, “Sometimes I sleep, sometimes it’s not for days.” The one line I always come back to, though, is: “I’ve seen a million faces, and I’ve rocked them all.” Let’s examine this statistic.
The band Bon Jovi formed in 1983. Their album, Slippery When Wet, was recorded in 1986, so let’s assume Bon Jovi wrote the lyrics that same year. This means that at the time of writing, Bon Jovi would have been rocking faces for approximately 3 years. One million faces over 3 years breaks down to 333,333 faces per year. That’s almost 914 faces per day or 38 faces per hour. During this time period, Bon Jovi was rocking a face every 1 minute and 35 seconds.
Take a moment to appreciate this. Start a timer, watch 95 seconds go by… BOOM! Another face rocked.
Now let’s talk about that success rate. Jon Bon Jovi rocked each one of those million faces. He didn’t miss any! That’s a 100% success rate. The problem though, is that we have to take him on his word. There were no face-rocking metrics or measurements at that time. For the sake of argument, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt here. Still, I find it a little hard to believe that there wasn’t at least one incident of a guy being dragged to a Bon Jovi concert by his girlfriend, who (despite Bon Jovi’s best attempts) did not get his face rocked. Bon Jovi saw the guy’s face, attempted to rock it, but they guy was like, “Eh, this is OK, but I’m more of Dokken man.”
What about the years that have passed since then? Remember, at the time the song was written, Bon Jovi was averaging 333,333 faces seen/rocked per year. It’s been 31 years. He still tours regularly. That’s another 10 million faces! Has he rocked all of those as well? Is he still batting a thousand? For the sake of argument, let’s say he didn’t rock ten of those faces over that time. Ten out of ten million is only 0.000001%. Or, to put a positive spin on it, he’s rocking 99.99999% of the faces he sees. That’s incredible!
What if he had a terrible year somewhere in there, and rocked zero of his average 333,333 faces? He’d still be at a 96% success rate. This guy just rocks faces.
I’d love to make this more of a comparative study, and see how Jon Bon Jovi rates against other guys like Robert Plant, Ozzy Osborne, and Axl Rose. Unfortunately, those guys didn’t keep the same meticulous stats. I’ll have to save that for the times when I’m alone, and all I do is think.