You Know Who Didn't Give Love a Bad Name? Jon Bon Jovi's Sassy, Forward-Thinking Mother

"What I got from my parents was the ability to make the dream reality," said singer Jon Bon Jovi about his childhood.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

May 7 2024, Published 10:26 p.m. ET

Young Jon Bon Jovi in Tokyo
Source: Getty Images

By all accounts, Jon Bon Jovi is a committed man. He's best known as the titular singer of the '80s rock band Bon Jovi which as of the time of this writing, has been kicking around for more than 40 years. According to ABC News, he married his high school sweetheart and has been with her for over 30 years. In the decades he spent living the life of a rock star, he never strayed once. It stands to reason Jon passed this level of respect and honor onto his four children. By the way, he's a great dad too.

Article continues below advertisement

And while we want to believe that Jon sprung into being as a fully formed decent human being, it stands to reason that some of these traits were taught to him by those who came before. Sometimes we forget that our parents were (and are) whole people before they had us. This is especially true about Jon Bon Jovi's mother who apparently was a Playboy Bunny. As they say, it's her life!

Jon Bon Jovi (L) with his mother, Carol Sharkey (R)
Source: Getty Images
Article continues below advertisement

Was Jon Bon Jovi's mother a Playboy Bunny?

In August 2006, Jon went onto Larry King Live to talk all things Bon Jovi, including his album "Have a Nice Day," which had reached the top of the Billboard charts. Larry King was just as giddy as any teenage girl while chatting with the rock n' roll legend. When things turned toward the singer's family, Larry came right out and asked if his mom was a Playboy Bunny. "She was," said Jon. "One of the original bunnies. When the club was on 58th, 9th Street over there near the plaza."

Evidently Jon used to go there when he was growing up. "Oh God, did I have the stories and the pictures," he said. In what feels like the most diverse resume in all the land, Jon also casually dropped that his mother was in the Marines. In fact, that's where his parents met. Jon described her as a tough, strong, and independent woman to the We Salute blog. "My parents were firm believers that anything you want to have, you can have." shared Jon. "That was one great gift they gave us, a sense of optimism."

Article continues below advertisement

Because of his solid childhood, Jon Bon Jovi never felt the urge to self-destruct.

In December 2007, Roya Nikkhah from The Telegraph spoke with Jon ahead of his Royal Variety Show where Bon Jovi was scheduled to headline. They were also supposed to meet Queen Elizabeth II, which was one thing the former big-haired rocker was really looking forward to. During his conversation, Jon was asked about his family life and that of fellow bandmate Richie Sambora who had just gone to rehab.

Jon Bon Jovi (L) and Richie Sambora (R)
Source: Getty Images
Article continues below advertisement

Unlike Richie, Jon was never gripped by the disease of addiction and attributes that to his childhood in the Garden State. "You know, growing up in New Jersey and living there all my life, I never knew about or had the urge to go to Los Angeles and go crazy," Jon told the outlet. His parents were still together and Jon gave them all the credit for who he was. "I really admire that my parents stayed together; they toughed it out, the good and the bad," said Jon.

Over a decade after giving that interview, Jon told the Big Issue, "What I got from my parents was the ability to make the dream reality." He added, "They always instilled that confidence in their kids which, in retrospect, I realize was so incredibly valuable. Because even if you truly weren’t any good at your craft, if you believed you were, you could work on it."

More from Distractify

Latest Music News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.