Alec John Such, Bon Jovi’s first bassist, dies at 70

Alec John Such, Bon Jovi’s first bassist, dies at 70

LOS ANGELES — Bassist Alec John Such, founding member of Bon Jovi, has died at the age of 70, Jon Bon Jovi announced on social media on Sunday. A cause of death has not been shared.

“We are heartbroken to hear the news of the passing of our dear friend Alec John Such,” Bon Jovi said. “He was an original. As a founding member of Bon Jovi, Alec was an integral part of forming the band. … To be honest, we found our way to each other through him – He was a childhood friend of Tico [Torres] and brought Richie [Sambora] to see us play. Alec has always been wild and full of life. Today, those special memories bring a smile to my face and a tear to my eyes. He will be missed terribly.”

Born in Yonkers, New York on November 14, 1951, John Such played in an earlier band with Sambora, The Message, before eventually joining Bon Jovi. In the early 1980s, John Such was the manager of what was then the Hunka Bunka Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. It was there that he booked Jon Bon Jovi & The Wild Ones, seeing potential in a young musician with a mission.

John Such brought Torres and Sambora into the band, while Bon Jovi brought in his childhood friend David Bryan, who had been in an earlier band, Atlantic City Expressway. The band’s third album, “Slippery When Wet,” would eventually sell 12 million copies and its follow-up, 1988’s “New Jersey,” would score even more hit songs.

“The record company used to lie about my age,” John Such told The Asbury Park Press in 2000. “I was 31 when I joined. I was a good 10 years older than the rest of the group. My sister ended up going really crazy because the papers were describing her as my older sister when she was really younger.

John Such remained with the band until his departure in 1994. He was replaced by bassist Hugh McDonald, who became an official band member in 2016.

“When I was 43, I started to burn out,” he said in this interview. “It felt like work, and I didn’t want to work. The reason I joined a band was because I didn’t want to work.

At the time in 1994, Bon Jovi compared Such’s departure to that of Bill Wyman from the Rolling Stones.

“They just grew in different directions. It’s understandable… just because I want to keep making records doesn’t mean everyone has to,” Bon Jovi said.

When the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, John Such reunited with the group and delivered an eloquent speech.

“When Jon Bon Jovi called me and asked me to join his band many years ago, I quickly realized how serious he was and he had a vision he wanted to take us to, and I’m so happy to have been a part of that vision,” he said.

He continued, “These guys are the best. We had so many great times together and we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for these guys. Love them till death and always will.

The band shared the clip of his speech with an edit of John Such to his signature song, “Blood on Blood,” a song he sometimes takes lead on during live shows.

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