During Howard Stern’s trip to Miami this week to help open SiriusXM’s new studios, he sat down with his old pal Jon Bon Jovi for some serious talk about rock and roll. In between his incessant complaining about being forced by his bosses to leave the house after working from home for the past three years, Stern took time to ask Bon Jovi singer Jon Bon Jovi to play one of his favorite games: who is the greatest guitarist of all time?
“Beck,” Bon Jovi said without hesitation during the surprise studio pop-in. “Jeff Beck,” he confirmed of the legendary guitarist who died in January at 78 as a surprised Stern rattled off the list of artists he expected the singer to mention, including Jimi Hendrix. “Jimi Hendrix, would of course be in the starting lineup, but you put me on the spot,” said Bon Jovi. Stern’s inquisition went on, with the host dropping names including Eddie Van Halen and Prince, with the latter seconded by Bon Jovi’s wife, Dorothea.
“Eddie, Prince… all different, but I was in the room with Jeff Beck when he took a guitar out of a cardboard box with a rented amplifier and no pedals and created that sound when we did the ‘Young Guns’ record and he was my guitar player,” Bon Jovi said of the solo Young Guns II soundtrack collab with Beck on the 1990 Billboard No. 1 hit “Blaze of Glory.”
“I sat there flabbergasted because Jeff Beck did things with his fingers, with his thumb that would blow your mind,” Bon Jovi recalled, then listing Hendrix, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler as greats as well, noting that while all stellar, it really comes down to their songwriting ability as well.
The guitar talk came after Stern’s wife, Beth, arrived with her surprise guests in the spanking new studio, with the host welcoming the couple in, then promptly insisting on the lascivious details of how they celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary. Dorothea then admitted that Jon was always the cutest boy in high school while the rocker reminisced about his long friendship with fellow New Jersey icon Bruce Springsteen, including the first time they played together when Bon Jovi was just 17-years-old.
The old pals — Stern very reluctantly inducted Bon Jovi into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 2018 — also reminisced about the recent hourslong car ride they took at Jon’s insistence to get Stern out of the house after his extended COVID lockdown.
Check out Bon Jovi talking Beck, their three-hour dar ride and more below.