Dave Sabo Reveals His ‘Pact’ With Jon Bon Jovi

When we were children, we all dreamed big with our close friends and made pacts about what we would do together when we grew up. Our dreams sometimes come true, but most of the time, they are forgotten. Childhood friends Dave Sabo and Jon Bon Jovi also made a similar pact, and as Sabo revealed in his last interview with ’80s Metal Recycle Bin, they were up to their word to make it happen.

“Well, I grew up three streets away from Jon Bon Jovi, and we’ve been friends since I was about eleven years old,” said the musician, recalling the times he first met his longtime friend. “That’s about a hundred and forty-three years. And he started playing guitar before I did. And once I had an opportunity to start playing, he would show me some chords, and then he turned me on to his guitar teacher, who became both of our mentors, this guy Al Parinello.”

He continued, “Cut to a few years later; he gets signed to a record deal. And we always had this thing like he always said that, you know, if he gets to a certain level, he would help me out in whatever band I was in; if we were good, that was the caveat. We had to be decent. We’re better than decent. So he was being managed by Doc McGee. I’m a 19-year-old punk. He goes, ‘You got to come up and meet my manager.’”

“I go up there, and Doc is sitting in a lounge chair, and all of a sudden, I find everyone is left, and it’s just Doc and I,” recalled Dave Sabo. “So I go, ‘This is my moment. I’m going to lay my spiel on this dude.’ Now I’m 19 years old, and I’m like, ‘I’m the best guitar player in the world. I’m going to be a rock star, blah blah blah, I’m the greatest thing in everything. And you’re going to manage me.’”

While it was clear that Sabo regretted his attitude during that time, he laughingly continued, “So he indulges me for like ten minutes, and I’m laying it on. And finally, I’m like, ‘Huh,’ and I’m done. He goes, ‘That’s great. You want to get me a beer?’ True story.”

Dave Sabo was born and raised in Perth Amboy. Bon Jovi also lived nearby Sayreville, only three blocks from their house. They met when Sabo was 11 years old, and their passion for music started at a very early age, as did their big dreams. Both of them were among those lucky people who were able to make those big childhood dreams come true, with the help of their talents, of course.

Bon Jovi started playing the guitar at a very early age, and his talent would soon be recognized. When he was the first to get noticed, he did not forget his promise and helped his friend to take this path. First, he directed him to his manager; then, he helped him get a part of the band he was going to set up.

His part in Bon Jovi would be one of the big breaking points in Sabo’s career. Thus, Bon Jovi was the name who mediated the entry of Dave Sabo into the music scene, who would later establish Skid Row. Therefore, a promise made as a child became the first step of a band that made a sound in the rock scene.