The Glam Metal Band Gene Simmons And Jon Bon Jovi Competed Over

While starting off their career, Depeche Mode never really needed a record deal. They were already popular with the local clubs in England, and when they actually decided to go into a studio and record their debut album, the help of an old friend was all they needed. Dave Gahan loved that fact, celebrating his act for proving to fellow artists that they didn’t necessarily have to sign with major labels to succeed.

However, not everyone was as lucky as Depeche Mode when it came to succeeding without the help of professional labels, as even the most promising acts might disappear after not receiving the commerciality they thought they deserved. However, some might be in luck and get the help of other famous artists who’ll use their publicity to promote less-fortunate rockers they believe in.

KISS is surely an honorary mention if we’re talking about rockers promoting others. The Stanley-Simmons-led act has helped out various artists who were starting their careers and needed recognition. So, it might be fair to say that Gene Simmons could be pretty generous when it comes to helping out other artists.

And when the bassist came across a glam metal band while probably enjoying a night out, he was impressed by their show enough to want to meet them and sign them in a label record. So, Gene started putting out a few good words for the metal act, although none worked out in the end, and the KISS rocker went his own way.

Years later, however, another rocker, Jon Bon Jovi, who probably was also enjoying a night out much like Gene, came across the same band the KISS bassist discovered years ago. Surely enough, Bon Jovi was amazed by their gig and also decided to help the metal act score a record deal and get recognition.

Luck was on their side this time as things did work out in the end with Jon as the singer managed to sign the band Cinderella to a record label. However, it still wasn’t easy since the label wasn’t as keen to sign a longtime deal. Still, that was enough for Cinderella to impress the A&R guy who signed them, quickly advancing the agreement into a full one.

The vocalist, Tom Keifer, recalled how both Simmons and Bon Jovi discovered them a few years apart during an interview with Big Music Geek in 2014, noting how challenging it was for Cinderella even when two prominent rock figures stood by their side and tried helping them out.

Keifer’s words on who actually discovered the band and how Gene and Jon competed to promote them:

“Actually, I’m going to set the record straight because something came up online about this recently. Jon is credited with discovering the band. Or, in other words, his interest in the band actually led to a record deal. But if you went back a couple years before that, Gene Simmons was actually the guy who first took an interest in the band. His interest did not lead to a deal for one reason or another.

He took it to some labels, and he actually did take it to Polygram, but they just weren’t interested. He did take an interest in the band, so I guess in terms of discovery, you really could credit Gene, even though both Gene and Jon showed an interest in the band. Jon’s interest did eventually lead to a deal, but that was pulling teeth, too. He told his A&R guy they were chumming about us and said, ‘You’ve got to go down and see them.’

He continued:

“He [the A&R guy] came down, and he still wasn’t convinced. He wanted to hear more material and sign us to a six-month development deal. It’s not easy to get a record deal. Gene Simmons and Jon Bon Jovi can be singing your praises all day, and it doesn’t mean you’ll get a deal.

 Gene was the first to take an interest, and then a couple years later, Jon wandered into that club and went to his A&R guy. We finally won him over, and he signed us to a full deal, but that was a bit of a process too. I’m grateful to both Gene and Jon for the interest they took in the band.”

So, one can quickly see how challenging it might be to make it to the scene and impress a label record, even when two rock legends might sing your praises. Cinderella was in luck, though, as they managed to get a record deal through Bon Jovi’s help and talent.

Still, if you’re an aspiring musician having challenges in impressing labels, you don’t need to have other rockers compliment you since you can take a few lessons from Depeche Mode’s book.