Study Guide

Blaze of Glory

Blaze of Glory Introduction

In a Nutshell

What do you get when you mix together one of the most legendary characters of the Old West, several of the hottest young actors of the Brat Pack generation, and New Jersey's favorite pop-metal superstar?

You get Jon Bon Jovi's "Blaze of Glory," the chart-topping theme song to a neo-Western film that was, itself, inspired by a different Bon Jovi song.

The movie (Young Guns II) hasn't really stood the test of time. Although it's fun to watch Kiefer Sutherland bringing the heat a full generation before anyone dreamed up 24's Jack Bauer.

But the song remains a fan favorite, the perfect anthem for anybody who's ever wanted to be an outlaw or a rock star. Or both.

About the Song

ArtistBon Jovi, Jon
Year1990
LabelVertigo Records
Writer(s)Jon Bon Jovi
Producer(s)Danny Kortchmar, Jon Bon Jovi
Musician(s)Jon Bon Jovi (guitar, vocals), Jeff Beck (guitar), Randy Jackson (bass), Kenny Aronoff (drums), Aldo Nova (guitar, synthesizer), Waddy Wachtel (guitar), Benmont Tench (keyboards)
Learn to playTablature
AlbumBlaze of Glory: Inspired by the Film "Young Guns II"

Music Video

Influences on Bon Jovi, Jon

Tom Waits
Elvis Costello
Bruce Springsteen
Alice Cooper
Aerosmith
Kiss
Eric Clapton
Jeff Beck
Jimi Hendrix
Led Zeppelin
Bob Dylan
The Beatles
Bad Company
AC/DC
Judas Priest
Elton John
Jeff Beck

Influenced by Bon Jovi, Jon

Skid Row
Damn Yankees
Poison
Nickleback
Hoobastank
My Chemical Romance
Slaughter
Dragonforce

Blaze of Glory Resources

Books

Bon Jovi, Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful (2009)
This book is the first official band-authorized version of the Bon Jovi story.

Neil Daniels, The Bon Jovi Encyclopedia (2009)
It's all here, from A to Z: Everything you could possibly want to know about Bon Jovi and their music.

Mick Wall, All Night Long: The True Story of Bon Jovi (1995)
The prominent British rock journalist Mick Wall offers up an entertaining, if perhaps slim, 100-page history of the first decade of Bon Jovi's development as a band. The main drawback here is that the story ends in 1995, when the book was written, so it misses the second half of the Bon Jovi story.

Albums

Bon Jovi, Lost Highway (2007)
In Bon Jovi's most recent studio album, the band took a radical new stylistic direction. Recording in Nashville, the band released what was essentially a country record.

Bon Jovi, Crush (2000)
By the dawn of the 21st century, a rejuvenated Bon Jovi released the hit record Crash, which introduced the band to a whole new generation of who barely remembered the big-hair days of the 1980s. "It's My Life" became a huge hit single.

Jon Bon Jovi, Blaze of Glory (1990)
The title track was the huge hit, but the entire Western-themed album is well worth a listen. While the band Bon Jovi went on hiatus for a couple years at the beginning of the 1990s, Jon Bon Jovi took the opportunity to put together this memorable solo project, the soundtrack to Young Guns II. The title track dominated radio airplay and won a Golden Globe. Plus, Bon Jovi made his acting debut in a brief cameo in the film.

Bon Jovi, New Jersey (1988)
New Jersey was the multiplatinum follow-up to Slippery When Wet. The strains of constant recording and touring to support both records from 1986-89 nearly led to a breakup of the band. But the music here still captures Bon Jovi at their '80s peak.

Bon Jovi, Slippery When Wet (1986)
Slippery When Wet was the chart-topping album that turned Bon Jovi into the biggest band in the world in 1986. "Livin' On A Prayer," "Wanted Dead and Alive," and "You Give Love a Bad Name" all cracked the top ten as singles.

Bon Jovi, Bon Jovi (1984)
Bon Jovi's debut album, released in 1984, featured a sound a bit more raw than that of Slippery Than Wet, but clearly hinted at the glory that was to come in great songs like "Runaway."

Images

Billy the Kid
Only surviving photograph of William H. Bonney, the late 19th-century outlaw better known as Billy the Kid, who provided the inspiration for Young Guns and "Blaze of Glory."

He's a Cowboy
Jon Bon Jovi on the set of the "Blaze of Glory" music video.

Movies & TV

Bon Jovi: Lost Highway—The Concert (2007)
Bon Jovi's newest concert DVD captures a full performance of the band's most recent album, 2007's country-tinged Last Highway.

Bon Jovi: The Crush Tour (2000)
The Crush Tour DVD captures a complete Bon Jovi concert, recorded live in Switzerland in 2000. The performance here is a more typical hard-rocking show than the more recent Lost Highway concert.

U-571 (2000)
Jon Bon Jovi's biggest acting role to date occurs in this submarine drama, which tells the unlikely story of a crew of American sailors seeking to capture a German U-boat during World War II. Bon Jovi plays a naval engineer.

Young Guns (1998)
No Bon Jovi in this one, but if you're going to relive the glory of 1980 shoot-em-up Westerns starring Brat Pack heartthrobs Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, and Kiefer Sutherland, you might as well do it right and see both the original and the sequel. Weirdly, one movie ends with Billy the Kid shot down in a blaze of glory. The other ends with the same character living to become an old, old man.

Young Guns II (1990)
Jon Bon Jovi wrote and performed the soundtrack to this nouveau Western. Bon Jovi's hit theme song "Blaze of Glory" may well be the best thing about the movie, although it's fun to see young stars Kiefer Sutherland, Christian Slater, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Emilio Estevez try to give the old story of Billy the Kid some modern swagger. Bon Jovi makes a brief acting cameo in the film.

Websites

Bon Jovi's Official Site
This is the band's official site, the place to go for band-sanctioned tour schedules, merch, pics, audio, and video.

Bon Jovi on Rolling Stone
America's premier music magazine offers a wealth of Bon Jovi content. Check out the biography and especially the original reviews of all the band's albums.

Bon Jovi on Last.fm
Last.fm provides a wealth of information on Bon Jovi and lets you listen to the band's biggest hits while you read, for free.

Video & Audio

Interview
In this interview, Jon Bon Jovi tells the story of how he got involved with writing a soundtrack for Young Guns II, and describes his cameo role as a gunshot victim in the film itself.

More Interview
Bon Jovi talks about Young Guns, writing the Blaze of Glory album, and filming the song's iconic music video.

Music Video
The official video for "Blaze of Glory" is a rather spectacular set piece, filmed on location high atop a mesa in the middle of nowhere. Bon Jovi and his crew actually camped there for several days between shoots; all equipment and personnel had to be brought in by helicopter.