Our collective memories of Bon Jovi in the 1980s probably do not include visions of the band slumming it in the clubs, but that is exactly what the New Jersey rockers were doing when they showed up to support Donnie Iris on June 16, 1985 at the Star Theater (formerly the Agora/Tomorrow Club). At this point in their career, Bon Jovi had lukewarm results with the second album 7800° Fahrenheit and was in the midst of polishing the skills needed to launch into the Slippery When Wet era which would dominate MTV in 1986-87. This gig might have been the band’s first one back in the USA after coming off a massive European tour (it is not listed in any archives that I have seen online). They followed this up with a summer tour with Ratt.
Pittsburgh rocker Donnie Iris was slowly fading from his early 1980s chart successes at this point in his career. The 1985 album No Muss…No Fuss peaked at No. 115 on the charts. Record company difficulties led to seven years without a new album on the market. Gigs on the festival and fair circuits followed.
WHAT THE SHOW LOOKED LIKE: Here’s a link for some pictures from The Youngstown Agora Rocked on Facebook.