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Wanted Dead or Alive
Bon Jovi
Slippery When Wet
Year 1986 (2010)
Genre Rock
Language English
Length 5:03
Source Rock Band
Release 20 November 2007
Rating RaitingFF.png Family Friendly
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Guitar 4Fcircle.pngFcircle.pngFcircle.pngFcircle.pngUFCirlce.png 5Fcircle.pngFcircle.pngFcircle.pngFcircle.pngFcircle.png
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Male singer
Guitar solo
2-part harmonies

Wanted Dead or Alive is a song by Bon Jovi which started the "Unplugged" craze. At the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora performed this with just their acoustic guitars, giving the network the idea for the "Unplugged" series.

This is about the lonely life of a Rock Star. Bon Jovi sings about performing to lots of people who all blend together after a while.

The video was in black and white. They didn't have color TV in the old west.

The producers of Young Guns II wanted to use this in the movie, but Jon didn't think it fit lyrically, since the song is not about a literal cowboy. He met with the movie executives and played some songs on acoustic guitar, one of them being "Blaze Of Glory," which was used in the movie.

Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora wrote this in the basement of Sambora's mother's house. They wrote it in one day, it came easily because it was about their actual experiences touring.

The music is based on the acoustic guitar riff Sambora came up with. It is one of the first things many new guitarists try to play.

Sambora was trying to write something acoustic because there was very little acoustic guitar on the radio at the time.

The lyrics were based on the early days of the band, when they would play anywhere people would listen. Jon Bon Jovi came up with the cowboy idea.

"Six string on my back" refers to the guitar, "steel horse" is the tour bus. This song was written during a time when Jon had just broken up with his long time girlfriend. Good news - they got back together and got married. (thanks, john - Cleveland, OH)

The band was having trouble recording this in the studio, so their producer had them take a break and enjoy some wine at a nearby restaurant. When they returned, they nailed it on their first take.

"Wanted Dead Or Alive" was going to be the album title. The cover was going to have the cowboy theme, and they even went through a photo shoot in a mine shaft dressed in old West outfits. One night after a recording session, they went to a strip club and realized they were taking it too seriously. The strip club had a shower near the stage where the dancers performed, which gave them the idea for the title "Slippery When Wet."


It's all the same, only the names will change

Everyday, it seems we're wastin' away

Another place where the faces are so cold

I drive all night just to get back home

I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride

I'm wanted dead or alive

Wanted dead or alive

Sometimes I sleep, sometimes it's not for days

The people I meet always go their separate ways

Sometimes you tell the day

By the bottle that you drink

And times when you're all alone all you do is think

I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride

I'm wanted (wanted) dead or alive

Wanted (wanted) dead or alive

Oh, and I ride

Oh, and I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride

I'm wanted dead or alive

I walk these streets

A loaded six-string on my back

I play for keeps 'cause I might not make it back

I been everywhere, still, I'm standing tall

I've seen a million faces

And I've rocked them all

I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride

I'm wanted (wanted) dead or alive

I'm a cowboy, I got the night on my side

I'm wanted (wanted) dead or alive

And I ride, dead or alive

I still drive (I still drive) dead or alive

Dead or alive, dead or alive, dead or alive, dead or alive



Wanted Dead or Alive (RB3 version) - Bon Jovi Expert (All Instruments Mode) Rock Band 3 DLC

Full band playthrough


Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead Or Alive

Official music video