Wanted Dead or Alive

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was sometime in the mid-to-late 80s, sitting in some bar outside the naval base in Yokosuka, Japan, having a beer or two before making my way home about 10 clicks to Hayama, on the other side of the peninsula. They were playing some music videos on the TV, and suddenly, there’s this appealing ballad-sounding sort of song backed by a back & white video.

It’s Bon Jovi doing a song called Wanted Dead or Alive. I sat there mesmerized for the next three minutes or so. Rather than a set-production video, it’s simply B & W clips from the band on the road and performing. In essence, it turns out to be a 3-minute mini-anthology of what a tough, tough life they live on the road.

That was to become my favorite music video of all time and nothing I’ve seen since has ever come even slightly close. Funny thing is, I’m not even a Bon Jovi fan, particularly. On the other hand, I love it when metal bands do songs that start off as sort of a slow-moving ballad that at some point bashes you against the head with full-on screaming metal guitar.

So, what brought this up? Kind of a long story, but my TV situation has sucked since we moved in November. At the house, I was rigged to the hilt with satellite and off-air antenna, TiVo, HDTV, etc. But these new construction lofts, though they have a satellite dish on the roof, can only accommodate some of the services, not all. After giving up on trying to get the builder to add the necessary muti-switch, pull two more cables, and split in an off-air digital antenna, I just called Comcast and got their setup.

Turns out it’s not as bad as I thought it would be, and in fact, is quite good. I’ve got two-tuner DVRs with HDTV in both locations. And, we now have On-Demand. If you don’t know what that is, it’s like when you’re in a hotel and you can watch whatever is on the menu whenever you want. Only with this, they’ve got hundreds of things to choose from: movies, TV series, sports, special events, and… music. Turns out they’re running a Bon Jovi special, and I wasted no time in going to see if they had that video. They did. I guess they redid the video in 2001, which they had also. It’s OK, but, you know; when you get something perfect, there’s just no improving on it.

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 an
I’ve rocked them all

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. EKENYERENGOZI MICHAEL CHIMA on February 5, 2006 at 09:43

    I have been a Bon Jovi fan since high school and I also played in a school band.

    Very satisfactory post.

    Thanks and God bless.

  2. kkt on February 5, 2006 at 12:48

    surfed in through BE… bon jovi rocks! just saw them in concert two weeks ago.

  3. Cat on February 6, 2006 at 06:39

    Now I have that song on my mind for the rest of the day! 🙂

    I liked this post…thought provoking and sent me down memory lane. Thanks for sharing. I couldn't remember the video as much as I could remember the song. Then, you jogged my memory at the simplicity of the video — I hadn't seen that side of things!

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