By Matthew Brooks
Ninety minutes. When Bon Jovi and songwriter Desmond Child met it took 90 min for the two of them to write “You Give Love a Bad Name.”
Child is a Grammy-winning songwriter-producer.
His songwriting credits include “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” KISS’ “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ “I Hate Myself for Loving You.”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Child talks about where the great songs come from.
“Well, life and love, in our language, are such strong archetypes in and of themselves,” he says. “They’re brands. They contain a magic quality because those words have soul, and they have hope.”
He has been composing that magic quality for nearly fifty years.
Other artists have taken notice.
Child has worked with Aerosmith, Garth Brooks, Bon Jovi, Cher, Kelly Clarkson, Joan Jett, Ricky Martin, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, and Zedd.
The numbers speak for themselves.
Child has credits on more than 80 Billboard Top 40 singles. His songs have sold on 500 million records. He has downloads, streams, and YouTube views that number in the billions.
You Give Love a Bad Name
While KISS was in Europe, Desmond Child was back in the states writing songs.
Child talks about meeting Bon Jovi.
“I went to this little wooden house in New Jersey — it was Richie Sambora’s parent’s house where he grew up — and down in the basement they had a little setup: a little electronic keyboard on a rickety formica table that had been retired down there, and washing machines and space heaters and buzzing amps. I had a title that I brought in, Bob Crewe-style — because he wouldn’t even start a song unless we had a killer title — ‘You Give Love a Bad Name.’”
Bon Jovi’s reaction was a golden smile.
“It was the first time I saw that billion-dollar Bon Jovi smile, those teeth. He looked at me and lit up, and said, ‘Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame,’ and then the three of us said, ‘You give love a bad name.’ Then we had our first slap five, and then that song was written within an hour and a half. It was, like, channeled,” Child says.
Give the magic a listen: