Founding Bon Jovi bassist Alec John Such dead at 70

Alec John Such in 1985 holding his bass
(Image credit: Icon and Image/Getty Images)

Founding Bon Jovi bassist Alec John Such has died at the age of 70. News of his passing was confirmed in a social media post from the band. 

“We are heartbroken to hear the news of the passing of our dear friend Alec John Such,” wrote Bon Jovi. “He was an original. As a founding member of Bon Jovi, Alec was integral to the formation of the band. To be honest, we found our way to each other thru him – he was a childhood friend of Tico [Torres] and brought Richie [Sambora] to see us perform. Alec was always wild and full of life. Today these special memories bring a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. We will miss him dearly."

Alec John Such was born in Yonkers, New York in November 1951, and joined Bon Jovi in 1983 as a founding member after Jon Bon Jovi put together a band to capitalise on the local radio success of a demo he'd recorded for the song Runaway

Joining Such in the new band were keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres – who'd played with Such in the band Phantom's Opera – and guitarist Richie Sambora, with whom he'd played in the band Message, whose sole album Lessons was released in 1982.     

Such performed on Bon Jovi’s first five albums – Bon Jovi, 7800° Fahrenheit, Slippery When Wet, New Jersey and Keep the Faith, but was let go before the sixth album, These Days, was released in 1995. His replacement was Hugh McDonald, who had played on the original Runaway demo, but wasn't made an official band member until 2016. 

The reasons for Such's departure from the band were never made entirely clear. While Jon Bon Jovi said that, "Alec wanted to quit for a while now, so it didn't come as a complete surprise," there were suggestions of erratic live performances, and that his departure may have been hastened by an interview in which he revealed rather more about the band's inner workings than was normal considering the "New Jersey Syndicate's" carefully controlled public image. 

After leaving Bon Jovi Such opened a motorcycle store in New York, but he would return briefly to the band twice. In 2001 he joined Bon Jovi onstage at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, playing bass on Wanted Dead or Alive. And in 2018 all five members of the band's founding line-up – including guitarist Richie Sambora, who left the band in 2013 – united onstage for You Give Love A Bad NameIt’s My LifeWhen We Were Us and Livin’ On A Prayer as Bon Jovi were inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame.

“When Jon Bon Jovi called me up and asked me to be in his band many years ago, I soon realised how serious he was and he had a vision that he wanted to bring us to, and I am too happy to have been a part of that vision,” Such said at the ceremony.

“These guys are the best," he added. "We had so many great times together and we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for those guys. Love them to death and always will."

No cause of death has been announced. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.