Jon Bon Jovi looked back on keeping Hugh McDonald’s work with Bon Jovi a secret, as the group tried to cover for original bassist Alec John Such.

McDonald was a key member of the team from its earliest days, playing bass on “Runaway” on Bon Jovi’s self-titled debut album, and continuing to contribute from then on, often without a credit.

When Such departed in 1994, McDonald became the full-time bassist, but was only made an official member in 2018. Such died of a heart attack four years later.

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“I loved Alec...we all loved Alec,” Bon Jovi told UCR with a heavy sigh. “His inability to keep up – while we as a unit were all just becoming better – was evident and obvious. Some of the things that he was doing led to his inability to perform any longer. So at that point, we did as much as we could.”

Outlining the band’s efforts, he explained: “We ghosted him for a long time. We had him out there, but now you can’t play on the records. Okay, fine; I can figure it out. Now, you can’t play on the records and you can’t play live. Now I’ve got to figure it out."

How Bon Jovi Became a ‘Truly Great Live Band’

“By ‘94, with Cross Road – a greatest compilation, but it had “Always” and “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night,” which were two big hits – we’re about to go out and play massive stadiums," Bon Jovi continued. "It was time to up our game.”

That was the point at which Such left the band, having previously announced he’d no longer appear on their albums. Bon Jovi added: “So with Hugh McDonald on bass, I think that’s when we became a truly great live band.”

Bon Jovi recently announced a new album, Forever, and released its lead single “Legendary.”

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Gallery Credit: Anthony Kuzminski