The legendary rocker joked about how his own music has changed throughout his four-decades in the industry.
On Friday, the "It's My Life" singer, 61, appeared at a Television Critics Association panel for his new Hulu docuseries, Thank You, Goodnight, where he poked fun at his own catalog becoming varied through the years as he picked up life experiences, including the heartbreak he didn't have as a teenager and young adult.
"That’s been the magic of 40 years of career. At 20, when I got a record deal, I didn’t have a lot else to write about except high school," Bon Jovi said, referring to his early songs.
"And I didn’t break up with people like Taylor [Swift] did," the singer continued as the audience laughed.
The quip is a reference to Swift, 34, who based many of her songs early on in her career around her own relationships. It has since become a running joke among the fans of the "Bad Blood" singer, who famously once stated, "If guys don't want me to write bad songs about them, they shouldn't do bad things."
Swift and Bon Jovi have previously rubbed elbows at several major events, including the 2013 Winter Whites Gala, where they sang together with Prince William. The trio performed "Livin on a Prayer" together, an experience the Prince of Wales said he thinks about often.
"To this day, I still do not know what came over me. Honestly, even now I'm cringing at what happened next, and I don't understand why I gave in," the Prince of Wales, 41, said during an episode of Apple Fitness+'s Time to Walk series. "But, frankly, if Taylor Swift looks you in the eye, touches your arm, and says, 'Come with me...' I got up like a puppy and went, 'Yeah, OK, that seems like a great idea. I'll follow you.'"
During the panel on Friday, Bon Jovi and docuseries director Gotham Chopra shared that they approached the show with a sincere interest in showing fans the real story behind the iconic band Bon Jovi as they celebrate a major milestone.
"This is in fact the band's 40th anniversary," Bon Jovi said. "I wanted to document what had happened in my past, with the vision on what is the future."
For the GRAMMY winner, that includes his continued recovery from a 2022 vocal cord surgery that he said left him feeling aimless as a singer of more than 40 years. He said his "tool" being damaged was one of the most difficult experiences he has ever faced.
"God was taking away my ability and I couldn’t understand why," he said, adding that he "jokingly said the only thing that’s been up my nose is my finger" but that "one of my vocal cords had literally atrophied."
Bon Jovi described the surgery he underwent as a "really cutting-edge implant to build the cord back up," saying that "it’s still in the process" and that he is finally starting to get back to his singing abilities nearly two years out.
Last Friday, the "You Give Love a Bad Name" singer sang for the first time at the MusiCares Gala, where he was the honoree. It was a harrowing and cathartic return for someone whose passion and life's work lies in music.
"Friday night is the first time I’ve sung. Saturday is the first time I’ve woken up without multiple voices in my head," he continued.
"As thrilling as the story of a once-in-a-lifetime talent is, it is even more rare that a legend like Jon Bon Jovi lets the world into his most vulnerable moments while he’s still living them. Forty years of personal videos, unreleased early demos, original lyrics and never-before-seen photos that chronicle the journey from Jersey Shore clubs to the biggest stages on the planet. The series relives the triumphs and setbacks, greatest hits, biggest disappointments and most public moments of friction," a description of the show reads.
Bon Jovi said that looking back, the series only provided him with perspective and made him realize how blessed he has been to have such a prolific and legendary career.
"Regrets, I have very few. I was lucky enough to have a dream and pursue it," Bon Jovi said, adding that if someone had told his younger self that there would be a documentary examining his band's trajectory and success, "I would have never in my wildest dreams believed it."
Watch the trailer for Thank You, Goodnight in the player below:
Thank You, Goodnight releases on Hulu on April 26.