Jon Bon Jovi says he endured several years of “dark misery” during a decade without joy – before turning it around to make the new Bon Jovi album Forever.

The experience is ingrained in the lead single “Legendary,” which the band released today, ahead of Forever’s arrival. The story will also be detailed in an upcoming four-part documentary series exploring the band’s 40th anniversary.

“The overarching sentiment of this album is that of joy,” Bon Jovi told UCR. “How did I get to joy? I had to work through a lot of dark misery!”

READ MORE: Hear Bon Jovi's New Single 'Legendary'

He continued: “Our last record, which was called 2020, was a lot of observations and narratives about what was going on in the world around us – whether it was the COVID crises or George Floyd, shootings in schools, soldiers with PTSD.”

He described 2020 as “a narration and an observation,” adding with regret: “I wasn’t able to tour it very much, either.” Unable to put much more effort into that record, he decided to turn his attention to Bon Jovi’s 40th anniversary – but then encountered a serious issue.

“I’m thinking about where to go musically, and I run into a problem physically, where now I have to seek out a specialist in the field to do a vocal surgery that is not often done,” the singer continued.

“And yet, it’s our 40th anniversary and I want to mark this moment in time. I hire a guy – Deepak Chopra’s son, Gotham Chopra – to do this film. I give him total control; I meet him out in Los Angeles and he says, ‘I get it. I’m interested in doing it.’

“But he says, ‘It shouldn’t be a puff piece. That’s the last thing you need.’ I said, ‘You’re absolutely right.’ We set out on this journey together.”

Bon Jovi said the series would reveal “why we are what we are,” including “all of the truths, all of the warts, all of the punches in the nose that got us to this place.”

He reflected: “But on the other end of it all came joy – and my ability to look up in the morning, see the sky and say, ‘Huh, that big red ball up in there is the sun, and it’s shining!’

Jon Bon Jovi Knows What Matters To Him Now

“You know, that takes a lot when you think about it, because most of us in this crazy world, you’ve got your head down and you’re focused on your work, your family, making ends meet, doing something productive.

“You don’t really take the time to remember to smell the flowers, if you will. So it’s been a decade since I was able to purely feel joy.”

Turning to the song “Legendary,” which he co-wrote with Billy Falcon and John Shanks, Bon Jovi explained: “I said to Billy and John, ‘Let’s write this together. I’ve got this great title… And what matters to me [now] is just being here with my friends, writing the song that I want to write and living the life I want to live.’”

The lyrics include what, at first listen, would seem to be a Van Morrison reference: “And the brown-eyed girl / She believes in me / Legendary.” The singer reported: “It’s my wife – she has been there faithfully throughout this process. There it is. That’s who and what I am at 62 years old.”

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Gallery Credit: Anthony Kuzminski

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