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David Bryan

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David Bryan
Bryan at the 2009 premiere of When We Were Beautiful
Bryan at the 2009 premiere of When We Were Beautiful
Background information
Birth nameDavid Bryan Rashbaum
Born (1962-02-07) February 7, 1962 (age 62)
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • Keyboards
  • vocals
Years active1978–present
Member ofBon Jovi[1]

David Bryan Rashbaum (born February 7, 1962) is an American musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the keyboard player for the rock band Bon Jovi, with which he also co-wrote songs and performed backing vocals. In 2018, Bryan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Bon Jovi.[2] He is also known for writing the music and co-writing the lyrics with Joe DiPietro for the musical Memphis, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Original Score.

Early life[edit]

David Bryan Rashbaum was born on February 7, 1962, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and raised in Edison, New Jersey. His father, Eddie Rashbaum, played the trumpet. Bryan was raised Jewish.[3][4] He attended elementary school at Clara Barton, where he played many instruments including violin, viola, trumpet and clarinet. He also attended Herbert Hoover Middle School, then J. P. Stevens High School, from which he graduated. Bryan began to learn piano at age seven and played keyboards for a band called Transition with bass player Steve Sileo and lead singer Mike Ziegel. He studied with Emery Hack, a professor at Juilliard, for thirteen years. Bryan briefly attended Rutgers University, but dropped out to attend Juilliard.


With Bon Jovi[edit]

Bryan at a concert with Bon Jovi

Bryan was the first Bon Jovi member to receive a call when Jon Bon Jovi learned that he had received a recording contract, and agreed to join the band. He chose his stage name when he grew tired of continually having to spell out his entire name. At the time, Bryan was attending Rutgers University and was studying Pre-Med with a 4.0 GPA. Bryan has played keyboards and sung on all of Bon Jovi's albums, as well as some of the solo albums of Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. Bryan has co-written the songs "Love Lies" and "Breakout" on Bon Jovi's self-titled first album; "Only Lonely," "The Hardest Part Is the Night," and "To the Fire" on 7800° Fahrenheit; the hit "In These Arms" on Keep the Faith; and "Last Cigarette" on Have a Nice Day (including the international bonus track "Unbreakable") .[5]

Musical theater[edit]

Bryan and Joe DiPietro wrote the music for the musical Memphis, for which the duo won the Tony Award for Best Original Score The musical had its off-Broadway debut in 2002. In 2008, Memphis was performed at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego. The show was also performed in January 2009 in Seattle, Washington, at the 5th Avenue Theatre, prior to moving to Broadway later in 2009. Memphis, which ran on Broadway from October 18, 2009, to August 5, 2012, was nominated for 8 Tony awards for the 2010 season and won 4 including Best Musical and Best Original Score.[6]

Bryan also co-wrote the musical The Toxic Avenger, again collaborating with Joe DiPietro. The musical made its off-Broadway premiere at New World Stages on April 6, 2009.

He has worked on a musical with DiPietro titled Chasing the Song, which chronicles American songwriters from 1962 to 1964 who worked in the Brill Building. Bryan describes it as "a fictional story about factual America."[7] Director Christopher Ashley and choreographer Sergio Trujillo are also involved. According to Playbill, "A fall or early winter workshop of the musical is currently being planned. Broadway is the goal."[8]

Their musical Diana, about Princess Diana, began previews on Broadway on March 2, 2020, with an anticipated opening date of March 31, following a tryout production at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, CA the previous year. The Broadway opening was delayed until December 16, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing of all Broadway theaters. The musical was then filmed that summer with no audience at the Longacre Theater, with the film being released on Netflix on October 1, 2021.[9][10]

Personal life[edit]

On August 25, 1990, David Bryan married April McLean.[11] They had 3 kids: Twins Gabrielle Luna Rashbaum and Colton Moon Rashbaum (born March 10, 1994) and Tyger Lily Rashbaum (born April 29, 2000).[11] Bryan's daughter Gabrielle is now a stand-up comedian and podcast host, who goes by the name Gabby Bryan.

David Bryan and April McLean divorced in 2004. On August 7, 2010, Bryan married his second wife Lexi Quaas.[11]

On March 21, 2020, Bryan announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.[12] On April 19, 2020, a month after the diagnosis, Bryan announced that he recovered.[13]

Charity work[edit]

Bryan is very active in VH-1's Save the Music program, as well as Only Make Believe. He also wrote the anthem for Only Make Believe, "Rockin' All Over the World", with Dena Hammerstein. He is an honorary Board member for Only Make Believe, a non-profit organization that brings interactive theater to chronically ill and disabled children in hospitals and care facilities. He is also a board member of Damon Marks' Traveling Guitar Foundation.[14]

The band has built several homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The video for the hit song "Who Says You Can't Go Home" is a documentary of the making of these homes. The band also gave Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network one million dollars. With this, she created Bon Jovi Boulevard in Louisiana. Bon Jovi was welcomed back, one year later, to see Bon Jovi Boulevard, and to unveil it to its future residents.



With Bon Jovi[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Guinness Publishing, 1992.


  1. ^ Warrenger, Sam (November 16, 2022). "Bon Jovi reunion could happen at Glastonbury 2023". TheFestivals. Retrieved February 3, 2023.
  2. ^ "Bon Jovi". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  3. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (December 6, 2009). "Toxic Avenger found his bard in Bon Jovi". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012.
  4. ^ Schleier, Curt (March 17, 2010). "Five Questions For David Bryan". The Forward. Archived from the original on January 27, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  5. ^ Mathew, Leslie. "Bon Jovi: Bon Jovi". allmusic. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Cantrell, Liz; Goldsmith, Annie (December 13, 2021). "Everything You Need to Know About Diana: The Musical". Town & Country. Archived from the original on May 4, 2018. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  7. ^ "Memphis Composer Q&A- David Bryan | DPAC Official Site". Archived from the original on May 20, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  8. ^ Hetrick, Adam. Memphis Writers and Creative Team Reuniting for Workshop of New Broadway-Aimed Musical Chasing the Song'" Archived August 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Playbill, August 2, 2012
  9. ^ Coleman, Nancy (August 12, 2019). "'Diana,' a Musical, Is Heading to Broadway". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 7, 2021.
  10. ^ McPhee, Ryan (August 12, 2020). "Broadway's Diana Musical to Be Filmed for Netflix Release". Plabill. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c "David Bryan and April McLean".
  12. ^ "David Bryan, keyboardist for Bon Jovi, says he tested positive for coronavirus". CNN. March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  13. ^ Jordan, Chris (April 20, 2020). "David Bryan, Bon Jovi keyboardist and Broadway composer, has beaten the coronavirus". Asbury Park Press.
  14. ^ *"Board of Directors List on TGF site"
  15. ^ "David Bryan Discography". Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  16. ^ "David Bryan Discography". Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  17. ^ "David Bryan Discography". Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  18. ^ a b "Discography".
  19. ^ "Release "Netherworld" by David Bryan - MusicBrainz".
  20. ^ "Release "The Toxic Avenger (2009)" by David Bryan - MusicBrainz".
  21. ^ "Release "Memphis: A New Musical" by David Bryan - MusicBrainz".
  22. ^ "Release "Memphis: The Musical (Original London Cast Recording)" by David Bryan - MusicBrainz".
  23. ^ Jordan, Chris (June 19, 2016). "New single: Matt O'Ree, David Bryan of Bon Jovi at Pony". Asbury Park Press. Archived from the original on June 6, 2021.
  24. ^ Jordan, Chris (November 15, 2018). "Bon Jovi power: David Bryan to guest with Matt O'Ree Band at Stone Pony in Asbury Park". Asbury Park Press. Archived from the original on June 6, 2021.

External links[edit]