Bon Jovi docuseries director says frontman guarded this part of his friendship with Springsteen: 'That's for me and Bruce'

"Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story," which is about the New Jersey rock band’s 40-year journey, comes to Hulu.

Jon Bon Jovi's friendship with Bruce Springsteen is included in Hulu's band docuseries Thank you, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story. (Getty Images)
The Hulu docuseries Thank you, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story gives insight into Jon Bon Jovi's close friendship with Bruce Springsteen. (Getty Images)

Jon Bon Jovi’s friendship with Bruce Springsteen is a sweet surprise in Hulu’s docuseries Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story.

While they’re two of New Jersey’s most famous homegrown talents, how they overlapped early on in the Asbury Park music scene and how their friendship has deepened as they’ve aged is a soul-stirring story in the series. Springsteen, 74, is interviewed in the project, which tells the story of Bon Jovi the band’s 40-plus-year run. The series dips deep into the band’s archives, featuring personal videos, never-before-seen photos and unreleased demos.

Director Gotham Chopra tells Yahoo Entertainment that Springsteen’s inclusion in the docuseries came about because “Jon talked so lovingly about Bruce,” including how, at 17, he covered a Springsteen song with his previous band, the Atlantic City Expressway, and the Boss emerged from the crowd to sing with him. Today, the singers — both Grammy winners and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees — are very close and meet up for 100-mile drives, sans phones with the radio off, to discuss work, life and mortality.

Bruce Springsteen and honoree Jon Bon Jovi at the 2024 MusiCares Person of the Year gala.
Springsteen helped honor Bon Jovi at the 2024 MusiCares Person of the Year gala on Feb. 2. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for the Recording Academy)

Chopra says Bon Jovi, 62, facilitated Springsteen’s participation in the doc — “and it was amazing for me to sit down with Bruce. He was awesome. He told some great stories.”

As for whether Chopra tried to capture footage of one of their rock star drives, “Yes, I definitely tried to,” he says. “‘Imagine the last scene, Jon,’” with footage of the pair driving together, with viewers getting to hear their intimate exchange. “He was like, ‘Nope, that’s for me and Bruce.’”

Chopra adds, “That’s one of the few times [Bon Jovi] maybe said no” to one of his asks while shooting the project, “and then I think also over time I realized Bruce is such an enormous presence that you almost have to be careful because it quickly can become about Bruce. We [decided], ‘OK, what’s the Bruce [part] that’s relevant to Jon?’”

In the docuseries, Springsteen talked about how “nobody wanted to be associated with New Jersey,” when he was starting out, with his record label trying to market him as a New York-based artist. However, “I just sort of embraced it as my identity” and wrote songs about life in the Garden State. After Born to Run came out in 1975, labels became hot for more acts from New Jersey, paving the way for Bon Jovi.

Bon Jovi said that seeing the E Street Band play in Asbury, as a teen with big dreams, made him think the impossible wasn’t so out of reach.

Bruce Springsteen, left, and Jon Bon Jovi onstage together, with Springsteen raising his guitar in the air and Bon Jovi raising the microphone in the air.
Springsteen and Bon Jovi performing at a concert benefiting the victims of Hurricane Sandy at Madison Square Garden in 2012. (Getty Images)

“Now you could touch the dream — ’cause there it was,” he said in the docuseries. “It wasn’t those pictures on my wall that you think: ‘I aspire to be Led Zeppelin.’ That was way too big for me to fathom. But those guys — who were singing about the highway that was out our window — that made it incredibly possible.”

A teen Bon Jovi was covering “Born to Run” in Asbury in 1979 when Springsteen jumped onstage to sing with him. Springsteen remembered, “[I heard there] was some young kid around here from New Jersey making some kind of noise. That was the first thing I knew about Jon.”

“We’ve become good, deep friends” through the years, Bon Jovi said in the doc. “We can talk openly, honestly, deeply.” Springsteen added that they’ve “become much closer probably as we’ve gotten older here recently.”

As for their drives, they go out of their way to make them happen despite busy schedules with tours and other obligations.

“It means the world to me,” Bon Jovi said.

Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story premieres April 26 on Hulu.