18 And Life – Skid Row | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#4) & Rock (#11); 1989

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Sometime between recording a demo of Runaway with Jon Bon Jovi and the recording of Bon Jovi’s first album, guitarist Dave “The Snake” Sabo was replaced by Richie Sambora.

Three years later, in 1986, Sabo resurfaced as a member of a new hair band, Skid Row. Joining Dave were bassist Rachel Bolan (a male!), guitarist Scotti Hill, and drummer Rob Affuso.

Born-in-the-Bahamas Sebastian Bierk, renamed Bach, signed on a year later as lead singer, and Skid Row spent time playing the club circuit and ultimately opening for Sabo’s former bandmate, Bon Jovi.

Bach’s bad boy persona and video-friendly looks equaled heavy rotation on MTV for the lead-off single from Skid Row, Youth Gone Wild.

The follow-up, 18 And Life, established SR as the latest proponent of pop-flavored heavy metal, and became the group’s biggest mainstream hit.

Throughout the summer of ’89, 18 picked up speed and peaked at #4 in September, while Skid Row sold an impressive five million copies.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Michael Wagener

Lyrics Written by:

  •  Rachel Bolan
  • Dave Sabo