Enlarge He plays drums and sings in his hometown band!

Anthrax’s Joey Belladonna Channels Inner Frat Boy, Sings “Livin’ on a Prayer” with Cover Band


I remember the exact moment “Livin’ on a Prayer” was adopted as the National Anthem of drunken frat boys. It was 2004, and ’80s nostalgia was just coming into full swing, propelled by the requisite amount of time passing since the era itself and VH1’s I Love the ’80s series catching on like wild fire. All of a sudden ’80s hair/glam metal went from passé to IN (albeit ironically), and no song embodied that more than Bon Jovi’s 1986 hit “Livin’ on a Prayer.” Almost overnight it became THE de facto end-of-the-party song, bellowed by drunken goons at the top of their lungs when the DJ killed the volume during the chorus. It’s a great song, to be sure, but it was hard not to be annoyed; where were you people the entire time??

So: Joey Belladonna’s cover band, Chief Big Way — in which he plays drums and also sings! — covered the track at a bar in Rochester, NY this past summer. How cool is it that Joey still finds time for his buddies in his home town band even though he tours the world for a living with Anthrax and sings “The National Anthem” for packed stadiums and arenas for both the Chicago Cubs and Bulls? That’s pretty damn cool. Even if the irony of singing “Livin’ on a Prayer” in such a situation is probably lost on him.

Here’s some video. I didn’t realize until about halfway through that Belladonna was on drums — I was like “wtf camera person? show Joey!” — so watch for that. He sounds good.

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