Jon Bon Jovi Says Bruce Springsteen Is Like a 'Big Brother': We're on a 'Whole Different Level of Friendship' (Exclusive)

Bruce Springsteen appears in the new docuseries 'Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story,' streaming on Hulu on April 26

<p>Kevin Mazur/Getty</p> Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi in Los Angeles in February 2024

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi in Los Angeles in February 2024

Few artists have more hometown pride than New Jersey natives Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen — so it should be no surprise that two of the Garden State’s favorite sons have forged a fruitful friendship.

Bon Jovi, 62, opens up to PEOPLE about his bond with The Boss, 74, explaining that while he considered Springsteen “a hero growing up,” he now knows him as a friend.

“Our connection is deep, on a whole different level of friendship, because how many guys can talk like we can talk, in close quarters, about life and love and loss?” he says, joking that Springsteen is “the Ghost of Christmas Future” due to their age gap and similar life paths. “Our relationship is deep, and he’s a dear friend of mine, and he really is like a big brother.”

The “Livin’ on a Prayer” rocker grew up in Sayreville, about 18 miles from Springsteen’s hometown of Freehold. On one fateful night in the late 1970s, when he was still in high school, Bon Jovi performed a Springsteen cover at a local venue — only for Springsteen himself to show up and join him.

“It was so inspirational because those records by the [Asbury] Jukes, and by Bruce, were written and sung by guys in our backyard,” he says. “They weren’t the centerfolds of Circus magazine that made the dream just out of reach. These guys were capable of making the impossible seem possible.”

<p>Debra L Rothenberg/FilmMagic</p> Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen performing in New Jersey in 2003

Debra L Rothenberg/FilmMagic

Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen performing in New Jersey in 2003

The early duet is a moment Bon Jovi reflects upon in the new docuseries Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story (streaming Friday, April 26 on Hulu). In the series, he says he was singing a cover of “The Promised Land” when The Boss appeared.

“I looked up, and there’s Bruce onstage with me. That was the guy,” he says in the docuseries. “And he jumps up and sings his song with me…. So you go to high school the next day. Needless to say, you look at the teacher and you look at the kids, and you go, ‘I got a story to tell!’ and it’s a lot better than history class.”

Springsteen also appears in Thank You, Goodnight, and offers his initial impression of the young rocker.

Related: Jon Bon Jovi Reflects on the Band's 40-Year Legacy and Roller-Coaster Journey: 'I Have Great Pride' (Exclusive)

<p><a href="" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Jake Chessum</a></p>

“I like to play. I think that was [what I heard], ‘There’s some young kid running around here from New Jersey, he’s making some kind of noise,’” he says. “That was the first thing I knew about Jon. He’s a hardworking guy, put everything he had into his music… We’ve become much closer, probably as we’ve gotten older here, you know, recently, as being the only two guys in the same game here.”

Later in the series, Bon Jovi — who will release the new album Forever on June 7 — reveals that he and Springsteen take long drives together, with no phones and no radio to distract them, sometimes “for 100 miles.”

Related: Jon Bon Jovi Says He & Richie Sambora Watched New Docuseries Together at His Home: 'There's Never Animosity' (Exclusive)

“It means the world to me, someone who’s a step down the road, on the journey,” says Bon Jovi. “One time, a few years back, when we were comparing where we were in our lives as it pertained to life, journey, career, he brought up that word of mortality, and that never crossed my mind at that time. And I was like, ‘Oh yeah, mortality, that’s still on the horizon.’ So I have a different perspective now.”

For more on Jon Bon Jovi, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere now.

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Read the original article on People.