They give rock, a good name

The Daily Courier - - WORLD - By MES­FIN FEKADU

CLEVE­LAND — Bon Jovi re­united with for­mer mem­bers Richie Samb­ora and Alec John Such for a pow­er­ful per­for­mance on Satur­day night as the band earned a spot in the pres­ti­gious Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Jon Bon Jovi, Samb­ora and Such were joined by cur­rent band­mates David Bryan, Tico Tor­res and Hugh McDon­ald at the Pub­lic Au­di­to­rium in Cleve­land, where the Rock Hall is based.

They per­formed crowd favourites like “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “It’s My Life.”

Samb­ora left Bon Jovi in 2013 and Such in 1994. Each of the mem­bers spoke on­stage, giv­ing thanks for the hon­our and telling old sto­ries about the New Jersey band. They all hugged as a group af­ter­ward.

Jon Bon Jovi said he has been writ­ing his Rock Hall speech for years.

“Some days I write the ‘Thank you’ speech, some­times I write the ‘(Ex­ple­tive) you’ speech,” he said. “In the end, it’s all about time. It took a lot of peo­ple to get us here tonight.”

They were in­ducted by Howard Stern, who pro­vided many laughs at the event. He even sang some of “Wanted Dead or Alive,” get­ting the au­di­ence to join in.

Stern joked about Rock Hall co­founder Jann Wen­ner, ques­tion­ing why he was qual­i­fied to vote on who en­ters the prom­i­nent or­ga­ni­za­tion. Stern said Wen­ner, who founded Rolling Stone magazine, doesn’t play any in­stru­ments “but he did start a great magazine ... and now it’s the size of a pam­phlet.”

Stern also thanked Bon Jovi for its mu­sic, which he is a big fan of, and stressed how big of a deal it is that the band has sold more than 130 mil­lion al­bums.

The 33rd an­nual Rock Hall cer­e­mony kicked off with a trib­ute to Tom Petty, who died in Oc­to­ber at age 66. The Killers earned a loud ap­plause from the au­di­ence when they started per­form­ing “Amer­i­can Girl,” then tran­si­tion­ing to “Free Fallin’.”

“Pay some rock ‘n’ roll re­spect ... to the eter­nal Tom Petty,” front­man Bran­don Flow­ers said, as pho­tos of Petty were dis­played in the back­ground.

The Cars and four first-time nom­i­nees, in­clud­ing Nina Si­mone, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and Sis­ter Rosetta Tharpe, also are be­ing in­ducted as the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class.

Broth­ers Mark and David Knopfler, of English rock­ers Dire Straits, won’t at­tend the event, ac­cord­ing to bassist John Ill­s­ley.

“He just didn’t feel like com­ing, it’s as sim­ple as that,” Ill­s­ley, in an in­ter­view with Bill­board, said of Mark Knopfler. “It just didn’t ap­peal to him, and I ap­pealed to him on sev­eral oc­ca­sions.”

Tharpe, who died in 1973, will be in­ducted with the “Award for Early In­flu­ence,” while the other five acts will be in­ducted as per­form­ers. She was a pi­o­neer­ing gui­tarist who per­formed gospel mu­sic and was known to some as “the god­mother of rock ‘n’ roll.”

She will be in­ducted by Brit­tany Howard, of blues rock band Alabama Shakes.

The jazzy and soul­ful Si­mone, who died in 2003, was a leader in push­ing for civil rights and in­flu­enced the likes of Ali­cia Keys and Aretha Franklin. Mary J. Blige will in­duct Si­mone, while An­dra Day will sing in her hon­our.

Rock Hall vot­ers have re­cently opened their hearts to pro­gres­sive rock­ers, which ben­e­fited “Nights in White Satin” singers The Moody Blues, to be in­ducted by Ann Wil­son of Heart. The Cars, founded in Bos­ton in 1976, com­bined New Wave and clas­sic rock sounds. This year marked the band’s third nom­i­na­tion; Flow­ers will in­duct the band.

The As­so­ci­ated Press

Richie Samb­ora, left, and Jon Bon Jovi per­form to­gether at the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in­duc­tion cer­e­mony at Cleve­land Pub­lic Au­di­to­rium on Satur­day in Cleve­land, Ohio.

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