Bon Jovi just keep on rocking
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 Its 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, who gave a 20minute speech onstage, 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, its 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 co-founder Jann Wenner, questioning why he was qualified to vote on who enters the prominent organisation. Stern said Wenner, who founded Rolling Stone magazine, doesnt play any instruments but he did start a great magazine ... and now its 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 four-hour plus 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.
Later in the event, Ann Wilson of Heart and Jerry Cantrell honored Chris Cornell with a commanding rendition Soundgardens Black Hole Sun. Cornell hanged himself in a Detroit hotel hours after a Soundgarden concert there last May.
The Cars and four first-time nominees, including Nina Simone, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, make up the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class.
Simone received a passionate and show-stopping tribute from groundbreaking performers who she has deeply inspired, from Lauryn Hill to Mary J. Blige.
Hill was exceptional, stretching her voice as wide as possible, and singing in French, in honour of Simones music. Hill earned a standing ovation from the audience.
Grammy-nominated R&B singer Andra Day was also extraordinary, hitting high notes that also earned her applause. Blige inducted Simone, calling the singer bold, strong, feisty and fearless.
Her voice was so distinctive and powerful and I never heard anything like it, the R&B superstar said.
Simone, who died in 2003, was a leader in pushing for civil rights and influenced everyone from Aretha Franklin to Alicia Keys. Her brother, Sam Waymon, accepted the induction on his sisters behalf.
They said I had three minutes, I said, No, I dont. Im going to take the time necessary to say what I got to say, Waymon said.
Waymon said sharp words during his speech, including lines like, To all the brothers out there, protect your sisters. He said he always protected Simone, and continues to do so.
He also told the crowd, If youre sampling (Ninas) music, you better pay for it!
Rock Hall voters have recently opened their hearts to progressive rockers, which benefited Nights in White Satin singers The Moody Blues, the last act to be inducted on Saturday.
Wilson of Heart said the English rockers are and have always been a kick ass rock band.
Another English band, Dire Straits, was inducted at the event, but it was without its leader Mark Knopfler, or his brother David Knopfler. In an interview ahead of the event, co-founding member and bassist John Illsley said Mark just didnt feel like coming, its as simple as that.
Onstage, Illsley said of Marks absence: Ill assure you its a personal thing. Lets just leave it at that.
Illsley thanked the entire band and described the group as a collective, a brotherhood. There was no performance following the band members speeches.
The 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air on May 5 on HBO and will also be heard on SiriusXM Radio. AP
Never say goodbye: Inductees Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi of Bon Jovi perform during the 33rd Annual Rock Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Public Auditorium on Saturday in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo kcci.com