It’s been awhile since Bon Jovi was an opening act, but it was their induction that kicked off the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony.
Of course, that also means the first presenter speech belonged to Howard Stern, who certainly didn’t mince words when it came to Jann Wenner, founder of Rolling Stone and one of the forces behind the Rock Hall.
“Another sign of the zombie apocalypse: Jann Wenner finally let Bon Jovi into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! What the fuck is wrong with him?!…Jann you did it! You finally gave this fantastic band their due.”
Stern went to slam Wenner some more, but he eventually got to Bon Jovi, particularly their staggering figure of 130 million albums sold worldwide.
“Let me give you an idea of what the number 130 million means, and it means a lot. Now, the bubonic plague only killed 50 million people. The atom bomb only killed 225,000 people. Six-hundred-and-twenty-five-thousand people died in the Civil War. Peanuts compared to 130 million Bon Jovi albums.”
Stern then went on to name the band’s numerous hits, and upon mentioning “Wanted Dead or Alive,” Stern himself sang two verses and two choruses. He ended his surprising karaoke rendition/audience sing-a-long by yelling,
“Eat shit, Bob Dylan! Fuck you! That’s music!”
When it came time for their acceptance speeches, Bon Jovi were as grateful as Stern was animated. Each band member made a point to thank their families as well as their fellow band mates. Jon Bon Jovi gave the longest speech out of the entire band, which detailed many of the people and events that took place for Bon Jovi to even become a reality, but he made it a point to thank all of the fans.
“To all of you who have been a part of this incredible ride over the past 35 years and to all of the fans who have supported this band, we share this honor with you, because this life is a gift. None of it possible without all of you guiding us.
Of course, then came the moment every Bon Jovi fan was waiting for: The band’s Rock Hall set. It was the first time Richie Sambora has been on stage with Bon Jovi since his exit four years ago, and as the band ripped through “You Give Love A Bad Name,” “It’s My Life,” “When We Were Us” (off This House Is Not For Sale) and “Living On a Prayer,” it’s as if no time had passed.
The 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony airs May 5 at 8 PM EST/PST on HBO.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.