No more just livin’ on a prayer: Bon Jovi finally got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday…and received quite the raunchy intro by shock jock Howard Stern.
Not only did the band finally obtain one of the greatest music honors, but all five original band mates reunited for the occasion: current band members Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan and drummer Tico Torres and former bassist Alec John Such, who left the band in 1994, and guitarist Richie Sambora, who left in 2013 and whose absence continues to sadden longtime fans. The five were inducted along with current bassist Hugh McDonald.
The group, which rose to fame in the ’80s and were first nominated for a Rock Hall induction in 2011, performed a medley of their hits, including “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “It’s My Life” as well as a more recent single, “When We Were Us.” At one point, Jon and Richie truly brought the nostalgia by singing together and shared a microphone.
“I’ve been writing this speech since I first strummed the broom and sang at the top of the stairs of my childhood home,” Jon told the crowd. “I’ve actually written it many ways, many times. Some days I write the thank you speech, other days, I write the f–k-you speech. Writing it was, in fact, therapeutic for me in a lot of ways. I certainly see things differently tonight than I would have 10, 20, 30 years ago. But in the end, it’s all about time. It took a lot of people to get us here tonight and not all of them were hairstylists.”
“First gotta say thank you to everybody in this band because, the hardest thing to do, I believe, is to find four guys with yourself that will go through anything, that will work hard, that’ll go crazy, whatever it took,” Richie said. “And we did that for a really long time. But boy, was it fun. If I wrote a book, it would be the best time I ever had.”
Howard, currently known for his X-rated Sirius XM radio show, introduced Bon Jovi with a raunchy pseudo-stand-up routine.
“It was 1987, I was on a date with Richie Sambora. We met the hottest chick and had a threesome. That’s how close we get,” he said. “Thank you, thank you.”
“One of the greatest guitar players in the world; masterful songwriter,” he said. “And, you know this is true, the man with the biggest penis in Bon Jovi. How do I know that? The boys had a measuring contest early on, Richie won, but I don’t wanna get into the anaconda penis discussion. This isn’t the right time for that. We’re going to be inducting Richie in the penis hall of fame next week. Hope you all come.”
Bon Jovi, Howard said, “have worked their asses off.”
“They are cowboys on a steel horse they rode,” he said, paraphrasing a lyric from the group’s 1986 hit “Wanted Dead or Alive” before starting to sing it.
“Eat s–t, Bob Dylan!” he said. “F–k you! That’s music! Look, this is an honor long overdue. I don’t think you can go anywhere in this world without hearing a classic Bon Jovi tune somewhere and it’s pretty incredible their whole success story.”
“Yes, the dream has been realized. The dream I’m talking about is that this great band of brothers are finally joining their fellow musicians in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” he said. “I love these guys and so do you.”
Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, the Cars and the late Nina Simone were also inducted in the Rock Hall class of 2018, while the late Sister Rosetta Tharpe was honored with an Early Influence award.