Jon Bon Jovi celebrates his birthday today (March 2), and with the recent announcement of the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees, what better time to look back on 2018’s ceremony when Bon Jovi was finally inducted.
The ceremony itself kicked off with the band’s induction and performance, which was likely the first time in decades Bon Jovi was an “opening act.”
Of course, that also meant 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. (NSFW language ahead.)
“Another sign of the zombie apocalypse: Jann Wenner finally let Bon Jovi into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! What the f-ck is wrong with him?!…Jann you did it! You finally gave this fantastic band their due.”
Stern went on 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,” he sang two verses and two choruses. He ended his surprising karaoke rendition/audience sing-a-long by yelling,
“Eat sh-t, Bob Dylan! F-ck you! That’s music!”
When it came time for their acceptance speeches, Bon Jovi was as grateful as Stern was animated. Each band member made a point to thank their families as well as their fellow bandmates. 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 for 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 was on stage with Bon Jovi since his exit four years prior, 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 was as if no time had passed.