They’re in. Bon Jovi will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2018, the Rock Hall announced on Wednesday.
The Cars, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe are also going in. The induction ceremony will take place April 14 in Cleveland.
“We’re really pleased, obviously, relieved, humbled,” frontman Jon Bon Jovi said.
The announcement comes after years of being overlooked by the Rock Hall, despite having sold more than 130 million records and being one of the few rock bands to sell out arenas and stadiums around the world. Bon Jovi won the 2018 Rock Hall’s fan vote with more than 1 million tallies.
“I feel like everybody who was nominated should get in,” Bon Jovi said. “I feel like making music is not easy and making records for 25-plus years is definitely not easy, so it’s hard to say that someone is in and someone’s out. The continued support of the public vote was something they put into effect after we didn’t get in the first time (when they were nominated for the Class of 2012). We didn’t have the benefit of that last time we were nominated. To receive such overwhelming support from the fan base, we’re grateful for it. But then the 900-plus people who actually vote confirmed what the people said for so long and I’m humbled by it.
“We all are.”
Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, Tico Torres and Richie Sambora, who exited the band in 2013, and original bassist Alec John Such, who departed in 1994, will receive recognition by the Rock Hall.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to hear from either of them (Sambora and Such) but without a doubt, they both will be invited and asked to not only come and share it, but to perform,” Bon Jovi said.
Sambora has previously expressed a desire to participate in the induction ceremony.
“Of course (I’ll play),” said Sambora during a “Trunk Nation” broadcast on SiriusXM. “It’s so good to be recognized. It’s a thrill.”
Bon Jovi, whose members are from Middlesex County, was formed in 1983. The single “Runaway” put them on the map and the album “Slippery When Wet” made them superstars.
“Timeless and classic was always the goal,” Bon Jovi said. “It just happened I was a byproduct of the era in which our records came out in. I was of that age. I was that kid in the shopping mall that had long hair and torn jeans. That’s who you were at that age and that was the style, but I evolved as my life evolved. I would never try to pretend to be ‘Slippery When Wet’ Bon Jovi in 2017.”
The band evolved from hair metal to tap into different styles of rock, pop and country. Jon Bon Jovi also founded the Soul Foundation, which oversees the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen restaurants of Toms River and Red Bank, where diners either volunteer hours or a pay a donation for their meals. About 47 percent of the customers volunteer hours and the restaurants have served more than 75,000 meals.
“I’m really happy that life happened in the 30 years so that I was able to be an artist and create as I see fit and not be on the nostalgia tour, looking like I’m trying to fit into what I was when I was a boy,” Bon Jovi said. “What differentiates us from the rest of the peer group is we didn’t try to become a grunge band when grunge became popular. We didn’t try to be a boy band when that became popular. We stayed our course and went our own way, amen, and here we are.”
The band’s fan base is worldwide.
“That really dates back to our first manager (Doc McGhee) in 1984 and when I envisioned (Bon Jovi) in a certain way, he envisioned it 180 degrees the opposite,” Bon Jovi said. “He also said at the time the kinds of bands I want you to go out and play with have much more loyal fan base and not to play with these poppier bands but these established hard rock, worldwide kinds of bands. I was young and I listened to him. The other thing he said was someday, America is going to turn its back on you and we’ll have established roots in Europe, in Asia in Australia and anywhere else we can go.”
The band’s tour for its latest album “This House is Not for Sale” this year included shows in South America.
“When Doc McGhee said we’re going everywhere, then I just wanted to keep writing relevant songs for the time,” Bon Jovi said. “We weren’t resting on nostalgia. That's how you build a worldwide following.”
“This House is Not for Sale,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 when it was released in November 2016. Two new songs, “When We Were Us,” and “Walls,” are coming up, as well as a tour announcement, Bon Jovi said.
They’ll be hitting the road as Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.