Bon Jovi performed a four song set featuring “You Give Love A Bad Name,” “It’s My Life,” “We Were Us” and “Living On A Prayer”
One of rock and roll’s most prominent bands saw a reunion of a lifetime on Saturday (April 14th). Jon Bon Jovi, Tico Torres and David Bryan reunited with former longtime Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora and original bassist Alec John Such at the group’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction in Cleveland. The original five piece shared the stage together for an hour and a half, each taking turns speaking before performing four of their hits alongside the current lineup that features Hugh McDonald on bass, Phil X on lead guitar and producer John Shanks on rhythm guitar.
“I’ve been writing this speech since I first strummed the broom and sang from the top of the stairs from my childhood home. I’ve actually written it many ways many times. Some days I write the thank you speech. Other days, I write the fuck you speech,” Bon Jovi says to laughter during his nearly twenty minute speech.
“It’s about time, and that has been the theme to our weekend. Time is the most precious commodity we have. I thank my lucky stars for the time that I got to spend with each one of you. Alec, Richie, Hugh, Tico, David, to you, to us, to all of you!”
It was the first time in five years that Sambora had performed with the band since abruptly leaving during their Because We Can Tour in 2013 for “personal matters,” sparking numerous rumors of being fired, Sambora telling Jon to “hire The Edge,” being given an ultimatum, and Jon simply stating “there’s been no fight” with Sambora. Sambora had always planned to rejoin the band, but ultimately was replaced by Phil X, who filled in for Sambora during part of the group’s 2011 trek. It was also the first time in 24 years Such had reunited publicly with the band since being replaced by McDonald in 1994.
While it looked good to see all five members reunite, Sambora tells Rolling Stone that a reunion is not imminent. “We’ll see. You never say never. It’s not in any immediate future plan, that’s for sure. It’s just not. I really want to get this RSO thing off the ground. I’m having a ball,” he says.
“We went out to dinner [Friday night]. You know what? You kind of just fall in. There’s a caste system in every band, really. Everybody has their distinct jobs that they have to do. Mine was about ten,” he says with a laugh. “Songwriting, co-producer; I was the lead guitar player; I was the rhythm guitar player; I was the background vocalist; sometimes I was the lead vocalist; I mixed it; I mastered it. And then we had to go play. And one of the things I always did was try to keep everyone in the band in a happy mood. I’m that kind of guy, and I keep morale up. That’s another job that I did: keeping Jon happy, because he’s intense; he’s got a lot of stuff on his mind, and he does that to himself on purpose… The foundations, and all this other stuff. I mean, I do a lot of philanthropic work myself but he’s gotta spearhead that thing besides doing all this.”
Howard Stern inducted the band into the Hall of Fame with a hilarious profanity-laced speech that included dissing Bob Dylan and the Hall of Fame itself. “Eat shit, Bob Dylan! Fuck you! That’s music!” Stern says. “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.”
RSO is the Sambora’s new project with girlfriend and guitarist Orianthi. The pair are releasing their debut LP Radio Free America on May 11th. Bon Jovi just reissued This House Is Not For Sale and have set 2018 tour dates.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.