Thorn in my side,
You’re always there
Just to remind me
That I still care
Thorn in my side
You won’t let me go
Right there beside me
To let me know
I’ve been pushed around
Been knocked down
Lost a round or three…
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s on-again off-again relationship with New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi is beginning to look and sound familiar. Last year the band was nominated for induction and missed out. This year the nominating committee announced their class for 2012, and the tireless band is nowhere to be found.
Talk about a ‘thorn’ in their side.
It’s a lot like dating a special someone that’s good enough to hang out with but not good enough to marry. Any way you slice it, for loyal fans around the world it’s nothing less than a kick in the teeth for the prolific maestros of the global rock hop.
While representatives of the band had no comment after the announcement Tuesday, the disappointment has to hurt. Especially in light of the fact that the band just concluded a triumphant 18-month tour that saw them sell out everything except the sun, the moon and the stars.
According to the Rock Hall of Fame web site:
One of the Foundation’s many functions is to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll by inducting them into the Hall of Fame.
Clearly Bon Jovi’s achievements merit the respect of nomination, let alone election to the vaunted Hall. Among them:
- The band sold 100 million records 11 years sooner than Bruce Springsteen and The Boss is in the Hall.
- Acts that have sold less records have been inducted: Bob Seger, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Black Sabbath.
- In addition to helping but MTV music videos on the map, Bon Jovi’s ‘Slippery When Wet’ holds the record for Most Weeks At Number One For A Rock Album with 8. A feat not accomplished by inductees ABBA, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, David Bowie, Tom Petty or Elton John.
- By 2009 ‘Slippery’ had become one of the best selling records of all time with global sales exceeding 25 million copies.
- ‘New Jersey’ followed ‘Slippery’ and proved the band was not a faddish hair band by spending four weeks at Number One, selling 7 million copies, and most impressively, spawning 5 Top Ten singles on one album for which the band still holds the record: ‘Bad Medicine’, ‘I’ll Be There For You’, ‘Born To Be My Baby’, ‘Lay Your Hands On Me’, and ‘Living In Sin’.
These are just a few of Bon Jovi’s bona fides justifying at a minimum their nomination for consideration to the Rock Hall of Fame. One wonders what it’s going to take to get the band some respect from the critics to go along with rabid fan loyalty and appreciation?
For example, the late Bruce Springsteen saxophonist Clarence Clemons was rarely hailed as a ‘great’ saxophonist until he died. He was known more for his iconic presence onstage with The Boss than his musicianship; but when he died of a stroke suddenly he was crowned ‘one of the greats’.
Is it going to take a loss of this magnitude before the critics wake up and appreciate all that Bon Jovi has contributed to rock? Maybe like Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons someone will have to write and score a play like ‘Jersey Boys’ to tell their story to introduce their music to an entirely new generation who leave the play saying, ‘Wow, I had NO idea how incredible those guys were!”?
Let’s hope not.
In the meantime, Bon Jovi fans around the world that comprise the loving throng known as Jovi Nation continue to wait for the day when Jon and the band can get up on the stage at the Rock Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland and triumphantly sing “This Is Our House”.