Richie Sambora revealed that he and the members of Bon Jovi have already rehearsed for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction performance set for Friday (April 14th) at Cleveland’s Public Auditorium. In addition to Bon Jovi, the 33rd annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class will induct the Moody Blues, the Cars, Dire Straits, Nina Simone, and early influence gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The event will mark Richie Sambora’s first live performance with the band since 2013, when Sambora went AWOL from Bon Jovi at the beginning of the band’s massive world tour in support of its then-recent chart-topping What About Now album.
Sambora was asked how it felt to perform with Bon Jovi for the first time in half a decade — a rehearsal, which presumably also included ousted original bassist Alec John Such — and explained, “We played live to millions of people over 31 years. Do I miss it? No — but the memories are good. It feels great to see everybody. We already rehearsed and it was wonderful, it wasn’t awkward. The chemistry came back very quickly; it’s matrixed into our muscle memory at this point. If you’re on the road performing and touring for 30 years, (the Rock Hall ceremony) is just another cycle — and it’s a good one, so here we go.”
Sambora was pressed as to whether he had heard prior to the announcement that 2018 would finally be Bon Jovi’s year for induction: “There were murmurings that came through about a week before the announcement or so, and I was not trying to get excited about it — because I figured, you never know. We’ve been nominated before (in 2011). I had kind of put it out of mind, because we were looked over by the grand forefathers of the Hall of Fame until this year. But I figured that, you know, one day, I’d get in. Maybe I’d be dead, but I’d still get in (laughs). Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a milestone, without a doubt. Like I said, I’ve tried not to get too excited about it for a long time, but I’m starting to get excited about it. I’m glad that I’m actually alive to get in there.”
Sambora said that was absolutely looking forward to the night’s show-closing all star jam: “Yeah, of course! (Mark and David) Knopfler (from Dire Straits) and (Ric) Ocasek (from the Cars) and stuff. Definitely. Are you kidding me? That’ll be a good time. Like any time, a joyous occasion. That’s the thing that I think we were put on this planet as musicians and writers and entertainers (to do), to bring joy to people, so that’s what we’ll do. That’s why we got in this business.”
Not too long ago, we asked Richie Sambora who he now personally considers Bon Jovi’s true peers and contemporaries: “I don’t think there’s any kind of time limit or anything like that on contemporaries, y’know? I think you move in a contemporary position because of your success, your relevancy, your fans, and what’s happening in the marketplace at the time and how you’re doing. For me — it would be anywhere from, y’know, the Rolling Stones, to Aerosmith, to U2, to the Foo Fighters — and bands that are out there today that are workin’ hard.”
HBO will air an edited version of The 33rd Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies on May 5th.
On May 11th, Richie Sambora and guitarist girlfriend Orianthi — better known as RSO — will release their first full-length album, titled, Radio Free America.
Photo Courtesy of James Minchin / Oktober Promotion