Jon Bon Jovi was quick to answer the question about whether the group's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction will include former guitarist Richie Sambora -- and it's an unqualified yes.
Bon Jovi tells us that,
"I appreciate everything he did. He was my right-hand for a long time, so there was never any ill will, just like I told everybody. (He) just didn't show up anymore, so although we went on...he was there for three decades and he should be there to celebrate the moment. He'll be invited to join the rest of the band in all the festivities...He's absolutely invited to play along with Phil (X) and Hugh (McDonald) and Alec (John Such, the group's former bassist). I think it's a celebration...This is not the tour. This is a one-off night that everybody should certainly show up with a smile and be ready to sing the songs."
Bon Jovi, which made it into the Rock Hall on its second ballot (the first nomination was in 2011) will join the Cars, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, Nina Simone and Early Influence inductee Sister Rosetta Tharpe at the ceremony on April 14 in Cleveland, which will be filmed for subsequent broadcast by HBO.
Bon Jovi won the Rock Hall's public vote with 1,162,146, and the frontman says he's happy to be getting in this time:
"I am humble and I’m pleased. This is the stuff you dream about when you start making records, and they established this Hall when I started making records...I was able to go to that first one, and you dream about it but it seemed surreal at the time. And as you know they made us wait, but it's here now, so it's rewarding."
Bon Jovi, the band, is currently recording a pair of new songs, "When We Were Us" and "The Wall," which will be released early next year and will be touring as well.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.