“You got be freaking kidding me!” That was the reaction of many of my New Jersey musician friends when the news came out this week that the pinheads at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snubbed Bon Jovi in not nominating them for induction into the coveted Hall. It has been a bone of contention with me for a very long time. Forget the fact that I know Jon or that I appreciate their music. It doesn’t make any sense to me that a group that has accomplished so much does not meet the criteria of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Bon Jovi has:

  • Released 13 studio albums plus two compilations and two live albums.
  • Sold more than 130 million records.
  • Performed more than 2700 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 130 million fans.
  • Was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
  • Received the Award of Merit for the American Music Awards in 2004.
  • Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.
  • Four No. 1 hits.

Not a bad resume for a bar band from Sayreville. Bon Jovi is the epitome of Rock and Roll. They’ve been creating hits, making music and performing for throngs of fans since their first commercial release “Runaway” in 1983. If my math is correct that’s 33 years that they’ve been playing the hits. They’ve certainly had an influence, impact and big results in the world of Rock and Roll. Searching detailed criteria for the eligibility and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is deeply buried in a shroud of secrecy. Honest to God, you’d get better luck finding Jimmy Hoffa then being able to see a clear and concise set of rules for induction or consideration into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here’s what the Hall says:

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. Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record.

Let’s see, 33 years of contributions, four No. 1 hits, millions of fans throughout the world and still performing. Bon Jovi was one of the first and last of the original “Hair Bands”. Watch this incredible performance of Wanted Dead or Alive from 1989.

I’d like to compare Bon Jovi to another group that’s IN the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Buffalo Springfield. Buffalo Springfield was formed in LA in 1966 with an All star lineup of Stephen Stills, Dewey Martin on drums, Bruce Palmer on bass, Richie Furay on guitar and Neil Young. Some lineup. Their biggest hit “For What it’s Worth”, a great protest song, went to No. 7 on the charts. That was the groups only top 100 hit. While the performers in the band are worthy, the Hall decided to induct them as Buffalo Springfield although the band was together for less than 18 months and broke up as a result of infighting, drugs and problems with the law. I like Buffalo Springfield, I like and admire it’s musicians but how can they possible be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

While I have been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland many times and encourage you to visit, I just can’t accept the Foundation’s criteria to nominate and induct artists into the Hall, whatever that may be. Bon Jovi deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What do you think?

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