Bon Jovi and The Moody Blues were on hand at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland Friday afternoon to help staff dedicate, unveil and mount a plaque commemorating the Induction Class of 2018.
Band members included the two groups’ current lineups, plus retired musicians who were to be inducted with their former bands. Bassist Alec John Such joined Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Tico Torres, David Bryan, and Hugh McDonald outside the refurbished Hall of Fame on the fourth floor, while keyboardist Mike Pinder stood alongside Moodies Justin Hayward, John Lodge, and Graeme Edge.
Ex-Moody Denny Laine (of “Go Now” fame) was not present at the dedication ceremony but is being honored with the band. Noted for his time in The Magnificent Moodies iteration of the “Nights in White Satin” group (1964-66), Laine went on to fame in Balls and Paul McCartney’s Wings.
Bon Jovi himself made a few remarks following a welcoming speech by Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris and Board Chairman Chris Connor.
“On behalf of me and my guys, thank you,” said the arena rocker. “Now we join an elite group…and it’s about f@#cking time!”
Bon Jovi might well have been speaking for the Moodies, too: The progressive rock act from Birmingham have been eligible for induction nearly twice as long as Bon Jovi, but were overlooked for decades by the Hall’s exclusive nomination committee.
That changed when the committee caved into popular demand for a fan vote, whereby online polling is used to take into consideration those acts who are technically eligible for induction (twenty-five years have passed since their first recording) but have—for whatever reason—been shunted.
That modification wasn’t lost on Moody Blues singer Justin Hayward, who thanked fans for their support over the years.
“When they put it to the fans, we were like a steamroller, baby!” he quipped.
Hayward and the Moodies issued their breakthrough album Days of Future Passed in 1967. That LP included key tracks like “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Nights in White Satin.” The symphonic rockers enjoyed a string of hits in the ‘70s and ‘80s as well, such as “The Story in Your Eyes,” “The Voice,” “Gemini Dream,” “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” and “Your Wildest Dreams.”
Bon Jovi scored a hit in 1985 with “Runaway” but rose to fame on the strength of smash hits from its third release, Slippery When Wet. “You Give Love a Bad Name” and “Livin’ On a Prayer” cemented the band’s success into the ‘90s—but the New Jersey natives notched additional hits (“Keep the Faith,” “Bed of Roses,” “It’s My Life”) even as grunge and pop-punk commandeered rock radio.
A few celebrities witnessed the unveiling of the 2018 plaque honoring Bon Jovi, The Moody Blues, Dire Straits, The Cars, Nina Simone, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Howard Stern and Gary “Bababooey” Del’Abate broadcast live from the Hall earlier that morning, and MTV “V.J.” Mark Goodman took to the airwaves, too.
SiriusXM’s Lori Majewski also did a show from the Klipsch Audio Stage on Friday with Salon writer / critic Annie Zaleski, and WNCX lunchtime disc jockey Bill Peters set up shop in the museum’s glass-enclosed atrium.
The Class of 2018 plaque was permanently installed moments after unveiling. Museum curators mounted the engraved translucent plate alongside prior entries in the new wing while the two bands checked out their exhibits with family and friends.
The Moody Blues were special guests Thursday evening at a Rock Hall “Sessions” Q&A with V.P. Director of Education Jason Hanley and SiriusXM honcho Alan Light. Richie Sambora and girlfriend guitar-shredder Orianthi were special guests on Tuesday.
The Cars couldn’t make the dedication event: They were busy sound-checking over at House of Blues on E. 4th Street for Saturday’s induction ceremony at the time.