The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has officially announced next year’s inductees: Bon Jovi, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, the Cars and Nina Simone will all join the class of 2018. Sister Rosetta Tharpe will be given an Early Influence award.
The induction will be held at Cleveland’s Public Hall on April 14th, 2018. An edited version will air later on HBO and there will be a radio broadcast on SiriusXM. Ticket details will be announced in the near future.
Artists are eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single. Radiohead was the only act on this year’s ballot in their first year of eligibility, but they didn’t make it in. Bon Jovi is the only act in the class to have started after the 1970s.
“It’s a Christmas miracle,” says Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan. “[We were] guys living the dream, getting on a bus with no guarantees in any way shape or form or anything. It was, ‘Let’s go out and make this happen.’ And we actually did.”
Moody Blues singer Justin Hayward is equally thrilled to see his band enter the Hall of Fame. “On Friday [the day before I heard the news], I couldn’t have cared less,” he said. “On Saturday, I was thinking, ‘Wow, that’s amazing!’ I’m extremely grateful to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for two things: For creating the supreme temple to something that has brought me endless joy since I was a little boy. The second thing is for, after all these years, including us.”
Bands often reunite with former members at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and this year’s class presents many occasions for such once-in-a-lifetime moments. Dire Straits hasn’t performed in any incarnation since their split in 1992, and frontman Mark Knopfler has yet to indicate whether or not he’s open to the idea of a reunion performance.
Bon Jovi, however, is very willing to take the stage with former guitarist Richie Sambora and original bassist Alec John Such. “They are a huge part of us,” says drummer Tico Torres. “We’d love it if they played with us.” David Bryan agrees. “The idea is that it’s a celebration of what we were and what we are,” he says. “You’ll see the current lineup and then see the original. It should be a fun night.”
The Moody Blues are also willing to reunite with original keyboardist Mark Pinder (who left in 1978), and original flautist/singer Ray Thomas, who walked away from the band in 2002. “The spirit is always willing,” says Hayward. ” I miss them both, particularly Mike Pinder because he was the guy that brought me into the group.”
The Cars reunited after a 22-year break in 2010 to cut the new LP Move Like This. They had a very brief tour and have been completely inactive since playing Lollapalooza in August of 2011.
Nina Simone died in 2003 and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who has experienced a huge resurgence of interest in the past decade, died in 1973. The Hall of Fame is likely to bring in artists they inspired to perform their music.
Nearly every Hall of Fame induction ends with every performer of the night taking the stage for an all-star jam. “That has to be the hardest part of the night because everyone has great songs,” says Bryan. “You can do a standard blues song or something. I don’t know. I guess we’ll figure it out when we’re in the room.”
By Andy Greene