The 33rd annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductions at Cleveland’s Public Hall was nothing short of an epic evening. Ruled by Jon Bon Jovi, he took us on a trip down memory lane by setting the stage on fire with original guitarist Richie Sambora for the first time since 2013. The band played their incredible hits from Livin’ on a Prayer to You Give Love a Bad Name, and, of course, It’s My Life. It was definitely one of the coolest reunions. Humbled and honoured, Bon Jovi thanked his fans for being a part of the ride for the last 35 years.
The ceremony honoured five artists from the ballot who were included in the Performer Category while Sister Rosetta Tharpe was awarded for Early Influence. Along with Bon Jovi, the class of 2018 inductees included The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, and Nina Simone.
After the reunion tour ended in 2011, Ric Ocasek took the stage with the surviving members of the Cars. Three members of Dire Straits humbly accepted their award and apologized for the absence of the band’s lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Mark Knopfler. It was John Illsley who said, the frontman of the band couldn’t make it to the ceremony for “personal reasons.” However, after accepting the award, the band didn’t perform.
As the evening progressed, a Memoriam tribute with old photos of deceased rock ‘n’ rollers in a video moved the crowd. As for the Moody Blues this was long overdue, Justin Hayward and John Lodge expressed their gratitude to U.S. radio for continuously supporting the band throughout their career. Before their performance began, thrilled to be taking the stage Hayward cried out “Ray Thomas, we love you”. It was the Moody Blues who brought the epic evening to a close with some of their biggest smash hits I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band), Your Wildest Dreams, Late Lament/Nights in White Satin and Ride My See-Saw.
This year, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame began a new tradition of formally recognizing singles that played a significant role in the evolution of rock. Steven Van Zandt, guitarist, gave away awards to six singles, including Chubby Checker’s The Twist and Link Wray’s Rumble. The Induction Ceremony of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2018 is scheduled to have a television premiere on HBO and a radio broadcast on SiriusXM.
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