The news is especially sweet for former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, who co-wrote many of the band’s hit songs with founder and frontman Jon Bon Jovi (including four No. 1 hits, “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Livin’ On a Prayer,” “Bad Medicine” and “I’ll Be There For You”) and contributed to five No. 1 albums over the course of three decades.
Sambora left the band in 2013, two years after the New Jersey rockers were last nominated for inclusion in the Rock Hall.
“It’s great to be recognized for your work, [with] my heroes who I grew up listening to and my peers that are already in there,” Sambora tells Variety. “Between Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney and The Stones — it’s great to be in that queue.”
Although the band had six No. 1 albums (Sambora was not involved in the recording of the 2016 charttopper, “This House is Not For Sale”), the 58-year old Perth Amboy, New Jersey native says he “never counted on” ever getting into the Hall, and today’s news is “just a pleasure.”
“When I was in the band we did a lot of work — 31 years and a lot of records were sold,” he adds. “We made a lot of people happy with our music.”
The other part — touring — was just as rewarding albeit “insanity,” says Sambora. “The last two tours were back-to-back. I think there are only two other bands that did back-to-back world tours — one was The Rolling Stones and the other was The Grateful Dead,” he says. “One [tour] was 16 and a half months and the other was 18 months. We played 52 countries. I don’t think a lot of people can name 52 countries. “
Sambora is especially thankful for the fans who came through for the band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fan vote, with the final tally topping one million.
“You can put on a rock concert and if the fans don’t show up, you don’t have a show. The fans are just as important as we are. That’s for sure. I have to thank the fans for all of their votes and getting us in. That stuff means a lot. IT validates all of the emotion that you put into the music and into writing the songs and recording them and going out and playing them live. We’ve got some loyal fans, and there ain’t nothing like that.”
And is Sambora interested in joining the band for a few tunes at the ceremony? “Oh yeah,” he says. “I have no problem playing. None.”
The class of 2018 will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14 in Cleveland.