Ah, fall in America.
The time of year when the sun goes down sooner, shortening the days and an increasingly chill wind sets autumn leaves on their way to the explosive colors of Indian Summer fire.
Sultry summer vacations are a pipe-dream memory, and the kids are already buried with an uncanny amount of homework.
Fall also heralds the nominating season for the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio to put forth music industry performers to be voted on and possibly inducted into the Class of 2014.
In the best of times---when Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were still acting as though they were beautiful and not just reminiscing about it---Bon Jovi is never a lock, due to a healthy disrespect of their brand of rock by the Hall and the voting members.
The Rock Hall of Fame prides itself on recognizing “…the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development, and perpetuation of rock n’ roll by inducting them into the Hall of Fame”.
Though the band has had two nominations in the past three years, they were completely passed over for nomination in 2012 when things between Jon Bon and the Slim Dark Duke were all sweetness and light.
If they can't get in when things are all sweetness and light, how can they expect to get in with all the bad juju bouncing around the universe?
To be sure, as a cohesive unit the arguments for nomination and induction of one of New Jersey’s finest are many:
- Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora are members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame as of 2009.
- The band sold 100 million records 11 years sooner than Bruce Springsteen and The Boss is in the Hall.
- Bon Jovi has sold over 140 million records worldwide and has performed for millions of fans in a three-decade run that is a testament to their drive and determination and their relationship with their global fan base.
- Acts such as Bob Seger, Black Sabbath, Tom Petty and the Heartbeakers, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan have sold less records and are still in the Hall.
- Bon Jovi helped put MTV on the map and their Slippery When Wet holds the record for Most Weeks At Number One for a Rock Record with 8; a feat not matched by inductees David Bowie, ABBA, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Tom Petty or Elton John.
- New Jersey, the band’s follow-up to Slippery proved they weren’t a flash-in-the-pan scorched spandex and hair spray abuse band, spawning 5 Top Ten Singles on one album (a record they still hold today) for Bad Medicine, I’ll Be There For You, Born To Be My Baby, Lay Your Hands On Me, and Living In Sin.
Remember now, these are the bona fides in the best of times, where the band still gets very little critical acclaim and peer respect.
Fast forward to the public relations train-wreck that has become the Richie Sambora-Jon Bon Jovi very public divorce and ask yourself, would the Rock Hall of Fame elders from on high nominate a band whose two brightest lights (sorry Tico and David!) might not even be able to stand being with each other in the same room let alone up on the stage accepting an award?
The answer is an emphatic No.
The facts don’t lie: Bon Jovi does deserve to be nominated and inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in this lifetime; but with the current dog and pony show of ‘Richie quit’, ‘Jon fired him’, Richie isn’t sober’ and ‘Don’t believe anything you haven’t heard from the ones who really know’, the band and the fans can kiss that pipe-dream for 2014 goodbye.
This isn’t just a small flesh wound and it’s not ‘collateral damage’ from incidental contact.
It’s what happens when there is a complete and total failure of a rock band to preserve it’s heritage and honor it's hard work by taking care of, and cherishing the team that brought them to the top of the mountain in the first place.
Be sure to find and follow Glenn Osrin on twitter @wizardofosrin