This Star Dissed the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Founder at Bon Jovi’s Induction

Classic rock bands usually get inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by fellow musicians. However, Bon Jovi broke from tradition by having a different kind of celebrity induct them into the Hall of Fame. This star took the opportunity to criticize the Hall of Fame’s co-founder, Jann. S. Wenner. Here’s what he had to say.

Bon Jovi standing in a row
Bon Jovi | Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Howard Stern and Bon Jovi’s long history

Howard Stern and Bon Jovi go way back. He said he first met the band around 1987. The band wasn’t huge at the time, however, Stern felt they were going places. He booked them on his show. He was later honored to induct them into the Hall of Fame because he liked them and because he was a fan of rock ‘n’ roll. 

To understand Stern’s speech, you have to understand the history of Bon Jovi and the Hall of Fame. Bands are eligible to enter the Hall of Fame 25 years after their debut album’s release. According to Rolling Stone, Bon Jovi were eligible for inclusion since 2009 but they didn’t make it into the Hall of Fame until 2018.

Howard Stern at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

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Howard Stern didn’t get the name of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s co-founder right

Although Stern was honored to induct the band, he had some issues with the gatekeeping at the Hall of Fame. “Now, another sign of the zombie apocalypse — Jann Wenner finally let Bon Jovi into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” Stern said. “Way to go Jan, Jonny, John, Jann, whatever the f*ck your name is. Anyway, Jann, you did it. You finally gave this fantastic band their due.” 

“Now, for those of you who don’t know, Jann is the man in charge, but I’m not sure why,” Stern added. “This guy doesn’t play a musical instrument, he doesn’t have a band, but he did start a great magazine, Rolling Stone. Yeah. And now it’s the size of a pamphlet; what a business plan, way to go. I read it in about 30 seconds backstage.”

Jann S. Wenner at a ppdium
Jann S. Wenner | Kevin Kane/WireImage

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Howard Stern noted Bon Jovi sold more records than these Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees

Subsequently, Stern criticized Wenner for waiting so long to allow Bon Jovi into the Hall of Fame. “Now, Jann required years of pondering to decide if this glorious band that sold over 130 million albums should be inducted. What a tough decision! “Gee, I don’t know if I should let Bon Jovi in? 130 million albums, that’s not such a big deal.”

Stern went on to note Bon Jovi sold tens of millions more records than Blondie and Cream, two bands whom had already been inducted into the Hall of Fame. He imagined Hall of Fame inductee Leonard Cohen fantasized about selling 3 million records, much less 130 million. Stern also noted 130 million was a larger number than the number of people who died in the American Civil War or were killed by the bubonic plague. Bon Jovi finally got in the Hall of Fame — even if it took awhile.

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