18 Rockers These Bands Tried to Erase
Bon Jovi's Hugh McDonald is the patron saint for those found our list of Rockers These Bands Tried to Erase – the rare example of somebody who moved from the unrecognized to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. That's not how it usually goes.
Instead, you have a guy who played just offstage, rather than with the rest of the group. Guys whose names never made it onto album covers and the official websites – or, alternatively, were deleted after some falling out. Guys who had to take their former bands to court in order to claim some piece of their shared legacy. A guy who did an entire documentary in order to showcase his forgotten role. A guy whose vocals were literally erased for a later reissue.
Then there's McDonald. Long referred to as an "unofficial" participant in Bon Jovi, as several of the following musicians on our list were, McDonald played bass in hair-band obscurity for decades. He was part of the original demo for Bon Jovi's breakthrough song "Runaway," and then took over when longtime bassist Alec John Such departed in 1994. Jon Bon Jovi belatedly invited McDonald to officially join into the fold in 2016; he then lobbied to have the longtime bassist inducted in the Hall of Fame along with the rest of Bon Jovi two years later.
"Jon and I never spoke about it, and all of a sudden I was a member. I have no clue why," McDonald told the Deseret News in 2018. "Nothing has changed — there’s no different treatment. They’ve always treated me as a member. It’s not like I’ve gotta go on the bus when they fly. Occasionally, I was in pictures, and early on I was doing interviews with them, and now, considering I’ve been doing it so long, it's a strange sensation. I was the ghost in the machine for years, and now I'm not a ghost anymore. I actually show up. If I look in the mirror, my reflection is there."
It's a sensation these 18 musicians would love to experience. Instead, they remain rockers these bands tried to erase – either by letting them toil in strange obscurity or completely ignoring them once they departed.