Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Marty Schwartz interviews Phil X + alleged Richie Sambora investigation

I made a decision some time ago that I wanted this blog to be about the music. But it's been hard to avoid the tabloid fodder surrounding Richie Sambora, who is alleged to have made death threats towards Nikki Lund. From what I can tell, all the articles that have reported on this are just picking up the original Daily Mail "exclusive":
'They are in the midst of unraveling their fashion business Nikki Rich,' a source told Daily Mail Online. 'Things have become very bitter in recent weeks.

'The threat happened in the midst of Nikki launching her solo line. Richie apparently went mad on the phone at her and threatened to kill her.
'He said words to the effect that he was going to dig a hole in the desert and bury her.'

Nikki, a close childhood friend of Kim Kardashian, filed a report Wednesday night with detectives from the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station.

'She held off going to cops hoping that the situation would resolve itself,' added the source. But after advice from lawyers and business associates she made the report.

'Richie has been drinking heavily for months and acting erratically

'He has threatened violence in the past.'

Richie's people apparently told Asbury Park Press that Nikki's claims are payback for ending their fashion partnership:
"She's seeking publicity with these false allegations," said Sambora's rep. "They have been changing by the day."

Lund is the Kardashian pal that Sambora started to pal around with seven years ago. A romantic relationship ended yet the two continued to collaborate in the fashion world. Once Sambora decided to pull the plug on the unprofitable business relationship, that's when Lund made the charges, according to the rep.

"Mr. Sambora made the decision to stop any further funding of this unprofitable business," said the rep via email. "It fell on deaf ears. She continued making arrangements and commitments for him."

Things came to a head when Lund made a commitment for Sambora to appear at an LA Fashion Week envent on March 18, the rep said.

"Mr. Sambora did not attend the March 18 fashion show in an attempt to distance himself from this and to not mislead anyone. He has the right to pull out of the business," the rep said. "His not showing up seemed to be a surprise to a frantic Nikki Lund when it shouldn't have."

The company, Nikki Rich, has lost $4 million, the rep said, yet Sambora did offer to pay the company's 40 employees three months severance.

"She filed a cluster of lies 13 days later in retaliation for his no longer funding this unprofitable partnership," the rep said.

I think it's important to note that none of us know exactly what happened or what was said between Richie and Nikki, but if the goal was to further smear someone's reputation, it may well have succeeded.

On a more musical note, Marty Schwartz from Guitar Jamz recently met up with Phil X for a jam and guitar lesson. He also conducted this interview. In it, Phil talks about being a session guitarist; playing vintage guitars for Fretted Americana; getting the call-up to Bon Jovi; and recording a new album with his band, The Drills.

Marty Schwartz Interviews Phil X

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Phil X solo and Blaze of Glory lessons on Guitar Jamz

This one's for the guitarists.

I think most people who learn guitar these days check out videos on YouTube. And if you do, you've probably come across Marty Schwartz, who runs Guitar Jamz and has a very popular lesson channel. In fact, his Blaze of Glory tutorial was shared by Bon Jovi's Facebook page last year.

Bon Jovi - Blaze of Glory - Guitar Lesson - Tutorial - Chords, Slide Guitar Easy Acoustic Songs


Anyway, Phil X recently joined Marty for a rock soloing lesson using the pentatonic scale.

Phil X Teaches Rock Soloing Lesson w Pentatonic Scale - Guitar Lessons Rock


Phil also demos vintage guitars on the Fretted Americana channel and is pretty amusing while doing so.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wanted Dead or Alive at Night of Too Many Stars

Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars is an autism benefit show, in partnership with the not-for-profit organisation New York Collaborates for Autism. Here's a video of Jon Bon Jovi performing "Wanted Dead or Alive" at the event, while actor/comedians Will Forte, Gilbert Gottfried, Al Roker, and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog do their best to butcher the song.

Night of Too Many Stars - "Wanted Dead or Alive" with Jon Bon Jovi and Special Guests


Jon's previous encounter with Triumph (on the Bounce Tour, if I recall correctly) was probably a bit funnier. Here are some snippets from that:

Triumph The Insult Comic Dog Meets Bon Jovi

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Bon Jovi music... soon?

Jon Bon Jovi is working on a new album, but whether it's a band album or a solo project is yet to be confirmed.

Jon spoke to PEOPLE at a recent event for Kenneth Cole:
"I was in the studio all day working on the new record. I walked here from the studio," the musician told PEOPLE. Where is he getting inspiration for his 18th album? From the news.

"I just read the paper, it gives you an opportunity to write something ... It's early but I'm about a dozen songs in. I feel good."
Read the full article here.

John Shanks, who has produced or co-produced every Bon Jovi album since Have a Nice Day, posted this photo featuring Jon and Gary Barlow a few days ago.

#bonjovi #garybarlow #johnshanks and then this happened. #workingonsomethingbig

A photo posted by John Shanks (@john_shanks) on



Meanwhile, Richie Sambora and Orianthi are working on their album. Keyboardist Michael Bearden was interviewed at NAMM in January this year and talked the Richie-Ori record about 10:00 into the video. He describes it as "Something you've never heard Richie do before."

Michael Bearden interviewed at NAMM 2015


Orianthi recently Instagrammed a photo of herself in the studio with Richie and producer Eddie Kramer.

In the studio hanging and listening with Eddie Kramer

A photo posted by Orianthi (@theqof) on



Are you looking forward to the prospect of new music from Jon and/or Richie? Or would you prefer a longer hiatus after the events of the last two years?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Phil X on being a Hired Gun

Phil X is part of an upcoming documentary about session musicians called Hired Gun. He was interviewed about it for the Double Stop Podcast, and here's what he had to say about filling in with Bon Jovi:

"When you're a hired gun, your level of creative input is limited. Even when I toured with Bon Jovi, I couldn't be Richie, because I'm not. But I couldn't really be me, so I became this guy in the middle somewhere that was between the two. And I delivered that guy every night.
...
"When I did the first 13 shows with Bon Jovi in 2011, on Sunday night I played in St Louis, it was the last show. Jon asked me to sing the second verse of Wanted Dead Or Alive and it was in front of 20,000 people. When I came home on Friday, I played at The Roxy with The Drills. And to me it was as exciting – 200 people, my songs, doing my thing, with people in the front freaking out."

Listen to the full podcast episode (Phil X interview starts at about 20:42).


The documentary sounds like it would be really cool (and something I'd want to watch whether Phil was in it or not). Will you be checking it out?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cassadee Pope covers Bed of Roses

I didn't actually know who Cassadee Pope was when this video landed in my inbox. Thanks to Google, I now know she's a country singer-songwriter, having previously been the lead singer of pop punk band Hey Monday and the 2012 winner of the US version of The Voice.

Anyway, this cover of Bon Jovi's classic ballad "Bed of Roses" was posted to Cassadee's YouTube channel at the end of last year.

Cassadee Pope - Bed of Roses (Live)


What do you think?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas to all Bon Jovi fans, past and present

As we approach Christmas and the new year, I'd like to thank everyone who's supported me and this blog over the past six-and-a-half years. Bon Jovi will always hold special place in my heart (I'm never getting that tattoo removed :P) but I probably wouldn't have kept going all this time without all of you reading, leaving comments and sending messages, whether you agreed or disagreed with me. And even though it's been an "interesting" couple of years and blogging has taken a back seat, I'm still here.

Being a fan of both Bon Jovi and Star Wars, a 17-year-old John Bongiovi's appearance on the Star Wars novelty Christmas album is a moment of pure brilliance that I share on my social networks nearly every year:

Jon Bon Jovi - R2-D2, We Wish You A Merry Christmas


CBC Music writer Andrea Warner recently put together The first-ever oral history of Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album, interviewing co-producer/engineer Tony Bongiovi (Jon's cousin), Anthony Daniels (aka C-3PO) and composer Maury Yeston in the process. Read the full article at this link.

A lot changes in 34 years (or 3 for that matter -- just compare the difference in Jon's voice between then and Runaway)...

I'll leave you with two recent Christmas performances by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora respectfully to (hopefully) appease both "sides" at this time of year. ;)

Jon Bon Jovi & the Kings Of Suburbia: I Wish Everyday Could Be Like Christmas - Las Vegas (Dec 9th 2014)


Richie Sambora & Orianthi perform "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" on Home & Family


Have a safe and happy festive season!