Friday, April 29, 2011

Richie Sambora set to miss upcoming shows

It appears that Richie's latest stint in rehab will cause him to miss tour dates, judging from the statement Bon Jovi released today:
"Our support for Richie is absolute. He is, and will remain, a member of Bon Jovi. Although he will be absent from upcoming shows for the time being, we very much look forward to his healthy return. In the meantime, we will keep our commitment to our fans and continue our tour."

Jon's brother Matt had this to say on Twitter:
Matthew Bongiovi
Now you know it's not my place to comment. Richie will be fine and is fine. Personal life comes first and you have to respect that.

Matthew Bongiovi
All I can say is that we are heading to NOLA tomorrow. No shows will be canceled.
15 hours ago

Hoo, boy. I'm guessing Bobby Bandiera will take over lead guitar on any shows that Richie misses -- like he did in Puerto Rico in 2007. The whole band is in a tricky situation but given how much flak Bobby cops from Bon Jovi fans even when he's not playing solos, I have to say I feel extra sorry for him. Jon is also not getting off lightly for going ahead with the concerts instead of postponing and offering refunds.

Richie is the most recognisable member of the band after Jon -- and probably on par with Jon in terms of popularity among diehards -- which begs the question. How would you approach a show knowing that the King of Swing wouldn't be there and that the songs will probably sound different? (Even putting aside the constant argument over the quality of his playing, Bobby doesn't use talkbox, which is a big part of Livin' on a Prayer, It's My Life and even We Got It Goin' On.) Would it still be a Bon Jovi show for you without Richie? Would you still want to attend or would you try to sell your tickets?

For what it's worth, most addicts do relapse and it is often an important part of the recovery process, but I do hope Richie gets this thing kicked for good.


  1. Yes most addicts definitely relapse. But am I really the ONLY one who thinks Richie has never taken rehab seriously? I know it's a hard hard thing to get over, I am/have been thru an eating disorder, but it seems to me that he has never before actually vowed to never drink again, which is really what he should have at least tried. He seems to go for periods of binges and detoxes, lather rinse repeat.

    You asked a question so I'll answer it. How does one approach a show they have a ticket for? Well, one doesn't buy a ticket in the first place. I felt for a while now that Richie has not been taking things seriously and that Jon- whom I otherwise adore- is not at his best anymore when it comes to the kind of "stadium anthemic rock" they sell tickets on.

    So, if there were to be a small sized Jon solo show in the near future, I'd snap up the tickets right away. But for a Bon Jovi show as it presently stands, I don't have enough trust in either of them to not disappoint. Especially Richie of course, who I only had a slight inkling may not even frigging show up let alone disappoint. Right now I am patting myself on the back for apparently being psychic.

    There are so many things that go into play in being "in business" on the level at which they 'play'. Richie has enormous responsibility. His responsibility doesn't include the misguided notion that he is a guitar hero who walks on water. And that is both his problem and his fans'.

  2. Hi coolfreeze

    I don't know what Richie's mindset is or has been, but to answer your question, you're not the only person with those sentiments. Quite a few people have also been speculating for the best part of a year or more that he's been drinking again.

  3. Yesterday I hoped it isn't true or it's just next rumor.

    I respect Jon but I thing he's wrong. Of course Richie's health is more important than shows and he should take as much time as he needs. But I think Jon should postponed their shows or canceled maybe.
    There's no Bon Jovi without Sambora!


  4. Obviously Bobby is going to step up with the guitar work, but I would expect Jon to start playing guitar on a few songs he otherwise doesn't (You Give Love a Bad Name maybe?). Also These Days is an example - Jon always used to play guitar on this but hasn't been this tour.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they play the acoustic Livin' on a Prayer for the time Richie is away, but what they do about It's My Life I don't know? We Got It Going On could be dropped from the set without much complaint.

    Also, David will no doubt pick up the majority of the backing/secondary vocals

    I expect the sets will be standard for the time Richie is away.

    Maybe we will see more acoustic versions of some songs get played - or dare I say, JBJ solo songs?

  5. I have tickets for Montreal show on May 4th and I`m realy disapointed that they didn`t cancel the show. Bon Jovi without Richie is not Bon Jovi. I can`t imagine how Wanted Dead or Alive (my faourite...)will sound without Richie. Would you like to see a Rolling Stone concert without Keith Richards?? Get well soon Mr Sambo!!!

  6. If you look at any of the footage available on youtube etc of that show in 2007 which Richie missed, you will see there is definitely something missing from the show that Bobby just doesn't bring.

    The "Talkbox Songs" sound flat and (apart from vocals) sound like a cover band.

    But I think even Jon looks uneasy. He doesn't look like he is enjoying it much and seems very conscious of Richie not being there.

    I think ultimately I would be disappointed if I went to a show and Richie didn't play.

  7. JBJ is definitely in a no-win situation with this. Go on like this and die-hards and quasi-die-hards wail. Cancel or postpone and you risk pissing off the not-so-die-hards who still refer to Bon Jovi as "him" instead of "them."

    Richie obviously has a drinking problem and you can't get better with an attitude of "I've been drinking too much." I'm sad but glad I didn't buy St. Louis tickets (which I pondered but decided against since I saw them twice in 2010).

    I REALLY think the band needs to break for 2-4 years. Maybe that should've started by just canceling the rest of the tour (and, yes, I understand that this costs more than just the band).

  8. I totally agree with Daniel...

    JBJ is caught between a rock and hard place here. Cancelling the shows would certainly piss off a lot of people - particularly those who do consider "Bon Jovi" a single artist rather than a band; also they played without Richie in 2007 and they played without Dave for a show this tour, so some may ask why cancel shows now? Maybe it is Jon's way of showing the band is bigger than the individual?

    However, I think he knows also that it is a lesser live performance without Richie. That thought would be killing him; it is the very reason Alec was fired from the band - his performance was bringing down the band as a live act. This band has built a reputation over a long period of time as an outstanding live act and anything that may affect that reputation negatively would be like kryptonite for Jon.

    I also agree that the band needs to take a few years off. They have been going flat-out for a long time now, and it must be very tough for all the guys to not get burnt out.

  9. "I REALLY think the band needs to break for 2-4 years."

    No they should keep going, after all Richie apparently can't handle a month break let alone a 2+ year break. Maybe they should do the Energizer Bunny and keep going on and on and on and on and charging the same old fans huge amounts of money over and over and over again for the benefit of His Royal Highness Sambora.

    And install a dartboard on all message boards with the CEO's picture on it for the benefit of drunk die hards moaning in the corner following play-by-plays.

  10. I have tickets to the Uncasville show on 5/7. And I almost don't want to go. I just can't imagine a Bon Jovi show without Richie. It won't be the same. I hope I'm not witnessing the slow painful death of my favorite band. I agree with whoever said they need to take at least a year off.

  11. I watched some of the 2007 Puerto Rico footage on YouTube (without Richie). The crowd, for the most part, seems to be having a great time. Again, us die-hards notice a HUGE difference, but, like it or not, Bon Jovi shows are not mostly populated by people like us.

    Jon is in a no-win situation with this. I think he probably made the right call BUT it would be cool to do something for those fans who feel cheated (refunds or a make-up show at a later date). Just my opinion.

    Also, I realize Richie has the most trouble when he's on a break from touring but I still think the band, as a whole, need to take a few years off. Richie can record another, long-overdue solo album instead of messing around with clothing lines.

  12. yeah yeah we KNOW they should take a break. Even they SAID they would go on break, except Richie was all "but not too long a break because I want to be the Stones". Being the Stones of course isnt even close to the honor that some seem to find it, and Richie's codependency isnt gonna be good for the art.

  13. I paid good $$$ for my tickets and Richie will not be there? There should be refunds offered to all ticket holders! I am wanting to see Bon Jovi with Richie for the first time in since 1989 and it will not be the same. This will be my gf's first experience and she will be robbed of a good time. Is the money more important for Jon these days, or do the fans and the music still matter?

  14. This is what Bob Lefsetz had to say in his e-newsletter:

    If Sambora doesn't matter, why not go out as a solo, as Jon Bon Jovi with unknown players and keep all the money?

    I know, I know, the show must go on, but really?

    It's one thing if someone's paying $3 a ticket. You're all in it together. But at these prices, people expect the real thing. This is like buying a Mercedes Benz and finding out it's a Chevy under the hood. You're pissed!

    This is different from Journey going out with a new lead singer. That's a celebration of the songs, people still believe in Bon Jovi, they want to reconnect with their youth, and without Richie "Wanted Dead Or Alive" is just not the same. Captain Phil died on "The Deadliest Catch", we accept it and the show goes on, but rehab is not like death, it's actually supposed to prevent death.

    If one of your kids was in the hospital would you still go on the road Jon?

    And don't tell me about all the support people you'd be letting down. Most of them have been sucking at the tit quite profitably for years, and if you're such a fan of the little guys, do one solo benefit show for them in New Jersey and charge up the yin-yang, your fans will pay for that.

    I like your pay what you want restaurant ( But going on the road without Richie is like Tyler going on the road without Joe Perry, D.O.A.

    Have you got no sense of history, no sense of loyalty?

    And I realize they call it "Bon Jovi", and that's your name, and you've got a leg up. But Don Henley can't sell the tickets the Eagles do and do we really want to see an Eagles show without Frey?

    Once upon a time bands were beholden to their fans.

    Now they're beholden to their bank accounts.

    Performers are just as greedy and vapid as bankers. That's why the business is dying, not because of P2P theft and the Internet.

    I wasn't planning to go anyway, but I was offended upon reading the news and my inbox is filling up with naysayers.

    And, I LOVE "Wanted Dead Or Alive". All those TV shows with Richie and you doing the number acoustically? Those are etched in my brain. That's why I give you a pass, that's why I still listen.

    You cannot do it without your family.

    And you may not pay him what you make, but Richie is a blood brother.

    Cancel the dates, wait for him.

  15. It sucks that he's going to miss shows, but I think people are giving Jon a hard time about it. If he had cancelled the shows, people would probably complain about it anyway.
    Does anyone know if he'll be back for the European leg of the tour, or how long he's likely to stay in Rehab?

  16. what the fuck does lefsetz care lol, he hates jon he always bashes the band, this is just one more chance to do so. cant believe you're giving him the time of day.

  17. Lefsetz's opinions, no matter how obnoxious, are views that a lot of people involved in music do take notice of. We're Bon Jovi fans on here where he (and others) are not, but we don't live in a bubble; one of the issues that has come up is whether other bands would or should tour without iconic members. And in this case Lefsetz's comments are even in line with what many fans are feeling. But I'm sorry if it offended you to have them here.

  18. I have tickets to the May 21st show and I am very disappointed that Richie will not be there. I've never missed a tour, been a loyal fan since the moment I first heard Runaway, and this will mark concert #23 for me. Do I think I will be getting the show I am paying for (and paying dearly....because I like to be up front...on Richie's side)? Definiteley not. I am a "Jon girl"......but Bon Jovi is not BJ without all members. I will miss hearing Richie's soulful voice, the use of the talk box during Prayer, him putting on the black hat before Dead or Alive begins, and especially the chemistry between he and Jon. After 28 years, I still like to see them stand shoulder to shoulder and play. I've seen some things that a lot of BJ fans have not had the chance to see......the show from up front or on the side stage, the Central Park show, an all acoustic show, etc. I did not want a Bon Jovi show without Richie Sambora to be on that list! I think Jon is in a tough position. I am guessing that Richie probably told him to continue the tour. I know that a lot goes into planning a tour and it's not as easy to cancel as some might think. I will attend the show on the 21st and I'm sure everyone on that stage will work their ass off to make it a great show. I'm also guessing that I will come away from the show disappointed. Get well Richie!

  19. lefsetz bashes the band constantly and has now made a sudden change of heart so he can bash only some members over others. what I am doing is calling him out as a "writer" who never has a point or follows his own logic, not living in a bubble, thank you bloody very much. that you didnt say that at the beginning of the space you made for him (though you now amend it with "obnoxious") is what offends me, not that you feel like you need to give voice to 'many fans'.

  20. Okay. I'm really sorry if it sounded like I was accusing you of being narrow-minded or something; that was not my intention. I think I called Lefsetz obnoxious or words to that effect when he was bashing Jon over the Steve Jobs/Apple thing but I didn't think it was appropriate to preface his comments with "Hey, look at this obnoxious prick" this time around, when genuine fans had expressed the same thing. :P

  21. I bought tickets for the show in Munich in June half a year ago and was so much looking forward to the concert. Although I am very disappointed about the problem with Richie I will visit the show. It will be my very first Bon Jovi concert and of course it should be with Richie. But I am happy that it hasn't been cancelled so far and I'm sure it's a very hard and tricky situation for Jon (or even the whole band) to make the right desicion. I think it would be much worse if the concerts were cancelled. But I nevertheless hope that Richie will be okay in June. Until then I wish the band and also Phil all the best! Just hang on!!!!

  22. If only you guys knew what would happen two years later... This stint in rehab was the beginning of the end for Richie.


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