Thursday, November 1, 2012

Richie Sambora cancels San Francisco gig

There are a lot of angry Richie Sambora fans, especially in North America tonight after his San Francisco show joined New York City, Philadelphia and Toronto on the Cancelled Gig List. Illness was given as the reason for the three cancelled shows in October, but San Fran just got this email from the venue:
We really wish we didn't have to send this email but we regret to inform you that Richie Sambora, on Friday, November 16, 2012, at The Regency Ballroom has been cancelled.

If you purchased your tickets via credit card for this event, a refund will automatically be issued to your credit card within 7-10 days in most cases. Otherwise, refunds are available at point of purchase.
On Twitter, Richie offered little explanation other than to claim San Francisco was beyond his control but Los Angeles would go ahead as planned:

Given that the LA show is November 13 -- three days BEFORE San Francisco would have been -- and Richie has been doing other promotional and fan club meets and greets in the meantime, it seems pretty apparent now that the shows weren't really cancelled because he was ordered on "full vocal rest." Most likely it was slow ticket sales as had been speculated.

Now if sales were so poor that they were going to lose money by going ahead with the shows, I can understand why a decision might be made to cancel... Not to mention how much that would wound an artist's ego; Richie was obviously very proud of this record. Aftermath of the Lowdown wasn't expected to set the world on fire but I do wish more people had really got behind it. And maybe it wasn't Richie's decision to maintain the laryngitis/sinusitis/cold/flu ruse.

But the people who had planned to go to those shows are real diehard fans who have invested not only their wallets but their hearts and souls in him. People who may not have been able to afford expensive meet-and-greet packages but had nevertheless taken time off work, made arrangements for their families and booked flights and accommodation that they can't necessarily get refunded. Surely those fans deserve a show, even if it's a small crowd. Surely the shows could have been moved to a more intimate venue if needed. And if not, surely those fans deserved the truth? :(

The flipside is, of course, fans who adore everything about their idols no matter what -- who have begun raging against Richie's "haters" on various social media platforms. I think I saw a couple of tweets from people who said that "real fans" would just go to LA instead of bitching about cancellations. Now I know money talks and makes the world go around, but money doesn't equal love, not in my book.

And I don't think the fandom "hates" Richie. But they are certainly bitterly disappointed and it will take a long time for the hurt to subside.

Richie has just tweeted that he'll try to reschedule some shows for January. I sure hope it happens...

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