Thursday, August 29, 2013

The real story according to MusicBizAdvice + Richie Sambora denials

Since Richie Sambora abruptly left the Bon Jovi tour five months ago, we've had no official statement on the actual reasons why or whether or not he's still in the band. Blogging about the following articles might just be a long-winded way of saying we actually still don't know anything. But this article, 30 Years Gone? The Real Story of Richie Sambora’s Current Status in Bon Jovi by Randi Reed on, which reignites the substance abuse rumours, has gained a lot of traction in the past 24 to 48 hours:
Again, it’s not my policy to speak publicly about artists. But the tabloid media are spreading tales that my colleagues and I know are lies, and it’s getting uglier, so here’s the truth:

1. Richie has NOT been fired. As one of my colleagues said, “Jon’s not going to kick a man when he’s down.” Additionally, Bon Jovi band policy is, as an original member of the band, Richie retains the title of “Bon Jovi Guitarist.” Whether or not Richie is actively using his title depends on him.

2. Richie is in control of his own destiny in the band, and there are conditions and parameters for his return if he wants to come back. He can’t just walk in and be welcomed back with open arms as if nothing has happened. Jon and the band love Richie and want him to be well, and his health is the most important thing to everyone. They want to welcome him back, as long as he’s healthy.

3. If you have a job, no matter what your title is, from Walmart Associate, to CEO of a Fortune 500 company, to Wall Street magnate, if there are multiple instances when you don’t show up for work and no one can reach you, there are repercussions. If you’re an athlete on a sports team and are a no-show without talking to the coach or the team, you’re suspended. If you’re in the army and you don’t show up, you go jail. And for all those jobs, when you show up, you must be physically able and ready to perform your job.

Being a rock star is no different. If you don’t show up or are physically unable to perform when you do show up, there are repercussions.

People count on you to be there: the audience who paid to see you (and maybe even traveled to do so). The fans who support you. Your crew members who take care of you and help you sound great and look pretty. Your Brothers onstage. Your singing partner. The talent buyer, record label, and partners in your 360 deal. Your corporate sponsors, and the TV and radio networks who invest millions of dollars to present your talent. The venue staff. All those people count on you to show up and do your job with the same excellence you ask of them.

4. It kills me to say this…but I happen to know there are multiple times when Richie didn’t show up for work, or was unfortunately physically unable to perform.

There are multiple, documented times when Richie was physically unable to perform at the band’s important events– including live concert broadcasts attended by press and music industry people who are important to the band’s career. The “Unplugged” show in Brooklyn is just one example of an event when Richie was unreliable.

5. This is not about slagging Richie. It’s about concern for Richie’s health.

6. Everyone wants Richie to be healthy, happy, and well. They all love Richie and are united in this. There’s no “Team Jon” and “Team Richie.” It’s The Brotherhood.

7. The major news organizations who copied and pasted or cited the “Rumorfix” article as a source never called the Bon Jovi organization for comment. They did this to stretch out headlines and get more ratings and page views out of it. When people learn the truth, there’s no more story.

8. Someone who has a lot to gain–I won’t mention names–is orchestrating a full-on media takedown of Jon Bon Jovi, and they’re taking advantage of the fact that Jon, as Richie Sambora’s employer, is legally prevented from saying anything about Richie’s absence from the band. Even worse, the people orchestrating the attack are using unsuspecting, well-meaning Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora fans to do it.

That’s why I’m writing this: my colleagues and friends are hurting, and we all hate what these people are doing.

9. It’s painful for Jon’s friends and colleagues to watch Jon take the fall for his Brother Richie’s actions and take the high road while people make up tabloid lies about Jon. (Would you be strong enough to do that for a friend?)

Everyone I’ve ever known in the industry who has worked with Jon Bon Jovi says he’s a good guy who inspires decades-long loyalty. I’ve never heard anyone who’s worked with him say anything bad about him (and believe me, they say plenty about other people).

10. Everyone I’ve ever dealt with in the Bon Jovi organization has been a pleasure to work with. In any organization, the CEO sets the tone, and it comes from the top down. Bon Jovi’s teamwork, loyalty, and “can do” spirit start with Jon Bon Jovi.

Read the full article here.

Meanwhile, Richie has been quoted in RumorFix in an apparent response to the article and a RadarOnline article from the same day:
The guitarist is disputing a gossip website’s report that Jon Bon Jovi demanded Richie undergo “rehab on the road” before he could be allowed to join the “Because We Can” world tour.

Richie tells RumorFix exclusively, “This is not true. This is the biggest bunch of BS.”

As RumorFix first reported Richie is not returning to the tour and he was fired by Jon over money issues.

Richie tells us, “No intervention ever took place. I truly wanted to come back to Bon Jovi for the fans.”

Well, who freaking knows. I gave up trying to figure this out a long time ago. Everyone seems to have their own agenda, even if it's as simple as blindly believing anything that makes it seem like their idol's shit don't stink (I'm referring to both "Team Richie" and "Team Jon" here).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Richie Sambora fired from Bon Jovi tour: RumorFix

RumorFix has pulled another Richie Sambora "exclusive", with "sources" claiming he's been fired over money:
Guitarist Richie Sambora IS NOT returning to tour with Bon Jovi this year — he’s been fired from the tour, RumorFix has learned exclusively.

Sources close to the band tell us it’s all about money. We are told just like any DIVORCE, their differences are irreconcilable.

Richie, who has been a member of the band for 30 years, was making $2 million a month and 20 percent of the profits after each show. His replacement Philip ‘Phil X’ Xenidis is only making $10,000 a month.

But don’t think Richie is going broke — since he co-wrote most of the songs and since his likeness appears on merchandise, he continues to get royalty checks.

Our source says, “Richie wants to go back on stage — that’s his first love. He’s really upset over the news.”
An alleged dispute over money is not new (TMZ claimed it was the reason for Richie's departure in early April) although Phil better be making a lot more than $10k/month for this gig.

For what it's worth, if anyone thought or hoped Richie was going to be back on tour in September, Nikki Lund's blog suggests he'll be busy promoting their fashion label then.

Matt Bongiovi commented on the latest RumorFix article via Twitter.

Hmm, is he trying to bait Nikki and or NikkiRich Clothing's PR guy Sean Borg?

EDIT: Matt is apparently closing his Twitter account, while Phil has set the record straight about the pitiful pay package RumorFix gave him.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jon Bon Jovi mentors on X Factor Australia

Jon Bon Jovi was a guest "superstar co-mentor" in last night's episode of The X Factor Australia alongside Redfoo, who has been assigned the Under 24 Girls category.

Mentoring Session | Under 24 Girls - Home Visits

Here's an extra clip of Jon discussing the challenge of winning over a television audience and sustaining a career over time.
The full episode is also available on the X Factor website.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

"Nothing to do with Jon" - Richie Sambora

Apart from retweeting fans' video links, Richie Sambora's been giving us a few tweets to analyse and debate lately...


(That is referring to a 2001 Saturday Night Live skit in which Jon and Richie are auditioning dancers, and get the DeMarco brothers' dramatic interpretations of Bon Jovi songs. Jon then unceremoniously kicks them out. The video can be found online but doesn't seem to be viewable outside of the US, although I didn't try using a proxy.)

But this is his most recent tweet, so maybe it puts to bed some widely circulated theories. Or maybe not... I mean, who can even pretend to understand what's going on anymore? :P