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 MusicBizAdvice.com 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).