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).


  1. The unfortunate reality is that no matter which way this goes, it's not going to be good for someone. If Richie is truly struggling with substance abuse or other health issues and is in denial (my words, but that's how I interpret the story), that's a horrible thing and I'm sad and sorry for him. If he wanted more money, well, that's unfortunate too, but he knew what he signed on for at the beginning of the tour. I want everyone to be the 'good guy' in this scenario and I want the band back together. I? Honestly, I lost the energy to care a few months ago. When the RumorFix thing came out on Friday, my boss wanted into my offices and said, "I'm sorry". I asked "For what?" and he said, "Richie Sambora quit Bon Jovi." My reaction was, "Did he finally make a decision? I'm glad that's over!" In the past I probably would have even teared up and been really upset (which is embarrassing for a woman of my age!), but now I'm so over the whole thing. I miss the status quo. Or at least not knowing all these details about whatever the hell is going on. I think ignorance truly would be bliss in this case.

  2. I agree with Shannon. Not only am I moving past upset (into "I don't care") but I don't even feel like playing Bon Jovi anymore because that's a reminder of all that's going on and I'm sick of it.
    I just have to say this... If Richie is back drinking would he come out and say "oh, that's true. I am drinking again". Yeah right. As we all know those who abuse substances have a high level of denial.
    There's no Bon Jovi for me without Richie. But I don't like Richie solo work and I love Jon's, so I hope JBJ keeps going solo.

  3. I think this makes more sense than anything else I've seen so far. The source seems much more legitimate than Rumor Fix, also.

  4. It does "appear" to make sense. I just wish they'd make a formal statement. I am not feeling whole with my decisions about spending more money for the concerts. The hope was that Richie will be back for this next leg. I already have two shows to go to. I was going to go to Vegas as well, but I'm just frustrated with all the ambivalence. I think from a PR stance that if they announce that Richie won't be coming back that for sure the sales will drop. I'm sure people are still hoping he'll be back that's why they are purchasing tickets. Bottom line for me is that Jon makes my heart melt when I heart his voice, however as a band together they can make a stadium turn into one hell of a rock concert!! Pam

  5. The person who wrote the article certainly seems legit. This is what I've suspected all along. An addict will never admit he has a problem so waiting for Richie to make a statement is pointless...unless he gets in trouble with the law or worse. I feel bad for Jon. It must be difficult to loose a friend like this & to look like the bad guy. Richie needs to grow the 'f' up & quit acting like the stupid school girl he's hanging out with...Nikki L. Who I assume, is the one who has a lot to gain by this story picking up speed. Has anyone even seen this clothing line in a store anywhere? Sadly, Richie will become another statistic of music people who lost their careers due to substance abuse. Personally, I'd fire his ass but I think Jon has more compassion that I do lol.

    I look forward to seeing Bon Jovi next month & I don't give a rat's a$$ if Richie is there or not. The last time I saw him play, he was so drunk on stage it was pathetic. And frankly, I think he's acting like an arrogant jerk. Bon Jovi will go on with or without's up to him if wants to be part of the magic or not. Yes they have chemistry on stage but truly, Jon is the showman of the band.

  6. So Richie just tweeted about being in Japan. I don't imagine he is going to be back from that venture in time to start off this next leg of the tour.

    1. Yeah, a blog post on the Nikki Rich website suggested he and Nikki would be doing some kind of promotional tour of the clothing line during September so I think a return to the tour is well off the cards.

    2. I'm sure she's getting a ton of hits. I never heard of her until this incident and I went to her website. Just because it seems that's the only "news" we're getting.

  7. This whole situation is so sad. I still can't believe Richie walked away from the tour, the fans & the band who are also supposed to be his "brothers". I'll never know how someone could do that after 30 years. Guess he's just not into the music right now. That's fine but at least call & talk to the guys & maybe say something to your fans. If Richie feels bad for us then say something or, here's a thought, go back to work & make things right with everyone.

  8. Just got an email from Backstage JBJ fan club announcing that Bon Jovi is going to be performing in Green Bay, WI in October. Green Bay? What happened to Milwaukee (which is the bigger city by far and a tour stop that they've always made)? The arena in Green Bay only holds 10,000 people. you are going from stadiums full of people to 10,000 seat arenas in the same tour?? I guess the rumors that Jon solo couldn't sell out the arenas might be true and the fans are showing their digust about this whole situation by not buying tickets to their concerts. Personally, I agree with a few of you that have asked for SOMEONE to say SOMETHING from either camp.

  9. Well I guess we will see in Mexico soon.

  10. Well... It looks like PhilX is heading out of Dallas. He didn't tweet that he was going to Mexico just that he was heading out of Dallas. I like Phil. He seems like a seriously funny friggin guy and he's extremely talented. I think I just want closure dammit. Lol

  11. Have I missed a statement on who is playing in South America?

    1. No statement was made, so I guess the assumption is that it will be Phil unless another announcement is made.

  12. But the last BJ statement was that Richie will only be out for the European leg, not the South American leg? I presumed it would be Richie...

    1. The European leg ended at the beginning of July. They've done a short North American leg since then, and Phil played on that leg with no announcement about Richie beforehand.

  13. Richie isn't in any photos on the bands website or bswjbj. This whole situation is sad.


Thanks for giving me your time.