Richie Sambora’s Bon Jovi Tour Exit: ‘A Classic Jagger/Richards Blowup?’
A fair number of Bon Jovi fans feared that Richie Sambora's recently announced absence from the upcoming leg of the band's current tour might indicate a reprise of Sambora's struggles with substance abuse, but it sounds like the only substance involved is cash.
TMZ reports that Sambora's departure from the tour is actually the result of a long-brewing feud between the guitarist and bandleader Jon Bon Jovi, with one source calling it "a classic Jagger/Richards blowup."
The article goes on to accuse Bon Jovi of mistreating Sambora -- as TMZ puts it, "Jon constantly belittles Richie" -- but money might be an even bigger sticking point.
Bon Jovi's brother Matthew Bongiovi states on Twitter that the TMZ story is "total s---. They are completely off on this one." He goes on to say that the duo are not fighting and Sambora is not leaving the band.
Sambora himself weighed in on Twitter, promising the group's fans that he loves them and simply needed to stay in L.A. to attend to a personal matter:
Whatever the real reasons for Sambora's abrupt departure from the group, Jon Bon Jovi seems to be using his spot behind the mic to rally the fans: TMZ quotes him as telling the crowd at Tuesday's (April 2) show, "I had two choices: pack up and go home or give you everything I got...Richie Sambora won't be performing for a while. If there's ever a night I need you, it's tonight, Calgary!"