Richie Sambora‘s abrupt departure from Bon Jovi‘s current tour took many by surprise. The announcement was made by the band a week ago, citing “personal issues” for his absence, nothing more. But members of the band were as shocked as the fans, according to the band’s namesake, Jon Bon Bovi.
“I think Richie’s doing all right, [but] I haven’t spoken to him,” Bon Jovi told the Austin American Statesman while in Texas for shows in Austin and Dallas. “We were surprised. It was 3:30 on show day on Tuesday and we got a phone call that he wouldn’t be there. It’s a personal matter.”
It wasn’t made clear what prompted Sambora’s getaway, but his past is checkered with substance abuse and stints in rehab. Sambora missed 13 shows during the band’s 2011 Bon Jovi Live tour to check into rehab. Phil X stood in for the troubled guitarist during his time away.
Bon Jovi’s latest album, What About Now, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart last month, selling 101,000 in its first week. They also performed a special Radio.com performance leading up to the album’s release.
– EJ Judge, WCBS-FM, New York