Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora have been friends and bandmates since the early ’80s, but that relationship appears to be rather strained. The guitarist’s “personal issues” are taking their toll on the friendship and the band, and Bon Jovi’s patience is wearing thin.
The New Jersey native tossed some thinly veiled insults at his longtime pal during an interview with The Standard, pretty much confirming that Richie’s absence is due to his recurring substance abuse issues and implying that his talent is mediocre and he was easily replaceable.
“It’s getting more and more difficult every day to not just sit here and say something,” Bon Jovi told the paper, “because all I can say is this — it’s for personal reasons. He’s been through it before, fortunately for us the same guy who filled in last time was available this time.”
“Life goes on, so if someone chooses not to be here… unlike if this were, God forbid, The Edge, and he for some reason couldn’t make a U2 show, [then] it would be very difficult to just step in.”
Got that Sambora? You’re OK, but it’s not like you’re The Edge or anything.
“You have a choice — you either figure it out, go and grow, not only survive but thrive,” he continued. “Or, you say, ‘I hate my brother and I’m gonna quit the band.'”
Bon Jovi apparently was in a super crappy mood the day of the interview, because he also had harsh words for Justin Bieber and the band’s longtime set designer.
Slamming the teen idol for keeping concertgoers waiting for hours, the rock veteran said, “Every generation has guys that do that, none of that is new.”
“They run the risk of disrespecting their audience members who have worked hard to pay for their ticket, to give you the permission to take two or three hours of their lives — or in that kid’s case, 80 minutes of their lives.”
“Do it once, you can be forgiven. Do it enough times and shame on you. They won’t have you back. Then it just becomes a cliché. It’s really not cool — you’re an a**hole. Go to f***in’ work!”
And as for that poor set designer, “I wasn’t all that happy with old Spike who has been designing our stages for years. I was at the point where I’m about to tell Spike, ‘That’s the last time you’ll be working for me — get out!'” Bon Jovi complained.
“But sure enough, he came up with the goods, and I seriously think that Messrs Bono and Jagger would tip their hats to Spike and say, ‘Good job.'”
At least someone got a compliment out of him, even if it was two-sided.