Together and with The Power of We, we can start a revolution. One Soul at a time... ~Jon Bon Jovi *** There's a Story on every street corner, my friend. All you have to do is open your eyes... ~Richie Sambora

A Very Candid Article...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The California Chronicle has a very candid article where Jon says more about Richie's addictions and the upcoming album than we have heard before.

BLAZE OF GLORY ; Guitarist Richie Sambora's Battle With Booze and Drugs Inspires Bon Jovi Album


JON Bon Jovi looked across a TV sound stage at the musician he calls his "right-hand man" and knew it was time for hard talking and tough decisions.

His group, Bon Jovi, were recording an Unplugged music special and he'd just watched best mate Richie Sambora fluff the opening guitar lick of their 1986 hit, Wanted Dead Or Alive, three times in a row.

As the studio audience shifted uneasily in their seats, Jon knew he had to stop his friend, who was strung out on pills and booze, from killing himself.

Jon, 47, said: "I saw a guy imploding and self-destructing. It broke my heart.

"Richie should have been dead. I cried for him. I was at my wits' end. What do you do? "Thank God the show was being taped and wasn't live. We had another guitar player as backup, knowing that if Richie f****d up completely the show could go on.

"He'd already missed a gig in Puerto Rico ... we played without him.

"The four of us - me, bass player David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres and Richie - went into a room, closed the door and sat down.

"There was no yelling, no screaming. I just said to him: 'You broke my heart'.

"That was enough for Richie to understand directly what we meant. My words were careful. There was no reason to point fingers.

"It took that incident for him to realise he had better get it together."

In 2007, Richie's life went spectacularly off the rails when he was divorced from actress wife Heather Locklear after a 12-year marriage.

A few days later, his father Adam died of cancer. Richie was addicted to painkillers and alcohol. He had also been put on probation for three years for drink-driving.

"Richie said: 'I understand. My hands are shaking. I can't deal with this'," revealed Jon.

"He's an only child so it hit him very hard to see what was happening to his dad.

"He was also going through a divorce, where there was a kid involved, so there was a lot of trouble at home.

"Had Richie resisted the help we tried to give him, I wouldn't have threatened his job.

"At the end of the day, it's only music. You can't play, you've embarrassed yourself. Gone as he was, he knew it.

"It was easy for him. He could get away with it. I didn't need him to write the songs.

"That's why our 2007 album, Lost Highway, was much more me than we. I could have kept making records without him. He'd just have showed up for the photo session.

"But when you have such a close relationship, our words cut deep.

"There was no need to say anything more. Richie got it."

And the guitarist has not forgotten what Jon did for him.

"Richie thanks me every day ... 100 times over," said Jon. "He's not shy about telling someone he loves them and thanks them for their friendship.

"He's a very emotional human being, not one who hides behind some kind of demeanour ... he's very open.

"Wait till you see Richie now. He's lost 20lbs, is rock hard and plays his ass off on this record.

"He knows this album is all about him."

Bon Jovi release the album, The Circle, on November 2. Jon, who's boss of the multi-million-dollar corporation which handles the group's interests, says it is an attempt to draw a line under Richie's problems ... and kick start the next phase of their 26-year career.

The cover features a shot of Jon, Richie, David and Tico in a huddle - to convey the unshakeable bond between them.

"The Circle wasn't a conscious effort to reinvent the band," Jon told me. "Last October, we decided to put together a greatest hits album, so I started to write new songs. But there wasn't a lot in the way of subject matter.

"There were a couple of girl songs. A rehab track about Richie straightening himself out. But the world hadn't changed yet and I wasn't thrilled with them.

"Then the world crashed, hit rock-bottom, came up, rubbed its nose, saw the stars spinning and thought, 'We've got to make steps forward again.' "The following month, Barack Obama was elected US President. As a writer, I started to steam-roll. We ditched the greatest hits concept and said: 'Let's go'."

The record's title was suggested by a friend. Jon explained: "The Circle can mean different things to different people. To me, a circle is never-ending.

"But it can also mean it's difficult to get into but even harder to get out of. And sure, Bon Jovi has come full circle ... back to making a real rock record again."

The Circle will be accompanied by When We Were Beautiful, a movie which will be premiered at Robert De Niro's Tribecca Film Festival in New York in April.

It will give a rare insight into Bon Jovi's high-voltage lifestyle.

"I was asked by a publisher to write a memoir. But I didn't like the way it was turning out so I gave back my advance," revealed Jon.

"I saw a Peter Bogdanovich documentary about Tom Petty and thought it would be better to do something on film.

"We financed it ourselves. I wanted to show what it was really like, warts and all."

The film takes its name from a key track on the album.

Jon, a Democrat who campaigned for Obama, said: "It deals with the bursting of the American bubble, the changing of the world as we knew it, ending eight years of the Bush lives we were stuck living.

"The stock market crashed. There was a loans scandal in America. The job-loss meter had risen to more than 10 per cent.

"It was so evident the world we were living in was all 'Bigger is better ... more, more, more and me, me, me.' "All that changed with our new President." The most enduring relationship in Jon's life is his 20-year marriage to high-school sweetheartDorothea Rose, an ex- black-belt karate teacher.

The couple wed in Las Vegas in 1989 and have four children, Stephanie, 16, Jesse, 14, Jacob, seven, and Romeo, five.

In a poignant scene in the movie, Jon says: "I've spent too many nights sitting in a hotel room with a sleeping pill and bottle of wine ... missing my kids. That's the cost."

But when he's at home, Jon is happiest playing husband and father. "Bruce Springsteen and Bono have both been married just as long as I have," he said. "But I got to be the poster boy for married life and I'll accept the role because I'm happy in my situation.

"It ain't easy. It's hard work. I'm no pleasure to be around every day but Dorothea tolerates it.

My children understand what I do for a living and deal with it.

"Last night Jacob got quite emotional about me going off to the UK for just two days. He wasn't all that happy about it.

"I've been home for the last year. But now I'm going to have to go to work again.

"That's just how it is."

Bon Jovi's new album The Circle - and their new documentary DVD When We Were Beautiful - are released on November 2.

(c) 2009 Sunday Mail; Glasgow (UK). Provided
by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

I was surprised that Jon opened up so much. It was nice to see that for a change. I'm glad Richie has turned himself around. I still cannot watch that Unplugged special without a pain in my heart for what he was doing to himself. It hurts to look at pictures of him from that time knowing he was hurting so much. The new pictures from the video shoot just amazed me. He looks better, happier, than he has in a long time. I'm ecstatic for him.

I cannot wait for this album and the documentary. Bring on November!


Cindy aka Miss Moose October 11, 2009 at 2:18 PM  

I read this article and I don't believe this was from Jon. It has unplugged after the Puerto Rico show, wrong Richie went into Rehab after Unplugged and that is why he missed Puerto Rico. They called David the bass player. It says that Jon said Richie did not do much writing on the Lost Highway Album. I think this person tooks bits and pieces from gossip and other interviews Jon has done and threw them together in this piece.

Jovi's Willow October 12, 2009 at 4:03 PM  

Thanks for sharing this article Queenie. It really is nice and refreshing to see Jon be so open. It's hard to imagine that he would ever have "fired" Richie, but I can see him being all about the tough love. I'm glad they are all doing well.

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