After 30 years, Richie Sambora is backing out of Bon Jovi and leaving the rest of the band living on a prayer. (Sorry, we had to...)
The current four members of the '80s band have been performing together for three full decades, but it's still far from a well-oiled machine. Richie has backed out of the upcoming leg of the band's tour by citing "personal issues," but many believe the departure is the result of a long-standing feud between the guitarist and frontman Jon Bon Jovi.
A source described the situation as "a classic Jagger/Richards blowup" and told TMZ that the problem stems from Jon's allegedly bad attitude and constant belittling of Richie. In addition, the two are reportedly at odds over dividing up money from their current tour.
Fans were initially concerned that drugs and alcohol were playing a contributing factor in Richie's departure because he has publicly struggled with addictions to alcohol and painkillers, entering rehab on two occasions in June 2007 and April 2011. However, the source made it clear that Richie is still very much clean and sober.
Both Richie and his loved ones have also upped the ante and said that any media reports about the split are being blown out of proportion. Jon's brother Matthew took to Twitter and called the TMZ report "total s*it", while Richie tweeted that everything is not as dramatic as it seems. "Thank you everyone for your concern. I'm well, but had to stay in LA to take care of a personal matter. Love you all and see you very soon," he tweeted yesterday.
The other band members are reportedly optimistic that things can be resolved by April 19, when they swing through Richie's hometown of Los Angeles for a show. Bon Jovi are currently on tour in support of their 12th studio album What About Now, which was released last month and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
Do you think that Richie will rejoin the band?
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