Richie Sambora leaves Bon Jovi tour - for now, due to 'personal issues'
Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora has left the group's "Because We Can" world tour due to "personal issues" and will not perform during its current second part of the concert series.
The band, headed by Jon Bon Jovi, began the first part of the tour in February in Washington, D.C. and kicked off its second leg in Calgary in Canada on Tuesday. Sambora was absent from the show.
"Due to personal issues, Richie Sambora will not be performing on this upcoming leg. All shows will go on as scheduled," read a message posted on Bon Jovi's website on Wednesday, April 3. "Ticket purchasers need not worry, all upcoming shows will go on as scheduled. Any ticket purchaser who would like a refund can do so before show time."
UPDATE: Richie Sambora posted this Tweet on Wednesday, after the band's announcement: "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."
At the Calgary concert on Tuesday, an announcement about Sambora's absence was made over the PA system. Fans were told that "Bon Jovi will make a charitable donation of $100,000 to the Calgary Homeless Foundation" to compensate for it, according to the Calgary Sun.
The outlet also reported that Jon told the crowd: "Hey Calgary, I need you more than ever tonight. If you haven't heard by now ... I got the phone call at about 3:30 this afternoon. We had two choices; pack up and go home or come up here and give you everything we got. Richie isn't in jail or in the hospital or anything ... but he won't be playing anytime soon."
Bon Jovi is currently promoting the new album "What About Now," which contains the single "Because We Can." The group is scheduled to perform in other parts of Canada and the United States until April 25.
A third leg of the tour is set to begin on May 7 in South Africa and end in Finland on May 26. Bon Jovi resumes performances in other parts of Europe between June 6 and July 5. After a week-long break, they are set to give concerts in other parts of the United States from July 12 to July 25. Bon Jovi also has shows scheduled for Sept. 20 in Brazil and Oct. 25 in Connecticut.
Richie Sambora's replacement?
An official replacement for Sambora for the tour was not named. Bon Jovi is touring with a backup guitarist, Bobby Bandiera, of the band Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. The musician's website states that he "will not be playing any of his own shows for a few months."
Sambora also left a Bon Jovi tour temporarily in 2011 and checked into rehab to treat alcoholism. He has battled alcohol abuse for years and has also spoken about a past addiction to painkillers. It is unclear if his recent departure from Bon Jovi's tour is related to his health.