In a brief statement they explain the guitarist has “personal issues” and as a result will not appear. They add: “All shows will go on as scheduled.”
The band’s show last night in Calgary started 45 minutes late, after which Jon Bon Jovi told fans: “Richie Sambora won’t be performing for a while. I had two choices – pack up and go home or give you everything I got.”
Local radio station Q107 reported that the singer also said the guitarist was not in jail or hospital, and that the decision was taken to appear without him just a few hours before the gig was set to start.
Sambora seemed intent on appearing as planned last Thursday, when he tweeted: “Happy holiday weekend to all….the tour resumes on Tues… On the move again…”
He missed a run of shows in 2011 after checking himself into rehab to deal with his alcohol and drug problems. He later told Classic Rock that bandmate Jon Bon Jovi hadn’t visited him during his stay, but added: “Everybody was very supportive – my band, my family, my kid. It was like, ‘Hey, go get better, man. Do what you gotta do.’”
Bon Jovi himself said of Sambora: “It was great for Richie to go and take care of himself, knowing full well he was not being fired or punished. He needed and wanted to seek help.
“But the show goes on. I’m not beholden to anyone. To be honest about it, we’ve got to pay a road crew, who are dependent on that paycheck to put food on the table and shoes on their kids’ feet. You can’t put them out of work.”
-Classic Rock Magazine