Despite several unsubstantiated news reports in recent days that Bon Jovi guitarist extraordinaire Richie Sambora has been laid-off for the remainder of the current Because We Can tour, the silence coming from Camp Bon Jovi and Secluded Sambora over the mysterious split of the guitar hero continues to be deafening.
'Laid-off' sounds so much better than fired doesn't it? But nothing 'official' has been said, which means until Jon Bon Jovi comes out and officially says it, nothing officially has happened to officially change the circumstances.
Aside from the occasional snarky remark in an interview or a misplaced tweet telling the world “nothing is resolved”, gossip, rumor and innuendo rule the day.
Just plug into social media on Twitter and Facebook, hashtag #bonjovi. It’s a virtual certainty that your eyes will roll up in your head from all the mirth and mayhem this rock soap opera is stirring up.
Memo to Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi: since neither of you can seem to find a way back to the center of Bon Jovi Universe together, consider this your notice to cut the crap and fix things in an expeditious manner.
The fans don’t care how you do it so long as you get there.
Maybe you want to be locked in a room together for hours until one or both of you comes out; or you want to strip down to your boxers or briefs and get in the ring for a few rounds and see who wins.
Or maybe it’s something as simple as sitting down in a darkened room and watching the hetero-bro-mance that used to bloom betwixt you two as evidenced in Born To Be My Baby and Blood On Blood.
Shock of shocks, you used to love to be on opposite sides of a microphone together.
More than likely under present circumstances, you need “a reason to believe” to move you off the separate poles of disloyal ego and breach of trust. Here then are five to consider before time runs out:
One: You Don’t Want Bon Jovi To Become A Novelty Act.
Right now when you mention ‘Bon Jovi’ to fifty-something’s down to 10-year-old kids there is instant name recognition.
Yet the boulevard of once and future rock n’ roll royalty is littered with bands that didn’t have staying power or stability in their ranks.
You know the type: Journey, Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, Extreme, Van Halen, and even a little-known group called Jon Bon Jovi and the Kings of Suburbia.
All ended up playing at second-tier venues because either the band lineup changed or they were out of sight out of mind for far too long or merely unknown in their new incarnation.
As a result, these groups don’t sell-out stadiums and arenas around the globe. They end up playing Hard Rock Casinos or Swap Shops or beach sets for wasted spring-breakers who have no idea who the hell they are.
Two: You Don’t Want To End Up Like Fat-Elvis.
When Elvis Presley was in his prime, he need only sneer and swivel his hips before that incredible quiver of a honey voice belted out a tune to hysterical female screams and poser male bravado before people went berserk.
Then, because the public has the attention span of flea and lack of loyalty of a mafia snitch, Elvis became no longer relevant or important in the public eye.
Once vibrant and victorious, he turned into a scarf-tossing jump-suited caricature of himself holding court in Las Vegas and the world knows what happened to him when he was unable to fill the void of fleeting fame and scarce identity.
Three: Sorry Richie, Jon Bon Jovi IS The Boss of You.
Like it or not in a band named Bon Jovi you are an immensely talented individual part of the whole; a replaceable part, a cog in the machinery, and a wind beneath the lead singer’s wings.
If Jon Bon Jovi decides tomorrow that he wants to hang it up, Bon Jovi is over.
It’s not like finding a guitarist to replace you in his band because you and David and Tico aren’t going to run out and recruit Sammy Hagar to pretend he's Jon Bon.
So don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Suck it up. Swallow your pride, and fulfill your obligation to the band and the fans…then do whatever the hell you want to do when the tour is over whether it be Nikki Rich or Craig Ferguson or being a game-show host on VH1.
Four: There’s No Record Contract For Bon Jovi Without Richie.
Quickly now, is Bon Jovi more valuable to a record company when it’s time to renew the contract with Richie Sambora or without?
The Bon Jovi camp will tell you, “It doesn’t matter; it’s Jon that is signed to the Island/Def Jam record label and he employs everyone else on down”.
Sorry Jon Bon, your value and marketability (to any record company) takes a big hit when you meet with CEO Barry Weiss to negotiate a new record deal if Bon Jovi is missing a guitarist who has played every solo on every song for three decades.
Sour grapes between warring band-mates isn’t like trying to replace a dearly departed Clarence Clemons in Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band.
Record companies aren’t in the business of paying for stupidity, especially without hit singles.
Five: You Have An Obligation To Your Fans Worldwide.
Fans on both sides of this spat will respond to this with “Jon/Richie can do whatever the f*** they want to do, man!” Except that’s what’s happening right now, and the only people more unhappy than the King of Swing are the fans.
On Wall Street, brokers who handle a client’s money have what’s called a fiduciary responsibility to the client.
Simply stated, the relationship is first predicated on trust. It is considered the highest form of trust; one in which one party is looking out for the best interests of the other and where the relationship can’t work without it. Transparency, honesty, and communication rule the day or else life-altering mistakes can be made.
When an Employer (Bon Jovi) and Employees (Sambora, Torres and Bryan) commit to a project that involves millions of fans shelling out hard-earned ching or selling their bling to follow you across the globe and buy everything with your logo and likeness on it, like it or not you owe your living to them…to us.
And we deserve nothing less than the very best you have to offer in exchange for the loyal continuance of that musical fiduciary trust.
Be sure to find and follow Glenn Osrin on Twitter @wizardofosrin