For 30 years, Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora built a strong reputation as both a standout hair-metal guitarist and an addict.
Last year, well along on a reunion tour, Bon Jovi kicked Sambora out of the band. A source told Radar Online that Jon Bon Jovi and Sambora weren't getting along and Bon Jovi had issued Sambora an ultimatum. Jon, the source said, "has no intention of taking him back without Richie attending a serious rehab program." Then, another source updated Radar Online by adding, "For someone to suggest that Richie needs to leave Hollywood in order to preserve his health, it's absurd."
Still, Sambora just chose to debut his new song about addiction, "Lighthouse," at a New Jersey drug-abuse summit on Tuesday night, which was held by Ocean County Prosecutor Joe Coronato to combat heroin and prescription opiate abuse in the community.
At first, Sambora told the Associated Press, "Lighthouse" was named "Needles on the Shore," but he "wanted to do something optimistic, a beacon of light and hope. Everyone needs that light when they're far off the shore."
The Bon Jovi co-founder and guitarist admitted to having a great deal of experience to offer those dealing with addiction, but added that he'd been sober for many months. About leaving Bon Jovi last summer, he said drugs or alcohol had nothing to do with it, that he just needed to regroup with his family for a while.
"It was my family," he told the Associated Press. "We've been doing this for over 30 years. I'm the guy who wrote these songs, who co-produced the records. We would tour for 12 to 18-and-a-half months. My last tour was 52 countries.... You realize you miss a lot of life."
Though it's unclear whether Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora have come to anything resembling a truce, Sambora said he's confident that someday he would rejoin Bon Jovi and get the steel horse riding again.
He shouldn't be so certain. Bon Jovi was quoted by Evening Standard last year indicating that Sambora was ejected this time around for the same reason he'd left another Bon Jovi tour two years prior; problems stemming from drug abuse.
Nevertheless, Bon Jovi was careful about how he characterized their relationship: "It's getting more and more difficult every day to not just sit here and say something.... Because all I can say is this: It's for personal reasons."
Then he got all tough love on the man: "He's been through it before; fortunately for us, the same guy who filled in last time was available this time."
[Image courtesy of rockyoubabe.com]