This article was originally written after Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora appeared as guest band leader on The Craig Ferguson Show in late 2012. At the time, it garnered all manner of hateful responses from Bon Jovi fans who thought this author had stirred up trouble.
Now I am re-posting it. Under the circumstances, this lends credibility to Sambora’s wanting to do other things with his talent and helps to blunt accusations that he left Bon Jovi due to a failed ‘intervention’.
Occasionally it’s fun to say ‘I told you so!’
Famed Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora has been ceaselessly prolific over the past year. Ever since emerging from the aftermath of his lowdown—rehab—in June, 2011, the Dark slim Duke has been busier than beavers on Red Bull building dams.
Consider, he penned and recorded new songs with ‘sexless marriage’ partner Jon Bon Jovi while both were on ‘hiatus’.
Then Sambora recorded and released his stellar solo effort, ‘Aftermath of the Lowdown’ lightning quick, throwing in an abbreviated solo tour for good measure, along with consistent one-off performances with Bon Jovi.
And now, reinvigorated and rejuvenated, Bon Jovi is getting ready to hit the road again for yet another prolonged tour—‘Because We Can’—in support of their upcoming new release, ‘What About Now?’.
Indeed, all this activity has been an unexpected bonus for Bon Jovi fans worldwide, but a recent development is enough to make them ask the question, “Is Richie Sambora preparing for life after Bon Jovi?”
In case anyone in JoviLand missed it, Sambora was the maestro of the house band for the ‘Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson’ last week, and he did it with all the color and good humor that he is known for by adoring fans.
After over three decades meeting admirers and rocking millions of rapt faces, his welcoming smile and quick wit could elicit a chuckle and a verbal exchange from a golf club, let alone Ferguson’s adoring studio audience and viewers worldwide.
Sambora played the perpetually mischievous good sport to Ferguson’s irreverent commentary and asides, even expertly mimicking a german accent by showing off his ‘Saturday Night Live ‘ ‘Hans and Franz’ chops and playing off Geoff, Ferguson’s skeletal sideman with the nuclear eyes.
Musically, it was the ideal setting for Mr. Bluesman to have center stage all to himself—with no little blonde guy bopping around in front of him—as he played songs old and new with ease and authority, (albeit a little flat on the high notes on ‘Every Road Leads Home To You”) and partook of show skits like a club member in on a private joke in the schoolyard.
All of which raises a question many Bon Jovi fans don’t ever want to consider: could Richie Sambora fronting the house band on Craig Ferguson’s show been an audition; a precursor of things to come when Jon Bon Jovi decides he wants to spend more time at home with his wife and kids?
While there’s no need for fans of JoviNation to run down the street screaming and pulling hair out of their heads just yet, it’s not as far-fetched as you think.
After all, the late great Johnny Carson had Doc Severinson as his musical cohort for years; David Letterman has been serenaded by Paul Schaeffer and ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno‘ had saxophonist Branford Marsalis.
Yet the example that holds the most influence here is when Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg took on the bandleader gig with ‘Late Night With Conan O’brien’ when he wasn’t recording or touring with The Boss.
Though hardcore Bon Jovi fans will perish the thought, a late night house band gig with Craig Ferguson makes perfect sense.
The CBS show is taped in Sambora’s Los Angeles stomping ground; would provide steady income when not recording or touring with Jon Bon; would allow him to stay close to family; and would afford him the flexibility to still run off and record and tour while providing the security of knowing he had a steady gig when he got back.
Read more articles by National Richie Sambora Examiner Glenn Osrin here.
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