For Bon Jovi, the show must go on. Even if, after nearly 30 years of rocking side by side with guitarist Richie Sambora, that means going on the road without the trusted guitar slinger while he spends time in rehab.
The band announced on Thursday that its upcoming tour of North America and Europe would go ahead as planned without Sambora, who has checked in to a rehab center to deal with sobriety issues.
"Our support for Richie is absolute. He is, and will remain, a member of Bon Jovi," read the statement. "Although he will be absent from upcoming shows for the time being, we very much look forward to his healthy return. In the meantime, we will keep our commitment to our fans and continue our tour."
When contacted on Friday (April 29), a spokesperson for the band declined to offer further comment and referred to the press statement, which also noted that, "out of respect for Richie," the band would not comment further. It has not yet been announced — and the spokesperson declined to comment on — who will replace Sambora on the tour, which kicks off in New Orleans on Saturday, April 30, and is slated to run through a July 31 date in Lisbon.
RadarOnline has reported that Sambora, 51, is being treated in an undisclosed facility because he "recently has been drinking too much, and wants to get his life together."
Sambora entered a rehab center in 2007 for a week to reportedly deal with similar issues. The guitarist, whose backing vocals and indelible riffs are a major part of Bon Jovi's sound, joined the band in the early 1980s, replacing original guitarist Dave Sabo.