By: AnnMarie Scaramuzzino
International Bon Jovi fans hoping that guitarist Richie Sambora would make his return to the band’s lineup in time for their Because We Can tour dates in South Africa and Europe were disappointed at this week’s news.
An update posted at BonJovi.com on Tuesday (April 30) stated: “Due to a personal matter, Richie Sambora will not be performing on the European and South African leg of the tour. All shows will go on as scheduled.”
For weeks, fans have been wondering what exactly Sambora’s “personal matter” is referring to, though many have speculated that the guitarist has been having problems with substance abuse. Rumors have also been surfacing about tensions in the band, particularly between Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi.
Despite Sambora’s continued absence, Jon Bon Jovi insists that he is still very much a member of the group, most recently confirming that fact during an interview on Ellen DeGeneres’s daytime talk show.
Bon Jovi recently announced a series of Australian concert dates which kick off in December, but no word has been given on whether or not Sambora will be a part of them.
Meanwhile, Jon Bon Jovi turned his focus away from the band’s tour for a while, when he attended the signing of New Jersey’s Overdose Prevention Act Bill on Thursday (May 2).
The infamous singer and hometown hero was present as Governor Chris Christie signed the bill into law, which encourages those experiencing an overdose to call for emergency personnel without the fear of being arrested for drug possession.
Bon Jovi’s daughter, Stephanie Bongiovi, overdosed in a dorm room at Hamilton College earlier this year, though she luckily recovered.
“I hope that Governor Christie's actions here will cause other states to stand up and to pay attention and also to follow in his footsteps," Bon Jovi stated (via Huffington Post).
For more on this story, head to HuffingtonPost.com, and keep checking back about the status of Richie Sambora and Bon Jovi at the band’s official website.