Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora: 'I Take a Bluesman Mentality'



When it comes to riches of embarrassment, Bon Jovi is rock ’n’ roll’s worst nightmare. American record buyers proved that this week, when What About Now, the band’s first record in four years, shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Albums Chart, beating out The Next Day, infinitely more relevant rocker David Bowie’s first record in 10 years. And even if that wasn’t the case, just look at BJ figureheads Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora fiercely competing for Douchiest Orgasmic Rock-Out Face in the video above. In it, Jon Bon Jovi looks like he’s doing an impression of holding his breath and showing off the whiteness of incisors while rock climbing and/or cross-country skiing.

The clip comes courtesy of Billboard, who caught up with the band at their recent Bridgestone Arena appearance in Nashville, getting the behind-the-scenes scoop on The Jove’s Because We Can (not “because we should”) Tour. It’s a must-watch for anyone who’s ever wondered what goes into planning out Jon Bon Jovi’s stage garb, preparing “dietary-conscious” lean meats and fine fish for the band to eat and moving walls that can move up and down.

Not only that, but if you’ve ever wanted insight into the mind of a true bluesman, look no further than regular ol' Robert Johnson disciple Richie Sambora, who shares this hilariously head-explosion-inducing musing:

When I walk onstage I try to take a bluesman mentality. And a bluesman mentality is like, they’ll give you a guitar and amplifier that’s not even yours and you go play and that’s the way you’re gonna eat next. Me, I got 22 trucks full of my stuff, and lights and sound and my amplifiers and vintage guitars. Shit, if I can’t make that happen, I ain’t no good, so I look at it very much as a simpleton. And I just go out there and if somebody took any of those lights or that PA away, I still gotta do my job.


Last year, in an interview with LA Weekly, talking about his solo record Aftermath of the Lowdown, bluesman Sambora proclaimed himself an indie-rock artist, which technically (and I mean technically) was true, as the album’s release via Dangerbird Records did make him labelmates with Minus the Bear and Silversun Pickups, but still … It seems like Mr. Sambora suffers from a big, bloated case of Arena Rocker’s Guilt. Yet he still huffs, puffs and clenches his jowls when ripping through the bluesy, left-of-the-dial Bon Jovi classic “You Give Love a Bad Name” (or as it’s altered here, “You Give Love … Bad Name”) in the Billboard clip.

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