Guitarist Richie Sambora tells Billboard.com the veteran New Jersey group has a few fan-friendly projects in the works that should see the light of day by the end of 2004.
These are exciting times for the members of Bon Jovi. In addition to beginning a stateside arena tour Saturday (Feb. 8) in State College, Pa., guitarist Richie Sambora tells Billboard.com the veteran New Jersey group has a few fan-friendly projects in the works that should see the light of day by the end of 2004.
"On our last tour of domes in Japan, we decided to play one [unplugged] arena show, recording 3 hours and 40 minutes of Bon Jovi acoustic," Sambora reveals. "It came out phenomenal. We did a 10-camera shoot, and it's going to be a DVD and also an acoustic live album. That's somewhere to be dated, I don't know when, maybe for next Christmas. It depends on how well [the band's latest Island studio album] 'Bounce' is doing [as to] when that will come out." Included in the acoustic show were covers such as Steve Miller's "The Joker" and John Hiatt's "Have a Little Faith in Me."
Considering Bon Jovi has been together since 1983, the band was pondering releasing a box set to commemorate its 20th anniversary. However, there's another milestone looming: 100 million albums sold (Bon Jovi's sales are currently in the 97 to 98 million range, according to the label).
"It's going to be basically a box set oriented to our fans and the people who have supported us through the 100 million albums," says Sambora. "It will be the rarities that no one has ever heard before. Mostly, songs that we've forgotten we've written that we really liked and didn't belong on a particular album because it didn't go with the rest of the other songs on that record. Also, great recordings like Bob Geldof coming up and doing 'I Don't Like Mondays' [with the band] at Wembley Stadium."
Sambora estimates there are 30 or 40 songs that were once considered for studio albums but have never seen the light of day. He adds that the band isn't ruling out writing a few new tracks for the release, which will more than likely be in stores sometime in 2004.
As for 2003, the upcoming North American arena tour in the States will be followed by a European stadium trek in late spring, culminating in a gigantic show in London's Hyde Park (expected to draw between 80,000 and 100,000 fans). From there, the band will head home for about a half-dozen stadium shows in such locales as Detroit, Chicago, and Foxboro, Mass. Bon Jovi has also been invited to open Philadelphia's new Lincoln Financial Field.
In regard to the possibility of touring the acoustic release with an unplugged outing, Sambora offers, "I don't know. Jon [Bon Jovi] and I often pontificated about just him and I doing some kind of acoustic 'Jon & Richie' album down the road somewhere but I don't know if that will ever come to. It sure would be fun to do it. I think that it is certainly one of our fortes."