In what seems to be the messiest divorce in rock, Bon Jovi has reportedly fired lead guitarist Richie Sambora from the band’s current tour.
According to the website RumorFix.com, Sambora’s departure is all about money. Sources say that Sambora was raking in $2 million a month and 20 percent of the profits from the tour, whereas fill-in guitarist Philip “Phil X” Xenidis was earning far less — about $10,000 a month — on the trek.
Although Sambora will still collect songwriting royalties and profits from merchandise, the 30-year bandmember is not taking the news well.
“Richie wants to go back onstage — that’s his first love,” a source tells the site. “He’s really upset over the news.”
The 54-year-old musician departed the group in the spring citing a “personal matter,” but has since remained mum on the subject, opting to tweet pictures of himself hanging out with his daughter and talking about his most recent solo album, Aftermath of the Lowdown.
Earlier this month, the Woodbridge, N.J., native shared a new song, “Come Back as Me,” that seemed to be aimed at Jon Bon Jovi, but the guitarist took to his Twitter feed to dispel those rumors.
“This songs gettin’ some traction, so I would sincerely appreciate any help. BTW this has nothin’ to do with Jon…,” he wrote on Aug. 4.
A week ago, Bon Jovi pulled out of a booked appearance at the New York State Fair so that the band could play a fundraiser for Governor Andrew Cuomo instead. The cancelation incensed area fans. As Binghamton radio host Lee Ann Taylor, of classic rock station 99.1, told The Hollywood Reporter: “The New York State Fair is struggling and Bon Jovi would have been a huge boost for them like Aerosmith a few years back. Choosing politics over the people is becoming a disturbing trend. … The musicians need to remember who put them in the position to go to perform at these fundraisers to begin with.”
A rep for Bon Jovi has yet to respond to THR’s request for comment.