Bon Jovi has never exactly been characterized as a band with steady habits. Indeed, their transition from a long-haired glam metal band of the ’80s to an even more radio-friendly pop rock group of the early 2000s has earned them a characterization as “sell-outs.” Yet, whatever disagreements old guard fans might have with the band, the change meant that Bon Jovi was commercially successful with their recordings for a much longer time than other bands of their era. However, they too began to suffer from a combination of the album sales collapse of the late 2000s and the effects of a couple recent releases that have received only a lukewarm reception.
So what’s new with Bon Jovi? Quite a bit.
Bon Jovi‘s last few years can be characterized as a period of transition. In April 2013, longtime lead guitarist and songwriter Richie Sambora left the band during their “Because We Can Tour.” After Sambora officially left the band the following year, the departure was characterized by Jon Bon Jovi as amicable, saying, “He’s quit. He’s gone. No hard feelings.” Sambora himself has made statements suggesting otherwise, that perhaps was a disagreement on priorities because Sambora wanted to spend more time with his children, saying, “There’s no bad blood with me any more. I love Jon, and I still see the possibility of a return.”
Don’t expect to see him back any time soon, though, as clearly Jon Bon Jovi wasn’t too happy with the absenteeism in the middle of a major tour. Since 2013, Phil X has replaced Sambora on lead guitar and longtime bassist Hugh McDonald has also officially joined the band after being an unofficial member since 1994.
Meanwhile, Bon Jovi shed their last ties with Mercury Records, the label the band released their work on from its inception until they switched to Island Records in the early 2000s. They even put out a compilation record in 2015, Burning Bridges, that not only fulfilled their contract with the label but also made clear the feelings of the band toward it. Ouch!
It hasn’t all been turmoil. Despite the less commercially successful nature of their recent recordings, Bon Jovi remains a very popular band on tour. They consistently sell out shows. In fact, they have been one of TicketNetwork.com’s Top 40 concert acts over the last year, in terms of ticket sales.* With their large catalog of hits and deep cuts, they’ll be set on that front for a long time. Plus as history has shown, they know how to adapt, even if to the consternation of long-time fans. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another big hit song come out from them, maybe even another well-praised album, even if not a blockbuster album (thanks, changing consumer buying trends!).
In the more immediate future, Bon Jovi has a new tour starting tomorrow, supporting This House Is Not for Sale. It’s the first to feature Phil X and Hugh McDonald as fully-fledged members of the band, though Phil X filled in for most of the last tour and all of this is old hat for McDonald. Things kick off at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC and end on April 11 in Canada. Bon Jovi is making this tour unique by including openers who auditioned by uploading videos and then choosing lucky winners from the submissions.
Bon Jovi Tour Schedule
Check out upcoming dates for the “This House Is Not for Sale Tour” on our Bon Jovi page or take a look below.
*Data based on Bon Jovi tickets sales at TicketNetwork.com as of 2/1/17 1:00PM EST.