Black Country Communion’s Joe Bonamassa ‘Hurt’ by His Singer’s Recent Comments
There seems to be plenty of drama afoot in the Black Country Communion camp. Guitarist Joe Bonamassa claims that bassist/vocalist (and onetime member of Deep Purple) Glenn Hughes tried to bully him into playing a gig, and that he had declined to participate in order to stick to his guns. Bonamassa refused to play a one-off gig in England for fear that Hughes would use the stage as a platform to make an announcement about the band’s future, as he had been doing so in the press.
Here, we’ll sift through the fallout for you.
Hughes had hinted that BCC’s third disc, Afterglow, might be their last, since they should tour regularly and don’t, due to the member’s other commitments, namely Bonamassa’s rigorous and regimented solo tour schedule. Hughes subsequently spouted off in the press managed, which to “hurt” Bonamassa, since it was indirect and never addressed.
Bonamassa told Music Radar that he read the press and what Hughes was saying while doing interviews.
“Going into making the record, I had a lot on the table, a real whirlwind of activity. But everybody knew that was the deal for me. These were all facts on the table, and everybody knew that. And we had a great time making the record … I was going, ‘Why all of a sudden is it my fault?’ That I’m doing what I said I was going to do for the last three years, and now because somebody changes his mind, that’s now my fault? At first, it didn’t really faze me. You know, journalists do like to take liberties; they do like to start shit. But then it’s time and time again, and then I read the Classic Rock article, and it went from slightly annoying to supremely not cool.”
Bonamassa explained that dealing with the backlash and fan criticism was a nightmare:
“The thing that became more than slightly annoying to me was getting e-mails and negative stuff coming at me, basically unsolicited, from kids in Brazil going, ‘My lifelong dream is to see Black Country Communion and because Glenn Hughes says you don’t want to do it, now you’re the fucking blues antichrist.’ I wouldn’t have done that to anybody. No matter what the situation is internally, you never air that dirty laundry and those grievances out in public. You call me on the phone, you know? And he never did.”
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The guitarist then revealed that the reason he sat out the England gig was based purely on principle:
“So, at the end of the day, when the time came for the gig… there’s two things that I told myself, the threshold I’d never cross: I’ll never make music that I don’t want to make. I’d rather be living in a trash can on the street rather than do that. But I love the music we make… so that didn’t come into play. But I’ll never do a gig out of obligation to just fleece the fans and have this 800-pound gorilla in the room, with everybody going, ‘Well, this could be the last’ and waiting for Glenn to make some stupid fucking announcement on stage. We’ll all have egg on our faces. When it came down to it, I said, ‘At this point in time, it’s probably best for me to just step away from the situation and chill out – and not break up the band, not say it’s over, and not say anything other than ‘I choose not to participate in that event at this particular time.”
Bonamassa contends that he still loves Hughes, and his other bandmates, but he had to sit out the show to stop the downward spiral that was precipitated by Hughes being so vocal to the media.