Posted by Dana Category: LATEST NEWS

Black Country, March 15, 2010, Malibu, CA Black Country Communion guitarist Joe Bonamassa admits he became disillusioned with the band during their 2011 tour, reports Classic Rock Magazine.

He says he’s “happily not involved any more” with the supergroup, months after a public spat with frontman Glenn Hughes came close to derailing the release of third album Afterglow.

The musicians fell out after Hughes expressed his frustration that Bonamassa wouldn’t go on the road to support the record with live shows – one of a series of outbursts that led to the cancellation of a one-off concert in the UK planned for January.

Now the blues guitarist tells PremierGuitar, “As far as I’m concerned my involvement is pretty much done.

Originally I did it for the same reasons I did the stuff with Beth Hart and Rock Candy Funk Party: it was an excessive to play a different kind of music that I don’t get to play normally.

So I did it and did a nine-week tour in 2011 that really, by the end of it, wasn’t fun for me. It wasn’t because I didn’t like the cats in the band, but it was just too much – too much involved in getting people from place to place and getting the band onstage.

Everybody seemed to be very tense, and it made my crew very tense, and it’s not the way I like to tour. I run a family. I have 21 people who go on the road with me all the time, and if you asked them who was the cause of the least of their problems, they would say me.”

But Bonamassa remains proud of his work with the band, also featuring Jason Bonham, Derek Sherinian and producer Kevin Shirley.

“The first two records were a blast,” he says. “The band is fantastic when the Ritalin kicks in, the ADD goes away, and everyone’s focused. It’s a devastatingly good rock band of the early-1970s type, and Glenn is a fantastic singer – just one of the best ever.

It just wasn’t fun for me any more. All the stuff that Glenn says in the media, essentially pinning it on me, that I was the reason for the band’s lack of touring and the band’s lack of future. It became rapidly not fun at all. It would be dishonest of me to get onstage and pretend like I’m having fun to please the band.”

He’s previously given his blessing for BCC to continue without him, a move that both Hughes and Bonham have hinted at in the past. “I’m just not the guitar player for that band,” he says. “Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any out-of-work guitar players in LA that they can get. There are so many guys that can fill that role and I would be the first guy to queue up and buy a ticket.

“I’m happily not involved any more – but I’m happy with the legacy that I left with that band and happy with the records we made. It was a great three years for me.”

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  1. Well this sucks and sadly I feel ends BCC. WTF is it with groups doing something most people would love to have the talent to do, but just cannot get along? All 4 CDs (including the Live disc) were awesome, I am truly saddened.

  2. I agree with Greg.
    Finally a band came along where I would buy their record in advance without needing to hear it (because I knew it would be great) and now they’re stalled. I was thinking maybe Richie Kotzen could step in, but he’s already stepping in for John Sykes (who’s new material I can not wait to hear!).
    I already miss this band, Joe’s guitar playing is not easy to replace.

  3. I like Joe (his more recent records don’t grab me at all though…), but he tends to come off like a pretentious twit. He’s a bit of a cry baby in my eyes. I don’t like him knocking Stevie Ray Vaughan when he started out playing his licks (it’s kind of hip to not like SRV these days…or any blues played on a Stratocaster). It hurts, man. But he does have a solo career, and Glenn was a bit rude. I think they both brought it down, tbh.

    And yes, I’ve been pitching for getting Jake E. Lee. He’d fit perfect (perhaps even better than Joe), and it would be a great way for him to come back out again. They could even do some old Badlands stuff!

  4. Too bad he couldn’t have been honest about this sooner like when Glenn was calling him out for being the reason BCC was being held back. Oh well, this guy was clearly the disposable, weak-link of the band: Glenn one of the greatest singers with an unmistakable voice that happens to also be a kick-ass bass player; Jason is rock royalty and a hell of a drummer that’s proven himself with arguably the greatest band of all time – Led Zeppelin; Derek is in a class of keyboardists you can just about count on one hand that really matter and make a difference in their respective bands, not to mention his impressive resume; and then you have Joe… a guy that looks like your average 15-year-old dorky kid and sounds like countless other blues guitarists you can hear any night at your local watering-hole blues bar open-mic night. If they want another Joe, I’m sure they can find a plethora of guys that fit that bill right now on YouTube teaching Clapton licks. I suggest and hope the guys aim higher this go around and get a man (in both looks and maturity) and someone on par with the rest of the band like a Jake E. Lee. This is actually great news provided Glenn and the guys don’t quit because of this. Let Joe have his lame-ass solo career with his circle jerk road crew that he’s so fond of, and you guys keep rocking on to bigger and better things.

  5. I was blown away by these guys, finally something to come along with substance. I see no reason why the other guys cant get another guitarist and continue on. Jake E lee would be a good prospect, but I would love to see Neal Schon have this job, some of his best work has always been outside of journey and his playing is so versatile, doubtful he would be available or willing to give up the journey gig but I could easily see him in this group.

  6. I have all four albums and listen to them constantly and never grow tired of them. This is just such a waste of a great band that they can’t get along and tour to support such great music. I regret not going to see them the one time they came to my area. You could see this coming though. I say they should hire Audley Freed, what a difference maker he was when he was with the Black Crowes, especially live. I hope they don’t go away.

  7. I thought the 3rd CD was the best but… none of them were that great. The song writing just isn’t there yet. The tunes plod along without any hooks or melody to really sink your teeth into. Unfortunately the individual parts are much better than the band as a whole. I would love to hear what BCC does next with a new guitarist who can better help them craft some GREAT tunes.

  8. I don’t see the whole Jake E Lee thing fitting in but to each there own. How about Jimmy Page, obviously Zepplin isn’t too busy and this is up his alley. Or even Michael Schenker, he can plan some melodic stuff that rocks and a group like that might be the right place for him. I don’t see his project with Don Dokken being anything groundbreaking but I might be wrong.

    1. Funny, I mentioned and thought of Michael Schenker as a replacement as well. However, I was told once, that he really doesn’t like to play other artist’s material. He prefers to play his own music.

      Too bad, I think he could be a pretty good fit.

  9. This is really a shame. Ive purchased all the discs because they were special together. BCC each had their talents that truly complimented each other. Joe, Glenn, Jason, and Kevin blended their talents and made true rock music. If ever there was replacement for Joe, I wish it would BE Ritchie Blackmore.

  10. How disappointing.

    I also thought of Audley Freed. He’s not as big a name as some other guitarists mentioned here, but this style of music is right up his alley. His guitar work and songwriting on the two Cry of Love albums is phenomenal, especially the lesser known second album Diamonds and Debris.

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