Thursday, March 14, 2013

Joe Bonamassa Leaves Black Country Communion

Guitarist Joe Bonamassa has officially tendered his resignation with Black Country Communion, telling Classic Rock Magazine that 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.

In another interview, Bonamassa went on to say: “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.”