BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION guitarist Joe Bonamassa says that he was hurt by Glenn Hughes‘ attempt to “bully” him into taking their band on the road.
The axeman also claims that he refused to participate in BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION‘s one-off concert in England because he was concerned that Hughes would “make some stupid fucking announcement on stage” related to the band’s future.
While on a promotional tour in support of BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION‘s third album, “Afterglow”, Hughes revealed that the CD might be the group’s last because he “need[ed] to be in a band that tour[ed] on a regular basis,” which proved to be impossible due to Bonamassa‘s solo recording and touring obligations.
Speaking to Music Radar, Bonamassa (pictured below) said: “The weird thing is, I heard about this nonsense second-hand. You know what I mean? I’d look on Blabbermouth and I’d see, Glenn Hughes, and I’d be like, ‘Oh!’ ‘Cause I knew he was doing the press tour. See, 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.
“I never would have done that to my friend, Glenn Hughes, no matter how I felt about the situation. If Glenn Hughes had been offered the DEEP PURPLE reunion Mach III for a two-year world tour, he would’ve dropped BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION and put that on hiatus to go do that in a heartbeat. The fact that I tour religiously in the spring, religiously in the fall and do 125 shows — you can set your watch to that. And you could have set your watch to that in 2000 or 1999, and you can set your watch to it in 2012.”
“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.
“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 with BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, 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.’
“That’s really it. I still have a lot of love for Glenn Hughes. I still have a lot of love for Jason [Bonham, drums] and Derek [Sherinian, keyboards]. And I feel sorry for Jason and Derek — they got caught up in this thing unfairly.
“I was hurt. I mean, here’s quote-unquote your friend, and to make matters worse, it’s one of your musical idols doing it, too. And all of a sudden I’m like persona non-grata and the reason why some Brazilian kid isn’t getting his hard rock fix. That’s wrong.”
“Afterglow” will be released on October 30 (one day earlier internationally).
Photo credit: Christie Goodwin