Backstage at Bon Jovi
Editors for Electronic House and CE Pro recently got a backstage tour of the band's rig for its massive world tour, including a dressing room detour to interview guitarist Richie Sambora.
August 30, 2010 by Arlen Schweiger

Occasionally we get to extend a bit beyond the home electronics theme, out into the pro A/V world and talk to some of the people who actually make the music that’s enjoyed over our surround-sound theater systems.

A couple that spring to mind are Steve Vai and Papa Roach, who were more than happy to discuss sound engineering, demo material, recording and even authoring for the likes of Blu-ray disc release for our home theaters.

Last month, when mega band Bon Jovi‘s The Circle Tour went through the northeast, colleague Bob Archer and I were able to get a look behind the stage of the lavish setup, as well as a peek inside the dressing room. Sorry, girls, nothing to reveal except a pretty zen-like quiet atmosphere in which we were able to sit down with guitarist Richie Sambora for a 20-minute interview (check back soon with for the full video interview).

We were fortunate to have forged a solid relationship with custom electronics pro (and longtime Electronic House contributor) “Nitro” Nick Tamburri of New Jersey-based Aggressive Home Automation and Design. In his pre-CE pro life, Tamburri was a personal assistant of the band’s for more than a decade, after having met band mates in his teens.

No, we probably won’t be featuring Jon Bon Jovi’s, or even Sambora’s home theater (which he says is about ready for an upgrade) here soon, but we did want to give our readers a closer look at some of the goings-on behind the scenes of a multimillion-dollar concert rig. When we were ready to interview Sambora, as we wandered through the bowels of Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., to find a quiet place he’s the one who actually decided that we should just high-tail it into the dressing room.

A few highlights from the interview, to whet your appetite ...

Sambora is definitely a music guy, in terms of both playing and being able to talk about it like a true audio fan. The iPhone is his friend, especially places like the gym, and he says the he and Bon Jovi actually used the device to do some recording.

However, that’s not to say he doesn’t appreciate sound quality on more than a crushed MP3 stage. He’s delighting in the vinyl revival of the last few years, and even noted that the recent re-issue of the Rolling Stones’ classic Exile on Main Street is a major improvement in detail over the original vinyl release from 40 years ago.

And how about Bon Jovi when it comes to sound quality? If he was looking for demo material from the band’s own 25-plus-year-old catalog, Sambora suggests New Jersey, Bon Jovi’s fourth album, which came out in 1988.

Click here to view photos from Backstage at Bon Jovi.

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for and Electronic House magazine.

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