Jon Bon Jovi has branded Justin Bieber an “a**hole” for emerging on stage two hours late for a concert at the O2 arena.
The 51-year-old rock singer, who has a reputation as one of the hardest-working men in music, claimed the teenage star risks alienating his fans if he continues to disappoint.
Bieber later blamed “technical issues” and claimed he was only 40 minutes late for the show in March.
Jon, speaking to the Standard in Vienna on the latest leg of the band’s Because We Can world tour, said: “Every generation has guys that do that, none of that is new.
“They run the risk of disrespecting their audience members who have worked hard to pay for their ticket, to give you the permission to take two or three hours of their lives — or in that kid’s case, 80 minutes of their lives.
“Do it once, you can be forgiven. Do it enough times and shame on you. They won’t have you back. Then it ust becomes a cliché. It’s really not cool — you’re an a**hole. Go to f***in’ work!”
Bon Jovi come to Hyde Park on July 5 for their gig at the Barclaycard British Summer Time festival, but will be without guitarist Richie Sambora, who has pulled out of their tour.
Jon hinted that the reason may be the same as in 2011, when Sambora missed dates to go into rehab for alcohol abuse. He said: “It’s getting more and more difficult every day to not just sit here and say something... Because all I can say is this — it’s for personal reasons. He’s been through it before, fortunately for us the same guy who filled in last time was available this time.
“Life goes on, so if someone chooses not to be here... unlike if this were, God forbid, The Edge, and he for some reason couldn’t make a U2 show, [then] it would be very difficult to just step in. “You have a choice — you either figure it out, go and grow, not only survive but thrive. Or, you say, ‘I hate my brother and I’m gonna quit the band.’ ”
The stage for Bon Jovi’s tour features the front grille of a huge Buick ’59, but Jon said he didn’t like stage designer Spike Brant’s original plans: “I wasn’t all that happy with old Spike who has been designing our stages for years. I was at the point where I’m about to tell Spike, ‘That’s the last time you’ll be working for me — get out!’
“But sure enough, he came up with the goods, and I seriously think that Messrs Bono and Jagger would tip their hats to Spike and say, ‘Good job.’”