The tour was going amazing. A few shows into it, he was feeling incredible. The audience loved every performance, even the new songs were accepted wonderfully.
Not all the songs were exactly what he liked but they were good songs. With his solo album he had been able to go all out, create every feeling he wanted to express and he thought that had been very successful but this was a band's album, where he didn't have as much power. Jon had the last word on every song. That's how it always was and how it would always be. He didn't mind it. The album was good but if it were up to him, he would have handled it a different way.
Next month they'd see what the audience thought about it. Soon enough they'd find out how good the music was by how well it sold in stores.
His first single was as a bonus on the new album. Hopefully that would lead to people buying his solo album after liking Every Road. For now, he waited until he could finally play it during a concert. The band had agreed on doing so but so far Jon hadn't allowed him yet. Another case of wait and see.
After talking to Sarah and talking to Daniel without a reaction, Richie got ready to leave to the venue. He had talked to Sarah about what was bothering him and Sarah had convinced him to just ask Jon. Just ask. Nothing bad could happen from asking, the worst would be if Jon said no. Again.
As usual on tour, he shared a dressing room with everyone except Jon. Jon had his own private room. They didn't mind as much anymore as when Jon first got his own dressing room. Now they had some peace and quiet before a show instead of their boss telling them to make sure they played right, did everything right and were preparing for the concert in a correct way. It was huge stress reliever to have Jon in a different room.
But today, with the question on his mind, it became a lot more stressful.
"What's up?" David plopped down on the couch next to him.
"About?" David inquired.
Richie sighed. "I want to ask Jon again if I can play one of my songs."
David frowned. "Why?"
"Cause I like my song?"
"I know, it's a great song but you know he'll say no."
Richie waved it off. "Nah, I got to play my other solo songs too."
"Ages ago." David pointed out kindly.
"Exactly, been ages, so why wouldn't he let me play my song? Just during the time he goes backstage to change. Just like on the last few tours where I sing a song anyway."
"Go for it."
Richie nodded and got up from the couch. He needed to ask, it was the only way to find out and he needed to know now so he could prepare himself. On previous tours he had been allowed to play one of his solo songs once in a while so why wouldn't he now? He'd been singing during Jon's break on the last two tours. Instead of singing a Bon Jovi song, he could just sing his own song. Easy as that.
He knocked on Jon's dressing room door and waited for Jon to let him in.
Surprisingly, Jon came to open the door. He had only expected Jon to call that the door was open but this worked just fine too. Following Jon's invitation, he sat down on the couch.
Jon sat down in a chair, leaning back and putting up his feet on the coffee table.
Richie decided to ask the question straight forward.
"I wanted to know when I get to sing again."
"What do you mean?" Jon frowned. "You got to sing at one of those shows in Canada."
"Yes but during the last two tours you let me sing while you went backstage to cool down and change."
Richie frowned at his carelessness. "I kinda assumed we'd still be doing that." He wasn't so sure about it anymore.
"Why would we?"
A little dumbstruck, he didn't know what to say for a few seconds and had to thought about an answer. "Because we've been doing it like that for years and the fans love it?"
Jon stood up from the chair and looked down at Richie. "You had your solo stint, now is the band's time. You need to focus on the band more instead of thinking about yourself."
"I am thinking about the band and you. You'd get to take your break and I sing a song like it's been for years."
"Yeah..." Jon paused. "We can't do that anymore."
"Why should we, you're a guitar player after all. Just do what you do with Bobby, see who plays guitar best. That's what we used to do in the 80s when Alec was still around."
"So I don't get to sing at all?" Richie asked.
Jon shook his head. "No and it's not like I let you sing that often before either."
Richie got up from the couch, ready to leave. "Often enough." He said disappointed but didn't let on. "We'll do it your way, that's probably better anyway. I gotta go get ready."
Without waiting for Jon to answer him again, Richie walked out of the room. He didn't agree with Jon's way but he wasn't about to argue about it with his best friend. It wasn't worth it. Maybe it was but it wasn't that important. After all, it was his job to play guitar and do background vocals. They had never agreed in a contract that he got to sing one song every so often. Jon was right, the shows would be just fine the way they were. His fans loved to hear him play guitar and that's what he was going to do, along with Bobby.
He went back to the dressing room to get ready for the show and go over the setlist with everybody else.
Back in the dressing room, he noticed David waited for an answer but didn't ask about it.
Richie went to his own little corner of the room where he got ready, picking out what to wear.
He'd just do a guitar battle with Bobby at the end of Keep The Faith, that's what the setlist said and by now it was too late to change that. He had been able to sing one song, a few days ago. If he was just patient, Jon would most likely let him do that again later in the tour. They were only starting out, everything still needed to unfold until they figured out the best way to use the new songs and still use the hits and the popular songs. Patience.