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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Monday, May 5, 2008

Will he give "Rock of Love'' a bad name?

According to reports, Richie Sambora is about to go where only Bret Michaels has gone before him ... the skank-infested waters of VH1's "Rock of Love.''

First thought: Hey, at least it's a step up from dating Denise Richards.

Second thought: Jon is not going to like this. At all.

Sambora, the 48-year-old Bon Jovi guitarist, has been a real mess of late, which makes him a prime catch for the sleazy reality dating show where big boobs, Botox, tats, an affinity for pole dancing and a limited vocabulary get you a shot at rocking the world of a musician more than happy to swap whatever rock 'n' roll cred he might have left for the chance to grope the tonsils of one tramp after another for the cameras.

Michaels' Poison was already near washed-up-hair-band status when he signed on two seasons ago, so nothing to lose there. (Judging by the dressed-like-they-were-trying-waaaay-too-hard crowd that showed up for his sold-out solo gig at Oneida Casino last month, maybe there was actually something to gain.)

But Bon Jovi has managed to stave off the county fair circuit in favor of remaining a legit rock group that can still sell out arenas, sell new music and grab a Grammy nod. That's why frontman Jon Bon Jovi, who has always been a control freak when it comes to the marketing of his band, has to be cringing at the thought of Sambora trying to get a little on national TV via peep shows, porn shoots and pig wrestling.

As if it hasn't been bad enough that Sambora has already been in the headlines for his divorce to Heather Locklear, a stint in rehab and, most recently, a DUI with kids in the car. Can you say hot prospect?

Apparently that's the appeal. A source told OK! magazine: "He's perfect for TV. If you thought Bret was must-see TV, you ain't seen anything yet. Richie is going to be a train wreck looking for love.''

Hmmm ... think he'll wear his "Wanted Dead or Alive'' hat all the time, like Bret's surgically attached bandanna? And there's no doubt the guy is going to have to hit the gym. Rich has been looking kind of paunchy and water-retainy these last years.

Still, here's betting Jon throws all that "all for one/one for all/brothers from New Jersey'' crap out the window and puts his foot down on this gig. In that case, may we suggest the following '80s rockers to take one for the band and sign up for the next "Rock of Love'' tour of duty (no clue if they're married or not, but honestly, does it matter?):

Sebastian Bach from Skid Row: He already proved he doesn't take himself too seriously with his recurring spot on "Gilmore Girls.'' Sign him up.

Jani Lane from Warrant: Just imagine how the shameless "Cherry Pie'' tie-ins and references could take the show to new lows.

Vince Neil from Motley Crue: Because the only thing sexier than a guy who drives under the influence with two kids in the car is one who killed his friend while under the influence. (Plus, Mick Mars seems like a natural for the Big John role.)

Ronnie James Dio: At only 5 feet, 4 inches, it's "Rock of Love'' meets "Little People, Big World''!

Lita Ford: It's inevitable that if "Rock of Love'' hangs around long enough it goes the "Rockette of Love'' route. If Lita can still get into her skin-tight leathers, she's in.

Kip Winger of Winger: A frontman so pretty, even guys couldn't resist the Farrah Fawcett hair and blinding pearly whites.

C.J. Snare of Firehouse: But only if he promises to resurrect his most awesome poodle mullet.

So who did we miss? Drop a comment with your choice for the next "Rock of Love'' star. (Under no circumstances will your comment automatically brand you an '80s hair band fan.)

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