Famed bluesman and owner of one of the best guitar collections in the world, Joe Bonamassa has announced his retirement from social media Sunday after Saturday evening jibes about his appearance caused him to “go onstage angry”, according to a statement he posed on Instagram.
Bonamassa posted his farewell on Instagram Sunday following a packed out show in Tucson on his current US Fall tour (dates below).
“So, after sleeping on this I have come to a conclusion. Last night I allowed a few clowns @rich_tones being one of them to cause me to go onstage angry. That is not fair to you the fans.”
“Also, This isn’t what I signed up for 8 years ago. Social media has become such a distraction for me. This place feels like it has the maturity of high school and I fear I am gonna be provoked one day into saying something i might regret.”
“So I’m leaving this wonderful place to the influencers and good looking. Enjoy it before it destroys your soul. I will see you in real life somewhere down the road and in Riverside tonight.”
“Any posts on this page going forward will not be from me. Thanks for the 8 years. 😎👍”
The previous evening, Bonamassa had had an exchange with an Instagram user @rich_tones who had suggested Bonamassa should shave his head to address a receding hairline.
“Time to shave the head Joe, it’s over. Your hair had a good run but it’s now in retirement”.
Bonamassa shot back “how bout this Rich. You do you and let me do me. We understand each other?”
To another user who seemed to also suggest a receding hairline – “joes rockin the power donut bro” – Bonamassa responded “I’m about to rock a sold out show in Tucson… What are you up to this evening?“
Bonamassa is far from the first artist to suffer online bullying and harassment – musicians from Lorde to Architects have spoken out about unnecessary online comments made by members of the public, with Architects vocalist Sam Carter telling Finn McKenty of the Punk Rock MBA Podcast about the effect on the band of fans suggesting former guitarist Tom Searle would not approve of their new record – Searle having passed away from cancer in 2016.
“I totally respect everyone’s right to not like (the new album). I just don’t respect it when people are personal in that sort of attacks towards you, like you’ve done something wrong to them by creating something.
“The main thing to me on this album cycle that’s just been staggering is just the amount of people that have brought up Tom and say what his opinions would be of our music.”
Following the Tucson show on November 19th, several hours before releasing his IG statement on departing social media, Bonamassa seemed to joke around with some of his fans around the incident.
Bonamassa has seven more dates left in his current US fall tour before returning next spring for another short US tour, followed by a European tour.
If you want to catch Bonamassa in 2022, here are the remaining tour dates – more info at jbonamassa.com.