Glenn Hughes, Jason Bonham and producer Kevin Shirley have confirmed that BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION will reunite in 2017.
BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION was the Anglo-American rock supergroup featuring Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, TRAPEZE), Bonham (LED ZEPPELIN, FOREIGNER), keyboardist Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, ALICE COOPER, BILLY IDOL) and blues-rock guitarist/vocalist Joe Bonamassa. The band split in late 2012 due to tensions between Bonamassa and Hughes.
Earlier today, Shirley took to his Facebook page to write: "We're refurbishing the fuel tanks and refitting the rocket. Getting ready for takeoff in 2017 again, and I'm fired up … Who's ready for another dose of BCC!?"
On his own Facebook page, Bonham posted a photo of BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION and simply added the caption "2017!!!"
Hughes hinted at a possible reunion earlier in the day by posting a picture of the four musicians on Facebook and adding: "The lads …to quote Joe this morning… 'maybe it's time to break out the heavy bats again." In the comments, Glenn also added: "Thanks so much for your very kind messages … We hear you … & time is the HEALER …" He then wrote in a separate posting: "Preparing BCC Rocket Ship Re-launch for 2017 all systems go."
The war of words between Hughes and Bonamassa goes back to September 2012, when Hughes began telling journalists that Bonamassa's solo touring schedule was preventing BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION from touring and fulfilling its potential. He stated that if the situation didn't change, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION's third album, "Afterglow", could be the group's last recording project.
"I was the only member of the band — in three albums and one live DVD — that spoke to the press, and not just on the phone, in person in Europe," Hughes explained to rock journalist Mitch Lafon in a recent interview. "And the guy that does the talking is the guy that's gonna get comments on. All I was trying to do was just hope that BCC would never break up. And, unfortunately, it did, and we had to move on with it. But as I listen to the music now, I listen to how incredible not just the songs are, but the way we played, the production, Joe's and my voice together, the enthusiasm, the emotion… all that stuff really brings it back home to me — how wonderful that band is. I say 'is.'"
He continued: "BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION will be the only band… will be the last band I play in. After that band, I did CALIFORNIA BREED, which was really a great record; it's just a difficult [band] to tour with.
"BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION… You can't better it for classic rock music; it's so damn good. And you need to know that we're all friends, and long may that remain."
Speaking about the press feud between him and Bonamassa over BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION's split in 2012, Hughes said: "Joe and I, man to man, never, ever fell out — never had a bad word for each other. The problem with BLACK COUNTRY was that we wanted to continue, and Joe has an amazing solo career — a truly amazing… He works his fucking ass off. Us three wanted to play more, but Joe told us, kind of going into it, 'BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION is like another thing. I'm a solo artist.' Simply because the albums were so… We thought they were great, and we thought we should play some shows. We all thought, genuinely, that Joe would wanna play more, and it didn't happen. And we had to walk away from [it]. Like I said, the band broke up, and then, three months later, Joe's at my 60th-birthday party."
According to Hughes, replacing Bonamassa and carrying on with BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION was never an option. "I don't think Joe would have minded it, but I minded it," he said. "So Glenn Hughes came up with the name; big deal.
"To be honest, if they [BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION] were to replace me, I would have been hurt, 'cause I created it. And Joe is, I know, really proud of his work in BCC. It's a hard to pill to swallow that he didn't want to tour any more after 'Afterglow', but we had to get over it. And I only remember the great stuff, the great music; we had a lot of fun together."
He added: "There's nothing [that's] gonna stop Joe from doing what he's doing with his solo career, because he's having a great career, and I think it's great that he's doing well."
"Afterglow" sold 8,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 48 on The Billboard 200 chart.
2012's "2" CD from BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION opened with 8,000 units to land at No. 71.
BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION's self-titled debut album registered a first-week tally of 7,100 copies to enter the chart at No. 54.