BON JOVI’s Richie Sambora has denied rumors of a potential reunion, saying he hasn’t been asked to re-join the group.
Sambora was interviewed by United Stations Radio Networks on June 15 in New York City at the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s 52nd annual induction and awards banquet. When asked if there were any intentions for him to get back together with BON JOVI, Richie responded: “Naaaah! No, not even close. Nobody asked me yet — but I could do it tomorrow if they asked me.”
Richie said to Absolute Radio in February of last year that he had different ideas about a prospective reunion with Bon Jovi and that he intended to work with them once again after appearing with them at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2018. He said at that time, “We’re talking about it, I don’t think there’s any reason not to at this point.”
He added, “Jon [Bon Jovi] was having a hard time with his voice a little bit there and he needed to take a little bit of a breather.”
“I don’t know when Jon’s going to get his voice together and [when the BON JOVI reunion is] going to happen, but we have to get out there and do it for the fans, really. I feel a second obligation.”
When asked if he would collaborate with BON JOVI on new songs, Richie stated, “Oh, if he doesn’t let me, he’s crazy. I’m on a tear. Actually, I did write that other [BON JOVI] stuff, too. It’s a misnomer when people go just because his name [Jon Bon Jovi] is on [the band] that’s the name. We just couldn’t think of anything else really. People think that I just come up with the guitar parts and something like that. But songwriting is conceptual. You have to have a concept. It’s a story. And it can sometimes just come from looking out the window and observing and a lot of times it comes from your own life and for the most part of BON JOVI, my life was a lot [more] colorful than everybody else’s in the band.”
Richie continued by saying that in the ten years since Jon left, their relationship has remained cordial, adding: “You know what, there’s no malice. I mean, we did something… there’s not a lot of bands that did what we did. I mean, obviously, bands like THE ROLLING STONES, PINK FLOYD and U2 [have].”
In an interview with People magazine three years ago, Sambora discussed his contentious choice to leave BON JOVI in 2013, stating that he wanted to spend more time with his daughter Ava, who is now 25.
The guitarist said, “It wasn’t a popular decision by any means, obviously, but there was really almost no choice about it. I had a lot of conscious work to do around [my personal life]”
“We’ve been through a lot of things together. That was a time of psychological maintenance for the family. You know, I ain’t no angel. But I realized, Ava needed me to be around at that point in time. Family had to come first, and that’s what happened.”
Sambora, who checked himself into treatment for alcohol and prescription drug misuse in 2007 and 2011, noted that the rock and roll way of life ultimately caught up with it.
He said, “My lord, when I look back and start to list the tours … 18-and-a-half months of being on the road, 52 countries. It’s like, Wow. It was really time for a break. We did that 14 times over a 31-year period.”
Sambora had previously stated to the UK’s Daily Mail two months prior that he wouldn’t be opposed to one day joining BON JOVI if the conditions were appropriate. He said, “It would have to be a special situation for me to go back, but I’m certainly not counting it out, I have no malice toward that band.”
Just a few weeks before Richie’s remarks, Jon Bon Jovi told Germany’s Rock Antenne that, “there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish that Richie had his life together and was still in the band. And yet, in a weird way, it’s because of his inability to get it together anymore that we went on and wrote ‘This House Is Not For Sale’.”
Richie responded to Jon’s comments by saying to Daily Mail: “When people say I don’t have my life together — are you kidding me? I’m the happiest dude on the block.”
Since leaving the “Because We Can” tour ten years ago, Sambora, who joined BON JOVI in 1983 and co-wrote the majority of the band’s classic singles over the ensuing three decades, hasn’t played a complete gig with the group. Later, he expressed his opinion that BON JOVI “should have made more strides to become a band” and avoid becoming “Jon being the front guy and nothing else.” As for Sambora, Jon asserted that his “choices” had “led him astray.”
Sambora performed with BON JOVI again for the first time in five years in April 2018 at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland. Alec John Such, a bassist who hadn’t performed with BON JOVI since a special appearance in 2001, also made an appearance with the group. They sang a number of fan favorites, such as “You Give Love A Bad Name,” “It’s My Life,” and “Livin’ On A Prayer.”
The most recent album by BON JOVI, “2020,” was made available through Island Records in October 2020.