What Happened to Richie Sambora? Why He Decided to Leave Bon Jovi

It may not seem like it, but Bon Jovi has been around for decades. After churning out a number of hits during the 1980s, the band proved that it had the power to stick around, and they’d still be touring arenas right now if it wasn’t for the coronavirus. The band has changed over the years, though, and one of the biggest changes came when Richie Sambora, the band’s lead guitarist, left in 2013. 

Jon Bon Jovi said that Richie had been led “astray.”

In the aftermath of Richie’s departure from the band, Jon admitted that he missed his former collaborator, but said that the band was fully capable of existing without him. “This isn’t a band that is dependent on the guitar player like Van Halen or U2 or something,” Jon said in an interview with Pollstar. “[I]t was about the songs and it was about me.”

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Jon and Richie spent several years arguing after Richie left the band, although it seems they were able to bury the hatchet enough for him to perform with them in 2018. “We got it. I wish he was here, too, because we were a formidable duo,” Jon said. “Our voices were the magic and he’s a great guy and all that kind of stuff, but his choices have led him astray.”

In interviews, Richie has explained that he was unhappy with the way the band had been run for decades. “I thought we should have made more strides to become a band,” Richie explained. “It was going towards Jon being the front-guy and nothing else.” Like so many bands, it seems that the split came in part because of creative differences and egos. Even after decades together, Bon Jovi still wasn’t satisfying for everybody. 


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