Richie Sambora Says Bon Jovi Isn't 'The Real Thing' Without Him

The war of words continues?

Ultimate Guitar

The war of words between Bon Jovi and the band's exiled guitarist Richie Sambora has cooled off over the last several months, but that doesn't mean Sambora has made peace with the idea of the group touring without him.

"At the end of the day, if you're going to buy a can of Coke, you want the real thing," he explained to Melbourne's Herald Sun (via Ultimate Classic Rock). Unfortunately, says Sambora, Bon Jovi frontman Jon Bon Jovi "just has a different mentality" - even though, as he put it, "I know Mick Jagger wouldn't tour without Keith Richards and call it the Rolling Stones."

Be that as it may, Sambora seems to feel as though some fans are willing to give Bon Jovi a pass without him in the lineup because "For the longest time, even now, I'm considered Jon Bon Jovi's side arm, or something." It rankles him, and for good reason: "Hey, I built this band, too."

Sambora maintains that he walked away from Bon Jovi in order to spend more time with his daughter, and admitted to the Herald Sun, "It was an unpopular decision with the fans and the band, but sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do for his family. It certainly didn't come down to money. It's something I needed to do for my family and myself." And as for a reunion? "I'm not saying this band will not get back together at some point, or not," he shrugged. "There will have to be a lot of communication, a lot of talking."

75 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It's about time these petty news articles stopped (not just on UG) and Richie rejoined Bon Jovi and we can be done with this,
    Yeah, the lower Sambora's bank account gets the more communicating and talking he'll be doing....
    Don't assume because he isn't touring that he doesn't have money I am sure Richie has investments that would allow him to live comfortably for the rest of his life.
    As a co-writer of Bon Jovi's biggest hits Richie would be getting a decent royalty cheque every year, enough to live comfortably on.
    Richie is touring though. He is currently touring Australia with Soundwave, saw him in Sydney.
    Yeah a bit hypocritical i think. Left Bon Jovi to have a break from touring but then tours as Solo. I was at the Sydney soundwave, watched Sambora for about 4 songs, was let down to be honest. His version of 'Lay Your Hands On Me' quite frankly sucked with Jon up front! That's when i left to go to another stage and watch Testament ! ...who by the way were ****en awesome!!!!
    I saw him in Melbourne after leaving Testament (Fucking idiots in the moshpit ruined it for me) and he did really well, IMO. His version of Wanted Dead or Alive was better than the studio one.
    Well Phil X is doing a fantastic job either way. I mainly want Richie to go back so we can get more Phil X & The Drills records.
    I feel like he left to sort of say "see, look how important I am!" Now that they've just went on without them he's trying to convince people they're bad so he can be relevant again.
    Phil X is doing a solid job as guitarist and he doesn't suck at vocals either. Richie's voice has been pretty crap of late. Also, how can he expect them to be seen as an equal partner to Bon Jovi when the band is named after the lead singer. People naturally gravitate towards the figure of Bon Jovi.
    kill it
    i'm not a big bon jovi fan but disagree. ritchie sambora is still a solid vocalist, it's jon's voice that isn't sounding very good with age. he seems to be going for a bit of a country/rock style voice since he can't sing as well in a rock style anymore. but then again, not a lot of vocalists can nail the last chorus of livin' on a prayer.
    Well maybe he's not an "equal partner" in terms of being the public face of the band, but he co-writes most of the songs with Jon.
    Richie's right! almost every song of this band which was a hit was written Jon AND Richie. Richie is the real "mastermind" in this band: you just have to compare the JBJ solo records with the one's of Richie. He is an amazing blues guitarist and singer, and also "usual" BJ-songs are so much better when he sings them. On the other hand, Jon can't even play guitar well and his lyric-skills are so f***** bad, just compare the latest BJ record (which was voted to be one of the worst rock records here on UG...and totally deserved it!)
    chyld fan
    so true , jons vocals havnt been good in 20 yrs. as far as comparing the solo records, while i think samboras were a world better than jons , jons did sell more
    As much as I love Richie's guitar playing, the other members, except obviously Jon are a bit underplayed imo. The bassist lays done some funky lines and no-one seems to notice. I guess thats what happens when you name a band after yourself.
    i think we can all agree on one thing though: either way bon jovi suck.
    you really cant take away the fact this band has done extremely well over the years and has thousands of devoted fans, but that said I am not one of them.
    I would agree, they have seemed to have worked out a good formula that has made them successful and earned them money but like yourself I am not a fan, I think I can name one song, Living on a Prayer...that was Jovi right?
    Even that was a bad song.
    Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's a bad song. I'm not a Bon Jovi fan, and I don't think I can name any song off the top of my head by them that I actually enjoy. But that doesn't take away from the fact that there are thousands on thousands of people who love their music, and that song was a hit, and people still go ape over it. I can't deny that despite the fact that I don't necessarily like them, they have something figured out that works for them.
    the "thousands upon thousands" of fans means absolutely nothing, we all know what else kind of music has gazillions of fans
    Saying Bon Jovi suck is a big call. At least they came from an era that to make it big as a band you had to work HARD! Even if you do not like their music, you have to admire their long standing effort for 30 plus years, especially their hectic Recording/touring schedule in the 80's.
    I'm sry, i think he's right. The last good bon jovi-song was "bed of roses" >.>
    If you think the albums These Days, Crush and Have A Nice Day are bad... You need to have your ears and/or brain checked. Seriously, you need help.
    Arfing Thumb
    Pepsi tastes better than Coca Cola! *Grabs Popcorn*
    Way Cool JR.
    Yeah but Pepsi Throwback tastes like real Pepsi and the regular Pepsi nowadays tastes nothing like real Pepsi. But yes, Pepsi tastes better than Coke.
    I saw Richie's solo show the other night and again yesterday at Soundwave as he was awesome. I hope he never goes back to Bon Jovi and keeps doing his solo stuff. The real test of his worth will be when Jon wants to write another Bon Jovi album.
    Jonny 25 93
    As far as I'm concerned... he left the band. I don't se why the others should stop just because he has. Probably should have continued with a slightly different name though
    Like "Bongiovi"?
    Jonny 25 93
    ok looking back, renaming the band would not have necessarily been the best idea, but my point remains the same. He quit, he wasnt fired or replaced by someone "better", why should the rest of the band call it a day because he did?
    Hey Richie? You're the one that left! Remember that. What the hell do you expect the rest of the guys in the band to do? Sit around on their asses cause you don't wanna tour?
    Of course Richie is important to the band, mostly as a writing partner for Jon. But in the end of the day, the band is called Bon Jovi.
    Bon Jovi hasn't been the real thing since 2002.
    This is true. 2002's 'Bounce' was their last big guitar record. 2005's 'Have a Nice Day' was decent but after that it all went downhill.
    Funny, yesterday I was lookin' over Bon Jovi's discography and I found that there are in my oppinion, just two awesome albums: New Jersey and Slippery when wet. So, I conclude (once again, this is just my oppinion) that Bon Jovi hasn't been the real thing since '92, when keep the faith was published.
    well, Keep The Faith and These Days are different compared to New Jersey and Slippery When Wet, but they are still awesome...These days is last great record of them
    Keep the faith is probably my all time favorite song by Bon Jovi, Have a Nice Day is a good song but the lyrics are kinda cheesy imo.
    Keep the Faith (wich is an album that I really like) and These Days aren't bad, I just don't find them that awesome as the other two ones.
    I hate Bon Jovi with a passion, but even I think this is a bit sad.
    It's not even close to the same, and all you so-called fans of "Phil X" know it.
    Yeah, it definitely isn't. But Phil X seems to bring more energy to the show imo.
    I saw Bon Jovi live late last year with Phil X and as a big Richie fan you didn't miss him on stage. Phil did a great job. Phil can sure play guitar but can he write Bon Jovi style songs for the next record?
    Velcro Man
    He might have helped the band grow, but it IS named Bon Jovi, it's like Bruce Springsteen or something. Besides, he left them, are they ALL supposed to lose money because he wants to be a family man all of a sudden? He's really not that unique of a guitarist that the band is gonna lose some unique sound by him leaving, Phil X is better, really.
    I don't know how it is in this case, but a band with the singers name on it usually has the attention drawn over the mentioned singer. Only hardcore fans of Bon Jovi (the band) really care about Richie being there or not.
    chyld fan
    Phil x might be a good guitar player , But @ the end of the day the music that he's playing was written by sambo, so who wins??? i do think that richie has kinda shot himself in the foot, saying he wanted to spend time w/ his kid then showing up all over doing shows
    A show here and there or a week or two in Australia isn't the same as a stadium tour with one of the biggest rock acts in history. He did get to spend time with his kid and got out to play some shows. Don't forget that this started back in April 2013. Richie has played a few shows in the meantime but not nearly as much as he would have, had he gone on tour.