Bon Jovi’s Phil X Recalls How Rob Halford Reacted Him Replacing Richie Sambora
Bon Jovi guitarist Phil X opened up about the time when he first met Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford during an interview with Side Jams With Bryan Reesman, and apparently, Halford was a little surprised to find out that Phil X replaced Richie Sambora.
As some of you might know, Richie Sambora was the lead guitarist of Bon Jovi for 30 years before he diced to leave the band prior to a concert in Calgary during 2013’s Because We Can Tour, due to the fact that he wanted to give his family, especially his daughter, more of his attention.
Meanwhile, Phil X substituted the lead guitarist Richie Sambora in 2011 when he missed 13 dates after entering rehab and later filled in for him once again on the US and Europe leg of the 2013 tour after Sambora left the band. However, it wasn’t until 2016 that Phil became an official member of the band and has been working as the lead guitarist ever since.
During a recent interview, Bon Jovi’s guitarist revealed the story of how he met Judas Priest icon Rob Halford at the 2016 edition of the Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp where he performed with numerous other artists such as Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and other members of Judas Priest.
Apparently, Rob Halford was quite impressed with Phil X’s guitar playing skills after seeing him play which resulted in Phil introducing himself. While it could have been a normal introduction, Phil X thought it would be a good idea to explain he replaced Richie Sambora in Bon Jovi by giving an example of the exact situation for Richie Faulkner and K.K. Downing in Judas Priest.
After hearing the comparison about his own band and meeting a guitarist he was impressed by, Rob Halford must have felt both surprised and a little weird at the same time since his reaction was just a summary of him stating that it all makes sense.
Here is what Phil X said:
“It was a good week too because I think Tony Iommi was there, so I got to sing ‘Neon Knights’ with Tony Iommi and that was amazing. I think with Judas Priest, they split up the band. So one day, it was Rob Halford and Richie Faulkner, and the next day it was Scott Travis and Ian Hill. But then when we all jammed at the Whisky, it was all four.
It was really, really amazing. It’s kind of funny, because sometimes they get up there, like, Rob Halford gets up there, he doesn’t know who’s a faculty member. He doesn’t know who’s paying to be there. So we’re on stage, and I know Richie.”
“We’ve spoken for years and jammed a couple of times. We’re doing ‘Hell Bent For Leather,’ and he goes, ‘Why don’t you start?’ I go, ‘Yeah, but let’s do the solo in unison, that would be amazing.’ And he’s like, ‘OK, let’s do it.’ So I started, and Rob looks over. He looks at the girl that runs the thing and he goes, ‘He’s good.’ Like, who is this guy, you know? And then afterward, she told me what he said.
And I went, ‘Hey, Rob, It’s really nice to meet you. By the way, you know how Richie Faulkner kind of replaced K.K. Downing? I’m kind of in the same situation. I kind of replaced Richie Sambora in Bon Jovi. And he’s like, ‘…well, that makes sense.‘”
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