How Richie Sambora Brought Jon Bon Jovi To The Brink Of The Abyss

Just because a collaboration lasted for twelve studio albums doesn’t mean it will last until the very end. For Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, the long years of working and bringing the band up to the level of a household name weren’t enough to keep them together for twelve more studio albums as the guitarist unexpectedly quit the band in 2013 after ‘What About Now’ was released.

Although the two musicians managed to work together for many years, Sambora had been struggling, and it wasn’t a secret between the bandmates. The guitarist was heavily addicted to alcohol and painkillers. Even though he tried his best to deal with his addiction and went to rehab many times, his decision to spend more time with his daughter Ava was the last straw for Richie to make the call to leave the band.

As there were no talks behind the scenes about Sambora considering leaving the band, Jon was blindsided when their managers came to them with the news. To say the frontman didn’t take the information well would be an understatement as he couldn’t understand how his friend whom he shared the stage with all those years could vanish without an explanation or a goodbye.

The frontman was distraught that he even wrote a ballad called ‘Living with the Ghost’ about Richie’s departure and his feelings of not fully comprehending why it happened and how they got to that point. Jon even described that heavy time in his life to Mirror in an interview he gave in 2016.

Jon Bon Jovi’s words about Richie Sambora’s departure from the band read:

“There was a lot of darkness. I was going through a difficult period, and it felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders.”

“Everything was great, and we were just coming off a break, but he never came to work again. None of us have seen him in three and a half years. It was a shock. There was never a fight; there was never an argument. It certainly wasn’t about money. We sold out every night; we had a number-one album in America that week.”

After his departure, the band even made an album that focused on heartbreak and pain titled ‘This House Is Not For Sale,’ reflecting on the traumatic experience of not even getting a proper explanation. Jon even wished Sambora had his life together and could stay in the band by solving his problems.

Even though the guitarist initially didn’t have any negative remarks to say to his former bandmate after his criticisms, more recently, Richie made comments about Jon’s vocals. He even said Jon was required to take a bit of a ‘breather’ to get his voice back together by insinuating that they should get back together on stage for their fans who have been waiting for a reunion for so long.

Sambora also commented on the songwriting side of making music, stating that even though most people assumed Jon was coming up with all the best lyrics, he had the more colorful stories for their tracks. The former Bon Jovi guitarist wasn’t just in charge of guitar riffs but also made significant contributions to lyrics alongside Jon.

If the iconic duo can come together and talk about how everything played from Sambora’s departure to comments about each other on the internet, the fans may finally get the reunion they have wished for ever since they stopped working together.