Richie Sambora is clarifying some of the disagreements that led to his 2013 departure from his longtime role as lead guitarist for Bon Jovi.
The newly enshrined Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sambora told Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon that he began to have misgivings about the direction of his band as early as 1985. Sambora said he had long felt Bon Jovi wasn't progressing as a collective.
“It was going towards Jon being the front-guy and nothing else," Sambora recalled. "I kept on going, ‘American rock 'n’ roll band, American rock 'n’ roll band, American rock 'n’ roll band.’”
The guitarist says the production of the band's second album, 7800º Fahrenheit, added to his frustration.
“That really, really kind of made things a little tense,” he said of how producer Lance Quinn was recording another band at the same time he was working with Bon Jovi. “If that record … sounded like a Bob Rock production, it would have been a whole different story.”
Listen to the whole interview here.
In defense of Jon Bon Jovi, 7800º Fahrenheit went platinum in less than two years after its release and stayed on the charts for 85 weeks. So subpar production probably didn't hurt it that much. Plus, Sambora ended up sticking it out for the next 28 or so years.
Sambora's desire for Bon Jovi to be more of a creative democracy was understandable. There was no shortage of musical talent in the band. For example: keyboardist David Bryan is a Tony Award-nominated composer but has just a smattering of credited songwriting contributions within Bon Jovi.
The guitarist maintains, however, there are no hard feelings between himself and his former band and that it was great to reunite with Bon Jovi for its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. He told Rolling Stone that he hadn't seen his old bandmates in about three years until the first rehearsals for the group's Rock Hall performance.
Sambora even confirmed after the induction he would eventually consider rejoining Bon Jovi if Jon asks.
"There's a lot of love here, that's for sure," Sambora said of the group, before adding that there was no tension at rehearsal or when he and the band went out to dinner before the induction.
Post-Bon Jovi, Sambora has been focusing on his new band, RSO, which features himself alongside his girlfriend, Australia shredder Orianthi.
RSO's debut album, Radio Free America, is available now. Get the tour dates here.
Get all Bon Jovi's tour dates here.
Photo: Getty Images