Richie Sambora at the Winter NAMM Show 2017
Richard Stephen Sambora
July 11, 1959
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S.
|Education||Woodbridge High School|
(m. 1994;div. 2007)
Richard Stephen Sambora (born July 11, 1959) is an American rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer, best known as the lead guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi for 30 years. Sambora and lead singer Jon Bon Jovi formed the main songwriting unit for the band. He has also released three solo albums: Stranger in This Town in 1991, Undiscovered Soul in 1998, and Aftermath of the Lowdown released in September 2012.
In 2018, Sambora was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Bon Jovi,and reunited with his former bandmates for a performance at the induction ceremony.
Sambora recently formed the duo RSO alongside Orianthi. Having released two EPs, the pair released their debut album Radio Free America in May 2018.
Richard Stephen Sambora was born on July 11, 1959 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, the son of Joan (née Sienila), a secretary, and Adam C. Sambora, a factory foreman.Sambora is of Polish descent and was raised Catholic. He grew up in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey and attended Woodbridge High School there, graduating in 1977. He played basketball in high school, where as a sophomore, his Woodbridge High team won the 1975 Group 4 State title.
Sambora's first instrument was the accordion which he began to play at the age of 6. He began playing the guitar at the age of 12 following the death of Jimi Hendrix in 1970. From his early days, Sambora was strongly influenced by blues and 1960s rock and roll. His most important influences were Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Joe Kmiecik, George Harrison, and B. B. King.He was also influenced by Spanish classical music and began a lifelong love of the Spanish guitar. Furthermore, he had stated that psychedelic soul singer Janis Joplin had a big influence on his musical style during her career in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Classical music directly inspired several of his songs, such as The Answer which was originally written on piano. Sambora also plays many other instruments, such as drums, bass, saxophone, piano etc. The first time he performed on stage was at a Catholic Youth Organization dance when he was a teenager.
Sambora was a guitarist for the band "Message", and with that band put out an independent record titled "Lessons" which was copyrighted in 1982 and produced and arranged by Dean Fasano and Richie Sambora in Woodbridge, New Jersey. It was re-released in 1995 under the name Message, and in 2000 as Lessons. He was later in a band, Mercy, which was signed to Led Zeppelin-owned record label Swan Song Records, and then Duke Williams & the Extremes, who were signed to Capricorn Records. Sambora was also in an improvisational club band called Richie Sambora & Friends. He was part-owner of a club in New Jersey, and at age 19 owned his own independent label Dream Disc Records. Sambora's first professional tour was as an opening act for Joe Cocker in the early 1980s. Shortly before joining Bon Jovi in 1983, Sambora unsuccessfullyauditioned for Kiss, to be Ace Frehley's replacement.
Bon Jovi added Sambora to replace original lead guitarist Dave Sabo.Sambora had attended a live show of Bon Jovi, and after being impressed, approached Jon Bon Jovi and told him that he thought they should work together. They immediately hit it off as friends, and Sambora was invited to a rehearsal. By the time Jon arrived, the band was sounding better than ever and Sambora was hired on the spot.
Sambora left the band prior to a concert in Calgary during 2013's Because We Can Tour, and since has only played with Bon Jovi at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction in 2018. In 2016, Sambora stated his reason for leaving the band was in order to give his family more of his attention. "I really needed to take some time to be with my daughter," he stated "She needed me and I needed her, actually."
Sambora also released a solo EP with Orianthi, and performed alongside the RSO band member and his girlfriend on April 7, 2018.
Sambora's first solo album was 1991's Stranger in This Town , a blues-influenced album that charted at #36 on the Billboard 200and #20 on the UK Albums Chart. The lead single, "Ballad Of Youth", reached a high of #63 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #59 in the UK. "One Light Burning" was released as the second single and the album titled track, "Stranger In This Town" as the third which charted at #38 on the Mainstream rock charts. Eric Clapton played the lead guitar on the promo single Mr Bluesman, backed by Sambora on acoustic guitars. Sambora did a short US tour in support of the album, featuring Tony Levin (bass), Dave Amato (guitar), Crystal Taliefero (percussion) and Bon Jovi bandmates Tico Torres (drums) and David Bryan (keyboards). The track "Rosie" was co-written by Jon Bon Jovi and was initially intended for the fourth Bon Jovi album New Jersey . It was also released as a promo single in Japan. "Ballad of Youth" was released in the UK in summer 1991 and despite plugs from The Friday Rock Show on BBC Radio 1 the song barely skimmed the top 75.
Undiscovered Soul was Sambora's second solo album, released in 1998. The album was produced by Don Was. The album charted at #174 on The Billboard 200and #24 on the UK Albums Chart. The lead single "Hard Times Come Easy" charted at #39 on the Mainstream rock chart and #37 in the UK, the second single "In It For Love" charted at #58 on the UK Singles Chart. The title track "Undiscovered Soul" and "Made in America" were also released as singles. In support of Undiscovered Soul, Sambora toured Japan, Australia and Europe in the summer of 1998. The band featured Richie Supa (guitar), Ron Wikso (drums), Kasim Sulton (bass), Tommy Mandel (keyboards), Everett Bradley (percussion; Japan only), Gioia Bruno (percussion; Australia only) and Crystal Taliefero (percussion; Europe only).
In 2001, Sambora had a single for a movie soundtrack On The Line which was titled "Take Me On".
Fourteen years after his previous solo album, Sambora announced via his Twitter page that recording of Aftermath of the Lowdown had been completed with hopes that the album would be released in July 2012. Photographs were published of Sambora working in a recording studio. The new album was produced by Luke Ebbin, who produced Bon Jovi's Crush and Bounce albums. Aftermath of the Lowdown was released in September 2012. The album charted at #10 on the "Top Hard Rock Albums", #34 on the Top Independent Albums, #149 on The Billboard 200and #35 on the UK Albums Chart.
The track "Every Road Leads Home to You" was released as a single for the album and features a music video. The song is also featured as one of the bonus tracks on Bon Jovi's 2013 album What About Now . A special edition single, "I'll Always Walk Beside You'" featuring Alicia Keys was released as the second single of the album. All the profits from the sale of the special edition single goes to the ongoing recovery efforts of The Red Cross for the devastation from Hurricane Sandy.The track "Sugar Daddy" was released as a promo single and a music video was made for the song "Taking a Chance on the Wind".
In 2013 following his departure from Bon Jovi, Sambora released the solo single "Come Back As Me".
Sambora announced in early 2015 that he is working on a new album in collaboration with fellow musician and girlfriend Orianthi.In 2016, they performed as RSO together in Australia, South America, and England, where they opened for Bad Company. In September 2017, RSO released a five-song EP called Rise followed by another EP Making History which was also released in 2017. The duo released their debut album Radio Free America in May 2018.
Sambora composed television theme songs for Entertainment Tonight and The Insider . Sambora (along with Jon Bon Jovi) is part of the ownership group of the Philadelphia Soul, an Arena Football League football team. [ needs update ]
Sambora is featured on the track "Baby Rock Remix" from LL Cool J's 2008 album Exit 13.
Sambora made a guest appearanceon Bo Diddley's 1996 album A Man Amongst Men, playing guitar on tracks "Can I Walk You Home" and "Oops! Bo Diddley".
In 1999, Sambora was a guest vocalist on the Stuart Smith album Stuart Smith's Heaven & Earth, performing a cover of the Deep Purple song "When a Blind Man Cries". Also in 1999, Sambora played the guitar solo on the track "Why Don't You Love Me" on the album Tuesday's Child, by Canadian singer Amanda Marshall.
Sambora sang "Long Way Around" for the 1997 Steven Seagal action film Fire Down Below . The song, written by Seagal and David Pomeranz, appears in the final scene. In a 1998 interview Sambora said his version is in the film itself but a different person's performance of the song is included on the film's soundtrack album, despite Sambora's name appearing on the album credits.Sambora also recorded the song "One Last Goodbye" for movie The Banger Sisters , and covered Jimi Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary" for the soundtrack of 1990 comedy The Adventures of Ford Fairlane .
Sambora's guitar work featured on the track "Misery" on Pink's 2001 album Missundaztood with Steven Tyler.
In 2004, Sanctuary Records released a self-titled album which had been recorded in 1978 by Shark Frenzy, documenting Sambora's first recorded material. The mix tapes had been damaged in a flood and band member Bruce Foster had remastered them for release many years later.
Sambora co-wrote several tracks and played guitar on Australian rock/pop artist Shannon Noll's third album Turn It Up. It was released in Australia in September 2007.
To coincide with his solo album Aftermath of the Lowdown , Sambora and friends performed as the house band on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS for one week (December 3–7, 2012).Several guests sang along with the band over the week, including Ferguson (singing Sugar Daddy), Denis Leary, Eddie Izzard and even Larry King, who sang the Late Late Show theme song.
Sambora married actress Heather Locklear in Paris on December 17, 1994. [ citation needed ]Their daughter Ava Elizabeth Sambora, was born on October 4, 1997. Locklear filed for divorce in February 2006 citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce was finalized on April 11, 2007. Nine days later, on April 20, Sambora's father, Adam, died of lung cancer. From 2014 until 2018, he was in a relationship with fellow guitarist Orianthi.
On June 7, 2007, it was announced that Sambora was entering an undisclosed rehab facility in Los Angeles for treatment related to alcoholism.Following his release, he told an interviewer, "I was just drinking too much and I needed to get my life together. I'm still in therapy and stuff like that, but it's good. I'm great. I feel fine." In the Bon Jovi documentary When We Were Beautiful, Sambora talks candidly about his addiction to painkillers following a fall in his bathroom. He credited his bandmates and mother with helping him through the difficult time.
On March 26, 2008, Sambora was arrested for drunk driving in Laguna Beach, California where he was a longtime resident.Both his ten-year-old daughter and her friend were in the vehicle. At his May 2008 arraignment, he pleaded no contest "to driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher", was fined $390, placed on probation for three years, and was required to attend a driver's education course.
On April 28, 2011, it was announced that Sambora had made the decision to enter rehab again. He was absent from the band for thirteen shows during the Bon Jovi Live tour, and his guitar and vocal duties were handled by session musician Theofilos "Phil X" Xenidis.This was Sambora's second stint in rehab and was announced just a week after he finished probation for drunk driving charges. Sambora returned to join the band in June 2011 in Zagreb, Croatia, for the start of the European leg of the tour.
Over the years, Sambora has been an ardent fundraiser for many charities, [ citation needed ] and Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease charity. He has donated money privately to various cancer charities since the death of his father, including both hospitals where his father was treated, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and M D Anderson. Sambora's fundraising with the charity Stand Up For a Cure allowed for three mobile full service hospital units to be brought to the streets of New York, two of which were named after his parents, respectively.such as Dream Street, the Steve Young Forever Young Foundation
In May 2004, Sambora was bestowed with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Kean University [ citation needed ]where he attended the awards ceremony and gave a speech of acceptance. He attended Kean University as a freshman, but dropped out to pursue a career as a professional guitarist and session musician.
Sambora and his songwriting partner Jon Bon Jovi were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 18, 2009.
On November 24, 2009, Sambora launched charitable effort You Can Go Homein his home town of Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, which unveiled a street renamed Richie Sambora Way. He also donated funds to renovate part of his alma mater Woodbridge High School, which opened a new weight room, the Adam Sambora Fitness Center, dedicated to Sambora's father.
Sambora has been known to use a wide variety of equipment throughout his career. He has an extensive guitar collection, featuring more than 130 instruments,about a third of which are various Fender Stratocaster models.
In the 1980s, Sambora mostly played Kramer, Jackson, Charvel and Hamer superstrats as well as modified and custom Gibson Les Paul models, such as his Rod Schoepfer model. In early-mid 1987, Kramer put out a Richie Sambora signature model with three humbuckers, pointy headstock, gold hardware, star-shaped fingerboard inlays and a Floyd Rose Original locking tremolo. In the early 1990s, Fender put out a Richie Sambora Stratocaster signature model with Floyd Rose locking vibrato and three pickups: a DiMarzio humbucker at the bridge, and two single coil Texas Special pickups, one at the neck and one at center.
In 2000, Taylor started the production of a Richie Sambora signature model, a six-string acoustic made of koa wood, called the RSSM. Only 100 were made. All of his double-neck acoustics feature a six-string neck on top and a 12-string neck on bottom, opposite of normal. Sambora's guitar solo in the song "Bullet" from the 2009 album The Circle was played through a Dunlop Cry Baby wah pedal. In 2010 he said that he was keeping his vintage guitars at home for studio work, and bringing his less expensive guitars on the road to his concerts, including "some Strats, a few Teles, some Les Pauls and Les Paul Juniors" along with a number of Richie Sambora signature models made by ESP Guitars.Other notable guitars in Sambora's collection include the Kramer Jersey Star, Gibson SG Junior, Gibson ES-335, Gibson Firebird, Gibson Flying V, Gibson Explorer, Ovation and Taylor acoustic double neck guitars, Martin guitars and an Ampeg Dan Armstrong Plexi.
Bon Jovi is an American rock band formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey. It consists of singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X, and bassist Hugh McDonald. Previous bassist Alec John Such was dismissed in 1994, and longtime guitarist and co-songwriter Richie Sambora left in 2013.
Bon Jovi is the self-titled debut studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi, released on January 21, 1984. Produced by Tony Bongiovi and Lance Quinn, it is significant for being the only Bon Jovi album in which a song appears that was not written or co-written by a member of the band. The album charted at No. 43 on the U.S. Billboard 200.
Slippery When Wet is the third studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi. It was released on August 18, 1986 by Mercury Records in North America and Vertigo Records internationally. It was produced by Bruce Fairbairn, with recording sessions between January and July 1986 at Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The album features many of Bon Jovi's best-known songs, including "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Livin' on a Prayer", and "Wanted Dead or Alive".
These Days is the sixth studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi, released on June 27, 1995, by Mercury Records. This was the first album Bon Jovi released after the dismissal of original bass guitarist Alec John Such, who was unofficially replaced by Hugh McDonald. McDonald's tenure as an unofficial member ended in 2016, when he officially replaced Such. The album, produced by Peter Collins, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, is praised by many critics and fans as their best album. These Days is overall a darker album in contrast to the band's usual brand of feel-good, inspiring rock songs and love ballads.
Stranger in This Town is the first solo studio album by Richie Sambora, the guitarist from the New Jersey band Bon Jovi. The album was released in 1991, while Bon Jovi was on a 17-month hiatus. Jon Bon Jovi also released a solo album, Blaze of Glory (1990), during this period.
Undiscovered Soul is the second solo studio album from Richie Sambora the guitarist from New Jersey band Bon Jovi. The album was released on February 23, 1998 and is more experimental than his earlier release Stranger in This Town. The album was produced by Don Was.
"Wanted Dead or Alive" is a song by American rock band Bon Jovi. It is from their 1986 album Slippery When Wet. The song was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora and was released in 1987 as the album's third single. During a February 20, 2008 encore performance in Detroit, Jon Bon Jovi told the crowd about running into Bob Seger at a Pistons game. As he introduced his song "Wanted Dead or Alive", he said it was inspired by Seger's "Turn the Page" hit and called the song the band's anthem. The song peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #13 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, making it the third single from the album to reach the Top 10 of the Hot 100. As a result, Slippery When Wet was the first hard rock/glam metal album to have 3 top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
"I'll Be There for You" is a song by American rock band Bon Jovi, released as the third single from their 1988 album New Jersey. It was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. The single ranked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 on the Mainstream rock chart.
"Runaway" is the debut single by American rock band Bon Jovi. It was originally recorded in 1981 for the so-called "Power Station Demos" at the beginning of singer Jon Bon Jovi's career, featuring the vocalist backed by session musicians.
"Lay Your Hands on Me" is a song by American rock band Bon Jovi. It was released on August 1, 1989 as the fourth single from the band's 1988 album New Jersey. It peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the band's fourth single from New Jersey to chart in the Top 10 and it also charted at #20 on the Mainstream rock charts.
Theofilos Xenidis, better known as Phil X, is a Canadian musician and songwriter. Since 2011, he has played lead guitar with Bon Jovi and officially replaced former lead guitarist Richie Sambora in 2016.
"Whole Lot of Leavin'" is a song by American rock band Bon Jovi. It was written by Jon Bon Jovi and John Shanks and it was released only in Europe as the fourth single from the band's album Lost Highway and charted at #22 in Austria and #41 in Germany.
Tokyo Road: The Best of Bon Jovi - Rock Tracks, in Japanese ＴＯＫＹＯ ＲＯＡＤ～ベスト・オブ・ボン・ジョヴィ－ロック・トラックス. Is the third overall greatest hits compilation album by American rock band Bon Jovi exclusively released in Japan in 2001, where it charted at #5. The album has sold more than 400,000 copies in Japan, and being certified platinum status by RIAJ. The first track is a new remixed version of "One Wild Night" originally released on the Crush album, the new version was released as a single and featured a music video. This version also appears on the Bon Jovi live compilation One Wild Night Live 1985-2001.
Orianthi Penny Panagaris is an Australian musician, singer and songwriter who rehearsed in 2009 with Michael Jackson in preparation for his ill-fated This Is It concert series, and performed with Alice Cooper's touring band. Her 2009 debut single "According to You" peaked at No. 3 in Japan, No. 8 in Australia and No. 17 in the US; her second album, Believe, received a worldwide release in late 2009. The same year, Orianthi was named one of the 12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists by Elle magazine. She also won the award as "Breakthrough Guitarist of the Year" 2010 by Guitar International magazine.
Dean Fasano was the lead singer of the bands Message and Prophet.
"What Do You Got?" is a song by American rock band Bon Jovi. It is one of four songs written for the band's Greatest Hits album, released in November 2010. The song is the first single from the compilation album. The song was released on the band's official website on August 27. It was also released to radio airplay on August 27. It was officially released on September 21, 2010 as a digital download, but the physical single was released in Germany on October 22, 2010.
Aftermath of the Lowdown is the third solo studio album by Richie Sambora which was released in Japan on September 12, 2012, in the United Kingdom on September 17, and in the United States on September 18, 2012 as digital download and on September 25, 2012 as physical CD. For the first time in his 30-year career, Sambora signed with an independent label, Dangerbird.
What About Now is the twelfth studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi. Produced by John Shanks, the album was released on March 8, 2013 in Australia and March 12, 2013 in the United States. The album was promoted throughout the band's 2013 Because We Can: The Tour. It is the last album to feature lead guitarist Richie Sambora before his departure from the band in April 2013.
Burning Bridges is the thirteenth studio album by American rock band Bon Jovi consisting of new songs, as well as formerly unreleased and unfinished songs. Released worldwide on August 21, 2015 by Mercury Records. Produced by John Shanks, it was the first release since the departure of former guitarist Richie Sambora in 2013, with Shanks handling the lead guitar parts. Burning Bridges is their last album to be released through Mercury, marking the end of their 32-year relationship with the label. According to Jon Bon Jovi, the album serves as a "fan record" to tie in with an accompanying international tour: "It's songs that weren't finished, that were finished, a couple of new ones like the one we released as a single 'We Don't Run'." Burning Bridges was followed by This House Is Not for Sale, the band's fourteenth studio album released in 2016 which featured all new songs.
Radio Free America is the debut studio album released by RSO, a duo featuring Bon Jovi ex-guitarist Richie Sambora and Australian guitarist Orianthi. The album was released May 11, 2018.
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