Richie Sambora

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Richie Sambora
RSO NAMM 2017 3.jpg
Sambora performing at the Winter NAMM Show 2017
Born
Richard Stephen Sambora

(1959-07-11) July 11, 1959 (age 60)
Education Woodbridge High School
Occupation
  • Musician
  • guitarist
  • songwriter
  • producer
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)
Heather Locklear
(m. 1994;div. 2007)
Partner(s) Orianthi (2014–2018)
Children1
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Guitar
  • talkbox
  • mandolin
  • accordion
  • piano
  • vocals
Labels
Associated acts
Website richiesambora.com

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. [1]

Guitarist person who plays the guitar

A guitarist is a person who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of guitar family instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar by singing or playing the harmonica.

Bon Jovi Rock band from the United States

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.

Jon Bon Jovi American singer and musician

John Francis Bongiovi Jr., known professionally as Jon Bon Jovi, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor. Bon Jovi is best known as the founder and frontman of the Grammy Award-winning rock band Bon Jovi, which was formed in 1983.

Contents

In 2018, Sambora was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Bon Jovi, [2] and reunited with his former bandmates for a performance at the induction ceremony. [3]

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Hall of fame located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie, recognizes and archives the history of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have had some major influence on the development of rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was established on April 20, 1983, by Ahmet Ertegun, founder and chairman of Atlantic Records. In 1986, Cleveland was chosen as the Hall of Fame's permanent home.

Sambora recently formed the duo RSO alongside Orianthi. Having released two EP's, the pair released their debut album Radio Free America in May 2018. [4]

Orianthi Greek-Australian musician and singer-songwriter

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.

Radio Free America is the debut studio album released by RSO, a duo featuring ex-Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora and Australian guitarist Orianthi. The album was released May 11, 2018.

Early life

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. [5] Sambora is of Polish descent [6] and was raised Catholic. [7] He grew up in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey [8] and attended Woodbridge High School there, graduating in 1977. [9] He played basketball in high school, where as a sophomore, his Woodbridge High team won the 1975 Group 4 State title.

Perth Amboy, New Jersey City in Middlesex County, New Jersey, U.S.

Perth Amboy is a city in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. The City of Perth Amboy is part of the New York metropolitan area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 50,814, reflecting an increase of 3,511 (+7.4%) from the 47,303 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 5,336 (+12.7%) from the 41,967 counted in the 1990 Census. Perth Amboy has a Hispanic majority population. In the 2010 census, persons of "Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin" made up 78.1% of the population, second to Union City at 84.7%. Perth Amboy is known as the "City by the Bay," referring to Raritan Bay.

Woodbridge Township, New Jersey Township in New Jersey, United States

Woodbridge Township is a township in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township had a total population of 99,585, reflecting an increase of 2,382 (+2.5%) from the 97,203 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 4,117 (+4.4%) from the 93,086 counted in the 1990 Census. Woodbridge was the sixth-most-populous municipality in New Jersey in 2000 and 2010. Woodbridge hosts the intersection of the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway, the two busiest highways in the state, and also serves as the headquarters for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Woodbridge High School (New Jersey)

Woodbridge High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school located in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades as part of the Woodbridge Township School District. The high school is one of three in the district, together with Colonia High School and John F. Kennedy Memorial High School. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1928.

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. [10] 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. [11] 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.

Jimi Hendrix American guitarist, singer and songwriter

James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His mainstream career lasted only four years, but he is widely regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in history and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".

Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, and spirituals. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes, usually thirds, fifths or sevenths flattened in pitch are also an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove.

Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, along with country music. While elements of what was to become rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until 1954.

Career

Early career

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 unsuccessfully [12] auditioned for Kiss, to be Ace Frehley's replacement.

Led Zeppelin English rock band

Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham. Along with Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, the band's heavy, guitar-driven sound has led them to be cited as one of the originators of heavy metal. Their style drew from a wide variety of influences, including blues, psychedelia and folk music.

Swan Song Records record label

Swan Song Records was a record label launched by the English rock band Led Zeppelin on 10 May 1974. It was overseen by Led Zeppelin's manager Peter Grant and was a vehicle for the band to promote its own products as well as sign artists who found it difficult to win contracts with other major labels. The decision to launch the label came after Led Zeppelin's five-year contract with Atlantic Records expired at the end of 1973, although Atlantic ultimately distributed the label's product.

Capricorn Records American independent record label

Capricorn Records was an independent record label which was founded by Phil Walden, Alan Walden and Frank Fenter in 1969 in Macon, Georgia.

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi added Sambora to replace original lead guitarist Dave Sabo. [13] 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. [14]

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." [15]

Sambora also released a solo EP with Orianthi, and performed alongside with the RSO band member and his girlfriend on April 7, 2018. [16] [17]

Solo albums

Sambora's first solo album was 1991's Stranger in This Town , a blues-influenced album that charted at #36 on the Billboard 200 [18] and #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. [19] 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 200 [18] and #24 on the UK Albums Chart. The lead single "Hard Times Come Easy" charted at #39 on the Mainstream rock chart [19] 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 200 [20] and #35 on the UK Albums Chart. [21]

Sambora and Orianthi at NAMM, January 2017. Sambora and Orianthi.jpg
Sambora and Orianthi at NAMM, January 2017.

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. [22] 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". [23]

Sambora announced in early 2015 that he is working on a new album in collaboration with fellow musician and girlfriend Orianthi. [24] In 2016, they performed as RSO together in Australia, South America, and England, where they opened for Bad Company. [25] In September 2017, RSO released a five-song EP called Rise [26] followed by another EP Making History which was also released in 2017. The duo released their debut album Radio Free America in May 2018.

Other work

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. [27] [ needs update ]

Sambora is featured on the track "Baby Rock Remix" from LL Cool J's 2008 album Exit 13. [28]

Sambora made a guest appearance [29] on 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. [30] 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). [31] Several guests sang along with the band over the week, including Ferguson (singing Sugar Daddy), [32] Denis Leary, Eddie Izzard and even Larry King, who sang the Late Late Show theme song. [33]

Personal life

Sambora married actress Heather Locklear in Paris on December 17, 1994. [34] Their daughter Ava Elizabeth Sambora, was born on October 4, 1997. [35] [36] Locklear filed for divorce in February 2006 citing irreconcilable differences. [37] The divorce was finalized on April 11, 2007. [38] Nine days later, on April 20, Sambora's father, Adam, died of lung cancer. [39] From 2014 until 2018, he was in a relationship with fellow guitarist Orianthi.

Substance problems

On June 7, 2007, it was announced that Sambora was entering an undisclosed rehab facility in Los Angeles for treatment related to alcoholism. [40] [41] 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." [42] 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. [43] [44]

On March 26, 2008, Sambora was arrested for drunk driving in Laguna Beach, California. [45] [46] Both his ten-year-old daughter and her friend were in the vehicle. [45] 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. [47]

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. [48] [49] This was Sambora's second stint in rehab and was announced just a week after he finished probation for drunk driving charges. [50] Sambora returned to join the band in June 2011 in Zagreb, Croatia, for the start of the European leg of the tour.

Public service and recognition

Over the years, Sambora has been an ardent fundraiser for many charities, [51] such as Dream Street, the Steve Young Forever Young Foundation [ 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. [52] 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. [53]

In May 2004, Sambora was bestowed with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Kean University [54] 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.[ citation needed ]

Sambora and his songwriting partner Jon Bon Jovi were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 18, 2009. [55]

On November 24, 2009, Sambora launched charitable effort You Can Go Home [56] in 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. [57]

Instruments and equipment

Sambora's Fender Stratocaster at the Hard Rock Cafe, London Hard Rock Cafe London 10.JPG
Sambora's Fender Stratocaster at the Hard Rock Cafe, London

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. [58]

1980s

In the 1980s, Sambora mostly played Kramer, Jackson, Charvel and Hamer superstrats as well as modified and custom 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, which quit production in 1989. Today it has been reissued by MusicYo, and is named "Jersey Star", no longer carrying Sambora's actual name. His two most notable guitars from the Slippery When Wet era were his Kramer Richie Sambora signature and a custom white Jackson with gold hardware and a Floyd Rose tremolo, HSS pickup configuration, reversed Strat-like headstock and a star on the body and headstock. This guitar is featured on the videos for "Livin' on a Prayer" and "You Give Love a Bad Name". Another Kramer he used during this tour in 1986/87 was the 'King Of Swing' guitar. This was a one off with orange flame maple top, three humbuckers, Floyd Rose tremolo, gold hardware and pointy Kramer headstock. It was damaged in a flood mid tour and was rushed to Rod Schoepfer's workshop where he replaced the neck with a left hand Kramer one with the pointy headstock reversed. It was only used on the song "Let It Rock" live.

2000–present

Sambora with a twin-neck Fender Telecaster, 2008 RS Barcelona 2008.jpg
Sambora with a twin-neck Fender Telecaster, 2008

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.

Discography

Solo

With Shark Frenzy

With Message

With Cher

With Desmond Child

With Bon Jovi

With RSO

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