The songwriting duo of Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora produced some of the biggest hits of all time. Their band Bon Jovi owned the '80s with hits like “Livin’ On A Prayer,” "Wanted Dead Or Alive,” and “I'll Be There for You” took them to the pinnacle of rock 'n' roll. Along the way, there was also some infamous “rock 'n’ roll decadence,” and eventually, it led to the duo splitting up. So where do they stand today?
The latest issue of the New Idea features a dubious report about Sambora and Bon Jovi, and it spells bad news for fans of the band hoping for a reunion. Sambora left the band in 2013 after relapsing on booze, something that the guitar player has dealt with for years. A source tells the magazine,
Jon’s always been very serious about his music and was getting tired of Richie clinging to the days when behaving badly was the thing — they weren’t young anymore and that kind of stuff just wasn’t respectable.
For Sambora’s part, the same source says,
Richie thought Jon was being uptight. Tension was simmering for a long between them, and everyone could see it was hurting the music.
Back in ’13 when Sambora left the band, he did so because he felt he need to focus on his sobriety and his family, specifically his daughter with Heather Locklear, Ava. He has spent most of the last 7 years raising his daughter as Locklear has battled her own addiction demons. For Sambora, the move has been a huge success and he has “no regrets” leaving Bon Jovi.
Recently though, Jon Bon Jovi was asked about Sambora in an interview with a German website, saying, “There's not a day that goes by that I don't wish that Richie had his life together and was still in the band,” when he was asked about recording the band’s latest album, This House Is Not for Sale without his longtime bandmate and writing partner. It seems this was enough for the tabloid to reignite news of the feud — and the “source” for the piece concluded,
Richie was furious when John spoke about him this month, blaming is all on his supposed life choices, when he was only trying to be a good father. There was some hope they might bury the hatchet one day, but there’s no chance of that now!
When Richie Sambora was asked about Jon Bon Jovi’s comment in a recent interview with the Daily Mail, the guitarist did sound a little annoyed, saying, “We've had our ups and downs throughout the years as any married couple have. Jon and I spent more time together than we spent with our families because him and I wrote the songs.” Sambora continued,
I was in a situation and it was not easy to make that decision to leave the band and the fans… I was in a dire situation with my family and I had to make a tough decision and I did and I'm sure people weren't happy about it.
Those aren’t quite fighting words. In fact, Sambora’s comments seem perfectly reasonable. Sure, he probably doesn’t appreciate the way Jon Bon Jovi worded things, but it also seems like Sambora is in a good place, telling the paper, “I'm the happiest dude on the block.”
Despite New Idea’s supposed “source” claiming the two will never “bury the hatchet,” Gossip Cop doesn’t think it’s so cut and dry. For one, they reunited once already in 2018 when Bon Jovi was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. When asked by Rolling Stone if they would ever play together again, Sambora said, “It would have to be a special situation for me to go back, but I'm certainly not counting it out. I have no malice toward that band.”
Richie Sambora has different priorities today, and while it seems he and Jon Bon Jovi aren’t seeing quite eye-to-eye on that, that doesn’t mean the two will never play together. Rock 'n' roll is full of examples of seemingly unsolvable issues between band members, but eventually, almost all of them bury the hatchet at some point. There is no reason to think Bon Jovi can’t do the same thing. If Brian Wilson and Mike Love can set aside their difference occasionally, so can Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.
Gossip Cop cannot come to a verdict either way.