I don’t remember it as being officially announced anywhere but it seems like Richie Sambora has officially left his longtime band, his long time mega successful arena rocking band Bon Jovi. From 2011 due to various health related issues, including entering rehab to handle his addiction problems, Canadian guitarist & star of the Youtube channel Fretted Americana Phil “X” Xenedis, has been playing guitar for Bon Jovi on several dates when Sambora was unavailable, including huge chunks of the 2013 tour in US, Europe and South America. Despite what also seemed like a rift forming between Sambora and Bon Jovi, Tico Torres & David Bryan it was always assumed that the hiatuses that Richie has been taking from the band was temporary and that he would eventually return.
In 201From 2 April forward, Richie Sambora departed the band’s ongoing tour for unspecified “personal reasons”; Phil X once again replaced him, this time for the remainder of the tour, amidst rumours that Sambora had been fired. Both Bon Jovi & Sambori denied these rumours. But in recent interviews on tv, which are available on Youtube, Sambora who is touring solo & with his girlfriend guitarist Orianthi, has stated that he wanted to slow down from the heavy duty touring and demands of being in such a rock n roll machine like Bon Jovi and be a leader and do his own thing, singing his songs. He also stated that during the long tour that Bon Jovi hadin 2013, he felt that he was needed at home with his daughter and that he could make his decisions easily if he wasn’t touring. After so many years together, the 55-year-old guitarist had had enough and stepped away from the famous rock group. Reports claimed that a conflict erupted within the band forcing Sambora to make the decision to cut himself loose. Apparently, the other band members were trying to push Sambora into a rehab to address his alleged substance abuse issues. This did not fly well with Richie as he jumped off the Bon Jovi train shortly after.
And now it seems like Bon Jovi is stating that it’s water under the bridge and Richie also stating that the four of them could be reunited soon. Sambora said on record that he only wanted a break and wanted to do his own thing for a while and that when the big tour came up he saw that he had to choose his priorities. Their wikipedia page shows Sambora as a current member and there is no official announcement of Sambora having left. I wonder what will happen. Meanwhile here’s a video of Sambora playing his solo single Seven Years Gone on the Craig Ferguson show.