Jon Bon Jovi is setting the record straight on his relationship with his former bandmate Richie Sambora. ‘There Was Never a Fight’

Jon Bon Jovi is setting the record straight on his relationship with his former bandmate Richie Sambora. ‘There Was Never a Fight’

Bon Jovi spoke about Sambora’s decision to leave his band at a screening of ‘Thank You Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story’

Richie Sambora in February 2024, Jon Bon Jovi in May 2023


Jon Bon Jovi is setting the record straight on his relationship with his former bandmate Richie Sambora.

During a Q&A at a screening of the band’s docuseries, Thank You Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story, in Los Angeles on April 10, Bon Jovi, 62, opened up about the pair’s friendship following Sambora’s departure from Bon Jovi in the middle of their 2013 world tour.

Asked whether it was possible he and Sambora, 64, who left the band for personal reasons, could perform on a stage together again, Bon Jovi noted that while his bandmate “didn’t show up” for a series of shows on their tour, there was never a falling out between the duo.

“There was never a fight,” said Bon Jovi. “There was substance abuse, there was anxiety, there was being a single parent, there was a lot of personal issues he was going through. But never to this day did any of us, me or him or David [Bryan] or Tico [Torres], ever have a fight.”

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Richie Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi and Alec John Such.KE.MAZUR/WIREIMAGE

“He had some issues that he just couldn’t wrap his head around and he wanted to be home more than he wanted to be on the road, but you got to show up for work,” he continued. “So there’s no animosity. An integral part of my story for three of the four chapters was my right-hand man, asked to join my band and I was lucky to have met him. But life went on.”

“When he quit the band, it was going to stop because he quit the band. So I don’t hold any animosity. Unfortunately, rock and roll’s not a life sentence. And I respect the idea that he wanted to stay home and raise his daughter. It’s unfortunate for us and for the world, but I am not mad about it.”

Reflecting on his decision to leave, Sambora told PEOPLE in 2021, “It wasn’t a popular decision by any means, obviously, but there was really almost no choice about it. I had a lot of conscious work to do around [my personal life]. I had people around me that loved me, and it was a good thing I got through it … I realized [daughter] Ava needed me to be around at that point in time. Family had to come first, and that’s what happened.”

Sambora shares Ava, 26, with his ex-wife Heather Locklear. Last month, a source told PEOPLE that 11 years after leaving the band, his daughter still remains his number one priority.

 Ava Sambora, inductee Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi and Orianthi attend the 33rd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Public Auditorium on April 14, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio.


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“Richie and Ava are very close. It’s his girl,” the insider said. “She means everything to him and always has.”

A source also shared how Sambora “was feeling demoralized” three years before he exited the group and “personal issues” contributed to his departure.

“There were tensions in the band and Richie had a lot of personal issues,” the insider told PEOPLE. “His dad died. Heather divorced him.”

Speaking to Ultimate Classic Rock in March, Bon Jovi told the outlet that he and Sambora are not in touch. Phil X replaced Sambora in the band after previously filling in for him during several shows in 2011.

Richie Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi


“We’re not in contact because he’s not in the organization any longer,” the “Livin’ on a Prayer” singer said. “[That] doesn’t mean that there’s not love forever, but it’s 11 years ago that he just didn’t show up anymore. And there were emotional issues that he was dealing with as a single dad, and there were substance abuse issues that, you know … Phil X had to show up one time, and then Phil X had to show up another time. And then, again, there’s a show that night. What are we gonna do?”

The rocker also revealed that he and Sambora, a childhood friend who was the band’s lead guitarist for 30 years, did not work together on the band’s Hulu docuseries, which premieres April 26.

“Not a word. That was [director] Gotham Chopra. This wasn’t a puff piece and this was no bulls—,” he told the outlet. “This is not us behind the scenes pulling strings. Oh no, no, no. They interviewed Richie in London. I wasn’t there. I had nothing to do with it.”

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