Lead guitar for band Bon Jovi for over 30 years
Hits with partner Jon Bon Jovi and solo since 1991
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.
Bon Jovi added Sambora to replace original lead guitarist Dave Sabo in the band's early years and they became signature writing partners. As songwriters, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, individually and as collaborators, are responsible for some of popular music’s biggest anthems over the last twenty-five years.
Since Bon Jovi’s eponymous album release in 1984, their songs have propelled their albums and tours to stratospheric success with precision consistency. From rock songs (“You Give Love A Bad Name,” “Living On A Prayer" with fellow inductee Desmond Child, “It’s My Life,” “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,”) to ballads (“Bed of Roses,” “I’ll Be There For You,” “Always,”), to outlaw-themed anthems (“Wanted Dead or Alive,” “Blaze of Glory”), the list of hits penned by the duo reads like a timeline of popular culture.
Solid song-craft is heralded as one of the keys to Bon Jovi’s success with an arsenal of All-American songs that have repeatedly found a reception on a global stage. Bon Jovi has sold over 120 million records worldwide and charted seven #1 singles and countless Top Ten hits.
Additionally, Sambora has had individual success with his first solo album, 1991's Stranger in This Town, a blues-influenced album that charted at #36 on The Billboard 200 and #20 on the UK Albums Chart. Eric Clapton played lead guitar on the promo single Mr Bluesman, backed by Sambora on acoustic guitars. He 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 Dave Bryan (keyboards).
Undiscovered Soul was Sambora's second solo album, released in 1998. The album was produced by Don Was. Fourteen years later, Sambora announced via his Twitter page that recording of Aftermath of the Lowdown had been completed and 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 and #35 on the UK Albums Chart.
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.