Richie Sambora says his long-awaited reunion with Jon Bon Jovi and the rest of his former bandmates for the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction was anything but awkward. Sambora abruptly departed his longtime band in 2013 and went years without seeing Jon Bon Jovi, but now they have reunited to rehearse their set for the band’s long overdue Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
In an interview with Billboard, Richie Sambora described Bon Jovi’s Rock Hall reunion as “a joyous occasion.” Richie also revealed that things fell right back into place when he returned to rehearse with his Jersey-based brothers for their upcoming Rock Hall performance in Cleveland.
“It feels great to see everybody,” Richie told Billboard.
“We already rehearsed and it was wonderful, it wasn’t awkward. The chemistry came back very quickly; it’s matrixed into our muscle memory at this point. If you’re on the road performing and touring for 30 years, [the Rock Hall ceremony] is just another cycle — and it’s a good one, so here we go.”
Sambora described the Rock Hall nod as a “milestone,” but he also admitted his band never set out to make music just to get awards.
“You make music for the fans — that’s the truth,” Jon said. “And this award is all about them because without them, there would be no Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There would be no music business.”
In addition to playing with Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora is excited to take the stage with other Rock Hall classmates, including Dire Straits and the Cars for the traditional group jam session.
Richie Sambora previously told Billboard he was looking forward to reuniting with his former Bon Jovi bandmates for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. As for what songs the band will play for their three-song set at the ceremony, Richie wouldn’t dish, but he acknowledged there are “a lot of great songs” to choose from within Bon Jovi’s catalog. Sambora teased that Bon Jovi will likely play “the songs that touched people.”
In addition to Richie Sambora, Bon Jovi will reunite with former bassist Alec John Such for the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. Jon Bon Jovi previously told Variety he was excited to see his former bandmates join the current members for the Rock Hall honors.
“Richie and Alec are both going to be a part in all of the festivities,” Bon Jovi told Variety. “Al came to see the band at [MetLife] Stadium, and it has been five years since we’ve seen Richie…We are welcoming them both, and inviting them to come on[stage]. It’s just a joyous celebration.”
Richie Sambora was an integral part of Bon Jovi for three decades. The band Sambora co-founded with Jon Bon Jovi in 1983 churned out top-selling albums like Slippery When Wet and New Jersey. But Sambora abruptly left the band mid-tour in 2013, leaving his fellow bandmates—and fans—confused. Bon Jovi’s 2016 release, This House Is Not For Sale, was the band’s first studio album without Richie Sambora.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony will take place April 14, 2018, in Cleveland.