Ten years ago, Richie Sambora departed the band he co-founded with Jon Bon Jovi in 1983, but as the 40th anniversary of the Jersey rock band is upon us, the guitarist is not ruling out a Bon Jovi reunion, telling People Magazine, “It’s time.”
“There’s a documentary that’s being done about the band and stuff that I’ve participated in, and people want to come see us play. It’s going to make everybody happy,” the guitarist told the outlet this weekend. “I mean, essentially, that’s why you do it at this point.”
“So yeah, it definitely could happen,” he added of a reunion. “It’s just a question of when everybody’s ready to go do it. It will be a big, massive kind of undertaking.” The timing of a get-together was less certain to Sambora. “I’m not sure,” he said. “It’s up to peoples, it’s got to be right. That’s all.”
“It’s time to do it, though,” he added. “This is our 40th anniversary, but I feel younger than ever. I’m having a ball.”
The band was co-founded by Sambora, singer Jon Bon Jovi, original bassist Alec John Such, keyboardist David Bryan and drummer Tico Torres. Sambora has co-written some of the band’s most iconic hits, including “Livin’ on a Prayer.” The love that people have for these songs still feels “unbelievable” to the musician. “People love to go back and hear the scrapbook of their lives. And, somehow, I’ve been a conduit to that very, very luckily – and a lot of hard work too,” he said.
Sambora last took the stage with his bandmates in 2018, when the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At the time, he told Rolling Stone, “It’s always great to see the guys. There’s a lot of love here, that’s for sure. When I first walked in, we hadn’t seen each other in three years, and they go, ‘Does it feel awkward?’ No… it doesn’t feel awkward at all. I mean, they’re my songs.”
Even after not seeing each other for a few years, Sambora said there was nothing strange about being on stage with his bandmates, old and new. “You gotta remember, I was in that band for 31 years,” he said. “I played those shows every night. I could do this stuff sleepwalking. … I have a different energy. People want Coca-Cola, the real thing. That’s why they call it the real thing. They want to hear those sounds, that kind of attitude. And the guys that are playing guitar, John Shanks and Phil X, they’re both great guitar players in their own right. I was kidding around with Phil, I said to him – they were going onstage the other night, and I said, ‘Hey, it must suck being me without the chicks and the money.’ [Laughs] And he started laughing…”
One opportunity to reunite could be next spring, when Jon Bon Jovi will be honored as the 2024 MusiCares Person of the Year. The annual benefit gala will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024.