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LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 21: Guitarist Richie Sambora (L) and singer Jon Bon Jovi of Bon Jovi perform onstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 21, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bon Jovi has been the topic of many conversations as a result of their recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction announcement, and Richie Sambora’s confirmation that he will play with the band during the induction ceremony.  Richie and Jon Bon Jovi’s frienship has had its up and downs over the years. Here’s a timeline/breakdown. 

1982 – Jon Bon Jovi recorded his first song, “Runaway”, and was turned down by two major record labels. Later that year, Richie Sambora replaced the band’s lead guitarist, Dave Sabo, after coming to one rehearsal and being hired on the spot.  Sabo later went on to form the group Skid Row.

1989 – Richie and Jon perform ‘Wanted Dead Or Alive’ acoustic on MTV, cementing Jon and Richie as one of rock’s most dynamic duos for years to come.


Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead Or Alive - Acoustic Live - 1989 VMA Show

Jon and Richie perform Wanted Dead Or Alive Acoustically for the 1989 Video Music Award show



2013 – Sambora unexpectedly left Bon Jovi in the midst of a world tour. The band released the statement, “Due to personal issues, Richie Sambora will not be performing on this upcoming leg. All shows will go on as scheduled.”

2013 – In April, TMZ reports that Sambora’s reason for departure was due to “fighting over money” and Jon’s belittlement of Sambora’s role in the band.

2013 – In September, Sambora released a statement saying, “Jon’s the leader, and there are no bones about that — and no hard feelings. Everyone has a specific role in the caste system of what this band is, and that’s why it has lasted for 30 years.”

2014 – Canadian guitarist, Phil X, replaces Sambora.

2016 –In May of 2016, Bon Jovi made an appearance on “CBS This Morning” and spoke about Richie Sambora’s sudden split from the band. Jovi disclosed that Sambora simply “didn’t show up for work anymore”.

2016 – In August, upon the release of Bon Jovi’s “This House Is Not For Sale”, Sambora posted a video on Twitter, accompanied by his wife Orianthi, congratulating the band on the new album and wishing them the best of luck. Bon Jovi replied wishing Sambora “all the best”.

2017 – In October, Bon Jovi was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

2017 – In December, Sambora confirms to Billboard that he will play with the band during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Sambora states, “I was there for 31 years and we sold 150 million records or something and we put a lot of asses in seats in stadiums around the world and made a lot of people happy. I did so many different jobs in that band, so, yeah, I’m showing up for that. Everybody should have a smile on their face and a smile in their hearts and it should be a celebration of what we did.”