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Jon Bon Jovi Is Not in Contact With Richie Sambora: ‘Doesn’t Mean That There’s Not Love Forever’

Jon Bon Jovi Confirms He Hasnt Seen Richie Sambora in 11 Years
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Jon Bon Jovi candidly shared where he stands with his former bandmate Richie Sambora.

“We’re not in contact because he’s not in the organization any longer,” Bon Jovi, 62, told Ultimate Classic Rock on Thursday, March 14. “[That] doesn’t mean that there’s not love forever, but it’s 11 years ago that he just didn’t show up anymore.”

After 30 years as lead guitarist, Sambora left the band in 2013 during the Because We Can world tour, a source confirmed to Us Weekly at the time. “There were a lot of well-documented problems, so this was the best decision for now,” the insider said. Phil X (real name Theofilos Xenidis) replaced Sambora.

“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,” Bon Jovi said. “And then, again, there’s a show that night. What are we gonna do?”

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Bon Jovi and Sambora, 64, are set to appear in the upcoming four-part Hulu docuseries Thank You Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story which debuts on April 26. When asked if he had spoken with Sambora about the docuseries, Bon Jovi said he hadn’t.

“Not a word,” Bon Jovi said. “That was [director] Gotham Chopra. This wasn’t a puff piece and this was no bullshit. 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. No, I still haven’t seen the [finished] product.”

Jon Bon Jovi Confirms He Hasnt Seen Richie Sambora in 11 Years
Mike Coppola/Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Bon Jovi opened up about Sambora’s departure during an interview with Good Morning America in 2016. “Everyone says, ‘Well, what happened?’” he said at the time. “We were in Calgary. The last album was entering the charts at No. 1. We’re sold out every single night. It’s show No. 21, and the short of it is, Richie just didn’t show up at the show.”

Bon Jovi noted that the band hadn’t seen him in person since. “There was no fight. There was no money. There was nothing I swear in my whole career, and he’ll tell you the same thing. So we went on,” he said.

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When Bon Jovi was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, Sambora made an appearance and performed with the band.

On Thursday, Bon Jovi shared he’s releasing a new album, Forever, on June 7. He also released the lead single, “Legendary,” which references a “brown-eyed girl.”

“What matters to me anymore is just being here with my friends, writing the song I want to write, living the life I want to live,” Bon Jovi said. “And my brown-eyed girl, which of course is a Van Morrison nod, but not in this instance — it’s my wife.”

Bon Jovi wed Dorothea Hurley in 1989. The pair welcomed daughter Stephanie, son Jesse, son Jake and son Romeo in May 1993, February 1995, May 2002 and March 2004, respectively.

“She has been there faithfully throughout this process,” Bon Jovi gushed of his wife. “‘And the brown-eyed girl, she believes in me, legendary.’ There it is. And that’s who and what I am at 62 years old.”

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