Richie Sambora these days
Richie Sambora these days

taken from Kerrang issue of Nov 25, 1995 - Bon Jovi in Mexico article

Richie Sambora spends most of his afternoons sitting in his room (not a thousand-dollar suite but a room), strumming away through his mini-Marshall amp, watching baseball. Or he'll grab his Discman and spin one of the 200 old blues CDs he recently bought.
Ever Mr Rent-A-Grin, he chats enthusiastically about everything from Bon Jovi to his new indie record label Mutiny, to his love of the blues and his forthcoming second solo album, currently in the writing stage.
He admits that his first solo sojourn (1991's "Stranger in this town") was stricken by "a fuckload of bad luck, but it was also a crazy record ! I mean " he laughs, " it started with a men's choir ! But I enjoyed making it without the pressure of having to sell 10 million copies. Of course, the executives wanted me to come back to Bon Jovi to make the money again. They even cut my tour, halfway through!"
Richie is the man who most looks like he's having a blast in Bon Jovi, onstage and off. He is also, by his own admission, "nuts" - often lapsing into mad professor alter egos and pulling bizarre faces that you'd never see on Bon Jovi record sleeves.
"I think everyone's pretty happy in this band" he smiles "I might just be less guarded than some of them. As long as you're in a process of evolution, you're really happy. I've started to really find myself as an artist, and the band doing so well again is cool. Plus I'm married now, and it's wonderful. Heather's great, so what the fuck's not to be happy about ?"
Hollywood actress Heather Locklear obiously feels the same about the guitarist, having recently told US housewives mag Redbook: "Everything Richie does is so beautiful and real and passionate. I feel that my heart is always smiling now".
The band stretched some tunes out tonight, to distressing lenghts almost rivalling Metallica's worst onstage indulgence.
Why ?
"Oh, because you have to for fun" defends Richie "And to take it different places. It'd be so fucking boring to do everything on the record verbatim. When you're doing 150 shows or more, if you don't keep it fresh for yourself, you get bored and so will the crowd. I keep my playing different every night. There's a skeleton of shit that I have to do to please the audience, but I'll always throw my own little new things in there. For me, that's lifeblood. Pop music is very tightly structured. Fuck that! That's why I play the blues all the time - there is no structure!"
Is the band's heart still in an old song of theirs like debut album classic "Runaway" ?
Richie wrinkles his nose.
"Hmm, not too much. But there's things you have to do for the people. You have to be giving. The reason we don't play songs from earlier albums any more is that we no longer think they're good songs. My favourite songs to play are from "These days". They're brand new and we haven't really done them too much. They're more reflective of where we're at in our lives"