The band will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its debut album in 2024
Guitarist Richie Sambora says “It’s time” for a reunion with his former Bon Jovi bandmates as the group approaches the 40th anniversary of its self-titled debut album in 2024. In a new interview with People, Sambora says it’s a matter of time before it happens.
“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, and it’s going to make everybody happy. I mean, essentially, that’s why you do it at this point. I think that we wrote a lot of songs that changed a lot of people’s lives just by letting them have a good time. I know that’s what music did to me… kept me company. And I hope that I can reflect that in what I do,” Sambora says.
He continues, “So yeah, it definitely could happen. It’s just a question of when everybody’s ready to go do it. It will be a big, massive kind of undertaking. As for timing? “I’m not sure. It’s up to peoples, it’s got to be right. That’s all. It’s time to do it, though. This is our 40th anniversary, but I feel younger than ever. I’m having a ball.”
Sambora has expressed his interest in returning to the band several times over the past few years. Last year, Sambora told the UK’s Metro that he had hoped to return as axeman this year, stating cheekily, “It’s a possibility. We’re talking a bit.”
Earlier this year, he confirmed the conversations were ongoing, although there was no direct timeline.
“We’re talking about it. I don’t think there’s any reason not to at this point,” Sambora states.
“Jon [Bon Jovi] was having a hard time with his voice a little bit there and he needed to take a little bit of a breather,” he says in response to the vocal struggles the frontman had suffered during the group’s 2022 tour. “I don’t know when Jon’s going to get his voice together and [when the Bon Jovi reunion is] going to happen, but we have to get out there and do it for the fans really. I feel a second obligation. I’ve had such a privilege and an opportunity – and this is not bullshit, it’s really true – my life is pretty good, always has been and I get to do what I love to do for a living and it’s a damn good living. And I never really stopped really.”
Sambora abruptly left the band during their Because We Can Tour in 2013 for “personal matters.” The decision sparked numerous rumors of him being fired, Sambora telling frontman Jon Bon Jovi to “hire The Edge,” being given an ultimatum, and Jon simply stating “there’s been no fight” with Sambora. Sambora had always planned to rejoin the band, but ultimately was replaced by Phil X, who filled in for Sambora during part of the group’s 2011 trek when Sambora entered a rehab facility for the second time for alcohol and prescription drug abuse.
Sambora and his Bon Jovi bandmates last reunited when the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. The appearance and four song medley performance marked the first time in five years that Sambora had shared the stage with the group. It was also the first time in 24 years original bassist Alec John Such, who passed away last summer, had reunited publicly with the band since being replaced by longtime bassist Hugh McDonald in 1994.
In February, Bon Jovi earned its second video in YouTube’s Billion Views Club with “Livin’ On A Prayer.” In a social media announcement video, Jon teased big plans are in the works for the band’s 40th anniversary in 2023 which may include a follow up to Bon Jovi’s 2004 box set. There’s been no further news on the box or additional plans as of press time, but Jon has been spotted around Nashville recently as they work on the follow-up to the band’s 2020 album and an entertainment complex on Nashville’s Lower Broadway.
Jon will also named the 2024 MusiCares Person of the Year for the 33rd annual Person of the Year benefit gala taking place ahead of the Grammys on February 2nd in Los Angeles. In addition to his extensive musical achievements, Jon Bon Jovi is being recognized for his impactful philanthropic work.