Jon Bon Jovi said he still wished Richie Sambora was a member of Bon Jovi, but argued that there was a positive side to his absence.

The guitarist failed to appear for a tour in 2013, leading to rumors that he’d been fired, although the frontman said his old friend had “quit.” After a period of acrimony the pair settled their differences, although Sambora did not return. He later said he’d been unhappy with how Bon Jovi led the band for many years, while the leader claimed Sambora’s “life choices” had “led him astray.”

Asked in a new interview if there was anything he might have done differently in his career, Bon Jovi told Rock Antenne: “Very few things – honest to God, very few things. Some things happened that were the catalyst for why other good things happened, you know?” He continued: “There's not a day that goes by that I don't wish that Richie had his life together and was still in the band. … In a weird way, it's because of his inability to get it together anymore that we went on and wrote This House Is Not For Sale.”

He described the band’s 2016 album as “a very strong record” and suggested that his feelings on Sambora contributed to his ability “to write songs like this.” He added: “Maybe we would have gotten lazy. ... I don't know where we would have gone, but through all that pain and heartbreak came this.”

In a separate interview, Bon Jovi reflected that the Superman logo tattoo on his arm had come to represent the experiences his band had lived through over the years.

“It’s all worn to shit, but it’s still on my shoulder, yeah,” he told Rolling Stone. “When I got it in 1986, ’87, it was to signify Superman. But, really, it was for Slippery When Wet — I had achieved that superhero moment and if it’s all over after this, we’ve gone to that highest place. Now the ’S’ probably stands for ‘survivor.’ It’s faded, it’s beat-up – I don’t ever want to get it recolored or any of that kind of stuff. But Lord knows, we’ve really survived."

 

Bon Jovi Albums Ranked

You Think You Know Bon Jovi?