When Jersey band Bon Jovi hits the road in 2017, former lead guitarist Richie Sambora will not be joining them. In 2013, he left the band he was part of for over 30 years to be more of an involved dad to his daughter, Ava Sambora, a model (whose mom is Sambora’s ex, Heather Locklear). Now, in an interview with People, a source close to Sambora says he won’t return to tour with the band, because “Richie’s schedule is busier now than ever, except a lot of it is with his family and around those he truly loves. He wants to spend quality time with Ava.”
But Sambora hasn’t abandoned music; instead, he’s working on an album in Vancouver with girlfriend Orianthi Panagaris, an Australian singer-songwriter and guitar player who’s toured with Michael Jackson and Alice Cooper. They’ve named their group RSO and will play in Brazil this summer and in the UK with Bad Company in the fall.
— Samborianthi World (@SamboriWorld) June 8, 2016
Orianthi told Rolling Stone that the album will have several country songs, and the first single could be out as early as this month, although there’s no official album release date yet. She said, “There are songs where I’m just singing and he’s backing me up, and vice versa, and songs where we’re singing together. It really takes you on a journey, and there’s a great blend to our voices.”
Watch Richie and Orianthi jamming:
Jon Bon Jovi has said of Sambora’s departure from the band, “I haven’t seen him in over three years. He just didn’t show up for work anymore.”