Thursday, February 16, 2012

The #85 Guitarist of the Rock Era: Richie Sambora

Recapping our list so far:  
100.   Mick Barr, Orthrelm
99.    Jerry Cantrell, Alice in Chains
98.    Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield Blues Band
97.    Danny Kirwan, Fleetwood Mac
96.    Daron Malakian, System of a Down
95.    Sam Totman, Dragonforce
94.    Kerry King, Slayer
93.    Robbie Krieger, Doors
92.    Ted Nugent
91.    Jason Becker, David Lee Roth
90.    John 5, David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson
89.    Jake E. Lee, Ratt, Ozzy Osbourne
88.    Michael Wilton, Queensryche
87.    James Munky Shaffer, Korn
86.     Uli Jon Roth, Scorpions

Up next, a cowboy, with a steel horse he rides...

#85:  Richie Sambora, Bon Jovi
30 years as an active guitarist
(compilation of some of his best solos)

Richard Stephen "Richie" Sambora was born July 11, 1959 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  He has been the steady lead guitarist and one of the main songwriters that made Bon Jovi a special group for so many years.

Richie taught himself to play the guitar at the age of 12, shortly after the death of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix.  Sambora is one of those natural talents--as he says, if he hears a song on the radio, he can start playing it and know the guitar part within five minutes.  I'm envious but I greatly respect it. 

Sambora graduated from Woodbridge High School in New Jersey.  He was influenced mostly by blues and rock & roll in the 1960's, specifically the Beatles, Hendrix, Jimmy Page, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.  Spanish classical music appealed to Richie and led him to a lifetime of playing the Spanish guitar.  Sambora has also said that Janis Joplin's singing had a big influence on his style and classical music too has had its influence.

Sambora reportedly saw a Bon Jovi concert and approached Jon Bon Jovi about the possibility of working together.  The two hit it off immediately and Sambora was invited to a rehearsal.  That rehearsal went so well that Richie was hired on the spot.

Sambora was the missing piece of the puzzle and the group has thrived ever since.  Their album Slippery When Wet has now sold over 28 million copies worldwide.  The group's follow-up New Jersey was itself wildly successful and many songs are still demanded at live shows.

Sambora has also released two solo albums and he has been working on a third.  He has also done session work for Pink and Bo Diddley.

Sambora's favorite guitar of over 120 in his collection is the 1959 Gibson Les Paul.  In the 1980's, Sambora played Kramer, Jackson, Chavel and Hamer superstrats and custom Les Paul guitars, such as his Rod Schoepfer model.  In 1987, Kramer released a Richie Sambora signature guitar with three humbuckers, a pointy drooped headstock, gold hardware, star-shaped fingerboard inlays and a Floyd Rose Original locking tremolo. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.