Richie Sambora on Kiss audition: I didn’t want the gig

Richie Sambora
No space ace: Richie Sambora (Image credit: Getty)

Richie Sambora has recalled his audition for Kiss, just before he landed the Bon Jovi role that made his name – and he’s admitted he didn’t want to join Paul Stanley’s band in the first place.

He tried out as potential replacement for Ace Frehley in 1983, but he already suspected he wasn’t the right man for the job.

Sambora tells Metal Express Radio: “I didn’t really know what I was doing back then, and I didn’t really want the gig.

“They wanted someone to replace Ace, but I think they wanted someone who worshipped them. I liked their music – but I wasn’t into them in a big way.”

Citing his preference for Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, B.B. King and others, he adds: “I just thought it would be a good thing to go along and give it a go.

“I didn’t feel like wearing any of their makeup, that’s for sure.”

Sambora continues working with girlfriend Orianthi on their RSO project. He reports: “We have two albums recorded and we intend on staying on the road for a while, so people can understand we’re a viable entity.

“All I’m concentrating on at the moments is working, recording and touring with Orianthi.”

Meanwhile, former colleague Jon Bon Jovi has said “it sucked” when Sambora decided not to return to the band in 2013. He apparently made his choice at short notice, and hasn’t reconnected directly with the frontman since then.

Bon Jovi tells the New Statesman: “I swear on my career, and on my children, there was no fight. He has issues and he can’t deal with them.

“There’s obligations – you have to show up. Get help, okay? I’m here to help. You don’t want the help? I can’t force anybody to make lifestyle choices.”

Bon Jovi released latest album This House Is Not For Sale last week.

Sambora's departure has given Bon Jovi 'new life'

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.