Richard Stephen "Richie" Sambora (born July 11, 1959) is an American rock guitarist, producer, singer and songwriter who was the lead guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi for 30 years. Sambora and lead singer Jon Bon Jovi formed the primary songwriting unit of the band. He has also released three solo albums: Stranger in This Town in 1991, Undiscovered Soul in 1998, and Aftermath of the Lowdown, released in September 2012.
Richard Stephen Sambora was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, the son of Joan (née Sienila), a secretary, and Adam C. Sambora, a factory foreman. He is of Polish descent and was raised Catholic. He grew up in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey and attended Woodbridge High School there, graduating in 1977. He played basketball in high school, where as a sophomore, his Woodbridge High team won the 1975 Group 4 State title.
His first instrument was the accordion which he began to play at the age of 6. He began playing the guitar at the age of 12 following the death of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix in 1970. From his early days Sambora was strongly influenced by blues and 60s rock and roll. His most important influences were The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Joe Kmiecik, George Harrison, and B. B. King. He was also influenced by Spanish classical music and began a lifelong love of the Spanish guitar. Furthermore, he had stated that psychedelic soul singer Janis Joplin had a big influence on his musical style during her career in the late '60s and early '70s. Classical music directly inspired several of his songs, such as The Answer which was originally written on piano. He also plays many other instruments, such as drums, bass, saxophone, piano etc. The first time he performed on stage was at a CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) dance when he was a teen...
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