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Jon Bon Jovi on Richie Sambora leaving the band: 'We didn't anticipate it'

The singer opened up about Sambora's 2013 departure from Bon Jovi with Willie Geist on Sunday TODAY.
/ Source: TODAY

Bon Jovi’s latest tour is a little different from the band’s previous travels around the country. The reason: the absence of Richie Sambora.

This is the first time Jon Bon Jovi and company have kicked off a tour without Sambora, who left the group in 2013. As Bon Jovi recalls it, it was an abrupt departure.

“We didn't anticipate it. There was no fight, it was nothing about anything. He just didn't show up for work,” Bon Jovi told Willie Geist on Sunday TODAY.

The singer has moved on, though he still has a special place in his heart for Sambora. (In other words, he would never give Sambora a bad name.)

“What was then was then and what is now is now,” he said. “You’ve never heard me say a bad word about the guy. I love him to death. But there was no way I was going to be hindered by his departure.”

Neither would his bandmates, including drummer Tico Torres, who said not seeing Sambora on stage every night isn’t such a strange feeling anymore.

“I think it felt really different when we didn’t do the last tour with him. That was a missing link,” Torres shared. “That was hard for all of us because you really ... he was there and then all of a sudden he wasn’t there. But time goes past that.”

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For more of Sunday TODAY's conversation with Jon Bon Jovi, including the inspiration behind his band's latest album, “This House Is Not for Sale,” and why he made an obscene gesture to his guitar after his last tour, watch the videos in this story.

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