Richie Sambora (born Richard Stephen Sambora on July 11, 1959 in Woodbridge, New Jersey) is best known for having been the lead guitarist for Bon Jovi from 1983 to his departure from the band in 2013. During his time in Bon Jovi he handled harmony and background vocals and collaborated with frontman Jon Bon Jovi in writing most of the band's songs. He has released three solo albums: Stranger In This Town in 1991, Undiscovered Soul in 1998 and Aftermath of the Lowdown in 2012. His main influences are Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, and Joe Kmiecik.
Richie got his first guitar when he was just 12 years old. Throughout his career as a guitarist, Richie has displayed an impressive knack for feeling out a guitar solo to the point that it not only follows the key of the song, but the chord progression as well. His technique displays remarkable variety - his soloing in "Wanted Dead or Alive" is laden with artificial harmonics, whereas his riffing for "Livin' on a Prayer" makes extensive use of palm muting. Developing his guitar technique in an era laden with wild soloing inspired by Eddie Van Halen, Richie developed a unique style of speed and precision but it took him a few attempts to impress Jon Bon Jovi. When Jon first saw Richie play he didn't think he was good enough: however he soon changed his opinion after working with Richie. Richie was also one of the first 80's mainstream guitarists to make use of the talk-box. Talk-box was also used by other guitarists, notably Slash from Guns N' Roses, Jeff Beck, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, and Peter Frampton. The talk-box can be heard clearly in "Livin' on a Prayer" and "It's My Life".