Richie Sambora: “That’s what writing songs is, it’s sharing our joy and our tragedies” – Music News

This weekend on Deep Hidden Meaning Radio with Nile Rodgers on Apple Music 1, Richie Sambora joins Nile to share the stories behind some of Bon Jovi’s most iconic songs. During the interview, he talks about winning the Apple Music Special International Award at the Ivors, writing hits like “You Give Love A Bad Name”, “Livin ‘On A Prayer”; and ‘Bad Medicine’, reflects on his relationship with Jon Bon Jovi, shares his continued admiration for Cher, and more.

Richie Sambora tells Nile Rodgers that he wrote “You Give Love A Bad Name”…

I guess I was about 23, lived with my mom, played in clubs. I would say to Jon, I would say, “Meet me at my place. Because both my parents worked. I loved writing, Jon doesn’t like writing with a lot of other writers obviously, because he was trying to find himself as an artist. You know what I mean? Meanwhile, we’re sitting in my mom’s kitchen, with formica and a 12 inch Japanese TV, all you see is like … Anyway, so Desmond [Child] and he don’t get along at this point. And me and Desmond went downstairs. So we’re starting to revolve around this idea. I said, “What should we do? We need to make the guys accessible for Bon Jovi. And that was our first number one single.

Richie Sambora tells Nile Rodgers the message behind “You give love a bad name” …

Richie Sambora: Sluts break your heart. No that’s it.

Nile Rodgers: It’s that simple.

Richie Sambora: Is it any easier than that? It really is.

Richie Sambora tells Nile Rodgers about the audience’s reaction to “You’re giving love a bad name” …

Oh, there is real energy there… They are happy that they also had a bad relationship. This is really what it is, man. That’s what songwriting is, it’s about sharing our joy and our tragedies… It’s about sharing that stuff. And somehow my life has been fodder. You know what I mean?

Richie Sambora tells Nile Rodgers that he wrote “Livin ‘On a Prayer” with Jon Bon Jovi and Desmond Child …

My father had two jobs. He was one of the nine. I’m going to New York for a writing session with Desmond and Jon in Desmond’s apartment. Traffic stopped completely, someone’s car died or something. I don’t know how long it took me to get out of there. I found myself a parking space about an hour later. I’m getting there and they’re crazy as hell. And I said, “What are you guys writing? Play it for me.” And I’ll sing it to you if you want. It was a song called “Growing Up The Hard Way”. And we wrote 30 songs to get 10 good ones. So here is the song. “She had a blue tattoo on the back of her hand that said, ‘I love you, mom and dad’” “Jon, you sing it.” “I don’t want to hear you sing.” We need to bring in some guys. We have to secure it so the guys can come. And I said, “Prayer. I need a prayer. I need a prayer. I need a prayer.” And I said, “All that I have, this ‘is the word, the prayer. ”And Desmond said,“ Living on a prayer. ”And then we come out of there with the first verse, the B section and the chorus. And Jon and I got in a cab and I said, “Wow, that’s the best song we’ve ever written.” He says, “Ah, I think that will be good for a movie soundtrack or something like that.” And he also tells this story on stage, every night. I said, “Why do you say that?” So I said, “If I buy you dinner, can we finish it?” So I took him out and bought him dinner, and then we finished it.

Richie Sambora tells Nile Rodgers that he wrote “Bad Medicine” …

Richie Sambora: So at this time Jon is married, he’s been with his sweetheart since they were 14. I’m a multi-millionaire rock star and single. I’m having a hell of a time. So I met this girl one night … And then I started to get serious. I really started to fall for her. She turned out to be the highest paid Heidi … What was that name?

Nile Rodgers: Heidi Fleiss. Wow.

Richie Sambora: 25 Gs per night.

Nile Rodgers: Wow.

Richie Sambora: So I got a good deal every night. So anyway, she was a cool chick. The song is about her. It’s a blues song.

Richie Sambora talks to Nile Rodgers about writing “Wanted Dead or Alive” and shooting guns on tour …

Well I thought if the band was to have longevity we needed a banner song for the guys. And I had this idea, ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’. And I got high one day, and I was sitting in my mom’s basement waiting for Jon to bring me a pizza so we could go. And I found this riff and I was like, “Well, that’s pretty easy.” And it’s a very simple riff. Looks like it’s hard to play, it’s not hard to play at all. And it allowed the girls to bring their husbands and boyfriends, and they didn’t feel like they had to go and hide somewhere. It was us riding in the truck stops, that long hair, and you would hear on the CB, “You see one of the long hairs walking.” We did not give a -. We are from New Jersey. We had the most heavily armed recreational vehicle. Our bus driver was a green beret. We had AK-47s, pistols and all kinds of things. He said, “Hey boss, do you want to get out of this?” Be somewhere in the middle of Utah. He says, “Okay, I’ll give you about 15 minutes to get ready, you know where it is.” We’re all like… we paint our faces, mow cacti and we don’t hurt anyone or anything. it is like. It’s the kind of thing when you’re on tour when you’re young like that. There were times like this when the camaraderie was very, very deep.

Richie Sambora tells Nile Rodgers he wrote “Hey God” …

You know what? If it took you out of your normal life for a few hours, or in some cases, people really said, “That’s good, because other people are sad too.” Other people are going through the same sort of thing. Because people are asking questions. There is a song called ‘Hey God’. And it’s cold when we’re outside, I’m going somewhere to get ready to go on tour. [00:11:00] And I was in traffic, and I opened a window, and there was a guy sitting in a box. And I spent some time with him. And he’s got to be like, “How come I’m not in that car? And how come …” And then I thought about it. I just started to write, “Hey God, tell me what’s going on. Where’s everything okay?” I just started doing poetry, writing a story about how many people are like, “What is this? ” You know what I mean? That sort of thing. And Livin ‘on a Prayer is a good song “What the hell”. It was the game. It was, “Why is this happening? “

Richie Sambora tells Nile Rodgers he’s dating Cher…

She’s a cool girl and she’s so talented. I remember when … nobody took a record. She didn’t make a record for six years, but she won the Oscar. And so Clive was giving a lot of work back then as a producer, because he was sexy. And he said, “Luckily, Jon,” you know how he does it, “I can’t get anybody to make the record Cher.” I said, “I’ll do it. I have a song, ready to go.” I finished three days. “Can I put you down? I said, “Yeah.” And then everyone got on board. Everyone got along well on board. You know, she called me all the time. We played together all the time. She is awesome.

Richie Sambora tells Nile Rodgers about his relationship with Jon Bon Jovi…

Nile Rodgers: It’s weird because when a band has a leader, and the band has the leader’s name, you think all the vocals are the leader.

Richie Sambora: And all the writing.

Nile Rodgers: And all the writing is true.

Richie Sambora: Exactly. It was part of my deal to shut it down. If I had a coffee, the sign would say, “Take a steaming mug and close it.” It would be my coffee. And you know what? Guess what?

Nile Rodgers: You did.

Richie Sambora: I did. And it worked because it’s what he needed for some reason. And I was working with him and if he needed that sort of thing.

Richie Sambora tells Nile Rodgers that he won the Apple Music Special International Award at the Ivors…

The privilege of being a songwriter and having this job is that people have their song and it’s one of your songs. It is such a wonderful thing.


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