12-12-12 Sandy Relief Concert: Photos From Onstage & Backstage
Guitarist Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi rock out during their set at the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief.

Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora's departure from the band this spring had been shrouded in mystery, but the axe man is now saying that he had his reasons.

"Honestly, I went out for the first leg of the tour, I had no idea this was going to happen," he said in a recent interview for The Today Show Australia.

The 54-year-old guitarist said that he didn't want to miss out on time with his daughter, Ava.

Richie Sambora Was Sacked From Bon Jovi Tour: Report

The guitarist recently joined his ex-wife, Heather Locklear, last month to celebrate a milestone: Ava's Sweet 16 party at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village.

"I just started spending time with my kid between [tour] legs, and my spirit wouldn’t pull myself out the door. I just needed to be home," he said.

Sambora pulled out of the band's "Because We Can" tour in April due to what he described as a "personal matter." Much was written about the decision, including allusions that the New Jersey native and leader Jon Bon Jovi couldn't come to terms about money, but Sambora dismissed those claims.

"I thought maybe we should have took more time between the last tour and this tour," he said.

But there is hope for fans. Sambora is still making music. He released two singles, "Come Back As Me" and "Engine 19," this year. Plus, he hopes to rejoin the group in the future.

Bon Jovi Tour Rolls On Without Richie Sambora

"I think so, yeah, I’m pretty sure,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be the end of the band or anything like that.”

Sambora has also been making appearances -- most recently for a performance at the "Call to the Post" at the Breeder's Cup in Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. He also was on hand for Lady Gaga at her ArtRave press conference at Brooklyn Navy Yard.

"Spent some time with the beautiful @LadyGaga for #Artpop : love her. Performance, breathtaking. New songs amazing," he wrote on Twitter earlier this week.

The "Because We Can" tour recently won The Top Tour Award for Billboard's Touring Awards. The trek continues throughout this year with stops in Japan and Australia this December.

  • This article originally appeared in THR.com.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print