Back in 2013, guitarist Richie Sambora left Bon Jovi during the band’s Because We Can tour. Now, the rocker is opening up about the decision and why he has “no regrets” seven years later.
“It wasn’t a popular decision by any means, obviously, but there was really almost no choice about it. I had a lot of conscious work to do around [my personal life],” he told People on Monday (Dec. 21), adding that he needed to put his relationship with his now-23-year-old daughter Ava first. “We’ve been through a lot of things together. That was a time of psychological maintenance for the family. You know, I ain’t no angel. But I realized, Ava needed me to be around at that point in time. Family had to come first, and that’s what happened.”
“I love being a dad more than anything,” he continued of his child, whom he shares with actress Heather Locklear. “Luckily I was making enough money to be able to have a private plane, get my ass home and see my kid even if it was only for one day. If it was Halloween, it was boom, home.”
And while the two were close while he was touring, Sambora says his relationship with Ava has only gotten stronger since leading a more normal life in California, especially when driving her to and from high school every day. “That’s where the conversation went down. She was captive in my car for those 30 minutes. She couldn’t get out.”
“You can find out what you needed to find out and see how she’s feeling and all that kind of stuff. We’ve always had a very open, conversational relationship,” he shared. “I just said, ‘Hey, you can tell me anything. I’m going to be on your side.'”