Before joining Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora was doing what many guitarists do: auditioning for bands. One of those auditions was for KISS, which would be a huge deal for most any musician given the opportunity.
Not for Sambora. He didn’t want the job anyway, and it has nothing to do with the fact that he was turned down.
“I didn’t really know what I was doing back then and didn’t really want the gig,” Sambora told Metal Express Radio about his time auditioning in the early 1980s. “They wanted someone to replace Ace [Frehley] but I think they wanted someone who worshipped them. I liked their music but I wasn’t into them in a big way.”
“I was more into Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Albert King, and Johnny Winter and stuff like that which was totally different to KISS so I wasn’t really that into the idea of joining the band. I just thought it`d be a good thing to go along and give it a go,” continued Sambora. Frehley would be replaced by Bruce Kulick, ushering in the makeup-less KISS era, which may have persuaded Sambora otherwise, if he had known.
“I didn’t feel like wearing any of their makeup, that’s for sure.”