Jon Bon Jovi Talks New Restaurant and Parting Ways with Richie Sambora: He 'Didn't Show Up for Work Anymore'

Richie Sambora joined Bon Jovi in the 1980s

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After decades of making music together, Richie Sambora left rock band Bon Jovi behind – and, along with it, longtime songwriting partner and bandmate Jon Bon Jovi.

“I haven’t seen him in over three years. He just didn’t show up for work anymore,” Bon Jovi, 54, told CBS This Morning while promoting the new second location of his New Jersey restaurant, JBJ Soul Kitchen. “And that’s the truth of the matter.”

Sambora left the band’s tour in April 2013, telling Entertainment Tonight that he wanted to spend more time with his and Heather Locklear‘s daughter Ava, 18.

“My daughter looked at me and said, ‘Dad, I need you.’ She’s getting ready to go to school. Currency of love and happiness outweighs the currency of money,” Sambora explained last year.

Of the split, Bon Jovi told CBS, “Life goes on. You know, being in a rock band is not a life sentence… you have other things in your life that you care to do. But it’s okay, because you share your art as long as you choose to share it.”

“You know, you don’t have to do this for a living – you choose to do it for a living,” he said.

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The “Livin’ on a Prayer” singer, whose second album sans Sambora is due out this fall, opened up about launching another JBJ Soul Kitchen in New Jersey.

The restaurant encourages customers to “pay it forward” by buying other diners’ meals, and is part of a bigger center, which includes a food pantry, food bank and teaching kitchen.

“When you come into this restaurant, there are no prices on our menu. So if you are in need, you participate,” Bon Jovi said. “And that means bussing the table, washing a dish, working in our gardens. If you are here to just enjoy a meal and affect change directly by buying a Pay It Forward card, you are paying for your meal and for someone else’s that are here in the restaurant or are going to come tomorrow, and you don’t know the difference between who are in need and who are not in need.”

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