Richard Stephen "Richie" Sambora (born July 11, 1959) is an American rock guitarist, producer, musician, singer, and songwriter who is the longtime lead guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi. He and frontman Jon Bon Jovi form the primary songwriting unit of the band. He has also released three solo albums: Stranger in This Town in 1991, Undiscovered Soul in 1998, and his third, Aftermath of the Lowdown was released in September 2012. ambora was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, the son of Joan (née Sienila), a secretary, and Adam C. Sambora, a factory foreman.He is of Polish descent and was raised Catholic. He grew up in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey and attended Woodbridge High School there, graduating in 1977. He began playing the guitar at the age of 12 following the death of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix in 1970. From his early days Sambora was strongly influenced by blues and 60s rock and roll. His most important influences were Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, and George Harrison. He was also influenced by Spanish classical music and began a lifelong love of the Spanish guitar. Furthermore, he had stated that psychedelic soul singer Janis Joplin had a big influence on his musical style during her career in the late '60s and early '70s. Classical music directly inspired several of his songs, such as The Answer which was originally written on piano.