I'm a HUGE Fan of Richie's,But,since the early 2000's you could TELL Something was Wrong with Richie behind the Spotlight.
My Ex-Wife's Child Hood Friend,BOBBY BANDIERA,of SOUTH SIDE JOHNNY and the ASBURY JUKES Fame,started taking stage with Bon Jovi,Taking Up for Richie,who Obviously was having trouble covering his own Guitar Playing from early Bon Jovi on,Bobby was there onstage,out of the Spotlight to Avoid any MAJOR Controversy I Suppose,but,I believe That Richie and Jon wer having a STRAINED Relationship ON and OFF Stage. Gone werer the days of Jon and Richie Sharing the Spotlight during Solos or Both Hamming it up for the audience during Harmonizing on some songs. It was really sad,They STILL Sounded AWESOME,BUT,I think that's in BIG Part of BOBBY Helping Out so Richie had his Back Covered,no longer being able to take on the Role of SINGLE Guitar Slinger in a One Guitar Band,...john's Ryth Playing not withstanding. Jon was trying to keep BON JOVI ON THE MAP,along with being CLEAN and Sober,I Last saw them in 3006 LIVE at NJ/NY MEADOWLANDS,They KICKED ASS,BUT,Richie seemed SUBDUED,You KNEW Something was Up if You were a FAN of the Band.
I HOPE Richie gets his SH-T Together and finds his Way to Getting BACK in CONTROL of his life and Excorsizing his Personal Demons. No Matter What,He is and Always will be one of the ROCK GUITARISTS that Kept ROCK'N'Roll bands Filling the Stadiums,I HOPE that Someday,WITH or WITHOUT Bon Jovi,He gets Cleaned Up and HAPPY with hisife,and Brings Back the OLD GUITAR HERO Without the Monkey on his back,...it's KILLING HIM. PLEASE GET SOME HELP MAN And FIND YOUR WAY BACK!!!