Richie Sambora Still Standing
What is your wish for the charity?
When you get that call that someone has cancer, you feel like you are drowning in a sea of disaster. The only thing you can possibly do is have hope. We hope we can spread information.
Were you with your dad at the end?
I was backstage [in Nashville last April] and my mother [called to say], "You better get here [to New York City]. We don't think he's gonna make it through the night." Jon said, "Take the jet and go." He held on for five more days.
You've said that you hit bottom.
I got divorced [from Heather Locklear and later split from Denise Richards]. I was going through a custody battle. I was having alcohol addiction problems, and my dad was dying and I was on tour and writing a record. I was emotionally busy. I was trying to slow down the speed of life drastically, but it was not working. It was a gang tackle from hell. And crawling out of that wreckage was a triumphant victory. My mom, the band, all my friends were very much supportive.
What's the toughest thing since you got sober [at Cirque Lodge last year]?
I haven't had any problems, thank God. Things are just getting better. Doing stuff like this [fund-raiser], being with my daughter [Ava, 10] and taking care of my mom. I love being a dad.