Richie Sambora and his band play Soundwave in Sydney on February 23 and the Enmore Theatre on February 26.
RICHIE Sambora is listening to a lot of Aussie music at the moment.
Before he plays the Soundwave festival in the mainland capitals and his own shows in Sydney and Brisbane, Sambora says he's been listening to INXS and Midnight Oil with a view to playing a few covers while he's here.
"I think it's great INXS have been recognised there with a [television] show," Sambora says.
"I was always a huge fan and I'm going through some of their songs to pick out something to play.
"I don't want to play anything too obvious though."
He has an idea for a Midnight Oil cover that he's keeping close to his chest before deciding to blend it in to a set list of tracks from his three solo albums and a string of hits he penned as part of Bon Jovi.
And for the diehards - yes, Wanted Dead or Alive complete with gratuitous guitar solos will be among them.
"I feel no impropriety about playing any of those songs," he says in reference to the Bon Jovi classics.
"A lot of those things that are in those songs happened to me, you know. There were times when Jon was with his wife and everything was great while I was fumbling through many different relationships . . . and writing about them."
In and out of the Bon Jovi line-up for the past year or two, Sambora says that while he recognises many fans merely recognise him as the guitarist of the super group, he loves being out front.
"I've been the lead singer of every band I've ever been in except Bon Jovi," he says.
He's bringing a band of "A-list cats" who helped him record his last solo project, 2012's Aftermath of the Lowdown, and Australian guitarist Orianthi Panagaris.