Bobby Bandiera is an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter from New Jersey. Bandiera plays rhythm guitar for Bon Jovi in live performances and was lead guitarist for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. Bandiera and his band (The Bobby Bandiera Band) have backed Bruce Springsteen at benefit concerts.
A local legend on the Jersey Shore associated with the Jersey Shore sound, Bandiera’s appearances with other local legends Cats on a Smooth Surface date back to the early 1980s and clubs such as The Stone Pony, when Bruce Springsteen would jump onstage with them on Sunday nights. Bandiera was considered for the guitarist position in the E Street Band for the Born in the U.S.A. Tour in 1984 when Steve Van Zandt left the band, but this position went to Nils Lofgren. In 1985, Bandiera replaced Billy Rush as guitarist for Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes, a position he holds to this day. In the mid-1990s, Bandiera and Southside Johnny made a number of shows as a duo. He has also played with Dave Edmunds, and has his own band, the Bob Bandiera Band, which performs regularly in the New Jersey area when Bobby is not on tour.
Bandiera has released three solo albums and often played during Springsteen’s Asbury Park holiday shows of the early 2000s. His most famous song is “C’mon Caroline” which he co-wrote with Bob Burger, another very talented Jersey shore musician. He also does studio musician work and has appeared on albums by Cyndi Lauper, Patti Scalfa and others.
From 2005, Bandiera has played rhythm guitar in Bon Jovi’s live performances. According to Jon Bon Jovi, he is on ‘permanent loan’ (having not played with the Jukes since 2010) to the band from Southside Johnny and is lead guitarist for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. Bandiera and his band (The Bobby Bandiera Band) have backed Bruce Springsteen at benefit concerts.