Dave Sabo

Dave Sabo
Sabo at Wacken Open Air 2014
Sabo at Wacken Open Air 2014
Background information
Birth name David Michael Sabo
Also known as The Snake
Born (1964-09-16) September 16, 1964 (age 56)
Origin Sayreville, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Guitarist
  • songwriter
  • manager
  • Guitar
  • vocals
Years active 1978–present
Associated acts
Website skidrow.com

David Michael Sabo (born September 16, 1964), nicknamed "The Snake", is an American musician best known as guitarist of heavy metal band Skid Row.


Pre-Skid Row

Sabo was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and grew up in nearby Sayreville in the same neighborhood as childhood friend Jon Bon Jovi.[1] His mother, Dorothy, raised he and his brothers as a single mother. Inspired by the likes of Kiss, Aerosmith, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, the Rolling Stones, and Van Halen, Sabo began playing guitar at the age of 14 on a $40 Sears guitar his mother had purchased for his older brother years earlier.[2] Sabo was also a promising athlete, even being professionally scouted while a high school baseball player. Seeing Kiss play live as a teenager was the catalyst for Sabo to give up sports and focus on music full time.[3]

Sabo's friendship with Jon Bon Jovi led to him becoming the original lead guitarist for Bon Jovi in 1983. Sabo took part in a short three-week tour to support a demo version of Bon Jovi's debut single "Runaway" which became a surprise New York City-area hit in 1983.[4] Sabo's time in Bon Jovi was brief, and he was soon replaced by Richie Sambora as the band's lead guitarist. While working in Toms River, New Jersey, Sabo met local bassist Rachel Bolan, and the pair agreed to form a band which would eventually become Skid Row.

Skid Row

Sabo performing in 2009

Bolan and Sabo recruited guitarist Scotti Hill, drummer Rob Affuso, and vocalist Matt Fallon and christened the new band Skid Row. Fallon was replaced by Sebastian Bach in 1987 and the band began playing shows in clubs throughout the eastern United States.[5] With some help from childhood friend Jon Bon Jovi, Sabo was instrumental in securing a record deal for Skid Row with Atlantic.[3] In 1989, the band released their debut album, Skid Row, which was an instant success. The record went multi-platinum and produced the hit singles "18 and Life", "I Remember You" and "Youth Gone Wild". Skid Row turned in a heavier direction on their double-platinum follow-up, the 1991 album "Slave To The Grind".

Kryst the Conqueror

Sabo played lead guitar on "Trial of the Soul", a track by the band Kryst the Conqueror featuring former members of the Misfits as well as Jeff Scott Soto of the Yngwie Malmsteen band. Scott is credited under the pseudonym "Kryst the Conqueror" as he was under contract to Malmsteen and forced to remain anonymous.[6]


Sabo was briefly a touring guitarist for Anthrax during their "Attack of the Killer A's" tour.[7]


Sabo is the uncle of former Association of Tennis Professionals player Matt Sabo.[8]


  1. ^ Makin, Robert. "Kiss it Goodbye", Courier News (New Jersey), June 8, 2000. Accessed February 15, 2011. "Lifelong members of the Kiss Army, such as guitarist Dave 'Snake' Sabo of Sayreville and music writer Jeff Kitts of Scotch Plains ..."
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Biography: Bon Jovi". AllMusic. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Snake Sabo (Skid Row) 2013 Interview on the Signals of Intuition". The Signals of Intuition. 99.1 CJAM-FM. May 28, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  4. ^ L.M Matin. Jon Bon Jovi: The Sinner and the Saint.: The New Unauthorised Biography. BookBaby, August 20, 2013; Chapter 4
  5. ^ Weber, Barry. "Biography: Skid Row". Allmusic. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  6. ^ "Kryst the Conqueror on Misfits Central". Misfitscentral.com. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  7. ^ "Anthrax And Sebastian Bach Swap Guitarists". Mtv.com. February 2, 2000. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  8. ^ "Matt Sabo". Atpworldtour.com. September 16, 2002. Retrieved May 6, 2019.