RSO: Richie Sambora + Orianthi Perform NAMM Opening Night

Richie Sambora and Orianthi started their brand new project dubbed RSO; The pair, who are also a real-life couple, showcased their new material at the annual NAMM convention on the Grand Plaza stage Thursday night in Anaheim.

They played the loud and heavy “Making History” for the very first time ever live in front of a few thousand NAMM attendees and ditched their guitars as they sang the song “Truth” together. Sambora said that the duo had just finished recording their debut album in the kitchen of their L.A. home along with the help of producer Bob Rock. Sambora added that the record, with 22 new songs, should be out in a couple of months.

“Ori also happens to be a fantastic cook, so it’s a wonder we’re not all fat because all we do is record and eat,” Sambora said about the kitchen-studio situation in a phone interview just before the NAMM performance.

Orianthi, an Australian guitarist who has famously played with artists such as Michael Jackson, Prince and Alice Cooper, has been a featured guest at NAMM on numerous occasions and Sambora, who served as the lead guitarist and songwriter in Bon Jovi for three decades, has been attending NAMM in Anaheim since the early ’80s.

“I’m a gear head,” he said of getting out and checking out the new innovations in music each year. “I’m a guitar lover for sure. I have more gear than I actually need, but there’s always something new. That’s the one thing about being a songwriter is that a piece of gear that will change a sound a little bit or a guitar that’s just a little bit different can really inspire you and take you into a specific spot. A lot of people don’t understand why musicians are so attracted to gear but that’s one of the reasons.”

Bon Jovi and Orianthi knows the audience wants to watch them battle it out on guitar and they don’t disappoint. There were numerous moments within their set where the competition gets fierce, but in the end the pair look at each other and smile.

“That’s what people are going to want to come and see,” Sambora said of their competitiveness. “That’s the one thing with this record is that there’s definitely some ax wielding between her and I, but we really concentrated on writing great songs and how our vocals sound together.”

They did harmonize quite well on a few Bon Jovi songs including “Lay Your Hands On Me,” “Livin’ on a Prayer” and they closed with a rocked out version of “Wanted Dead or Alive” that started off with Sambora playing a little “Midnight Rider” by the Allman Brothers Band on a double neck guitar. They also included stuff off of their solo efforts like Sambora’s “Stranger In This Town” and Orianthi’s very first hit in the U.S., “According to You.”


New song: “Making History”