Guitarists Richie Sambora (BON JOVI) and Orianthi (Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper), who are both a real-life couple and creative partners, have released two romantic songs just in time for Valentine’s Day: an original track called “Forever All the Way” and a cover version of Sonny & Cher‘s 1965 hit “I Got You Babe”. Both songs will appear on the debut album from their RSO project, which is due in April.
“‘I Got You Babe’ is one of the best duets of all time and it’s a song that reminds us that true affection has no limitations,” Sambora told People. “Ori and I loved paying homage to this timeless SONNY & CHER classic.”
RSO recently released a five-track EP called “Rise”.
Sambora and Orianthi first met in Hawaii in 2013. Sambora was vacationing there and was asked by his old friend Alice Cooper to join him onstage at a charity show. Orianthi had been Cooper‘s guitarist since 2011. “Alice and I are sitting in the audience while the band is rehearsing and I said, ‘Who’s that?'” Richie recalled. “And he said, ‘That’s Ori. She’s played with Michael Jackson.'”
“We just hit it off straight away,” Orianthi said. “We started jamming out and it was really great. Afterward Richie invited me to come hang out and we started writing and the chemistry was just there.”
“From the first time we were onstage, it was so powerful,” Sambora said. “It felt inevitable that something was going to happen. I, personally, knew in my heart, after that first time we played together that it wasn’t going to be the end.”
Two months later, Sambora invited Orianthi to join him on a festival tour of her native Australia and later Europe. The two traveled together, performing and feverishly writing songs. “There was an airstrike in France and we had to drive eight hours in a van,” Sambora recalled. “We got out the guitars and wrote three songs in the van. Ours is a true Bonnie and Clyde rock and roll kind of story.”
Sambora and Orianthi eventually became a couple and now share a home in Los Angeles where they have built a recording studio in their kitchen, complete with studio-size speakers, keyboards, computers, and mics. There are amps in the dining room, the living room overflows with racks of guitars, and the home theater has been converted into a drum room. Most of the songs on “Rise” were recorded there over the past two years with songwriter/producer Bob Rock (METALLICA, BON JOVI).