Orianthi- How she got here!
Her story starts in Adelaide on the southern tip of Australia where, at the age of six, she began taking an interest in her dad’s record collection. Now we get, who she emulated-Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Cream, Santana… because her lead guitar has a lot of each of those men in it. She also listened to a lot of Whitesnake, Van Halen and Def Leppard. Her father, who used to be a player in a Greek band, also kept plenty of instruments around the house, and it didn’t take long before she picked up the six-string! Lucky for us!
She said, “When I was 11, Carlos Santana came to play Adelaide and that show really affected me. I begged my dad to get me a second hand electric guitar so I could be like Carlos, and that was it, no more acoustic. After that, I would buy all of Carlos’ videos — on VHS! — which I kept rewinding to try and learn his solos. I totally wore out the tapes.”
Some seven years later when Carlos Santana passed through Adelaide again, Carlos’ brother arranged a sound-check meeting between the guitar god and his Orianthi after hearing some of her music. A sound check jam evolved into an invitation to join him on stage where Orianthi played for about 35 minutes and took a solo in front of a hometown crowd.
That explains that missing piece of who heavily influenced her- when you listen carefully to her riffs, you hear ALL of the above in her playing! So refreshing to see a woman able to pull this off, and it makes me wonder, why MORE women didn’t do it?
Performances, tours and guest appearances with ZZ Top and Prince have kept her busy up to this point- not to mention her OWN new CD “Believe!”