Bon Jovi Guitarist Richie Sambora Unveils New Tunes, Clothing Line
Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora isn’t just working with Los Angeles designer Nikki Lund to create the somewhat racy women’s clothing line White Trash Beautiful, the two are also making beautiful music together.
Some of those tunes comprised the soundtrack of the duo’s Feb. 17 New York fashion week runway show. And while unsmiling, perfectly-proportioned models sashayed up and down the runway, monochromatic beats, electronic rhythms and searing guitar lines merged with Lund’s powerful pop vocals, creating a symbiosis of sex, sophistication and euphoria.
The tentative title for Sambora and Lund’s group is WTB, and so far they’ve written 10 songs, which Sambora described to Noisecreep as “gorilla dance music with very heavy guitars and wild guitar solos.”
Surprisingly, it was six months into their clothes-designing relationship before Sambora realized Lund (who also performs in Secret Mind) could also collaborate on music. “One day she says to me, ‘You know, I’m actually a songwriter and artist, too,’” Sambora said backstage before the fashion show. “And I said, ‘Get out of here!’ Because she’s so talented at what she does with fashion. I said, ‘She can’t be this talented.’ But we sat down and wrote two songs and they were great.”
Sambora and Lund then hired production team The Matrix — who have worked with a wide range of talent from Korn to Avril Lavigne — and before long, they had 10 new songs recorded and produced.
“We don’t know what we’re gonna do with it yet,” Sambora said. “We’ve thought about putting a song on a G-drive on every piece of clothes, and then you stick it into your computer and it’ll take you to a site where you’ll be able to access our clothing and the rest of our music. But we haven’t decided exactly how we’re going to market our music.”
Ironically, the name White Trash Beautiful came from a song Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi wrote, then shelved because the lyrics were misogynistic. While the lyrics might have worked 15 years ago, they no longer reflected where the band members are as adults with kids. As willing as he was to part with the tune, however, Sambora couldn’t stop thinking about the name.
“I just thought, ‘Man, that sounds like a great name for a women’s clothing line,’” he said. “And then I met Nik, and we just started to jam with fashion ideas almost like songwriters, but with fabrics. Making a dress or making a jacket is like writing a song. You take a fabric and you put another fabric with it and you start jamming. I’d say, ‘I want to make a very short skirt with a little short leather jacket and maybe a chiffon thing. And you try things out.”
While there’s a rock element to White Trash Beautiful, the clothes are more about diva style than urban grit, and might be appropriate for a sleek female rock performer onstage, but would look out of place on gals in the crowd.
“This is ready to wear women’s line for confident women who are empowering and it’s not about being rock, It’s about being a rebel,” Lund said.
A-list Celebrities Miley Cyrus, Heather Locklear and Sambora’s daughter (with Locklear) Ava have modeled White Trash Beautiful clothes. Sambora and Lund plan to launch a men’s line in the months ahead, which will likely include the stage and street wear Sambora has been wearing, which he and Lund also designed.
The Febr. 17 White Trash Beautiful fashion show featured a range of apparel, including black leather, silver and teal silk tube dresses, gowns and mini-dresses with open sides. Many of the models sported blazers and stretch satin pants. One of the dresses inexplicably included a hood and some had frilly embellishments best suited for the especially confident and daring women.
The show was sponsored by Polaroid, Absolut Tea (thanks for the complimentary cocktails) and Trident, which provided free samples of Vitality gum the way bars hand out peanuts and pretzels. There was also a bizarre contraption on display that looked like a cross between a water bong and a medical device that allowed gum lovers to inhale the scent of Trident’s newest products through pads attached to a band that anchored under the user’s nose.
In addition, fashion show attendees could sign up for free back and shoulder massages; in our case, the procedure was performed by a woman with bony elbows and we left the chair five minutes later in minor pain, reinforcing the idea that you usually get what you pay for.