The L Presents:

Lita Ford is coming back to The L on September 19th

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About lita ford

As a teenager, Ford was invited to join the Runaways as a guitarist. The novelty of a rock band composed entirely of women, coupled with the talents of the band and lead singer Joan Jett, made the group successful in the era of bands that included the Clash, Blondie, and the Sex Pistols. Influenced by her idol Jimi Hendrix’s solo act, Ford left the Runaways in the early 1980s. She told Teen that she “wanted to be able to sing and play as well as any man can sing and play.”

While Ford studied voice, she struggled to support herself working at a gas station and selling perfume. “I like money,” Ford revealed in People. “It sucks when you don’t have a job.” She shared an apartment with future Motley Crue bass player Nikki Sixx in Los Angeles, where the two dined mostly on macaroni and cheese. A fitness instructor at a gym before her career gained momentum, Ford endured snubs from male metal guitarists. Chris Holmes, who was one of her boyfriends and a guitarist for the band W.A.S.P., told People, “She doesn’t like guys to say chicks shouldn’t play guitar. She plays better than 90 percent of the guys I know.”

The influence of the Runaways lingered in Ford’s debut album Out for Blood. Ralph Novak stated in People during the early 1980s that Ford exhibited “the same brash, steel-edged approach to rock ‘n’ roll and the Jett black outlook on romance.” Impressed with her first solo record, Jon Pareles wrote in Mademoiselle that Ford “backs up her commands with the crunch and thud of heavy metal. It’s a familiar pose, but Ford knows how to make it convincing.” Her second album, Dancin’ on the Edge, made with drummer Randy Castillo, keyboardist Aldo Nova, and bassist Hugh McDonald, contains the scores “Dressed to Kill,” “Lady Killer,” and “Take the $ and Run.” Novak wrote that the songs convey “the general idea that we’re not talking syrupy, lovey-dovey stuff here.” Although Novak called Ford “a first-class rock guitar player,” he pegged her in 1984 as playing with a “thoughtful, light-metal sort of touch.”

In 1986 Ford’s career soared upon the release of her third album, Lita. The LP, which went platinum, showcased two Top Ten songs, including the gold single “Close My Eyes Forever” and the popular “Kiss Me Deadly.” Sixx and Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead worked with Ford on the soundtrack, and Ozzy Osbourne joined her on the duet “Close My Eyes Forever.” Critical response was enthusiastic. Although Stereo Review stated her lyrics ranged “from the vapid to the incomprehensible,” the magazine credited Ford for her “inspired solos.” Teen postulated that Ford stood “alone in her field,” while Guitar Player wrote that Ford “turns in the performance of her career.” In People Novak called her “a little old for [the] dopey vulgarity” he saw in the album’s lyrics, but praised Ford’s “instinct for abandon” that “often produces a positively charged variety of runaway rock.” Novak summarized: “Anyone in the market for hard rock modulated by a feminine sensibility might find this record a rewarding challenge.”

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