Lita Ford – the first lady of metal
Christmas-party at work had one easy to remember dress-code: There had to be something RED in our outfit. Those who know me also know that when you open my closet, there’s gonna be nothing but BLACK in there. So I started digging through piles of clothes, looking for something red.
Suddenly this old, worn out, washed out, greyish t-shirt from the late 80’s fell out from somewhere. My old LITA FORD t-shirt!
I loved that one back when I found it, because it was so difficult to get hold of certain things back then, before the internet made everything so available… Lita Ford-stuff wasn’t easy to find in Sweden, and this one cost me a fortune to import. So I wore it all the time.
I was a huge fan. Lita was extremely inspiring to a young teenage female rocker. Some people thought I was “wired the wrong way” because I was walking around with a t-shirt that had a half-naked woman on it, not to mention all the posters on my wall in my teenage-room. Lita was never known for wearing a lot of clothes….!
THIS is what Lita looked like in 1983-84 when I first heard of her…. As vulgar as it gets, perfect for a rebelling teenage girl who needed a role model! :)
But I think that maybe even that was a part of my fascination for Lita – she was totally fearless. I remember in one interview she said that if she hadn’t made it in the music business, she would have become a professional callgirl.
I couldn’t believe someone would make that statement, it was so “politically incorrect”. And for me, coming from a pretty strict family, that was unheard of, so it was so damn cool that she was so open and natural, very in-your-face with her sexuality.
What I liked about it was that she was such a badass. Many female artists use sex to get more attention (as well as male artists) but most of them end up looking like bimbos and brainless idiots. Lita was never a weak bimbo. She was cool and confident. and did whatever the hell she felt like doing, and that was inspiring.
I collected everything there was with Lita. Had every expensive hard-to-get picture vinyl single and imported LP I could get my hands on. I’ve followed her career most of my life actually. Always thought she kicked ass.
Maybe I didn’t like the “Black” album that much and I didn’t know what to think about the comeback-CD “Wicked Wonderland“. It was pretty obvious that it had more to do with her husband than with Lita, but at the time I was so happy that she was back after her long isolation on a desert Caribbean island, that I probably loved it just because she had made a new album after all those years of silence.
But honestly, I haven’t listened to it after I reviewed it. However, I did read and watched all the interviews on the web.
When she played Sweden Rock Festival, I was sitting there in Jon Oliva’s dressing room, which was just across from Lita’s, and couldn’t BELIEVE she was there! Kevin, my friend from Oliva’s band, walked in and started laughing:
– Do you realize that you look like a 13-year old fan right now?!
When she played, he got me up on stage to see her, cause I didn’t have the right credentials to be on Lita’s stage, but when escorted by someone who did, it was OK.
So I stood there just going “wow“. Her show, honestly, was a major disappointment and disaster. Probably one of the worst I’ve seen on Sweden Rock. It was embarrassing at times. Later on I was told that her guitarist never made it over to Europe, so everything sounded weird when it had been rehearsed with 2 guitars. I don’t remember if she ever mentioned that when she got on stage, but she should have.
This is from the stage – we stood there drinking wine, listening to Lita, couldn’t have been better! :)
That year, I got to do an interview with Lita and I was so nervous I could DIE…! She was the LAST of my heroes that I hadn’t met or talked to. So it was a huge deal to finally get her on the phone after all those years, I was freaking out…! But she was so cool about the whole thing, she was laughing, talking like an old friend and just made me relax.
I loved her attitude and her way of thinking. Maybe that’s why I’ve always felt it was easy to relate to her. She does what she wants, she lives the way she think is right, regardless what anyone else thinks. I’m the same. Maybe I’m not as extreme as she is, but somewhere deep inside I kind of wish that I was.
Looking forward to her next album that will FINALLY be all LITA again…!
Two clips from my interview w. Lita back in 2009:
1: Lita talking about abandoning her career to go live on a desert island
2: Lita talking about how she feels about her sons seeing and hearing things she’s done in the past.