Tagged: interview

We all still have our heroes (Godzilla interviews Ian Hunter)

A few months ago, I conducted an interview with Chris “Godzilla” Doliber of Madam X, and during that interview he mentioned that one of the things on his bucket list, was “to have a chat” with his childhood hero – Ian Hunter (Mott The Hoople).

I uploaded the interview and that was that. One day I was on my way home and passed our local rock club KB, KulturBolaget, and saw posters of Ian Hunter outside, advertising an upcoming gig – and got an idea…! :D

I contacted Ian’s management and got a very kind and immediate reply. I wanted to try something new that could be interesting – and got the green light.

Ian Hunter and band were actually going to be in Malmo the day before the show which gave him the time and flexibility to do a video interview without the usual stress of scheduled sound checks and all that.

Next, I contacted Chris and presented my idea. Would he like to ALMOST “have a chat” with Ian Hunter – through video?
It would be two generations of musicians “talking” through the help of modern interaction. I loved the idea and it seemed to be the perfect opportunity to experiment.

It would show that no matter where you are in your career as a musician, or how much older and wiser you get, we all still have heroes that have left permanent marks in our lives.
This would truly show how one generation passes the torch to the next – keeping the musical fire burning, sometimes without even knowing it.

The original thought was to do a video interview with Ian, show every reaction and expression, and cut these two clips together as a Q & A type of thing.

My camera guy was standing by, I had everything planned out in my head already, the only thing that was missing was the actual talk with mr Hunter.

However, things don’t always go according to plan. On the day of the interview, I was informed that Ian hadn’t been feeling very well and for that reason he prefered not to be filmed.
He was kind to agree to doing the interview anyway, if there was a way to make it work without any cameras involved.

Well, anything works, if you MAKE it work. I’m glad and grateful that he took the time at ALL. So I headed down to his hotel with my little audio recorder, just like back in the good old days.


When Ian came down to the lobby, he looked very cool and was wearing a hat and his signature shades. He would have looked absolutely perfect in a video, but I’m not one to talk. I know how it is when you’re just not in the mood to get a camera in your face.

There was a small little room there on the first floor, a bit secluded, comfortable couches, tables, rugs, very cozy.
When I explained to Ian that the interview was going to be conducted by another musician – through video, he was worried that he might not hear the questions because of all the background noise, but I had forseen that and brought a pair of headphones.

That’s the scenario – a laptop, a video, a rock star with headphones, hat and shades and a journalist recording his answers…. :)

It was new to him to be interviewed that way, but he seemed to find it interesting. He looked pretty amused while watching the video.


After the interview, we were joined by the tour manager and Ian’s very sweet wife Trudi and chit-chatted a little bit after the interview was done. She had just been sight-seeing in Malmo a bit and brought everyone coffee from a coffee-shop nearby.

When I left the hotel, I was smiling to myself. Ian Hunter is 75 years old, but not for one second did I ever think of him as anything but a passionate young man who loves music but hates the business. Words I’ve heard from several musicians before him actually. Love the music, hate the business.

He was incredibly cool, almost slightly intimidating but I have no idea why, cause he was very kind and polite. It’s just that badass-attitude that IS Ian Hunter that shines through, that’s all.

I enjoyed this whole experience. It might not have turned out exactly the way I had planned, but it was fun and interesting to try this slightly different approach.

So, without further ado, here’s Godzilla interviewing his musical hero Ian Hunter – enjoy!

(If you wish to skip directly to the actual interview, it starts at 2:52)

GODZILLA: “The weight of Madam X 80′s is off of us”

As promised, the not-your-average-interview with Madam X bassplaying madman, Chris “Godzilla” Doliber.
It’s a fun look into the thoughts, life and antics of this anything but subtle showman – and there will be YET more, as we went a little more in depth with some of the topics here below, in a phone conversation a few days after this was done. So, if you’re a Madam X-fan, subscribe to this blog, like my Facebook-page InTheRearviewMirror or follow me on Twitter, and you’ll be the first to know when it’s up!



Back to the roots: Can you remember the moment when you realized that music was going to be your life? (what band, album, concert or other event triggered it?)
I was very young and my father screamed “everybody come here quick!“. The family gathered around the television to watch The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. The Rolling Stones, The Doors. I asked for a guitar for my 6th birthday. I suppose seeing my father and mother so excited about music somehow fueled my desire to play.

Can you recall your very first gig, the first time you had to face a crowd? 
My first gig was playing a High school dance. I remember the girls swarmed around like bees. Music, Money, Pussy. I was hooked!

When you joined Madam X, it was during a period when many were sceptic as to if women could play rock’n’roll. Was that ever an issue for you? Did you ever question if Roxy and Maxine could play or if you even wanted to be associated with women in a heavy metal band?
I never thought of it as playing in a band with women nor did I ever give a fuck what anyone else thought. They are very accomplished musicians. Both had scholarships to the University for Music. They can talk circles around me about music theory. When they auditioned me I was blown away by their musicianship! After several hours of foreplay they gave me a call back. Ask the cat from Skillet, Evanescence, Smashing Pumpkins. I’m sure you’ll get the same answer.

Did you ever think, during all these years when you were busy doing other things and playing in other bands, that Madam X would get together again?
(You did a reunion gig in the early 90s but was the band dead as far as you were concerned or were you always hoping there would be a new beginning for Madam X?)
You know, you move on in life. I don’t live in the past. I always have songs ideas running through my head. Like, damn this would be perfect for the X if we were together. I pretty much thought Madam X would never play together again. I thought they all hated me. At least for now it seems their skin is tough enough to put up with me for a little while. Okay, so I hit myself in the head with my bass. They hate that. Why? Because I have knocked myself out before, and most recently Sweden Rock, I got vertigo and had to leave the stage to go vomit during Maxine’s guitar solo. Why do I do it?  Because that’s who I am!

So now, what do you see in your crystal ball – what are your hopes and plans for the future, both for the band and for you personally?
My crystal ball is in the shop. But I’m looking forward to releasing what I feel is the best music we have written. We have a fresh renewed feeling. The weight of Madam X 80’s is off of us and now we are producing some great songs that cross over from who we were to who we are.

On a personal level, I’m looking forward to taking a ride on the Vomit Comet that is the plane that trains the astronauts. As the plane performs a parabolic maneuver the occupants become weightless. Yes, you can get a ticket for that ride, but it is a bit pricey. Also I am working on a website that will connect all strip club DJ’s worldwide, stripclubmusiconline.com
If you are an artist and have a song that is suited for the strip club industry, sexy, dirty… Maybe you’re the next Skrillex, Buckcherry, Nickelback, Melleefresh. Upload today and your music can be played worldwide tonight!!  That’s a captive audience of over 1 million people a day in strip clubs. stripclubmusiconline.com is the largest strip club DJ data base in world.




What are some of your hobbies (apart from playing)? What are you passionate about and how do you get your kicks?
My # 1 hobby is scuba diving on ship wrecks in Lake Superior. My max depth so far is 232 feet on air, that was on a beautiful little ship called the Comet. I like to surf.

What’s the craziest thing Godzilla has ever done?
That is really hard to answer. To a crazy person nothing seems crazy. Things I might regret doing? Smashing a 1965 Fender P bass, value $10.000 plus. Pushing over a stack of Ampeg SVT’s, a total of 4 heads then not having anything to play through the next night. Breaking my bass techs jaw bone. Spitting on Sebastian.
[there will be more on this topic soon, as we went a little deeper in that whole discussion during a phoner a few days later]

How did the name Godzilla become your nick?
On stage I tend to have a short fuse, it doesn’t take much to set me off. Bret named me Godzilla because of my bad attitude. However the rumor is because my manhood is large, green and scale Y.

What’s the biggest difference between Chris Doliber and Godzilla?
I am a Gemini, 2 people 1 skin. Chris will help an old lady cross the road, anonymously buy elderly persons a meal in a restaurant. Godzilla will set himself on fire to get attention!!

Whats the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
Keep your dick in your pants.

What do you do to keep fit? Diet, excercise, and how disciplined are you?
I try to run everyday at least 2 miles. I do pushups, squats… things I don’t have to go to the gym for. I eat everything but prefer red meat, chicken , fruits and lots of vegetables. Salmon when I’m feeling freaky.

What makes you angry?
Wow. This is going to take a while. Someone driving the speed limit in the inside lane. In the U.S that’s the passing lane or the fast lane. Look, I’m in a hurry. It’s my ticket, I will pay it if they can catch me, so get the fuck out of my way. Abuse of animals, children and the elderly. All others “fair game”.

If you could put together your favorite band, consisting of any musicians – dead or alive – who would you pick?
Well, this band will have the most musicians ever on a stage together. Look, just because a musician is notable doesn’t mean he or she would be a good fit in just any rock combo. That’s what band chemistry is, all the right ingredients to make explosives. It’s highly likely they have surrounded themselves with musicians that will compliment his or her style.
Okay, here we go – but I will narrow it down to keep payroll in check. You know, too many mouths to feed. Let’s start with the meat and potatoes.

Band #1

Rob Halford– vocals. Dimebag Darrell & Zakk Wylde – guitar.  Cliff Burton– bass. Bill Ward – drums.




Band #2

Freddie Mercury and Ian Hunter – vocals. David Bowie – vocals and sax. Brian MayJimmy Paige – guitar. John Deacon or John Paul Jones – bass. Cozy Powell or John Bonham – drums.
Oh yeah, that motherfucker Godzilla to clean the stage when their done being brilliant.



Band #3

Bret Kaiser on vocals. Maxine Petrucci on guitar. Roxy Petrucci on drums,  and yours truly.



Whats your first thought upon waking up?
NOT AGAIN! Just kidding. On many occasions I feel like I won the lottery. I love my house, it sits on 4 acres, it’s a big old place that looks like a castle, but it’s home to me.

Aside from food, water, and shelter, what one thing could you not go a day without? Your smartphone? A sentimental keepsake? 
My family and friends. All in all, I’m pretty much okay without all that shit. I’m an artist so I will beat on hollow logs and make pictures on cave walls .

Are you a good liar?
I don’t think I’m a good liar. I think I would like to be a better liar, but liars are not thought of in a good way, so disregard that 2nd comment. I was lying when I said that.

Are you a good judge of character?
I would like to believe so, but my track record proves different. As many times as I’ve been screwed on deals, I’m surprised I haven’t gotten pregnant.

Do you have a “things to do before I die”-list?
Most definitely. People or things? Skydive, see the great pyramids in Egypt, fly a Jetfighter, have a chat with Ian Hunter. Punch a bully in the mouth.



In everyday life, what is your number one pet peeve?
Wow, so many so little time. I always put my left sock and shoe on first. Even if my felt shoe is across the room and my right shoe is within arm’s reach. Don’t touch my tooth brush, EVER!!

If you could go back in time to change one thing what would it be?
Only one thing? I would give Adolf Hitler’s father a condom.

If you were a super hero what powers would you have?
Aside from X-ray vision. I would stand 300 feet tall and breathe radio-active bile. Not really a super power but that’s just who I am.

Do you find yourself attractive?
No, I don’t find myself attractive. However, I have a good heart and a charming personality. I really don’t care if someone finds me attractive, as long as they find me. I definitely look better in the dark.

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Godzilla: Extremely Hazardous, Highly Toxic. Avoid contact with skin and eyes. Prolonged exposure could cause paralysis or loss of life.  Chris Non Toxic, use as directed.

Your favorite alcoholic drink? (and non-alcoholic)
Yukon Jack on the rocks. Gin and tonic with a twist of lime. Cafe Patron on the rocks , Mint Julep, Wine, Water, Coffee , Tea. Any fruit juice.

If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
I have always been comfortable in my own skin. Although I have many flaws, I don’t think I would change a thing. It’s just who I am.

Meet the GODZILLA – coming soon!

There are so many things happening now that I can’t keep up – so expect a bunch of blogs very soon. Still a few more from Sweden Rock Festival for instance – and also, keep an eye out for an interview with Madam X’ wild bassman, Chris “Godzilla” Doliber! One of the most interesting people I’ve talked to in a while. I love it when I think I know what to expect, and then get something completely different. Very cool guy.

So, while you’re waiting for that, here’s a little teaser from that conversation!

[Roxy Petrucci and “Godzilla” meeting their fans at Sweden Rock Festival back in June]

Let’s start with a Godzilla quote that would look great on a t-shirt:



Are you a good judge of character?
I would like to believe so, but my track record proves different. As many times as I’ve been screwed on deals, I’m surprised I haven’t gotten pregnant.

If you could go back in time to change one thing what would it be?
Only one thing? I would give Adolf Hitler’s father a condom.

Are you a good liar?
I don’t think I’m a good liar. I think I would like to be a better liar, but liars are not thought of in a good way, so disregard that 2nd comment. I was lying when I said that.

What’s the craziest thing Godzilla has ever done?
That is really hard to answer. To a crazy person nothing seems crazy. Things I might regret doing? Smashing a 1965 Fender P bass, value $10.000 plus. Pushing over a stack of Ampeg SVT’s, a total of 4 heads then not having anything to play through the next night. Breaking my bass techs jaw bone. Spitting on Sebastian.

How did the name Godzilla become your nick?
On stage I tend to have a short fuse, it doesn’t take much to set me off. Bret named me Godzilla because of my bad attitude. However the rumor is because my manhood is large, green and scale y.

What’s the biggest difference between Chris and Godzilla?
I am a Gemini, 2 people 1 skin. Chris will help an old lady cross the road, anonymously buy a elderly persons meal in a restaurant. Godzilla will set himself on fire to get attention!!

What makes you angry?
Wow. This is going to take a while. Someone driving the speed limit in the inside lane. In the U.S that’s the passing lane or the fast lane. Look, I’m in a hurry. It’s my ticket, I will pay it if they can catch me, so get the fuck out of my way. Abuse of animals, children and the elderly. All others “fair game”.


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Hello again, Metal God…! :)

I arrived at my hotel fairly early. Luckily, those “nicer”, more expensive hotels are more likely to have a room available even if you show up early, so I kept my fingers crossed. Unfortunately, they didn’t have anything, but we got all the paperwork done and they asked me to come back around noon. That was still 3 hours earlier than regular check-in time, so I call that flexibility and good service. :)

I went to the little cafe in the back behind the elevators, to grab a croissant and a cup of tea and thought I’d be able to hang online for a while – but since the room wasn’t ready, I wasn’t “officially” checked-in, which in turn meant that I had no room to charge it to. So, I went back to the reception. One of the girls took a quick look around and whispered: “If you don’t tell anyone, I’ll give you this for free“. It was a £10 worth Internet code for 24 hours. :)

I’m lucky on this tour with the free internet. It was the same in Hannover, the hotel charged 1 euro per hour and the older lady gave me a 1 hour code. That didn’t last long – so I went back to the front desk and this time there was a young girl there. I told her that 1 hour was nothing for me, I was online like…ALL the TIME. She smiled, looked around and said the same as this lady today: “Here. It’s a 48 hour code, for free. Shhh….“.
I must look like someone who REALLY needs it, haha! But I appreciate it so much. Those kind ladies deserve a hug and a medal! :D WiFi when you’re out travelling is a lifesaver in so many ways – as an information source and as a way of killing time and getting in touch with people. It SHOULD be for free for travellers…! Always!

Anyway, my room wasn’t ready at noon but the same girl who gave me the free internet code, helped me once again. “I have a different type of room available if you don’t mind being on the 4th floor instead of ground floor?” I took it.

I had very little time to throw more “representative” clothes on and run off to find Sony Music’s London office. It was right on Kensington, and quite an impressive office I must say.

The talks about the music industry walking on their knees financially wasn’t evident there at ALL. On the contrary. The ladies at the reception had me sign in and I got my visitor-ID. “Please sit down and someone will come for you”.

There were lots of screens up in the ceiling, showing music videos, it was VERY spacious, had modern, leather couches, red designer swivel armchairs and wooden floors.
I was given a guest WiFi code so I could kill some time. Nice touch. :)

Eventually, a young lady with an orange file that contained a bunch of papers showed up and asked the guys next to me if they were there for the Judas Priest album-listening. There were 7 of us, some guys from Finland, one from Metal Hammer Germany, a radio station from somewhere… I don’t remember now but I recognized all those names/publications.
“Follow me”, she said.
And like a line of ducks, we followed her through the Sony offices, like through a maze. She stopped a few times to make sure everybody was still following.

We eventually reached a room with a huge, sliding door that she slid open, and it looked pretty heavy.
I walked in, and it was a big room, very modern and very expensive looking. Three leather couches, placed like an “U” around the table, looked like brand new, a big beige thick rug and a low black sofa table.
On one wall, there was this huge flat-TV (a Sony, of course) and speakers. When she turned up the volume, those things almost blew my ears out…! Not that I complained…! :D

We all took our pens out to make notes when she turned the new Judas Priest album on and left the room. After a few minutes she came back with the track-listing, but the paper also said that we weren’t allowed to take it with us. I wonder what the point of that was, as the tracks have already been revealed on Blabbermouth??

It was just a weird thing to experience a brand new Priest-album in the company of strangers and like THAT. I’ve always made sure that my “first
time” hearing a Priest-album was in a relaxed environment (=my home or my car) but this was…different.
Some songs sounded like they were off Painkiller. Some were so-so and some were absolutely killer. My verdict, all in all, is that I will love this album.

I wasn’t a super fan of Angel of retribution and I definitely wasn’t a huge fan of Nostradamus either. But THIS I do like! Rob’s voice is still great and because he can’t sing those high pitch songs anymore, he’s found a different way to sing and THAT makes it new and interesting! He does some “clean” singing on one or two songs, and he’s got such a beautiful, soulful yet powerful voice on those. It was such a pleasure to hear that. I must have smiled there in my left corner of the couch.

I quickly got a favorite song, which I can’t WAIT to get so I can blast it on repeat: Secrets of the dead. LOVED it!!
A few seconds before the last song had finished playing, our hostess sneaked into the room again (if there’s one thing label people are good at – it’s keeping track of  TIME…!) :D

Some had interviews scheduled for later, some didn’t. I think that out of the 7 of us that listened to the album, 4 had actual interviews. The guy from Metal Hammer had a chat with Rob, Ian and Richie at the same time (personally I prefer one person, eye-to-eye). Another one said he was talking to Ian and Richie. So I’m guessing I was the only one who “got” the Metal God himself- Rob Halford – only…..

After the listening-thing, I asked if there was somewhere I could work (wanted to polish my interview a little) and she took me through the whole office once again (I think I would need a compas to find my way around there…!) and to the lunch room.
And when I say “lunch room” I don’t mean a tiny room with five tables. It was HUGE! Like an art gallery/industrial building type of huge, very bright with a ceiling that I wasn’t sure if it was actual daylight or “fake” light, but it was bright… Video screens playing music videos everywhere – a big billboard Elvis-sign in one corner, a slate that people “doodled” on… People having meetings in glass offices when I looked up and around… A very dynamic and cool workplace, I would have loved to work in a place like that.

I finished writing down a few more questions, when I looked around the lunch room and saw some blonde, long-haired dude. I thought it was Richie but wasn’t sure. Then I saw Ian Hill, elegantly dressed, getting himself a Fanta.
And a few seconds later – there’s Rob Halford as well. You can’t miss him anywhere. :) A tattooed bald guy with tats on his head and arms, and sunglasses. It was the Metal God alright.
And there I was, trying to look casual and cool. Oh,I don’t care, it’s just some BAND…. Yeah, right…!
I honestly didn’t know where to look. My gosh.

When they finished their lunch, they left – and I sat there for another 2 hours before it was my turn. The Metal Hammer guy kept me company for a while, talked a bit about festivals and the Priest album and stuff. I told him I was also going to the Gus/Marty show and he said he had no idea they were playing. He also happens to be writing for a German guitar magazine. I told him to go check out the Symptom of the universe cover from Tampere that I had on Youtube, if he wanted to know how those two guys sounded together and he seemed like he actually really wanted to see and hear that so… I think that if he hadn’t had his ticket back paid already, he would have gone to the Guitar Universe thing as well.

And THEN……..the girl came to pick me up and “take me to a room”. She showed me to a tiny room that had a TV, DVD, a conference call phone, two leather couches but no windows. Then she left with the words: “I’ll go get Rob for you”. And there I was, alone. It’s like waiting for a doctor. You’re in there getting nervous as f**k…!
I couldn’t sit, I walked back and forth getting more and more jumpy, getting a stomach-ache and the whole deal. Why, I don’t know. I’ve met Rob so many times, I’m a jaded rock journalist (pah…! I SHOULD be by now!) yet I get this way every damn time when it comes to any Priest-member…! ESPECIALLY Rob! I guess it has to do with the huge impact they’ve had on my life. No other bands have that kind of importance.

The door opened and there he was! He entered the room with the words: “Hi, it’s nice to see you again!” And all the nervousness just went away. He has a very calming effect (believe it or not) because he’s just so easygoing, so easy to talk to, no rockstar bullshit at all, no “are you an idiot or what?”-vibes. You can ask him anything, so far I’ve never seen him as much as frown, and it’s been 25 years since the first time I met him for an interview.

He spotted a chair and said he prefers that, for his back. And we went straight to business as to not waste any time. The interview will be published eventually, so I’ll just skip what the conversation was about. But I will say, that this man really makes me happy in so many ways. With the music he has brought to my life since I was a teenager, with his voice, his performances and the inspiration that he is as a person. I so enjoy talking to him, and I would love to just be able to sit there for hours and just talk.
You just feel very relaxed and comfortable with the man, and he has an interesting way of looking at things. Sometimes he says things here and there that just makes me smile. I mean, his attitude to stardom, life and whatever, is inspiring and sometimes while he’s sitting there talking, he says something that just makes me want to hug him! :)

Needless to say, it felt like we only just BEGUN when a label-guy knocked at the door and said: “Last question!”. My first thought was: “What?? We only just got STARTED!”
Even Rob was slightly annoyed, rolled his eyes and sighed “oh my god, aaah – never mind, ask me another question…!” But at that point I just felt like I had a million things to ask and I was nowhere NEAR being finished, which meant that I had no idea which question was the most “important” one. I just took whatever was right under my nose, about one of the songs I had heard three hours before. Suddenly it wasn’t a relaxed conversation anymore, it was stresssssful.

But I guess, looking back – Rob deserves a break. He had been talking for a few hours himself so if he had to be stuck with enthusiasts like me all day long, he would never get a breather…! :)
We took a few photos with a CD that was released through Sweden Rock Magazine, that included an obscure, unreleased Priest-song. He was happy to pose and help getting the best picture. Once again, no sign of stress – everything cool, just take your time… Did I mention that I love the man?? :D
He asked where I was going next, I said I was going back to Sweden, but first I was going to see the Gus G/Marty Friedman gig here in London. “Gus G? Give him my love. I love his style!” Those were the last words he uttered before he left the room.

The label guy once again entered and asked me to wait outside so I could be escorted to through the building (thank god, I had no idea where I was).
It still annoys me a bit – it’s such a privilege to talk to Rob Halford. I think that even if I hadn’t been a fan (which is hard to even imagine) I would have loved the conversations with him. I was just so glad that I got a good interview – for as long as it lasted, that I went back to the hotel to relax – and smile. :)

Today, I’m switching hotels and looking forward to the last Gus/Marty show of this tour (well, they’re finishing tomorrow but I chose London as my final destination).

There will be more stories to tell. :)


LITA FORD – The best things in life are worth waiting for

The year was 1983 and I was taking my first baby-steps in the new and exciting world of heavy metal.

Back in those days it was very much a man’s world (a lot more than it is today) and eventhough I worshipped Judas Priest (who got the ball rolling) and all those other classic bands, I didn’t have a female rolemodel.
So – I dressed like the guys. Denim and leather, 80’s style with patches, back patches, badges and all that stuff.

[Remember this? ;P]

One day I was flipping through Swedish music magazine OKEJ and saw photos of this “new” rock chick who just released her album “Out For Blood“. Lita Ford.

I thought Lita looked so cool. With that logic, I was also convinced that she SOUNDED good, so I went and bought the album. In two versions, as the cover had been censored in the UK for being “too vulgar”. THAT, of course, meant that I absolutely HAD to have it! :)

[This was the very first article I saw, that made me go buy Lita’s debut album. I’ve still got that scrapbook, these articles are in surprisingly good shape still, no soda-stains or anything :)]

Scrapbook 1984

Scrapbook 1983

 The CENSORED version from 1983 – now signed!

Long story short – Lita has been the source of inspiration ever since. Besides Judas Priest, she’s the reason I’m still here, in this crazy rock’n’roll circus. She paved the way, showed that women could be a part of the business, and not just as groupies (you always get that shit anyway from ignorant people).

She was talented, beautiful, successful, determined and had tons of attitude.
It’s been 30 years since I first got “Out of Blood“. Always wanted to meet her but the opportunity was never given. She just didn’t tour over here much – and the one time she DID, with Bon Jovi in 1988, I had a gig with my own band (major clash!)

I ALMOST met her a few years ago though. At Sweden Rock, I was with Jon Oliva’s Pain who had the caravan next to Lita’s and I could see straight in. But she had what you might call a bad day. Could happen to anyone. I wasn’t going to push anything. The chance was right under my nose but I respected her privacy and chose not to bug her.

Sweden Rock Festival 2009 - Lita Ford's dressing room.

Sweden Rock Festival 2009 – Lita Ford’s dressing room.

My friend Kevin from Jon Oliva’s Pain brought me up on stage during LIta’s gig. Just shot this very short clip from that – we were drinking wine, watching Lita from up close, couldn’t be better. :)

And now, it’s 2013, 30 years later, the teenage girl that was me, who thought the badass chick with the bleeding guitar was the coolest thing ever – finally got to meet her idol face to face for a long and openhearted talk. :)

That’s every fan’s dream. It doesn’t even matter that I’ve been meeting “rock stars” on a regular basis since I was 18 and therefore “should” be jaded. When you get to meet someone who’s actually meant something in your life, you go back to being a nervous, stoked KID!

Lita was great, she is totally down to earth – has a unique quality that makes you feel like you’re long time friends. So, here’s what happened…

MALMO, SWEDEN – JULY 25, 2013….

I woke up at Hotel Palace in Gothenburg early in the morning. I had just been to see her show at Sticky Fingers the night before. Took the bus back to Malmo and slept all the way home while the rain was pattering against the window.
At this point, I didn’t even know if the interview was going to happen. It’s always like that. You get the details in the very last minute, it just goes with the territory…

Around 3 in the afternoon I finally got a text back from the label-guy who informed me that my interview was taking place at 5.30 at the venue. That was when I realized that this was actually happening, finally. When that sunk in, I started getting nervous. Man! Lita Ford has not only been a rolemodel since I was a kid, she’s also the last name on my list of people I want to meet before I die. The circle was about to be completed!

I grabbed my interview-bag and drove down to the venue, KB – my second home. I just wanted to find a good place to do the interview where there wouldn’t be sound check-noise or people running in and out. Johan, alias “Dr AOR” was outside and he was one of the DJ’s of the evening so he let me in.

Bengan, who’s been working at KB since forever, suggested the main dressing room, which also serves as a hospitality room. It was empty and it was perfect.

Lita’s tour manager introduced himself, a nice man, and I stayed watching the sound check preparations while waiting for Henrik “the camera man” to show up.

Then…. Lita arrived. Her comment just made me laugh, because I know exactly where she was coming from with that question: “Do I know you from before, or are you doing the interview?”

I’m  exactly the same. I never freaking remember people, so as to avoid awkward situations, it’s better to ask first.

She came over a few times, asking me when and where we would do the interview, and when I mentioned that I was waiting for my camera-guy, she realized that it was going to be recorded, so she took her makeup bag and asked where the toilet was. :)

Henrik and Mari arrived just when the sound check was about to begin. I told the tour manager that they didn’t have to worry about us. KB is our second home, and we know our way around. We could handle the setup ourselves while Lita was sound checking (I stayed and watched one song before I went upstairs to prepare).

It was unbearably hot in the dressing room. No airconditioning or anything. When Lita walked in she felt it right away and just went “Oh my god! Isn’t there an airconditioner in here?” The idea of doing the interview dressed in her cool, black leather jacket was out of the question.

The KB guys brought 3 different fans, and a cooling-machine of some sort and plugged it in, so we could kind of survive….

She was chit-chatting while fixing her makeup. Again, she did what I always do – took the makeup bag and flipped it upside down so that everything in there just fell out on the table in one big pile of mixed random makeup-products.

“I bought all this new makeup, haven’t tried some of it yet so I don’t know what it does exactly”, she laughed and continued fixing her makeup over at the floor mirror. She was upset that one of her guitars had been smashed by United Airlines on her way over to Europe, and it was one of her favorite red guitars. The neck was broken, couldn’t be fixed.

Small little talk about coffee and staying awake when you need to (I gave her my energy-gums, the ones I use when I’m out on my own “tours” and she tried one right away. Then after a few seconds commented: “Wow! That is one serious gum!” It is – it’s strong and you feel it working right away. Don’t know what I’d do without those!

I was still a bit nervous, but Lita was just so easy to deal with that I felt like I was talking to someone I’d known for a long time. She just has this open attitude that makes people feel relaxed.
She noticed Henrik’s designer t-shirt, liked it and asked what designer it was.

The first few questions were just a bit of standard stuff, to get things going. And as some of this material was equested by another media, I won’t be able to publish any of that until it’s been used for what it’s intended to. But the second part of the interview will be up here soon, transcripted and edited within the next few weeks.

[A short random clip from the interview – we’re talking about tattoos here]

The thing is…. I’ve followed Lita since the early 80’s, and when you read so much about an artist and watch them on TV or Youtube or whatever, it feels like you already know them. I guess that’s why you like certain artists more than others – because there’s something about them that you can relate to and understand, and Lita has always been that person.

I smiled when she said that during the Runaways-days she wanted it to be dark in the studio where she recorded her vocals. She didn’t want people to look at her making her faces while she was singing.

I did the exact same thing – I turned out the lights in there and I’m sure the guys were thinking WTF, but it just made me relax. I didn’t know that Lita did the same. It’s just those small things…!

It got to a point where the conversation got pretty deep and I had to really use every bit of strength and concentration to stay professional in front of the cameras.

We were talking about death and she was telling me about her mother’s last three days in life. Lita never left her side. It was hard for her to talk about it. She also mentioned her father who had passed away a few years before her mom. Lita and her parents were very close, and the song “Lisa“, that she wrote for her mom, always made me cry. Still does.

It was difficult for her to talk about it still, eventhough it’s been 23 years since her mother passed away. I wanted to say something, just a short comment that I could relate because I just recently lost my father. But as I started the sentence I realized that I couldn’t continue – I just felt how hard it was to even go there. I couldn’t. This wasn’t about me anyway,

So I was holding back the tears – so was Lita. But you know… It helped me, as another piece in processing my own grief.

You never stop hurting and you never stop missing those you loved and lost, but you get on with your life, because you must. We had the same ideas about life after death, or “life on the other side”.

She wasn’t afraid to talk openly about pretty much everything and anything. In her opinion, there are 2 kinds of people in the world: Leaders and followers.

In order to change something, somebody had to be first and lead the way. She was okay with being one of those people.

“I’m not alone thinking or feeling the things I do. There are others out there who have similar experiences. But they are afraid to talk about it. When they see somebody else bring it up, they can say “that’s how I feel!” 

So, basically, Lita said a lot of things that I can relate to 100% and I definitely respect and admire her even more after finally meeting her.

Another important aspect of the interview dealt with the family tragedy she’s going through. I will post that part of the interview soon, it’s very sad. It doesn’t matter which parent made the most mistakes in a marriage or what the reasons are that people get divorced. But when kids are being used as weapons in those battles, it sickens me.

Lita started this Facebook-page which deals with the subject – check it out:

Lita Ford’s Parental-Alienation Awareness

I could have stayed there talking with her for hours. She wasn’t looking at the clock or going “one last question, I gotta run” – which is almost standard. EIther the artist or some manager interrupts an interview by letting you know that you need to finish. Lita was totally cool, no stress.

We continued talking after the cameras were turned off, and I could not have asked for a better first meeting. I’m thankful it turned out that way. Cause when you’ve admired someone for so long, it would have been somewhat disappointing and almost devastating to find out that that person was a prick and that you wasted 30 years of your life following his/her career.

That didn’t happen with Lita. I can still relate to her, maybe even more now than before. Go check out the photos from the interview and the shows at www.facebook.com/intherearviewmirror 

I thanked her for her time and instead of shaking hands, like I usually do, I instinctively gave her a hug. I never do that. It’s happened maybe once or twice before that I’ve hugged a “stranger”, and especially not in interview-situations.

And ten minutes later, when I was leaving the venue to go home and leave some of my stuff before going back to the show, she hugged me. So, I think it was a good chemistry and after 30 years it feels like the best things in life are worth waiting for!