Rock It: Lita Ford connects to fans

Posted on November 14, 2013

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Rock It: Lita Ford connects to fans

Lita Ford (Photo Provided)

Lita Ford (Photo Provided)

By: Rachael Mattice

Lita Ford is not the Queen of Metal or a metal mistress; she is merely another deity that rules among many
gods in rock supremacy.

One of two solo dignitaries of the 1970s all-female band the Runaways, Ford has held her throne as an accomplished guitarist and musician in the “testosterone-driven heavy metal genre,” proving to write and perform both “aggressively and assertively,” according to her biography.

Now two months after her eighth studio album release, “Living Like a Runaway,” Ford is projecting her strong, voluptuous act louder than ever after enduring “divorce, betrayal and estrangement.” Hammering it out alongside metal men Def Leppard and Poison on the “Rock of Ages” tour this summer, Ford showcases the epitome of rock n’ roll heart for her audience by shredding on her beautiful BC Rich Warlock guitar.

Ford’s fan reactions also reflect her leadership, and how she changes lives and becomes a voice of human emotion, regardless of gender, in a male-dominated business.

When I asked Ford about the response to “Living like a Runaway,” she replied, “Whoever is listening, is really paying attention, they are getting it dead on the money. There is a lot of emotion and soul in this record. It’s not all good; there is a lot of aggression and anger in it but people are really picking up on it.”

Her fans have reached out to her through social media and expressed their vulnerability, she said. Some of the chats she has had with people have been incredibly deep and phenomenal.

Fan Teresa Rhoads Smith preached to Ford on Facebook how excited she was to see her show on the “Rock of Ages” tour as celebration for her last chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer: “I have wanted to catch one of your shows since the 80s … I am driving from Alabama to St. Louis with my son to celebrate FINALLY seeing one of Rock’s great female performers!” she wrote.

Another fan, Nani Seccotine, also chanted on Ford’s Facebook fan page “Lita is back, rock is back! Thank you for everything!”

“I think people look for guidance, they want it validated,” Ford said. “They want to know that it’s OK to miss your children or it’s OK to be angry at yourself. Some things that happen in life are really horrible, but I’ve had my share of heartache and I can relate. I have a voice, I am able to speak on television and be theirs.”

Now in the middle of the second leg of the “Rock of Ages” tour, Lita talked about her earlier friendship with Poison and Def Leppard. One of the in-between non-tour related activities Poison and Lita (and a few of her bandmates) shared was going to a Pirates vs. Dodgers baseball game before traveling to Noblesville, Ind. for a Klipsch Music Center showdown.

Once the horns fall down, the hair-glitz-glam-metal will move on from Noblesville until the closing of the tour on September 14th in California.

Lita said she has already started writing new material and will be releasing a live CD post -“Rock of Ages.” The infamous Monsters of Rock cruise that sails off in March is on her to-do list, as well as summer festival tours in Europe.

As if that wasn’t enough, Ford said she also plans to release a book this time next year, created from the brilliant mind of Joel Selvin, the co-writer of Sammy Hagar’s “Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock.” Also, if you are in the market for a “bad to the bone” indulgence, a Lita Ford signature BC Rich Black Widow Warlock guitar goes for $1,6500.00 on MusicFarm.com. It was described as a “beautiful and powerful guitar” by the lady herself.

To see one of rock’s legends, get tickets for Friday’s 7 p.m. show with Poison and Def Leppard at Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville at www.livenation.com. Lita’s set will start at 7 p.m. and will go to 7:25 p.m. Following Lita is Poison from 7:40-8:40 p.m. and headliners Def Leppard will hit the stage at 9:10 p.m. To download Lita Ford’s album “Living like a Runaway,” visit iTunes.

Something fun:

Question: Touring isn’t exactly health-friendly. You have been a hot female musician for decades. Are you an athlete or really active? How have you stayed healthy all these years?

Answer:  Um, well, I don’t eat much. I try not to eat much, I try to get one good meal a day. That’s really it because honestly, the first thing to kill you is food. How many people do you know that have high blood pressure or are over weight or have heart problems or whatever.  Food will kill you quicker than anything. I just try and eat once a day.

Being on stage is a workout, lifting luggage, walking in the heat, running through airports, it really all keeps you on your toes.

Also, I like to keep a lot of mirrors around. I like to be able to look at myself and say ‘ you know my hair looks terrible I need to fix it, or I need to let it grow longer or cut it shorter or something.’ It’s good to really take a good look at yourself. That allows you to see your faults. If you are overweight, you can look at your photograph and go ‘whoaaa I had no idea I was THAT overweight.’ Photographs do not lie, mirrors do not lie, they tell the truth. So you gotta go with it.

You do the best you can with the food and the sleep on tour. You take advantage of it when you get it, when you get a day off you go out and get a meal or get some sleep, man.

Mattice is a producer and music journalist for the Journal & Courier. She can be reached at rmattice@jconline.com or on Twitter @RachaelM_JC.

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Posted in: "Rock It" Column