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Interview conducted by Lorry Doll
© Copyright 1991, 2003 NEON and blue door productions
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It was while Lita was in New York for a celebrity pool tournament that we hooked up again. After several dates with Motley Crue she came off the road to "clean house a bit" and in the process long-time manager Sharon Osbourne (wife of Oz) was out of a job! (I'll bet Sharon was the more unhappy of the two). Lita wouldn't delve into the nasty details, but did say that she was "unhappy with the way things were going." Her new management company is Gold Mountain. When asked about the status of her band, Ford states, "They were too good to change. Joe Taylor, my guitarist, is from New Jersey and so is the bass player, we call him J.D. The drummer is Charley Delba, he also went out on the Lita tour. On keyboards is David Ezrin." 

When she's not touring she lives up in the hills that surround Los Angeles with her husband Chris. They have a blast just hanging around the house. "I've got a great place, it's a country house," says Lita. "We've got horse property and there's other stuff to do. Like, four wheel driving, we barbeque, drink beers, sit around and play guitars and have a merry 'ol time. We have people over. We don't have a lot of neighbors so we can blast the stereo."  Hmm. The image that comes to mind is Lita cruisin' the Sunset Strip riding around in a Mustang rather than on the back of one. "There's a lot of places to go. L.A. is pretty laid back. It's like New York, nobody gives a fuck (who you are), some people will look over or whisper, but that's about it. I'm not much of a club goer because every time I do go I get in trouble. I always go full on, like 'Yeah, let's Dr-ri-ink!' and then I can't get home. You can't drink and drive, you know. So I always get in some kind of situation where next thing I know it's four a.m. and I go, uh oh, I have a photo session first thing in the morning!"


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LITA FORD
Lita Ford's career has gone through some twists and turns over the past fifteen years but she always comes out on top. After having been immensely popular with the Runaways for five years, her subsequent solo efforts were mildly received. It wasn't until 1988, when she hooked up with producer Mike Chapman, that she regained major interest in the public eye with her million copy selling album Lita. "Kiss Me Deadly" and "Close Your Eyes Forever” (a duet with Ozzy Osbourne) helped propel the album to platinum status. Her release of last year, Stiletto, another Chapman collaboration, is still going strong. There are plans for a single or two being released and another video. In the meantime she's looking ahead to another album.

(Ed. - This article originally appeared in NEON in 1991)
"I like to travel. I love touring, I love playing, I'm fucking good on stage, it's what I do best," Ford says matter-of-factly. "Playing guitar and performing. I'm happy when I'm doing what I do best. My husband hangs with me on the road. He's a road-dog himself. We take care of each other. It's a good situation."  

Yeah, but put yourself in her place. Traveling around, living on a bus with a bunch of skanky guys, you know how musicians are. "I have no skanky guys in my band nor on my bus. If they are they get the boot real quick. It's like, 'the door's that way.' I do my own thing and they do theirs. We don't tread on each other. So it's nice. I can just go to my bunk and close the drapes. They have a lot of respect for me. They don't do or say things that are rude in front of me or that will embarrass me. I'm easy going. I grew up in the Runaways and there wasn't anybody that was skankier than the Runaways. We did it all! There isn't anything that these guys could do that's gonna get on my nerves."  Lita, who picked up the guitar when she was eleven, cites Hendrix, Beck and Blackmore as her early influences. "I still like Ritchie Blackmore, Eddie Van Halen and Michael Schenker. I love Joe Perry's playing. I love Jeff Healey. Jeff's great, he's a friend of mine," states Ford. "I met him in Munich, Germany a long time ago. He was sitting in a corner eating some chicken noodle soup at this party. I looked at him and said, 'chicken soup, fuck this chicken soup. Give that to me, Jeff.’ I said, 'Here, drink this.' It was a bottle of champagne. He sat there and drank the whole thing by himself. Next thing I know, he stands up and I go, 'Here's your cane.' He takes the cane and says, 'I don’t need this fucking cane!' We're walking around this party, I have him by the arm, you know, he can't see. We had a blast!" 

A couple songs on
Stiletto, "Cherry Red," "Hungry," and especially "Bad Boy," address the other point of view. Whereas the chick is usually the object of desire, well, here it's the guy who is lusted after. "Even the song "Stiletto" women would like. It's hard to put into words. I like to sing about them (guys) much as they like to sing about us. I like "Hungry," it's such a sexual song." 

There's a faction of rock fans out there who feel that music should be so serious. Sometimes there's too much 'serious' (political issues) and not enough fun. "I'm not much of a political person and even if I was, look, Rock 'n' Roll is supposed to be fun and sexy and a little bit dangerous. That's why I called the album
Stiletto. The title suits the album, because it's a sexy-dangerous title. Stiletto, I look at it more as an attitude as opposed to a high-heeled shoe. The lyrical content is a little dangerous on the record."  Do you think a warning sticker is in order? "It's not Satanic! It's just a little bit dangerous. It's not offensive. I like the line in ‘Big Gun’," Lita says. "I mean, big gun is obviously about a part of the male's body. What's so wrong with that? Guys sing about tits all the time. There's a line that goes, 'some like it hot, some like it smooth, every cock on the walk's got something to prove.' That means every dude on the walk or every rooster. I'm getting away with saying the word cock but it's in such a context, and it's great, there's no sticker on it." 

Although voted best female guitarist by
Guitar magazine, many still doubt her musicianship. "I did play every little note on the guitar on that record," Ford retorts. "People say, 'great record, who's that on guitar?' It's fun playing. I stand on the stage and people don't expect me to play. I stand up there and rattle off a few leads and they go, 'Yeah, yeah!' It's so fine. I have a lot of female fans. It's nice when they say I inspire them, it inspires me. I think it gets boring (for the audience) for the lead singer to have a guitar hanging on them all the time," says Ford about playing guitar only part of the time during the set. "You're stuck in front of the microphone. You can't use your hands. I like to do things. I'll put down the guitar, then pick it up and play a solo, then put it down again."  After paying her dues in the prototype girl rock group, Lita states, "I feel more comfortable with men. They're just ballsier. Don't get me wrong, I've seen some very excellent women musicians. It's better for me to play with guys because Rock 'n' Roll has such an aggressive attitude. I need that aggressive attitude to play my music and more men have that attitude than women. It was fun in the Runaways, we were all under age. We were all teen-age/jailbait girls and it was a different sort of thing. But now I'm thirty years old. Life has become serious for me, although I do like to party every now and then."
"I feel more comfortable with men. They're just ballsier. It's better for me to play with guys because Rock 'n' Roll has such an aggressive attitude.
I need that aggressive attitude to play my music and more men have that attitude than women.."
LORRY DOLL goes 1 on 1 with