Speaking with Rock Royalty
Interview by Michael Oshust ~ February 19, 2019
Photo Source: George Marshall
Lita Ford is an icon to musicians and songwriters alike. Being heavy rocks first guitar hero, we sat down to talk about her influences, albums and 2019.
Lita Ford is an English-born American rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter who has had a remarkable career in music since the late 1970s. Ford gained notoriety as a solo artist in the '80s with "Fire in My Heart," "Gotta Let Go." Lita Ford signed with RCA Records, and hired Sharon Osbourne Management, and released her most commercially successful album, the self-produced "Lita." Ford released the singles "Kiss Me Deadly," "Back to the Cave," "Close My Eyes Forever," "Shot of Poison," "Hungry," and "Lisa" (a song dedicated to her mother) and "Falling in and Out of Love" a song co-written by Nikki Sixx.
In 2012, Ford released 'Living Like A Runaway' and true to her word, the album was much more in line with her previous work. In 2016, Ford released the album 'Time Capsule' which is a collection of songs she discovered on old analogue tapes from the '80s featuring recordings she'd made with Billy Sheehan, Gene Simmons, Bruce Kulick, Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Dave Navarro, Rodger Carter, and Jeff Scott Soto.
Also in 2016, Ford published her autobiography, "Living Like a Runaway: A Memoir," through Dey Street Books. Rolling Stone called the book "Fearless. ... A vivid account of life as 'the one-and-only guitar-playing rocker chick who could shred as I did.' ... A fast-paced read... and an inspiring one."
You were inspired by Ritchie Blackmore and began playing guitar at age 11. Who else inspired you?
Lita: My favorite guitar players were Johnny Winter. Jimmy Page. Jimi Hendrix. Jeff Beck and Tony Iommi.
The album "Living Like a Runaway" was released in June 2012. I love all of the songs on it. You mentioned you wanted to go back to basics and record vocals, guitar, bass, and drums, keeping it raw. What gear did you use primarily?
Lita: The gear I used on living like a runaway was a Peavey 5150 head and a Telecaster. Telecasters are always good for recording, usually direct. I also used my 1980's BC Rich’s with the DiMarzio super distortion pickups through the 5150 for crunch and solos. The acoustic guitars were Taylor's. As far as pedals I would use my Jerry Cantrell Wah. It has the deepest swoop and is the least complicated out of all the Wah pedals next to the Crybaby. Don’t need all the extra added bells and whistles.
"Time Capsule" is my favorite album. It's great that you salvaged music you had worked on in the '80s and finally released it. You worked with some of the finest musicians, including Billy Sheehan, Rodger Carter, Dave Navarro, Jeff Scott Soto, Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, and Gene Simmons. What was it like for you to hear the mastered?
Lita: A Mastered finish product is not necessarily what you were hearing on Time Capsule. As the 24 track analog tape’s were delivered to SPV records and they put their own spin on it, unfortunately... It is still a great album with great musicians, and I am very proud of it. George Tutko was the engineer on the project. He and I together had the best time recording this record and got the best sounds out of any engineer I have ever worked with. RIP George Tutko. I was so happy I got to release it for the fans. As it is a great piece of work.
Will there be anything new from Lita Ford in 2019?
Lita: 2019 has plenty in store. Musically we are kicking ass at the moment. Just trying to finish a few things up and hopefully, we will have a record out by the summer of 2019.
Thank you so much for being a fan! And thank you so much for the interview. Lita
Check Lita Ford's tour dates here to see her play live near you.
Special thank you to Lita Ford & George Marshall.