When TEN interviewed Lita and now ex-husband in 2009 they were touring with Queensryche and supporting Lita’s “Wicked Wonderland” cd. (See Lita Ford November 2009) Fast forward a couple of years and Lita is now divorced and in June, 2012 released “Living Like A Runaway.” The cd is chock full of in your face rockers that she wrote during a difficult time in her life. Lita recently phoned in to share with TEN about her new cd, the Runaways movie and what it’s like always “Living Like A Runaway.”
Lita Ford– Hi Troy it’s Lita!
The Entertainment Nexus– How are you doing?
LF– Doin great!
TEN– Let’s talk about your new album, “Living Like A Runaway.” It seems like it’s full of emotion from love to deep anger. Tell me about the writing process.
LF– The writing process was awesome. I started writing and I started looking for record producers. I wanted to pick somebody who was really able to wrap their head around the album and really sink their teeth into it. Really devote themselves to focusing on the record. The concept behind the record which is pretty much there’s a theme behind this record. It’s not just one song is about one thing and another song is completely different. The album is sort of consistent. I wanted to just keep my focus throughout the entire record. So, I was searching for record producers and I talked to a few people, big-time record producers, and I really didn’t get the excitement from them that I was looking for…someone who really, really wanted to do this and was going to devote their time. Anyway I got a call from Gary Hoey out of the blue and Gary said: “Hey Lita, I have a studio anytime you want to use it, come on up.” So I hopped on a plane from Fort Lauderdale up to New Hampshire and started recording with Gary. We clicked… We really, really clicked! I would start a sentence and he would finish it. It was really amazing, it was too good to be true, ya know?
We started writing and the first two songs we wrote were “Branded” and “Luv 2 Hate U.” I came home with a CD with those two songs and I was over the moon! I was like; “WOW! I just had the best sex of my life!” Gary I don’t go there… but musically we do. I was driving around playing the CD thinking “Fuck! This is awesome! I’m going back to Gary’s house!” So I went back to Gary’s house and we recorded “The Bitch Is Back” and we brought in the Uptown Horns. We just had a fuckin’ blast! Then read we recorded “The Mask” and “Asylum.” Then we got a record deal. We were like; “We’re off and runnin’ now! We’re off and fuckin’ runnin’!” It was just wonderful working with Gary, he so fuckin’ badass!
TEN– The CD sonically sounds better than your last release: “Wicked Wonderland.” It seems like it’s back to the “Lita sound” that we all love from the past.
LF– It is a real Lita Ford record whereas “Wicked Wonderland” isn’t. It (“Living Like A Runaway”) was completely under my control, Gary didn’t do anything that I didn’t want him to do and he brought the best out of me. As a producer that’s what you do… bring the best out of the artist. I couldn’t have asked for a better album, I’m very thrilled with it.
TEN– It seems like there’s a lot of poison in your lyrics on this CD.
LF– Yeah… (Saying it low and slowly)
TEN– Did you hold back when you are writing or did you just let it all out?
LF– What do you think? (Laughs) I’m a pretty honest person; I wear my heart on my sleeve. I was referring to the Runaways yesterday in an interview I did. Even when I was a kid at 17 in the Runaways and we were all looking for names like Jackie Fox, Sandy West, Joan Jett, Vicki Blue, I mean they’re all not real live names, you know. But Lita Ford is. I was born with that name. I’m just saying it’s something that I do, I stay true to myself. At least I try to.
TEN– Was writing this CD
kind of a “cleansing” for you, like a “rebirth” perhaps?
LF– It made me feel really good during a really bad time. Music is definitely something that heals. Music is a crutch. It’s a universal language and I think people use it for all different kinds of things. So yeah, I did write this album in the darkest time of my life.
TEN– The title track seems like it has a dual meaning. It might be touching on your time in the Runaways as well as the breakup of your marriage.
LF– It’s a very touching song, it’s sort of spread out over the decades of my music. It starts out as when I was a kid and my mother used to tell me on the phone and she would say (Lita in a strong Italian accent) “Lita, you just go kick ass, those people!” She would call me everywhere I was whether I was in Japan or in New York and she would always tell me “Kick ass, those people!” In other words run baby run! The second verse I reflect on the Runaways and “I remember when I was 17 riddin’ in the back of a black limousine.” And then in the third verse, I’m reflecting to now. You know it’s fans like you who make my dreams come true. It’s just a really Godsend of a song.
TEN– When your CD came out and I heard the song “Hate” I thought “Man, this is a story that could happen any time in today’s world.”
TEN– What are your thoughts tragedy in Colorado?
LF– Horrible, fuckin’ horrible. I don’t know why they just don’t kill that motherfucker. What are they doing with him? It’s like a cat and mouse game. Really? Let’s play with him a little while and then what? Kill him, just get rid of him. He deserves it. That’s my take and that might be brutally honest and up front but, that’s my take. Lose him, he’s done! What the fuck is there to find out other than killing those people? He’s a fuckin’ nut job!
TEN– Your song “Mother” is very heartfelt and full of emotion. Please tell me about writing that song.
LF– (very somber) “Mother” is dedicated to my children because my ex-husband took my kids away from me. And when he did, I wasn’t able to speak with them. I’m still not able to speak with them. I have no communication with my kids whatsoever. Zero. No text, no e-mail, no phone calls, no visitation. I don’t see my kids because their father won’t let me. And they live on that fuckin’ deserted island in the Caribbean. The song is my message to my kids because they’ve been told lies. Their heads have been filled full of lies. They’ve been brainwashed and they think I’m a bad person and they think I’m gonna hurt them. I’m not, I’m not like that! I wouldn’t hurt a dog let alone a person I love. So, I wrote them that song and I wanted them to know how much I love them and how much they mean to me. I want them to know what happened and maybe in the future they will hear the song and the come looking for me.
TEN– I’m sure they will.
LF– Yeah… (Again, saying low and slowly)
TEN– When I got to hang out with you guys years ago, everything seemed cool. When did the train derail?
LF– Well, it wasn’t. I wasn’t happy for a long time and I was frightened. I was just frightened to leave because he was abusive. Being stuck out on that deserted island, there’s really no way off that island unless you know how to drive a boat and then even if you drive a boat you have to dodge all kinds of coral. There’s all kind of coral heads sticking up out water. It’s freaky man, it’s like being in Alcatraz prison or something. That’s what the song “Asylum” is about.
TEN– You mentioned earlier covering Elton John’s “Bitch Is Back.” Is that your way of telling fans that you’re here to stay?
LF– (Laughs) Yeah! It is, yep. Pretty cool!
TEN– What are your fans reactions to you being back?
LF– It’s been overwhelming, absolutely overwhelming and wonderful! I got the best fans. They are so fucking awesome! They know this is me and this is a real Lita Ford record. It’s very cool; it’s almost like they know me better than I do!
TEN– You’re also doing the “2013 Monsters Of Rock Cruise.”
LF– I can’t wait to do that, that’s going to be a blast. I’ve never been on a cruise before!
TEN– What were your feelings about the “Runaways” movie?
LF– I didn’t see it. Nope, I only saw the trailers and that was enough for me. I don’t think it’s that accurate to tell you the truth, I don’t know. From what I heard from the fans but I don’t really know because I haven’t seen it.
TEN– I’ve got a couple questions from fans to ask you.
TEN– What were the dynamics of the personalities back then?
LF– Personalities? We all got along. I didn’t get along with Cherie (Currie) so much. Cherie was just off into her own world. I didn’t like that because I wanted us to stick together as a band and I wanted us to fight for our rights as a band…to know what was going on. I wanted us to stick together as a team and asked the manager; “Why don’t I have so much money in my bank account?” “Where is the money?” “Let me see a contract for the show.” Nobody would back me. Everybody would say: “Lita, you’re fuckin’ crazy.” I would get pissed off and be like “WHAT? I’m crazy? Don’t you want to know how much money we got? We sold out the Whisky for four nights in a row! The line was wrapped around the fuckin’ block and you don’t even know how much we get paid! You’re getting what $300 or $400? I don’t think so!” I didn’t agree with the way everybody was handling things. They were having the time of the life. They weren’t concerned with money and I was looking at the big picture. I wanted to know what was going on and where we were headed. We all got along, we really did. I know they showed me kicking somebody in the film, which really ticks me off because I never kicked anybody. Like I said, I never even kicked a dog.
TEN– If you are a new artist today, how would you push yourself to get discovered?
LF– A new artist today needs to stick out. With the Internet and everything that goes on, all the things that are for sale and are available these days and with the economy so bad… you just got a stick out and be different. Don’t give in, don’t let anybody change who you are. Stay true to yourself.
TEN– Would you do it all again?
LF– I would do the Runaways again, sure. I would tour as Lita Ford again. When I get married again? Fuck No!
TEN– When we did our interview in 2009, I asked you to; “Tell me something disturbing about yourself that you never revealed before an interview.” Your ex-husband answered the question so now it’s your turn.
LF– What did he say? (Laughing)
TEN– He said: “I love to eat my wife’s toes. I go down on her toes and I swear sometimes she is like; well…alright already, let’s get on with it!”
LF– Oh, God….
TEN– Now it’s your turn…
LF– Hmmm… Let me think. Everybody knows everything about me. Let’s see, I don’t know, there isn’t anything. I mean I’ve had no plastic surgery. (Laughs) Nothing…not a fucking Botox injection…nothing. I mean I haven’t even had my teeth whitened. (Laughs more)
TEN– Is there anything else that you want to add or say?
LF– Just please everybody listen to my new CD it fuckin smokes!
I want to thank Lita for taking the time to share, Georg Schroder at SPV Records and Jon Freeman at Freeman Productions for making the interview happen.
Photos of Lita, courtesy of Mark Weiss.
Fan questions courtesy of Scott George and Ray Ballard.