'80s - Lita Ford
‘Desert Island Diva!’
Whoever said absence makes the heart grow fonder must’ve been thinking about the relationship between Lita Ford and rock ‘n’ roll. The hard rock queen stepped away from her remarkable musical career back in the 1990s to devote herself to family and the surroundings of real life on a surreal Caribbean island, but with the call of the sonic wild getting louder and louder, she made the decision to dive back in at the deep end.
With 'Wicked Wonderland', her first full-length offering since 1995’s 'Black,' Lita shows that her flair for sexy, stomping, searing sounds has only gotten more vivid – which is mighty impressive, given a history that includes such classics as “Kiss Me Deadly” and the Ozzy Osbourne duet “Close My Eyes Forever.”
The disc, created in tandem with husband Jim Gillette – whose own musical history is highlighted by his work with acclaimed metallurgists Nitro – is a hard and heavy affirmation of the sensuality and smarts that’ve carried her through three decades of action.
Exclusive Magazine recently sat down with Lita and discussed the exciting new album, her '80s hair, her sex life, and, of course, ... her thoughts on Penguins!
Taking it from the top, I don't know if many people realize, but you were actually born in London, England! Moving to the States at 4 years-old, do you have family back there and, if so (and in a non-touring capacity) do you go back often? "No but I’d like to! We plan on staying there a while when we tour. Take a week or 2 and show my family where I came from!"
At the age of 17 you joined the all-female rock band, The Runaways as lead guitarist. Back around that time/age, had you been looking for an outlet to get loud and wild within or did you fall into the band scene accidently? "Oh yeah – I was ready to rock!"
When your first solo album, 'Out For Blood' (1983) didn't exactly light any fires, what did you do differently for its hit successor the following year, 'Dancin' On The Edge'? "Not sure? Sometimes it sticks and sometimes it doesn’t!"
If you can relate the story now, what happened to 1988's planned/abandoned album, 'Bride Wore Black'? "Label hell! Who knows what shelf that is sitting on!"
And so, with regard your new album, 'Wicked Wonderland,' how easy or hard has it been to create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderments (no pun intended!) and accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "Well, Jim and I just did what came naturally. We’d been on an island in the middle of the caribbean and hadn’t heard anything current or even watched TV in years. We didn’t have a TV or radio! We wrote from our hearts. We’re very happy that lots of people love it!"
"We recorded at home so there was no stress or pressure. It's also nice to be alone with your man. When we wanted a little extra inspiration we could get naked and inspire each other."
"You can actually hear some moans and groans if you listen carefully - those are real! Mmmmmm Mmmmmmm!"
'Wicked Wonderland' is definitely a heavier sound than the '80s era music you once provided your fans. Why up the tempo now and what gave you the idea to incorporate an industrial feel to your sound? "We just wanted to kick ass! We don’t know what’s popular, or the flavor of the day. We just wanted the music to ROCK! The lyrics are very personal to us and that’s it. I wasn’t going to come out in sandals with hairy armpits!"
As this is your first new album since 1995's 'Black,' why has it taken you nearly 15 years to bring it out? "I was being a wife and a mom. We home school our kids and that takes all of me! We always knew we’d come back and make some slammin’ music but wasn’t going to do it until the time was right."
"Now that our kids are a little older and can enjoy and learn from touring = it’s time!"
Proving that your brand of light pop-metal was still viable to the record buying public, 1988's 'Lita' featured some major hits, including the duet with Ozzy Osbourne, 'Close My Eyes Forever.' Having had Sharon as your manager at the time, was that how it all came together ... and were you all for it from the very start? "Yeah without Sharon it wouldn’t have happened. Of course I was for it!"
And, with regard that same song and its video ... where you ever in the studio recording it / filming it at the same time as Ozzy? "Yes we sang it together – cool huh?!"
And what's up with that double-neck guitar, young lady! Did you really need such an instrument to record the song with in the first place?! "I play the 12 string for part of the song and the 6 string for the solo!"
And lastly on the subject of that video, ... man, Ozzy's hair tells the tale of what rockers in the late '80s went through, but yours, well, would still look fantastic at a gig today! Any hair tips you wish to pass along for all those female (or even male) rockers out there today?! "Uh – wash your hair regularly!"
What was it that made you walk away from the scene all those years ago ... and what has since had you so preoccupied outside of the business all these years? "I got married 15 years ago to the most amazing man I’ve ever met – Jim Gillette. We wanted to start a family and we did! We were on a deserted island just enjoying our love, lives, and our family. We have the most incredible sex life on the planet and that occupied quite a lot of our time!"
"Jim’s the only man that has ever satisfied me sexually and let’s just says that I took full advantage of that!"
You're quoted as saying that as you've gotten older you've only gotten 'freakier'! So, please name the Top 3 things that you are now claiming you regularily undertake that are more 'freakier' to you than anything that you delved into back in your youth!! "Claiming? The sex I have with my husband is what’s happened. All you have to do is read the lyrics and it’s all there. The lyrics are a sexual autobiography of Jim and I. There are a lot more than 3 things. ;-) Did you hear our appearance on Opie and Anthony?"
If asked to record one for charity, what '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today...and why? "Maybe one of my own!"
Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine loves Penguins...do you? "Sure! They are pretty cute!"
To learn more about Lita Ford’s music, check out her personal website and Myspace page.
Free Download of the first single “Crave”
Interview: Russell A. Trunk
So, if you would like to win a SIGNED copy of Lita's new CD, just answer this easy question: Lita was a Grammy nominee in 1984 for Best Female Rock Performance, alongside which other two (2) singers?!
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these wonderful new CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before December 1st with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: LITA FORD SIGNED CDs to: email@example.com