by Christopher Lee
Legendary rock n' roll guitar goddess Lita Ford, just released her live album "The Bitch Is Back...Live" and she was actually the polar opposite of her onstage persona! With a career spanning almost 40 years, Lita has seen it and done it all, except talk to Crypt Magazine! Until now! Sit back and let Lita fill you in on all that she has been up to!
Crypt: OK, so after all the years of making records, what made you finally decide at this point in your career to release a live album and what made you decide to record it at The Canyon Club?
Lita: That's so funny, that's the first question that the last interviewer asked me (laughs).
Crypt: Well I guess I'm generic!
Lita: YEAH RIGHT!? (Laughs)
Lita: You know, live album are things that you just want to do, it wasn't anything that was in my recording contract or anything like that, it's just something we wanted to do. Uh, with the fans were so great and welcoming me back into the music industry after I had been gone for so many years, um, and I wanted to dedicated the album to them. It's recorded at the Canyon Club because its an intimate club, its not a big arena, like we had just come off the Def Leppard/Poison tour where they were all arena shows, and uh, we wanted to do something that was intimate, and in your face! And that's what the recording is, and when you listen to the album you feel like you are there, you wanna...you wanna be able to have that feeling when you listen to a live album. You want to feel like your at a concert!
Crypt: Well it definitely sounds live, unlike so many classic live records where the band goes back and fixes this, fixes that, and before you know it they pretty much rerecord everything and your thinking "oh, this is a live record, huh"!? everything!
Lita: No, we left everything in there, all the "sour notes" and everything are all in there (laughs).
Crypt: Well, that's the way it should be...
Lita: EXACTLY! Exactly! I agree with you..and with some of the greatest live albums ever are that way, you hear everything! But they were recorded back in the early 70's or early 80's, they weren't really, uh, done with Pro Tools and the recording styles of today, they were more analog!
Crypt: So speaking all of that, how does Lita Ford feel about Pro Tools and the technology, I think it takes the personality out of records, there's no mistakes left in there, they smooth everything out, until it just sounds fake!
Lita: I do too! I do too, and I think that's why our music industry is kind of "lost" right now, uh, there's no real rock direction, and it all depends on how you choose to use your Pro Tools, if you choose to "cut and paste" everything then your album is gonna sound mechanical! But with "Living Like A Runaway", when we recorded that album "Living Like A Runaway", Gary Hoey, who produced the album, we NEVER cut and paste anything, we sang everything all the way through the entire song because we didn't want it to sound "digital", we wanted it to sound "analog". We wanted it to sound like a real album, and uh, we dropped the "click track" in certain places where the song actually does get off time, we let it go off time on purpose because that's the feel of the song, why should a song be perfectly on time!? Because it takes away from the feel of the song, so we, that was one of the first things we spoke about when we first recorded "Living Like A Runaway" was let's go back to our roots and let's go back to the early days and try and record an album that sounds like an ALBUM and not a piece of machine, ya know?
Crypt: And as far as "The Bitch Is Back...Live", how come you didn't include "You Gotta Let Go" in the set, that was my introduction to you as a kid, great video, amazing song!
Lita: Actually that song we removed it from the set because it had so much noise on it, we tried to clean up the noise and we couldn't, it was, we tried and tried and tried, and it just, something broke on the drums, or, I don't remember exactly what it was cause the engineer was the one who worked on it, Bill Gall, the engineer? And uh, he said "Lita, I couldn't save the song", so we had to uh, snip it out unfortunately! It is in the set though!
Crypt: What is your favorite song to perform live, and are there any songs you wrote that you hate?
Lita: I don't hate anything I've recorded, if I hated something it wouldn't have been on the record, but uh, let's see..."one I love to perform live"? Ah, Relentless is pretty badass, but I don't have a favorite, but I've got allot that I love to perform live, they are pretty much everything that's on, and Back To The Cave is fun for me because I get to do a dueling guitar solo with Mitch!
Crypt: Great song, I always enjoyed that one as well, you have done allot of great stuff! I always loved how you phrase allot of what you sing with the guitar!
Lita: Awesome, thank you!
Crypt: OK, what do you think of the term "MILF"?
Lita: I'm really not quite sure what it means? Isn't it something like "your a mom and I'd fuck you anyway"?
Crypt: Well since you are a mother as well as a rock royalty, I wanted to get your take on it, I figured you have heard it all...
Lita: OH! I wasn't sure exactly what it meant, but I knew it was something like that!
Crypt: LOL! OK! Moving on...
Crypt: So as far as The Runaways film, have you seen it? And would you say its pretty realistic or allot of "artistic licensing"?
Lita: Hmmm, I actually did not see The Runaways film, but I have heard from fans about it, and uh, from what I've heard from the fans I don't think that, uh, it doesn't sound like a Runaways movie, it sound like a movie about Joan and Cherie (Laughs). So I can't give an honest answer!
Crypt: So do you have any contact with Kim Fowley?
Lita: No, actually I was was just at his house the other day, uh, I spent a couple of days at his house, Cherie and I went over there, we went to say "hi", and Kim wrote Cherie a couple of really cool songs, yeah, and uh, we went over just to say hello and get some info from him because I'm working on a book for Harper Collins. Yeah, I had some questions and Kim answered them for me, and uh, ya know he was around in the early Runaways days, it's kind of hard to remember some of that shit, ya know, it's like "what came first, the chicken, the egg, or The Runaways? So uh, Kim spoke to us for, 7 hours we were at his house. So, it was cool!
Crypt: Well the rock media like to play things up, it's good that you guys buried the hatchet, life is short!
Lita: Yeah, well, I never had a hatchet with Kim, so it was good to see him though, and uh, now I have him back in my life, I have Cherie in my life, and it's great! It's good to talk to them! Actually, Cherie and I sang, uh, I wrote a Christmas song with my guitar player Mitch Perry, and the two of us wrote this song and Cherie and I sang it, it's KILLER! It's rockin! And it's due out just after the live album! So that's kind of something interesting, and out of left field, because Cherie and I haven't really seen each other since The Runaways had split! So we ended up doing this "live" Christmas single as a duet, and it's really cool, we got, I'm panned off to the left, and Cherie's panned off to the right, so when you listen to the song you are kind in between both of us!
Crypt: And when is that coming out, obviously around Christmas time?
Lita: That will be out right after the live CD!
Crypt: What keeps you looking so young, because you look great!
Lita: Thank you! Thanks, I um, I don't know, I don't really do too much, I try to take care of, ya know, my hair, sleep is really important, especially if aging, ya know sometimes people don't get enough sleep, so I will go out of my way maybe once a month and SLEEP! You know you get that saying when people say "god, I wish I could sleep for a year", ya know it's like you go into hibernation! Well I actually DO, I will take a weekend and I will turn everything off in my house, I won't get dressed and I just sleep. So it helps, and then you come out of it and you look at yourself in the mirror, take a hot shower, and your like "god, I look refreshed" (laughs). It really works!
Crypt: So you mentioned you are working on biography, how far into it are you and when will it be out?
Lita: We are, we're taking the holiday season, November/December, to finish up the book, it should be out March 2014, so we are right in the heat of it right now, and which is why we're not out doing shows so I can finish doing this book for Harper Collins!
Crypt: What is the highlight of your career and what are you most proud of as Lita Ford?
Lita: Oh my god, "the highlight of my career" is being LITA FORD (laughs)! Somebody's gotta be Lita Ford, ya know, you need one out there, it's just, it's a female whose carving the path for other artists to follow, and uh, I felt that way when I disappeared in 1994, uh, I disappeared to have my son James, and um, I came back 15 years later or what is it, 17 years later or something, I don't know, imagine the math on that one, but I felt like I left a pair of shoes sitting there when I left, and I've come back 17 years later and those shoes are still sitting there! Nobody touched them, nobody put them on and walked off! It's like the ruby slippers, ya know, The Wizard Of Oz! The shoe fits, seems like those shoes didn't fit anybody else, which is weird, but I'm happy to say they don't! They only fit me and I'm happy about that, it's good to be the queen!
Crypt: So when you see these safe, totally manufactured female artists come along that you obviously paved the way for, does it offend you that you know, you had to perfect your craft, take a lot of hits for being a female, etc, while they have it easy?
Lita: No, not at all, I think they have to go through, uh, finding themselves ya know, they have to develop themselves as an artist, you can't just jump on the horse and ride, I mean you have to develop yourself! So, I'm happy to be here for them, and I'm happy that they can turn on my record and say "hey I wanna be like Lita Ford" ya know, or "I wanna look like Lita Ford", I'm happy that they can do that, I never had that when I was growing up, I only had men to look up to...
Crypt: So when you met Nikki Sixx, did you really introduce yourself with a quaalude on your tongue?
Lita: Yeah, It was at The Troubadour, we were having a girls night out, and I actually went up to him and asked him what his name was, and I had seen him play at The Star, what was it, The Whisky? I think it was The Whisky where he played and it was right prior to Mötley Crüe getting a record deal, they hadn't been signed yet, and uh, he just walked by in a nightclub and I looked at him and I recognized him from one of the local shows that they had done around the LA area, and uh, yeah I asked him if he wanted a quaalude (laughs)! He said YES!
Crypt: OK, here's a few that we're submitted by readers, when do you plan on touring the UK again? It's been a long time!
Lita: Hmmm...god, I don't know, but it's killing me, it's where I was born for fuck sake, I gotta get back there! So I'm hoping 2014 will take us back to the UK! There's a song in there...(starts singing) "BACK TO THE U-U-UK"!
Crypt: HA HA!
Crypt: Someone else wanted to know, did you put up with allot of sexism in the 80's whether it was from record labels, managers, guys in other bands? Any interesting stories?
Lita: Oh yeah!
Crypt: You can save it for the book...
Lita: Unfortunately, yeah you are gonna have to read the book, exactly (laughs)!
Crypt: What keeps you wanting do this when even the live concert experience now has been reduced to people playing with their phones the whole time, illegal downloading, etc!
Lita: It's really weird how people are soooo addicted to their cellphones, which is weird, I mean, you have to be able to turn that thing off sometime and put it away, this is what I'm saying with, you go into hibernation and sleep, it's what I do, I don't answer e-mails, I don't answer the phone, and then when you go to a concert, you are standing on stage looking out into the audience and everybody's texting people and videotaping, trying to capture your performance, so I guess they can take it home with them and watch it once they get home? Or they want to send it to a friend that lives across the country or whatever reason! I don't know, just put those damn things away, the good thing about the cellphones is when you do play a ballad and everyone wants to break out the Bic lighters, they break out their cellphones and wave the light, at least it's not a fire hazard (laughs)!
Crypt: I know you were living in South Florida for a while, when they were filming Rock Of Ages there, did they ever come to you and offer you a featured part in the movie?
Lita: Well, yes they did, what happened was, uh, they sent me a fucking text, and I didn't know who the text was from, so I just didn't respond right away, then next thing I know, I'm getting another text from this person, and it just seemed so weird and didn't seem legit, so I forwarded it to my manager Bobby, and by the time Bobby got around to responding to text, they had somebody else to fill the part, who was this young girl, who sings in the movie, she was better at it anyway, cause she was younger, cause she was a waitress and all that shit. So it really worked out, they ended up filming that movie in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and I was living there when they filmed the movie. They would call me all the time and say "Lita! we need some guitars", and ok "here's 15 guitars", and they would cut me a check, and they would say "Hey Lita, we need some leather jackets" and I would say "OK, here's a bunch of leather jackets and some belts, some guitar straps", you know, so they would cut me a check (laughs), "Lita, we need some posters", "OK, here's some posters"! So, in a way I was in the movie, I did get asked to the premier that they had over by Grauman's Chinese Theater, I don't remember the date, but the premiere where Tom Cruise showed up, Catherine Zeta Jones, I was there! They did invite me, it was very cool, I actually loved the movie, I think it's great!
Crypt: I am always critical of films concerning rock n' roll, I watched a few minutes and it seemed kind of dumb...that's just my opinion!
Lita: Well, it's a comedy , it's a musical comedy, it's supposed to be silly. I mean when you watch it, you end up smacking yourself in the forehead and going "oh my god, that's hysterical", it's supposed to be funny. I think it was made for the people that did come from that era, and they're able to look back at it and go "god, that's so stupid"! But, some of it is right, it's dead on, and the songs are great, and in the first 10 minutes you see the girl on the bus, she's looking through her record collection and you see "Dancing On The Edge", my album's in there, there's a bunch of Lita Ford scenes in there, posters and all that crap!
Crypt: Well Lita, thanks for taking the time to talk with us, I know you have a lot of shit to do, is there anything you would like to say to the people reading this?
Lita: I hope you enjoy my new live album, and we (Lita and Cherie Currie) have a Christmas single coming out, so Happy Holidays to everybody and I hope to see you in 2014! It was a pleasure Chris, take care!
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