by Christopher Annino
Lita Ford began her career as a guitar slinging music prodigy for the pioneer all girl rock band “The Runaways.” The five-piece all female bands was the first of its kind and helped begin the careers of bassist Michaele Steele, vocalist Cherrie Currie, rhythm guitarist Joan Jett, drummer Sandy West and lead guitarist Lita Ford.
Event with an all-star arrangement of musicians it was agreed by many fans and critics, that because of her limitless talent, Lita should have had more creative control. “The Runaways” broke up in 1979, unfortunately the band never got back together and in 2006 drummer Sandy West died from cancer. “Sandy was a beloved friend and amazing musician. I wished that we could have gotten back together to play one more time as a group,” said Lita.
During the 80’s, and 90’s Lita became a Grammy Nominated solo artist and gained Platinum Success with such singles as “Kiss Me Deadly,” and “Close My Eyes Forever” (a duet with Ozzy Osbourne). Through out her career she has worked with such legends as Poison, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Anthrax, Van Halen, and Motorhead.
Lita attributes most of her early success from advice given to her by guitar legend Eddie Van Halen “‘You have it all and you need to just go for it!!’ he said. Eddie is the one that helped give me the confidence that I needed to go for the next step,” said Lita.
Her last album was in 1995 and since then she married the lead singer from Nitro, Jim Gillette. Together they reside in the Caribbean with their two boys James and Roco.
“It’s funny automatically people assume that we are terrible people because we are in the music industry. The fact of the matter is we have raised our kids to be polite young gentlemen. Our family is best described as ‘The Munster’s’ meets ‘Leave it to Beaver,’” said both Jim and Lita.
Recently Lita picked up her guitar and she began collaborating on the Twisted Sisters album “A Twisted Christmas.” On the album she shreds a modern version of “I’ll be Home for Christmas.”
Currently, Lita is on tour and will be releasing a new album “Wicked Wonderland” produced by her husband and Greg Hampton, from Alice Cooper notoriety. “This is something that is far more serious than I have ever done. Everything about it spews out romantic passion. I truly cherish this album because it is about my love towards my husband. We had an amazing time working on this album together, and I am looking forward to coming to Ridgefield, Connecticut to see my fans.”
Lita will be performing at the Ridgefield Playhouse on November 21st – note this date has changed. For more information go to www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org/venue.asp?eventID=863