Interview by: Robert Cavuoto
Lita Ford, the original Queen of Metal, is back and working hard to make up for lost time after living on a deserted island for 15 years with her now ex-husband and two sons!
Since escaping her island prison, she has been committed to taking her metal throne back. Lita has since released two studio CDs; Wicked Wonderland and Living Like a Runaway as well as a live CD in 2013 entitled, The Bitch Is Back … Live.”
In February she published a tell all book called, Living Like a Runaway. Memoirs that chronicle her career and exploits from her 70’s band, The Runaways, to her solo work as well as her affairs with countless rock idols like Tony Iommi, Nikki Sixx, Eddie Van Halen, Jon Bon Jovi, and Richie Sambora.
On April 15th she will be releasing a new CD, Time Capsule, where she is ripping open her rock n roll vault and sharing music no one has ever heard. Killer tracks that were recording in the 80s and locked away ever since.
I was able to catch up with Lita to talk about her triumph return to metal, the history behind these lost recordings, and the exploits of her career documented in her new tell-all-book.
Robert Cavuoto: I understand that for Time Capsule you pulled together songs that were recorded in the 80s and have been locked away?
Lita Ford: Its literal a little piece of rock n roll history in this time capsule. Some were recorded in the early part of the 80s while others were recorded in the later part of the 80s. Songs like “Mr. Corruption” and “Anything for the Thrill” were some of the earlier songs while “Killing Kind” and “Where Will I Find My Heart Tonight” which I like to call “Where Did I Park My Car Last Tonight” [laughing] were later. These are all great songs because we used great engineers and musicians. The songs are magical. With everyone’s help these songs came to life.
Robert: Did you have to modify the songs like redo guitars part or vocals?
Lita Ford: We did nothing; we took them as they were. They were all on 24 track analogue tapes. In order for them not to start coming apart or flaking when we put them on the real, we baked them. We then transferred everything to digital then mixed it. We didn’t add any vocals or guitars. We didn’t fix a note; all the clicks and bangs that were there when we recorded are still there now. I still have quite a few 24 track analogue tapes left over.
Robert: That’s amazing. Some of the songs were very modern sounding I wouldn’t have thought they that old. I assumed “Where Will I Find My Heart Tonight” and “Killing Kind” were relatively new as they had an autobiographical feel to them possibly inspired by your marriage?
Lita Ford: Those two songs seem to be pre-meditated as they were written during a great time in my life. I didn’t have any real anger or bad things going in my life during those recordings. Looking back they seem to foretell what I could expect through my marriage and later divorce. I wrote these songs before I even met that guy. That’s pretty wild.
Robert: Have you ever consider doing a CD of updated Runaways songs? If so, what songs would you like to see on it?
Lita Ford: Yes, I would love to do that. We play a couple of songs live but haven’t recorded anything. I love “Black Leather” a Runaways song written by Steve Jones and “Saturday Night Special” which is an Earl Slick song.
Robert: Did writing the book give you a cathartic feeling in sharing all the difficulties you experienced in your career?
Lita Ford: I wasn’t sure how it was going to be received or if people were going to be angry at me. Turns out a lot of people were angry about me sharing my Tony Iommi stories. Nobody was more upset about it than me. Nobody was more hurt or felt screwed over more than me. They think their mad? I was engaged to my idol, a man that I looked up to and worshiped like a god. Turns out he’s abusive, I never encountered abuse. My family was very calm, relaxed, happy people; there were never any harsh words between my parents. I never witnessed my father hitting my mother or even raising his voice. I never thought it would happen to me, I was so naive. It’s one of those things that you say “It will never happen to me” then I end up getting married to a guy who is verbally abuse! The guy I married made Iommi look like a pussy cat and Iommi almost killed me. I was let down and hurt. I went out and got my first tattoo after I broke up with Iommi. It was rebellious and destructive thing to do. When I get hurt or upset I feel like I want to hurt myself like I want to be drunk or OD on drugs. Instead I went out and got a tattoo, it was the dragon with the guitar on my shoulder. I was so devastated. Did I really want a tattoo? I don’t know?
Robert: Did you reach out to Tony Iommi prior to publishing the book?
Lita Ford: We tried to reach out to him before the book came out and that we would like to speak to him about it. He never responded. We gave it a fair shot.
Robert: How about the affair with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora did you also have to reach out to them in advance?
Lita Ford: Yeah, this was all pre-children and pre-marriage for them, maybe with the exception of Iommi as he lied to me. I found out afterwards that he was married during that time. I didn’t know as he never told me and I had a ring on my finger. Jon and I had been friends for quite a while as we had been drinking buddies. I’m sure Dorothea new half of what was he was doing as she is smart lady; she knew he had girls in other cities. He gave all that up when he got married. This was before he got married; I would have never done anything to someone with a wife and kids.
Robert: Sharon Osbourne was your manager at one point in your career and you even did a duet with Ozzy. Was there any talk of you becoming Ozzy’s guitarist around that time as it would have been quite revolutionary?
Lita Ford: That would have been awesome, but it didn’t go there.
Robert: In the book there seemed to be some jealousy by Sharon regarding your friendship with Ozzy.
Lita Ford: I think she wasn’t sure of what he was doing. She might have thought I was one of the girls he was with. Of course I was not and would never have been as she was my manager and had too much respect for her. Also I wasn’t interested in Ozzy in that way. Sharon had a lot of problems back then with Ozzy. It was one of the worst times, in his life. He choked and killed her; she was dead. She pressed charges and he went to jail on attempted murder. Then he had to go to rehab and clean up. She wasn’t taking him back and was going to make him suffer. He did, in jail he went through drug withdrawal. When he came out he was a different guy. He dedicated his next album to her. At least he said he was sorry, I’m fucked up. Tony Iommi never said anything to me.
Robert: How about your ex-husband, did he say sorry?
Lita Ford: My ex, is a psychopath, I don’t even want to go there. That is why it’s not in the book; it’s a whole other story. It’s a whole other book onto itself.