Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Mieography

This lady wins the award for persistence (and 80's hair..)
Lita Rossanna Ford was born in London, the daughter of an English Army Veteran, and his Italian wife, whom he'd met during WW II.
She was very young when the family relocated to the United States. They moved to Long Beach, California.
When she was eleven, she was given a nylon string guitar, and she began to teach herself to play. The first concert she went to was a Black Sabbath concert when she was thirteen, and it was a life changing moment for her. She knew right then that she wanted to play guitar with a rock band. At home, she began to play along with Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Hendrix, and got a job heating up patients dinners at a local hospital so she could earn enough money to buy herself more guitars.
While Lita was in high school, she played Bass in a band made up of local boys that had her taste in music. Word got around about Lita, and she was contacted by Kim Fowley, who was forming a band called "The Runaways". He'd heard Lita could play bass, and she could, but she told him she wanted to play lead guitar. He told her they needed one of those to, so she went, with her parents encouragement, to the audition. She passed the audition, but ended up quitting the band after two days, related to a problem with musical differences, and the fact that Fowley was a very abusive man. The Runaways played very simple music, and Lita didn't want to be made fun of at home. Fowley called her back a week after she quit, asking her to reconsider because he needed her strong guitar. Lita went back. She was sixteen.
The Runaways stayed together for five years, releasing four studio albums and one live album. They toured all over the world. Lita was writing songs for them by the third album.
Unfortunately, there were always musical differences with the band. Lita wanted to branch off into much heavier music, they did not. Despite their moderate success, The Runaways were never really taken seriously, and they split.
Lita went her own way, and played guitar with a few different LA bands, while she worked at different jobs, like selling mens cologne, pumping gas, and being a health instructor. She was friends with Eddie Van Halen, and he encouraged her to get serious about her guitar playing again. She put together her own band, and, unable to find a vocalist, started to sing herself. She eventually released her first solo album, "Out For Blood". At this time, she was living with Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue, and they were both heavily addicted. The album did not do well, and the cover, which featured Lita scantily dressed and holding a bloody guitar was banned, because it was deemed too gory. Undaunted, Lita soldiered on, and released a second album. She had a better support system, had moved on from her relationship with Nikki Sixx, and was instead engaged to the guitar player from Black Sabbath. (It didn't last long). A third album was completed, but the record company deemed it "too heavy", and scrapped it. Lita left the record company. She hired Sharon Osborne to be her manager, and got a new band, and a new record deal. She also wrote songs with various friends, such as Lemmy from Motorhead, Nikki Sixx, and, of course Ozzy. She finally got some major hits under her belt, first with her solo song "Kiss Me Deadly", and then, a duet with Ozzy called "Close My Eyes Forever". She was in heavy rotation on MTV. She began to tour more during this time. She met, and married her first husband, and released a new album, Stiletto, which was rated very highly, but yet, fell flat, as did her marriage. She put more time and energy into another metal album (she is persistant), but yet, Grunge was making its move, and Lita once again had a critically acclaimed album that went no where. Lita continued to tour and perform, and was even nominated for a Grammy, (which she lost to Melissa Etheridge). She met Jim Gillette in 1994, and married him after two weeks. She entered the studio, again, and along with her husband, made the album "Black", which is only available in Europe. She did some Gibson Guitar clinics, and formed a new band with her husband, called Rumble Culture. She and Jim have two boys, and live happily on an island in the Caribbean, and Lita still plays, releases albums, and has been touring the US. She is also immortalized in "Guitar Hero".


Daryl said...

Cool ... I had never heard of her.

Travis Erwin said...

Oh Lita Ford. She really tripped my trigger back in the day.

sybil law said...

Ooooh, Lita.
She drove me nuts with that Ozzy song.
But she's still kickass, for surviving that crazy rock n roll world!

Eaton Bennett aka Berenice Albrecht said...

I never heard of her either, but what determination. I like that she lives on an island in the Caribbean with her family...that is cool. Hope you had a nice Easter, Mie. :))